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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> New Spores of Itanlok ~ 2 ~ A Short Adventure in Audalis
Related thread: New Spores of Itanlok Q/A ~ 2
GM for this game: Almerin
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    Messages in New Spores of Itanlok ~ 2 ~ A Short Adventure in Audalis
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Almerin
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New Spores of Itanlok ~ 2 ~ A Short Adventure in Audalis

At the dawn of time,
the winds arrived,
and carried spores from Yonder.
Rock breathed and split,
then cradled seeds,
and sprang ideas of wonder.

From ‘The Musings of Hurond Trippledig, Captain of the Throne Guard. Recorded on one of many intoxicated nights with shots of Blue Fungid Beer.
In the Khordaldrum subterranean world, the finding of gems is quite the every day business. Many of the citizens of Khordal leave their homes in the morning for shifts in the mines or the Shard Tunnels and return to their homes with tales of handfuls of diamonds and emeralds.

The natural cavern that houses Niall Jiun, the Khordaldrum center of divine teachings, is adorned with the most beautiful selection of gems, that shine in every colour and are so marvellous to behold that one can only gasp en realize that Kharox was in a mighty good mood when he created this particular place in Antaron.

Khordaldrum trade in gems like no other race in the world. There are jewellers and gold-and-silversmiths in every block of every section of every Warren. You can buy gems engraved and rich or rough and robust, shiny and smooth, cheap or priceless. There are Khords who store magic into the hearts of these wondrous pieces of rock and embed them into their skin. Others store them greedily behind thick, metal doors, so nobody can ever misuse or obscure them.

One could think that, if gems came in such a heavy flow, the Khordaldrum would be numb to the beauty of these divine seeds. In a way, they might be, but the marvel of a smooth ruby’s surface strikes their hearts like that song you’ve heard a hundred times but still moistens your eyes.

Gems are a part of their culture, almost so deeply that it becomes a part of them. The finding of a special jewel can be a mythical happening that will draw many a Khord’s attention.
Add a little mystery, and the whole city will come running to see it.

The museum of Arts and History was a dull place, or at least, it used to be. It was tucked away somewhere in a dark corner of the Warrens of Rvisthorn, and welcomed hardly any visitors. Ever.
In the stuffy hallways hung tapestries, once beautiful, displaying victorious moments in Khordaldrum history. There were halls that were decorated with dusty weapons and other items of warfare, none of them particularly well crafted, or so over used on the heads of goblins that dents and holes were all that was left of them.

This all had changed when Ikamor Irondock, owner and only attendant of the museum had gone home after a long day without guests. As the tale goes, which Ikamor himself had spread as fast as he could, he was walking the dark corners of the less than welcoming neighbourhood when he suddenly noted a flickering light a few yards away.
It appeared to be a blue sapphire, as big as his head and with more facets than he could quickly count. It was slowly rocking back and forth, as if it had just been dropped by somebody, and its wide shiny surface reflected brightly in the light of the torch he carried. For a moment Ikamor didn’t dare touch it, because the thing looked almost alive.
But he got to his sense quickly and grabbed hold of the smooth gem before anybody else could claim it.

Now you could say many things about Ikamor Irondock, but he had an honest soul. He went back to his museum, and placed the gem in a safe where he normally stored his secret collection of early Sylvari pottery. The next day he called in one of the Royal Gemhounds, who started a very deep investigation into the source of this invigorating find. The sapphire came out clean. Nobody had ever heard of such a gem, and it appeared to be real. The Gemhound helped Ikamor to construct the documentation that would prove him owner of the jewel. Ikamor in turn gathered a few benefactors (which was now easy) and started the mouth-to-mouth spreading of the word that the Museum of Art and History would display the biggest Sapphire ever seen in Khordal.

He started the rumour on Viladay (Wednesday).
By Fallday (Friday) evening the museum had seen more visitors than it had in three years.

Now Valday (Saturday) had come, and a huge banner crowned above the museum’s engraved titling: COME SEE THE MARVELOUS SAPPHIRE!
A sea of Khords waited outside the museum’s doors to get a glimpse of this wonder. The hallways and rooms were all filled to the brim with eager visitors, city officials and guards Ikamor had hired to safeguard his new treasure. He was no fool, and quite certain that somebody would attempt to steal the item.

“And so I present to you, the Irondock Sapphire!” He concluded a long speech which people had only listened to with half an ear. Ikamor pulled away a velvet cloth and revealed to all what they had come for. The murmur in the crowd ebbed away. Nobody said a word. The sight of the gem was too breathtaking.

Then people started to move again, and talk amongst themselves. Many praised Kharox for this precious gift. Others could only stare at the gem on its pedestal, and Ikamor who stood next to it, glaring like a monkey with a new bunch of bananas.

(OOC: I want to update more, but I think I’m going to stick with this for now, to give you all the opportunity to put in some roleplay before the action starts. You are all standing in the room where the gem is being displayed. You can go look at it, or do something else. There are plenty of city officials and well-known Khords here that you might want to talk to. Ikamor is also very open for conversation.

I am going to create a separate Q/A for this group now. It should be up shortly. )



Posted on 2009-12-05 at 22:52:00.
Edited on 2009-12-05 at 22:52:24 by Almerin

Dragonblood
Facelick Squeegee
Karma: 37/7
401 Posts


Incognito

The museum of Arts and History was overflowing with eager-eyed khords, who all wanted to get their fill of Khordal’s largest sapphire. Sweat and stink of this organism that pushed and pulled against each other, made up of a kaleidoscope of different khords that the sapphire had lured out from their warrens and down to this dusty corner of the Warrens of Rvisthorn... and that was why this was not the place for Odin Foxblade.

*

Odin Foxblade drew attention and hated every minute of it. He was gargantuan for a khord, standing half a head above his brethren. He had broad shoulders that reached out over his barrel chest and thickly muscled arms. The hulking frame seemed almost top heavy on his taut, little legs. He was intimidating to say the least and drew attraction, that is why he had prided himself on his devilish dexterity and unfathomable ability to disappear when he was young and an assassin. But he he didn’t think about those times any more. They were behind him. A dark past that had left shame and guilt on his shoulders and dark and suspicious glances from his fellow khords, no matter how hard he tried, Odin Foxblade could not escape the infamy of his name.

It was his face that kept him recognizable. It was one of those faces nobody forgets, a face that is entirely unattractive to look at. He had been born already unfortunate looking and the battle scars he bore after a century of adventuring didn’t assist.

His brow jutted out far over his eyes laced with lines that told the tales of his age. His left eye was crowned by the silver-white eyebrow wild and overgrown, hairs crawling far beyond any reasonable length and giving him the look of some insanity. This was little aided by the long scar that cut across the other eyebrow leaving nothing more than the random tufts of hair that could grow in the cracks cut in by a knifeblade.

His broad, short nose had seemed flat enough before he had narrowly avoided death by a swinging axe and lost the end of his nose. Now the fleshy mess that had grown back give a certain repugnant impression, that trumped the missing eyebrow. Luckily, his nostrils had been spared just barely and left him free to enjoy his sense of smell without the unfortunate idea of two incomplete nostrils, flapping in the wind of each intaken breath.

The beard that encased his face in a silvery white cloud did little to gain the respect of fellow khords, spotted and splotchy as it was, beginning in thick tufts as high as his cheekbones and only truly filling out into the flowing beard that weaved its way down to his belt line by his jawline. The mouth hidden under the wreath of snowy curls had two scars slashed across it and was now built of lips, bent and intwined in on themselves, creating an odd mess that had left his speech slow and particular, and cut off any chances of a sweet kiss with the beautiful female khords he had conveniently sworn himself off of.

This distinct face was a marker that screamed out to every passer by that this khord was Odin Foxblade: the goblinfriend, the orcbrother... the khord killer. Odin shuddered to think of the darkness that followed his footsteps and reminded him of the regret he faced every moment and the pain he had caused at every turn in the path of youth.

He knew he still bore suspiscion and dislike from many khords who recognized him, as most did. Some even held a deep hatred, he had no hope of alleviating. However things had become much calmer since he had slain the young, black dragon in protection of a khord village, close by. He had gained some credit for the change of heart he’d experienced, though most were still skeptical. Odin sighed, agreeing that they could not be blamed for their anxious reactions that he gleaned at every outing.

This outing was no exception, in fact it was the worst he’d experienced yet. It’d been ages since he’d made any type of journey beyond the small village that had warily accepted him in. To be specific it’d been fifty years. Not a lifetime or anything but enough to make his Sylvari chain mail, something else that didn’t please most khords, a little tight around the belly and Foxtooth, his beloved rapier that got grimaces from the standard ax-wielding and hammer-holding khords, seem foreign in his well worn hands. But he refused to travel unequipped and it had been no short pilgramage coming to this corner of the Warrens of Rvisthorn just to see the damn gem. Odin sighed, he had sworn off so many things but still could not resist the lure of gems and Sapphires had always been his favourite. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, to see the biggest gem in all of Khordal, and so Odin had packed his bags, geared himself up and faced the open road with a nervous look.

More than once, the stoney floor had been his home at night when an inn had turned him out for bearing the name Odin Foxblade. In some select towns he had had to face the small stones whipped from the small hands of small children, egged on by their angry parents, similarily small next to Odin. It had taken all the will that remained in him to resist retaliation. The entire town could have crumbled beneath a couple quick swipes from his faithful Foxtooth... but he had stopped such murderous tendencies. He would restrict himself to smiting down only evil and only if he had too. He had been lucky enough to turn to the light of Rydor... if he, blackest of hearts, could find religion, couldn’t anybody?

*

Odin attempted to make himself as small as it was possible, pulling up his hood over his head. Perhaps he could avoid notice... but it was unlikely. He sighed deeply and looked about him at the other enthusiastic Khords, if only he could enjoy this moment, untainted by their prejudice. If they understood, how loyal he was to the teachings of Rydor and how his heart had been cleansed by the god’s purifying light they could enjoy the day more too. It could be so spectacular, Odin thought, each of these khords coming together in appreciation of one of the most beautiful gems they would ever see.

Odin looked out from under his hood, crouching down so he didn’t stand a head above his brothers. The closeness caused some anxiety but he continued to breath deeply and observe the people that surrounded him. He quickly shot glances around the museum looking for the fastest way out... an old habit he’d never lost.

They filed forward slowly, jostling each other eagerly, standing on their tip toes, hoping to get a glimpse of the glorious stone. Odin stayed alert of those around him, he knew he would get a good look at it at some point, until then he had to be sure that he was safe. Familiar faces had to be avoided at all costs, his was too familiar as it was.

He caught eye of the heavy security that filled all the gaps in the crowd, ready to pounce on any wily, wiseguy. Odin smiled, remembering that he would have, without a doubt, been trying to steal the sapphire a century ago.

Observing the men he wondered gently how he would have snatched it with the least amount of struggle. There was probably a Dispel Magic spell on the museum. Or perhaps there wasn’t which meant that the Sapphire should already be gone. Odin’s grin reappeared, no there was certainly some protection against magic in the room... there had to be. Some sort of distraction would have been necessary and a sniper... maybe too. Knock out all the guards as fast as possible. You’d need people who had little concern for the lives of bystanders, it would have to be a quick kill and if the crowd caught some fire i could be excused as collateral. Odin and another would’ve had to weave their way through. His size would’ve mattered little, he was sure he’d have been able to make his way to the stone rapidly, and then exit rapidly with the sapphire. And that’s only if you couldn’t get magic or an inside man. Odin sighed and pushed the thoughts out of his head, reprimanding himself angrily for enjoying the thoughts so thoroughly.

Odin watched the guards slowly. That would be a job to have he thought to himself, protect the jewel. He would get to see it each day and other than, little would be required of him but to stand amongst the milling khords. He knew he was experienced enough to eliminate any threat... or was he? Did he still have it, he thought. He pushed the ideas out of his head, remembering he would never be hired on account of his face, it would’ve been assumed that he was plotting a robbery without a doubt.

Odin listened with half an ear to the speech belted out proudly by the museum’s curator. He rose to his full heiht and used his toes to raise his head completely above the crowd. He watched the cloth fall away, falling down to the floor and revealing the sapphire. Odin held his breath. It was gorgeous, the most beautiful he’d ever seen. He had worked for gemthiefs, he had robbed gemthiefs, he had been a gemthief and this outshone every other one he’d seen in his career. It was beyond compare and left Odin standing still, his fists clenched tightly and his eyes plastered open, his lips ajar and his breathing stilled. This was the reason he had come here, and now he knew it was worth it.

-Dragonblood


Posted on 2009-12-09 at 00:26:50.

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


Bohen

"It's been too long." Bohen Durnadast thought as the crown he'd been following turned toward the Museum of Arts and History. The young Khord had spent most of the day just wandering the warrens, reacquainting himself with his old home. He'd been traveling the surface for the last twelve years, primarily in the company of humans, and his memories and the actual corridors no longer matched up properly. The Grand Library had been easy, but it took the better part of an hour circling and backtracking before he found the Ungolfad . The irony that he, a trained ranger, had so easily gotten lost in what was once home brought a bemused smile to his lips. He decided to just let the foot traffic pull him where it will rather than fighting in vain to find a few misremembered streets and shops.

Every few minutes someone would raise an eyebrow or cock their head at Bohen's trimmed and exceedingly short beard. He would just smile in response to their curious looks, nod a "Well met." and continue on his way. It was simpler and less humiliating to pass it off as nothing than to recount the incident during one of his first solo missions where he fouled his crossbow with his own beard. The moments it took him to extricate himself from his weapon almost resulted in allowing the enemy scout to discover an allied encampment. Since then, he's always trimmed his beard in a square cut just below the clavicle. Keeping to the "form follows function" philosophy, Bohen maintains the rest of his hair in a short, black pony-tail that ends between his shoulder blades, so that it will never obstruct his peripheral vision. After so many years among humans, who would cleanly shave their faces and allow no more than an inch or two of hair on their heads, he'd always felt his own hair was almost too lengthy. Now, though, beards long enough to be tucked in at the belt were common and he felt some of those he passed were giving him the same look that he gave the first time he saw a man who shaved both his face and his head.

"Definitely too long." he repeated as he found himself being herded into a room almost completely packed with people. At the far end was a pedestal whose display was covered by a velvet cloth, though from the excited murmurs and the sheer number of people packed into this room, Bohen assumed this was the "MARVELOUS SAPPHIRE!" the banners had advertised. Being in a room with this many other bodies, the ranger was beginning to regret the choice to continue wearing his chain shirt once he had entered the warrens. The piece of mithril armor was the only item he still had that bore the Nemesis insignia, the mark of his former comrades. He had been allowed to chose one item from his standard issue equipment to keep, and the rest had to be returned to be reassigned to some later recruit.

As the temperature rose and the museum moderator began a speech that would no doubt be a lengthy one about how he'd found the Sapphire, and how honored he was that Kharox had blessed him so, and other topics no one else in the room seemed to care much about, Bohen was glad that he'd been able to fit the rest of his belongings into his marvelous haversack. A thick winter blanket strapped to his back right now would be torturous. Though no one else seemed to notice the slowly rising heat and humidity. Maybe he'd picked up a bug and was running a fever, maybe it was just him. Then he realized that most of these people were probably craftsmen and would easily spend eight or more hours a day hard at work at their chosen pursuits, most of which would include the use of a forge. This room was still comfortably cool for everyone else. One more thing to readjust to.

“And so I present to you, the Irondock Sapphire!” The speaker finally concluded his long speech and pulled away the velvet cloth to revealed what they had all come for. The murmur in the crowd died away. Nobody said a word as they all stared into the sparkling blue facets. Suddenly Bohen didn't notice the uncomfortable warmth anymore. The gem was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen and it seemed to demand to be admired the way it glittered. It reminded him of the sun reflecting off the slow roll of ocean waves, and he could stare into that deep blue for days (once he finally worked up the courage to look over the ship's railing).

The spell was broken once people started to move again and talk amongst themselves about other beautiful sights they'd seen and comparing them to the gem. Bohen pushed his way forward to the speaker and addressed the beaming Khord, "This seems to be quite the day for you. It's my luck that just this morning I've returned to the warrens and am able to see your beautiful find here. Name's Bohen, Bohen Durandast. And I must congratulate you on your find here. It is truly a marvel." Bohen turns to admire the gem from this closer vantage as he continues, "If you need any more guards for your new treasure here, or are planning to add more general museum security, I spent the last decade as a soldier and mercenary . I'm not sure where to start looking for work, now that I'm back, but I thought here might be a good start. I'll be staying at the Clouded Mug, most likely. Maybe the Aglar Column. I'm not sure yet."

"I'm sorry. I'm rambling again and you've got plenty of other people trying to get in a word. Thank you for sharing this find with the community. And congratulations again." Bohen stepped away from the pedestal and let the crowd dictate where he'd move. It didn't take long before he was standing along the back wall, watching everyone else try to get closer to the gem.




Posted on 2009-12-10 at 22:09:48.
Edited on 2009-12-11 at 08:18:59 by Deucalion

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


A Song Sung in Stone

The crowd in the Museum of Arts and History were pressed in tight, excitement thrumming through the air, but in the midst of it all, Rerra Stoneheart waited calmly with the patience of rock. She knew what it was to wait for something you desired greatly, and she knew that being strong simply meant being solid. She shifted her weight slightly and smiled behind her auburn beard as the people around her started to protest, then subsided as they glanced at her armour. Almost complete, the scale armour fit her well, and every flat inch of surface was carved with runes: some simple and almost childlike, from her early days, others so deeply mystical that the untrained eye could not make out the shape, seemingly writhing and re-writing itself upon the armour.

Such armour marked her as a Khun-kharad , or Runemaster, a testament to patience and long study in of itself. No matter that it had taken her ten years of logic and persuasion to convince her father to teach her the ways of the runes. They had been so many reasons why her gender prevented her from being a Runemaster, and slowly, one by one, she’d defeated them with sound logic and endless conviction.

“Khordaldrum women are more rare and precious than the finest gems,” he’d begun,” they must be protected and cherished.” She’d countered that in order to carve her very first rune, she’d spend long days in the Library, learning and studying, so where else could possibly be safer? “Men are made for the big matters, and women for the small. Surely the keeper of secrets is a big matter!” Rerra had taken some time to think this through, before responding that secrets were very small things indeed, to be stored in the heart and mind, and became big only when they were loosed upon the world. “You are betrothed to Agnum Bonebreak – have been since before birth, and it would dishonour both him and us if you turned your back on him.” Rerra pointed out that she was yet a fair number of years from being ready for bearing children, so there was no point in rushing into the marriage. Agnum was not the hasty sort, either, and since he didn’t want to lose out on a bride, he was willing to wait on the one arranged for him.

Her father had finally come to the last two points, ones that he would close the matter for good. “Runes must be sung during their crafting, and those of the deepest power need the deepest notes. A female will never be able to reach those tones…and who under earth would train you? A female Khun-kharad is unheard of, the others will not accept you.”

“I have been singing songs of hearth and home, father, but also that of forge and mine. The rock sings back to me, and guides me deeper into my soul, where the music is. (Her father had closed his eyes at this, recognizing that Rerra, indeed, had the calling). As for training, “ and here Rerra had hugged her father, placing her head against his barrel chest as she had done so many times as a child, “who would best be able to teach me than you, old boulder? As one of the finest Runemasters around, if you accept me, the others will do so, as well.”

Rerra’s smile faded behind her braids at the memory of her younger, brasher self. Indeed, she’d studied hard, and some songs had been harder to master, her very bones humming with the deep notes, but once her father had passed away, no other would recognize her status, nor would they train her any further. She’d travelled here to look among the forgotten tomes of the Museum for the next rune she needed to complete her armour, only to find that some special gem would be displayed. After the crowd had their fill of the gem, surely she’d be able to speak with the curator.

“And so I present to you, the Irondock Sapphire!”, Ikamor Irondock concluded, and Rerra was torn from her thoughts by the gasp that rolled through the crowd. Her own eyes widened and she could barely breathe; the sapphire sang its song and she was caught in the notes. What would be the best rune to carve upon this magnificent gem? How much power could be held within such a crystalline cage?
The crowd swept her forward and around the sapphire, depositing her by Ironforge’s side. A young Khord warrior was speaking to the curator, so with her customary patience, Rerra waited.



Posted on 2009-12-13 at 04:38:41.

Loki
TRSG 2.0
Karma: 113/94
1606 Posts


Gems and Glass

He’d been called back to the Kingdom by his brother, his second oldest brother actually, for this unveiling alone. Gimble hadn’t told his brother what he had done but his exact words had been “I was one of the team who worked on it. I swear, nothing more beautiful exists on or under the earth.” He had to come, not only to see this wonderfully thing, whatever it was, but for his family honour. A matter of being seen in the right places by the right people. He was lucky to get the message in time; he had ridden hard for a week to get to the Kingdom in time.

Having arrived with less then a week to spare he returned to his clans home and after a days fortification he began to prepare properly for the unveiling. He spent every waking spare hour carefully cleaning and polishing his equipment to perfection, even his belt had a good application of restorer not wanting to have to buy a new stiff one. He made no attempt at cleaning his gauntlet, he knew it was futile, and besides it was a magical item so stayed in top nick anyway. In the years since he’d originally been gifted his breastplate and splattered it with the blood of the monstrous hordes he’d fought with the elves he’d never been able to return the sheen to its mithril, but what could he expect, mithril was elvencraft and he was a Khord. He took tremendous care in strapping on the whole of his equipment and requested help in donning his breastplate. Masterwork Light Crossbow across his back next to his Masterwork Longaxe, the blade and haft and handle of each polished to perfection, his Masterwork Throwing Axe hanging from his belt on his right, three ebony sticks tucked behind his belt on his left. Next to the ebony sticks a pair of pouches hung from his belt and next to his Masterwork Throwing Axe three cases of bolts for his crossbow, curiously an unpolished, pitted and rusty gauntlet on his right hand. Under all this equipment a new set of explorers cloths reveal his true profession as an adventurer.

So far a physical description has evaded me; most Khord’s eyes are drawn by this perfectly crafted array of weapons and the mithril breastplate. In truth this red-headed, stout male Khord is little different from the norm except his equipment, maybe an inch or so shorter then most and a smaller girth, but otherwise very similar. Not having a single braid in his beard was, however, a mark of shame. Most Khords didn’t have one but after his decade of adventuring he should by all rights have one, and he probably should, he makes a point of his actions on the surface among other races not counting towards any honorific titles below ground. He desires a braid though, just a single braid, and has decided that when he earns it that is when he shall return to his home to live and work. He’ll retire and take up a trade in the Kingdom.

He’d arrived at the museum early, before most people and had met and greeted his brother. Now it was time for the unveiling though, time to see what the fuss was about.
“And so I present to you, the Irondock Sapphire!” He concluded a long speech which people had only listened to with half an ear. Ikamor pulled away a velvet cloth and revealed to all what they had come for. The murmur in the crowd ebbed away. Nobody said a word. The sight of the gem was too breathtaking.

Then people started to move again, and talk amongst themselves. Many praised Kharox for this precious gift. Others could only stare at the gem on its pedestal, and Ikamor who stood next to it, glaring like a monkey with a new bunch of bananas.

He clapped with the rest of them, this gem was special but he’d lost his lust for them some time ago. He’d seen almost weightless glistening glass chandlers within the elven woods, wonderful and intricate and reflecting the bright glow of the moon. Cut and mounted gems within cast red, gold, green and blue light, he’d seen nothing like them before and had never seen anything close in their beauty since. He respectfully made his way to the front to gaze into the heart of the rock; half wishing it would rekindle his love for that give up by the earth. It did not. He was a dwarf with something missing from his heart, he was in the right place with the right people but that was it, there was no joy in seeing the rock.

(OOC: My characters name is still Gloin, Gimble is his brother)


Posted on 2009-12-15 at 16:51:43.
Edited on 2009-12-15 at 18:58:49 by Loki

Almerin
Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 176/19
3010 Posts


update... and there you have it

After the first jaw dropping and eye popping had subsided, people started to move again. It was as if a rippled cone of silence had made its way through the crowd, and now words were following it, trying to catch up. And word travelled fast.
Soon the Khords who were in the same room as the Irondock sapphire felt the crowd behind them pushing forward, in an attempt to get a glimpse of the marvellous thing that had been exposed and made such a impression on their kinsmen.

Ikamor stared at the crowd, and smiled. It was a warm smile, for he knew that this find would sound the rejuvenation of his museum. But he didn’t have long to bask in thoughts of better days, for people were all of a sudden very eager to meet him. He greeted every one of them with patience, though inside he was burning up with anticipation to put all the entry fees to new causes. He smiled politely, doing his best not to grin, but joy radiated from him no matter how hard he tried to remain calm.

“Yes sir, thank you very much for the compliments. Send my regards to the Regent.” He bowed to one of the Stadtholders of the Warrens of Rvisthorn, who had just told him they would be adding the museum to the many columns with directional arrows.
“Oh, you are too kind, madam.”
A quick response to the first wife of Gumbarg Masterfist, one of the most prominent distributors of the Shard Tunnels.
“Why, that is a very tasty brew! You have my gratitude.”
Ikamor smiled and passed a small keg of Direbark Oakbeer (which was a very exclusive and elite brand) behind him on the floor.
“No, I’m sorry, but the Irondock Sapphire is not for sale.” He blushed under his grey beard, and added: “No, not even for that amount of gold.”
He glanced with eyes wide to the man who now walked away from him, a collector of special gems, blinked hard a few times and turned his attention to the next person in line. It was a Khord looking for work.
The thought arose in his mind that he needed to be careful who to hire, now the word was out. Thieves and other scum would be lining up to apply for a ‘job’. Still, this Khord in front of him, with his strange beard, appeared to have experience, and with that kind of appearance, one couldn’t disappear to easily, now could he?
“Alright, Bohen. I’ll tell you what. Since you’re the first to apply for a job, I’m going to give you a break. Kharox knows I need the hands. Once you’ve found yourself some lodging, contact Soregan Amberfold, captain of the guard. He’s handling the security, since I don’t know anything about that kind of business.”
He paused and added with a smile: “I’ll be seeing you around then.”

Ikamor took a short moment to stare at the Sapphire by his side. The blue gem reflected the light beautifully, and with the movement in the crowd mirrored on its surface it was as if it was alive, and staring back at him.

He looked up to the next person who wanted his attention, ready for smiling and politeness. But he stopped in mid-glance, and his expression changed to sudden wonder.
“Oh, hello.” he said to the Khordaldrum woman before him, who was wearing a suit of armour which, he noted, was engraved with runes of knowledge and power. His eyes travelled to her face, and he added from under furry brows: “I must say that this is the first time I have the pleasure of seeing a female Runemaster, if my guess is right.”
He smiled. “You people are basically the only customers I had back when I didn’t find this beauty.” He patted the gem lovingly. “So I should ask you, did you come here to marvel at it, or is there anything else…”

He would never finish his sentence. The wall behind him suddenly gave way in a burst of dust and sandy clouds. A sound of breaking wood splintered through the room, and one of the wooden boards that made up the wall was flung into the crowd, a painting of a warzone from back in the day still nailed to it. Rocks and pebbles flew overhead and dirt obscured vision to only a few feet. Even the bright sapphire was doused instantly.
There was a clicking sounds, as if somebody was rapping their nails on a glass surface, but louder. People screamed, and tried to flee. Guards turned, just in time to see two enormous mandibles protruding from the clouds, which grabbed Ikamor and started pulling him back into whatever hole they came from.
More mandibles came out of the clouds, and snatched the nearest Khords up, and dragged them away. At least five Khords had been attacked so far, including one of the guards.

Then they saw what was intruding upon what should’ve been a festive exhibition. A brown insect head with huge mandible and vicious black eyes could vaguely be seen diving at the gem. Its very head was the size of a Khordaldrum child, and it stood at least as tall as any of the guests gathered in the room. It took the gem in its hold, and disappeared from sight once more.

Panic grabbed hold of most of the Khords in the room, and chaos spread its wings and bellowed a single thought into their heads: getting out.

(OOC: I’m going to stop here. Surprise round is over, but vision is extremely limited, and you can only see up to 5 feet in front of you. If I have time, I’ll draw a map, but I can’t promise anything. So far, you are all standing in a great cloud of dust, but all within 30 feet of any wall. Any questions or discussions: The Q/A is the place to be!)


Posted on 2009-12-15 at 21:59:27.

Dragonblood
Facelick Squeegee
Karma: 37/7
401 Posts


number 1 fear in america? public speaking... that's right not death - same thing in Audalis

Odin Foxblade stood in the brilliance of the sapphire for many long moments. His age old obsession with gems flaring up and blazing through him, exuding finally in a long sigh that he understood to be felt through the whole room as each khord embraced the vision before them personally. Odin felt brotherhood wash over him warmly and gently. The suspicion that had consumed him early was cleansed and he felt a closeness with his earth-dwelling kin that had not been experienced for years. He couldn’t say whether this inner serenity was shared but he was pleased enough to allow it precedence in his soul as he gazed longingly into depths of the sapphire.

In a moment these feelings disappeared. Any sentimentality inside him blazed up and was left a forgotten ash in his well-trained mind. He became instantly conscious of the disruption, as the wall blew in. However, his keen awareness was caught off guard by the sudden explosion that rippled through the room, the splinters of rock and wood spilling through the space and dust clouding all vision. Odin peered forward desperately trying to understand it. Well that’s one way to create a distraction. He thought to himself, remembering the lighthearted monologue he’d indulged earlier, regarding the theft of this beautiful sapphire. Which means… Oh goblin balls, someone’s stealing the stone. He thought to himself.

A hungry maw snatched Ikamor, the owner of the museum and discoverer of the gem, up. The guards were paralyzed with terror, or so it seemed to Odin who was beginning to regain some visibility and was trying to make out the situation. Well, it wasn’t some random bandits with explosive, of that one could be sure… unless they’ve gone into the business of employing large monsters to do all the work for them. Odin chuckled quietly but this small indulgence of laughter was swept aside as the mouth returned to steal five more members of the Khord community, one being a guard himself, who seemed to put up no fight as he was taken.

As the gem was grabbed up though, Odin became truly incensed. He knew that he should be indignant about the life that had been endangered, and probably already lost but this beautiful beacon that had delivered some reconciliation to him for the first time in over a century, was what truly enraged him, it could not afford to be lost. A terrible thought, Odin chided himself, but nonetheless was excited into action.

Odin watched the doorway swallowed up by desperate bodies squeezing and squirming, desiring so dearly to escape the horrors of the room. There must be some who were not trying to escape, who understood that this was not over and something had to be done. He scanned the room. The guard were still as stone in their fright but remained in the room, which consoled Odin, if only barely.

Strange that Odin only noticed him now, but there was another Khord bearing Sylvarian gear. A khord, younger than him in years, bore mithril! There could be no doubt that he would remain to aid the dilemma, one did not acquire the rare brand of armour by running for the door, and neither did they obtain it from inability on the battlefield, he must have some experience… hopeful more than the damned guards, Odin thought to himself.

Another soul in plate armour… as Odin observed her briefly he noticed that it was not merely plate but mail which was imbued with runes. This khord was a runemaster and that meant more than just some small thing. It took Odin these brief moments to realize that this runemaster was also female. Odin had seen many a thing but a female runemaster was foreign, it excited him, perhaps the Khordal community was becoming more open minded, perhaps he’d be welcomed back soon. Perhaps, but these thought were impertinent to a desperate situation.

There was another in the vicinity of this khordal oddity and he was equally strange: he wore a shorn beard. That couldn’t be very popular with the family Odin thought quickly to himself as he viewed the queer looking fellow. A traveler no doubt, equipped with a well-packed sack, but not necessarily a fighter of much merit. Then again, Odin could not hand pick a party at this point and time was slipping out from his hands. Something had to be done and still the room was silent.

It was time to step forward. Nervousness plagued Odin’s stomach. An overwhelming fear was rising up shaking its terrible locks in Odin’s direction as it strictly scolded him away from the idea of taking control. He remember how direly he was hated, who was going to listen to him… his voice meant little to nothing and even if he wasn’t recognized the speech impediment that had only been worsened by the gashes on his lips would eliminate any chance of an audience. But still the room was frozen as the khords in the back globbed around the singular exit in a frenzy. He had not choice… He had to step up.

Odin took timid steps forward before collecting himself and stepping towards the guard. He never quite knew how to deal with others but, he supposed, it was never too late to learn. The cluster of terrified Khords were still unmoving and Odin hurried towards them now looking at the other three who had not been shaken enough to rush towards the door.

“You three!” He shouted at them, beckoning them over with a wave of the hand, “Here!” His rudeness came out accidentally and instantly a blush rose up, glaring through the spotty white beard. But he disregarded it. I felt that they all looked at him with depthless loathing, he shunned the thoughts, he was their only chance he reminded himself.

“We havff to act.” He chose his words carefully, dodging any lurking esses within his vocabulary. “Do we havff a map?” It had to be known whether whatever burrow this beast had tunneled from was a Khordal construct or was completely unknown to the population. “Do we know what that…” He narrowly escaped the is, replacing it slightly confusedly with, “thing?”

Obviously pursuit was necessary, however if there was a map of the area they wouldn’t be fumbling blindly through a dark that was endlessly familiar to their quarry. Perhaps they could evade the unappealing prospect of ending up as the dinner of some strange monster. Perhaps however, this was familiar to the locals and if they knew what it was it would aid them greatly in whatever solution was proposed. Odin’s legs shook slightly, he was unendingly nervous to be the speaker in such a large group, he was used to discussions with two or three people at the most, them being close acquaintances at that. He would have much rather been battling the bugger silently, only having to deal with Foxtooth and thing’s blood.

-Dragonblood


Posted on 2009-12-18 at 06:17:35.

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


Bohen

The peaceful exhibit was forcefully thrown into chaos as the far wall exploded, launching debris at the museum patrons and filling the air with dust. Bohen threw his arms up on to protect his eyes from the dust and flying bits of rock. Something had gone horribly wrong. Ikamor vanished into the cloud. One of the spectators near the expanding cloud went next, then a guard twisted to the side and vaulted unnaturally out of sight. Someone, or some thing, was in that cloud and attacking any Khord standing close enough to reach.

Bohen reached back over his head and pulled the top item from his pack. The young Khord didn't understand the magic used in making his rucksack, or how the bag always seemed to know just what item he was after, but every time he reached inside the item he wanted was right there on top. This time the haversack produced his well-used repeating crossbow. Bohen pulled the reloading lever at the same time he brought the weapon to bear against the most recent target. One of the things stepped out of the dust cloud and grabbed the Irondock Sapphire. It was a brown insectoid creature and for the first time in a very long time, Bohen found himself looking at a creature he couldn't immediately identify. What was worse, there was nothing he could do to stop the creature from taking the gem.

The crowd had fallen completely into panic and was running, climbing, and crawling to the exit, and the erratic movement combined with the poor visibility made hitting the marauding creature impossible. Bohen watched as the gem disappeared into the cloud. Lowering his crossbow, the ranger fell against the nearby wall and began the slow push against the panicked crowd to begin his hunt.

***

A very large Khord shouted before Bohen had made very much forward progress. “You three!” He shouted at several others as well and beckoned them all over with a wave of the hand, “Here!” He paused for a moment, apparently to let them all get closer instead of continuing to shout, then spoke again, “We havff to act. Do we havff a map? Do we know what that… thing?”

"I don't believe any of that thing's tunnels will be on any local map. Unless it's taking measures to conceal its passage through the tunnels I can track it, though I'm not sure what "it" is just yet. I've arrived back home this very morning from... an extended time on the surface and I've got all my gear with me so I can head out right now. Irondock just offered me a job, and I fully intend to keep my employer alive. If any of you would like to join the hunt, but need to gather proper gear, I can mark tunnel any time it forks so you'll be able to follow."

Bohen made his way up to the pedestal while he spoke and inspected the rubble between it and the room's new doorway. Hopefully the dirt and dust had settled quickly enough for the insect-thing to have left a foot print. Did it even have feet? Through the dust and panicking museum goers he hadn't really seen any more than its face and huge mandibles. Maybe he spoke too soon in saying he could track the thieves.

"Oh. And my name's Bohen." he added, peering down the recently exposed tunnel.


(OOC: Survival check to find and follow tracks. Going to wait to actually enter the tunnel until the large Khord and the others he signaled have a chance to speak. He's chaotic, but not that ADD)



Posted on 2009-12-21 at 11:59:44.

Dragonblood
Facelick Squeegee
Karma: 37/7
401 Posts


reply

Odin Foxblade was impressed by how eagerly the bald-chinned khord had hurried over. As he watched the obviously adventure-oriented young khord approach he noticed him reach into a small sack and pull out a large crossbow. Odin took serious stock of this indication: the young man had a lot more to him than could be readily noticeable and he believed that just as there were large items concealed in a tiny bag, there must be years of experience hidden beneath the youthful face. The glint of mithril also caught Odin’s eye and he was comforted as he garbled out a weak sentence that this young man would be a good comrade to have if he were to venture after that thieving beast down dark tunnels.

Odin finished with a pathetically out of place word, his sentence collapsing grammatically but he had survived without making much of a fool of himself and, anyways, it was his battle skills that would impress, not his artful speech. He turned to the traveler he had noticed earlier as the young shortly shaven khord began to speak.

"I don't believe any of that thing's tunnels will be on any local map. Unless it's taking measures to conceal its passage through the tunnels I can track it, though I'm not sure what "it" is just yet. I've arrived back home this very morning from... an extended time on the surface and I've got all my gear with me so I can head out right now. Irondock just offered me a job, and I fully intend to keep my employer alive. If any of you would like to join the hunt, but need to gather proper gear, I can mark tunnel any time it forks so you'll be able to follow."

Odin listened to the man’s smooth and effortless speech with some small jealousy. The man’s voice seemed to flow out over the group beautifully. Odin smiled to hear him though and was pleased that this man had enough intelligence to make proper suggestions that could be expressed eloquently enough for the others to listen properly. He fully agreed with the man’s suggestion of the map but wondered if it, still, wouldn’t be of great aid to know where the khord tunnels ran.

Odin listened to the man speak, his smile broadening. What a stroke of luck it was that there would be another khord so experienced in this room when that monster smashed through the walls. On any other occasion it may have been simply a museum filled with frightened and inexperienced blacksmiths and miners, perhaps one or two soldiers who had yet to christen their blades with blood.

Today Ikamor must have been sending desperate prayers to have been blessed by the protection of at least three khords of battle experience. Himself, the man who'd just spoken and the runemaster. The man of mystery who had locks shorn short and wisdom beyond his years, clearly had tussled with danger in the past and knew his way around combat. Odin was greatly comforted that he may have a man at arms at his side.

The female runemaster created a similar intrigue in Odin’s heart. He had spent some few and curious hours with runemasters and he had always ben deeply interested in their magical arts. They were so different from the spellcasters that Odin had shot crossbow bolts beside or against in the past and they were eternally fascinating to him. To see a female one piqued his curiosity even further. He would watch her closely. Not to mention the fact that Ikamor had Odin in the room at the time and Odin knew that he was skilled enough to challenge many a foe and would not let that thing of beauty escape into the deep, dark tunnels of some over-sized insect’s lair.

As Odin discovered that this young khord was capable of tracking the malformed thief that had busted a hole in the museum wall, he grew very delighted. Perhaps they had a chance of taking down the palpably elusive beast after all. However Odin couldn’t help but continue to desire a map… even to know how close they would be to properly formed tunnels in case escape, or anything else, ever became necessary. He held his tongue however, he’d let the man speak for now. Besides that map however, Odin was equally equipped and prepared to delve in at the drop of a hat, or helmet as it were.

He watched this newly met Khord pick his path through the destruction towards the origin of the chaos. The gaping womb left in the wall that had given birth to the madness and demolition the museum had just been subjected to. Odin viewed the man begin his work with a certain interest and respect, he had always been so astonished by the intricacies of the work of others.

"Oh. And my name's Bohen." He heard the man say from his investigation of the museum. Odin flushed a deep red. Names. If they hadn’t recognized him as the infamous assassin already his name would destroy any innocence that he perhaps would’ve inherited in their eyes. For a moment he entertained the idea of delivering a false name but ushered it out immediately. Besides the fact that he may be identified already and would simply earn more suspicion as a liar, Odin had given up his deceitful ways. He must live a path of good, cleansed from the sin of his youth. The hatred he received was only deserved for the atrocities he committed in the past. The lives he had ruined. The communities he had decimated. The townships he had laid to waste. Khords of great honor and standing, better men than he, he had solen their lives without a second thought. Malice had taken stead in his heart and breathed its dark poison through his body, blackening his soul and the purging of this malevolence had taken years. The evil inclination still perked its grotesque head within him from time to time but he had conquered and caged the beast. He had precedence and he lived a life, dedicated to Rydor now. And so he had to confess himself to them. They had to see his darkness, know who he was and then make the choice whether they would travel with him.

“I am Odin Fokffblade.” He said slowly, his eyes keenly watching the khords around him for whatever reaction it may illicit. Not to mention the shame of the ‘x’ in his name coming out like a gurgled medley of ‘th’ and ‘sh’ and ‘ff’. To jump the gap of that his name might have invented between him and the other khords, he turned to one of the soldiers, “Can you find a map. It might be helpful.”

He knew better than to wander with his boots through the carnage of wood and stone that Bohen was currently interpreting for marks so he spoke from his position aside from the undesired opening forced onto the museum. “I will join you Bohen. I need no equipment other than what I havff and I can aid you in battle and travffel.” He had to be careful to pick proper words and so sentences often emerged as vague interpretations of what he had intended to communicate but regardless, he was confident that Bohen could understand the idea that fueled his last words. Odin sheathed his rapier and pulled his crossbow out loading a bolt into its mechanisms. He would not be caught unprepared again.

-Dragonblood


Posted on 2009-12-21 at 22:24:41.
Edited on 2009-12-22 at 07:58:23 by Dragonblood

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


Bohen

“I am Odin Fokffblade,” said the large khord, then, turning to one of the soldiers, he added “Can you find a map? It might be helpful.” The Odin stayed to the side of the new opening forced onto the museum. He sheathed his rapier and pulled his crossbow out, loading a bolt into its mechanisms as he spoke, “I will join you Bohen. I need no equipment other than what I havff and I can aid you in battle and travffel.”

Bohen looked up from where he knelt in the rubble to regard the older khord. He wore a rapier on his hip and was working at reloading a crossbow of about the same strength as Bohen's own. He also sported numerous scars of previous battles and was obviously no stranger to combat, however, those scars didn't inspire much confidence in the ranger. Bohen had been somewhat spoiled by his time as a mercenary, as the Nemesis Company had several priests ranked among them who were highly skilled in the healing arts. Scars were, for the most part, cosmetic. Unless you were part of a horribly botched operation, you could choose which wounds you'd let scar and turn into honor badges and which you just wanted gone.

Odin's scars were more disfigurement than marks of honor; they impeded his speech, they destroyed his beard. If Bohen had to guess, he'd say this man hadn't won very many fights, he'd simply survived them. Not a good kind of fighter to bring with you. He tried to keep the disbelief out of his face as he watched Odin crank the bow back into a firing position, but his brows furrowed anyway.

"I don't know. These tunnels might get too close for that bow to be of much use. Do you know how to use that blade if it comes to close-quarters, old man?" Bohen had been thinking it, but he hadn't meant to call him old so bluntly. His commander was always telling him to work on that brain-mouth filter that he seemed to lack at most times.

"Just because you were the first to recover after the attack doesn't mean you have to go chasing down these tunnels... you could stay here and co-ordinate with the guards, make sure everyone is on the same page and that they don't shoot me in the back if they go barreling down the tunnels after me." Maybe that wouldn't make him feel so bad, if he had a job to do.


Posted on 2009-12-29 at 22:46:16.

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


A party forms

“Hello, ” Ikamor’s glance eventually landed on Rerra, and she nodded politely in response, “I must say that this is the first time I have the pleasure of seeing a female Runemaster, if my guess is right.”

He smiled. “You people are basically the only customers I had back when I didn’t find this beauty.” He patted the gem lovingly. “So I should ask you, did you come here to marvel at it, or is there anything else…”

Rerra was never able to answer with her heart’s desire: a chance to look among the historic collection. The wall behind them both suddenly gave way in a burst of dust and sand, the wooden wall splintering outwards into the crowd.

The Runmaster whispered a word of command to the seemingly simple ring worn over her left guantlet, and although the force shield it produced was invisible, the swirling dust shimmered as it touched, and was repelled by, its power. Rerra placed herself between the apparent explosion and the teeming crowd behind her, the shield protecting as many as she could.

Alas, she was too slow to protect the man in front of her, as a monstrous clicking and scarabbling sound preceded the sudden attack of two enormous mandibles protruding from the clouds, which grabbed Ikamor and started pulling him back into the cloud of dust. More mandibles came out of the clouds, and snatched the nearest Khords up, and dragged them away. At least five Khords had been attacked so far, including one of the guards.

“I don’t think so, laddie-my-buck, “ she muttered, even as her heart pounded in her throat. Kobolds and goblins she’d faced, earning her beard braids (over the protest of the elders), but she had no idea what this creature could be. Still, if it lived, it could die, and Rerra was willing to find out. She whipped out her sling and sent two stones winging towards the mandibles, each stone carved with her rune of Power.

“You three!” Another Khord shouted, and Rerra realized that he must have included her, as he was waving at her, “Here!” This was an older Khord, his beard white and spotty, yet wearing fine Sylvari armour, and two other Khords, moved to join him.

“Ha!” Rerra laughed despite her fear,” you lads have lava in your veins, not the glacial melt of our fleeing brothers. What would you have us do, old rock?”

“We havff to act, ” the older Khord spoke with some difficulty, and Rerra noted the horrific scars. “Do we havff a map? Do we know what that…” He paused, seemingly struggling for words “thing?”

One of the young Khords who’d joined them, dressed in traveller’s garb, replied first, "I don't believe any of that thing's tunnels will be on any local map. Unless it's taking measures to conceal its passage through the tunnels I can track it, though I'm not sure what "it" is just yet. I've arrived back home this very morning from... an extended time on the surface and I've got all my gear with me so I can head out right now. Irondock just offered me a job, and I fully intend to keep my employer alive. If any of you would like to join the hunt, but need to gather proper gear, I can mark tunnel any time it forks so you'll be able to follow."

"Oh. And my name's Bohen." he added, peering down the recently exposed tunnel.

The older Khord responded with his own name, Odin Foxblade, and indicated he was ready to go. Rerra saw this as her own chance. “I am prepared to follow, too, friend Boren, friend Odin. I am Rerra Stoneheart, daughter of Balric. I’ve only just arrived, and have all my gear with me,” she continued, turning slightly so that they could see the warhammer strapped across her back, the handle protruding over her left shoulder.



Posted on 2009-12-30 at 03:24:34.

Dragonblood
Facelick Squeegee
Karma: 37/7
401 Posts


Compadres

Odin held his cranked crossbow and watched while Bohen fiddled with the remains of the once illustrious Khord museum. Despite the raging chaos of the situation: the onslaught of some pack of insectoid type creatures, the old Khord allowed a small smile to pass across his face. He couldn’t help but be reminded of his years of adventuring. Though the darkness that hid beneath the surface of those memories could not be ignored, neither could the joy and thrill that chase, combat and success had brought Odin.

The tingling sense of apprehension and excitement was cut short by the younger Khords comment, "I don't know. These tunnels might get too close for that bow to be of much use. Do you know how to use that blade if it comes to close-quarters, old man?" The grin disappeared rapidly and Odin had to stop himself before spitting a reply.

Look you little Elf Terd, I could squash you with my pinky toe. If you were any older than a baby you’d know my name. You’d quaver to hear the sharp sound of my blade being drawn. Foxtooth has a taste for khord blood and it’d be my pleasure to cut another kinsman down to cure the world of his ignorance and his idiocy.
But Odin bit his tongue and as the raw flash of wrath passed back into a calm amusement he looked upon the youth with kinder eyes than the ire that had burned there before. The tracker seemed he had not been among Khords in years and couldn’t be expected to know of Odin’s infamy.

Whether due to age or experience, perhaps it was a blessing to be unknown before him. He had known enough hate for the slaughter he had brought like a dark cloud over every khord community he passed through. His name had proceeded him through burrows and shook fear into the heart of grown Khords, keeping their children up through every passing night. Though many of it had grown to legend and perhaps Odin’s own ego stoked the fire of the legendary status he imagined himself having, Odin Foxblade was still not a welcome name among most.

Odin took the words the ranger had spoken to him and turned them over in his mind. Of course, it was a logical concern of Bohen’s and it was in Odin’ best interest to squash the fear instead of the khord himself. He paused and planned out a response so he perhaps would not be perceived as such a fool in his speech this time. He picked the ‘s’es out of his words and made sure he knew them well.

Odin knelt so he could be on the level of Bohen and looked into the younger Khords eyes, “I agree kid. It might be too tight for my bow, but we don’t yet know and if they’re coming down the tunnel and I got the room I don’t want to be waiting. Fear not though,” Odin drew enough of his rapier to indicate the keen blade, “My blade will provff vffaluable if they come near.” Odin’s smile spread across his face, “Howevffer many years I bear to my name.”

By the time he had put out all his words Odin was quite pleased with himself. He saw his speech as being rather nice and neat and perhaps painted with small brush strokes of eloquence here and there, though he didn’t want to flatter himself more than need be. As he stood up to survey the scene once more all his ill will towards Bohen had disappeared and was instead eager to fight next to him. It was the only surefire way of examining a man’s worth, in Odin’s eyes. Though he valued goodness and honour with an utmost severity, he could not dispatch the notion that a man who could not hold his own was a man whom Odin had no interest in knowing.

Odin turned his attention to the Runemaster and was pleased to see her equal eagerness. She certainly spoke with a poetic hue that coloured both her statement of commitment and Odin’s view of her. She stood now as both an intelligent and artful woman in his eyes.

Looking from companion to companion, Odin smiled widely, disregarding the gruesome deformity of his lips. He was pleased to be in company that appeared to him now as valuable and intriguing comrades. He could not speak for their combat skills but he was interested and excited to venture into the darkness that the tunnels were cloaked in with these two at his side.

-Dragonblood


Posted on 2010-01-11 at 23:05:23.

Almerin
Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 176/19
3010 Posts


into the tunnel then

With the dustclouds settling and the chaos spreading, there were only a handful of Khords who kept their minds stone cold. A few guards were now gingerly edging towards the hole in the wall, carefully drawing the maces that had been strapped to special holders on their belts. Still, none of them dared to do more than peek around the corner into what slowly revealed to be a tunnel of some sorts.

In the mean time, an alliance of some sorts was formed between three brave Khords, who seemed to trust in each others’ confidence to stay behind while the rest of the crowd was pushing and shoving to get out.
One glance over their shoulder told them that they were not really succeeding in their escape. Panic had struck hard, and Khords were tumbling over each other and knocking their own kin aside to be the first to exit the building. In the midst of the chaos it almost seemed like time was standing still for the three of them, their minds so at ease.

Bohen cautiously moved towards the area where the creatures had been standing. He was looking for tracks, and having no trouble whatsoever finding them. The ground, covered in a thick layer of sand and rocks that had been blown into the room with the emersion of the monsters, was a mosaic of small dots. Many an insect leg had pounded the floor a moment ago, and the tracks lead obviously into the tunnel beyond the hole in the wall.

With the dust clearing he could see the darkness that stuck to the crevice that had spewed desperation so suddenly. It was a deep tunnel, and there was no telling how long it went on or if there were any sideways.
That was, without going in.

And so they went in. The guards at the edge of the hole called out to them and beckoned them not to go. They wouldn’t listen.
Two of the guards bravely joined their lead, but the rest remained behind, following them only with faces lined with fear. Their heads popped around the corner of the tunnel in dark silhouettes, as if they were the last few rotting teeth in a mouth that had fed on the chaos of escaping Khords.

The tunnel was recently formed. It was rough and rugged, but dry and created with a hint of thought. It lacked all the qualities of Khordal’s digging engineers, but there was something about it that made it more than the average insect tunnel. They had heard of ants, of course, or bumblebees living in the earth, but even those creatures would settle for a bit more roughness than this. It was almost too smooth to be created by something with a brain the size of a pin’s head. And it was wide too. The initial opening had been quite small compared to what opened up here. There was room enough for at least three of them to walk side by side comfortably.

The tracks were harder to follow here, but Bohen was experienced, and years of training and exercise were paying off. He lead them deeper into the tunnel, but after only a few minutes had to stop them. He heard something up ahead, and now he pointed it out, the others heard it too.

There was a ticking noise, like that of a herd of blind men tapping their walking sticks in rapid succession. More so, it sounded like a group of large insects heading their way at high speed.

And that was exactly what it was. Within visual reach, which was approximately sixtie feet, came a group of four of the insects they had spotted earlier. Only now they were not obscured by debris, dust and the element of surprise. They came full frontal, black eyes now shifting from the end of the tunnel to the group that had ventured on their grounds.

They were enormous, as high as Odin with long segmented bodies covered in spiked plates. Six legs supported them, which darted back and forth in a sickly precise repetition. The creatures reminded them most of Shield Bugs but with an upright torso that sprouted a head flat and vicious. Two wide and powerful mandibles hang from their jaw, opening and closing like eager claws.

Their new targets in sight, they began a charge.

(OOC: Ok, will try to get a map up as soon as I can. The tunnel is about 15 feet wide, with the creatures now about 60 feet away. I have rolled initiative already, so there is no need to do so. Post your intentions, and I will make sure that everybody goes in the right order. This is not a first post, first goes kind of game (otherwise, what use is initiative anyway), but you can always delay your action. Good luck! )


Posted on 2010-01-16 at 16:07:23.

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


Bohen

"Waitwaitwait." Bohen, head cocked far to one side, looked up from the tracks he'd been studying to regard Odin and Rerra with a look of confusion on his face. "You both attended an art exhibit fully prepared to chase an unknown number of insect-like creatures down a recently discovered tunnel in order to recover a priceless gem, its owner and several of his hired guards?"

Half a beat after he finished the question, Bohen broke into a huge grin, "HA! ...me too. Either of you ever mercenaries?" He pushed himself to his feet and cautiously entered the tunnel, returning to tracking so quickly that it made his last question seem rhetorical.

"I can't tell how many of them there are. Either a lot of them, or a few moving really fast.... or only a couple with LOTS of legs. I didn't see anything other than mandibles taking the guards away, so I don't think it's the last option.... unless some of them have lots of legs and lots of mouths...."

He continued droning on like this for a few minutes throwing out one possibility after another on who or what it was they were following and the odd craftsmanship of the tunnel. He stopped only when some of the museum guards tried to call them back out of the tunnel he turned and shouted back, "Well I'm not going back there! That's the one place I know about that has been attacked today and thereby proven unsafe. You stay if you'd like!"

***

"Hey old man," Bohen said later, when he heard a clicking sound bouncing down the tunnel, "You still have that rapier of yours ready? 'Cause I think we're about to get a very close look at something very ugly."

The clicking grew louder and faster until a group of four insect-things burst into the range of Bohen's darksight. He was glad he had the enhanced vision, otherwise he wouldn't be able to see a thing underground like this, but he was a sniper and had been a surface dweller for more than a decade and that had spoiled him with engagements that took place at over one- to two-hundred feet. He could reliably hit a target five hundred feet away. Sixty feet was too close, especially at the speed these things were moving.

"Aw crap." Bohen raised his bow and hoped that three bolts in the lead critter would stop it and give the others reason to pause. Maybe even pause long enough for another volly in their direction. Maybe. Probably not.

"Sonova...." He took aim and fired and whatever else he was saying was lost under the TH-TH-THWANG of his crossbow.



(OOC: full attack w/ Imp. Rapid shot. Three (+14, +14, +9) attacks at the closest one. 5'step back if it doesn't fall over or slow down.)


Posted on 2010-01-18 at 07:46:33.

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


A body in motion ...

"Waitwaitwait." Bohen, head cocked far to one side, looked up from the tracks he'd been studying to regard Odin and Rerra with a look of confusion on his face. "You both attended an art exhibit fully prepared to chase an unknown number of insect-like creatures down a recently discovered tunnel in order to recover a priceless gem, its owner and several of his hired guards?"

Rerra beetled her brows and was prepared to answer gruffly that she’d just arrived from a long journey and hadn’t found lodgings before reaching the museum, thank you, young pebble, when Bohen returned to his tracking, leaving the Khord female gaping.

This one has a gift for getting people’s backs up, and you’ve been backed into too many corners, she told herself as Bohen talked nearly as much as a Pick. don’t be looking for offence when none’s been intended, or you’ll be fighting battles you don’t need to.
She settled for shifting uncomfortably and waiting while Bohen looked at what looked to her to be meaningless scrabbles among dirt and rubble. When he started to head down the tunnel, Rerra gestured to Odin to go ahead of her, saying,” When we meet with these beasties, I’ll need time to work the runes and pray. I think that crossbow and blade of yours will manage that nicely,” she concluded with a wink. If Odin’s scars or reputation bothered her, she showed no sign of it, wanting only to get on with the task at hand.

When the monsters appeared from ahead, insectoid bodies covered in spiky plates, Rerra stopped dead, not in fear, but to keep as much distance between her and the creatures. One hand pulled her sling from it’s place in her belt, the other nipped into her pouch of stones, deftly feeling for the rune of Power inscribed on some, and pulling those out. She set the first into the seat of the sling and began whirling it, watching the tableau before her as the sling picked up deadly speed.

She’d have to predict where Bohen and Odin would be when she cast in order to avoid them, and know where her target would be, but that’s what she had trained to do. Her decision made and target acquired, she let the stone fly, sending two more after it in quick succession.



Posted on 2010-01-23 at 14:26:13.

   
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