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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Demon Wind
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GM for this game: YeOlde
Players for this game: DarkAutumn, Raven, Kaelyn, Tiamat5774, Odyson, The_Haruspex, Tuned_Out
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    Messages in Demon Wind
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1538 Posts


Demon Wind

Recent History
Not long ago; King Julhoun I, Ruler of Pardinal, grew tired of the constant flood of reports of bandits, monsters, and all manner of troubles going on in his kingdom. Was he expected to protect everyone from the Nobles down to the lowly farmers? His troops could not be spared to chase after common bandits and small bands of creatures that filtered down from the mountains.

Therefore, he sent forth his Riders with a proclamation that the local magistrates and Lords of their respective towns and cities were empowered to do whatever was necessary to put a stop to all the trouble.

Lord Dremon of Visden decided that his militia was ill equipped and too sparse to be sending out to the surrounding towns and villages to protect them from dangers. They were needed in Visden to protect the more important people of the Cities and therefore could not be spared. Knowing he had to obey the King’s Writ, he instituted a program where he started a guild of adventures to work for him and deal with the problems.

The call went out and hundreds answered the summons. Fighters, mages, thieves and even priests came to serve.

Times were hard and money short. Adventurers searching for treasures and danger often spent months searching with only little to show for it other than an empty belly.

Now they would work for the Kingdom, and be paid to solve problems to which they were assigned. The pay wasn’t much, a measly 1 GP a month as a retainer plus a bonus based on the mission difficulty and success, but if on these quests they obtained any other ‘treasures’ they were allowed to keep them for themselves.

The Guild, officially called Militia Vericulum, became known as the “Blood Guards’ because all members were required to wear a Blood Red sash or cloth upon their shoulders or armor as a badge of their station. Officially Blood guards had little power among the common people, but the position of working for the Kingdom often made the populace cooperate with them when possible. Most nobles however saw the BG as a way of the Kingdom interfering in their affairs and the BG were seldom welcomed with open arms.

Our party here became involved with each other when they joined the MV in search of work. They were placed together by the Guild because of each ones level of skill and abilities. A mixture of combat ability, magic and ‘other’ skills; chief among them was intelligence and wisdom. They soon found out that each team was expected to function on their own and investigate each assignment. They would not be just going out and killing things; they would have to discover the root of the problem and to solve it.

Their team, called MV 6 by the Guild, consisted of:

Tariel Mirellee – Syl Elf Scout

Irael – Syl Elf Warrior

Mendez Otega – Human Mage

Ellessarea – Syl Warrior and Songstress

Daldren Grey – Human Stealth Specialist

Danamar Amarillis – Syl Warrior Cleric of Therassor (Team Leader)

Their team was assigned and they were housed together for two weeks for an orientation where they were instructed in what was expected of them. In truth, this time was more useful to get them all to know and understand each other.
After a couple of weeks they were given their first assignment.

They were told that a group of especially bold bandits had been plaguing some villages to the east towards the Southern tip of the Railir Peaks. Their orders were simple; find them and stop them by any means necessary.
So the party travelled to one of the villages, Prilm, several days ride northeast of Visden. The village was a small farming community which worked the fields in the shadow of the Peaks. They arrived and soon discovered that the villagers were too afraid to work because of the bandits constant raiding them and taking food and livestock. They also learned that the leader of the bandits was a magic user who was the real threat from the bandits.

Several young men had died when they tried to stand up to the bandits at the beginning, but the magic user had burned them down where they stood. So without the power to stand against them, the villagers had seen a messenger to Visden for help.

For a couple of days they investigated, search for signs of the bandits, even followed tracks into the hills; then they learned that the bandits came every two weeks, and they should return within the next few days, the party decided to set a trap and wait for the bandits and their mage leader to return.

Three days later the bandits numbering about 20 and their robed leader rode into the small village; expecting docile village folks they were completely taken unawares by the carefully planned ambush.

They were given a chance to surrender but at first seeing their superior numbers would have nothing of it and resisted. The ambush was too perfect and within minutes most of the bandits were down. Their leader fought valiantly, casting fireball and lightning spells which nearly turned the tide against them, but in the end the mage was struck down by an arrow and the remaining handful of bandits were easily dispatched.

The villagers were extremely grateful and wished to reward them, but all they could give was food and comfort. After resting a few days, where they made friends with the entire village and helped to dispose of the corpses, the party gathered their things and rode back to Visden to report.
They were given a bonus of 10gp each from the Guild plus the coins they could get from selling the few meager weapons and items the bandits carried with them; another 10 GP each. The only item worth keeping was a wand that was found on the mage Bandit leader. This wand was given to Mendez as he was the only mage in the party. He couldn’t identify it on the road but knew of a place he could take it in Visden where they could tell him its purpose. Not knowing he was hesitant to try it.

So after report and receiving the rewards, the party was left to their own devices until, once again, the Militia Vericulum called upon Team 7.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dusk - 18th Sempore (Thirkday), 452 E.R.
Plains east of Visden, Pardinal

As the sun sunk low towards the western horizon; the lone wolf slunk through the tall grass towards its intended prey, a small group of sheep which grazed nearby. The wolf moved slowly pausing each time one of the sheep raised its head to look around. Ever closer it moved until it was close enough to spring at one of the sheep on the edge of the group.

The wolf was gathering its legs under it for the pounce when something caused it to pause; all of the sheep as one raised their heads to sniff a breeze that had come out of the east. The wolf too raised itself up on all fours and sniffed the breeze.

As one the sheep bolted and ran as a group towards the northeast; the wolf bolted to and soon ran among the sheep. The sheep paid no mind to the wolf running among them, a bigger fear was in their hearts. They didn’t know what it was that spooked them, but they instinctively knew that something bad was carried upon the wind.


High Seas - Maiden’s Virtue Southeast of Visden, one day out of port
The ship was riding high and all sails were set as the First mate took the night watch over from the 2nd mate and his watch.

“I relieve you,” the 1st mate said.

“I stand relieved,” the 2nd mate responded and then bellowed, “2nd watch lay below.”

“Night watch to your stations,” the 1st mate cried out as he took his position upon the quarterdeck.

He watched silently as his watch took the helm and climbed to the riggings to check all the lines and sheets. He turned to gaze at the sun as it sank slowly into the sea to the west. Clear skies and a steady breeze promised of a good night to come.

The 1st mate turned from the railing to give orders to his helmsman, “Steer two points north east and…”

His words froze on his lips as a strange breeze came out of the northeast, against the normal trade winds, and sent a chill up his spine.

He instinctively turned to face the direction from which the strange wind blew. He didn’t seem to hear the gasps that came from him crew as they too felt the strange prickling sensation that coursed over their bodies.

“What in the nine hells,” A large man bellowed as he burst from below decks still slipping on his outer coat. He climbed to the quarterdeck and stood beside the 1st mate as he stared into the distance.

“I don’t know Captain,” the 1st mate replied, “but I… I don’t like it!”

The entire ship grew silent as everyone on deck stared towards the Northeast, towards the Railir Peaks far off.

Nightfall, City of Visden, Pardinal
Suddenly the dogs started howling and soon people were coming out of their houses where they had been turning in for the night. A strange sensation of dark foreboding ran through their souls. They felt a strange breeze blowing through the city; is seemed to be coming out of the East which was unusual this time of year. The breeze moved through the city and with it came more confusion and fear.

It had been a month since the return of the party to Visden and each were off doing whatever it was they did to enjoy themselves in their off time. A little gold in their pockets, some time to relax until the next time the MV Guild called them to task.

Suddenly a strange feeling swept over them; a feeling of foreboding and hopelessness. A prickling sensation swept over their bodies as if their skin was covered in ants. Deep inside a fear of the unknown began to rise, as if they knew that someone, or something, was coming for them and they didn’t know from where.

(OOC: With this in mind I will allow each of you to post where you were and what you were doing when this feeling came upon you and what exactly you did about it if anything.)

If they were near other people when this happened, they noticed that everyone around them had the same feeling and strange expressions of confusion and even fear upon their faces.

After about a minute or two, the feeling began to fade and soon was gone. But while the tingling sensation was gone, they were still left with the trepidation of what was coming and when.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

19th Sempore (Fallday), 452 E.R.
City of Visden, Pardinal

The next morning everyone was talking about the strange occurrence last night; the entire city was a buzz and the city militia was alert and everywhere. It was as if they were expecting an attack of some kind.

As the day wore on and nothing happened everyone began to relax and their minds returned to their work; after all the day after tomorrow was Alvaday and work had to be done so that everyone could devote time to their families and it was the beginning of the Sky Days Summer Holiday.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Dawn - 22th Sempore (Merday), 452 E.R.
City of Visden, Pardinal

The party members had returned to their own designs after they, like everyone else, were unable to determine what had caused the strange occurrence of last Thirkday. Everyone had just chalked it up to another typical Thirkday.. “If anything bad happens it must be Thirkday.” .. so the saying went.

But later that day, each of them was visited by a MV Guild soldier who told them their team had been called and they were to report for duty at once.

(OOC: You are free to post whatever you wish here about the summons, the guild soldier will know nothing of why you were called.)

Arriving at the MV Guild headquarters, a large spacious building that looks like it was once a militia barracks that now housed offices and meetings rooms for MV Guild teams, each team member were shown into a room where eventually the entire team was assembled.

(OOC: Some chat amongst yourselves is allowed here if you wish)

After about half an hour a Guild officer entered, Tarse Merchantson their team liaison, stepped into the room and asked them to be seated at the long table and chairs provided.

“Good day Team,” Tarse began, “I hope you had a nice rest over the last month because we have an assignment for you.”
Tarse went to the large map of Pardinal on one wall and pointed to an area they were familiar with already.

“You all know Prilm,” he began pointing at its location on the map due east of Visden at the foothills of the Railir Peaks, “the place of your last mission.” It seemed a habit of Tarse’s to often state the obvious.

“We received a report today that something strange has occurred there,” he continued, “one of our Riders passing by a couple of days ago stopped to water his horse.“

Turning to face the group with a grim expression, “He found the entire village dead.” Tarse knew that they had spent some days with the village and appeared to sympathize with the team.

“We don’t have any details,” he continued after a moment, “all the Rider said was that they all appeared to have died horribly and… “ he paused looking down at the table top for a moment before continuing, “.. the Rider didn’t see any signs of wounds or blood. He described them as being shrunken as if they hadn’t eaten in a long time … like they starved to death.”

Tarse looked back up at them as he reached into his tunic and removed a small pouch tossing it on the table.

“Here is a little something for supplies,” he said, “the Guild wants your team to investigate and find the source of the villager’s deaths.”

Tarse seemed to be finished as if he were preparing to leave then he paused and looked at them again.

“One more thing,” he said, “the Guild wants you to investigate whether or not this incident has anything to do with the strange occurrence that was reported a few nights ago. We don’t know for sure but if you find a correlation you are to take whatever steps are necessary to see that it doesn’t happen again. Understood?”

Once he receives confirmation he nods, “Very good. Now it there are no more questions?”

If there are questions he will answer if he can, though they don’t know much more than they have already told the team. Once done Tarse wishes them luck and departs the room leaving them to plan their next move.

(OOC: Ok sorry for the long setup, it was necessary Ok there are 25 gold in the small pouch for supplies or whatever. I have started a Q&A Thread also so please address your questions there; if they are private questions, PM me. Please post accordingly and as I stated in the recruitment thread I don’t expect novellas but I don’t want just a line or two in your posts. Show me your interest and imagination and really think about what your character has to say and do. Thank you again for playing. I hope you will enjoy the ride. )



Posted on 2010-02-03 at 14:57:04.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


Daldren Gray

Courage is the magic that makes dreams into reality. If it were not for courage, the willpower to stand against adversity in the immediate; the very ebb and flow of time in the extreme, no change would ever come to pass. The simple ideals of old, flawed as they were would not have grown generation after generation into the current cesspool of a government ruled by an ailing sycophant of a King, a withered albeit useless symbol, like the algae covered rotten figurehead on the front of a once proud vessel, now run ashore by the ravages of time lost to obscurity amongst the swifter, stronger, and more maneuverable ships vying for dominance over once noble waters. The sudden spike in noble titles given out , combined with stockpiled wealth from ill begotten gains and their personal armies meant the ruling class were often no better then the Ventar lords of years past, pirates in their own right.

Where had ‘for King and country’ lost the power to sway hearts into allegiance, when had honor and loyalty fallen to the wayside, replaced by greedy ambitions and personal gain. Chivalry may no longer be polished plate and silver tongues, but there were still those of us who held to the code, no matter where we went, or whom time changed upon the seat of power.

Daldren Gray ran a single, newly acquired coin along his knuckles, deftly flipping the monetary trinket over each finger, before passing it between pinky and thumb and curling it back over his index finger to start the process over again. It had been a month since Prilm had been liberated from the bandit threat. Since then Daldren had been on two more assignments, neither had been with MV 6, but both had left Daldren Gray sleeping soundly at night, and knowing he had made some small impact on tomorrow.

His teammates, coworkers, compatriots, professional associates, but decidedly far from kin or friends had grown used to Daldren’s quiet demeanor over the past six weeks. He was always prompt when heeding the call of his duty as a member of the aptly named Blood Guard; but rarely did he bother with dalliances amongst his teammates, or anyone for that matter. Daldren Gray seemed to come and go with the wind. He never spoke of family or outside interests, though he held the utmost in quiet regal respect for Danamar, the assigned leader of their team. Proper to a fault, rarely speaking unless spoken to and never one to question an order, Daldren Gray was by all accounts, the perfect soldier. There was a dedication in his eyes that was fierce, allowed no room for mistakes, and he criticized himself for even minor imperfections in anything he executed. Always striving to be something more, Daldren’s complexity was also his simplicity. And those who came to understand as such perhaps would find opportunity to glean insight into the very private man.

Daldren had just stepped out of an old building, nameless and easily forgettable amongst the dozens just like it along the street, wiping the crumbs of a gingersnap from his well groomed beard. The light of the sun had been replaced by the silver glow of the rising moon, and under the cover of darkness Daldren walked, passing few in his travels. It was then that the strange breeze came upon him. Raising the collar of his green and brown jerkin to ward off the invasive wind, the light looking apparel did little to fend against the overwhelming feeling of dread which suddenly overcame him. Daldren’s eyes scanned the perimeter, his left hand thumb flicking the coin in a light arch to his right, same hand deftly pulling a dagger from the sheath upon his back even as the right hand opened a pouch upon his waist slightly, the coin disappearing within without a sound.

Shaking off the feeling, and seeing those few in the street recovering from similar effect, Daldren was quick into a sprint, the Blood Red sash tied tightly round his right shoulder a momentary blur, before his presence faded amongst the shadows, footsteps silent; destination…(PM’d the DM)

~*~*~*

After that strange breeze a few nights before, Daldren was busy carrying out personal affairs. He had only stopped only into “The Wagon Wheel” for a quick bite to eat. As he entered the small tavern, the bartender nodded towards him as he would any potential customer, but more than one already inebriated patron in the smoke filled common room gave Daldren looks of dissatisfaction that did not go unnoticed by the veteran, the red sash upon his garb a symbol of station, though not always an appreciated one. Daldren had barely taken in the mixed scent of smoked meats, smoked weeds, and a mixture of potent alcohols when the door opened behind him and Daldren spun round, a young man in studded leathers with a matching blood sash and a chain coif that hung a little too loose to be of custom make froze under his cold gaze, his eyes falling to the floor.

“S.. Sir G-Gray.” The young man stammered without even looking up “Sir, You are summoned to Headquarters immediately… sir..”

Daldren sighed, even as his stomach gurgled in protest at having to go without lunch.He knew the soldier would be coming with news of an assignment, he had just hoped it wouldn't be until after he'd eaten. He strode past the soldier stopping just behind him, turning and whispering so only he could hear.

“Thank you soldier, and you would do well to avoid staring at your own feet when intimidated, you bring nothing but shame to your name, and opportunity to would be adversaries. Back straight, chin up, and be proud of the sash you wear. You, unlike many of the drunken louts inside have made a decision to stand for something. Don’t ever forget that.”

With a firm clasp on the youth’s shoulder Daldren was on his way, back alleys, and darkened corners accessible to him as though he were walking across an open courtyard. Perhaps he would finally get some answers as to the strange occurrence the night before.

Daldren was the first to arrive at headquarters, where he took position in the corner of the room where table and chairs awaited. There he waited in silence until Danamar Amarillis entered the room, where he greeted the team leader with a direct “Sir.” No other pleasantries were needed. When the liason entered and bid them sit Daldren did as directed, and sat silently as the situation, along with a new assignment was made known. Only the slightest nod of his head made known he understood what was tasked of them, though otherwise he sat in still silence.



Posted on 2010-02-05 at 08:48:18.
Edited on 2010-02-06 at 20:28:56 by Kaelyn

gboy
Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts


Irael ... what's my last name?

Irael thought that by joining the MV 6 he'd get his knowledge back... Well, it was slow going, if he was ever going to get it back. He didn't know what had happened in his past, or what would happen in his future. So he stayed with the group, and continued practicing his art of mixing swords and sorcery. It was what he knew after his memory was existent.

But when a knocking came on the door to ask for Irael to go to investigate a strange occurrence, Irael leapt up and grabbed his sword, and jumped into line, following the soldier to the guild.

Irael didn't say much as he noticed everyone else come in. They knew he was a solitary one anyway... Things got awkward when they began talking about their pasts, and he knew nothing. He acknowledged each with a nod and he waited patiently to be admitted into the room.

~~~

During the briefing, Irael remained silent, fingering his sword, and touching his reserve of arcane power in his mind. He made sure he could still do it, and made sure his sword was still there, because they were what was necessary to make him an effective force. And he wasn't about to let their group down.

When everyone else had voiced their opinions, Irael spoke in a calming, soothing tone that had a strange accent.

"No questions from me. We'll go in, do what we do, and get back. Unless something goes wrong. Which it won't."

Observing the toss of the coin pouch, Irael does a mental check of what he has. He believes everything to be in order.

"I'm all in order."


Posted on 2010-02-06 at 00:33:17.

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Tariel Miriellee

The elven maiden soft-footed through the copse of willows, each step carefully placed as she neared the edge of the stream. Tariel’s prey was close she could feel it. Slowly she made her way thought the drooping weeping willow branches, they fell like a green water fall. So carefully did she move that the branches stirred not much more than they did in the warily morning breeze that blew through them right now any wayward movement might cost her the effort she had taken to get this far. All her careful planning could be wasted by haste when patience was all that was needed and perhaps some luck. However, Tariel though she never did just trust in luck. No, she trusted her skills and abilities when working alone and when working with others she trust those to use theirs own as well.

So close, so very close now--her prey was just ahead, she went to all fours as she closed keeping a low profile, her movements made with great care so that there would be no indication of her presence. Folding to her hands and knees she slowly lowered herself to lay out on the bank under the willows until she could slip her hands so slowly into the water. Some of the long weeping branches dragged the tips in the pool that lay under the willows. Slender hands carefully parted to those branches and dipped deeper into the cool water ever so slowly. It was a matter of feeling her way as she moved forward slight, carefully keeping out of sight. She knew she weans close now but any careless haste would ruin her carefully laid plans and all her efforts.

Success was almost hers, careful plans made and executed, she could taste victory. But that very fact made her cautious as she close in on her prey. Just as they had set up and waited for the bandits on her last mission. The team had considered their various options in dealing with the matter of the marauding bandits trying to anticipate how to best use their combined talents to overcome the bandits superior numbers. It had been a close run. Their magic user almost overcame their team. But a quick counterstroke had paid off; they multiply attacking s on the mage to take him down and then finishing up the stragglers. Their morale was shot when the mage went down. Their strategy had been sound but once the battle ensued it was the flexibility of their tactics that won the day.

Her finger reaching, finding then--Ah, ha! Success!

Laughing, Tariel scooped up the big fat trout that had been snoozing in the shadows cast by the copse of willows on the warm afternoon. She threw it quickly on the bank--its silvery scales reflecting rainbow hues the bright sun. She quickly trapped it so it wouldn’t flip-flop itself back onto his native element. Tariel neatly severs it spine right behind head, and stood up. Now it was time for a well deserved lunch. Walking back to her simple day camp she was in high spirits. She had set her fire and just needed to be lit, it to get it ready for her prize catch. She had gathered some sweet woods for the fire and grasses and leaves to warp the fish in and wild onions foraged earlier. Dressing out the fine specimen she ha her afternoon trying to catch, was quick work, though she has spent the whole morning trying to hook him with him cricket-baited hooks that resulted in nothing not even a nibble. She finally had resorted to sneaking in and taking him by hand—tricky and not always successful. Her dagger was used with efficiency and she laid out the fish, stuffed it with slices of wild onion, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and then wrapped it in sweet grasses and wet leaves. Spitted on a stick and set over the fire, Tariel watched it cooking, turning it when necessary and dampening the leave a bit when they dried out to much and started to burn. The simple pleasures of foraging and fishing had chased away the uncomfortable memory of last night.

Tariel had taken a short vacation from the city for about ten days at the end of her month off the first night she had woken from a light sleep to a change in the wind. Not just the direction or force, but in the feel of it. It felt tainted, with some unknown miasma and she had felt a responding tension in herself as it built. She had risen and turned in the direction from which it rose. She could not perceive an origin only the direction it came from. Finally those uncomfortable feeling faded and the night breezes return to more normal. Tariel checked around her campsite. Especially her few alarm traps but found nothing to explain what had happened. Tariel stayed away sitting on her bedroll bow and sword close to hind. Nothing happened more that night that was out of the ordinary. In the enduing days nothing more happened and she had put the experience away until she leaned more.

After breakfast today she would return to the city perhaps someone there had experience the same feeling, though perhaps not. While breakfast cooked she pack up her haversack and tidy up her camp. She could smell when the fish was done by the tantalizing aroma was spice for appetite she unwrapped the leaves and use them as her plate. The skin peeled back easily and she picked bits of succulent fish off the bones until little was left of the top side. Wrapping up the rest in the leaves she packed it away for her lunch. Dousing the fire with water from her water skin and cover the cool remains of her small fire with the sod she had cut and laid back.

Tariel shortened her trip by cutting across country rather than following the windy country lane she had followed to the stream. She was able to save some time that way. Moonshadow, her war horse, enjoyed a good canter as she headed back to the city; she knew the mare had been as ready as she was to get of the crowded city for awhile. Return to the city in the early afternoon to the boarding house she stayed at in preference to an inn or tavern.

Entering the residence of a young widow just before noon, she was surprised to find a soldier waiting for her...

“Tariel Miriellee? Your team has been called up; you need to report in, as soon as possible.”

“What’s up?” Tariel asked as she turned immediately and follow him back to the Meeting Hall.

“Don’t know, Miss, I was just sent here to fetch you back or leave a message.” The soldier replied. ‘ “All I know is if you don’t hurry you will be late.”

Tariel looks quickly around the room she was directed to, everyone else in her team was present; she wanted to ask what they knew but now was not the time. Tariel neither hurried nor wanting to be late and finally enter the MV Guild House just as the Guild officer entered, Tarse Merchant son their team liaison, stepped into the room and asked them to be seated at the long table and chairs provided.

“Good day Team,” Tarse began, “I hope you had a nice rest over the last month because we have an assignment for you.”

The information he had to share with them the most shocking was that the village they had saved form the bandits had been wiped out apparently to the last person. Tariel would morn later for the honest folk of Prilm--simple farming folk who wanted nothing more than to tend their farms and flocks and raise their families. All gone. She listen to the few details that they had which was nothing rally about what happened only about the discovery and the decision to send their team out to discover what happened and bring the perpetrators to justice, with legal or sudden, as required.

“One more thing,” he said, “the Guild wants you to investigate whether or not this incident has anything to do with the strange occurrence that was reported a few nights ago. We don’t know for sure but if you find a correlation you are to take whatever steps are necessary to see that it doesn’t happen again. Understood?”

Once he receives confirmation he nods, “Very good. Now it there are no more questions?”

Tarse wished them good luck and left after answering questions other had. She waited for their team leader, Danamar, to call them together.






Posted on 2010-02-06 at 01:55:09.
Edited on 2010-02-06 at 07:12:33 by Brianna

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Elessarae

The Rusty Helm was a favorite hangout of military types, and others of the Blood Guard. And tonight Elessarae a temporary member of the body was plying her trade as a Bard. She fingers moved effortlessly of the maze of strings of the triple-stringed harp. It was a tune she knew well, fitting the mood of the tavern and it patrons, but it was also one so well known to her that she did not have to concentrate on the fingering and that left her mind to wander. And back it wandered to a day that had change her life forever.

Maelamin Kingdom Another day of training
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 7:13 pm

Another letter was composed by different hands, in a different script. A falcon's claws were the first to receive it. Then the winds brushed past so fast the letter fluttered. The seal of two crossed blades held the parchment rolled up stiffly. The flight through the forest was not long. Between the trees everything seemed quiet, but a falcon's eye is not easily deceived. Elessarae was found, in the middle of her training. Today she had been hunting the marks that Evindior, who also achieved to be a Bladesinger, had scattered for her throughout the woods. She did not think much of the falcon until it dropped a letter in front of her feet and screeched loudly. Seeing the seal she knew better than to linger opening it.

The Letter

Elessarae snatched it up wondering if this was some ploy of Envindior. She unrolled it and read.

Strangely it was unaddressed and had no introduction

The winds have brought the time for you to prove yourself worthy of the title you aspire. Meet with us in the Hall of Song, Megilindar Nost. The seal that holds this letter should be your passage in.

The Order of Admittance

One look at the seal and Elessarae took her bearings, turned, and started to run. Envindior had lured her far from the Megilindar Nost on a twisted path of his making. She returned like a bee, straight to the Keep. It was a long run, but Elessarae carrying the scroll in hand raced the distance, bounding over great roots of the giant sentinel trees that abounded in the Elven forests. It was once said that a squirrel could run for months from one side of the Elven land to the other and never touch the ground. It was not the same today. Now the once Great Elven Forest was broken into three parts and the areas of the forest between them were diminished by the hands of other races. At last Elessarae came out from under the tree and beheld the Bladesinger's Keep

Megilindar Nost a gem of Elven architecture, a slender graceful monument that was a song in itself. Elessarae continued to run, right up the front door and she opened the scroll to reveal the seal to the guards at the threshold of the Keep.

"I was summoned," was all she said.

Hurry and Wait.

Still holding the scroll with reverence, still waiting outside the great doors of the keep, Elessarae took the time to pick off bits of leaves and twigs that had caught in her cloak during her run in. She straightened her tunic and felt that her boots were still snug and in the correct position. She remembered back when part of her initial training to properly tie on her boots, with the warning that ill fitted and unsecure footwear could be dangerous.

She remembers the day when she had been in the training barracks and as she was putting on her boots she was attacked by one of the instructors. She had been forced to fight with her boots untied, which was a lesson, put on one boot and secure it before pulling on the other. Of course she lost, much to her embarrassment and it spurred her create a faster way to don her boots and tie them. On top of the she had soft topped boots made with some alterations.

Even though her boots felt right she did look down to check them. That brought on a smile. After the boot incident Elessarae had not just learned the proper way of booting up, but she had used her considerable mind and imagination to create an alteration to her boots. Like the overlapping leaves that went down the back of her boot, which hid a stiffening that keep her boots standing upright like hard legged riding boots when off her legs. Also the hard leather leaves that adorned the front flaps of the boots where they were tied were sculpted and well waxed to allow the laces the slide through faster. This allowed her to step into her prelaced boots, with the first part of the tie knot completed, tighten the laces with one pull, and finish the knot.

Elessarae straighten and waited.
Still Waiting

Elessarae looks up at the sun and measures the time. She wonders why she still waits. Until the guards open the doors she cannot go in.

Maybe she got here quicker than they expected, or that other business was taking longer than expected. Other that her brows lifting and her eyes moving, there was nothing in Elessarae's bearing or demeanor to show nervousness or impatience. Her body remained relaxed, to an observer she was just standing there unaware and yet, she was ready for action. Such was the training of a Bladesinger.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:21 pm

Elessarae stood before the gates of Megilindar Nost, seal ready for display and feet eager to march inwards. The guards at the closed wooden doors stood silent as statues, and gave no reply, physical or verbal. Again she stated her business and once more was she ignored. The double door that closed the ground level entry to the keep remained as motionless as its protectors.

Then her pointed ears picked up a faint change in the wind. The beginning of a melody was carried over an unseen path. Elessarae’s gaze followed the sound and remembered hearing it before. It had been the symphonic tune to a bladesong that she had witnessed weeks prior to this day. It had been during the practice of one of the senior Bladesinger; a man with more years of practice then Elessarae had lived.
This version of the song was different though, as played on a flute rather than the original string trio. It came from a window, about fifteen feet above the ground.

OOC: The guards make no sign what so ever to let you get in. They don’t even look at the letter and the seal. Perhaps you’re required to do something else to come in.

A Leap of _____

The sound of the music drew her to the window and gone was her decision to wait patiently. An open window was an open portal of another sort and she had the invitation. Elessarae moved back from the window gauging its height and the length of run she would need to attain the window sill with a running jump. She put the scroll in her left hand as her keen eyes swept the ground looking for the best footing and angle. Like a deer suddenly startled, she took off, coming at the keep from an angle, reaching the correct speed and distance she leaped right arm, hand, and fingers out stretched. Getting a grip on the sill she let the momentum of her run carry her body up and thru the window to land lightly on her poised and at ready with her left hand in front of her, the scroll stretched out, and seal showing.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:29 pm

The window was high, perhaps too high to reach, but Elessarae was going to try anyway. She took a running start and flew straight at the wall. She had learned to ignore the reflex of shielding herself, and aimed her direction at the window post instead. Right before impact she pushed herself up with hands and feet and gripped the sill. With a sudden push she hurled herself into the opening and stared into a blank room. There was no flute player, no furniture and only another door, shut tightly.

(OOC: the door is locked, but you can hear the music coming from the other side.)

Another Locked Door

Elessarae had taken the bit in her teeth, so to speak, though no Elf would ride a horse with a bit, preferring bitless bridles or in some cases no bridle at all. Moonsteeds rarely allowed a rider to use a bridle, though saddles, if comfortable, were allowed.

She moved to the door and half knelt before it. Even as she examined the lock she remained alert, pausing from her examination to check out the area. Having some knowledge of locks, because of her insatiable curiosity, she quickly checked her own belt pouches for something to help her open the lock, knowing she did not have the ability to open it magically

When the search turned up nothing to use she stood and began to search the room for the key or something small enough to use to try and pick the lock, not that she had any training in that area, but locks did hide secrets and she always wanted to find new things or even old things that had been forgotten. She searches carefully throughout the room, yet remained alert and wary.

If all else fails, she will get out her own pan pipes and being to play a counterpoint to the music being played in the other room. If she could not get to the mountain, perhaps she could draw the mountain to her.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:37 pm

As hard as Elessarae searched, there was nothing in the room. There was no hidden key, and nothing in her pouches or mind that would open the door. The hollow of the room was disturbing. When she ran out of ideas she went back to the one clue that brought her where she was now: the music. It was the only thing that clothed this room, and perhaps there was something more about it than she had guessed so far.

She took out her pan pipes and focused on the melody. Memorizing the tune she first played along with it, reaching the same notes at the same time. Although it was enjoyable it did not do anything to open the door or get her any further. Once more she listened to the flute, and then closed her eyes.
This time she played her own melody, a variation to the original that went against the music, but perfected it at the same time. It weaved its way through the room and when the future Bladesinger opened her eyes she saw a second door, which had not been in the room before. She tried the handle, and it opened easily.

Beyond it laid a long corridor, stretching out before the elven woman. There were a few doors, further down the hall, but they looked closed shut in the light of the four torches that lined the left wall. The music ran freely down the hall, and seemed to originate from somewhere at the end. Taking one step into the corridor, Elessarae was bounced in completely as the door behind her flung tight, locked and then disappeared from her sight, leaving a stone wall.

The Corridor

Elessarae noted it was not the mimicking but the creation of a unique counterpoint to the melody that opened the magical doorway. That in itself was a noted lesson. She slipped her pipes away and readied her sword. The elegant leaf-bladed long sword was the best weapon she could buy, having saved every coin she ever received or earned, after deciding that she would become a Bladesinger. She had even gone out into the forest to gather herbs and mushrooms to sell, as well as play music for money.

Ignoring the doors, except that they might present a danger if someone were trying to test her, Elessarae moved to where she heard the music originate. As she neared the first set of doors she move closer one wall, so that if two attackers sprang out at the same time, one could not get in behind her. She noted the direction the doors would open and placed herself accordingly, so that she was not at a disadvantage if they did open.

She continued on down the hall in the same cautious way, to the end where the music originated.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

Although Elessarae was extremely cautious of the door, she was still caught off guard when something happened. She was so focused on the doors opening that she did not anticipate on what was happening now.

On her way to the end of the corridor she quickly stepped past the second door on the right. Her step ended on a tile that suddenly sank down an inch. A trap was sprung and even her fast reflexes couldn’t save her from the piece of rope that wrapped around her shoulder now. It had dived down like a snake and entangled her more with every second. A second rope crawled down and caught her right ankle. Within a few breaths she was trapped as a fly in a web. She had her hands free, but the first rope was now tightening around her neck and started to choke her. She had to act fast.

originate from somewhere at the end. Taking one step into the corridor, Elessarae was bounced in completely as the door behind her flung tight, locked and then disappeared from her sight, leaving a stone wall.

In a Flash

Elessarae mind and body working in precision, snatches out her sword before she gets any more entangled, it is the only thing that would reach the rope strangling her. She swings it over her head in an effort to cut the rope that is choking her. At the same time she stills the rest of her body. It could be that the ropes tighten if the victim struggles, and at the same time she begins to sing a calming lullaby.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

The ropes tightened around Elessarae’s body. Cut off from air she started to see black clouds in front of her eyes. More out of practice than good aim came a cut with her sword that carved deep into the rope that snaked around her shoulder and neck. A second slash severed the thing, and now she dangled upside down from the ceiling. After a huge heave for air she calmed herself and started to sing.

A third rope came down, its end hovering in front of the Bladesinger’s face. Slowly it curved, as if moving on the song. Like a killer vine it touched her shoulder and started to curl itself around her chest and torso. This time it did not press down but simply wound around her.
Tired of being trussed up

Elessar blesses the Gods and Goddesses she followed that she was a trained Bard as she creates a song to turn the ropes.

Away, Away, go back to your place,
Rest then for another to disgrace.

Untwist and uncoil, no more shall you toil.
Curl up and go home, no more to shall you roam, over this body that I call my own.

Retreat to your den with this song that I send, that your enchantment will end.
That your toils shall be ceased and I be released.

Away, Away, go back to your place,
Rest then for another to disgrace.

If the song affects the ropes she will keep singing if not, she will sing a calming song to the ropes and then she will tenses her muscle without moving her body until she suddenly bends her body up and away from the rope that wanted to wrap around her chest and makes a cut at the rope holding her feet. If she drops to the ground she will roll away from the ropes.

If she does not drop she will cut the rope trying to release her arms and chest, and then go back to cutting the rope around her legs.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

The rope that was now circling Elessarae’s body lifted her up upon the song initially. It started carrying her through the air, further down the tunnel. The rope that had been tight around her foot released its grip and the Bladesinger was practically floating now. She now saw how more rope-ends hung from the ceiling. When the rope that was holding her now came to its end another one took over. Starting a new song Elessar tried to maintain the peace, for it aided her well.

This new song did not digest well for the rope though, for it suddenly tightened and squeezed the air from the woman’s lungs. She had anticipated that move though, and within a brief struggle she was loose and heading for the floor. She caught herself well, and landed perfectly. Her smile quickly faded as she heard a clicking sound from beneath the tile under her. Instantly five ropes dove at her and entangled her hands and feet before she could hack at them. A fifth rope was now ensnaring her abdomen, though it seemed to restrain from tightening.

Then, one of the doors on the right opened, and an Orc in full battle outfit entered the hallway.

Entangled Again

There were no curses, she did not have the time to waste railing her bad luck. Elessar focus all on what she was dealing with, the ropes, the Orc, and the possibilities of other things happening.

Going back to being very still, Elessar concentrates on disbelieving the Orc is real, for she could not conceive that the Elves would allow an Orc anywhere in their lands, let alone in the sacred environs of the Bladesinger's Keep.

If the creature does not disappear, she prepares a Flare spell and then throws it in the face of the oncoming Orc. She also watches to see if the Orc trips any of the traps she had encountered, there seemed to be a number of trigger tiles.

When she can she will go back to singing a calming song.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

The Orc approached, slowly but steadily. The ensnared Bladesinger peered at him intently, disbelieving the fact that an Orc would be allowed on these grounds. Still, her gaze did not reveal any hints of illusion or trickery. She was wasting precious time for nothing. The Orc paced forward, securely stepping over certain tiles. Elessarae noted them, and took them to mind. There, they made way for a spell, verbal in nature, since her hands were still bound. A bright flare sprang from her mind and into the Or’s face. For a moment it averted its head and then looked up, unaffected. With an expressionless face it drew its rapier and darted forward.

Attack

Ensnared by ropes Elessarae was unable to defend herself. She had only her armor to protect her. Still, that seemed to help her now, for the sharp tip of the weapon bounced off her chain shirt. The edge scraped over the metal, downwards, to cut in her leg. Though a minor wound, Elessarae was now bleeding. She had to find a way out of the ropes immediately, for the Orc prepared for a second attack.

Ensnared

Elessar pauses in her calm song long enough to intone the spell Mage Hand and then she uses the Mage Hand to press as many of the tile triggers she can that could affect the Orc. And then she takes the hand and pounds on the door that she had been heading too.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

Elessarae had a hard time concentrating on her spell. What was more; she was hindered by the Orc, and could barely move her hand for the somatic part of conjuring a mage hand. She tore hard at the rope and got it to stretch out an inch. It was enough though, and she completed the gesture just in time before the spell slipped from her mind. The ghostly mage hand hovered in the air for a second, only for her to see. Then it shot into action, and pressed the last tile the Orc had carefully stepped over.

Instantly, they were both engulfed by a sea of fire that erupted from under the stone. The Orc dove down in a reflex, and Elessarae would’ve done the same, was she not bound in place. The ball of fire hit her with full power, like a spider in a web, caught by a falling pinecone. Her clothes and skin were scorched, and the ropes that bound her snapped.

Down she fell, next to the Orc, who was already getting up. She could now see how part of the Orc’s face was distorted, and a pale skin shone through the dirt. Holes in its clothes revealed the same pale tint of smooth skin. Elven skin. Still, an attack came. Perhaps the Bladesinger was caught off guard, but the rapier pierced her flank and the tip dug deep into her organs. Blood stained her burnt cloths, but she was still holding her sword, and she was free to use it.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

Elessarae lunged for the Orc with her sword. The magical blade sliced a deep cut in the Orc’s arm. Red blood clung to the weapon as the Bladesinger withdrew it. The Orc cried out, but it was not the cry of a green blooded brute. Elessar didn’t need this information any more. She knew what she was dealing with. It was another test.

The tip of the rapier that the disguised elf carried shot up, and would’ve skewered her like a frog on a stick. She could barely step aside. But she managed to evade. This action brought her so close to the Orc’s face that she could feel its foul breath. Very unelfish.

Test or...

Pain exploded with every movement and yet she managed to side step the Orc/Elf's sword stroke.

With the white hot flare of pain came another pain born of a terrible thought. The Pain of Failure, it came to her that this might not be a test, but a dismissal, that somehow she had failed to make the grade. That she was no longer a Bladesinger cadet. She half turned to keep the Orc in sight.

She took another step, using the momentum of her lunge to carry her forward toward the window as she dodged the tiles the Orc/Elf had overstepped. First the message came in the midst of a testing. Another step even faster, Then no one opens the doors when she presented herself and the scroll. Did they mean that to be a parting lesson in humility was she to have just walked away? But she had not, and sought to enter the Keep by another way.

A third step, now almost to a run and she was nearing where the secret door was. The first trap, where she was almost strangled should have been another clue, that she was not wanted in the Keep then came the first cut buy the Orc's rapier. Rapier! Why had that not caught her attention before? Orc's did not use rapiers.

No! no time for what was, only what is and what must be. Elessar tightens her focus and just keeps alert and moving, she somehow hopes the Orc/Elf will let her go and not attacks because that was what they wanted her to do, leave.

Reaching the door, there was no door. She did not have the hands or strength to get out her pipes and play again. She did lift her sword to the ready position, even as her burned skin cracked and screamed pain to her mind. Elessar side stepped, so as not to leave her back to a secret door that could be opened behind her. She then tries to get to the door the Orc came out of, side stepping along the wall, eyes on the Orc and on the other doors, not seeing the blood that ran down from her lower torso to stain the expensive rugs.

If no attack comes before she gets to the door she was heading to, she will try to open it. There had to be a window in there, one she could use to get out of the Keep.

Strange, how she had fought to be accepted as a candidate for Bladesinger and now she had to fight to leave.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 8:40 pm

Fully intend on finding the fastest route out of the keep Elessarae jumped past the Orc and towards the door, her exit. The creature made a fast backhand slash with its rapier. The blade missed her widely, and she was free to try the door. It was shut tight. Not lingering too long on yet another disappointment Elessarae ran for the next one, forgetting the tiles and traps that lay under the tiles of the corridor. All doors were shut, and the Orc was now in full pursuit. One of the tiles gave away and she felt her right leg freeze over instantly as a sudden ice storm filled several feet of the hallway. She heard the Orc scream behind her, and limped onwards. She felt nauseous and weak. Her leg felt lifeless, but she managed to get to the last door, opposing the corridor.

This one opened smoothly and the Bladesinger pulled herself in and closed it behind her. There she slid down against the wooden surface, exhausted.

It was only then that she realized the contents of the room she had entered. She was facing a beautiful carpet covered floor with a long desk standing in the middle of this big room. Elves had been seated behind the desk, facing the door she just came through, but they now stood up and approached her. Most of them were old, and they all wore breathtaking garments bearing the symbol of the Bladesingers. One of them knelt down besides Elessarae.

“Come child. Stand up, and address your judges with honor. This is no way for a new member of the Bladesingers to attend her final test. You’ve overcome the first part, and you should be proud.”

His voice had a fluent kindness to it, but his words did not reveal whether or not she was deemed worty.

Suddenly her memories were snatched away, there was a wind and a scent on the wind and it very distrubing to the Bard. It came from the Northeast and it boded ill.


Posted on 2010-02-07 at 05:27:54.
Edited on 2010-02-07 at 05:28:42 by Dragon Mistress

Raven
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Finally my post

It had been a quiet month for Danamar in Visden. Too quiet for his liking. Be it adapted behavior from his human companions of earlier times or inherited in the blood of his father, but deep inside the sylvari cleric was a man of action. The immortal nature of all elves helped him endure the untroubled times better than his human counterparts ever could, but still the peaceful days following one another had begun to nag him more and more. He enjoyed reading an interesting tome by the softly crackling fire as much the next man, but at the same time felt he was not serving his god to the best of his abilities.

The Pardenese coastal city had been the sylvari's home for the better part of the running year. The call of King Julhoun I spread by his loyal Riders had reached even the far corners of the neighboring nation of Coria where the heir of Lord Amarallis of Quevin had been answering another call for his service - a call even more powerful. A Warder of Gate, a servant of Therassor, a priest, a warrior - for two years Danamar had been fighting and destroying the forces of evil that had been terrorizing the Corian lands in the form of bandids. When the message of a similar trouble beyond the nation's southern border reached the syl, he quickly made the decision to answer the call. His fellow warders had things fairly well under control in the forests surrounding Quevin and Danamar felt he was no longer needed there.

Danamar let out a very unaccustomed sigh, reached out for the bottle of a very nice local red and poured himself another glassful. The long, slender, but strong fingers grasped the goblet and he took a small sip without moving his emerald eyes from the dancing flames. To a casual observer, the syl sitting in the cushioned chair would probably seemed anything but relaxed. He was sitting with his back straight and legs apart, with his free hand resting on the jeweled pommel of his dagger. Yet relaxed he was. Danamar had been sitting by the fire, sipping the wine and feeding more wood to the flames for hours, but now he'd had enough.

He let out another sigh (something anyone watching would never see) and placed the goblet of amber glass softly on the small table beside the chair before standing up in a fluid motion. The small apartment he'd rented above a scribal office was very small and simple. But it had a nice location just to the side of a main street and had a view over the marketplace. And the fireplace made up a lot of what it lacked in the form of decoration. Yet everything Danamar owned had found a place of its own in the room. And day after day was returned to the exact spot after use. Details were important to him and during his more than 130 years, he'd learned value precision and accuracy.

Having been raised in a noble sylvari family, Danamar had grown used to servants running around the housing complex fulfilling every request of their employers. A soft smile crept on the pale, handsome face as he thought of Llinael, the elderly syl heading the household's servants. Llinael had been very much alike (as he'd found out during his months in Pardinal) the Sanjan-servants in charge of running the day to day task of the households of the local nobles and rich people. Llinael too had scheduled the appointments for his lord and kept the books and records of the family in order all the while controlling the work of the other servants in Amarillis manor. The old elf had been a strange sight in Quevin, for Coria did not share the tradition of personal manservants with its southern neighbor. Danamar had often wondered whether Llinael had suffered from the move away from their homeland. If so, the faithful servant had never said a word of it or let it show.

The young lord Amarillis did not really miss having servants around even if he sometimes missed Llinael. He'd been part of the human world for so long, that he'd almost forgotten what true sylvari life was like. Or forgotten was not quite the word. He was a sylvari and his kin did not forget. Unneeded memories and information were merely pushed to the back of the mind and withdrawn again only when needed. Still smiling, Danamar moved to the window and let his eyes wonder over the city getting ready to sleep, a city he'd quickly grown to like.

There were but a few people making their way hastily through the late evening streets and a couple of lamplighters with their long poles in hand bringing some light into the darkening city. Soon whole Visden would be asleep or nearly so anyway. Danamar himself would not be sleeping. He'd done his resting by the fire and was ready to leave the apartment for his nightly stroll around the city. He enjoyed walking through the streets of Visden at night and listening to the quiet sounds and smelling the fresh sea air.

The sylvari took his time to dress up, carefully donning the pieces of his mithril suit of chain on top his black trousers and shirt. A black soft leather vest with sheaths for four throwing knives went on top of the armor and a black overcoat as well as a black hooded cloak over the vest. Two belts went around his waist - one for the beautiful, enchanted elven long blade and another for a dagger and some pouches. After putting on the equally black boots, Danamar wrapped a red sash around his left arm to indicate his membership of the Militia Vericulum. He wasn't too keen on the requirement to wear such an insignia or even being part of the whole Blood Guard guild in the first place. But it did make his evil fighting business somewhat easier.

There was no mirror in the apartment, but neither was there any need for one. Danamar knew exactly how he looked and that he looked exactly like he wanted. It wasn't really vanity on his part, but rather something he'd learned as a young boy from his mother. It would not do for a son of a noble family to resemble the raggedy kids of the less fortunate unless the situation required it. Naturally Danamar's appearance didn't really matter tonight since he was heading out after dark. His elven cloak would in any case make him less visible for anyone else who might be passing through the streets of the city.

Silently the elf stepped through his landlord's door and locked it behind him. A man heading up he street heard the lock clicking, but wasn't quit sure if he'd seen someone at the doorway or not and nervously quickened his pace. Danamar didn't wish to frighten him any further and turned the other way when he suddenly felt a strangely cold touch of wind on his face. It was not blowing from the sea as it should have, but rather unnaturally from the east. The fingers of the wind seemed to find their way through all the layers of clothing the syl was wearing sending shivers down his spine.

But it was not just the cold or the direction of the breeze that made it out of the ordinary - to the faithful servant of good, the wind was evil unlike anything he'd felt or seen in his life and it scared him. Without noticing it, Danamar had drawn his slim sword with one hand and grasped the holy symbol of Therassor with the other. He was muttering the words of a protection prayer and tried to locate the source of evil with all his senses. Seeing nor feeling anything more, Danamar's attention was caught by the sound of gasps of breath behind him. Turning around he could see the passerby on his knees sobbing in fear. "Solanis, o' Radiant Father, save me…"

Having finished the prayer, the priest felt the familiar tingling of his god's power settle down all around his body. Immediately he felt better and safe, but still didn't dare to lower his sword. As a few more moments passed by and the shaking man managed to get back up on his feet. Danamar sheathed the beautiful blade and was about to head out for his walk, when doors began to open everywhere along the street and lights appeared in the windows of the houses. People poured out on the street, all more or less confused and apparently victims of the same wind even inside.


A few days later Danamar was enjoying a small carafe of a nice Corian white on the patio of his favorite tavern on the southern side of the main marketplace, when an armored figure blocked out his sun and cleared its throat. "Krhm.. Mr. Amarillis, sir. I can see you're very busy and I'm sorry to disturb you." Danamar could hear from the soldier's voice, that he wasn't overly happy for having to fawn a sylvari. Such racial prejudice was not totally unheard of even amongst his own race, let alone the humans, so he decided to let it go. It wasn't exactly Danamar's fault if the MV soldier disliked a being practically immortal compared to himself, but there wasn't much he could've done about it either.

"Sir? I was told to locate you and bring you to the headquarters immediately." For the first time Danamar turned his green eyes at the young man. He'd learned to understand the younger race far better than most of his fellow sylvari. But even after all the decades amongst them, he had difficulties of grasping the human need to rush everywhere. What difference would another small bottle make? A couple of hours would've passed and that's all. Suddenly the syl felt an urge to sigh again, but he held it back and smiled instead. Perhaps he'd been around the humans for too long. "Yes, yes. Now if you would be kind enough and move two feet to your left and wait for a moment, while I finish my drink. Then we can go."

"But sir!", the soldier's dislike had turned almost into despair, but a single angry look was enough to silence him. Danamar took his time to empty the goblet and then decided to release the poor lad from his agitation and stood up. "That's better. You may lead the way now."

Entering the briefing room, Danamar wasn't surprised to find Daldren Gray already there. In fact he would've been surprised if the professional fighter had not yet arrived. The man was without a doubt the most effective human he had ever met and one he knew he could trust to perform to the best of his abilities in any situation. But what was even more important, Daldren was a man of honor and duty - something the Warder valued very much. He nodded his greeting in response to Gray's "Sir.", for that was all he knew Daldren would expect from him. When Tarse Merchantson entered, Danamar took his designated seat across the table facing their liaison.

The news of Prilm's fate was a hard blow for the syl. He'd truly liked the innocent and simple folk of the village. They had genuinely appreciated the help of MV6 in ridding the area of the raiding group of bandits. But what was even more disturbing was the way the villagers had died. Shaking his head slightly, Danamar stood up when the briefing was over, grabbed the pouch and nodded to Tarse. "No questions now, though I'm sure we'll all have more than a few before this is over."

Danamar turned around to face his team members. He wasn't a leader of many words, one to encourage everyone to do their best or to sooth their fears. MV6 had learned during their earlier assignment that Danamar was a fairly quiet man, but he expected everyone to do their very best at tall times. Theirs was a not military group, though himself and probably at least Daldren had received some military training. And he was not going to run it like one. "We were not informed of any urgency on the matter, so I do not see much sense in leaving against the night. Let's gather our gear and purchase any supplies we might need and meet at the eastern gate at sun rise. Should any of you require funds, the guild has been kind enough to offer us some gold to be shared. If no one needs it at the moment, I will hold on to the money and use it to pay for lodging and meals later on if need be."


Posted on 2010-02-08 at 22:55:04.

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Memory Stirring Winds

She was playing a rousing drinking song when it happened Her fingers froze mid strum when a a strange feeling swept over her; a feeling of foreboding and hopelessness. She knew it’s like, having felt something like it before. She fought it down then even as she forced her fingers to move on with the melody. It was like a wind that moved nothing and stirred up all the wrong things at the same time. She read the fear and confusion on the patrons’ faces. She did not like it, but continued to play if for no reason but to calm the fears of others.

By the time she finished that tune the tingling sensation was gone, but not forgotten. She played on for herself and much as for the patrons.

Her memories returned to that earlier time when she first uttered those fateful words.

***********************************************************

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 9:20 pm

“I am ready to serve,"

Gyvontill smiled. “Yes, I know you are. There are many tasks that a Bladesinger can fulfill. Please, sit down a moment.”

He motioned for the desk, but preferred to be standing himself.

“The Bladesingers have worked in service of the crown and the Sylvari people for as long as any of us can remember. We have fought in wars and shadowed in secrecy just for the greater good of the kingdom and its residents. The journey that I have planned for you is a very important one….”

“… you have one day to say goodbye to your family and friends. Normally we wouldn’t give you any time, but since this is your first time, we’ll make an exception. Tell them you’re now a Bladesinger, but reveal nothing of the task you’ve been given. Gather what you need, and report at the keep tomorrow at midday.”

He gave a nod and saw to it that she was escorted outside the keep by an esquire. There were plenty of preparations to do.

Thank You Anyway

"Thank you, Lord Gyvontill, for the consideration, but I could not ride to Sillarion Somion'Enrai, The Aeryie of the High King, and back in one day, and that is where my parents serve. "My mother was a Royal Guard for the Queen, and my Father was a Court Bard before I was born. They moved to Kerta-Istel in Maelamin after I was born where my father studied and I grew up. They took me everywhere, so that I could experience all what was the Sylvari Kingdom. We lived and explored many places in the Northern, Middle, and Southern parts of the Sylvari Kingdom.

“I was so taken with becoming a Bladesinger that they came back to see that I got my chance, but once I entered Megilindar Nost, they went back to their old duties."

She looks to the north, knowing how much she would have loved to rush up to them and announce her news. But there was no time.

“I will write them a letter and send it by courier.”

She nods to the man and half turns to go out, “Could you, tell me who I can see about what I might need where I am going. I have some goods and supplies that my parents provided and a small sum of money to pick up a few other things. And,” she adds on another note, “will I have need for a horse?”

One of the things she had always loved about her mother was her Teu'kelytha, her Moon Steed. Star Eyes was a mature and ever-faithful companion of her mother, even when she was just being a mother.

Elessarae remembered being cradled in her mother's arms and being rocked back and forth by the movements of the silvery-white mare. And when she was old enough her mother would put her on the mare's broad back and Elessarae would wrap her chubby child's hands in the mare's long mane and laugh and giggle as her mother walked along side and held her on.

She too had wanted a Moon Steed but then were not the mounts of common elves, Maybe it was one of the reasons she wanted to become a Bladesinger, because she had wanted a Moon Steed of her own. While they lived in Maelamin one of her favorite spots to visit in Maelamin was the Tel'kelytha Duin, the Mood Steed River. The Moon Steeds frolicked in the waters and grazed in the lush meadows.

Now she was a Bladesinger, but she did not have the time to even go down to the river and ask one of the Moonsteeds if it would join her.

Once outside, she thanked the esquire for his escort, nodded to the guards at the door of the keep, picked up her pack and headed for her dorm room.
Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 9:20 pm

“Go as fast as you can.” Had been Gyvontill’s reply to her question about a horse.

While she sped through the forest toward the dorms she became aware of the shriek of a bird of prey. She looked around and noticed a bird flying rapidly towards her. It was a familiar vision now, for it was the second time that day this had occurred. The bird flew over her and dropped a small leather bag in front of her feet.

It was a belt pouch, containing a sum of 25 gold pieces, 3 gems that she knew equaled 5 GP each, and ten silver coins. There was a small note also, that held instructions for the stables in Tinechur, a small town nearby, to give Elessarae a young horse to speed up her journey.

Elessarae

Elessarae ran to her room and quickly packed. She took the barest essentials which she repacked in her pack, plus a change of under clothes, trail rations, two quivers of arrows and her weapons. Along with her two belt pouches. A last minute thought had her take up her harp case, better to leave her beloved harp at home.

She ran from the Dorms and took a trail northwest toward Tinechur in a ground eating stride that she could keep up for miles. She ran with a bow in hand and an arrow notched and held in place by her left hand. Which would allow her to swiftly raise the bow, draw, and fire as needed She kept alert and ready, Elven Forests were wild.

Maelamin Kingdom Bladesinger Keep
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 9:48 pm

In the last orange rays of sunlight Elessarae hurried through the forest. It was getting late. She reasoned the elder had allowed her a horse to buy time to find herself a Moonsteed, but perhaps the intention was that she uses this horse to make her way towards the higher regions of the elven kingdom as soon as possible. Her decision was made though, and she placed on.
She reached Tinechur without any hold ups well after sundown. The purple clouds had driven by and were replaced by starlight and a wide moon. Tinechur was a small place. Most of its buildings were positioned on the forest ground, and just a few had been built in the trees. Yellow lights shone from the windows and laughter and several streams of music reached her ears. The streets, or the paths between the trees that functioned as such, were vacant. She followed her nose towards where the scent of horse was strongest, and found the stables to be next to the only inn in the town, the “Pines Reaching”.

The double doors were still opened, but a young elven man was just about to close them. Apparently she was just in time. She showed him the note and he let her access the stables for a quick inspection. Her mouth dropped, for in one of the spacious boxes stood a moonhorse in full beauty. A window had been carved in the roof so that the moonlight fell straight on the creature’s fair skin. It seemed radiant.

The young elf informed her that this was Lady Quilanday’s companion, also a Bladesinger. He added with a laugh that both steed and lady had a matching attitude, and that it was better not to come too close. After that he introduced her to a young horse named Gharion, who would bear her to whatever destination she had in mind.
Sensible

Had she not been through the experiences of this day she would have opted to ride into the night. But she was down spells and tired from the day's exertions.
She look the gelding over and liked what she saw, “How much?”

“This paper pays me for the horse,” said the stable man, leave your coins for the trip.”

"Then please give him a good grain mash tonight, and a light one in the morning. We ride to Sillarion before dawn."

Elessarae lifts her pack and heads for the inn. Once inside she looks for the innkeeper. Partway across the room she stops dead in her tracks, Lady Quilanday, that was the Orc in the Hall. Now she knows stopping for rest was her best option.

She looks about almost sheepishly, and then continues her search for the innkeeper.

Maelamin Kingdom Tinechur
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier 9:48 pm

The innkeeper was found when he came out of the kitchen with a tray of steaming food. He nodded at Elessar in acknowledgement of her presence. After he placed the tray on a table with three waiting elves, his only customers present, he returned to the bar. There he motioned for the new Bladesinger to come closer.

“Welcome to the Pines Reaching, dear miss, the place where the pines reach the sky. And the cooking isn’t so bad either. What can I do for you this evening?”

A little later Elessar went up to find the room to be more than she expected. Organically decorated furniture and natural colours made the room into a refreshing and relaxing space. Its richness showed that the innkeeper cared greatly for his enterprise and tried his best to make his customers at home.

Elessarae

She orders a light dinner of sustaining food and asks for a package of trail bread, hard cheese, and some apples ready for her in the early morning.

She eats without rushing, but without wasting time either. Elessarae thanks the innkeeper for the fine meal and also asks that she be woken at the same time as the cook. She then seeks a bath to wash away the day’s exertions. There she does linger a bit. Clean and tired she slides into bed. With her sword at her side she quickly falls asleep.

In the dark of the morning a knock on her door almost woke her being that her own internal clock had rouse her from deep sleep to almost wakefulness. She dresses quickly and goes down to the kitchen to gather her trail food. Elessarae smiles to the cook and asks for a couple of slices of bread just hot from the oven with fresh sweet butter and a dollop of honey. She gives the cook the price of the food a heads for the stable eating the honey sandwich.

Out in the stable her horse was already groomed, saddled, and ready. Elessarae stowed her food in the saddlebags and also distributes the contents of her pack into an even load in the saddlebags. Then she ties the empty pack on top of the bags.

She flips the stable boy a copper and jumps into the saddle.

"Well Gharion, let's see what you are made of. She starts the grulla gelding off at a smart walk. This she keeps up for a few miles, letting the horse limber up from his night's rest. Then she legs him into a trot and gets the surprise of her life when the gelding speeds up, but instead of trotting he breaks into a fast amble, or singlefooted walk. Later she legs him into a canter to use other muscles, and finds his canter is smooth and easy to ride.

After a few hours of walk, amble, canter, walk, amble canter she pauses at a stream to a give the gelding a chance to drink. Making sure he is cooled enough to drink safely. She also loosens his girth They both share the cool crystal clear waters of the stream. Then she gets out an apple and gives it to him.

One moment the apple is in her hand and the next it is engulfed in Gharion's mouth. The gelding rolls it about, with his eyes half closed and finally she hears a crunch as his teeth bit into it.

Maelamin Kingdom Side-branch of Rilma Duin
Maelamin Kingdom
Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier
9:19 am

The sun had come up while she had been riding. Now it shone its specks on the forest ground, and made the water of the stream sparkle as if it bore diamonds in its flow. The stream seemed to hold the light, and bore it to darker areas in the woods where the sun couldn’t reach, to illuminate it in wavy reflections. It was this reaction that made Elessarae realise they were drinking from a branch of the Rilma Duin, the Light River. This also meant that they had covered quite a bit of the distance to Sillarion already. The border that would bring her into Londelirinen wasn’t far anymore.

As she had learned or maybe even experienced, the Aerie of the High King was located near the Light River also. She had but follow the stream, and she would be there before the end of the afternoon. IF Gharion was up for it.
The young horse nodded his head as if to imply its will to continue. And so they left once more, riding near the refreshing sparkle of the stream.

A small hour later the stream had widened and grown in power. Rilma Duin couldn’t be far away now.
Suddenly, Elessar became aware of a disturbance in the natural tranquillity of the elven woodland. A bestial scream, related to the neigh of a horse, penetrated the peace. Up ahead she saw movement near the stream.
On a muddy area, directly near the water, stood a horse, pale as the moon. Its hide was almost permeable to light, but bore bloody gashes. One of its hooves was stuck in a swarm of roots, but that was not its biggest concern.
Three owls, as big as Elessarae’s head, and covered in leathery feathers, circled the horse and clawed at it with their wicked talons. The moonhorse looked exhausted and desperate, ready to give up the fight.

(OOC: You’re about 40 feet away right now, but you have a clear view of what’s going on.)

Elessarae

Elessarae was quite pleased when she realized that she had reached the branch of the Rilma Duin, the Light River. they were near the border of Londelirinen and Sillarion, and the Aerie of the High King was located near the Light River also. If Gharion was up for it continued to prove his fitness then she should be to the Aerie by late afternoon.

She patted the young horses neck, "Are you up to finishing the trip today?"

Ellessarae waws surprised as Gharion nodded his head as if to imply its will to continue.

Not a hour had passed as they followed the stream not grown in size and power. Rilma Duin couldn’t be far away now.

Suddenly, Elessar became aware of a disturbance in the natural tranquillity of the elven woodland. A bestial scream, related to the neigh of a horse, penetrated the peace. Up ahead she saw movement near the stream.
On a muddy area, directly near the water, stood a horse, pale as the moon. Its hide was almost permeable to light, but bore bloody gashes. One of its hooves was stuck in a swarm of roots, but that was not its biggest concern.
Three owls, as big as Elessarae’s head, and covered in leathery feathers, circled the horse and clawed at it with their wicked talons. The moonhorse looked exhausted and desperate, ready to give up the fight.

Not willing to endanger Gharion in becoming trapped like the Moonsteed, She rides him to the edge of the river and jumps off, leaving him under the shelter of a low hanging willow, so the owls could not get to him. As with most Elves, even Bladesingers, she always carries bow and a quiver of arrows.

She fires the arrow that she always keep notched and ready as she traveled. She aims at the closest owl and moves toward the Moonsteed trapped in the river. After the first shot is off she yells and shakes her bow over her head to try and scare them off. Before notching the next arrow she reaches under her tunic with her right hand and grabs out her wand of healing attached to a lanyard around her neck which is where she keeps it when traveling or on duty.

She is hoping she will catch them by surprise. She will continue to fire on the owls as she moves in toward the Moonsteed. She feels the need to heal it first, it did not look in great shape.

And if the owls dare to come too close then she will go for her sword.

These owls are dreadful

Maelamin Kingdom Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier 10:19 am

Her first arrow landed precisely in the back of the nearest owl. It was completely taken by surprise and fell two feet before regaining its composure. The other two were instantly aware of the new danger that Elessar formed. Their red glowing eyes immediately fell on the Bladesinger and they left the horse for what it was. It was stuck, and wouldn’t go anywhere. An extra meal was always welcome.

The commotion of this new enemy gave Elessarae the time she needed to get close to the moonhorse. She fired another arrow as she drew nearer, and it hit the same owl again. The shaft went straight through the owl’s wing, and its steady hovering was instantly reduced to a clumsy fluttering.

The Bladesinger then waved her bow above her head to scare of the feathered creatures, but they were not eager to fly off. The one that was hurt pretty badly was in no shape anymore to attack, but it opened its mouth and what came out was more than a regular owl’s screech. A gibberish that sounded like no language the elf had ever heard, reached her ears. Though she could not understand the words, it put images in her head that reverberated death, decay and hopelessness. She felt despair wash over her, and for a moment her mind went blank. It was time enough for the other two owls to safely come close to her and claw at her with their sharp claws. They both drew blood from her, one from her arm, and the other from her face. She sobered up to the stinging pain, and two owls flying at close hand.

Casting aside her bow she reached for her longsword. The moonhorse was still neighing wildly, but she had to defend herself as well. She lashed out at one of the owls and hit its flank. It took the hit lightly by moving to her side, but she still drew blood and leathery feather from the creature. Then another wave of gibberish ran over her, but this time she was able to brace herself and maintain her consciousness. The two owls came in again, and Elessar ducked away. One of them cut its talons along her neck, but did little damage. Still, the fight proved harder than she might have anticipated.

(OOC: You’ve lost about 15 HP already in all.

She Started to Sing as She Tackled the Thing that Couldn't be Done, and She Did It

Elessarae slings her bows as she draws her sword. [No Elf would throw a bow in the river ]

At first the strange gibberish words of the bird caused her to despair, and the sense of death and destruction and utter hopelessness. Then the pain of their attacks raised Elessarae's ire and she fought off the effects. There was something Evil about those owls, no wonder the Moonsteed was in such a state.

Elessarae begins the same song she used to do her demonstration during the final part of her test. Her sword becomes a whirling blade cutting the air around her as she attacks the leathery owls. Her blade danced through the air almost creating a blade barrier for herself and the Moonsteed. The melody and the words of her song ring out over the waters, as she fights for herself and the Moonsteed against these malignantly evil owls.

"Come you tainted birds of Evil
Time to meet my Elven steel,
Time to make you cower and reel,
Demons of the air.

"Now you face one who can fight you,
Who fights your despair just to spite you.
Come meet my blade of death for you too.
Demons of the air."

She pauses her song long enough to heal herself, knowing she was the only hope for the Moonsteed. (Using 2 charges)

"Full of Hope I do Defy thee,
Come now closer demons three,
I'll plant you bodies 'neath a tree,
You demons of the air."
Maelamin Kingdom Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier 10:19 am

Another lash of her sword hit an owl straight across the body. It was a heavy blow and the creature slammed into the moonhorse. The other one that was still in direct combat dove down and hit the Bladesinger straight on her lower back. Its talons pierced through her chain armor. As he turned to push it off her, the owl she just hit came in, and dove for her face. Sharp nails cut and pierced her skin and she found herself reaching for her healing wand. Pain was all around, but she found the concentration to activate the power that would strengthen her.

The seriously wounded owl was still hovering above the moonhorse. Once more it let out a stream of non intelligent words that struck horror in the elf. She fought it off, and positioned her wand once more. This time she aimed for the moonhorse, and poked it lightly in the flank. The touch of the wand lessened the flow of blood, but the horse still looked exhausted. The two owls dove in once again, while the third one sang. The bladesong, clinging more to Elessar than the first time she sang it, seemed to overwhelm their fury a bit, and their attacks missed their previous precision. While they struck Elessar, they did nothing more than make a new tear in her cloths.

(OOC:You’re a little under 2 thirds of your HP right now.)

Elessarae

Elessarae raised her voice in defiance; never had she sung with such power, but need drove her. Her song fills the area and flows up and down the river with the Light. She hopes to drown the gibberish of the one owl.

Demon Birds of pain and hate,
Come now to me and meet your fate.
It is now already too late,
For you to succeed.

Songs I sing to drown you noise,
This I do with lifted voice.
Dying now is you own choice,
Demon of the air.

Using the healing wand on herself again she continued her attack of the two owls that were attacking her. Seeing the one owl hovering over the Moonhorse out of sword's reach she takes her free hand and puts it on the Moonsteed's back in a place not slashed by talons and then she uses that purchase to vault up and strike at the owl over the Moonhorse.

Once back down she will prepare a Flare spell and use it on whatever the best target would be.

From this river I call light,
Make my Flare spell extra bright.
Make my target lose its sight,
A demon of the air.

If there is a brief respite she will use healing on herself and the Moonhorse again.

Maelamin Kingdom Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier 10:19 am

It was a daring move that Elessarae performed next. She was determined to silence the owl hovering over the moonhorse and stop its demonic gibberish. Aided by her song, she darted forward and placed a hand on the moonhorse. The animal tried to back off, not used to the alien touch of humanoids. Still, the Bladesinger had a firm grip.
But by making this move, she had neglected the other two owls. One was hurt badly, and could not move fast enough to take advantage of the situation. The other one, healthy and enraged, dove in to sink its talons deep into her leg.

The pain was bad, but Elessar finished her jump, sword held high and point straight forward. With a firm thrust in midair she caught the gibbering owl off guard, and skewered it with her blade. The flow of words died abruptly, and was replaced by a choking cough. Then the lights in the eyes of the creature went out, and the Bladesinger slammed into the mud. She rolled on and held her blade in front of her, the dead owl still stuck on its metal. Her low view showed the moonhorse in its powerful glory. It was panting heavily, and pulled its stuck leg. Otherwise the animal was calm. The two shades suddenly rose from behind its flank and Elessar called forth the light of the river, to aid her in cleansing this spot of the shadows of evil. Although the owls were too far from her to be dazzled by her spell, the stream itself seemed to enhance its radiance for a moment, and they fled into the woods.

Moments later, Elessarae was standing near the moonhorse. Within seconds she had cut the roots and freed the animal. She then healed herself, using three charges of her wand. Then she went to the moonhorse, to relieve it of its wounds. But now the animal was free, and it backed away from the wand. Instead it turned, and walked into the woods slowly. As it left the swampy area it halted, and looked back. There it waited for the Bladesinger to follow.

(Assuming that you DO follow: )
The horse guided Elessar through a part of the forest with thick growth and short trees. A little later they both entered a small grove, and there stood a small moonhorse, a young teen in human or elven counting. The elder moonhorse moved to its child and softly pushed its nose against the youngling’s head. A minute went by, and suddenly the mother withdrew and moved out of the grove, without looking back.

A Greeting and a Farewell

The pain in her leg was well worth the death of one of the ill-omened birds. Elessarae removes its body from her sword and then heals herself. Then she approaches the Moonsteed to heal it only to have her move off. She is puzzled that the Moonsteed would not accept healing. She that takes up the body of the screwered owl and packs it away on Gharion and then leading the young horse she follows the Moonhorse.

It had paused and looked back at her, as if they say, I am waiting for you.

The horse guided Elessar through a part of the forest with thick growth and short trees. A little later they both entered a small grove, and there stood a small moonhorse, a young teen in human or elven counting. The elder moonhorse moved to its child and softly pushed its nose against the youngling’s head. A minute went by, and suddenly the mother withdrew and moved out of the grove, without looking back.

Tears welled up in Elessarae's eyes, she feels that she has witnessed a final farewell. Maybe there were wounds the mare suffered that she could not heal with a wand. She watches the mare until she is out of sight.

Elessarae kneels and prays.

"Adaron, Lord of the Forest, (Kith-Jora) please send your grace to the mare, which was sorely injured in a fight with some demon owls. Let her find peace and comfort within you."

"Solinari, I thank you for your aid in driving off the owls of darkness. Your Light was greatly appreciated."

Elessarae begins to the Elven Song of Passing, she knows the mare has gone off to die. She had suffered greatly under the attack of the demon owls. As much as Elessarae wanted to heal the mare, she also knew that the mare would probably not have lived long even with healing. The fatal gibberish of the owls had sapped her of strength that no manner of healing could cure.

When the song is at an end, Elessarae stands takes up her sword, cleans and oils it before returning it to its scabbard. She then swings the reins back over Gharion's head and mounts.

The young Moonhorse was still there.

"I am sorry I did not get to your mother fast enough. May Adaron guide you to a herd where you can find safety."

With that she turns Gharion and heads back to the river and her destination.

Maelamin Kingdom Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier 10:32 am

Elessarae turned away from the young Moonsteed. She was on a mission and could not be distracted for too long. Already she had suffered a loss of time and magical healing. It soothed her to know she had granted rest to a spirit of the forest though.

She led Gharion back to the stream. As they reached the waters he grabbed a hold of the lower leaves of a tasty looking plant, and started nibbling on them. When Elessar made a move to step on his back once more he peered over her shoulder and stopped his munching.

Behind them stood the young moonhorse. It was looking straight at the Bladesinger, but its violet gaze did not betray any specific thoughts. Some Moonsteed were telepathic, especially those that were bonded.

Time was still running, so Elessar mounted her steed, gazed a silent farewell to the colt and urged Gharion to speed up. It wasn’t long before she heard the fall of hooves in the water behind them. The colt was following them.

(OOC: should you try to do anything about him following you, you will find that he is extremely stubborn and that he will follow you no matter what.)

Homeward Bound

The radiant stream soon branched together with other flows and finally formed into a river that gurgled and swirled its way through the Sylvari lands. The Rilma Duin. A river so bright it seemed to be formed of light. The Aerie of the High King couldn’t be that much further.

And indeed, a few hours later she saw the first towers rise above the tree tops; white architecture, blanketed by green ivy lead in beautiful patterns. Gradually the city grew before Elessar. First came the tree houses and the huts hidden beneath thick growth. Soon the first wooden taverns and stables rose from the earth, as organic and natural as the forest itself. Then followed the white stone buildings, and minutes later, after passing a city-wall of privets, she found the bases of the first towers. They rose higher and higher, some shaped like trees, the purest display of elven masonry. The high King, Elessar knew, would be found inside the highest tower in the centre of this city. But she wasn’t looking for a king. She was looking for her parents.

(OOC: you are very free to play out the meeting with your parents and where they are in this city. BUT, the moonhorse follows you anywhere. If you go into a building, he will wait outside for you to return. If the opening is big enough, he will even try to enter. Have fun! )
Duty Before Family

Elessarae rode on knowing that it was useless to dissuade a Moonhorse from its mindset, and he followed.

Just crossing the River of Light brought joy to her heart, and seeing the outsides of the city and riding into it caused the joy to blossom into something much more, elation, and pride, in its beauty, grace, style, arrangement, the balance of nature and Elven-made abodes. Here was the epitome of what the Elves stood for, Elf and Nature in perfect harmony. Most Elves living outside the area of the City made a pilgrimage to the Aerie of High King at least once in their long lives.

As much as she longed to see her parents, the scene at the river gave her a different purpose, not even taking into account that that she was s Bladesinger, it was the forlorn, last look of the mare on her colt that sent shivers up her spine. What hellish power had build such a look of despair. Above all, now, she wanted answers.

She turned from her path and rode to the Royal Guard Headquarters. It was also possible that her mother was there. Elessarae rode up to the gates of the Royal Guard and announced, “I have urgent business with the Guard. With that she rode in straight to the main office, not waiting for a yea, or nay. She jumped off Gharion, deftly loosened girth, and then grabbed the bag with the dead bird from the back of her saddle. With this she marched into the building and up to the first office of high rank she saw. A thud of hooves of the wooden floors told her the colt followed.

Elessarae moved up to the man’s desk, a beautiful slab of naturally shaped oak burl, luckily clear of papers, “We are minus one Moonsteed mare,” she says without introduction, as she unties the bag and empties it contents on his desk, “because of this hellish owl and two others like it, unfortunately they got away, but not uninjured."

Maelamin Kingdom Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier 12:57 am

The captain of the guard jumped up from his desk at the rudeness of Elessar’s entrance. He took two hesitant steps backwards and peered at the fiendish creature that was now polluting his desk. His confusion soon ebbed away though, and he came closer to inspect the dead owl. Bending over the prodded the thing with a feather pen, then looked up at the Bladesinger with interest. He opened his mouth to speak, but suddenly became aware of the small crowd that was gathering around his desk.

“Don’t be alarmed, brave soldiers of the high king. This creature is dead. I shall take care of it, and you shall return to your duties.”

The crowd didn’t move.

“I said, RETURN to your duties!” The captain burst out. Then he turned to Elessarae and wiped a braided strand of hair from his face. The rest of the guards left the area, glancing at the young moonsteed as they passed it.

“My apologies, my lady. We have had several incidents with distorted creatures such as this, and they were very unpleasant I can tell you. A walk through the woods isn’t so calming anymore when squirrels the size of a small horse sink their teeth in your skull.”

He picked a cape from a chair nearby and threw it over the owl. Then he started wrapping the creature further in the cloth.

“I’m glad to hear there are still able fighters such as you, defending our forest. It’s hard enough keeping my men focused now their families are unsafe. I’m sorry to hear about your Moonsteed. I see that you managed to save one. Let’s go find Urvanial the druid. He’ll be able to tell us more about this thing here.”

He walked away from the desk and headed for the door. Just before exiting he turned around.

“Where are my manners! My name is Telliri Evandus, captain of the city guard. Pleased to meet you.”

He guided Elessar out the building, past Gharion and onto the forest floor, where towers sprouted upwards like corn from a field. They walked for several minutes and Telliri informed the Bladesinger of the occurrences in and around the city. They hadn’t been frequent, but definitely apparent. Transformed animals with glowing eyes and a drive for blood. There was also time for Elessar to tell her own tale. But as soon as it was over they had arrived at their destination; a tower of white stone, shaped like a stalk growing high and proud.

As the doors opened, they both entered a dense jungle of plants and damp air. The floor was covered in moist dirt, and a chirping and singing invited them into this indoor land of green. There was no path, but Telliri seemed to know his way.

“Look for a flight of wooden stairs. Its position is different every time I come here.”

To the Tower

She nods to the man as he introduces himself, "My name is Elessarae Isiliri daughter of Captain Almara Isiliri of the Queen's Guard and the Bard Arensilendyl Isiliri. I am on an overnight pass from the Megilindar Nost, having been assigned to a quest. I was hoping to see my family before I had to return, but the creatures which attacked the Moonsteed have taken precedence over that."

"As for the Moonsteed," she pauses at a pang of regret, "she was not mine, but one of the free ones."

Elessarae follows the officer to the Stalk Tower. She had heard of the Druid, but never had the occasion to ever visit his tower. Now as she stepped into the natural setting of the place she let the peace of it fill her. She took solace in the ambience of the Tower.

Elessarae moved along between the ferns and other growing things to find the stairs. Pushing aside a drape of willow branches she finally found the stairs. All the while the silvery-white colt followed her. She mounted the steps and began to climb upwards. She did not think the colt would try to tackle the stairs.
Manners

Elessarae stopped part way up the stairs and turned to look back at the Moonsteed colt. Unlike regular horses, Moonsteed foals stayed with their dam's until they were 4-5 to learn what is was to be a Moonhorse and to use their innate magical abilities.

Elessarae thought back to the scene as the mare moved to her foal and communed with him, then after that she left, and the foal did not follow his dam, but Elessarae.

It suddenly hit Elessarae that the mare had made her the colt's guardian.

"Come, Little One, and she moved back down to guide the colt to mount the stairs with her.

As she and the colt moved up the stairs she could not help but think of how convoluted her path had become. Her visit to her parents was for naught, for now there was added the incident of the altered animals, and the guardianship of a Moonsteed colt. Above it all was the quest set for her, by the Bladesingers which she would learn of when she returned to Megilindar Nost.

***********************************************************

"Closing time," someone muttered in her ear. She looked up to find most of the tavern empty. She lovingly returned her harp to it case and her tattered cap with its coins for her night of playing.

Time to return to the cottage she and Tariel had rented. As she steped outside she gains a shadow, Comrade stepped from the hitching rail and walk along side of her. She had finally divine his true name, Moon Shadow, or really he had finally shared it with her, letting her think she had found a name to fit him, but for her, he would always be just Comrade.

The big stallion glistened in the moonlight giving an almost etheral glow, except where she had died his coat with a mouse gray patches, trying to hide what he was. To those outside of Sylvaria he was a legend. For many inside Sylvaria he was a legend, for he had been a valiant member of their company as the took on the Demon of the Chakran Mountains.

She reached into her pocket and drew out some bread and honey balls. He knew they were there, he could smell them, but her learned not to be pushy in trying to get them because squashing them in Elessarae's pocket got him nothing.

Sleep did not come quickly that night or the next.

Dawn - 22th Sempore (Merday), 452 E.R.
City of Visden, Pardinal

Where the guard came with the call to report to the guild Elessarae, with Trial and Comrade headed out.

She listened to his report and remembered a couple of Sylvari villages found in similar fashion with everyone dead. In a way it hurt a bit more, even if they were not Sylvari, for she knew them gaffers and parents and children, and now they were all dead.

She looked around at Tariel, for the scout knew who she was. Steel entered her eyes, steel that had been forged in the fires of adversity. She only prayed that this problem was not in connection to the what had happened in Sylvaria, coming from the Chakran Mountains.

She looked over to Danamar and nodded as he spoke of his decision, not unlike one she had made a while back. She waited until the others had left the room, told Tariel to meet her outside and then waited for Danamar to speak.


Posted on 2010-02-09 at 03:22:55.
Edited on 2010-02-09 at 04:48:25 by Dragon Mistress

Reepacheep
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 4/6
36 Posts


Whew... wow, I don't like intro posts! Blah that took a long time!

”Mendez… Mendez… wake up, Mendez… wake
===================================================

up, Mendez!”

Mendez stirred from his restless sleep, groaning from the stiffness of sleeping on the ground another night. A hand quickly clapped over his mouth. Mendez’ eyes snapped up wide to find the face of his friend hovering near by.

“Shhhh!” Teo commanded silently. Mendez stifled the groan, his eyes trying to determine what was going on from his disadvantaged position. Teo patted his shoulders, urging him to roll to his side. Turning over, Mendez came face to face with one of his captors, the guard for the night, a rope pulled tightly around his thick neck. He could feel Teo loosing the bonds that restrained him. “It’s showtime, brother,” he whispered in Mendez’ ear, even as the Showman studied face of his captor carefully, paying attention to every detail. “You ready?”

Mendez gave a quick nod. A pat on the shoulder and Mendez felt his bonds slip away. With fluid grace, the Showman rolled up into a sitting position. With simple gestures and silent words, he wove together the spell, his eyes focused on the dead man before him, focused on every detail. In his mind’s eye, Mendez imagined himself in front of the dressing room mirror, applying the caked make-up, taking on more of the character with every pass of the sponge. Time seemed to slow as he watched the man in the mirror look less like himself and more like his captor. “Magnificent,” he whispered.

Standing, Mendez walked over to a near-by tree and kept watch over the bandits’ camp while Teo continued to work at releasing Arlo and Anton. So far, none had stirred. By Shinara’s grace, none would.

Soon, Mendez’ three companions joined him. “You look like s***, friend,” quipped Arlo quietly.

“What’s the plan?” whispered Anton more seriously. All eyes turned to Mendez.

“Visden?”

“I like Visden,” smiled Arlo. Anton simply nodded his assent.

Teo gave his friend a soft, affirming clap on the shoulder. “Visden.” Looking back over the sleeping camp, he asked, “And what about these clowns?”

“Leave ‘em,” Mendez said solemnly. The other three said nothing but looked at one another to see if they were in agreement. All thought darkly of the night before last, when these bandits had ambushed them. All thought of Lucio and Raul, their now dead partners. “No need to pick a fi…” The shifting of some body in one of the tents cut Mendez off.

“Yeah,” Arlo said nervously, “Mendez is right… time to go!”

The man wasted no time in starting to put some distance between himself and the camp, his brother Anton close on his heels. Mendez continued to watch the camp as he heard more sounds of stirring. “Time for you to leave too, Teo.”

“What are you waiting for, friend?”

“Just going to buy us some more time,” smiled Mendez. “Give the lads a little show to strike some fear into them.”

“I’ll not leave ya, Mendez.”

Mendez let the glamer spell go, discarding the guise of the guard. “I’ll not force you, Teo,” he gave his friend a wink, just as one of the bandits crawled out of his tent. “Showtime!”

Mendez stepped forward, and with a loud voice (which startled the sleepy man) called out, “Thugs, thieves and bandits! Rise! For Rydor himself has come to bring you to justice this night.” His hands made the arcane gestures as he called forth “fire from on high to cleanse this wickedness from the face of the land.”

A moment later, a roaring fire encircled the encampment, Mendez paying special attention to ensure the flames caught the dead guard too. The sound of the trees crackling from the heat and flame, the smell of burnt wood and burning flesh, the sound of the dead guard screaming in agony, smoke filling the space and obscuring their vision. Every detail counted, and Mendez made sure he did not miss one. Panic and confusion set upon the bandits as the came out of their tents. “For Raul and Lucio, may Rydor judge your souls without mercy!” Mendez tilt his head back and laughed maniacally as he and Teo backed away slowly from the scene of chaos.

“Nice work, friend,” commented Teo.

“You think so?”

“One of your finest,” smiled Teo. “A masterpie…”

sssSSS-THUD!
Teo stopped midsentence, the wind knocked out of him by something. The smile left his face as he looked down, Mendez following his gaze. There, just barely peeking through Teo’s shirt, was the steel tip of a crossbow bolt while his shirt began to take on a darker stain. Trying to take another step, the man faltered but was caught but Mendez.

“Teo! No!”

In that moment of shock and chaos, Mendez lost concentration on his spell. In the back of his mind, he knew it would not be long before the illusion he had created vanished into nothingness. “We need to go, Teo. Now!”

Teo grunted, the pain barely bearable. “Time for you to go, friend.”

“I’ll not leave ya, Teo.” Tears fell to ground.

A smile came upon the dying man’s face. “I’ll not force you, Mendez.”

Mendez returned the smile. “We’re not dead yet, friend.”

Arcane words combined with gestures once again, Mendez bolstering his natural speed with magic. Picking his friend up, Mendez began to make his way towards the city. Behind him, the sounds of the fire abruptly stopped and Mendez knew his illusion had ended. It wouldn’t take long for the bandits to rally themselves now.

Sure enough, within a minute or two, Mendez could hear the thugs making their way noisily behind them. Pushing himself, Mendez carried his friend swiftly yet carefully through the dark woods. After a time, Mendez tucked in behind a large rock, the sounds of the bandits long silenced by the distance covered. Together, the two rested, catching their ragged breath, Mendez allowing Teo to lie on his side and rest his head on Mendez’ lap. The Showman stared at the end of the bolt protruding from his friend’s back. As though, he could read Mendez’ mind, Teo piped up, “We’re not dead yet, friend.”

Mendez stifled a laugh, “Aye! We're not dead yet.”

“We get to Visden, and I’m sure one of the faith healers of Lysora will be able to tend the wound. And you know what say about Lysora’s ladies, right?”

Together, Mendez and Teo said, “The best lay a man might have.”

Mendez could not hold back the laugh this time, “Of all the things to consider, you would be thinking about how you might bed one of the Sacred Mother’s daughters.”

Teo merely winked back at his friend. “Get some rest. You’re walking for both of us...”

=======================================

“…Wake up, Mendez!” Mendez sat up straight in his bed.

”Whaaa!” Teo squeaked as he went flying off the bed and tumbled onto the floor with a thud.

”Teo?” called Mendez, wiping away the last wisps of sleep from his eyes. He pushed his legs out over the edge of the bed, planting his feet on the floor, missing Teo’s plump body… but not his tail.

”Ooowww!” cried the rat and, without thinking, returned the favor with a bite into the tender flesh of Mendez’ foot.

“Owwww!” Mendez cried. “You little rat!”
”You big ogre!” replied the sharp-tongued rodent, caressing his tail. “Watch your step!”
KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK

“Mr. Ortega?” came an unfamiliar muffled voice from behind Mendez’ apartment door.

“Yeah!” Mendez replied, putting on his slippers and robe. “Who is it?”

”That’s what I was trying to tell you,” sighed Teo.

Mendez gave the rat a look as the man on the other side of the door introduced himself. “Mr. Ortega, it’s Leon, sir.” Mendez tried to place the name to a face. Ah, yes! Leon, the roguish lad with the brown, curly mop.
Mendez opened the door. “Leon, lad, what can I do for you this fine… fine…”

”Morning,” squeaked Teo.

“…morning! This fine morning!” sputtered Mendez.

The young lad let himself in, and found a chair in front of the dressing mirror. Fawning himself, Leon replied, “I’ve been sent to find you, Mr Ortega, and to escort you back to headquarters.” The lad paused long enough to make it dramatic, before he spun around the chair and pointed a makeup sponge at Mendez. “MV6 is being called up.”

Mendez and Teo shared a glance before both of them crack up laughing at Leon’s silly antics. “You got flair, lad,” Mendez complimented the boy. “A life destined for the great stages of Pardinal.”

“Really,” asked Leon with all seriousness.

“Yes,” the Showman replied, retrieving his sponge from the lad. “Now, off you go. I’m sure I can find my own way from here.”

“But, sir!” protested Leon. “I am suppose to escort you back to headquarters.”

Mendez cocked an eye at the lad. “Really? Escort me, you say, hmmm?”

“Yes!” Leon proclaimed sincerely.

“Well, then, just wait outside for a moment, while I get myself ready, and I shall be right with you.”

===============================================

Mendez and Teo arrived at headquarters later that morning, Leon in tow. Coming to the meeting room, Mendez dismissed the lad. “I think you’ve fulfilled your duty, lad. Off you go now.”

Leon took one look at the other MV6 members already gathered before nodding his head quickly and excusing himself. Mendez didn’t blame him, MV6 was an imposing team. Even Mendez felt somewhat out of place amongst his colleagues. The syls out numbered his kind two to one, and it wasn’t that he had anything against the seemingly immortal race… it was just hard to comprehend that most of his team members had out lived three generations of his family.

And then there was Daldren… Mendez could not imagine a man more opposite than himself. Daldren was quiet, Mendez was a man of many words. Daldren was man who lived by the sword, Mendez loathed to draw his thin blade. Daldren dressed in armor and muted colors; Mendez was dressed in a sharp doublet, gentleman’s gloves, a top hat, a colorful shirt … no armor.

”Showtime,” squeak Teo.

”Indeed,” agreed the Showman, taking a deep breath, before stepping into the room. To his companions, Mendez grinned broadly, “Hello, friends! It is a beautiful day, hmmm? The sun is shining!”

Pause.

”Tough crowd,” quipped Teo.

“Hmmm…” agreed Mendez. “So… any idea what this is abou…?”

He was interrupted by the entrance of Tarse. “Ah! The man in the know. Good to see you, sir! How’s the family?”

Mendez gave the team liason a firm handshake before taking a seat beside Daldren. Leaning over, he said quietly to the human warrior, “Did you do something with your hair, friend?”

[OOC: Mendez has no questions

OOC2: Bold Text represents conversation between Teo (rat familiar) and Mendez... which I think is not understood by the others...

OOC3: Italicized Text represents internal thoughts or dream sequences]



Posted on 2010-02-10 at 22:26:20.
Edited on 2010-02-10 at 22:28:51 by Reepacheep

Raven
Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 65/3
975 Posts


Hear goes...

When the meeting with their liaison officer in the Militia Vericulum was over, Danamar waited until Tarse had left the room and then addressed his team members. His plan was to leave in the morning to avoid having to ride through the night and risk an accident on the road. Since nothing was said about the urgency of the mission, the syl assumed they were to move out as soon as comfortably possible. In his mind that wasn't the same as immediately, so morning would do. Mr. Merchantson would've stressed the need to hurry, should there be one.

It was an odd group he had been appointed to head. Unlike any other team in the guild, the majority of MV6 members were sylvari with only two humans around. Tarse had once told him that it was the best and only way to create as good teams as possible of the applicants who had been accepted. Putting all, or as many as possible, syls into a single team both enhanced the team's efficiency and helped to avoid problems caused by racial prejudice. That was pretty much what he'd been told and was forced to accept. He didn't personally have any complaints against such an arrangement, but still felt that the people running the whole guild had trusted the generic image humans seemed to have of the sylvari rather than really evaluating everyone's personalities.

During his two decades in the human town of Quevin, Danamar had learned to read the members of the younger race fairly well. It appeared to be common knowledge, fueled by the tales of old, that all fairies or elves - like they often wished to call the sylvari - were happy benevolent beings and lived in total harmony with each other. The thought made the raven-haired priest sneer. Though it was without a doubt true that majority of his kin placed the wellbeing of others, especially the community they lived in, above that of their own, there certainly were those whose views of the world were totally opposite. The 20 odd years amongst the humans had taught Danamar to respect them a lot more than he ever had whilst living in Londelirinen. And his own prejudiced views had changed to the point, that he now could see why some humans would call the sylvari an arrogant race which considered others as lesser beings.

Whatever the reasons behind the setup of MV6, Danamar was glad to be a member of it. They were a very successful and well operating little group even if they'd only known each other for a relatively short period of time. Certainly everyone had secrets they hadn't as of yet shared with the rest and there was not a bond of true friendship between everyone. But they had learned to respect and trust each other enough to face new challenges together with heads held high.

Right from the formation of MV6 Danamar had made a mental note to himself to handle everyone in the group as the equals they were. He would not put one before the other in any situation and would value the effort of everyone similarly. In MV6 each and every soul was equally important. But at times he found it very difficult and chastised himself for the weakness of his will for slipping from his chosen path. Having been taught from a toddler that unnecessary showing of emotion was something to be avoided, so the sole heir of the Amarillis family could only hope he had been able to hide his thoughts well enough. Try as he might, two members of the team had made a stronger impression on him from the start. One with the legend and history she was a manifestation of and another with his intense personality.

During his childhood Danamar had met a couple of the famed bladesingers in person back when his father was still a high-ranking officer in the Rimen'arrana. The Stormriders were an equally elite part of the armies of the sylvari nations, though not quite as legendary as the Bladesingers. During dire times, the leaders of both organizations met in secrecy to plan joint operations and sometimes those meetings were held in private premises as well such as the Amarillis residence. Even in his youth, Danamar had recognized the incredible prowess of the sword masters when he first laid his eyes on one. And when Tarse introduced Elessarea to him, the same familiar feeling immediately hit him. It might not have been quite so obvious to someone else, but he knew immediately the woman was a bladesinger - the stuff of legends.

Daldren Grey… Danamar turned his green eyes on the human mercenary. He could not define why he was so fond of the quiet warrior. Daldren's personality should probably have made the cleric feel otherwise about the man, but Danamar could not help liking him. Though very different from himself, there was something about the professional fighter that felt incredibly familiar to Danamar. And the devotion Daldren showed was just as strong as that of the bladesinger or anyone else. He put every ounce and inch of his existence to their assignment at all times. It was little wonder MV6 was so effective with warriors like these two in their midst.

But the rest of the group was no less impressive. Though Elessarea moved with the soft steps of a cat, her companion, Tariel almost made the bladesinger seem noisy. There were scouts and then then there were Scouts. Despite with his enchanted boots, Danamar could not match her quiet moves even close. He'd seen the roguish types before and traveled the lands of Coria with human rangers, but not once outside the sylvari lands had he met one with more skill in moving unnoticed in the woods.

Irael was a strange one. He too was silent and liked to keep to his own, but his sword and magic had certainly come in handy during their previous assignment. There wasn't much Danamar could say about the syl or his personality. There was something odd about him, but he couldn't point out what exactly.

Last but not least there was Mendez and his pet rat. They for sure were an odd couple, as odd as any human Danamar had ever met and more. A happy fellow always trying to keep the spirits of the group up, the brightly dressed man's moral input was just as strong as his magical one. A talkative fellow, the performer was apparently incapable of answering even the simplest of questions with a single word. Just looking at the mage made Danamar smile. He had to admit, that without Mendez, their group would have been too grim.


With the briefing over and no one asking any questions, Danamar stood up from the edge of the table he'd been leaning on. He looked at this companions and smiled. "Very well then. Let us get moving. I'm expecting everyone to be at the eastern gate in the morning before Solanis wakes up the sun. I'll see you all tomorrow." With that, the leader of MV6 turned and walked out of the room without another word. The soldier who had escorted him to the headquarters was still outside waiting for any orders Danamar might have for him, but was quickly dismissed with a shake of the sylvari's head.

There would be no nightly stroll around the city for him tonight. Instead, Danamar made his way straight to a food merchant and acquired a week's worth of rations as well as some vegetables and fruits. He also picked another bottle of Dove's blood, a local red, to fill up one of his wineskins with later on. Not needing anything else, the Warden made his way back to his apartment in silence. Nodding a greeting to his landlord, Danamar jumped the stairs two or three at a time and locked the door to his room behind him.

The rest of the day passed quickly as Danamar packed his gear into the saddle bags and the sling bag. It didn't take him much time since he knew exactly where everything was after last use. In the saddle bags went a second set of clothes, cookware and rations, two torches, an oiled blanket and some spikes, a bedroll and a grapple. The healer's kit found its place inside the sling bag along with a notebook and writing gear as well as a poison neutralizing potion wrapped carefully inside a soft cloth. He removed his belt and slipped it through the hoops of two leather pouches containing potions of healing. All he needed now was to put on his elven chain mail, but that naturally had to wait till the morning. The gear went on top of the only bed in the apartment along with the syl's weapons and a roll of silk rope.

Danamar fed two new logs to the flames, ate a light dinner of fruits and bread and sat down on his chair by the fire. Taking a couple of deep breaths, he closed his eyes and forced his whole body to relax. Danamar slowly fell into a deep trancelike state and meditated the day's events for a few hours. When he was finally done, the syl "woke up" in the middle of the night feeling refreshed and ready for a new day. He opened his eyes slowly and returned to reality. For a few more moments, not really caring for how long, Danamar sat still watching the last bits of orange disappear from the black and white ashes as his fire finally died. Not bothering to start another, he stood up and shook the rest from his muscles.

Opening his window and looking outside, he could see the dawn was still a few hours away, just the way he wanted. It was time to get ready. Danamar picked up his sword and drew it from the scabbard. The dim light of the stars danced on the slim, razor sharp blade as he customarily scanned it for nicks… without finding any. The long elven sword was enchanted with powerful magics and never really got dull or was damaged by other blades. He spoke the sylvari command word ringwe and smiled as cold blue flames engulfed the blade in a flash. He took a couple of test swings before moving into his daily practice routine.

Later, as the sky was starting to get brighter in the east, Danamar Amarillis stepped out of the scribe's office once again, this time in full armor and travel gear. He walked briskly a few blocks to the "Deer and Crown", the closest inn to his quarters. In the backyard of the lodging house there was a small stable in which the syl had leased a permanent stall for his light warhorse "Nieninque". He was somewhat surprised to see the stableboy Framk already awake and feeding the customers' mounts. The kid had chosen the largest stall in the back of the building for Nieninque and always took good care of the mare. Danamar was truly fond of the lad. He was a simple boy who really loved the animals and was very proud of his work.

As always, Danamar dropped an extra piece of silver to the lad when he entered the stable. He took his time to share a few words with the kid before saddling his horse. Framk knew the syl was very strict about the way the mare was to be saddled and even though both of them were well aware he could have done it equally well, it was part of their silent agreement, that Danamar did it himself. The priest waved farewell to Framk as he rode out through the doorway and headed for the east gate.

Sitting in the saddle felt very good. It meant he was heading for adventure and action again. The cool breeze (from the sea this time) caressed the pale skin of the syl's face as he made his way first to the market place and then along the one of the main streets to the eastern part of the city. There weren't too many people outside so early, but there were lights inside more than a few businesses and smoke was rising from the chimneys of a few bakeries and taverns. Visden was slowly waking up to another day.

The sweet smell of fresh bread mingled with the salty sea air making Danamar feel hungry all of a sudden. He stopped Nieninque outside a baker's store and knocked on the door firmly. He had to repeat the knocking twice before a flour covered baker's assistant answered the door. "It's a weeny bit early, sir. We ain't open yet.", the lad began before he even laid his eyes on Danamar. Clearly surprised to see a sylvari knight in wearing a full suit of shining silvery chain outside the door, the young man's jaw dropped. "Err… you know, we're kinda closed still, master elf. Are you sure… I mean, would you be wantin' some bread, sir?"

A couple of minutes later Danamar was once again mounted and moving on with three loaves of hot bread in his sling bag. In no time he reached the small clearing in front of the gate house and caught two guards of the night shift dozing against their halberds. The men shook awake and stood in attention with the backs straight probably expecting a surprise check by a senior officer. Both sighed aloud as they saw a sylvari warrior instead. "Sorry sir, but you'll have to wait a little longer for the gates to open." Danamar nodded in agreement and dismounted by dropping himself on the cobblestone street softly. He led Nieninque into the shadow of the wall and leaned on it himself waiting for the others to arrive.


Posted on 2010-02-16 at 20:02:16.

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Tariel

After their team leader spoke, Tariel went back to the boarding house to check over her backpack for what even needed replenishing what she had used and making a list of things she could use that she didn't have. Taking out her coin pouch she check over how much she had and revised her list to reflect how much she thinks she could get. Tariel tried to keep her mind off the tragic events of the death of the villages in Pilm. There last mission had not garnered them much in the way of money or goods, but plenty of thanks, and the well wishes of the village people.

Leaving the boarding house Tariel hurries out to the local markets to make her purchases. She chose merchants and shops where they knew her since she lived locally a d patronized the shops regularly. Establishing a relationship with such shops meant she got fair prices for the goods she wanted. She got salt, some cheese, and flour and sugar and at the bakery she purchase some sour dough stater so she could make trail bread or stick bread depending on how much time she had to cook.

Shopping done, she enjoyed an ale listened to a decent bard at a local tavern then returned in time for dinner at the boarding house. On the way back she stops at the livery stable and asks that her horse be ready half a mark before first light. After dinner but before retiring early she sharpened and oiled her weapons. She packs up all her new purchases and put her back pack down at the with her weapons except for two daggers she kept under her pillow.

It was still dark when she Tariel soft boots. Gathering up her readied gear and weapons she goes down to an early meal of fruit cheese and bread the widow had provided. Spreading the bread liberally with fruit paste that the widow made of cooked fruits and sugar or honey and fresh butter. Tariel down her simple morning meal and headed off to the livery stable to pick up her horse.

The mare was out of her stall and being groomed by the time Tariel arrived. Tariel tipped the man 2 copper and took over the tack of finishing the grooming and tacking her mare. Buckling and adjusting all the straps to make sure they were comfortable for the horse and then secured all her gear in her addle bags. Keeping out only her water skin and weapons.

It was still dark as she left the the livery stable and the relative warmth of the stable and headed towards the Eastern gate. Moondancer frisked and a bit in the coolness of the predawn. Tariel let Moondancer get it all out of her system as she guided the mare towards where she would meet the others in tam MV6 She was note first but she was second to arrive. Tariel maneuvered the mare forward then the swung her around to sidle up the other already waiting there. Moondancer side stepped until she felt the signal to halt.

"Tariel Reporting in."


Posted on 2010-02-17 at 03:48:50.
Edited on 2010-02-17 at 04:40:47 by Brianna

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Elessarae---At A Later Time



Elessarae was the newest of the team having just come from Sylvaria. What she had to share was something she was not sure all the Sylvari on the team knew of and of course entirely unknown to few outside of Sylvaria, except for the Khords, but they lived far from the human lands. She was thankful that most of the team are Sylvari. Still she had kept much to herself. They knew her by the name of Elessar Loe'ari en'Rilma (Lotus of Light). In a sense it was a part of her name now, as the castle being built for her carried that name, Loe'ari en'Rilma Isthel. It was being built by Khords and Sylvari on a rocky peninsula overlooking the lowlands between the Duin Rilma and the Duin Lotesira, the River of Light and the River of Flowers, the only place known in Sylvaria where the Lotus of Light grew.

When she is alone, she speaks quickly to Danamar, "There are things I need to share with the team once we are clear of all possible listeners."

With that Elessarare slipped outside and was immediately joined by Comrade who had been standing patiently under a nearby tree, where she had asked him to stay. Not that he always stayed where she told him. When the mountain became too much for the quickly maturing colt she had sent him back to the camp of the Scouts and Rangers who patrolled the borders. Even though he was now fully mature, a surprising event in itself, she could do very little to break his habit of following her, as she was his mother, his foster mother. It was hard to think of him as a full grown Teu'Kelytha (Moon Horse) even now, though normally he would be still running with his mother. Maybe it was Adaron who had granted Comrade the speedy growth, for within a few months of taking on the juvenile’s guardianship she had noticed the change in him, and after their separation at the Chakran Mountains and the weeks of dealing with the Goblins, Orcs, Ogres, and Trolls that have been gathered by the Demon to march into Sylvari and the discovery of the Chakran Portals, she had returned to find and full grown stallion running down to meet her. She had learn on returning that he would daily visit the top of Wyvern’s Mount, as it was now called, searching for her return. His loyalty and devotion were now sung of in songs, and when at last his keen violet eyes spotted to struggling figures attempting to climb the steep narrow trail up to Wyvern’s Mount from the back side, Comrade galloped down the mountain, and then bore she and Malius to the Scout camp, now far more than that as the Armies of the Sylvari had come here to deal with the Demon’s army. Not that they knew about the Demon until Elessarae had been able to write down the needed facts to be taken to the Generals and she and Malius received healing and a much needed rest.


Well, he did not look like a Moon Horse right now. The high Druid had given her a concoction to dye his coat so that now his gleaming silvery white hide was spotted with grulla (mousey-gray) spots. The first time she had dyed him he kept looking at himself.

Elessarae then headed for the markets of gather dried fruits and nuts, honey, and rolled oats. As she moved about the market stalls Comrade trailed after her like a dog. With the needed supplies she headed to Master Paul’s bakery. The old man nodded to her when she entered.

“I will need a few loaves of you journey bread, and a big batch of honey biscuits.”

Elessarae had first come to him a few weeks back to make up a batch of honey biscuits for Comrade, it was something he enjoyed immensely. The old man had tasted the results, not knowing they were made for her horse, and quickly asked for the recipe. He did not bake his as hard as Elessarae wanted, but his customers gobbled up the softer bars with relish. So she went to work mixing and forming the honey bars and then sets the sheets of bars into his ovens to bake.

“These are to get hard, she said, looking back at the doorway to see Comrade filling it and his eyes on the trays as she put them in.

She cleaned up and then headed for the cottage out back. It had been Master Paul’s home until he had a bigger house built and rather than take a room in an inn or boarding house, she opted for renting the cottage, mainly because of Comrade, he liked being with her.

She filled an old bread mixing tough with a measure of grain and gathered a couple of armfuls of hay and grass for Comrade’s meal and headed inside to gather her things for the trip. Between taking out the finished bars and putting in the unbaked ones she had gather what she needed and set it out ready for the next day. When the last batch was out and cool she took two sacks and went back to the bakery to bag up the biscuits.

Mater Paul was closing up for the night as she filled the two bags with about equal numbers of bars.

“Will we see you at dinner?”

“Of course and I will bring my harp.” nodded Elessarae.

“Excellent.”


In the dark of the morning Elessarae rose dressed, armored and armed herself and then moved to the small pile of equipment. Comrade came to her, from outside, and stood quietly as she thoroughly groomed him and then placed a tufted lamb’s wool blanket on his tall broad back, followed by a shaped and padded riding pad that acted as her saddle. Next came a breast plate and breeching, and then she buckled on a single specially shaped strap the hung around the stallion’s neck with hand hold on it. She let down the stirrups that were also made of hard, shaped leather so that if they hit anything they would not make a clanking sound like iron stirrups. Finally came her saddle bags and her harp.

Comrade’s hooves made little sound on the cobbled streets, for he went shoeless, Nature had given the Moon Horse very tough hooves. The most she had to do was rasp them every so often. So it was she guided him by legs alone and the simple verbal directions of, “We are going to the East Gate.” Comrade wore not bridle, he did not need one.

The tell tale dimming of the stars in the east told her that morning was near as she reached the gate to find Danamar and Tariel already there.


Posted on 2010-02-17 at 05:42:39.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


We ride

As the briefing ended and the members of the militia took to their own affairs for the evening; preparation for the day ahead, Daldren ran over the information learned as well as his own experiences a few more times. There was something that didn’t sit right with him. Above and beyond the gruesome account of death in the south, his mind was running more over something he had witnessed himself a few nights before. As Daldren Gray made his way back into the streets of Visden towards ‘The lucky lady’, a cheap gambling house used by the lower working class to try and fill their often meager purse, it struck him. The night he had felt the pervasive wind, it occurred to him that though he and those around him seemed affected by the chill, his own clothing had not been rustled, the banners hanging overhead had not swayed, nor had layers of filth and dust in the old quarter been swirled along the broken cobblestone.

This did not sit well with the quiet man. He felt like he should have figured it out sooner, perhaps shared it at the briefing. There would be time for that later though when they met in the morning. He did however see fit to inform Danamar of his observation, to give their leader a heads up, time to mull over the severity of the implications of his claim. If the wind targeted the living, and the living alone, then it likely was no mere natural phenomena. Quickening his stride, Daldren entered the gambling house and quickly went to his rented room, where locking the door behind him, he lit but a single candle, casting shadows about the small quarters. Stripping down and taking account of all his belongings, he layered them under the covers in the rough shape of a human form, pulling the blanket high, instead curling up into the black corner upon his bedroll where he took his sleep. It had been many years since Daldren had comfortably slept in a real bed. There was something inviting to death and misfortune if one’s sleep was too sound, too deep. Daldren knew this fact all too well.

Awakening in the early morning hours, the warrior rose to stretch, packing up his gear as he headed downstairs and sunk into the crowd, observing the games they played, but never wagering himself. It was there he ate in silence, his final decent meal before departing he expected. Venison slow roasted in a hearty broth full of vegetables, thick pieces of sourdough for dunking, and a glass of red wine had left the soldier’s stomach appeased for the morning. Leaving the rest of the gold coin as tip, he stood in the early morning hours and made his way back into the streets, headed towards the outpost where his own steed was kept in waiting. Entering the compound along the southern wall under cover of night Daldren entered the stables and approached his own painted wild mustang, the horse he had been tending to since it was a colt years earlier. The young horses muscles were thick its mane shiny from considerable care.

“We ride in my friend” Daldren said as he passed his hand over the horses mouth, up over the bridge of its face and to rub gently behind its ears. Adjusting the military saddle upon his steed, and double checking enough feed, water, and supplies had been gathered for the journey. Daldren mounted ‘Diego” as the sound of a portcullis was raised. Heading down into a large water runoff grate, the cool water splashing around Diego’s hooves, Daldren exited the city of Visden even as the heavy grate of the sewer drain lowered back into place. He had used this passage a dozen times, it was more convenient than waiting for the City Watch to open the main gates. It also allowed him to run Diego free for awhile, to stretch the horses’ leg’s and allow him an early morning jaunt before he would stop just outside of the Eastern gate, allowing Diego to graze while he awaited the city’s opening for the new day with the rest of the traveler’s who eagerly awaited entry.


Posted on 2010-02-17 at 20:42:50.
Edited on 2010-02-17 at 23:50:42 by Kaelyn

Raven
Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 65/3
975 Posts


Yes?

Tariel was the first to arrive and reported in so soldierlike that it made Danamar smile. He resisted the urge to say "At ease, soldier" like someone with a better sense of humor might have done. Even though he had some background as a member of a town guard and had grown up watching his father commanding lower ranking Stormriders, the military approach did not sit well with Danamar - at least not the human way did. So instead of replying aloud, Danamar nodded to the female scout instead and waited for the others to arrive.

Tarse had appointed him as the leader of their little group, but had decided to omit the part "why". Danamar had received no explanation as of why he was to head a team of three other sylvari and two humans and why not Daldren or Elessarae instead. At 134 years of age, he was still a young man for one of his kind and lacked the wisdom brought by centuries of experience like his father had. Yet he accepted the appointment without question. If it gave him a better opportunity and means to combat darkness, then so be it.

The bladesinger was the next to show up. It came as a bit of a surprise to Danamar that Daldren was not there yet, but he had no doubt the man would be there and gave it no more thought. Despite the disguise Elessarae had given Comrade, Danamar could see the beauty of the legendary creature. It was not every day that one had the honor of gazing upon a moon-horse even if its true identity was hidden from less perceptive eyes. Though trained to handle well even in the midst of combat, the mighty stallion made the priest's own mare a little nervous as it arrived at the gatehouse. Nieninque could sense the power in the other horse and was likewise awed by its presence.

As Elessarae unmounted her wondrous horse, she cast a look at Danamar which said she needed a word. There was no need for her to voice her question, The Warden could read the request from the look in her gaze as it lingered in his eyes for a heartbeat longer than was necessary for a mere greeting. The priest nodded his raven-haired head in acknowledgement and turned to the scout standing next to him. "Tariel, could you please go and ask the gatekeepers if they could move forward the opening of the gates." Danamar did not say aloud that he wanted to have a private word with Elessarae, but it was no doubt clear to Tariel that the request was merely an excuse for that.

As the other female syl moves to comply with the team leader's wish, Danamar nodded for Elessarae to speak up.


Posted on 2010-02-18 at 10:49:47.

Reepacheep
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 4/6
36 Posts


A start...

BRIEFING ROOM

”Done already?” commented Teo, as he watched the other MV6 members ready themselves to leave.

”Aye,” came the Showman’s reply as he joined the rat is watching the others leave.

When only Teo and Mendez remained, the rat piped up, ”So…”
”So, we ride for Prilm tomorrow, before the sun rises,” Mendez answered grimly.

”Prilm?! Well, that will be nice!” cheeped Teo, not catching the dark tone in Mendez’ voice. “A little reunion will be nice! Remember that sweet albino lass with those magnificent red eyes? Wow! She was like a wild cat, you know what I mean?” The rat jumped onto the table, stood up on his hind legs and steadied himself with his tail, before he started making doing some obscene dance. "'Oh, yes, lassie! Purrr for me! Purrr for m…'” Teo noted Mendez was staring a bit absently out to nowhere, as if he wasn’t really listening, but the rat misunderstood. “But riding out at sunrise?!” he groaned, thinking Mendez was blue about their departure time. ”Why not mid-morning? Why do we always have to try and beat the su…”
”They’re all dead,” the mage interrupted.

Teo’s ears piqued up, ”What’s that you say? Dead? Who’s dead?”
”Prilm, Teo! Prilm!” Mendez shouted in a violent outburst, which surprise both him and the rat. Catching his emotions, Mendez continued as he reached down and picked up the rat, stroking it’s cheek. ”My apologies, my dear friend. My emotions got the best of me. Will you forgive me?”
But Teo was trying to process the news he had just heard. ”All dead?” he squeaked softly.

”Aye,” replied Mendez gently, holding the rat close as he rose to leave.


[OOC: That’s all I have time for right now… so tired! I may try to post something up tomorrow, we’ll see. Here’s my plan though: pack up in the afternoon, go out for the evening/night, sleep for 5 hours, meet up with the others at the gate.]



Posted on 2010-02-19 at 07:00:51.
Edited on 2010-02-19 at 07:09:06 by Reepacheep

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Elessarae


Danamar had proved to be a steady and thoughtful leader, even if Elessarae outranked him, she was still learning what it was to be a Bladesinger, one of Sylvaria's Elite Warriors. It had been hard enough in the weeks and months after she passed her sudden testing and named Bladesinger, and then had been sent off to do a simple scouting of what the Goblins were up to in the Chakran Mountains. There were times when she still found herself disbelieving of her title though the Incident of the Chakran Demon made her name known throughout Sylvaria.

For now she was just Elessar, and common enough name.

"It is alright Tariel knows what I have to say, as she took part in it." She nods to Tariel and much to give her the option of staying or going. She had met Tariel as she came out to them after they had descended Wyvern's Mount. SHe took them to a nearby scout camp and it was she who carried Elessarae's report to the Royal Encampment.

"Danamar, what do you know of an incident in the Chakran Mountains about a year and a half ago?"

She had no idea of his connection to Sylvaria or what had happened there, so it would be important to know if he knew anything.



Posted on 2010-02-19 at 19:58:11.
Edited on 2010-02-19 at 20:09:10 by Dragon Mistress

   
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