It was all Kresimir could do not to cut off the Raslan after one such statement, but he let the little one finish before looking down at the wee one.
"Thieves and scoundrel's steal lil one. I merely claimed a trophy of battle, a token of rememberance for why life was lost that day... thusly I have been called all that I loath, and now a thief, and yet you wish me calm. Stay thy tongue, for in my camp amongst my clansmen it would have been removed by now."
Kresimir turned to look at Jauris however before continuing. "But this is not my camp, and my clansmen lay slaughtered, and your spokesman is right. It is I who have found myself here. I mean no harm, and will aid as I can those who have suffered as I have. If there is a party being formed and the chance for battle, then let me be judged by the end of a blade, or not at all. My anger runs deep, and my hunger not yet sated."
The giant of a man towered over everyone present at a full six and a half feet tall, and he ran a hand filled with thick fingers blanketed in rugged worn flesh through his black hair, before down along his chin, where stubble had grown into a 5 oclock shadow.
"Well then my suspicious little ragamuffins... what say you?"
DnD Klingon gonna get himself killed before page 3... lol
As things heated up between the half-giant and Korviss, Tobias stepped up beside the Raslan. The ex-templar didn’t think the “wee one” needed protection. No, he worry was for the stranger that had entered their camp. Tobias feared the edgy scouts might be second guessing their decision to bring the brute of man, and checked to see if any had drawn their bow strings yet.
The stranger spoke, "Well then my suspicious little ragamuffins... what say you?"
“This man is no templar,” Tobias spoke to Jarius, but loud enough for all the crowd to hear. “Ilphian’s seekers are Sylns, which this stranger is clearly not. Beyond that, his armor would be better fitted if he were indeed a Seeker.”
Turning to look at the stranger, Tobias drew his own sword in a non-threatening way, and also placed it into the ground before him as a sign of peace. “I also doubt he is an agent for the Cardinal…” A seldom seen grin came over his face as he completed his sentence, “as he most definitely lacks a honeyed tongue common to the profession.”
[OOC: Feel free to insert a comment here… I could write more, but really, I’m interested how Tek’s NPCs will respond. Tek?]
Tirmut 5th, 1022
Refugee Camp, Near Scarwood.
What had begun as a suggestion to to gather aid for Asten had rapidly degenerated into a shoving match of wills, the halfling standing his ground before the towering Kresimir. Tensions arose among all onlookers when the Gano rammed his great sword into the earth before Koriss, and although he claimed it were not his intention to generate hostility, such an act trod on the boundaries of the Raslan's innate survival skills.
It was Tobias, whose eyes and mental clarity saw through the bloodied garb that Kresimir arrived in, that brought peace to the scene by driving his own blade into the soil, thus disarming himself before the brutish warrior. His sly comment on Kresimir's speaking style eased the nerves just slightly, but it was enough for a greying-haired woman to force her way into the scene.
In her early forties, her white and yellow robes unkempt and frayed from long periods of living roughly, Sister Adriss Avairiss had taken on a matronly role to the refugee camp, leading the faithful in their spiritual needs and tending to the wounded and sickly. Though he was a stranger, and his actions among the nervous members of the camp had raised tensions, the blood on Kresimir's body identified him as one in need of aid.
“This must cease.” Her voice was calming, though each word carried stopping force earned through a life as a servant of the Angel of Mercy. “There is a time and place to settle our anger, but this is not the place, and this man does not seem to be deserving of it. He is bloodied and weary, as were many of us who came to this place.”
The arrival of Adriss seem to restore to Jauris his voice, and the camp leader cleared his throat. “Sister Adriss is correct. This is to be a haven against the horrors that are tearing our land apart.” He gestured with a hand towards the areas beyond the campground. “We have to be strong and stand tall. There is strength in numbers, and each of us here has our own place and duty.”
He moved over to stand beside Adriss, who had her hands folded within the sleeves of her vestments. Both looked to Kresimir. “This man claims to have slain a Temple knight. And says he is ready to assist again. As young Asten has informed us, much can be gained by a strong sword-arm on our side. I believe that a suitable means of cleansing his name here would be to partake in finding Rain.”
A slow smile crept across Adriss' thin lips as Jauris took hold of the situation. Mercy had been granted.
“Does that mean..?” Asten had moved in on the scene, standing between a pair of clerics, attendants to Adriss who had followed her over.
Jauris nodded. “For our own survival against odds set against us, we need a group of people willing to seek out the men and women who were picked off from the most recent refugee arrival. Survivors are the first priority, with supplies being second. If the bandits have a camp, its possible that they may also have some things of use to our needs. Though it will most certainly be dangerous.”
This was one of the primary reasons Jauris held the position he did. His voice commanded respect. It instilled courage in listeners. It bolstered the spirit to help one be strong against adversity. Hope was a powerful armour to be worn in a land where hazards loomed over every passing day.
“All able-bodied men and women are not to depart. The camp cannot be left unguarded. A small group would be suitable, for stealth and mobility. And from the looks of things, we have three who are ready. Are there any others who would set out?”
While members of the onlooking crowd began to murmur among themselves, Adriss moved over and stood behind Koriss, gently placing her slender hands upon the Raslan's shoulders. Leaning down, she whispered in the halfling's ear.
“I know you come from a difficult place. This is not the first time the world has stood against you. To suppress your instincts in the way you did... You show exceptional self-control. A trait I have seen lacking among the clergy men and women I have seen in my years.”
With that, she straightened and walked back into the camp, set to commence with her days activities. The sick and hurt would always require care. Today was no different.
(OOC: Having not received a post from Shield Wolf or Nimu, they will just be in the crowd. I received notice from Shield Wolf that he won't be able to post till the first of December, but for the moment, we'll just keep him where he is.)
Posted on 2010-11-24 at 07:08:47.
Edited on 2010-11-24 at 07:09:13 by Tek
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
At the matrons words Koriss slowly began to calm himself. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly and loudly. A minute alter, when he finally spoke his voice was the more cheerful one that the camp recognized from his stories and entertainment.
"I suppose I should go get my things then. When should we leave Juaris?"
(Assuming an answer here)
"Alright. I guess soon enough I'll have another great tale to recount for the camp." The Raslan pasted a huge grin on his face as he looked around at the gathered crowd. "Don't worry my friends. Your storyteller will return! After all, it can't be a good tale if I can't tell it right? Cheer up, and get yourself ready for some new comrades!" With that he cast a scathing glance at the templar dressed stranger and gave a cheerful wave to the rest of the crowd, then he turned and headed for the covered hammock he called home.
Well, at the very least this should be an interesting trip...
It would appear that once again Nick's ever thoughtful mind had gotten the better of him. As he pondered the boy's words, and tried to recall where he had heard the word Muussa, it seemed that some sort of commotion had started off behind him at the outskirts of the camp. By the time he had broken away from his train of thought the entire ordeal had been resolved and new plans had started to arise from the aftermath.
He overheard the halfling storyteller announce with great confidence that he would be back, and with another great tale to tell at that. He asked the nearest person to him what was going on, and was told that a group was to be setting out to find young Asten's missing companions, and more notably his sister.
Nick made his way through the camp, taking a place in the clearing next to the halfling and the larger newcomer. He announced to all gathered, while looking to Juaris, "If a group is to set out, I would like to accompany them. I know I have only just arrived myself, but if this Rain girl truly knows a way to cure the Flash Fever then I would rather be part of the mission to rescue her than just wait around here. My talents are probably better suited to this task than anything within the camp anyway."
Posted on 2010-11-26 at 17:42:38.
Edited on 2010-11-27 at 05:20:22 by Shield Wolf
Hey! Wait a minute... I didn't sign up for this!... jk
Tobias surveyed the scene in front of him. Why he had stepped out for this stranger, the ex-templar did not know. But he had... and now it seemed he, the gano and the raslan would be pushing words aside in favor of a rescue.
Tobias laughed as Korviss proclaimed that he would return soon with a new story for the camp. "I hope I shall find a place in your craft, good sir," he said to the raslan with a smile... and deep down, Tobias did hope for a place. Though the thought wasn't conscious yet, Tobias hoped that maybe, just maybe, the stories of him serving the oppressed might erased the memories of his former life.
It was his former life, displayed boldly before him in the symbols of the Order's armor, the moved the ex-templar towards the gano. Grabbing the man's massive sword from the earth, Tobias returned it to the stranger before retrieving his own. "Tobias," he said. "That's my name, stranger. Now, whaddaya say we go see if we can get a little something to eat and maybe you cleaned up a bit before we head out." Clapping the man's back, Tobias suggested with a grin, "I know this armor is fashionable in some places these days, but maybe we can find you something more in your size."
Kresimir listened as Koriss proclaimed his return, and intent to put to tale the upcoming task. The Gano was accustomed to storytelling, for the Kirvass were a learned and varied people, bringing tales from their nomadic journeys across the miles from camp to camp.
The large man dismissed the raslan's look before he parted, time would settle any lingering hostility he figured, and there was little time to waste if they were to make headway before the sun peaked.
It was however, the new-comer to the commotion, Tobias he had introduced himself as, that sped things along however, if pleasant small talk, and a clasp upon his broad back to ease any tensions.
"Food is fine and well. Kresimir of the Ebon Bear always has time for food." The Gano took up the large sword Tobias had returned to him, before taking up the reigns of his horse and preparing to follow. "As for the armor, I agree it reeks of cowardice and ignorance, a stench I am eager to do without if at all possible." Pulling round the dark grey cloak bearing the open eye of Mallien however, he took forth a small dagger, and cut a slash clear through the religious emblem a jagged tear in the middle of the cloak across the insignia's height.
Now, that's a bit more accurate wouldn't you say? For surely the God has been blinded if his clergymen are carrying out genocidal murder under the pretenses of his will and Dogma." Kresimir spit upon the ground once more standing aside Tobias, and clasping him on the back with his free hand and a grin.
"But we'll not be worryin bout none o' that. We'll let all them Templar bastard's fall to our blades, and let the rest o' the pantheon sort em out."
Posted on 2010-11-27 at 21:35:37.
Edited on 2010-11-27 at 21:36:08 by Kaelyn
Tirmut 5th, 1022
Refugee Camp, Near Scarwood.
“Four or five should be a good enough number.” Jauris affirmed as the volunteers submitted themselves to the task at hand. “Whenever you are ready is a sufficient time to depart, though sooner would be better than later.”
While Koriss still held reservations about heading out with this stranger, the camaraderie between soldiers did an exceptional job of shattering the remaining unease between Tobias and the big man. Along with the halfling, the three made their way back into the camp, running mental lists of what would be required to prepare for a rescue of the refugees. Nick, however, trailed behind, and was intercepted by one of Adriss' aides, a woman in her early twenties with a warm smile and straw-blonde hair. In her slender hands, she clutched a white bag, and extended it to the cleric at his approach.
“This is from the infirmary. While our faiths and creeds may differ, we seek the same outcome here. Whether consumed by one of you, or given to those you seek in the woodlands, this will restore some of your strength in times of need.” Her hands now empty, she folded them at her waist. Nicholas opened the bag and looked inside, to be met by the putrid smell wafting off of some small orange brick-like cakes. He recoiled from the odour, drawing a slight giggle from the cleric of Liris. “You are familiar with Tikkla?”
Amid the unclean and roughened bodies of the refugees throughout the camp, Koriss veered away from Kresimir and Tobias, heading for his own little haven within the borders. Maintaining some optimism, both for himself and for those around him who recognized him as a frequent morale-lifter, the Raslan would again serve that purpose in assisting in the retrieval of the captured. But first, he needed his belongings.
Upon arriving at his hammock, he found his things piled neatly, right where he left them. Camp etiquette was to thank for that; in a place where everybody counted on everybody else for survival, one did not take what did not belong to them. Especially when it would be easy enough to track down and deal with those in your midst.
He stopped beside his little site, feeling as though he were being watched. Ingrained sense from life in the gutters. Looking around, he noticed a small group of a few young women, not older than seventeen or eighteen, smiling shyly at him. They giggled and looked away when Koriss set eyes on them, and it wasn't long before they hurried off into the crowds. Evidently, the Raslan and his tales had acquired something of a fan base.
Getting back to gearing up, Koriss noticed something dark tucked beneath his pack, a black and blue cloth folded neatly into a triangle. Unfolding it, he found it to be a slightly tattered bandana, into which a small scrap of parchment had been folded. Picking it up, he read the single sentence upon it.
Come back alive!
Kresimir's destruction of the motif on his cloak had drawn eyes upon himself and Tobias, though this time, not in a bad fashion. People no longer stopped what they were doing to look upon him, but he did seem to be the focus of attention from what people were ordinarily doing. But, nobody stood in their way as the pair headed for one of the cookfires, getting themselves a tin plate full of venison stew with some foraged root vegetables. It smelled hearty, and would certainly fill the belly, but it was rapidly becoming a common meal around the camp.
A hot meal later, they struck out in search of some more suitable armour for Kresimir, at the same time allowing Tobias to gather up his own belongings. While a better-fit of protective gear was not to be found among the meager supplies brought and collected by the residents of the shanty town, Tobias was somewhat surprised to find Asten bringing forth his expedition gear.
“I asked around to find where you kept your things.” The youth explained as he handed over the equipment, smiling awkwardly. A moment or two of silence passed before he kicked at the ground with the heel of his shoe. “I wish there was something I could do to help here... She's my sister. I don't even have anything to offer you for this. Maybe some day, when this is all over.”
In that moment, the lad had spoken words that reflected just how heavily this civil war was taxing the people of Alcana. Even the young were growing up too quickly. “The bandits came when we were near some kind of marsh. We ran from there until we thought we were safe. I hope that helps you on your search. May Candri guide you on your way.”
Assembled near the edge of the camp, ready to head out along the trodden pathway to the east, were the four volunteers, geared up for the foray ahead. The entirety of the trail-worn arrivals of the morning, along with Jauris and Adriss, had assembled to bid them good luck and blessings from the gods. Their starting point, as Tobias and Kresimir had learned, near a marshy area somewhere to the east, so that would be the ideal site to start off into Scarwood in the search for any survivors.
The early summer afternoon cast warmth and a gentle breeze, ideal for the trek ahead. Long prairie grasses swayed slowly in the breeze, and to their right, the leaves of the ancient trees of Scarwood rustled upon the boughs. If anything, at least Yeil had provided them a suitable day for what was to come.
(OOC: Just taking care of things in camp before departing. Backpost a little if you like. I'll try to get another update in next Monday, or, if all posts are in beforehand, perhaps a little earlier. Sorry, ran out of time and had to rush the ending.
After volunteering his services for the rescue mission that had unfolded amidst the chaos Nick set out to retrieve his personal belongings from the spot he had left them upon settling in to listen to the stories told by the child-like Raslan. On his way he was stopped by an attendant of the matron of this camp, who handed him a bag and chuckled at his reaction to the foul odor. "I had heard of Tikkla, yes, but the stories did nothing to prepare me for this smell. I offer you many thanks for the medicine, and hope that we will not need to use it all."
Reaching his property he set about donning his armor and getting his weapons in place. As much as he loathed violence he knew that in this point in their history it was nearly unavoidable and it was better to be prepared than caught unaware. He found a suitable scrap with which to tie the Tikkla bag shut so it wouldn't spill and placed it carefully into his pack.
He then rummaged through the pack and pulled forth his journal, pen, and ink and set about to writing about the events that had just unfolded, all the while saying a silent prayer to The Great Librarian, asking his watchful eyes to be with this group and thanking him for this chance to gain more knowledge, especially knowledge as valuable as a way to stop the Flash Fever.
Posted on 2010-11-30 at 18:41:30.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
Offering a sly grin to the young ladies gathered nearby, he took up the tattered bandana and tied it around his right bicep.
He gathered his things, tossing his daggers in the air a few times to test their weight and balance before sheathing them. He made sure to make his way by the ladies. "So, which one of you might I be returning to?"
Stopping only for a moment he offered a wave and said "Don't worry. You'll see me again, I assure you."
After that he headed over to the meeting place, equipment in hand. He saw others gathered nearby so he plastered a smile on his face and approached them.
"So, who has some food for a hungry storyteller eh? I'm not sure I have enough for the trip. Where are we going again? I thought I heard something about a swamp or wetland or something. I'll have to work at it but I'm sure I can turn that into a good story. I might have to cut out the mosquitos and a few nasties, but it'll do. Well, other than that I guess I'm ready."
As he turned to his soon-to-be comrades his smile faltered. Great... and I was hoping my suggestion would be ignored for once... I guess I'll have to deal with him sooner or later. By the time his gaze returned to the gathering crowd his pattented smile was back on his face and a joyful bounce was in his step. He was going off adventureing after all, and to save some new friends no less. He generally enjoyed the challenge of such things. Hopefully this would give him the story that he had promised the refugees without him having to embellish too much.
Tobias kept the Gano company as they went in search of food. The ex-templar surprised himself... normally, he kept to himself, and kept his thoughts even closer. Maybe, it was the armor the Gano worn, ill-fit as it was. Stop worrying 'bout it, man, Tobias chided himself.
The stew was fine enough... Tobias was pleased enough they had food to eat, and hot at that! However, the search for armor for the gano was a vain pursuit.
Asten bringing his gear suprised Tobias. The ex-templar felt completely undeserving of the gesture, and as the young man spoke of repayment, Tobias thought darkly, If only you knew, lad. It is I who needs to make the payment... payment for the innocent lives my hands have taken.
The boy gave him some vague clues to the location of the bandit camp. Tobias had hoped for more. The ex-templar was fearful that the bandit camp likely had scouts keeping watch just as his camp did. Wandering around in the bush and the swamp, searching for a camp seemed like a good way to get spotted by watchful scouts. Korviss might have the footfalls of a cat, Tobias thought.
Still, the nearly unspeakable hope that some girl might have a cure for the Fever... Tobias would gladly go crashing through the swamp, take the pain of a thousand arrows, and lay down his life for the rescue of such a hope.
The boy better not be lying!
As they gathered, near the camp's end, Tobias confirmed the Raslan's suspicion. "Indeed, my friend! We head east, into Scarwood. A forested swamp be about the best landmark we got so far. So, we best be on on way, keep our eyes open for sentries."
The Gano followed Tobias to where he was able to savior a hearty stew. It may have lacked bountiful herbs and spices, or rich wine stocks, but it was most enjoyable on the large man's starved pallet and empty stomach.
Kresimir didn't exactly have any gear to gather, everything he owned was upon his back, and his obtained charger Deliverance. He walked around the campgrounds however, assisting in setting up an extra shelter for new arrivals, and moving some heavy logs for seating, anything to bide the time until he was given the word that they'd be heading out into the Scarwood.
When the call reached his ears however, he gathered Deliverance and met the others with a resolute posture and a grim visage set upon his face. "Serious business bandits, striking like mosquitoes, then fluttering away filled to the brim with their stolen bounty. Let's squash us some insects and return the lost and scared to their kin shall we?"
Kresimir let out a deep guffaw, trying to motivate and put some positivity into the air, for he knew tension and uncertainty ran high amongst the refugees, and likely, deep down, amongst his companions as well.
Posted on 2010-12-06 at 22:07:48.
Edited on 2010-12-06 at 22:08:20 by Kaelyn
Tirmut 5th, 1022
Fed and geared, ready for the road, the quartet, accompanied by the horse Kresimir arrived upon, set out for the east. Staying close to the forest edge, watchful eyes swept the depths of the depths of the lush green to the best of their ability, surveying the vicinity for both scouts and for the marshy landmark which they sought to start from. A gentle breeze fluttered leaves upon their branches, a soft hymn from the wildlands to see them along.
At a pace hurried along by necessity, the group, even Koriss with his shorter strides, rapidly ate up the miles. It was Nick's keen observational skills that logged their progress, and by the time the sun had begun its descent to the western horizon, he determined that they had covered approximately twelve miles. The terrain around Scarwood's boundaries was none-too-favourable, overtaken by upraised roots and pitted soil. So, it was easy to see how a group of refugees, focused on not stumbling or falling behind, could be so easily overtaken by an ambush.
It didn't take a skilled tracker to spot the traces left behind by the arrivals of the day, where the grasses had been flattened out in a hurry and footprints scattered all over the ground. It was doubtful that any of those newcomers could maintain a running pace for long, especially after days on the road, so this frantic trail likely meant they were near their destination. They spread out slightly, eyes open for clues, but no more were found in the area.
The realization came that the elderly spokeman for the refugees had mentioned that their assailants likely sought supplies, so its likely the grounds would have been picked clean if anything had been dropped or knocked away, so rather than attempt to track, they reset their eyes for the marsh.
The setting sun was beginning to cast a rich amber wash across the land, pocketed by creeping shadows from the frequent trees, when their destination was located. Tobias was the one to spot it, sited actually within the treeline itself. A thick clump of willows obscured it from immediate view, but, detecting the stuttering song of Moorhens calling to one another, he pushed through and found it.
Peeking through the trees, sunlight beamed off the murky surface of the fen, covered in a lush carpet of algae and lily pads. Mosses clung to everything rimming the water, and swamp birds flicked their heads beneath the surface, searching out their supper on the opposite side. Maybe fifty feet across and little more than that wide, it wasn't quite as impressive as it had been made to seem by Asten. Though, perhaps it was merely because an attack had been launched in this area, it came to be interpreted as more of a battleground.
Nonetheless, this was where the bandits had raided and scattered the refugee train, and this was where the first step in finding Rain would take place. With the sun well on its way beyond the west, however, and within two or three hours, the land would soon be cloaked in darkness. Weather signs showed a clear overnight on the way, though tomorrow was impossible to try to predict. Still, there was plenty of shelter in the nearby area, though on the other side of the water, it would likely be possible to press on through the darkness with a bit of extra care involved in navigating the thick underbrush of the primordial realm.
(OOC: Marsh reached at the end of day one. Any questions...well, that's why we have a Q/A )
Hiking for hours on end had never been Nick's idea of a good time, yet it was something he was growing used to having been out of the monastery and being on the run. The hours were long and grueling, the terrain unforgiving, but they had to push on if they intended to find the refugees they sought.
As the hours dragged on Nick occupied his mind by recalling stories he had heard during his travels. Tall tales that were stories of brave warrior venturing into swamps to slay dragons, fiends, trolls and other foes of varied origin. It filled his normally humble mind with pride to think that in ages to came people may recount this journey around campfires, pubs, and story rings across the nations if the girl they sought turned out to truly hold the secrets her brother claimed.
As the weary group approached the edge of the swamp Nick was the first to speak up, "If I may offer a suggestion, I believe it best that we set up camp for the time being. Not only would it be wiser to venture into the swamps fully rested, I know I'll be of much more use myself if I get a full 8 hours of sleep. That said, I will volunteer to take the first watch, assuming I'll be able to get the rest I need during the 2nd and possibly 3rd shift's watch. Also, I'm willing and able to administer aid to anyone who may require it."
((If it is needed, convert Sound Burst to Cure Moderate Wounds for healing on our large friend. During the course of the watch he'll also cast Magic Weapon on his Morning Star, Bull's Strength on himself, and Guidance; just to be prepared in case something happens during his watch.))
The journey had been fair enough so far, the trail made by the refugees easy enough to follow. But as the sun began to set while they were still near the swamp, Tobias had a sinking feeling they would not be completing the rescue mission today. The good priest was the first to suggest they stop for the night. The ex-templar had been rather impressed with Friar Nick... for a traveling preacher, the man had keep a good pace.
“If I may offer a suggestion,” Friar Nick began. “I believe it best that we set up camp for the time being...”
While Tobias wanted to drive further on, he saw tactical wisdom in the Friar’s words: It would be hard to navigate through the unfamiliar fens in the dark; the thickening growth around the fens would make it difficult to lead Kresimir’s charger, even more so with the sun going down; the bandits probably were more familiar with the terrain; his team looked as though they could use the rest.
“The good friar is correct,” Tobias piped in his agreement. “We could all use the rest.”
And with that, Tobias sought a spot that would provide the group with as much positional advantage as possible. Having selected a spot that met the group’s approval, Tobias got to work setting up camp.