The sudden realization that he'd travelled a great distance in a single step was a staggering one. When the portal had ripped itself into existence before him he had known he'd soon find himself through it, but what he hadn't known was where precisely he would find himself afterwards. As he found himself in a darkening inn, he began to wonder precisely what kind of trouble he'd found himself involved in.
He wasn't the only one who trouble had found however, as one by one others arrived, some alone, some with pets, and one with (of all things) a horse. He paused a moment on the last one, examining the markings on his shield which revealed him as a warrior of the gods, not dissimilar to himself. Once he'd determined the reason and location of this calling, he'd have to speak to the raven-haired man. Perhaps an erstwhile ally made early would pay dividends in this unknown situation.
His attention returned to the situation at hand, and to the robed man at the centre table. Given the energy arching about the room, and the strained look on the man's face it was clear he was having trouble maintained the portals that had transported Henrik and the others to the Inn. His suspicions were confirmed with just one word from the hooded man.
One by one the portals collapsed, and Henrik spun about as the one he'd taken folded onto itself and disappeared. To his right, more and more shut, one just as a figure was making his way through. As a blinding light washed over his eyes, Henrik raised his shield to guard his face, lowering it as the spots faded from his vision, only to see the latest entrant torn asunder by the magical energies surrounding him. Turning to the seated man with a startled look, Henrik was dismayed to find the man had toppled from his chair, and lay prone on the floor.
Henrik soon found himself without time to let the surprise settle in, as the heavy creak of rafters overhead alerted him to immediate danger. Flames darted to and from the ceiling, and were spreading rapidly to the rest of the building. Lacking an explanation for why he'd been called, and now seemingly trapped in his own flaming mausoleum, Henrik began to wonder if maybe travelling through the portal had been a bit of a mistake.
This was no time for contemplation however, and the others around him sprung into action. Henrik's attention was called first to the one that brought them here, and he and another rushed towards the body. As his new companions reached the corpse first, andbegan handling over it. By the time Henrik reached the man, the other had stepped away, heading towards the blocked door in hopes of providing an escape route.
The robed figure was clearly dead when Henrik reached him, but the lack of answers thus far provided gnawed at him. Strapping his shield over his shoulder, Henrik lifted the man's limp figure in his arms, heading over to assist the others with the door however he could. Their calling here was not random, and perhaps the man he now carried could provide explanation, if only in death.
What had begun with a single step, a testing of faith, resolve, morality and self worth; had ended in a frantic situation resulting in the deaths of at least two individuals, both strangers amongst the rest. One, a poor victim of a cruel fate, the other –their caller—seemed to have succumbed to his end before he could even shed light on the supposed direness of his summons.
It seemed getting out of their sundered surroundings was an agreed priority, but for some, so too were finding answers to who the mage was, as well as why they had been called. Vincente quickly went over to the fallen mage, claiming the disk that had bound the portals, and the small box upon the table, before rifling through the dead man’s robes. Peeling back the smoke-hued, almost gaseous material of his garment was easy enough; the material simply flowed over Vincente’s hands. A cursory search revealed little however. Much of the man’s body had become a conduit of power; his once elegant white undergarments scorched and singed, fused to old tight flesh and taught skin. A few pouches once strapped to a belt about his waist were melted masses of blackened leather. There was no spell-book, much to Vincente’s dismay, all of note the quick search did reveal was a single silver ring fused to the mages right hand ring finger, a bright blue jewel set into an intricate setting of dark metal. Also, of note, is over the now still heart of the mage lay the remnants of a symbol, or emblem perhaps. It had been scorched and singed badly, but just enough could be made out to make an educated guess it had once been a blooming scarlet rose.
While Vincente searched, others moved about their surroundings. A few moved towards the clutter barring the larger front door, while Kismet sought to the windows. Janus with magical lights accenting the orange hue of the flames lashing at the roof and creeping down the support beams, headed down the back hallway.
The hallway didn’t go too far before it veered around to the right. Turning the corner and keeping an eye on the roofing and such, Janus could see the occasional flicker of flame above him as the fire raged and spread to all it could consume to fuel its wrath. Smoke hung high in the rafters, and as Janus continued on, the crackling of timber around him was not a comforting sound. The hallway ended in a second room, a storeroom. Shelves lined two of the walls stacked high with boxes, sacks, and extra typical mundane items used in the running of a taproom. What really caught his eye however were the large barrels against the far back wall, Thick oak barrels, stacked from floor to near ceiling, their pale wood burnished with various ale, mead, and other brew descriptions. Next to those were a few dozen glass bottles lining wooden racks, presumably wine or other spirits. Even with the smell of smoke and char, alcohol permeated the air in this room. In the center of the room, upon the floor lay a large rug. Approximately 4’x6’ it depicted crystal clear waters running over falls, and crashing into a basin below, while dragons flew overhead, and dear drank from the water’s edge. The quality of the stitching was admirable, but the piece would no doubt be heavy.
Meanwhile back in the common room, Kismet did her best to tear at the windows. Held shut by simple latches, she had the shutters open in no time. Pulling them wide, revealed unbarred portals to the outside, from which appeared to be nothing more than empty road and a smattering of trees about the otherwise empty darkened landscape.
As Atharam, Joseph, and soon after Vincente started to clear the obstacles barring the door, Henrik made his way over to the fallen mage as well, and hefted his frail body into his arms. Surprisingly, old or not the adult male weighed remarkably little. As the warrior of faith carried the dead over to the others, they too soon had cleared enough of the debris aside to make for the door itself. Together they lifted off the heavy wooden board which served to bar entry, and swung wide the portal to their freedom. To step outside and take a look around would reveal this quiet respite—The Copper Spigot—by the wooden sign hanging above the entranceway, sat alongside some road, which travelled in both directions far into the darkness beyond sight. The landscape held small rolling hills dotted with trees and wild grasses save for the trodden down road of hard earth and trampled grass.
As the building continued to burn, a means for escape had been made, but many questions still lay unanswered, like where the hell were they?
Posted on 2011-06-01 at 18:53:33.
Edited on 2011-06-01 at 19:49:33 by Kaelyn
The rush of cool air upon Atharam's heated skin was one of the purest, most invigorating things he could ever remember feeling. Upon eliminating the barricade and removing the bar to release the doors upon their hinges, a chilling gust struck his sweat-slicked brow, and despite the urgency, a thin smile formed on his lips. Whether it was warm or cold outside, the knight could not determine. All that mattered was that it was not increasing in temperature, and it was safe from fire.
“You first,” Atharam declared as he held one of the doors open for the others. The wildman and his wolf. The scholarly looking fellow. Another man, bedecked in heavy plate armour as he himself was, had grabbed the fallen figure from the middle of the room, and carried him out the doors. While his symbol revealed him to be a follower of the faith, like himself, Atharam did not have a moment to check and see which creed he lived. That would happen later.
With a nod, the knight directed Raykel out the doors, the Percheron giving him a nudge with his muzzle, but it was not yet time for Atharam to vacate. He had counted off three heads. Himself made four. Three remained. The woman who had been working on the shuttered windows had vanished, presumably through the open aperture. That meant two remained..
A glance around caught an elf-blooded man bearing a lantern to penetrate the gloom. From the looks of it, he was in fine shape to make an exit from where he was, as the doors were now free of debris. “Get out of here!” Atharam shouted to him, taking a look at the burning timbers overhead. He had no idea how long the roof would hold up for, or if the stranger had even heard him above the lapping flames and creak of weakening supports.
Which meant there was only one person left, and it was the man who had conjured up the glowing orbs and gone into the back. Suspicious he may have been, Atharam knew that if he just left, he wouldn't be sleeping that night. Or anytime soon, for that matter.
His steel boots fell heavily upon the floor as he strode down the hallway, his grey eyes searching hurriedly for where the lad had gotten off to. It wasn't long before he found out.
A right turn in the hallway led him to a kind of storeroom, loaded with typical items needed to run a taphouse. Including barrel after barrel of liquors. Atharam was not adverse to drinking from time to time, but the smell of this place, beneath the choking smoke that filled the air, reminded him of his uncle Alfred. But that didn't have a place in his head at the moment, and he quickly dismissed the drunkard from his thoughts.
“The ceiling is beginning to burn.” Atharam called out to the man, previously alone in the room. “If we do not make haste, we shall be immolated within these walls. That man gave his life to call us to him. Burning to death before we even learn why is a waste of life! Hurry!”
(OOC: Something short for the moment, but not much else to do. Definitely down for an RP with Chess, though, if I'm addressed in return.)
Posted on 2011-06-01 at 22:34:12.
Edited on 2011-06-02 at 02:20:38 by Tek
How much can you really say about climbing out a window.
Kismet found the shutters opened easy enough, clasped closed as they were by mere latches, and swiftly had them thrown wide to reveal the landscape outside. With no barriers between her and the evening air, Kismet sighed in relief, some of the tension leaving her body as smoke from the room began to billow out the opening. Glancing back towards the others she could see that the doors were very nearly unbarred and there was little she could do to assist in anyway. Unable to stand the confines of the smoke filled tavern a moments more she grasped the edges of her skirt in one hand,the windows ledge with the other, and climbed out into the night air.
Pausing to take several deep breaths Kismet thanked the Huntress for her escape from the building and began to explore the surrounding area. She found little of interest aside from open road and a smattering of trees. Rounding the corner of the building she immediately noticed the doors had been unbarred and most of the men and thankfully the horse had made it out safely. There were two missing from what she remembered, the man in shiny armor, and the magic user. Slowly approaching the animal Kismet chose to take up position in its vicinity, she liked horses, she’d been raised around them and given the options were horse or random strangers she chose the horse. Reaching out to absently stroke the creatures’ nose in a comforting gesture she gazed toward the building and sent a silent prayer to Tanil for the safety of those still inside.
Posted on 2011-06-02 at 04:27:41.
Edited on 2011-06-02 at 04:34:02 by Skye
Hearing Althram's warning and seeing him go after the mage, Savan holds his lantern high, striding purposefully after the man. Flicking a glance to his eagle, it's head cocked, the elf nodded, letting Kvashlor fly from the burning building.
"You will need my light and eyes to navigate this gloom, knight. And you will certainly need my limbs to drag a choking man from this building." Savan explains as he catches up to Althram, his eyes narrowing on the enblem hung on the paladin's throat.
"A white badger...new family..." Savan saved his focus for more pressing matters, not bothering to examine Althram's geneology, not that it would have done much good, his knowledge of noble houses consisted of what weapons they were usually buried with, and what traps they usually rigged their crypts with. Whatever the case, he and Kvashlor were certainly not in Wydrenan Valley anymore, or any new extension added to the Borthal Family Mausoleum.
Examining his armoured companion further Savan noted the sword and repeated device of Coreon, along with Althram's excellent physical condition...someone unafraid to charge into a burning building, who knows how to use a sword, and is religious, with a warhorse and a shield that would probably have him tend towards a slower, more defensive, style of combat. Selfless, proud, clearly with a wealthy background of some kind or another...all of the things Savan wasn't...no wonder he had been drawn after the Paladin. Then again, what would a knight care for a pessimistic elf with a cloak that was half too big, half too small for him and enough weapons to arm a small patrol of soldiers?
Well, he would find out soon enough. Savan mused as the two reached the taproom and it's attendant dragon-mat.
Janus cast an eye over the room, and even in the midst of disaster, could not help feeling disappointed. After so extraordinary an event as being magically summoned to an unknown place, he had hoped that this back room would be equally grandiose. Shelves lined with magic components, old scrolls and tomes in abundance. Instead he appeared to have come across....
"A common wine storeroom." Janus grimly smiled, one of them more more somber expressions he ever wore. "Glad not to have wasted my time. Although I suppose it was necessary."
From behind him, a voice. "“The ceiling is beginning to burn. If we do not make haste, we shall be immolated within these walls. That man gave his life to call us to him. Burning to death before we even learn why is a waste of life! Hurry!”
Janus grabbed the nearest bottle to him and turned to face the (as he then saw) Knight. "No sense in leaving empty handed." Without looking back, he accompanied the knight, and the later arriving elf back through the building and out, as quickly as possible.
The rhythmic work of muscle sheeted with sweat beneath the blazing flames, forged through furniture to find an escape from the fire. The mangled pile of wooden limbs and planks were torn from the door and scattered along the taproom floor leaving but a door easily yanked from its place. The cool air snaked in, hungrily seeking out smoky lungs as clouds of smoke chimneyed out. The limp body, once flowing with the life and magic to draw forth eight would-be heroes from across the planes, now hung like an oven roasted rag doll in the arms of an armored men. The figure, fashioned like a knight, emerged from the smoke and flame, rescuing the corpse of their caller, bathed in the breeze that wandered across the outdoor world.
Joseph watched the man disappear through the doorframe. This man of steel is smarter than the soldiers I have come across in the past - simpletons who think strength is found in sword and shield. Joseph, himself, had eyed the body mourning its flaming mausoleum, but his desire to save the beasts had restricted him from saving the evidence. If I do not agree with the philosophies this man has built an existence of righteous warfare off of, at least I may rely on him for some measure of prudence. Joseph thought to himself.
Joseph’s eyes fell over the nest of wood and flame they had been transported to. The one woman who’d been called to join them in saving Nomachron had wisely escaped through the window. The knight had exited with the dead body that had united them. The man who had remained calm and collected through the entire ordeal also had found freedom.
That left three men and two animals. Joseph noticed that the other armoured man, who had brought the horse now stood as an ushering directing the party out the door. Still inside the room, the elf that had been perplexed by Tristessa’s presence had finally lit a lamp. Exploring the hallway was another man Joseph remembered. There was a moment’s pause. He did not wish to move until the horse had found safety but the man who had hurried down the other exit from the room was in danger. He looked to the Paladin at the door. The man would not be careless enough to leave his beast in a burning building. Just as he thought it, the warhorse was sown out into the open air.
They moved almost at the same time, Joseph and the armored man both took steps towards the door the man had disappeared down. Joseph stopped and allowed the knight to bring the man back to safety, he had to ensure Tristessa’s safety anyway. Joseph plucked up his quarter staff and let out a low whistle. As the druid guided the wolf through the front door he saw the elf following the plate-mailed man. Why it would take two to bring him back to safety, Joseph could not understand but it was not his concern.
Wind licked over his sweaty, smoky skin and Joseph sucked in a long breath, his hands buried in Tristessa’s fur. Now that he was safe from the blaze his mind began to race to catch him up with how he had been brought here. It seemed now to be such an impulsive decision to put foot through portal, trusting completely the disembodied voice that had asked his help in saving Nomachron. Scurrying back into the past Joseph now felt the full hit of the crushing depression that had encouraged the decision. Decay and destruction had stolen Belia, the face of hope in his life from him. The bitterness and loneliness of this realization flooded through him bogging down limbs. He felt exhausted and angry suddenly, the idea that he had moments ago been tossing furniture with vigor seemed absurd, he had such little energy now.
Joseph turned his eyes to the small circle of people who had been brought together. Why these seven. What’s so special about us? Joseph wondered. He knew he had some greatness written into his fate but he had not expected to be called to save the world so early in his life. Was he strong enough for such a task, he certainly did not feel so now. Perhaps there had been some mistake? Was there any chance somewhere in the world an armour clad man who bore a shining sword and sought the salvation of the planes had the same name as he? Unlikely, Joseph thought.
So what now? Did he stay with this random gathering and try to answer the confused questions that must be pounding through everyone’s brain now or did he go? He had no reason to stay with these people. He’d been saved from the swamp, perhaps he could continue wandering from here? The nomad’s brown eyes shot across the land before them. The copper spigot was obviously a road stop between two cities because only a stripe of highway was drawn across the hilly back of the land.
Glancing back at the inn, he considered the barrels of alcohol that were likely behind the bar and Joseph realized if the fire lit upon those kegs the entire building might serve as one devastating bomb. Moving away from the inn he looked out on the wild laid out before him. A deep pain shocked through his heart and caught itself in his throat. He knew that this must be an invitation from the Gods. If he did not accept, his desires may never be realized. His solitude and his wandering was a mighty sacrifice to be begged by the gods and it left an empty, angry feeling in the pit of his belly. He would rise to meet such a challenge then. Whatever they asked of him, he would give, so be it.
Joseph turned back to see the silhouettes of his new party members against the blaze of the copper spigot. So where would they turn now, what did the road hold for them? Many questions faced the newly formed group and Joseph would do what he could to contribute to answers. It seemed likely that he had seen more of the natural world than any of the others who were with him, perhaps he could recognize his surroundings from the poetry he’d read, or maybe his travels had even taken him near here. He looked over the landscape seeking out any familiar signs. What little Joseph could offer was at the service of the Scarred Lands.
((OOC: Knowledge (Geography) check to see if he recognizes his surroundings))
The compliance of the lone explorer was a blessing to Atharam's patience. Coming back into the storeroom, he had half-expected that there would be need to haul the man out himself. It was not without a great feeling of relief that all it took was a word of expressed haste, and they would be on their way. But not before the man snatched up a bottle from a nearby shelf, seemingly intent on making his foray deeper into the burning tavern worth his while.
As this place would soon be nothing more than a pile of ash and cinder, he did not object to the claim of somebody else's property. The stores were not going to survive the fire, so preservation of at least one object seemed a valid enough reason. Getting out was more important than thinking of such matters at the moment, anyhow.
Turning on his heel, the knight almost rammed full-on into that strange elf he'd seen in the common area. Evidently, he'd been followed down the fall, and Atharam's first reflex was to go for his sword hilt. Perhaps he was a man hired to eliminate them? Unlikely, despite the heavy bedecking of weapons, else a shot would have been thrown against his armoured blindside. Then, why had he followed them..?
A quick shake of his head cleared the debate from Atharam's head. Delay would cost them. As-was, the air was becoming thick with smoke, and his lungs began to feel hot with each breath, the air polluted by intense heat and soot. Beneath his armour, he felt clammy from sweat, though the high temperature vaporized it from his brow. But yet, throughout all this, the proud warrior did not feel even an inkling of fear. Corean would lead them out. Whether the end result was to be unscathed or not...that, they would soon find out.
From the corner of his eye, Atharam spotted a thin trail of embers fall from the ceiling panels. While nowhere near a threat to him, it might as well have served as a hot iron brand pressed against his rear.
“The ceiling is going to come down on our heads any time now. Be cautious.” He directed the other two, shifting his shoulder slightly in preparation to remove his shield and use it to protect himself from above. Then, he spied the heavy, well-woven rug in the middle of the room. Such an elaborate piece seemed an odd article to find here. But then, just because it was a storeroom did not necessarily mean that it could not be used to store nice things. This was evidence.
A shield for one is good, Atharam. Banthas' words echoed in his mind. But a shield for everybody is better.
He looked to the elf and pointed at the rug. “Take the back end of that. I will lead. You,” He looked at the magic-user. “You support the middle of it. It might not stop anything heavy, but it will keep the cinders from us, and should help divert the smoke, as well.”
Striding towards it, Atharam's fingers solidly gripped the edge of the rug, and he lifted it up over his head. The material was heavy, and by himself, it would be slow going to drag it all the way out. But its weight would be to their benefit if they worked together. Even if the thing did catch fire, he doubted that it would come entirely alight before they were within sight of the door. He didn't want to wait to find out, however.
(OOC: Atharam is counting on the other two for assistance here, but he's thinking of the carpet in a Chinese Dragon-Dancer style. Himself leading, Janus in the middle, and Savan supporting the back of it. With the three of them, it should be a small task to support it and use it to cover their heads from anything dropping from above. Provided the structural integrity of the building itself hasn't yet weakened to the point of collapse...)
Posted on 2011-06-06 at 18:15:52.
Edited on 2011-06-06 at 18:16:15 by Tek
The path cleared and the bar lifted, the doors were thrown open to the cool clean night air, Vicente watched silently as Atharam started hustling people out of inn. The woman had already found her way out via the window and the man with the wolf had also removed himself from the inn. His eyes widened as he watched Henrik carry the body of their summoner from the burning building.
Shrugging mentally, Vicente turned to the hallway of the burning building to see if the man that had gone that way had returned from his foray and heard the sound of horse walking out of the inn. Seeing no sign of him, Vicente prepared himself to follow the hall and retrieve the man who had scouted for him. Just as he was ready to proceed down the hall, Atharam and the man with the lantern went to recover the one who had gone down the hall. Knowing that there was nothing more he could do from within the building, Vicente stepped out into the open. The cool clean night air washing over his body was a relief after standing in the heat of the burning building. He turned to look back at the conflagration and all emotion left his face. The fire’s light danced in his eyes as tears leaked unnoticed from them. He stood silently watching as the fire spread trapped within a memory.
Rising from where he had been kneeling in the ashes of his life, Vicente looked upon the still burning remnants of his home with silent tears streaming down his cheeks. Numbly he stood and watched as the last timbers of his home succumbed to the flames he had called on to avenge his family. Turning his back on the remaining fragments of his life, Vicente walked away from his home in a haze of rage and grief.
He walked for a short time before the smell of burned flesh and smoke from his clothing brought him back to himself. Stopping near a pond he stripped and dove into the clear waters hoping to cleanse himself not only of the stench but perhaps some of his grief as well. Using handfuls of sand from the bottom, he scrubbed at his skin vigorously until it almost bled. As he scrubbed, in his mind’s eye he saw the time that he and his wife had made love on the bank of this very pond, creating their child and he remembered their laughter when they taught their daughter to swim in this same pond, on a gentle summer’s day, years later. Choking back a sob, he pulled himself from the water garbed himself in his trousers and gathered the rest of his clothing.
After leaving the pond, he returned to his study. A sturdy building built entirely of stone he had found it at the edge of the wood near his house years ago while wandering the borders of his land. He had kept all his supplies for his magic, and even a few items of clothing, here instead of in the main house once the baby had arrived. A cry of despair and rage tore through him and he began tearing up his study until exhaustion over took him. Then curling himself into a ball on the floor, he felt sleep over come him even as his tears streamed unnoticed down his cheeks to the floor. ((OOC: I’d like a knowledge arcane check to see if Vicente recognized the pendant/amulet and ring the mage was wearing. As a heads-up Vicente will stand there and stare at the inn until someone or something brings him out of his flashback.))