The heavy club connected with Damien’s leg, producing a sickening crack and sending bolts of pain racing through his body. Carried by the tremendous impact of the blow, the bard’s legs flew out from under him, and he crashed hard to the dirt. However, despite the inability to hold himself up, he clenched his jaw tightly, and reached out shaking hands, clutching the ogre’s thick ankle and locking a grip upon it.
With every large stride the ogre took, Damien was dragged through the dirt, much of the filth being turned up into his mouth and eyes, mixing with the tears caused by the pain. After being pulled several yards, they stopped, and Damien knew that the ogre was now focused on him, though he did not look up to see it.
His hand trembled as he reached down to take hold of one of his daggers, intent on hamstringing the beast to protect Mahou, but before he could draw the blade across leathery flesh, he heard the impact of an arrow into flesh, and the ogre fell to the ground beside him. Turning his eyes upwards, he saw that Mahou had driven the final nail into the coffin, slaying the beast.
Having done his best to protect Mahou, the bard released the trunk-like leg of the monster, and sprawled out, his limbs twitching from the pain.
“Mahou...” His normally melodic voice was wracked with agony. “Help...me...”
The satyr moved over to him, telling him to be still. He closed his eyes, trying his best to ignore the blazing pain coursing through his leg and up into his body. He could not see what she was doing, but the pain began to fade at a rapid pace, leaving his body entirely. He opened his eyes to see her sitting above him, slowly rising to her feet with her bow in hand, stating that perhaps she should protect him.
He smiled faintly, feeling his strength restored to his body as he pushed himself upright, moving to snatch up his rapier once again. Giving it a swish, he moved to stand near Mahou once again. “Thank you, Mahou.” He spoke to her, his voice back as it once was. “I’m not going to leave your side.”
(OOC: Damien will repeat the same technique as before, only this time, if an ogre comes near, Damien will reach to unclasp his cloak and hurl it at the ogre’s head, then attempt an attack for the sternum.)
When the bright light faded Elandor could clearly see the ogre he just shot at lying on the ground, its skull bashed by one of the kender’s pebbles. An extra rush of adrenaline shot through Elandor’s body. He bumped his chest with the shooting end of his hoopak and pointed it at the dead ogre in disdainful victory. He simply felt great.
Still, the battle wasn’t won yet. Three ogres were still standing and looked more deadly than before. Elandor saw how Vilyamar moved towards the back of the ogre and stood ready to punch its spine to grits. The monster was now standing between Teros and the monk, and had to divide its attention to both sides. Thinking that it would be too busy fighting to notice him Elandor sprinted towards the nearest tree and reloaded his hoopak. Using the distraction he aimed once more for a vulnerable spot in the ogre’s defense.
(OOC: Elandor will attempt another sneak attack at the OB on the far left. It is flanked and thus vulnerable to sneak-attacks.)
Mahou's auburn eyes never once left the group As the refitalized damien took up a stance near her side. Her voice rang to his ears a hintof laughter filling the delicat female tones.
"The pain has left you body and moved to your brain companion of mine. I'm afraid i have not much magic left that would heal you again. Best you stay out of the way of danger. and fight with your mind, not with the arms that do not hold as much strength as the others." Mahou's response to Damien was simple, her voice dancing on the air a mixture of a song, and perhaps a huanting laughter what only lone hunters heard in the deepest parts of the dark forest.
still the batlte field ragged on before her, the sound of weapons clashing and gruns of combatents as they dodge or hit one another seemed to drawned out eveyrhthing.Mahou raised her voice above it with little effort though, for all to hear. the word though not a soul but her could understand *i'll figgure in her native toungue for this.* but none the less, each note that left her plush lips seemed to inspire something to group around her. *Mahou will use her bardic talents to inspire the group. as i don't have my books on me, i can't say exactly which one this is, but i know it adds to their attacks and damage, but our human PH should know more then i... chris?*
(Mahou will still hold her bow at the ready. quick to notch an arrow and fire, for she doesn't need her voice to do so. as long as the battle ragges on, she will continue to sing in that haunting laughter like voice.)
August 9th/Early Sunday MorningThollin Wilderness/Near the Northern Thollin Border
Northern Old Highway
As the midnight battle raged, the party saw themselves slowly yet assuredly gaining an advantage. Several of their number had been wounded, yet natures soothing energy, and Erenall’s blessings had mended them while they fought. The ogre party hadn’t such luxuries, and soon found that with two of their warriors fallen, the tide of battle had turned. They stood now with a serious disadvantage.
Only three stood, but of them, two were renowned among the bone-burning bond fires, and skin draped campsites of their wandering people. They had faced such outnumbered odds before, and had prevailed, soaking the dirt with the haughty blood of their foes. They would do so again this night!
Though the sun had long ago settled beyond the rolling, western hills, and both the moon and her legion of tiny followers hung overhead at the pinnacle of their reign, the sleeping trees of the valley’s groves were washed in the light of midday. Lavuria however, sat in her throne, beside Vunalis, her husband*. Her great chariot was set aside. This light emanated from the crystalline blade of Scourge’s scythe.
In the piercingly bright, white glow of Dawnbringer, Teros found hope. It was as if the stars had taken cover from the unnatural light that had blossomed so unexpectedly, and from that void that was the sky, a tiny, black silhouette dove, and landed on the warriors shoulder, delivering words of encouragement and what healing it could provide. Teros could feel his consciousness drifting back into him. The pain in his left arm began to fade, and the strength returned. His leg still hurt terribly, yet, gritting his white teeth, and ignoring the tears that had run down his face, tracing the scar on his cheek, he swung once at the ogres, cutting the air, but backing them up.
Taking this moment, he rose to his feet. He was a warrior in every way, and he simply refused to fall like this. Through gritted teeth he hissed the words that activated his sword. Fire swept along the long, slender blade, and danced off his armor and in his eyes. The ogres hesitated for a moment. They had taken this one as beaten.
The Scourge of the Vile had taken up the front line himself, and, after sending Orion on a mission to heal the desperate Teros. He had engaged with the axe bearing Ogre on the right, and had scored an early hit that sliced open its bulging bicep. With a roar of pain and rage, the Ogre turned to face him and swung a hard, horizontal swipe that left an open slash across his robes, exposing chiseled, ashen colored abdominals. The swing had just missed. In one fluid motion, the ogre brought the axe over his head, and with a roar of hate, brought it down.
The Theurge tried to dodge, but the fury of the ogre was too great. Because Scourge had tried to dodge, he had saved his arm from being lobbed off, and instead, the blade sunk deep into the ribs on his side.(25d) He could feel the ribs pry apart as the blade sunk between them. It was a dull, relentless pain. As the ogre yanked the axe back from his flesh, Scourge gasped, and instinctively grasped at his side. The ogre chuckled, but was immediately struck in the chest with an arrow.
The two ogres who stood hesitantly before Teros didn’t expect the mighty warrior who, with a roar, charged at their leftmost, who turned and lifted his axe just in time to block the sword swing that had cut through the night, and at his head. Derak had come to Teros’ aid. Suppressing a grin, the Desert Warrior lunged at the other ogre, who batted wildly at his sword with it’s huge club. It was too slow, and Teros’ rage burned too brightly. The fire of his blade plunged through the ogres crude, leather armor, and sunk into it’s abdomen. With a grunt and a groan, the ogre hesitated and stared down at the blade. Yanking his sword back; his lips curled with fury, the warrior swung hard, sinking the sword into the ogres thick neck, collapsing it in a spray of blood. In his rage, Teros hadn’t even noticed the shield Scourge had placed upon him.
As Damien stood before and to the side of Mahuo, he was quick to realize that no ogre would come for her. Only three remained, and they were too heavily in combat. Nonetheless, he stood, ready for any unsuspected surprises.
Scanning the battle quickly, the Satyr was quick to decide that Scourge needed the most help. The Ogre he battled was wounded, but both incredibly strong, and enraged. Wincing as she watched it’s huge axe sink into her newest companions ribs, she knocked an arrow and let fly.
Derrak was quick to respond to Vilyamar’s advice, and without hesitation charged the nearest ogre, who barely stopped his blade from cleaving it’s head. Their weapons locked for a moment, and his enraged, brown eyes met with black, hate-filled pits. Shoving him back, the ogre lunged at him and swung hard, slicing through his armor and leaving a very deep gushing, bloody slash running diagonal across his chest.(20d) Skillfully the barbarian hooked the blade around and came back, sinking his axe into Derrak’s upper right arm (23d).
His consciousness began to slip, tugged by deaths cold fingers. Blood ran beneath his armor, soaking his stomach, and running down his legs. His wounded arm gripped the silver handle of Jilly tightly. Desperate, and running on adrenaline, he began swinging viciously at the ogre, leaving a gash on it’s chest that nearly twinned his own. Growling, the ogre prepared to come back at him, when a pebble struck his shoulder with a smack. Wincing, the ogre cursed, and hefted his axe. Suddenly however, the previously unnoticed Vilyamar sprung, lashing out his fist, and connecting with the ogre in the very center of his back. Grunting, the ogre lurched forward, but with grace that gave away half his heritage, the monk dropped with a sweeping trip that caught both the ogres legs, and put him on his face.
Weakly, Derak staggered forward, and with what strength he had left, drove the his blade deep into the back of the fallen ogre.
Scourge saw the arrow smack the ogre in the chest, and though the shot was not fatal, he was encouraged by the thought of help. Still haunched over in pain, he tightened his grip on the winding, wooden handle of Dawnbringer. As hard as he could, he swung. Like a sickle, the blade pierced through the ogre’s lower, left side. The barbarian groaned and dropped to on knee. Blood poured forth freely, very quickly forming a deep pool of crimson. Grunting and slamming one, huge fist into the dirt, the ogre forced himself to his feet and would have charged, had a second arrow not plunged into his chest. Even with an arrow through his very heart, the ogre refused to die. Staggering a moment, he tore at the protruding shafts, causing more blood to splurt forth. Hefting his mighty scythe, Scourge prepared to lunge forth, and put this ogre away for good. He was too late.
Teros, having slain his own ogre, and watching the death of the first of the two axe-wielding ogres, had turned towards Scourge. Beaten and bloody, staggering with a limp, and yet consumed with a fury as bright as the sword that burned in his hand, the warrior came down on the last of the ogres like some hero from the legends of old. Gripping the flaming blade in two hands, he leapt, and brought it down, though where the neck connects with the shoulder. The blade cut halfway through the beasts torso, sinking him into the sea of his own blood.
Teros stood over the body, panting heavily, still gripping his sword with two hands, tilted down at the ground before him. The last of the ogres had fallen, yet they had left their mark. The blood of the companions ran in rivulets and streams, merging with the pools of their fallen enemies, who lay, rising like morbid islands from the crimson seas of blood. A great river had already began to make it’s way down the ledge toward the road below. On the very edges of the bright light of the scythe Scourge now leaned on for support, several little, twin pinpricks of light could be seen. The fight had attracted the nights carrion beasts.
Teros could barely stand on his right leg, now that the adrenaline had began to leave him. The gash on his thigh still gaped open, and both his arm, and the grieves and his pants were covered in blood. His right grieve was split from the axe that had hacked his leg.
Derak’s sword arm gushed with blood. It had been cut to the bone, and nolonger could he bend it. His chest oozed heavily, and his entire front was red, even the armor, which now had a great slash running across it. He knelt on one knee now, over the ogre he had killed, resting his head on the handle of the sword that stood, still plunged into it’s back. His breathing was faint.
Scourges black and blue robes were slashed and bloody. His side burned agonizingly, and he was having extreme difficulty breathing.
Vilyamar now gripped his cracked ribs. He too was having difficulty breathing, and he was certain more than one were actually broken.
All Known Dead
2 Large, rusty steel Great Axes
3 Large, crude wooden Great Clubs
5 Large, torn, soiled Leather Armor (Bracers/Chest and Shoulder pads, and boots)
3 Tanglefoot bags
1 Alchemist’s Fire flask
(DM’s Note The money will automatically be split as even as possible. Any “oddman outs” will be rolled random to avoid fighting. Anything else must be claimed, or will be left.)
*Vunalis- the God of War, and though he may be cruel and malicious, he is Honorable, and loyal to the Gods
The battle waged into the morning hours of the night, and as the battlefield was bathed in his sanctimonious light and washed in a growing river of crimson, Scourge managed a quick grin as Orion expressed through their telepathic bond that he had reached the beleaguered Teros in time, and that he would see him through this day. Scourge had succeeded in wounding his opponent, and aiding his companion as well, but the time it took to convey his healing properties and the protective shielding had cost him dearly. His incantations forced his grip on Dawnbringer to loosen and his defensive stance to wane, and the ogre looming over his head took full advantage of such a precious offering of flesh and bone. With a wicked reversal he brought his axe through the theurge's meager defence and the blade found its home nestled between the large combatant's ribs.
The pain was almost tolerable until the blade was removed with a sickening sound which let his blood and sinew flow free from the gaping wound.
His robes tattered and his blood staining not only his apparel but the ground beneath him, and with a vengeful strike afforded to him by a timely arrow did the Scourge of the vile retaliate, drawing a grievous wound of his own out of the ogre's leathery hide.
Strength fleeting and anger rising, another arrow found it's mark in his quarry, and he was about to bring the blasphemous creature to its judgement when from his peripheral vision came baring down the full weight of Teros, a man reborn of vigor and strength it seemed, as he nearly cleft the ogre barbarian in twain.
Standing to lean on the support of Dawnbringer, Scourge took the opportunity to scan the field of battle, taking note that all enemies had apparently been vanquished. His eyes also fell over the form of the rather quiet warrior he had met earlier. Though his name eluded him for the time being, he could tell that the fight had proved almost too much for him to bare, and with a silent command to Orion, the bird was off again in his direction; after turning towards Teros from upon his shoulder and offering him a "appreciation for aiding his companion."
Orion took to the sky and made his way over to Derak, whilst Scourge himself tended to his and Teros wounds. When the bird reached Derak and was sure the man would not try and swat him from the sky, he landed and hopped towards the injured man.
"A gift from he who judges us all, and has found you worthy." The bird said, and hopping upon an extremity with exposed skin began the healing rites.
Scourge having tended to the wounds of he and Teros made quick effort to cast a Mending spell upon his robes to fix the tears he had recieved, and took the first opportunity provided while others search for the bounty of their battle to identify and then don the goblin mask, covering his face anew where he had removed the bandana to use to staunch his wounds.
((Scourge will used a cure light wounds (1d8+5)on himself, a cure light wounds (1d8+5)on teros, and enough healing spells working from a cure serious (3d8+5)to a cure mod (2d8+5)to a cure light wounds (1d8+5) spell to bring Derak up to at least 35hp- when that is done he will don the mask when he best finds noone is looking, that his hood may keep his features hidden as he vies to keep his identity a secret.))
Just as Scourge seemed ready to tend to the party as the last beast fell, Mahou to trotted forward. Her red hues scanning over each person carefully. Her eyes first fell upon the slender half breed. She was amazed that even when in so much pain, his blood line still seemed to give him a gentle calm look. Walking up to him, Mahou gave him one look over moistening her lips with her tongue.
"You took quite a beating out there..."she said softly to Vilyamar as she moved in close to him, her hands reaching to touch chest. Running her figures along the folds of his robes she stopped at the point where he had been smashed in the ribs. Pulling the nature around her Mahou gathered the magic she would need to heal him. Another step brought Mahou with in inches of his body, her hand still pressed flat against the area which pained him. And before Vilyamar had a chance to object Mahou leaned in and tentatively pressing her plush lips to his. This perhaps off handed action seemed all to natural for Mahou, and with it, she had let her spell of healing pass into Vilyamar’s body. Pulling away almost as quickly as she had moved in Mahou turned with out a second thought to the rest of the group. Shaking her head she sent feathing lengths of hair back behind her shoulder.(used Curelight wounds from bard list 1d6+4)
“we are almost all hurt, and the dawn comes… we know not what still lurks out there, my best suggestion would be to get moving for town where we can rest safely.” Mahou paused glancing to everyone in turn. “Unless you all think yourselves ready for another battle this night.” Her brow arched a little in a teasing manor as she spun around on one hoof and moved back to the camp site to gather her things almost as if their answer did not mater to her. Her walk was confident, and void of any reaction as to what had just happened between her and Vilyamar, she had, made up her mind and it didn’t seem reasonable for her to change it.
(Making note, that if no one objects to it, Mahou, when done gathering her things, wil search over the bodies, and pick up a tanglefoot bag, and the flask of fire.)
Scourge took a look at Mahou and was thankful that someone else possessed some healing capabilities... He didn't take to mind her methods of delivering such curative measures for it did not matter to him. He didn't know the plans for the day but he did know that he would worry about it after he prayed and studied.
Speaking up the rave called out. "Whatever our choice of action, it shall come after giving proper respects to he who has judged us worthy to win the day." Orion will then go about healing everyone else that is still wounded to the best of his and Scourge's capabilities.
((With that in mind he will use all remaining spells necessary to heal his companions to full.))
With his wounds mended and a plan of action needed before continuing on to Elderast, Scourge figures since he's now awake, he'll take the time to pray to Erenall for his blessing, and to study his spellbook for the next leg of his journey.
(use whatever you wish to heal as I'm praying to rememorize spells)
Seperating himself a little ways from the party, he kneels placing Dawnbringer across his lap, and falls into a meditative trance. Orion circles overhead keeping watch. When his prayers are done he takes out his spellbook and by the light of his scythe does he rememorize his spells. (Will list todays spell selection in general thread) When that is done, he stands, casts Mage Armour upon himself and prepares to face the new day.
Teros sat there a moment by the ogre he had just killed, feeling the pain suddenly shoot back into exsistance. Slowly he muttered the command word and sheathed his blade in time to hear the birds words of thanks. He nodded and then turned when he saw Scourge casting more healing spells upon him. He waited, feeling the healing energy rush down and close open wounds, and then gave his thanks. Slowly he looked around the party. Everyone had been hurt, it seemed to him, but Mahou and the bard.
Still blood was on his rapier so it seemed that he did do some fighting. Without much thinking he began to look through the items that were in front of him, but none interested him so he turned around. He just wanted more sleep. Seeing that Scourge was praying and such, and the others were still moving around or sitting, he went to his bedroll and moved it to a place out of the way of the carnage a bit and fell asleep.
The Ogre had not noticed him this time, it being successfully distracted by Derak. Unfortunately it was too large of an opponent for even Derak to successfully encounter alone. The monk winced at both his own wound and at the wounds taken by Derak, which left him upon the ground, preparing to die by the hands of the ogre. Fortunately for him, Vilyamar was then in position.
The strike came, and went, the ogre freezing as its back cracked. Somehow it found the will, or perhaps sheer dumbness allowed it to do so, but it grunted and began to continue forward. But a quick drop and spin brought the monk's leg in contact with both of the ogre's, bringing it solidly down to the ground. Derak found it in himself to lurch forward, dispatching the beast to the darkness from whence it came from.
As the adrenaline surge collapsed in his bloodstream, fatigue and pain began to pierce his mental barriers. His breathing became laboured and though he stood straight a rasp came with the intake of each breath and each was shallow. Along with each breath came a sharp pain from his side. He ran his hand gently beneath his clothes and felt the bumps and bruises of his cracked ribs. He saw that Derak had taken the worst of it though, his blood flowing freely onto the ground. Vilyamar moved to him first, helping him to sit down.
"There, rest now for a little while, friend. They have all been defeated." said the monk, assisting Derak to whatever position he wanted. Orion the bird came then and landing upon the wounded Derak said only this: "A gift from he who judges us all, and has found you worthy."
With that he began the spells needed to heal the warrior's wounds. Vilyamar stood and looked at the body of the barbarian that lay there soaking up its own blood. He saw a single tanglefoot bag there and so took the opportunity to take it. He moved back to the original ogre which caused him this pain. Using his good side and steeling himself against the pain, he flipped it over enough to recover his lone shuriken, which had buried itself in the beast's leg. Wiping the blood off of it onto the dead things leather armour, he replaced it and his deactivated nunchaku in his sashes. He turned and was about to go meditate to repair what damage had been done when Mahou, the satyr, who had participated in the fight in no minor way, though her parts were more often than not played from afar from the true fighting.
A simple scorn for those that require magic to do their duty may have prejudiced his thoughts, but it may also have to do with the fact that none of the others seemed to be like the monk. But his face did not change when he heard her say: "You took quite a beating out there..."
He attempted to pass to go about his meditation, but she stepped in front of him running her hands inside his sashes and shirt to where his wounds were. She drew in close and though he did not pull away, he did not reach in to meet her either. He felt the magic flowing from her touch and being a satyr, as he had heard before and read, she took this as an opportunity. He lips briefly brushed his, though once again he did not pull away nor did he move really. Some might've taken the opportunity, but the balance required some to be impartial to all things.
She moved away as quickly as she had approached and Vilyamar continued on his way, noticing the difference in his health immediately. No longer was there a pain in his chest. He smiled his small smile, which was more with his eyes that with anything. He turned to Mahou and bowed low.
"Thank you, mellonamin, though it was not necessary, I could've done so myself." He said. And indeed he was grateful for her aid, though it was unnecessary in his case.
He scanned the party, each moving to the other's aid. He noticed the bard standing back from the rest, but did not go to him. He had made it a point of not interacting, so it shall be. The Scourge as he was known was kneeling apart from the others, meditating and preparing his own magic. Teros was soundly asleep upon his bedroll. Luvaria still sat high in the night sky and not yet had the burning orb reached the horizon in the east.
"Do not worry, Mahou. I believe we have some time yet. The dawn will not arise yet for another few hours and seeing as some of us do not have such an affinity with nature that can keep us going for so many hours without much rest, I think we may safely stay here for as long as it takes to prepare our leave." Vil nodded at Teros who lay asleep and motioned towards Scourge who was meditating. "Others require time to prepare and replenish themselves. I'm sure thou shalt understand the situation. But what of the bodies of these creatures. What is to happen to them I leave up to you Mahou, as thou dost need something to do at this time. As it is, my ideas have been exhausted at the moment."
He sat by his pack, placing the tanlgefoot bag beside it and then crossed his legs and closed his eyes, going into a meditative trance. His breathing slowed and evened. His heartbeat slowed as well. Time ceased to pass for him, though the seconds and minutes ticked by. He searched himself over, checking that all was mended by the spell. He remained in his trance for sometime. He kept his ears open, listening about him to those that spoke and he awaited Teros and Scourge to awaken and finish.
August 9th-11th/Early Sunday Morning-Early Tuesday Morning
Thollin Wilderness/Near the Northern Thollin Border
Northern Old Highway
The night air hung heavy, almost malleable in the wake of the battle. The soft, valley soil had been churned into a vile concoction of bloody mud. Few of the companions had gone unscathed, and infact, both of their greatest warriors had brushed with death. The large corpses of 5 ogres lay, still oozing with their own, crimson fluids, and flexing their lifeless joints. Their nerves, no longer lead by a mind, were still coming to terms with the fact that they would be moving no more in a very short while.
The party had been lucky however, and all had survived. After several moments of magical aid, via Mahuo and Scourge, they moved their bedrolls as far away from the dazzling bright, white light of the Theurge’s scythe, into the shadows of the forest as they would dare. It would be hard to find sleep after such a clash as they had had, but they would try…at least until Scourge had memorized his spell.
An hour later, those who had succeeded in finding sleep, were drawn from it. It had been decided to neglect proper rest, and try to reach Eldarast as soon as possible. None knew how long it would take to reach Thollin’s capital city, but the idea that these northern roads were not safe was generally accepted. The sooner they reached Eldarast, the better.
So it was that under the faint, silver haze that the still bright, sheet of stars emanated, they packed their gear and found the road. The ogres had not been deemed worthy of a proper burial, and had been left as they had fallen. A thin, muddy stream of blood had found its way to the road, where it had spread into a circular pool. The stars shone peacefully on it’s dark, still surface.
The next few hours were slow, for sleep still clung to many of the members eyelids, trying to pull them back to the dreams that they had been forced to part with so early. Slowly, the sky began to pale and the stars began to fade. Soon enough they found that the valley walls had melted away, and they stood, looking at the shimmering, dew covered heads of hills that stood, protruding from a heavy sea of mist.
They followed the road, and soon enough the sun had risen, though it was veiled behind a white wall of haze and thin cloud. The dew faded, and the air turned very warm and very humid. Though late summer had cooled the nights, it would seem that the sun still held much sway in the temperature.
After half a day of weaving along the feet of rising hills, they came at last to a branch in the road. Indeed it forked left, and a cracked, sun-bleached, wooden sign read “Eldarast”. How more plain and to the point could a sign get? Turning the party followed the road, which, over the span of the day, was met by several other roads. Each that met it seemed to add more and more to it’s width and paving. By nightfall they were walking on a stone paved highway. More and more often they would come across manure, or broken wheels. Signs that a city was near. Excited, and instilled with the hope that perhaps Eldarast was over the next hill, or around the next bend, the party continued, even through the night. Hour after hour passed, and yet, it wasn’t until the first gray streaks had begun to brush the sky, that they found the City…
(I apologize for such a terrible final post…I had to do it in about a half an hour, because I have MUCH to pack, and many people to see. It did the trick though. This is the end for now, remember however, to keep your eyes peeled. Noldaria is NOT ending. It will be picked back up around the end of September, hopefully.)
August 11th/Tuesday Morning
Elderast/Capital of Thollin
Ages had past since the Lords Darastine and Gildor had rallied their nations beneath a single banner, massed their armies, and marched north with the soul purpose of purging the Barbaric lands. Realms that they considered to be brimming with Pagans and monsters.
In those days the Barbaric lands had extended much farther south, and those who inhabited them were much more spread and isolated. Greatly outnumbered, and lead by many leaders with conflicting strategies, the tribes of the northmen still faught savage enough to invoke chills in the most sturdy of champions, and to plant seeds that would hatch dark tales and legends aside many a firelit hearth.
Yet in those days the Minotaurs were farther north, consumed by their own sardonic war with the Orc tribes in the Aragoth Mountain Range. Their much needed alliance never came, and in the end, the "barbaric" men of the north were driven from their lands, into the tundric foothills of Aragoth. In their place, the kingdoms of Throndell and Thollin were established; Throndell to the north, and Thollin to the south.
Ages had since passed since the Northern Crusades, and since, Thollin had grown peaceful, and had lapsed into military complacency. It was Throndell to the North that was still, after all these years, in constant conflict with the tribes to the north. Infact, rumurs were hinted in many a countryside tavern throughout Thollin that Throndell's conflicts had ramified to encompass even it's own people.
Nonetheless, they were the barrier between the barbaric and civilized lands. Yet still, in this time of peace, the roads of Thollin were not save for travelers. They never had been for that matter. Since it's foundings, the country roads of Thollin were pocked with marauders, bandits, and wandering parties of savage northfolk with a far less pleasant nature. Perhaps because of this, the increased danger along Thollin's northern roads had gone unnoticed.
More and more often, towns would hear of attacks on local farms, or the dissapearances of traveling merchants. The wooden watchtowers that had once lined the highways had long been forsaken with the increased peace that had accompanied King Elethorn The First's throning. Since they had all but crumbled. Far too weathered for use, they stood like skeletal sentinals whos life purpose had long passed, and yet remain, eternally watching for what will never come.
Yet, as of thus far, the noth highways increased danger provoked little to no thought. The highways had always been dangerous. For that reason, night-time travel was not uncommon, for the simple purpose of getting off the road and under the glow of village lamps as quick as possible.
Thus, when the sentinals in their position atop the cities front gate were alerted to the arrival a party of travelers before the sun had even risen, they were hardly alarmed.
Though nights shadows still lay like a blanket upon the land, the sky had begun to fade to a pale violet that gently erased the stars, one by one as it slowly engulfed the space overhead. As they aproached the city, even the dark the party could see the Eldarast was huge.
Long ago it been a castle. The keep had been erected like a crown, atop the head of a hill that was now the center of town. Now it was the kings palace, and could still be seen, towering above all else. Originally, the castle had had a village surrounding it, and so the village had been granted it's own stone curtain.
Since then, the village had grown so large that another wall was built farther out, and even now, a third wall was under construction. Thus as the party approached, they were greeted by a monsterous, smoothly crafted, stone portculous that was the front gate. Yet, aside from the stone towers that had been erected at certain intervals, the outer wall presently consisted of deep ditches, craft posts, and a crude wooden fence.
The massive, brass gate was just being risen when the company arrived, and the gaurds let them pass without question, compensated by many an odd stare.
Passing through the Portculous, the party stood upon a wide, cobblestone street that seemed to lead straight ahead all the way to the center of town, far in the distance. The buildings that lined the street were countless, and all identical; fit into place like pieces of a puzzle. Though here, on the outskirts of town it was just a tad less claustrophobic.
Already shudders had been swung agape and people were standing on their tiny porches, greedy for the cool, refreshing morning air that would be quick-fleeting, and soon replaced with the stench of sweat, manure, and the smoke of many hearths.
Having walked some distance into town, the party stood, uncertain as to what to do. They were not oblivious to the stares they recieved from doorways; not unfriendly, just curious. They were after all, a curious group. Mahuo herself looked quite whimsical, and as a group, they were bound to draw the eyes of the common-folk who made their living behind these walls. And so, their they stood, with the single question on their minds. Now what?
(Yes, I know this sucks. It does, , don't deny it. Aside from my two small posts to Al's Game, I have done NO writing,reading, or even thinking of such since I left. I'll get better though. Ive cracked out my old writing notebooks, and ive also bought some new Terry Brook's books to inspire me.)
Days were spent on the road after the ogres’ nocturnal raid. No fights or ambushes occurred and though their journey took them to new and unknown places on Alhanna Elandor found traveling became boring. He spent his days by stocktaking the contents of his pouches, chasing Scourge’s raven and playing hide and seek with Mahou’s pet. Although those things were fun to begin with there came an end to them. Even questioning his companions about their pasts proved not satisfying enough.
It was fair to say that the sight of the big walls of Elderast was a relief for the kender. Not only would a city provide him with plenty of things to do, it would also grant him better food and a good place to sleep. Sleeping with your nose in the needles of coniferous trees wás interesting and it provided an interesting peak at the perspective of a hedgehog, so Elandor thought. But in the end a nice warm bed with lots of clean sheets sounded just a little more comfortable.
As they passed the rising of the brass gate Elandor felt the joy building up inside him again. The feeling of present danger caused his heart to skip a beat… a feeling he loved. If there was a gate, then there was something to defend. If there was something to defend then there was something to defend it against. A conclusion was easily drawn. There would be a big battle! And if the small kender had a chance he would be a part of it. There would be no way in the world that he would miss the excitement of a nice battlefield, and maybe kicking it at the bad guys alongside the bravest warriors of this time. Would he be the first kender to make it into the scrolls of historical scribes? He didn’t know if he would even be the first, but it sounded really good!
His head in the clouds over these thoughts he made his way through the streets. Keeping close to the rest of the group he found himself in a dilemma. Where would they go? The others seemed to face the same issue, for they halted as well. It hit Elandor that several people were giving them looks of curiosity. Checking again if it was truly their group they were gazing at he grinned at their spectators and waved friendly. He didn’t want to start on the wrong basis. They could not blame hím if they were kicked out of this city, like they were cast out of that beautiful elven community. Being as friendly as possible he addressed the first wealthy looking person around and asked more polite than he ever had before:
“Hullo! We’re new to this city. Could you please tell us where we could find a place to stay, my good man. And would you mind telling me what you’ve got in your pouches?”
Teros had walked the remaining days with renewed vigalence. He had brushed with death on that last fight, and didn't want it to happen again. At least, not before he saw Mya and the graves of his parents again. He was relieved when they made it to the city without further interuptions. However the walk itself had bore down on him, dragging his spirits down like a man in the water. The bard was always there, always ruining his fun. Maybe it was just him, but his sour attitude and ugly face, in Teros's eyes, sent him into fits of anger and depression in equal messure. The fact that he had done almost nothing in the fight didn't help either. But when the walls of the city rose up before him, it offered him a break from the constant evil that was the bard.
As they entered he immediatly watched the Kender. He liked this little guy, so full of energy and joy. Had he not been there, playing constantly, he was sure the bard would be dead or beaten. He watched as his little mind's wheels turned round and round, thoughts rolling in his head. He wondered what he was thinking, but he knew it was impossible to know without invading his privacy and using magic now open to him. Still he smiled at what he would discover.
As the party aimlessly wondered the Kender approached someone and asked them for an Inn. Thank god the Kender had done it, Teros wasn't in any mood to talk to strangers. He just hoped that they could find some where to sleep so that he could get away from the party for a while. Being in a group was much harder than he had thought. Although he prayed, and it offered some help, he still found himself falling into a pit of hate. The more he dug, the farther he fell. Still he kept up the fake smiles and the "pleasant conversation" with a few party members. The only one he thought he could count as a friend was Derak. He really liked the Kender, and he didn't know enough about the newcommer to like or dislike him. The half-elf was annoying and times, Mahou had been tricked into being friends with that demon of a bard. He already expressed his feelings about the bard, and didn't want to think of him anymore. Even though he liked staying in his mind like this he had to snap back to reality. He forced himself to be the man he was before this trip, to be calm and forgiving. So he wiped that distant look of his face and looked at the man they were now focusing their attention on.
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