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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> A Single Stone...
Parent thread: A Single Stone... Q/A
GM for this game: Tek
Players for this game: Kaelyn, Hammer, Duncan74, Nimu, Brundel, Teller of Aryn, Salvator Navaar
    Messages in A Single Stone...
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Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


A quick parley

Ja'aron returned the wave to the shopkeep, and a smile passed his lips once more. The warm welcome eased the slight pain in his feet, and he felt truly gratified that he had made the long journey so early after winters veil cloaked the world. His hand still raised the unmistakeable cry of a distraught woman caught his ears, and his head cocked at the disturbance as pleas for aid became clearer as she neared.

Ja'aron lowered his pack upon the porch of the General Store and looked to Mae who peeked out from under the top flap of his satchel. “You wait here, keep my nuts where I can find them alright?” though he did not favour large crowds, the gathering townsfolk all seemed concerned for the one who tumbled before them in in a dishevelled mess, falling to her knees and sobbing. As Ja'aron neared, he caught the word “Robbers” forced out between the choked cries of the woman, and it urged his steps forward all the faster.

Ten paces took him to the circle gathered around her, and already there were those crying for action, vengenace, justice, and adventure. Perhaps these strangely garbed folk were residents, perhaps over the winter months Graffton had formed some sort of standing militia or sought aid from mercenaries, for a pair of males struck an imposing figure around the plainly clad townsfolk. There was another man, robed and speaking as though he were the head of some hunting party. To his words the pair of warriors gathered, each pledging their attention to the prospect of ridding the lands of these Robbers.

Ja'aron eased his way into the group, and be it the air he carried about himself, his attire, or perhaps even the aroma of a well travelled stranger, they parted, allowing him near. As the woman came into sight, one of the large men was already kneeling beside her, asking her condition. Ja'aron observed, (healing check) though as he did so he removed his thick wolf skin cloak, revealing an intricately stitched armour of hide about his chest. Dark tanned leathers with fur trimmings covered his torso and upper arms, with a cascade of leaves falling alongside a silver sickle burnished into the hide.

Ja'aron knelt alongside the woman, and offered a disarming smile though his eyes gleamed with concern. He draped his cloak around the woman, tucking the sides in about her. “There will be time to chase off thieves, but for now we stave off the cold yes?”

It's not that he expected a reply, nor did his sudden interjection into the affair really don on him as anything other than exactly what it was. The woman must be cold, he had the means of warmth, striking a balance had to begin somewhere afterwall.


Posted on 2013-05-22 at 10:36:26.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Joining the Crowd

Deysor Twenty-Fourth, 1121
Graffton, Irvala Province
Brandost
Southern Edge of Town
Early Morning

Adelror was pleased to observe one and then another and yet another stranger step through the throng of townspeople that grew in number around the distraught woman. Each of the trio made their declaration to those who listened that the culprits would be hunted down and severely punished for their dastardly deeds!

He quickly made up his mind that these were men worthy of joining forces with to right the wrongs that had been inflicted upon the hapless victim at their feet.

As the War Cleric began making his way through the crowd, he noticed a rather peculiar looking breed of Syln mixed with Dur'Amani make his way to the injured woman.

Adelror smiled with admiration as the newcomer began gently administering his form of healing to the stricken woman, caring enough to bring warmth to her ravaged body, speaking to the trio that there would be time enough to wreak vengeance upon her unknown foes!

The Duskarn War Cleric slowly worked his way to a strategic position within the circle of onlookers, where he could address the quartet of strangers who had come to the aid of the woman.

"She Be in Capable Healer Hands!

"I Have Crossed Blades with Slavers and Thieves and Much Worse!

"My Name Be Adelror (Ah Dell Roar) the Avenger!

"I Be Joining Ye Ta Wreak Vengeance Upon Yon Unknown Foes!"


Posted on 2013-05-23 at 00:20:37.

Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Helping Hands

Deysor Twenty-Fourth, 1121
Graffton, Irvala Province
Brandost

“Thank you...”

The lass caught her breath long enough to manage those two words uninterrupted, and turned her eyes up to those who would promise their aid to her need. Two swordsmen, a Duskarn wearing the raised fist of Dareen, a halfbreed dressed in animal skins, and the one who had broken the silence of the crowd and rallied the party; the lithe Dur’amani. A trembling smile crossed her thin lips, and, though red-rimmed, her ocean blue eyes reflected deep gratitude.

The towering Bailox knelt beside her, and though wobbly from a night of drink, his battle-tuned senses worked to level out the pitching road from where she had arrived, but aside from fields that would soon be in need of tilling and planting, picked nothing from the azure-lit dawn. Nevertheless, he made certain to check on her physical condition, now concealed beneath the wolfskin mantle that had previously draped across Ja’aron’s shoulders.

“I am unhurt,” She answered, pulling the coarse pelt about her slender figure and sniffling against the cold and tears. “I don’t know where they came from... This place is all field!”

The young lady was stifled by a choked sob and shivered beneath the furry draping, turning her head to look down the well-worn road in the same direction as the Syln beside her. “They were on us like ghosts in the fog. I didn’t even realize it before they had my horse and my things. And I’m the one who got away before their swords and knives came down...”

The recounting of what happened seemed too much for the poor thing, and cries of grief wracked her delicate frame. “They killed them! They cut them! And they stabbed them! And they took them! And they took her away from me...”

A grimy hand emerged from beneath the cloak, thin fingers clawing at the frozen ground in anguish.

“Back up!” A soft, yet firm voice shouted from in the crowd, and the townsfolk began to part from within to make way for the plump figure of Molly O’Kreen, a cloth-wrapped bundle in her hands. “I said beat it!”

Despite the chill of the morning air, the red headed woman had no more than a woolen cardigan and simple pants beneath her baker’s apron, still dusty with flour. However, the shape in her hands steamed gently, and she unwrapped it as she approached the weeping lass to reveal a pair of sweetrolls, their delicate crust golden from the hot ovens.

The girl looked up as Molly knelt before her and handed over the pastries. “Girls like sweets. Eat these and catch your breath. Things’ll be okay. You got these folks looking after you.”

As if to explain how the news had so quickly reached the baker, her sandy-haired son Finley could be seen shifting about near the front of the crowd, though he stayed put where he was.

The stranger struggled to catch her breath, but accepted the baked treats and tried to nibble at one, while Molly swept some of the flour from her apron and lifted the hem of it to wipe the tears and grime from her cheeks. The motherly presence of the portly woman seemed to help to calm the girl’s nerves, even if just a minor amount, and she was able to eat about half of the pastry before she once again turned her attention to the quintet gathered around her.

“They grabbed my little Hannah. Right out of my hand when we tried to flee. Cedric tried to fight them off, but they slew him right in front of me.” She set the half-finished roll on the ground beside her. “He’s not the only one that went down, either... But Hannah... She might still be alive. Might be okay. I need to know...”

She looked right at the boisterous dwarf that had promised violence upon her attackers. “You call yourself the avenger. Avenge them. Avenge Cedric and Rupert and Millie and anybody else who didn’t make it. I’ll take you to where they came upon us. I need to know if Hannah is okay. I need to know...”

Molly lay her hands upon the girl’s shoulders and tried to smooth out her tangled hair. She looked up to Desrik, the only one of the group that she really knew from around town - save for Ja’aron’s occasional visits. “I got a little boy of my own.” The baker indicated towards Finley with a nod of her head. “I can’t imagine what it’d be like to lose him. Don’t let...” She trailed off, looking to the girl before her.

“Ellice.”

“Don’t let Ellice find out what it’s like to lose her little one.”


Posted on 2013-05-25 at 05:16:35.
Edited on 2013-11-30 at 18:27:50 by Tek

Duncan74
Dunkelzahn
Karma: 61/1
931 Posts


Bailox stands ready to begin

Bailox nodded to Desrik as Molly finished speaking to him. "My friend, I believe that Atlam himself put us in this place at this time. The lass's fallen companions deserve vengeance," he said with a glance at Adelror, to whom young Ellice had just pled for it, "her youngling deserves to be with her mother, and the brigands," he added with a dark look that sent a shiver through more than one bystander, "deserve slow death with cold steel."

He looked around at the motley group of would-be adventurers that had attended to the scene, and to the girl. "I do not know all of you," he said. "But in service to finding this lass's youngling, and delivering Atlam's vengeance to those that took her and brought death to her friends, I will join with you. My strength and my steel will be at your side. I will trust you. And if you betray my trust, I will kill you."

He said the last matter-of-factly, as if commenting on the weather. The others may or may not have known the simple ethics of a warrior clansman of Haervath: trust another until he gives you a reason not to. If he gives you a reason not to, then descend upon him like the very blade of Prien himself.

He looked down at Ellice and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Lass, I would not speak for these others, but I will help you find your youngling and avenge the loss of your companions. I stand ready to leave when you are."

He took a few steps away and stretched his broad shoulders, readjusting the weight of the backpack, shield, broad sword and bow upon his back to find a bit more comfort. He silently asked Atlam to give him the strength for what lay ahead. Sleep, it seemed, may have to wait for a while. There would be rest when Atlam willed it.

While he waited, he looked at each of his potential companions in turn. Would they prove equal to the task? He supposed he would find out soon enough.


Posted on 2013-05-25 at 06:09:49.
Edited on 2013-05-25 at 06:11:13 by Duncan74

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Vowing a Vow

Deysor Twenty-Fourth, 1121
Graffton, Irvala Province
Brandost
Southern Edge of Town
Early Morning

“They grabbed my little Hannah. Right out of my hand when we tried to flee. Cedric tried to fight them off, but they slew him right in front of me.” She set the half-finished roll on the ground beside her. “He’s not the only one that went down, either... But Hannah... She might still be alive. Might be okay. I need to know...”

She looked right at the boisterous dwarf that had promised violence upon her attackers. “You call yourself the avenger. Avenge them. Avenge Cedric and Rupert and Millie and anybody else who didn’t make it. I’ll take you to where they came upon us. I need to know if Hannah is okay. I need to know...”

It was a gut wrenching sight of a helpless plight; looking into her pleading eyes, hearing her sobbing cries, gazing into her haunted face; while the cascading murmuring of the shocked crowd buzzed like hornets all around him!

Then a strange stillness and silence ... faces in the crowd begin to shimmer ... Adelror absently looking around as they become transparent ... for the Duskarn War Cleric of Dareen ... is now in another time ... another place ... walking through hidden corridors secreted somewhere in the recesses of his tortured mind ... he can see them ... he can hear them:

Help Us! My Baby! My Son! My Daughter! My Mother! My Father! My Brother! My Sister! They Will Die!
Adelror nodded, setting his jaw tight, gripping the hilt of his Long Sword even tighter, before letting it drop to the ground beside him, slowly sagging to his knees, as the remembrances of that perilous time gave way to the pain rippling before him now:

Molly lay her hands upon the girl’s shoulders and tried to smooth out her tangled hair. She looked up to Desrik, the only one of the group that she really knew from around town - save for Ja’aron’s occasional visits. “I got a little boy of my own.” The baker indicated towards Finley with a nod of her head. “I can’t imagine what it’d be like to lose him. Don’t let...” She trailed off, looking to the girl before her.

“Ellice.”

“Don’t let Ellice find out what it’s like to lose her little one.”

Adelror leaned in closer, past the pleading Molly, fighting the urge to lift his eye patch, choosing instead to grip his silver beard with both his hands, causing the braid woven with the Red Ruby Gem to point directly at her, focusing his right eye mere inches from the trembling girl:

"I Be Ah Dell Roar the Avenger!

"I Swear By This Red Ruby Braid ... Earned By Rescuing Innocents From Orc Breeding Pens ... and Orc Slave Pens!

"No Matter Who!

"No Matter What Foul Creature Stands In My Way!

"I Swear To Avenge Those You Called By Name!

"Know This Ellice ... Hannah Will Be Found ... Her Abductors Will Pay!"


Posted on 2013-05-25 at 22:19:19.

Salvator Navaar
Resident
Karma: 6/0
333 Posts


well....

Desrik simply Nods to Molly, as he felt no words need be said. Of course he would help. It was against his nature not to.... And he had learned along time ago that actions that were done without question of reward seemed to end up paying the most... It just took a bit of charisma.
His face remains stoic as the 'Avenger' character nearby shouted oaths of revenge and blood-letting, his own mind already making the calculations crucial to making the most profit out of this.
For one, prestige was a reward in of itself, which could buy drinks and rooms better than Palts at times. Then there was the fame that could come with it, gaining more tasks. After all, word of mouth was the best advertising.

....But more importantly, what rewards would this woman give for such a noble deed, returning her daughter to her. He wasn't completely sure, but he assumed that one of the men she reported to be killed was likely her husband. One Obstacle gone....
His gaze shifted over her briefly, wondering what she might look like if she wasn't a tattered mess of fear and sorrow....
And to make his decision final, he had to admit he needed the action. Needed to shake the cobwebs from his skill.

Looking again at Bailox, he returns the great man's nod. Bailox, he suspected, had the greatest chance of survival, aside from himself. The man seemed all the right parts of a powerful warrior. And an honorable one....
Desrik had a code of honor, which he kept very close to. But it seemed many men's definition of Honor differed from his. Some had tried to kill him for it. If Bailox decided to try, the Mercenary knew he would stand little chance. Yet if the man didn't turn on him, he had no intention of losing a powerful, and dare he say, entertaining brother in arms.

He gazes over the other sentient's offering their service, a strange variety. The 'Avenger', he suspected, would likely survive, though Desrik wasn't sure how he felt about the loud warrior. His new magic-toting drinking buddy.... Well, Desrik was pretty sure he was good as dead.
"Too bad... Boy has heart..." He mumbles, his gaze shifting again to the half-breed that had offered up his cloak to the woman. He seemed an odd sort to Desrik. Possibly a warrior, but possibly carrying a bit of magic? The mercenary couldnt tell.... But he had learned a long time ago that the unpredictable ones were the most dangerous. Of the assorted party, Desrik felt the half-breed was the most dangerous to him personally, and resolved to keep an eye on him.....

This would be an interesting job....


Posted on 2013-05-26 at 07:22:40.

Brundel
Resident
Karma: 18/0
207 Posts


There is adventure to be had!

As the others, and possibly more sober, of the keen adventurers huddled around the distraught young lady Elberon realised he still faced the large crowd and his adrenaline was fading fast. It was almost silent now, bar some murmuring from the crowd and he suddenly felt very awkward. Fortunately a figure strode purposefully through the crowd and as he reached the front he turned and held his arms aloft roaring claims of vengeance, the crowd was stirred by this and Elberon was thankful he was no longer the focal point of their attention.

Still feeling awkward he shifted nervously and picked at the cotton of his robe. He turned to study the other newcomer who had entered the scene far more subtly than the Dwarf, he looked as though he was at one with nature and when he noticed the animal pelts that littered his person Elberon was disgusted. He could not stand the thought of those dreadful wrappings touching his skin and bile rose in his throat. Still he would not let this ruin his first chance at adventure.

He noticed that Desrik was quiet too and had a critical look on his face as though he was appraising a gem. Bailox, his other new found companion, was caring for the young girl and vowing to hunt down her perpetrators. Elberon strolled over to the huge warrior and waited for him to finish tending the to the girl before saying.

“When are we going to get after them, every minute standing here is wasted!”


Posted on 2013-05-27 at 23:14:47.

Duncan74
Dunkelzahn
Karma: 61/1
931 Posts


Reply

"Patience," Bailox counseled Elberon quietly. "The lass has been through much, and is understandably vexed. She is the only one who can lead us to the beginning of these brigands' trail. We needs must give her the time she needs to compose herself, else tracking the motherless dogs shall be that much more difficult."

"Worry not, my friend," he said, placing a calming hand on Elberon's shoulder. "No man has been born that I cannot track. We will find them, ere the lass leads us to the point of assault."

He again looked down at Ellice as the Duskarn cleric leaned closed to her offering his promise of aid. Bailox gripped the hilt of his short sword at his waist tightly, and admitted to himself that he, too, was anxious to begin this quest for justice.


Posted on 2013-05-28 at 02:52:17.
Edited on 2013-05-28 at 02:58:47 by Duncan74

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


joining the party

The perplexity of people never ceased to amaze, if not confound Ja'aron. It was not moments before that the woman now identified as Ellice had all but collapsed, the crushing weight of desperation stealing her strength as sorrow overwhelmed her. Now however, in light of those few who dared rally behind her in her hour of need, that sorrow was squirrelled away to make room for concern of her daughter's safety. There was a welling anger in that young woman's chest that granted her determination, and her maternal instincts gave her the drive to head back out down the road back to where the calamity had befallen her kinfolk in hopes of bringing the girl, Hannah back to safety.

Ja'aron listened, though in his heart he knew the likelihood of the little one being alive was slim. A ransom of such a small settlement would nary bring much gain, and bandits and vagabonds were not known for their gentle ways, and the druid shuddered at the thought of what a innocent young lass could find at the hands of such ruffians.

The druid rose and aided Ellice to her feet should she accept it, before looking around to those who had all stepped forward to offer vengeance for the atrocity. He sensed that each had a deeper motive for why they volunteered, beyond a simple kindness of heart, and these strange folk appealed to the naivety of the half-bloods upbringing.

He turned and looked towards Bailox, Desrik, the boisterous Duskarn Alderor and finally to Elberon who picked at his garments as though uncomfortable. “A great storm has come and torn from this land heart and hearth under hand of bandits and thieves, and balance must be restored. I am not a violent man, but I know the trails and paths of the countryside better than most. Should we find young Hannah along our travels, I will tend to her safety while you of brawn and bravery secure our escape.”

Ja'aron needed but look in the warriors eyes to realize that a simple rescue was not their current plan of action.

“Know that compounding death with more death will not change what has passed, and the land thirsts not for more blood. Try not to let emotion blind you to the severity of what we now face. I, Ja'aron will join you this day.”


Posted on 2013-05-28 at 06:35:39.

Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Traces

Deysor Twenty-Fourth, 1121
Graffton, Irvala Province
Brandost

Assessments and reservations had been made about one another, but a volunteer group of five had officially been assembled in the aid of Ellice. Brawn, faith, and sagacity had been gathered, forming a shield for the distressed lass and a sword to wreak havoc upon those who had assailed her and her kin.

It was remarkable, how such world that struggled through such challenges as it did could be brought together by coin. But those same differences, be they the clothing one wore or the colours of their faith or past allegiances... The edges could be dulled from them by the prospect of adventure. Reward or vengeance or justice or whatever driving force propelled them to lend their hands to the one in need, motivation had served as strong a uniting band as the trade routes of Delmaria did.

Desrik remained largely silent, his survival-hardened eyes sizing up those who would be sharing his road to the punish those who had taken Hannah and the others. His calculating thoughtfulness seemed the polar opposite of Adelror, who made his intentions known to all present - and perhaps even those who remained in their homes. The loud Duskarn certainly did well in building up the spirits of those listening to him, for though none came forth, the front-liners of the crowd could be seen with hands in fists and jaws clenched, eager for retribution to be brought upon those who had wronged this woman. Stage fright had struck the Dur’amani in the wake of his rallying, and his unease greatened by his discomfiture of Ja’aron’s attire, but the mighty Bailox was there for his newest companion, assuring his prowess in stalking their adversaries. Finally, the half-breed from the wilderness helped Ellice stand, and along with his name offered the insightfulness of one who watches the world grow, change, and fade.

With the gaining of her feet, Ellice seemed to recover her spirit as well, and though dirt stained her features and her eyes were reddened from tears, she seemed a little brighter, more hopeful, in the company of these five.

“Your elven friend is correct,” She spoke in a voice that didn’t shake nearly so much anymore. “We have to make haste. They came upon us from nowhere. I imagine they can return to nowhere just as quickly. Please gather what you need, and meet me back here when you are ready.”

*****

The sun had cleared the horizon, though it’s warming rays remained masked behind a thick veil of clouds, and the greyish light threw a dull glare into the eyes if turned upwards too long. But, as instructed, Ellice was ready and awaiting her rescuers at the southern edge of town. Still draped in the wolf pelt cloak Ja’aron had given her, the lass had managed to clean herself up a little bit, and had removed some of the filth from her hands and face, though her chestnut hair remained a knotted mess, and she remained in her ratty, torn-up clothes from before.

A small group of people had gathered nearby, fronted by Molly, who had thrown on a grey wool coat and wore a knitted scarf about her neck. This gathering did not gawk as the previous one had; rather, this one wore looks of hope on their faces. It was likely that they were showing their support for more than just Ellice’s sake, for if brigands were preying upon travelers near their town, it was likely that they may turn their focus a little more towards them and plunder homes and fields.

So, as the fur-clad stranger was joined by her five volunteers, a great cheer went up from the onlookers, and a careful eye would spot the shining trail of a tear on Ellice’s cheek.

Sometimes, simple folk could do great things, in ways all their own. But in turn, folks needed heroes, and these brave souls might be the ones that these people were hoping for.

Though a cool breeze danced across the snow-covered fields, the cloud cover doming the land held a comfortable temperature that, on any other day, would have been perfect traveling conditions. But these circumstances were less than ideal for enjoying the weather. Nerves and urgency helped Ellice set a rather quick pace, and the lass seemed not to tire on her legs. For all her sobbing upon arrival to Graffton, she appeared to have steeled her resolve. Though, being in the company of five armed folk would be good for anybody’s distressed spirit; having the brute that was Bailox would give one the fortitude of a mountain.

She spoke little, often muttering to herself as she looked about the flowing countryside. The road was well-packed and not churned up by wagon ruts, and upon it they managed to eat up the distance in a reasonably short timespan. Less than an hour had passed before Ellice stopped, casting her searching gaze around them. The ground carried little variation to it, save a few rolling hills near the road, and a small copse of trees to their east.

“This...” Ellice indicated nearby where the snow bore a sprawled imprint; obviously caused by a body being flung to the ground. “They came from nowhere... Look at this! Where could they have hidden themselves?” She sharply swung her arm wide to indicate the mess of footprints in the white dusting. Not far, perhaps a half-dozen yards from the roadway, a spray of blood had fanned out, though the body was not present. A trail leading away from the scene was licked with crimson and headed eastward. The girl was right; things had been ugly.

Ellice began to wander randomly, looking this way and that, though never getting far from the party. The area was a disaster of footprints, kicked trails, and signs of blood and gore. Her strength had been great in the return from Graffton, but having reached the place of her distress, the woman’s grief was rapidly setting in again. She searched as though she would find exactly what she was looking for, but it was apparent that Hannah was not going to be found on the roadside.

(OOC: Pass approximately one hour from last scene to now. Cloudy, cool day. South of Graffton, Ellice still has Ja’aron’s cloak on. PM me with questions if you wish to specifically investigate something, otherwise just go with it. Short of an in-depth search, the scene described is as you’d see it from the roadway.)


Posted on 2013-05-31 at 00:30:12.

Duncan74
Dunkelzahn
Karma: 61/1
931 Posts


Bailox

Bailox's anger upon taking in the scene wound his powerfully built body tight, like a coiled spring. With his extensive tracking knowledge and intimacy with the arts of war and weaponry, the scene of carnage and distress almost replayed itself before his eyes as he took in the marks on the ground, the sprays of blood, the imprints of the fallen bodies.

Bodies...where were the bodies? Why would the brigands take the bodies? Were they moved off the road? Hidden nearby so as not to attract attention? Taken as macabre trophies?

(OOC: I'd like to use Tracking to: 1) see if there's any evidence of the bodies being dragged away somewhere nearby, and 2) determine what direction the kidnappers took away from the scene.)


Posted on 2013-05-31 at 01:45:08.
Edited on 2013-05-31 at 01:46:25 by Duncan74

Salvator Navaar
Resident
Karma: 6/0
333 Posts


On the road

Desrik remained silent even as the time passed, walking quietly with the rest of the party, still deep in thought, his merry mood long extinguished at this point to be replaced with the dull buzz of the fading liquor.

Only when they came to the sight of the carnage did the small Mercenary's eyes light up a bit. The sight, which seemed to enrage his large friend, only brought a feeling of remembrance to the boyish-faced man. Almost as if the caress of a long lost lover, he felt more at home as the smell of blood met his nose, the crimson staining the grass more comforting than anything he could recall. The only bit that bothered Desrik was the lack of honor...

These men had been unarmed. Unable to fight back.
Desrik had killed the unarmed, the innocent in his past. And likely for the same reason as these bandits. Palts.
But if there was one thing a Mercenary knew, it was that while he may have just as likely ended up with the bandits, had they hired him first, he was in fact, on the opposite side of the board.
Silently, he sort of hoped the men got away, and got their coin. Because if they hadn't, the war-hardened man would end them without hesitation, and take their money for himself.....

Silently, he watched the woman, whose name he had already forgotten, as she began falling into her sorrow again. Watched Bailox begin searching the ground.

Drawing his sword and leaning it on his shoulder, Desrik remains where he stands, waiting.


Posted on 2013-05-31 at 03:13:23.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Surveying the Ground

Deysor Twenty-Fourth, 1121
Graffton, Irvala Province
Brandost
Bloody Roadway
Morning

Sometimes, simple folk could do great things, in ways all their own. But in turn, folks needed heroes, and these brave souls might be the ones that these people were hoping for.

Though a cool breeze danced across the snow-covered fields, the cloud cover doming the land held a comfortable temperature that, on any other day, would have been perfect traveling conditions. But these circumstances were less than ideal for enjoying the weather. Nerves and urgency helped Ellice set a rather quick pace, and the lass seemed not to tire on her legs. For all her sobbing upon arrival to Graffton, she appeared to have steeled her resolve. Though, being in the company of five armed folk would be good for anybody’s distressed spirit; having the brute that was Bailox would give one the fortitude of a mountain.

She spoke little, often muttering to herself as she looked about the flowing countryside. The road was well-packed and not churned up by wagon ruts, and upon it they managed to eat up the distance in a reasonably short timespan. Less than an hour had passed before Ellice stopped, casting her searching gaze around them. The ground carried little variation to it, save a few rolling hills near the road, and a small copse of trees to their east.

“This...” Ellice indicated nearby where the snow bore a sprawled imprint; obviously caused by a body being flung to the ground. “They came from nowhere... Look at this! Where could they have hidden themselves?” She sharply swung her arm wide to indicate the mess of footprints in the white dusting. Not far, perhaps a half-dozen yards from the roadway, a spray of blood had fanned out, though the body was not present. A trail leading away from the scene was licked with crimson and headed eastward. The girl was right; things had been ugly.

Ellice began to wander randomly, looking this way and that, though never getting far from the party. The area was a disaster of footprints, kicked trails, and signs of blood and gore. Her strength had been great in the return from Graffton, but having reached the place of her distress, the woman’s grief was rapidly setting in again. She searched as though she would find exactly what she was looking for, but it was apparent that Hannah was not going to be found on the roadside.

Adelror had chosen to stay as near to Ellice and Elberon the Wizard as much as possible, without crowding their space, while they searched for clues along the road, then inspecting the unsettling seen of blood and gore, which was conspicuously absent of any witnesses or corpses!

The Duskarn War Cleric, wearing the raised fist of Dareen, with his Long Sword in hand, was allowing for Bailox and Desrik to search the area without being burdened with any concern for protecting the distraught Ellice.

Should any sudden interruption occur, these men should prove to be up to facing any unexpected challenge, while Adelror did his part to try to protect the woman; while also keeping a somewhat looser protective watch over the Wizard Elberon, not quite knowing what to expect from him should any real trouble occur?

As for Ja'aron, from the way he carried himself, plus his strange appearance, there were no worries on the part of Adelror that any needed assistance, whether for battle or for defending Ellice, would be lacking from this new comrade!

Adelror surveyed the ground for many long minutes, before finding what he was looking for:

The Duskarn War Cleric crouched low, staying aware of where Ellice and Elberon were, before selecting the 3 appropriate stones that may prove to be useful before the day was done!


Posted on 2013-06-01 at 20:33:22.

Duncan74
Dunkelzahn
Karma: 61/1
931 Posts


Finding the trail

With the others keeping a weather eye on Ellice, Bailox began to truly scan the ground with a hunter’s eyes.

To the east, just off the roadway, he made out ruts leading away from the largest spray of blood; ruts that were unmistakably unique: the marks of a body being dragged across the ground. Motioning Desrik to come with him, he called to the others, “Stay here, stay together, and keep watch in all directions. Keep your weapons at the ready. We shall not go far, and we shall return shortly. Call out if there is trouble.” He turned to Desrik. “Keep your blade ready, my friend”, he said quietly. “I see the marks of one of the bodies being dragged away. A man’s weight is too great to drag like thus for overly long; we will find the body shortly. Be ready for whatever we may find with it.”

He loosened his own short sword in its scabbard and made sure it was ready to be drawn quickly. The mighty warrior and his mercenary companion followed the distinctive drag marks for perhaps a hundred paces off the road, and there it was. In a shallow ditch, they came upon the slashed and bloodied corpse of another Syln, black of hair and sporting the stubbly beard growth of a few days. His throat and chest bore the brunt of the horrible wounds. The brigands had relieved the poor soul of all his belongings, even his clothing. The naked corpse laid there as a testament to the violence and carnage wreaked upon it. “Filthy bastards!” Bailox grated.

As he scanned further, he noticed that multiple sets of footprints led on eastward toward a prominent hill among others in the distance. “The dogs fled that way,” he rumbled to Desrik, pointing. “Before we return to the others, let us bury him quickly, so that the lass does not see her friend thus. Let her instead remember him as he was in life.”

Looking around and seeing no signs of an impending ambush, Bailox and Desrik dug a shallow grave and in short order had laid the unfortunate man to rest in the ground. Saying a silent prayer to Atlam, Bailox and his companion returned to the rest of the party. He went to Ellice and looked her in her haunted eyes. “Lass, we found one of your companions. He has passed beyond this life to the halls of the gods. Black of hair, a short growth of whiskers. Desrik and I have buried him and given him what peace we could.”

(OOC: allowance here for her reaction and identifying which of her companions it is when you post again, Tek.)

Bailox softly laid a hand on her shoulder. “I am truly sorry for your loss. But beyond where he lies, I have also found the direction in which these brigands fled.” He then looked around at all of his companions in turn and spoke more loudly. “Our quarry went in that direction,” he said gravely, pointing toward the hill where the footprints led. “I stand ready to hunt! What say you?!” he roared as he glared into the distance in the direction of his enemies.

A determined and fearful glint came to his eyes as he stood fast, waiting for his companions to make their own contributions to the impending course of action.

(OOC: Salvator, feel free to add to this and post appropriate reactions and replies for Desrik as you see fit. Also, Hammer, I am just guessing that Adelror might honor the grave as he sees fit in your next post. Didn't want to assume anything, though, so it's all yours if you want to.)



Posted on 2013-06-02 at 03:59:55.
Edited on 2013-06-02 at 04:21:01 by Duncan74

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


Taking in the sights

The walk towards the scene of the horrific attack was pleasant enough, and though the weather held and promised a peaceful day free from relentless winds or torrential downpours, the somber attitude that held over the purpose of this venture kept the group at a quick if not quiet pace.

When they arrived at the location and Ellice tried to replay the events out of them, emotion took grip of the woman once more, and the sheer emptiness of the fields made it truly seem as though the bandits had come and gone with the morning mist. Aside from the bloody splatter of grievous wounds and the few obvious signs of death, there was very little to go on.

Bailox however would not be deterred by the lack of obvious information, and he took to the earth like a bloodhound, scouring for trails and tracks, till ruts in the earth took him and Desrik away from the main road some. Though the two left beyond sight, Ja'aron had no doubt that they were within ear shot or would holler if danger came upon either the pair or those at the road. The druid initiate could do little but pace the area, trying to get a feel for the different footprints trying to get a rough number of the aggressors, though the hard packed earth left little to go by.

Ja'aron noticed that Adelror stuck close to Ellice, the Duskarn a vocal accompaniment to the physical barrier that seemed bent to keep Ellice from further harm. Though his banter was loud, his bold expression of his emotions was refreshing, and a bright contrast to the reserved Elberon that seemed to shuffle in place as though not quite certain where he belonged.

We each walk a path of discovery Ja'aron thought as he smiled.
~*~*~*

A short while later Bailox and Desrik returned, with news of a discovered corpse, and yet the pair had taken the time to honour him with a proper burial. Promising the woodsman thought. Their discovery had also given them a lead as to the direction the bandit's had taken away from the road, and soon after the group was underway once more.

As they passed the shallow grave, Ja'aron took up a handful of earth, and spoke in a dialect he was certain no other would understand. His words were like song on the wind, and he sprinkled the coarse soil over the man's final resting place as he sang, when the song was finished he looked up at others to find some looking rather quizzical at him.

"To commit one to the earth is to offer them to Her embrace. May the Great Mother now nestle the departed to her bosom and nurture his essence to further life anew. I hope he is at peace."

Ja'aron waited patiently and quietly for any others to say their piece before proceeding to track the bandits.


Posted on 2013-06-02 at 12:54:23.

   


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