"Haverden, yes I have been there many times for the festivals. I think the first time I was there was about 40 years ago when I was just a child. My family would visit human cities on rare occasions. I think that is where I got my itch to become a bard. Never had a chance to play there because of being a student. But I do remember hearing many other bards as well as seeing quite a few jesters and magicians." Elyra thought a moment. "Ahh, there was one magician who was a bit differant. I believe he called himself an illusionist. Was that you?"
Areldor perked up at her comment. “Yes,” he replyed quickly “it could have been me. If it has been within the last 10 years, I did not think I was good enough for shows outside the tavern until I was pushed by some of the patrons.” Then he paused. “Do you remember what the illusionist was wearing and what type of performance it was?” Areldor was thinking that she could have seen his uncle if it was 40 years ago. He knew he had only two tunics and the blue one is the one for entertaining. It has most of the hidden pockets that are needed with some of the non magical tricks. His uncle wore a red tunic when he performed. With that thought Areldor look up at the bard with a small smile.
"Well, what was he wearing? Let me think, it has been a while." Elyra laughed. After a bit of pondering she spoke again. "I believe it was a reddish tunic. But it could have been a burnt orange." Elyra paused a moment then added, "I do seem to remember that he had a child with him. Maybe his son. Cute kid." Elyra leaned back to enjoy the feel of the sun on her face and the spray of the salt air.
Areldor looked at the bard for a moment and thought about her comments as she leaned back, allowing her face soak up the sun which was in short supply. "Well it was Garlin's performance she saw and me when I 10!" he said to himself and continued. "She must be a least 70 years old!" then he remembered his own parents and there age and how they still looked very young by human standards. The idea started to depress Areldor due to the fact there is a big difference between him and Elyra which he had forgotten in all the time living at the Winged Ox. There were mostly humans in Waltershem with a smattering of other races, but mostly human. He knew he was half elf that was quite plain when visiting his family, now thinking of the difference between the two gave him a pause. Knowing there was a longer than usual pause Areldor thought quickly and said" So you thought the kid was cute."
Posted on 2013-06-07 at 00:29:04.
Edited on 2013-06-07 at 00:30:32 by Ziklag
"Of course he was cute. All wide eyed at the wonderous tricks his father was doing. Spellbound as he was by the flow of colors on the finely dressed bards and the tumbling routines of the acrobats. Too bad he only had a few years to be a child for he was at least part human." Elyra's face showed a bit of concern, "I didn't mean to offend you. Just it is hard for me to imagine such quick transitions between life stages. By elvin standards I am barely more than a teenager myself."
Areldor studied Elyra face. Her tone, her expression conveyed that she was being sincere. Areldor moved his gaze from the elf and looked out upon the water. Years working in the Winged Ox gave the half elf many hard lessons on judging the comments of others. From “I will be back to take care of the tab, to the Oh yes I like you a lot.” Areldor had heard many from the patrons and the like, some from his own community when he was going up. Many of the full blooded elves would say “He is a nice…boy or is he staying with you.” or something similar. Elyra comment made that connection to the past again and it was not pleasant. His body shutter, like a reflex to break the connection, then he stretched, reseated himself and looked back at the bard. “No offence taken, my friend, he said with a small smile “I am very grateful that the goddess led my father to meet my uncle so that I could live with him. Looking more human than elf allowed me to blend in, so I did not stand out in Waltersham.” Areldor smiled bigger and motioned his hands as he spoke. “Living with Uncle Garlin, I have learn many lessons that have gotten me here today, on this adventure and meeting you..again.” He glanced left, and then asked Elyra “So how long have you been out on your own?”
"Well, lets see. I left home and wandered for about 2 years before I found the bard academy. Then I was there for 20 years so I guess I have been on my own for 22 years now. Not very long." Elyra thought back to the way Areldor reacted to her comment about short lived races. Then a thought hit her. "Were you the boy?"
The illusionist slowly glance around the boat thinking of a good response to the bard's question. If I say yes then I am a child to her and maybe hinder any type relationship, but if I lie that would be far more destructive. he turned his gaze back to her lovely face and replied "Yes that was me. the cute kid. I was 10 at the time and just started to live with Uncle Garlin. That was 20 years ago I'm far from that child you saw in Haverden." then he proceeded to take his hair put it in a ponytail.
"So it was your uncle I saw perform. I guess that does make sense that you were the young lad. I can see you have changed since our last meeting. You are all grown up and out on your own. Lets see, that would make you thirty then. I may be older but in many ways I believe you are now the one who would be seen as more mature." Elyra leaned back and giggled. "I plan to never really become mature. The years may pass but I refuse to grow up. Old is for those who are no longer young at heart."
Elyra looked around the rubble. The lack of human life was not as discomforting as the lack of any other life as well. From all appearances humans had never been here other than the presence of the rubble. No carrion birds flew overhead as there was no carrion anywhere. No skeletons either. Gone were any metal objects. No clue to what had taken place here. Crow was unable to determine how long the city lay in ruins.
"This is most unsettling. Whatever did this took pains to remove everything of value or that provided a link to humanity. Perhaps we should move on."
As the team moved thru the city Areldor reminisced about the morning of the third day of the voyage. Where Elyra and himself had a pleasant conversation with a little music played by himself and the bard at the end. It was a wonderful thought, a diversion too as they went looking for something, anything that was of value or could explain what happened.
For almost an hour nothing was found. No people, animals only some birds and insects but that was about the only things living in the city beside them. Even all of the metal and anything of value that would at least be visible was stripped. "If you wanted stone here is the place to get it" he said out loud as the group tried decide what to do next. "But I don't think Mad Dog is interested in this type of stone. May be the other city on would be more profitable"
The dock seemed to stretch out forever. He was one with the land and now he would be beyond her sight. As a boy he’s learned to swim the rivers but now this boat would carry him away. The thought of leaving the land was the most frightening thing he’d even done.
Tohmas was the last up the gangway. As Mad Dog started his introductions of the crew the Druid placed his gear by the mast. Tohmas thought if he sat there below the edge of gunnels he would only see the sky. To keep his mind off the trip he listened closely to the man that had given them the gold. All of his men showed their clan loyalty by wearing his totem. The eye patch that showed the image of the toothless dragon and each wore it with pride.
Once everyone had been introduced, Mad Dog Muldoon handed each of the 10 adventurers a matching black eye patch stitched with the Red Toothless Dragon design!
"Ye Kin Wear Em! Ye Kin Carry Em!
"Jes Keep Em Close At Hand N Safe!
"Ye Never Know Jes When Er Where Ye Need Ta Show These Fer Safe Passage Or Help!"
Tohmas noticed that Captain Crayfish, Dagger and the Stout Hearts exchanged knowing glances at one another! He would remember that Mad Dod’s totem must be kept, there was more to these then just a loyalty totem.
Tohmas sat himself down at the mast and for next five days through rain, storm, dark and sun he meditated and chanted. The only times he left his place was to get food or to relieve himself. He thought these sailors strange to call the place you sat a “head”. From time to time Crow would come by or others in the group, Tohmas welcomed them and shared stories of homes and people. The shaman grew to feel closer to these that would his clan for a while.
When the sixth came and land was sighted. The Captain garthered the group and had the first mate give them each some coins explaining to them that the coins are for any expenses they may encounter after they enter the city!
"Any Expenses! Any Expenses!"
Tohmas rose and scanned the shoreline. As the ship passed into an inlet the debries of many ruined ships lay along the beach. This was not a peaceful place. By passing the wrecks they travel a way farther before they were put ashore. Traveling inland seven of the crew set up a defensive camp as the party traveled farther up the rise.
Cresting the rise they saw the remains of a decimated city. Rubble lay where clearly building once stood. Tohmas listened as the others discussed that this could not the city that had shown on their maps. The mountain range in the distance also did not show.
The talk got to whether or not go and search the remains. They could return to the ship and sail around to the city on the map. Tohmas had enough of ships for now and glad to be on firm ground again.
“Even if we find nothing we may learn something, let us see to the city. From there we can cross the mountains. What we are sent to seeker will not likly be in a new city.”
Posted on 2013-06-09 at 03:55:41.
Edited on 2013-06-09 at 15:16:23 by Odyson
City of Heristat
Dawn on Monday
Marrero 8, 101awd
Long, tearful good-byes had delayed Jaufre's departure as the sun sought to initialize the day. That Cedrus smiled upon the dawn of his quest brought some comfort to the Paladin's wounded heart, for he dreaded the thought of leaving; three days had passed as if they were but an instance. Alas, the reality was that he must go, not only to keep his word but to save that which he dreaded leave behind.
He steeled his mind as he hurried to the docks, wishing to lock any doubts away so that he could focus on the matter of hand. Jaufre could not afford to let his passing grief rule rampant with his senses, not with so much at stake.
Hoping his new companions would share his resolve to ensure the journey prosperous, Jaufre rounded the final bend to the docks oblivious to what he would find.
“Jaufre, by the grace of Betula never did I think to see you here among this group”
"Crow...?" It surprised Jaufre to see an old friend amongst the strangers awaiting him at the dock, for it seemed almost a lifetime ago when last they met. He hadn't even realised tat Crow was associated with the expedition. "It has been far too long"
Crow's introduction left little room for modesty. He had not considered the effect his training with the Paladin's of Cedrus would have upon this meeting, for he certainly did not look the part; that too felt like some time ago. Still, the confidence with which Crow made their introductions comforted him; at least he'd have a friend in this endeavour.
Whether he could come to trust the rest of the group would be seen in the journey to come. Similar could be said of the crew, a peculiar lot, though seemingly stout of heart. It would surely be an adventure.
Marrero 13, 101awd (After Winter Dark)
The journey had been less than a week before they set to land, and Jaufre had been thankful that they had waited out the storms rather than press through them. Despite his own urgency in this quest, the adjustment to life at sea had his stomach in knots. As such he proved a quiet travel companion, for fear of more than words leaving his mouth.
When at last the adventurers had reached their first destination, Jaufre was initally happy to have firm soil beneath his boots, yet the sight before them took him aback. A city in ruins, for what appeared to have been a considerable time already; and yet no word had reached the mainland mere days away. Something was surely amiss. Taking a few moments to take in the scene in its entirety, Jaufre suddenly realized his companions were beginning to discuss how to proceed, for none had expected this.
"Even if we find nothing we may learn something, let us see to the city"
"Agreed." He spoke suddenly, though with a stern resolve. "Perhaps there are clues to what catastrophe has occurred here"
Posted on 2013-06-09 at 14:55:34.
Edited on 2013-06-09 at 15:02:01 by Tuned_Out
Cast & Characters
Amur 'Nimblefingers' of the Red Buttons [played by Archangel] a level 1 (Half Elf of Elf Lineage) Rogue worships HermesTohmas Goodwood [played by Odyson] a level 1 (Human) Druid worships AtiraWillem Bariendul [played by Jozan1] a level 1 (Human) Fighter worships BaldurMaithias Crowmarhte aka Crow [played by Tann'Talas] a level 1 (Elf) Ranger worships BetulaVincent Wysman [played by Kamina] a level 1 (Human) Knight worships MarsBartimeous Dathier [played by Salvator Navaar] a level 1 (Human) Cleric worships ToftMylos Goldspinner [played by Brundel] a level 1 (Gnome) Bard worships Amber O' The High WoodsJaufre Vanvoie [played by Tuned_Out] a level 1 (Human) Paladin worships CedrusElyra Nightshade [played by Angelic] a level 1 (Elf) Bard worships BrigitAreldor Glanolwath [played by Ziklag] a level 1 (Half Elf of Human Lineage) Illusionist worships Minerva Previously in Treasure Seekers
In addition to a Lurkers 'Luncheon' of Role Play Revelations, the 'Seekers' weathered some bad weather, before arriving at their agreed upon destination; however, after receiving 10 Gold Coins to help defray any expenses once inside the city, they were shocked to discover that there was no need for the coins, because the city was nothing more than an expansive pile of rubble!
Ransackers in the Rubble
World of Aihrde
Island of Tagea
Early Morning on Saturday
Marrero 13, 101awd (After Winter Dark)
The lack of life seemed to be the most unsettling reality as the Seekers began poking around in the decaying remains of the stone and wood strewn rubble.
Crow had taken the lead, but the inexperience of the others soon found them crowding around close to the Elf Ranger, but curiosity slowly took hold of each one, as they began to spread themselves out, their senses relaxed by the seeming absence of any danger, looking for any traces of treasure to be found.
No one wandered too far from the group, as each member concentrated upon their examinations and explorations of the once proud, but now devastated city.
Conspicuously absent was the hustle and bustle of a population awakening to a new day, the smell of fresh baked goods and the friendly noises of merchants and worksmiths going about their morning tasks, awaiting the spirited exchange of goods and coin between themselves and prospective clients.
No laughter of children at play, no hearty greeting at the arrival of this strange assortment of Seekers, nor any suspicious or fearful looks from anyone, for the rubble held no human life!
Instead, there was the occasional fluttering of wings, as flocks of birds descended upon the colonies of assorted bugs that had colonized themselves throughout the rubble, but there were obvious signs that no predatory or flesh eating animals were in the area, because there was no carrion available!
Seagulls did not venture from the shoreline to the rubble remains of the city, content instead to patrol the shores of the coastline for fresh fish, for there were no crumbs from fresh baked goods this day!
Conspicuously absent were any scavenger birds, for there was no carrion strewn about the rubble for them to dine upon!
Neither Crow nor Tohmas could determine the exact amount of time that had passed since this city had stood intact in all its glorious or mundane splendor.
Nor were the Gnome Bard Mylos or the Elf Bard Elyra able to discover anything in the ruins that would provide clues as to the cause of the devastation that spread all around the group for as far as their eyes could see in the early morning sunlight.
However, it was evident that living beings had obviously scavenged the remains of the city, because they found no metal workings, no weapons or armor, no tools of any sort. It appeared that anything of value had been long ago gathered up and removed from the rubble.
Approximately three-quarters of an hour had passed uneventfully, yielding nothing of value, nor anything not of value, other than endless assortments of worthless rubble, as far as the Seekers were concerned, as they searched for something of any value that might please Mad Dog Muldoon.
Crow and Tohmas heard it first, motioning to the others nearby on either side of them to stop quietly in their tracks, intently focusing upon the unmistakable sound that carried on the soft morning breeze.
To the left of Crow, spaced at 5 foot intervals behind the Ranger, forming an irregular line were Willem (Fighter), Vincent (Knight), Mylos (Bard) and Amur (Rogue).
Slightly to the right of Crow about 5 to 10 feet away, depending upon any given discussion between the two friends, regarding any of their observations along the way, stood the Druid named Tohmas.
Behind the Druid, also spaced about 5 feet apart in an irregular line of formation, were Bartimeous (Cleric), Elyra (Bard), Areldor (Illusionist) and Jaufre (Paladin).
It was not the sickening or disheartening sound of snakes slithering their way between the gaps of broken stones and cobwebbed crevices!
Rather, it was an almost hauntingly eerie and unexpected sound at this point of their combined explorations in this devastated setting, but a most welcome sound of water babbling a happy tune, far off in the distance, approximately another quarter mile, hidden from view somewhere in the rubble!
Cautiously they advanced, examining every step of the way towards the welcome sound of water, yet nothing seemed amiss or out of place, other than the now familiar signs of devastation.
They had now covered a hundred yards, carefully exploring, while either talking among themselves, or being fully absorbed in trying to find any traces of treasure to make their morning profitable!
Crow and Tohmas discussed among themselves the terrain they had covered and what they might possibly find when they found the source of the sound of happy water flowing in the rubble.
Willem and Vincent were also absorbed in their now almost customary conversation; while Mylos searched every passing crevice or cranny with a watchful eye for an overlooked coin, but finding none, as Amur kept to himself, being wary of any traps or hidden caches that might yield any treasure!
On the other side, the Cleric Bartimeous also cast a wary eye upon the rubble remains, focusing most of his attention on the conversation between Crow and Tohmas; while Elyra and Areldor continued their friendly flirtations, as they too looked for any signs of possible traces of treasure, as they slowly advanced towards the sound of the happy water!
But it was the Paladin named Jaufre, who first became aware of a faint sound off in the distance, behind and to the left and right of the Inexperienced Explorers!
Stealthily closing in upon the Seekers, now a mere 100 yards away, the Paladin of Cedrus was sensing the tell-tale taint of armed foes!
They had seemingly come out of nowhere, but the Paladin wasted no time alerting his companions, once he had ascertained for certain the evil taint that was steadily approaching the Seekers!
"Skeleton Pirates!" Hit Points
Amur 'Nimblefingers' of the Red Buttons [Half Elf of Elf Lineage/Rogue] 9/9
Tohmas Goodwood [Human/Druid] 9/9
Willem Bariendul [Human/Fighter] 12/12
Maithias Crowmarhte aka Crow [Elf/Ranger] 12/12
Vincent Wysman [Human/Knight] 13/13
Bartimeous Dathier [Human/Cleric] 11/11
Mylos Goldspinner [Gnome/Bard] 10/10
Jaufre Vanvoie [Human/Paladin] 12/12
Elyra Nightshade [Elf/Bard] 11/11
Areldor Glanolwath [Half Elf of Human Lineage/Illusionist] 7/7
Backpost to onboard the ship
Amur couldn’t help but overhear as the Elvin Bard and the Half-elf caster rambled on atop deck, he didn’t know which was making him more ill, the obvious flirtatious banter or the rolling of the ship. Finally he shook his head and got up and moved towards the other end of the ship but he couldn’t help but give a parting shot at the two as he passed.
“I really hope there is an Inn in this city,” Amur muttered as he passed Elyra and Areldor, “so you two can get a room.”
(OOC: Sorry, I couldn’t resist! )
Early Morning on Saturday
Marrero 13, 101awd
Amur had, at first, looked on at the ruins of the city and was in shock at first at the utter devastation, but then realized that this was much better for them. If a city was inhabited it would be far unlikely they would find treasure just lying around for the taking.
He listened as others talked of moving on, were they serious? This was the better chance of finding something left behind. It was a huge city and yes, it did look as it had been picked over but surely everything couldn’t have been found in such a large place.
He nodded when he heard a couple state the obvious and their desire to examine the ruins; surely they could find something. To come this far and turn back was a waste in his opinion; at least some of his companions seemed to have some intelligence.
As they moved into the city, Amur fell naturally into a position which put him behind others more heavily armored. He kept his keen vision trained on the rubble as they passed; looking for anything of value or signs of hidden passages. He doubted they would find anything up here; they would have to find some means of entering the ruins and possibly any hidden catacombs that might lie under the city. People didn’t leave their valuables laying about for strangers to find; they hid them away. Some exploring into the ruin’s underbelly might be required if they were going to find anything here.
Word came back from the front that the sound of water ahead; he listened and soon he heard it also. Could be a fountain, or what remained of a fountain, possibly in a park or center square in the ruined city. They continued for awhile, seeking out the source of the sound, before they were all brought up short by a cry from the Paladin, whose name was Jaufre he thought:
Skeleton Pirates? He had never heard of such a thing; he had heard stories of skeletons that walked like men and who killed helpless folks, but Skeleton Pirates? His keen eyes scanned the area trying to spot these creatures. He listened for the others and what they were going to do? He wasn’t good at combat but he was no coward; he just knew his limitations and tried to live within them. He instinctively pulled his sling from his belt and opened one of his belt pouches and withdrew a couple of stones. He readied his sling just in case battle was inevitable, but if the others chose flight then he would not object.