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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Beneath Shadowed Skies...
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    Messages in Beneath Shadowed Skies...
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Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Beneath Shadowed Skies...

Mairon 4th, 389 P.D.
Trade City Sankirst, Veythor.

A gentle breeze swept the streets, relief from the oppressive sun high in the sky. Midday, there was little shade to be found. It would be good for evaporating the residual waters from the storm that lasted the previous three days. The markets in the city core were bristling with people and hawkers, catching up on everyday life after being homebound for the past few days.

Having just been released from the clutches of a particularly frigid winter, Veythor was entering the blooming season of the year. The grassy outlands were already a vibrant green, uncovered from the snowy blanket that had so bitterly draped it. Wildflowers bordered roadsides, and herbs and vegetables now occupied the gardens of the nation’s residents. As common to every thawing and blossoming of the land, the scene was especially tranquil and refreshing of the mind.

All throughout the marketplace, citizens went about their everyday business. Friends chatted with one another. Merchants peddled their wares. Beggars pleaded for money. Few thought anything of the various men and women garbed in black and purple cloaks, roaming from tavern to tavern, to community message boards, or even just handing out flyers to passersby. After all, the average person was content to a life of remaining at home, living out their life in the protected borders of the city, or farming the land outside its limits. The life of setting out for distant frontiers was not for everybody.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of notices and flyers, all bearing the same message. Handwritten upon finely-made parchment, scrawled in flowing handwriting befitting somebody of the upper class. Be it on a message post, an ad board within a tavern, or distributed, they were all identical.

Seeking assistance in search of grandeur.

Famed Veytheir explorer Jacques le Vert, notorious adventurer and treasure hunter, has recently made known an ancient map that reveals the continent as it was a hundred years ago, but for one critical difference; an island cluster off the northern coast of Galia. As this does not match any modern maps, it is a chance to spike out and claim territory in the name of our guild.

A call is being issued out to those with hearts of steel, with brawn and intellect, daring enough to challenge the unknown, to set out to a lost land to lay claim and see what has not been seen in over a century. Any who accept, and return with information regarding this new land, as well as proof to back the claim, will be rewarded with one thousand Rommels, as well as immediate membership into the ranks of our guild.

Any who are interested are to assemble at the
Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern in the Harbour District on the eve of the 5th of Mairon. An interview and selection process shall thereupon be conducted.
~A.

At the bottom was a stamp depicting a raven with spread wings, marked in purple wax. The mark of the Zantrical. Notorious as that guild was for smuggling and underhanding work, they were also renowned for establishing long-distance trade routes. Perhaps there was promise in this.

And the called meeting was for tomorrow night…

(OOC: All righty. Finally set to go. Anybody with a submitted character can begin. As there is a day before the meeting, feel free to start introducing your character, as well as going about whatever daily business you see fit. Feel free to make up NPCs and set shops and such, since Sankirst is an enormous city. And, of course, how your character came upon the call, your thoughts on it, etc. Its time…)



Posted on 2007-06-28 at 03:32:00.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


first post bonus? lol

Introduction: Part One

It was the middle of the night with the moon peaking through the canopy of the jungle overhead like an unwanted eye as Kälte exited her tribal tent, blood stained skin and matted hair collecting upon her face. In the Kaulian jungles wolves were not a native creature, but moments past one could have sworn Darm had made his way to the earth, for the feral howl which split the night silence was nothing short of animalistic in nature. The night was humid, the sound of mosquitos the size of one’s fingernail filled the air with a low hum. Kälte bore an unconcerned expression upon her darkened face as she lapped a droplet of crimson from the corner of her mahogany lips. With a stretch and the crackling of numerous cartilage in her muscled frame the woman drew tighter the strings of her backpack, hefted her javelins and axe in hand and made out into the night, for she had hungered for flesh and now hungered for meat.

Gäel, Kälte’s younger sister, by tribe not blood relation had awoken with a start and made headway towards her sister’s tent. Approaching cautiously the youth had known in the past with scars to prove it that entering uninvited upon an elder, was disallowed; especially in the case of her sister.

“Kälte?”

No answer.

“Kälte it’s me, Gäel. Is everything alright?”

With still no answer, no sound at all coming from the tent, Gael’s concern for her sister soon outbid the worry of a new bruise or two and she pulled back the flap to the tent… and threw up.

There, completely naked upon a bedding of furs and skins lay a man of fair complexion, his skin now stained in red. Deep bloody rends lay across his body like a tiger (or tigress in this case) had raked him repeatedly. His battered and broken frame marred the once colorful and richly adorned tent with the veil of death. The scent of sex permeated the tent coupled with the aroma of sweat and blood. For the younger, innocent Gael it was too much, and she ran for the village elder like a gazelle fleeing for its life.

Hours later Kälte had returned, three snakes, and a wildcat lay dead about her broad shoulders as she strolled back into camp, a small sea of torches and villagers awaiting her arrival. Kälte could only presume the reason for a gathering so late into the night, and she flung down her prey indignantly.
An elderly woman, skin pale as a fresh layer of ash approached, her white hair offset by the deepest blue eyes Kälte had ever seen. Gwendel had been the village elder long before Kälte had been born, and frankly Kälte wondered if the old git would ever kick the bucket and return to the earth. “Don’t start with me Gwendel.” Kälte blurted out before the elder even had a chance to speak. A murmur through the crowd explained the extremely disrespectful path Kälte had chosen to start with conversation on. “I’ve had a bad day.”

“And so the blood of another is spilt to satisfy you? To somehow make amends for whatever shortcomings this day has brought you Kälte?” Gwendel’s voice was like stone on stone, a grating, grinding sound that Kälte found most irritating. “You know the rules of this tribe child, and you have broken one most paramount.”

Kälte scoffed and stepped forward, her frame towering over Gwendel.
“He is man, inferior, a plaything, no more remorse should be given to him than to a toy broken by a child. For years we have met with, traded with, and heard tales of man’s great achievements, man’s triumph’s and man’s legacy.” Kälte spit upon the ground as she finished her statement. “Man… (and she said it with obvious disgust in her voice) has laid claim to half the known world, and when someone or something does not cater to their demands they… they…”
Gwendel knew of how Kälte came into this world, knew of what had happened to her mother. The fact of the matter is, Gwendel had delivered Kälte into life as her mother died, brutally beaten and bearing the signs of many forceful intrusions.

“You walk this world in hatred for what was done to Jahiera, seeing not the good that succeeds her memory.”

“Shut up.” Kälte blurted out shavking a javelin angrily. “Speak not of my mother. She was weak, you’re all weak, cavorting with men, thinking of them as your equals, when they themselves think they are your better.”

“Your mother Kälte was a…”

Gwendel was cut short as a spear point wavered dangerously close to her, held by a very angry Kälte. “I said shut up!”

Gwendel, with speed and grace unbefitting her age and appearance was in and under the length of the javelin in an instant, and with a soft touch upon Kälte’s chest soon had the strong warrior bound in vines and leaves as the very earth catered to her call, wrapping about the warrior and leaving her a a natural cocoon of vegetation.

“Child, for more than twenty cycles I have tried to teach you our ways, to instill harmony in that chaotic vessel of yours but enough is enough. Clarity has unveiled the mist of kinship from my eyes and I know now that what you need cannot be taught within the walls of this village.”

Kälte could only stand their, her figure completely entangled by the very jungle in which she lived.

“You wish to prove you are stronger than the men who violated your mother? You wish to stake your claim upon this earth, then here is your chance.”

Pulling from her pocket Gwendel retrieved a fine piece of parchment, upon which was elegant writing.

“Listen child, and listen well.” With that she began to read.

“Seeking assistance in search of grandeur.

Famed Veytheir explorer Jacques le Vert, notorious adventurer and treasure hunter, has recently made known an ancient map that reveals the continent as it was a hundred years ago, but for one critical difference; an island cluster off the northern coast of Galia. As this does not match any modern maps, it is a chance to spike out and claim territory in the name of our guild.

A call is being issued out to those with hearts of steel, with brawn and intellect, daring enough to challenge the unknown, to set out to a lost land to lay claim and see what has not been seen in over a century. Any who accept, and return with information regarding this new land, as well as proof to back the claim, will be rewarded with one thousand Rommels, as well as immediate membership into the ranks of our guild.

Any who are interested are to assemble at the Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern in the Harbour District on the eve of the 5th of Mairon. An interview and selection process shall thereupon be conducted.
~A.”

As she lowered the parchment she met Kälte’s gaze with one of concerned kindness. “ Your path takes you to the north, across the sea and into untamed lands. Perhaps their, in the true wilderness your heart shall find peace. Sleep tonight, then in the morning… Go.”
There was a finality in her tone, the elder had spoken, and to the village, her word was law. As the foliage released Kälte she could only stand their looking at the elder, shock upon her chiseled features as the rest of the village returned to their night’s rest.

Kälte couldn’t bare to stay another night in this village, not after all that had transpired. She had a couple days until the meeting was to take place, and while she could give a rats ass about money or guild memberships, she would find her way to the new isles, if only to keep men and the weak from claiming it for themselves. Hefting her catch of snake and cat back onto her shoulders, and retrieving her dropped weapons Kälte set off into the night.


Posted on 2007-06-28 at 19:39:48.

Vilyamar
Glorious Emperor
Karma: 28/16
428 Posts


Intro Part Uno

Raen shivered suddenly in the back of the wagon as a cool gust of wind blew up behind the small caravan, ruffling the canvas sheets that were loosely tied back behind her. Her armor rattled as her right hand shot out to grasp the wooden frame and her left tightened its grip on the step she sat on while the whole wagon bounced about through a series of potholes and ruts left from last week’s rains. The crisp early morning was cool enough, despite how late it was already in the year. Some farmers used to say that crisp mornings this late meant a wet summer. Others said it meant a dry one. Raen was pretty sure than neither knew what they were talking about.

Superstitious old fools, most of them anyways. The young woman shook her head as the thought ran through her mind, bringing back a few jilting memories of a home she’d been trying to forget. Her auburn hair had been pulled back this morning into a single horse-tail and the fraying ends began to tickle the side of her neck and shoulder before she reached up and brushed it aside. The hand quickly returned to grasping the wooden seat since the wagon had come across another set of ruts and now bounced merrily along towards the city of Sankrist.

“Hey! Strider!” called a voice from the front of the bouncing wagon. Raen’s head snapped up as she heard the voice of her current employer call the name she had taken since she started out on the roads and a guard-for-hire. She pushed up off the back of the wagon, landing on the ground with a soft thud before grabbing her sheathed greatsword by the encased blade and turning towards the front of the wagon.

Raen trotted up along side before coming even with the head of the wagon where Talim Hawkins sat, his long salt and pepper beard resting easily on his wide girth. Rough, tanned hands grasped the leather reins that controlled the single beast pulling the wagon, a dull mare the man called ‘Missus’. Talim said it reminded him of his first wife.

“This city here be as far as I need yer services, lass. Sankrist is where I be spending me summers,” said the merchant as Raen walked beside him. It would still be another couple of days worth of travel, and another couple of coins in her pocket yet. The guard shrugged at her employer’s statements.

“I never expected this to be a long task, sir, though it was enjoyable enough. I’ve never been to anyplace as large as Sankrist before and it shall be enjoyable to spend some time there,” Raen said, her gaze moving away from the road ahead to peer over her shoulder at the path they had just traveled.

“If ye need anything, lass, before we part ways, just ask and ah’ll see what I can be doing for ye,” Talim drawled, his hand stroking the rough beard a few times before returning to the reins. A bird sang its song for all to hear while the wagon and pair bounced past. The rattle of the iron pots inside startled it and its fellows, causing a flurry of motion as they all fluttered out from the treetops to fly southwards over the small hilltop and brush.

“It seems like we’ll be battening down the wagon tonight, sir,” Raen mentioned turning back to facing the road ahead once more. “A storm is coming up on us from the west.”

Talim turned his shoulders to get a look through the open back of the wagon he drove.

“Indeed, we will, lass,” he said with a sigh, turning back to snap the reins thrice to encourage Missus along the road. “Hop back aboard, we’ll make haste ‘afore the storm forces our stop…”

~~~~~~~

A little hop and Raen landed on the other side of a rather large pool of clear rainwater that filled a depression in the paved streets of Sankrist. Still people bustled about, taking to their daily errands and tasks as the evening wore on past dusk. The new-summer sun was just setting beyond western horizons, leaving long shadows to cast the scenery in deep purple and vivid orange hues. Albeit the scenery was not the same as the rolling hills to the West where Raen hailed from, but it was… different in this light. Almost as beautiful as it was foreboding for the young woman who’s first time in a large city meant confusion and awe.

Raen continued her walk down the paved street, looking at all the different peoples who passed. The city was mostly human for what she saw, though here and there she spotted a dwarf or an elf. These other races hurried quicker through the streets, an eye out on everyone they passed.

A city of trade, a city of distrust, thought Raen and raised her eyebrows over a pair of fellows arguing outside the door of a shop. One wore a dirtied white apron and was cursing at the other who held his nose high for a small time as he turned his copper topped head and marched down the street with both hands in his pockets, soon scowling at the stones passing beneath his feet.

Raen stood watching the young man for some time. He had been nice to look at for a time, though it might have been more pleasant to see him in better spirits. She frowned to herself as she began to turn about and continue on, except she found herself turning into an outstretched hand that disappeared quickly into a dark sleeve.

She looked once into the shadow of the cowl before looking back and reaching up to take the rough piece of scribe. The neatly inked words were in common, which Raen had learned a few years back. Her village had used a version of the language that was slightly different here and there, though fundamentally the same except for a few expressions and definitions.

Raen stuffed the small piece of parchement into a homemade pocket in her cloak. She would read it later. The first order of business was to seek out a suitable place to stay for the night. It was the 3rd day into Demarches and that time was nearly spent. The shadows were lengthening quicker by the minute and Raen swung her head about as she paced down the cobblestones trying to locate a sign that might call for travelers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following day passed without event and Raen found herself wandering the markets once again, peering at all the strange sights that accompanied one’s first visit to such a large habitation such as Sankrist. The young woman stopped briefly at several stands and merely browsed over the handful of interesting trinkets and pottery in a merchant’s square. Her curiosity was quickly sated, however, and Raen found that once she had finished brushing the crumbs from her lap, all that remained of the crusty roll purchased for an afternoon snack, she was quite bored.

Almost in absence of thought, Raen placed her hands into a pocket of her cloak. The soft weave of the pocket contrasted sharply with the rough, oiled wool that made up the traveler’s gift and rain’s bane that many people carried in this part of the world when going abroad. Many townsfolk would also own a piece much like her own, to keep off the indignant weather should they need to move about during the cold winters or one of the unpredictable summer storms.

A crumpled piece of parchement, which Raen had hurriedly shoved in this very pocket the day before brushed against the knuckles of her hand and the fingers opened to close about the piece and pulled it out and into the sun. The crinkles and creases from its hapless adventure within the pocket had to be smoothed out on top of Raen’s thigh before the page could be properly read. Though Raen’s skills with letters were not equal to those monks or scholars who read scripture during temple sessions or the mages and wizards who kept much to their own towers in this day and age, she was, at very least, proficient enough to understand the common forms used in this region.

Seeking assistance in search of grandeur.

Famed Veytheir explorer Jacques le Vert, notorious adventurer and treasure hunter, has recently made known an ancient map that reveals the continent as it was a hundred years ago, but for one critical difference; an island cluster off the northern coast of Galia. As this does not match any modern maps, it is a chance to spike out and claim territory in the name of our guild.

A call is being issued out to those with hearts of steel, with brawn and intellect, daring enough to challenge the unknown, to set out to a lost land to lay claim and see what has not been seen in over a century. Any who accept, and return with information regarding this new land, as well as proof to back the claim, will be rewarded with one thousand Rommels, as well as immediate membership into the ranks of our guild.

Any who are interested are to assemble at the Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern in the Harbour District on the eve of the 5th of Mairon. An interview and selection process shall thereupon be conducted.
~A.

Raen read and re-read this note twice over beyond the first, too astonished at her luck of employment opportunities. Finally, a true adventure and quest beyond being a simple sell-sword to traveling merchant trains. A quick glance skyward told her that the daylight was not yet spent in whole and there was still time. She stood quickly, nearly bowling over a young man as he plodded along, head down with two eyes on his paces.

Raen promptly apologized, holding out one hand to steady and grasp the young man whose look of surprise and awkward step backwards nearly sent him off into the way of several servants dragging a wagonload of goods up the cobbled street. She stopped in shock when she glimpsed his face; it was the young man she had seen the day before, arguing with the baker.

“My apologies, sir,” said Raen quickly. “But could you provide me with the date? My travels have left me without count of late.”

“Today be the 5th of day of Mairon, miss,” said the young man, who Raen now saw was barely out of boyhood, having seen perhaps 14 winters. His clothing was worn and well-used, what color it had previously been she could not truly say for it now was a washed out grayish blend of threads. She quickly thumbed him a silver piece for his trouble, smiling at him as he smiled shyly back, turning on his heels a hurrying away without another word.

Raen took note of the date and with another glance skyward, began to make her way back towards the tavern she had spent the previous night to collect her few belongings. Nightfall would come shortly and she wished not to fall in late…

(Intro finished...finally. Post coming soon and below).


Posted on 2007-06-29 at 02:36:49.
Edited on 2007-08-03 at 05:31:14 by Vilyamar

Vorrioch
Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts


Beginnings...

It was a hot day in the Skinned Cat, too hot by far for Vyarp’s liking. The cooling breeze which ruffled and twisted the tangled foliage outside, battering ineffectually at the heavy wooden window shutters, did nothing to penetrate the warm and stagnant air of the murky ale room of that place and the fetid odour of unwashed, perspiring human hung thickly in the air.

The crack around the door frame and the bars of the shutters denied entry to all but the weakest rays of natural light and this was, however, to the taste of the short and dog-faced figure seated uneasily on a chair made for one of close to twice his height, hooded robe lying discarded on the table by his side. The thieves and smugglers who lingered on that afternoon, quaffing pints of ale from battered tankards and dicing among themselves as they wiled away the time until nightfall’s encroach and the resumption of their respective trades did so by the light of hooded lanterns, the dimmed glow of which posed little irritation to a creature whom nature had taught to fear the bright encroach of dawn. He had skinned a cat himself when Jak and the others had first released him from this place, strangled the creature himself and then chewed its lean flesh and gnawed upon the bones until the pain in his stomach stopped but those days, though never forgotten, lay far behind him. This place had become a home of sorts, safe haven in a city with which he was only now beginning to feel stirrings of familiarity, and both the snug wallet that hang close at his belt and a lean stomach now swollen with the sweeter, more tender meats that he had since become aware could become his in this place for a mere few coppers apiece spoke of the newfound prosperity that his talents had brought him here.

Now, safe among the company of those who, if they would not yet call him friend, had at least come to accept him as a full-fledged member of their band, adopted mascot of their captain and his inner circle, Vyarp placed the letter on the table, unfurling it with long and taloned fingers to refresh himself with its contents for the third time that day. If what the beggars and street-urchins who, along with providing the band with information their various jobs, kept their eyes peeled for happening on the streets was true many hundreds of these flyers, all in the same flowing script and all written by hand had been liberally distributed across the city. This fact alone did not tally with the kobold who at all too recently, and at painstaking cost, learnt the laws by which city life was run- whoever had copied out this multitude of letters must have spent many days if not weeks on the enterprise and Vyarp now understood that the chieftains who ruled over the humans of this great city were little more inclined toward such dull and unrewarding toil than the chieftains of his own people at home. Had this “Jack in the Green”, whoever he might be, simply hired an army of loyal drudges to churn out these things with those clippings of silver and gold around which city life revolved then there should surely be differences in the style of writing between them and yet, from what the beggars had said they were all the same. A trifling issue, yet one that left him with a nagging sense of unease- if he was to take this step, and put his life in this man’s hands then he would at least make sure of the ground first.

These doubts aside, the offer seemed a good one. Already ambitious to better his life in this place Vyarp knew ell enough that his opportunities for further advancement among the thieves were limited. Though he had proven himself a dozen times or more, the casual contempt with which he had be treated on his arrival had barely given way to a familiar condescension among the rest of the loose-knit band and if those who had taught him the ropes of this place failed to recognise his talents then it was only common sense that he should leave to seek richer pickings elsewhere. The kobold ran a long fingernail along one of the many scars that marred his bestial face and the angry, frustrated memories of the dark days when he had first been brought to this place tore through his mind- Jak and the others had much to answer for, but he’d need the backing of a powerful group behind him before he could make them suffer the punishment they deserved. It would take far more of the golden disks that he’d come to treasure in this place to compensate for that indignity than his earnings here were ever likely to amount to- and besides, who was to say that he couldn’t earn more with the Zantrical? Thus decided, a simple plan of action came together in his mind. First, he would collect a few more of these flyers, which he had seen lying discarded in the streets, next call upon those contacts that were available to him in this place to learn what he could of Jacques le Vert and then, unless any threat seemed obvious in accepting the deal, apply for the job himself tomorrow evening. With no time to be lost, Vyarp retrieved his cloak from where it lay discarded, donned it hurriedly, throwing its cowled hood back over his head to conceal his identity from the casual passer-by and set off on his way. He would have but a few scant hours until Jak returned and there’d be all manner of devils to pay if he was not there as expected.


Posted on 2007-07-04 at 16:46:15.

Tempest
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 3/1
27 Posts


I know, i'm friggin late

Intro:
Moving through the forest, keeping the sun to his back, the ranger makes his way to his prey. The Great Forest around him, Tempest moves from shadow to shadow, tree to tree as he moves to get closer to his enemy. Following the signs the inexperienced leave behind is as natural as breathing to one who has lived most of his life in the wild. Finally, they come into sight. There are five of them, each with axes and bows. Humans who believe they can freely take what they want from the land. Killing for food is natural, killing for clothing is acceptable, but to kill merely for the enjoyment of killing, because they can, that is unacceptable.

Looking down to the men, Tempest can see the dozens of corpses of those they had killed. Innocent creatures that wanted only to live in peace and had that right, until these men took it away. It was time for retribution. Everyone knows of the protector of the forest, and that the penalty for ignoring his laws is death. Removing the bow from his shoulder Tempest pulls out five arrows. Laying in wait above their camp, Tempest waits.

As day falls and night rises, the men begin a fire and begin cooking their prizes. As three leave to go into the woods, Tempest prepares the first arrow. With one in their tent, Tempest aims for the one bye the fire, taking him down without a sound. Drawing his second arrow, he hits the second target as he leaves the tent. Picking up the final three arrows, He moves through the forest so he is off to the side of where the men went into the woods. A few minutes later they return, and Tempest takes out the third, but unlike the first two, his companions notice. Picking up the fourth arrow, Tempest releases it into the face of the man who rushes him. With only one remaining and no time to nock another arrow, he draws his longsword and faces off against the last of the invaders. In short order he is felled, but as he falls, a roll of parchment escapes his pack. Picking it up and reading it in the dimlight of the fire, it says :

“Seeking assistance in search of grandeur.

Famed Veytheir explorer Jacques le Vert, notorious adventurer and treasure hunter, has recently made known an ancient map that reveals the continent as it was a hundred years ago, but for one critical difference; an island cluster off the northern coast of Galia. As this does not match any modern maps, it is a chance to spike out and claim territory in the name of our guild.

A call is being issued out to those with hearts of steel, with brawn and intellect, daring enough to challenge the unknown, to set out to a lost land to lay claim and see what has not been seen in over a century. Any who accept, and return with information regarding this new land, as well as proof to back the claim, will be rewarded with one thousand Rommels, as well as immediate membership into the ranks of our guild.

Any who are interested are to assemble at the Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern in the Harbour District on the eve of the 5th of Mairon. An interview and selection process shall thereupon be conducted.
~A.”

Perhaps this is the sign he has been waiting for. Time to leave the forest, and experience what nature has to offer elsewhere.

Slinging, his bow over his shoulder and retrieveing his arrows, Tempest puts out the fire and heads out into the night.


Posted on 2007-07-13 at 00:50:56.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


Introduction Part 2.

Beneath shadowed skies Kälte entered Sankirst, the closest town of note where she might pursue the scripture Gwendel had read to her some nights prior. The streets, even at night were alive with activity, and the large woman drifted between the shadows, her dark skin and darker weapons blending into nothingness only to be revealed once more as she passed under lanterns or torchlight. Stopping to pick up a handful of newsprint from the street before her, though the words meant nothing to the barely literate warrior, the hand in which the words were written was so precise, and the copies so numerous, she knew she had chanced upon the town in question. As night drew on, Kälte meandered throughout Sankirst looking for a place to bed down. The first place she found was a bristling place filled with people of all sorts, from warriors to intellectuals; but as a pair of stumbling bumpkins reeking of ale and possibly their own filth were unceremoniously heaved from the premises, Kälte thought it better to avoid confrontation. It had been a long hard travel, and she wanted to conserve her strength for those whom she would undoubtedly butt heads with. Passing by a handful of possible places within which to lay her head Kälte eyed a wooded sign depicting a pile of pillows and a silhouetted woman laying across them.

Thinking this to be more her place the large woman strolled boldly to the front door and pushed it forward, only to be nearly overwhelmed by fragrant perfumes and various smoke-weeds.

“Good evening m’…lady.” Came the voice of an older debutant, obviously surprised to see the figure standing there as she raised her eyes from the papers before her.

“Welcome to the Wanton Harlot, I am Lillith Von Helson, proprietor of this establishment.” As the woman stood Kälte judged her to be in her forties, wearing too much war paint about her eyes and lips and obviously could not find clothing to fit her for her amble bosom was certainly about to bust free from their scant crimson confines.

“Uhhh..” was all Kälte could stammer as a man came out from one of the back rooms, his clothing in a state of upheaval; more war paint transferred from lip to neck quickly hidden as he lifted his collar. He said something the foreign woman couldn’t hear to whoever lay beyond the doorway, and hurried out, smiling towards Lady Von Helson and averting his eyes of Kälte, who noticed a simple band being slipped upon his left hand ring finger as he scurried out the door like the rat he was.

Kälte was furious at the man, at all men, she couldn’t differentiate one from the other, as she leered at Lady Von Helson, and slammed her first into the mortar beside the wall, crumbling it in a spray of grey dust. Storming out of the bordello Kälte slammed the heavy wooden door behind her with a loud crash, drawing the attention of many a passer-by. Kälte stalked after the man who kept his eyes low and his pace quick; following him round corners and up walkways right to his front door where he straightened himself up and fidgeted for his keys at this late hour.

Jingle…

Jingle…

“Wha..Ah!”
Kälte held the man upright with one arm muscles bulging, her belongings clattering to the stone. “Let go of me! Put me down!” the man screamed as Kälte proceeded to bang on the door using the man as a knocker. It wasn’t long before a woman; sleep still clinging to her eyelids and dressed in a simple nightgown came to the door, a shocked and almost vacant expression on her face as she saw her husband being manhandled before her.

Before anyone could say anything Kälte proclaimed “Tell her where you were… Now.”

“J-J-Just at the pub dear I d-don’t know what’s…”
*Thud*

The man was cut short as Kälte slammed his head into the top of the doorframe.
“Tell her where you really were!”
The man’s wife looked on in abject terror, unsure as to what exactly was going on.
“I-I swear honey, I..”

With her free hand Kälte pulled free a small dagger and held it to the man’s groin. He grimaced.
“Lady where I come from when a mate deceives his companion the punishment is castration that the deception not spread into some bastard offspring.” She turned to the man and stared at him. “Now tell her where you were!”

“I was at the whore house.. I’ve been going every night this week, I’m such a fool I’m sorry I’m sorry!!!”

The woman stood there a moment and blinked. Once, twice, then she lunged at the man with more fury than Kälte expected from the fragile woman’s frame. Dropping the man at his wife’s feet Kälte smiled, she always liked seeing a woman standing tall, and the added pleasure of seeing a man groveling at her feet made the effort worthwhile.

Her deeds done for the day, Kälte picked up her belongings and was ready to find a place of rest when the woman called to her. “Stranger, I thank you for revealing the wolf my sheepish husband really was. You’re new to town yes?”

Kälte turned round and watched as the woman shoved her husband off the front step reaching into the doorway and throwing a jacket at him.

“Perhaps you’ll find shelter with your whores, for you’ll not be sharing my bed anytime soon you cheat! Stranger, come you may stay here tonight, I’ve an extra couch, and though not elegant it’ll save your purse some loss. Please, I’ll make some tea and you can tell me more of your ways, I think I’m interested to learn.”

Kälte could only smile as she nodded quietly accepting the woman’s offer, heading into the abode and purposely stepping upon her sobbing wretch of a husband’s hand as she passed, shutting the door behind her. Tonight would be spent spreading her disdain for men to this liberated woman, and on the morrow, the Harbor district she would find.


Posted on 2007-07-14 at 19:15:40.

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


A Lively Tavern

Mairon 5th, 389 P.D.
Trade City Sankirst, Veythor.
The Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern

The Next Night

Though the heat from the previous day had vanished, replaced by a light chill, that did not stop the lively atmosphere in the common room of the Blazing Heretic. Rather, a festive aura seemed to emanate from the double-storied building whose dark brown paint was badly in need of a sanding and recoating, and the shingles seemed to be holding on by mere friction against one another moreso than the roofing nails.

The barroom was packed with all sorts of people, from many different cultures. Though mostly men, a few elves stood in small groups. Dwarves were hogging the bar, taking up much of the counterspace to themselves and creating a great din of roaring laughter and wild storytelling. Halflings, some gnomes, and even a few wild men of the western lands were present, garbed in their tribal clothes and speaking in their native tongue.

Somebody, whether the guild representatives or the tavern owner, Marcel Faurok, had hired a small group who was playing with good zeal a very upbeat jig. The rapid pace of a concertina was coupled with a quick fiddle bowing, and the pair were accompanied by a hammered dulcimer and a flute. Together, their sound had a number of patrons dancing feverishly, occasionally drawing in some of the barmaids who zig-zagged through the mass, delivering drinks, food, and smiles where they went.

In the north-western corner of the room, near the staircase leading to the rooms on the second floor, was a heavy oak table behind which was seated a pretty woman garbed in the purple and black of the Zantrical. Before her was a roster upon which he was writing the names of numerous people who had formed a long line-up before the table. Flanking her on both sides were two men of large stature, arms crossed over sturdy chests and wearing a badge bearing the Zantrical raven upon their left shoulder.

Every so often, the woman’s ocean-blue eyes seemed to light up, and she would direct one of the applicants towards the stairs, speaking a short set of instructions as they ascended and disappeared at the top. From the small number of people being admitted, it seemed that those were the ones being selected for the contract the Zantrical were offering in the flyers. Judging by those being ushered upwards, however, there seemed to be no real trend to it. Two dwarves, a number of humans, a Halfling, and even a young Selthani woman were sent up the stairs. And yet, the lineup seemed to consist of over two dozen people, with more still crowding all over the barroom, whether drinking, conversing in small groups, or dancing to the troubadours, who had changed their rhythm from the folk jig to a slower-paced song about an ancient hero called Heramell. Whatever the course of entertainment, the Rommels were flowing into the coffers of the Blazing Heretic tonight. Despite being worked like a dog, the smile couldn’t be any broader on Marcel’s face. The business was astounding, and all thanks to the Zantrical selecting his bar over the many others!

Overlooking the water, the Blazing Heretic was in a convenient spot on such a night, as the sounds cast out from it drifted over the water, as opposed to rousing the entire city block, though from the looks of things, people weren’t sleeping tonight. Already late into the darkness, the door opened every few minutes to admit one or two newcomers, wishing to try their fortune at signing a contract with the trade guild in search of new lands. And from the look of things, it didn’t seem like they’d be stopping anytime soon.

(OOC: Here we go. Not knowing how any of you would choose to act, I didn’t include any names in this update. However, you’ll all be a part of the crowd in some way or another, so begin to start up as you choose, whether it be dancing, drinking, or waiting in line to speak to the recruiter. Act as your characters would! I’m looking forward to seeing your posts.)



Posted on 2007-07-18 at 05:15:01.

Jozan1
RDI Fixture +1
Karma: 65/14
1539 Posts


sorry, sorry, I'm late, so lets try this finally, eh?

Herendiel looked around the ornate and decorative room. Golden coloured walls with a crystal chandelere, bright red furniture, emblazened with golden tassles and skirts along the bottom of them. A finely polished oaken coffee table sat before him, and he gently set his tea down onto it. The fire that was once roaring was now down to a dull blaze, and the conversation that he was having with his friend Duncan was starting to run in circles.

" But why wont you join up, one thousand rommels are at stake, and who wouldnt want a fine wizard like yourself on the expooration team." Duncan wrapped his purple robe around himself tighter, and looked at the fire. " And cant you start that thing up again, woods not exactly the most expensive thing around, ya know?"

Herendiel looked at his friend, and loosened up his scarlet red robe, exposing a white tunic underneath. " I think its quite nice in here, and its not the money, you that, I have no need for any more than what I already have. I wont do it because of the kind of deal your trying to swindle me into. twenty five percent of the final reward? Do you think I cannot do math, my friend? You're asking for two hundred and fifty Rommels, for just showing me the flyer." Herendiel took a sip of his tea, and set it back on the coffee table. " And you know if I went out first, I would of stumbled upon one in the street somewhere."

" Yeah I know, but think of all those things I've done for you, remember that time down by the docks? huh, do ya? Those guys would of really messed you up if I hadnt of been there."

" You waved a stick at them and kicked over a barrel, any amount of aggression would scare off little would-be thieves like that."

Duncan leaned forward and smiled. " It might of been just that, if I hadnt put an alchemist fire in the barrel first."

Herendiel choked on his tea, and quickly set it down again. " You idiot, is that why that pier burst into flames like that? I thought one of the torches they were carrying hit that pitch!"

Duncan sat back into the big coushin, and crossed his legs. " So, you know I saved your hide atleast once, if not more." He lifted the sheet of parchment to his face, and then back down again. " Oh, and did I mention that
'Famed Veytheir explorer Jacques le Vert' is the one leading it?"

Herendiel stopped tapping the arm rest, and looked up at him. " You know how I am with that man, why didnt you mention it earlier? Alright, I'll do it. And two hundred and fifty is fine, you can have it. Tommorrow, I guess I have to go to the Blazing Heretic. Now please leave, I have things to do and prepare."



the next night......



Herendiel walked into the tavern,the smoke and dim light making him flinch back slightly, it all being over powering and so sudden. Quickly he could see where the line was and the desk that was doing the sign ups, but first he wanted something to eat. He hadnt had a good 'ol tavern meal in months, always eating the cooks food that he had, it always tasted, so prepared, so fussed over. This here food is cooked with no regard as to what goes in it or how much. every meal is different, even though it might be the same thing. Always tasting new spices and herbs, then trying to find them on the market and make it yourself. Always a fun thing to do.

Herendiel seated himself at a small table, and waited until a maid came over.
" Yes ma'am, could I get a small glass of juice, squeezed from the finest grapes you have, and a bowl of that, oh what does that sign say, lamb and beef stew? I dont think I have tasted that before, I shall try that. And a a small roll to accompany it too please. Thank you.

Herendiel sat back and removed a small pipe from his side pouch, the designs on each of its flanks matching in every way possible, showing the work of a true craftsmen in mundane items. He filled his pipe with a fine weed and puffed, sat back, and enjoyed the slow melody of Heramell and his fortunes.

(( Hopefully we can start this thing up! ))


Posted on 2007-07-25 at 05:52:53.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


to get the game moving.

The Blazing Heretic. A fitting name for a cast out tribal warrior about to blaze the trail into the unknown to start her adventure. As the large woman entered the common room, decorated with numerous accessories filled with all manner of guest, she ignored the festive music, and lively crowd, instead making her way straight towards the oaken table to pledge her name to the cause. As she neared, and lay eyes upon the pretty woman behind the desk, she could only give a smirk. One might confuse the brief action as either sarcastic or accepting, but by the way she eyed the men behind her, she obviously didn’t think much of them.

Signing her name to the roster, Kalte was instructed to head up the stairs. Taking one last glance at everyone in the common room, she could only wonder how many would be accepted, and how many more would never return as she headed upstairs.



Posted on 2007-07-30 at 16:28:35.
Edited on 2007-07-30 at 16:29:39 by Kaelyn

Vorrioch
Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts


The Blazing Heretic

Concealed from prying eyes beneath the heavy black folds of his cloak Vyarp strained on tiptoe to push the heavy wooden door open. His long fingers, taloned beneath thin leather gloves, fumbled for and finally found that handle. He entered, sniffing pensively at the smoky air of the place, easing the door behind him to avoid the noise of a slam.

On edge in this unfamiliar setting, his narrow pupiled eyes scanned the room, the place was packed, crammed from wall to wall with bellowing, drinking, gorging humans and the noise and smell were close to unbearable. Once, twice, he thought he saw members of Jak’s crew, the glimpse of a head thrown back in raucous laughter, a well worn but still distinctive sword hanging low on a belt- it seemed that they too were tired of sniffing for crumbs from the Zantrical’s table. It would not do to be spotted here, that much was certain, for though it seemed that the band’s captain was out of town tonight the kobold knew full well that there would be hell to pay on his return if this abandonment was to be discovered. No, better by far to slink out of town without a word being spoken, on to serve new and greater masters and leave his old chieftain behind to slake his anger upon those who yet remained within arm’s reach.

With one eye still on the table where the others of his band were sitting, Vyarp moved discreetly through the crowd to join the line and sign himself for the job. One of the burly mountain people, dwarven perhaps to the folk of this city but towering head and shoulders over even the tallest of his kind, waited before him, hair pulled this way and that in a system of elaborate braids. It glanced back over towards him, a questioning look upon its craggy face, but said nothing and then turned back. The line inched forwards, beads of sweat forming upon his skin in the stifling heat of the robe for all the cool night air. Such foolishness, the people of this city, for all the great wonders they wrought, for among his own tribe the matter would have been resolved by a brief tussle or their chieftain’s barked orders and settled within a matter of heartbeats.

Slowly, like a maimed deer making its last agonised crawl before the hunting party caught up with it, the line edged forward. He looked up, giving his name to the female seated at the table, she nodded and the two bruisers made way for him to begin ascending the stairs. Something didn’t quite tally here, it seemed that he was being taken on for the job whilst others, brawlers who could have snapped him in two, seasoned veterans with blades at their sides were being turned away. Still, what did it matter if Le Vert was a fool, when he promised such great wealth to those chosen to answer his call?

OOC: Sorry this is late, I meant to post on Sunday evening but got back a bit later than I'd expected.


Posted on 2007-08-01 at 04:47:04.
Edited on 2007-11-28 at 11:33:17 by Vorrioch

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


Post from Vilyamar

The door of the Blazing Heretic creaked low in the evening air, though the noise was lost into the din that flowed freely out of the common room, men and women of all races coming together to try and pick their chance at the prize. Dwarves, mostly at the bar and consuming great volumes of hard drink and steadily making their way to a state far from sobriety. Many humans filtered about through the center of the common room, coming or going from the tables and picking their way through the crowd. Even a couple of wild men could be picked out, a group sitting back in the corner sipping at their drinks and speaking loudly in strange tongues.

Raen’s gloved hands reached up to pull back the hood of her traveling cloak. The fire crackled and snapped in its hearth, spreading warmth, though it was hardly needed in the press of bodies. It wasn’t sparingly that a foul body odor assaulted Raen’s nose as she turned her shoulders to fit through the crowd. Pushing off one man who smelled distinctly like the gutters she had stepped over to enter the tavern who had stumbled drunkenly into her, Raen slipped past another two amicably talking about what each proposed to do with the thousand marks that were promised as a reward. At the tought, Raen’s lips thinned and she swallowed. A thousand rommels was a very great price indeed.

The young fighter’s head turned about and she nearly tripped, though she gracefully caught her feet beneath her as she turned to find the source of the racket. Her face flushed and she moved a pair of fingers to brush back the couple strands of hair that fell over her face. The band of musicians had just completed a lively jig and most patrons who still had senses left and weren’t preoccupied with placing their names down upon the rosters of the Zantrical had begun clapping their hands together in applause. The ovation ended soon after it had began, a few drunken whoops rounding out the end of the first set. The trio picked up once more a separate melody dancing in the rafters as Raen dodged a pair of lively dancers and a serving girl who neatly stepped aside, smiling and carrying a tray with the skill of a practiced master.

The line had had around two dozen hopeful applicants standing in line, each one giving a few pieces of information that the single woman garbed in the dark robes of the Zantrical took down. For a few, here a woman, there a man, sometimes with blade and sometimes without, the woman looked up for a long while, staring silently. Others were either summarily dismissed entirely, their faces downcast as the made their way towards the door, or more often, to the bar. Only two were immediately sent around the corner to climb the stairs. Some who the woman paused upon were passed over, some were sent up the stairs.

After about an hour of watching the line dwindle and grow as those who had partaken in the festivities finished their night’s entertainment, or perhaps the troubadours completing a set and leaving the dancers without their backup entertainment. Raen took one last draught from the mug of grog she had ordered. It was now or never. The young woman stood, placing herself in line behind an average man of no specific distinction, no specific fate. Her eyes forward, staring at his back that swayed as he peeked beyond those in front of him, Raen steeled herself for all possible outcomes, from success to utter failure at this venture. Thoughts of acceptance, thoughts of denial and refusal and thoughts of desertion crept into her mind and she felt a few beads of sweat trickle down her head from her scalp. They were not form the heat.

Finally, it was the man in front of her telling his name, profession and skillful adventuring prowess. Though his words were slightly slurred, the Zantrical woman took down every piece of information. She was kind voiced, her tone soothing as she quickly but quietly, at least as quiet as she could be with all the raucous being created behind them between the now thoroughly drunken dancers and the almost equally inebriated musicians, dismissed the man to the crowd. Raen took a large intake of air and swallowed, stepping forward.

“Hello, your name please?” asked the woman, looking up with her blue eyes from a nicely formed face framed by straight and even shoulder-length brown hair.

“Ve-. No, sorry, Strider. Raen Strider,” said Raen. The quill moved purposefully and smoothly across the long parchment. Raen couldn’t read the script from her angle, it had too much of a slant and curve. She was used to simple print, like what had been on the notice, not this form of calligraphy used by the recorder.

“And in what capacity can you assist us, Miss Strider?” came the smooth voice once more.

Raen blinked at the question. She had never been really asked to describe what she did before and now that it had come to that, she wasn’t sure that the description she could find was flattering or glorious in any way, shape or form.

“I-. Well, I am a guard-for-hire, ma’am. I have traveled from the southern borders near Kaul in the forests and mountains as well as to West a ways with many caravans and merchants. My previous employer had us from the western reaches of Veythor to Sanskrist here. And such is how I came to find of this opportunity,” recalled Raen. It was true to the greater extent. She shrugged in her mind without moving her shoulders at the exaggeration of her experience. It wasn’t as if she could cite a list of battles and commands she’d had.

“Very well, Miss Strider,” the woman ventured as she quickly noted down a few words in line with what Raen assumed was her name. The woman held out, with her left, a quill freshly dipped in dark ink from a jar that sat in the left corner of the table as her free right hand swung the parchment around. “If you could simply place your mark here you may continue up the stairs. Those beyond will assist you further.”

Raen saw many different marks in the scrabbly column, if it could be called that. Most of those men or women who could hardly form letters in the sand would be the crude crosses that formed almost half or more of the initials. Raen neatly formed an R and an S beside her name and returned the quill to the woman’s waiting and ink-stained fingers.

“Thank you,” came from the table as Raen turned to go beyond the two large men wearing the raven badges of the Zantrical. If stepping into line had been difficult, then this step was truly hard. Another swallow and a quick brush of her bangs that had come away from behind her ear again and Raen moved beyond the men and up the stairs. Now would truly start her adventures…


Posted on 2007-08-06 at 00:19:56.

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


Briefing

Mairon 5th, 389 P.D.
Trade City Sankirst, Veythor.
The Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern

Even though a large number of the applicants were from different races from across the continent – Vyarp included, it couldn’t be unnoticed that all eyes were on the big Kaulian woman who so boldly marched up to the counter, signed her name with remarkable finesse, and stalked up the stairs. The look of scorn she cast to the males in the room likewise couldn’t be ignored, most particularly since she looked as though she could outfight any of them, save maybe a couple of the dwarves, and a tough-looking northman whose bronzed skin was covered in a carpet of scars. Even her thundering footfalls on the creaky stairs kept people watching for a few moments after she had disappeared from view. Something about Kalte, be it her appearance or her attitude, had certainly earned her that position.

Vyarp’s sense of keen observation caused him a slight baffle, though he quickly tried to shake it off as he ascended the stairs to the second floor. Whether it was due to his small size, or simply that he was redirected upwards whilst the more warrior-type was not, but he scrambled up the first few stairs with haste to be out of arm’s reach of a pock-faced man wearing a bandolier of throwing blades across his chest. He heaved a low sigh of relief when he was out of view of the stranger, and scurried upwards.

The sight of the cloaked figure that didn’t even reach his knee being admitted to the next floor caused Herendiel to shift slightly in his seat. He also noticed that, almost immediately afterwards, a man with long scraggly hair and dressed in animal furs smashed his fist on the counter, and began to shout something in a language the wizard was not familiar with. All it took was the step-in from one of the guards to silence the man, who stormed out the door, kicking it open on its hinges as he left. This triggered his curiosity. What were the criteria for being accepted on the expedition? He found himself rising to his feet, ignoring the food and drink set before him. Absent-mindedly, he tapped out his pipe, and returned it to his pocket as he stood in line.

Only one or two more acceptances before it was his turn at the counter. He was looked over by the Zantrical recruiter, her eyes seemingly to pick him apart, before she pushed the register and pen to him. Quickly, he signed his name, and followed suit to get upstairs.

About ten feet down the hall from the top, there was another Zantrical agent, directing the recruits to the left or to the right. The doors on both sides of him were open, and inside of each, a small group was gathered. Apparently, to divide people according to profession, as the magician was pointed to the left.


The modest inn room had been cleared out for the purpose of this eve, being replaced by a dozen chairs arranged around the perimeter. A desk far too well-crafted to be property of the Blazing Heretic sat near the door, as well. Likely having been brought in by the recruiters, though whatever reason for it could not be determined.

A terse silence loomed while the group of eight sat in silence, though an combined aura of unease and eagerness might had as good as replaced the need for words. A glance around revealed the faces of several, but the identities of none. The large Kaulian woman who stood taller than all others. A puny figure huddled beneath a rippling cloak. A man dressed in the clothing of a scholar with an air of intelligence. A tough-looking young woman dressed for war. A dark-skinned girl wearing the crossed hands of Mirros. A young fellow with thick sideburns and wearing a dark orange bandana. A grim-faced dwarf with a large scar covering his left eye and his beard twisted into a myriad braids. And finally, a beautiful slender woman dressed in rather revealing clothes one might find a dancer garbed in. The last to enter the room was a red-haired man dressed in the Zantrical robes, closing the door behind him with a gentle click.

Slowly, silently, he assessed the group, looking each of them up and down before he stepped to the center of the room and clasped his hands behind his back, clearing his throat.

“Good evening to you all. My name is Arlaun, though that is not the matter of importance here. What is important is that you have been selected for this expedition into the unknown.” His voice was strong, his composure cool and relaxed. “As you’ve been informed, you’ll be traveling to a distant region, one that has not been charted for many generations, and certainly by nobody from our lands. The map found has been fortune for us, for it is a chance to stake out territory for our guild, for our people.

“This is the chance of a lifetime, for it is an opportunity to not only see an ancient part of this world, but to also lay claim to what you may find there. The condition is that you must bring proof of your arrival there, and you must establish yourselves there in the name of the Zantrical.

“I shall not lie to you; this is not expected to be easy. The journey is long, and will take you to the best protected harbour owned by the guild. As we are not resident in a coastal nation, that port lies in Galia. From here to Caraboln will be a journey of eight hundred miles, and from there, the travel across the sea shall be commenced by Captain Ahram of the Tidal Marauder. He will get you to the lost continent which we seek.”

Arlaun turned away for a moment, producing a small key from within his lapel, and inserted it into the single desk drawer. From within, he retrieved eight rolled parchments, sealed in violet wax and stamped with the Zantrical insignia. He strode around, handing one to each recruit.

“These are your fare across the sea. They will gain you passage, and will earn you the protection of the Marauder. The seal must not be broken, or they become void thereafter. Give it to Ahram, and he shall give you your voyage.

“As you know, your reward is a handsome monetary reward, and all the benefits of Zantrical guild membership. What you find out there is yours to keep as well. The value of this reward goes without question, and is due only to the brave and brilliant.”

Arlaun smiled slightly and took a step backwards. “You may depart when you are ready. Teamwork will be important to your success. The roads are long, but they are of your choosing. We will eagerly be awaiting your return to the port at Caraboln with news of your voyage. May the gods guide you on your way.”

And with that, Arlaun stepped out of the room, leaving the door ajar. The eight were once again alone, though at some point in his presence, the agent had left something upon the desk. Too new to be the original, but sketched well anyway, was a map of the continent, including a seemingly random drawing above Galia; the land which was the target of their quest.

The silence held for a few moments before the young man wearing the bandana shifted forwards in his seat. “Well, since we’re travelin’ together, I think this is a good time to at least get each other’s names. I’m Basque. Its nice to meet you all.”

Seated beside him, the dwarf scratched his beard with grubby fingers and huffed deeply. “My name is Arback, of the Starbreaker clan.”

On the other side of the seating area, the lovely woman smiled sweetly and tilted her head, allowing her light brown hair to fall to the side. “I’m Celene Rivercrest. My pleasure.”

(OOC: All right. Got that out of the way. Beginning updates are always toughest, but this should help us be on our way. The three NPCs are also team members who will be joining you. Since Tempest did not post, he will be brought effectively into the plot later, as will Eol Fefalas.

Kaelyn, Vorrioch, Vilyamar, Jozan, and our newest member, Tri, are all present. Feel free to introduce, get to know each other, etc. I will add the acquired parchment to your inventories, and will hopefully be able to get a copy of the map online. If not, I’ll do my best to describe it to you in detail as is presented by your newly obtained map.

Have fun!)



Posted on 2007-08-06 at 01:49:59.
Edited on 2007-08-15 at 16:26:31 by Tek

Tri
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 3/1
42 Posts


It Begins

It's been a week since Reya parted with Arn, the man who adopted her after the death of her parents and raised her on the road, and she was starting to wonder about what to do when she walked into the trade city of Sankirst. She trudged through the busy town streets to look for a place where she can rest and came across The Blazing Heretic Inn and Tavern, Nice name was her thought as she stepped in, listening to the sounds coming from inside, it was a busy place and most likely full, but she decided to try her luck here before moving on to the next inn. She was surprised, to say the least, to see the mass of people in the Blazing Heretic, never before had she seen so many people of so many different races and classes, from the cutthroat warrior to some that looks like they'd rather be in a library. She walked a few steps in, and notices a rather lengthy line on one side.

Curious, Reya walked up to a dwarf, a race she's grown much respect for in her travels, and started speaking to him, "Excuse me master dwarf, can I have a moment of your time?"

The dwarf turned and eyed her up and down, looking, as dwarves always do, suspicious of this stranger, he replied in heavily accented common "Wot ye want lass?". Another dwarf beside him looked at Reya and said quietly to the first dwarf in their native tongue. "Watch out fer this one lad, she seems mighty suspicious ta me, wearin' armour but no blade."
Reya nods politely at the line "I'm sorry to bother you, but can you tell me what all those people over there are waiting for?"

"Ya mean ya dinnae know? Bloody 'ell lass, where'd ya been? 'Ere, take a look a' this." The first dwarf grumbled and pulls a notice out of his pocket and handed it to her, Reya thanked him and started reading it, the second dwarf continuing to talk to the first,

"Look at her, no meat on her bloody bones, she's a pretty one I'd grant ya that, but she's so damn young, a little tyke playing at being a grown up. She should go back home an' grow up a wee bit first, wanderin around like that, without even a weapon! She'd better watch out before someone tries to find their way into her pants"
Reya looked up at the desk, then back down to the notice, if this is right, than that means she can travel with a group again, a group that might be needing her healing talents, and someone to try to talk people out of fighting, the rewards are just too great to be given without bloodshed. She handed the notice back, thanking the first dwarf in their rough tongue before talking to the second one. "Thank you for this information master dwarf, may your beard always be full, and your concern is noted good sir, I'll try to keep away from those who think I'm pretty, lest they try to do as you suggest." Reya turned and moved to the back of the line as the first dwarf roars with laughter at his surprised friend.

The line moved slowly, many were sent up the stairs as many more are sent away, angrily stomping or sadly shuffling outside. When it finally became Reya's turn the woman glanced at her, then down at the papers "Next"

Reya stood in place, not moving until the woman looks up at her again, taking a closer look at her dusty, travel worn gear, the woman sighed "Alright miss, tell me how you think you can help us."

Reya nods, taking in a small breath before talking "I know I look young, but I've spent eight years traveling around, I've probably seen more places and things than most in this room have, I know how to take care of a wound even without my healing magics, and I'm proficient in several languages, and still learning more."

The woman leaned back in her seat, staring at this motionless Reya, weighing her words, trying to find exaggeration or lies in the girls words. "This isn't going to be a game girl, there will be things that will try to kill you out there, this is serious, you know that right?"

Reya nodded, followed by the woman "Very well, up the stairs, someone will direct you from there"

Reya smiled softly and thanked her, going up the stairs, she was led to a room with several other people sitting around a table who glanced at her as she took a seat. Everyone then waited quietly, the tension in the room obvious, Reya shifted in her seat, jumping a little as another man walked in, introducing himself as Arlaun, handing out papers and instructions before leaving.

Reya studied the roll of paper handed to her, noticing the map as the man, wearing a bandana, leaned forward and introduced himself as Basque, followed by two more, a dwarf named Arback and a woman named Celene, Reya nodded in greeting, smiling as she said "I'm Reya Crystalis, wandering healer."

Reya's voice had a unique accent, best described as no accent at all, making it all the stranger.


Posted on 2007-08-06 at 09:45:39.
Edited on 2007-08-06 at 11:54:29 by Tri

Vorrioch
Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts


Introductions

Perched atop one of the dozen tall wooden chairs in the upstairs chamber Vyarp listened carefully while the purple-robed man made his speech, ears pricking up and straining against the folds of his hood as he sought to capture the Zantrical agent’s words and commit them to memory.

Elated as he was at having made the cut, mere avarice at the sums at hand was not quite sufficient to mute his lingering doubts at the improbability of what had happened nor a strange curiosity to discover what was actually going on. His eyes flickered periodically across the other members of the newly formed group seeking to gauge their reactions to a particular point where he needed a yardstick with which to measure his own, for he was still to new to this city to judge fully what was to be considered strange and what commonplace among its people.

Precious little of what had happened so far made the slightest sense, for he was forced to concede that his hope of inclusion had been a foolish one. In shunning the calling cards that many others of Jak’s band had so arrogantly flaunted at the scene of each job he had left himself without reputation in this place, a state of affairs which had until recently seemed most desirable. In the absence of any tangible test he should by all rights have been turned away for nothing in his appearance bespoke any particular talent save that of concealment. With such vast sums at hand, however, only a fool would refuse Le Vert’s offer, for who was to say that the man was not merely mad or whimsical in the extreme. Still, it could do no harm to keep an eye and ear on the trail and watch closely for what little sense could be extracted from the proceedings.

Weighing the sealed parchment roll between clawed hands as the speaker made his exit, a memory lingered in Vyarp's mind. A few months past the others in the band had recovered a similar scroll from the office of some wealthy taskmaster, promising a man deemed specialist in that field a share in the spoils to slice open the seal to reveal its contents before repairing the damage that it might be returned to the source of its providence seemingly intact. The eyes of the Zantrical may well be sharper than those of that previous mark, and Vyarp could not credit himself with similar skill, but the possibility remained that such an operation might be conducted in the right hands- a thought that might well warrant further investigation should time permit.

With the Zantrical agent’s speech concluded, the unavoidable process of introductions began. Vyarp shifted uneasily in his seat, aware that whilst on the streets bwlow his standard method of dress left him no more conspicuous than a potboy or half-man sheltering from the rain here, here, with no crowds offer shelter, he was already becoming an object of curiosity. Even cloaked and hooded as he was the first instinct of those below had been towards violence at his acceptance, and the weight of past experience made it clear that had his race been known the guards would have been hard pressed to hold the mob back, if they had indeed exerted themselves in that direction at all. It was, however, too much to hope that he would be able to keep his identity concealed during a journey of such proportions, and this was no more dangerous a point than any other to make it known.

Reluctantly discarding the instincts which had seen him safe through city life so far, and already measuring the closest route to door or window Vyarp rose to stand atop the chair. Slowly, relucant to speed the moment, he removed first one glove and then the other to reveal long, taloned fingers more akin to claws and, watching the humans gathered around him closely for any quick movement, made his introduction in a high-pitched, guttural tone: “My name is Vyarp Longtooth, of the tribe of the Twisted Horn. If you need a trapper, scout, knife fighter or archer then I’m your man.” Uncomfortably aware of so many eyes upon him and regretting the last word already, Vyarp sank to a crouch atop the chair seat, ready to spring for the window should it become necessary.



Posted on 2007-08-13 at 19:07:51.

Vilyamar
Glorious Emperor
Karma: 28/16
428 Posts


Ch. 1 - The Beginning

The staircase was wooden and unadorned as Raen scaled to the top and entered a plain hallway with a simple wooden floor. A hollow sound resonated through the floor boards as her boots struck with the heel then toe. Scuff marks showed leading into some of the doorways beyond her.

A single figure cloaked in the articles of the Zantrical stood in her way, two open doors on either side of him telling the signs that there were in fact two groups that had been set aside. A sense of caution piqued in Raen though she faltered only a single step when she figured that there had been two paths to take. Before she could make a decision, however, a hand directed her through the doorway to her right, and into one of the inn’s rooms.

The doorway, not thoroughly solid as any weather-bearing door would expect to be, stood open on its hinges until finally a small figure scurried through, huddling beneath the folds of its cloak, the door closing behind him by the Zantrical agent. Raen had already take a seat between the strangers. The chairs and an elaborate desk that stood out from the modest coverings on the wall were the only furnishings within the room. Raen’s eyes glanced over each face and body, noting who was here, and almost as importantly, who was not. It wasn’t an odd group, though she knew nothing of what professions or talents the others possessed and so could not tell what skills they would have to work with.

Her brothers had told her she could have been a general if she had only been born a boy. Each of the other seven was doing the same scan of her and the others. They could almost have been a group of wolves placed together, each eyeing each other to find which might have been the weakest member to support. Or maybe the first member they would eat.

Raen started when the door clicked open and shut swiftly behind a red-haired man dressed in the robes of the Zantrical. He stood no taller than eight hands, his build disguised by the flowing black and purple cloth adorned with the Zantrical’s mark, a Raven, on his left shoulder. He, too, studied each of them. Raen watched his eyes move along each person, up and down, sizing them like cattle for the slaughter. The feeling bordered on uncomfortable and Raen could feel annoyance towards the man’s demeanor. He seemed to put off an air of superiority, above those who had been chosen to become the fodder that would pave the way for their grasp and influence.

Raen’s lips drew thin as he took two steps forward to the center of the small semi-circle they had formed with the chairs. Raen’s right hand returned to her left upon her right knee upon pushing a few strands of hair back behind her ear. Her right leg upon her left in as modest a way as was possible wearing her armor and breeches, Raen listened intently to the man.

“Good evening to you all. My name is Arlaun, though that is not the matter of importance here. What is important is that you have been selected for this expedition into the unknown,” he proclaimed in a voice that stayed simple and true. Arlaun’s expression never changed and though his voice was not quite monotone, it did not change much either. Very plain, yet informative, was his voice and effective in getting the message across.

“As you’ve been informed, you’ll be traveling to a distant region, one that has not been charted for many generations, and certainly by nobody from our lands. The map found has been fortune for us, for it is a chance to stake out territory for our guild, for our people.”

“This is the chance of a lifetime, for it is an opportunity to not only see an ancient part of this world, but to also lay claim to what you may find there. The condition is that you must bring proof of your arrival there, and you must establish yourselves there in the name of the Zantrical.”

“I shall not lie to you; this is not expected to be easy. The journey is long, and will take you to the best protected harbour owned by the guild. As we are not resident in a coastal nation, that port lies in Galia. From here to Caraboln will be a journey of eight hundred miles, and from there, the travel across the sea shall be commenced by Captain Ahram of the Tidal Marauder. He will get you to the lost continent which we seek.”

Eight hundred miles! thought Raen. The number sped through her head quickly. She had a small aptitude for numbers, being able to count and multiply distances and times well. Going the other way was sometimes tricky, but she could manage, especially with pen and ink. At least 40 days of travel on foot. Perhaps more.
As the numbers ran through Raen’s mind, the man turned away for a moment, drawing something from within his robes. Raen’s hand edged slightly towards a dagger hilt that sat in her boots, eyes intent on the man’s back. Only did Raen relax when the click of a lock being turned and the wooden slide of a door stopped and Arlaun turned back with a set of rolled and sealed declarations. Each wax seal bore the mark of the Raven, for the Zantrical.

“These are your fare across the sea. They will gain you passage, and will earn you the protection of the Marauder. The seal must not be broken, or they become void thereafter. Give it to Ahram, and he shall give you your voyage.

“As you know, your reward is a handsome monetary reward, and all the benefits of Zantrical guild membership. What you find out there is yours to keep as well. The value of this reward goes without question, and is due only to the brave and brilliant.”

Arlaun smiled slightly and took a step backwards. “You may depart when you are ready. Teamwork will be important to your success. The roads are long, but they are of your choosing. We will eagerly be awaiting your return to the port at Caraboln with news of your voyage. May the gods guild you on your way.”

Arlaun turned and exited the room without hurry, though with purpose. He left the door open, showing an empty hall and an empty doorway beyond and an empty room beyond that. As his purple robes fluttered behind his steps, Arlaun disappeared down the hallway, the last sounds being his footsteps on the stairs. No one within the small inn’s room moved or spoke.

They all slowly looked at one another, not wanting to be the one to first break the silence that was laid over the gentle raucous from downstairs in the tavern. It was the young man whose head was covered in a bandana that first spoke.

Shifting forward on the chair, he spoke with a native accent, “Well, since we’re travelin’ together, I think this is a good time to at least get each other’s names. I’m Basque. Its nice to meet you all.”

Seated beside him, the dwarf scratched his beard with grubby fingers and huffed deeply. “My name is Arback, of the Starbreaker clan.”

On the other side of the seating area, the lovely woman smiled sweetly and tilted her head, allowing her light brown hair to fall to the side. “I’m Celene Rivercrest. My pleasure.”

Raen had taken a seat beside the dwarf who had introduced himself as Arback. She, herself was reluctant to be anywhere but last in calling out her name. Even though these people were those chosen to become this party from many applicants below, she had no clue as to what the process for selection had been. For all she knew any one person here could have been general street urchins that had been dragged in for filler, with personal views that were not upheld by the rest of the common people.

The next to speak was another young woman, who also wore a set of armor, yet carried no visible blade. Unlikely that she was a thief, but what sort of warrior would carry no tools? Several thoughts ran through Raen’s mind as the woman opened her mouth to speak.

“I am Reya Crystallis.” She spoke plainly, without accent belonging to anywhere, or perhaps to everywhere and Raen could not place her birthplace. “Wandering healer.”

Her name was of interest, but solely because it closely resembled her own. Raen looked the woman over more carefully this time, noting clothing. The absence of a weapon made a little more sense if she claimed to provide assistance to those without health. It would also explain the symbol of the gods lying upon her breast. Raen wasn’t sure, but she had heard the name Mirros associated with the symbol of crossed hands.

Before anyone else could move or speak, it was the small figures turn at introductions. The scroll it held passed from hand to hand as it removed its gloves, though Raen was not sure of what to expect from the creature, what she did see was far from what she had even thought of.

One glove, then the other, was removed showing scaly, taloned fingers. Raen was too much in shock at seeing the talons of a kobold to do anything while it spoke.

“My name is Vyarp Longtooth, of the tribe of the Twisted Horn. If you need a trapper, scout, knife fighter or archer then I’m your man,” came the words, guttural, high-pitched and disgusting to Raen. She stood sharply, knocking back her chair as it rocked on its rear legs, threatening to fall back before clattering onto all fours again. A quick hand drew a dagger from her belt and held it within her left grasp.

“Kobold,” hissed Raen, though not moving forward as Vyarp crouched on his chair. “What business do you have here? Which band of thieves cut throats to send you on this task?”


(Playing this out. RP time peoples! As you can see, Raen has not had...pleasant... experiences with kobolds before.)


Posted on 2007-08-14 at 16:53:24.
Edited on 2007-08-15 at 22:34:58 by Vilyamar

   
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