Aelistae sat at the plain table, her violet eyes fixed upon the walls of what had become the impromptu dining room. The thinning plaster on the walls had been stripped away, leaving bare the cold stone underneath. And it all seemed to the drow woman’s eyes as if it was one massive sava* board. Each square or stone block was so rutted and irregular that it took on the likeness of a piece – the haughty Matron, the ambitious priestess, the dutiful warrior and the cowed slave.
‘And where do I fit in?’ Aelistae could not help thinking. ‘Will there ever be a time when the Gods dictate that I can retire from that board? And, if that time came, would I be happy?’
"Don't eat that nasty cold stew," someone suddenly spoke, interrupting the melancholic train of Aelistae’s thoughts.
‘Bronwyn,’ Aelistae reminded herself as she caught sight of the small, mousey woman who had aided them in reclaiming the keep. No one had quite managed to settle themselves into the day to day routine of living an ordinary life as she had. And Aelistae felt a pang of jealousy for that fact alone.
“How are you finding the Keep” Aelistae inquired of the woman as she returned to the bowl before her. “Is it very different to where you lived before?”
OOC: ‘Sava’ is a complicated drow version of chess.
Posted on 2009-04-05 at 10:39:47.
Edited on 2009-04-05 at 14:31:40 by Ginafae
(Please keep in mind the timestamps I leave for each player, as we’ll be juggling a lot of actions over the week and different posts will take place at different times.)
Elendil Day 1 4pm
Into the rising sun Elendil rode, thundering hooves of her newly acquired silver dun mare blazing across the copper hued landscape surrounding Starspire Bastion. Her allegiance to the Elven kingdom bid her return to the council nestled deep in the boughs of the Wealdath Forest. Her journey would take her a few days each way, for the elves knew something of defending their homes with deception, subterfuge, and utilizing nature’s own might in their defenses; and to pick her way through the web of illusion and glamour would take time even for the elf, whose time with the council and natural affinity for the outdoors gave her an edge over the twisting paths through the dense foliage.
It had only really been just over a week since Elendil had left the forest, guiding a naïve human farm-girl with a penchant for the arcane south to bigger towns where she could try and realize bigger dreams. Now, she returned with an enchanted chest strapped to the back of her steed, laden with the tidings of her investigation, and a token possibly more valuable still. The Starspire opal, along with the sealed letter attached to it, were the first attempt of open communication and relations since before the civil war. When the drow,and other monster invasions, along with internal civil unrest rocked the nation the elves had seen fit to tighten their borders and keep to themselves, practical silent neighbors overlooking as Tethyr tore itself apart. This hadn’t bode well for diplomacy in the eyes of the former monarchy, and though the new regime had done much to rekindle the spirits of Tethyr, their reach did not extend so far into foreign affairs as Her Majesty may have hoped. Bartholomew’s gift and good-will would hopefully open old doors anew, but the memories of the elves were long… would it be enough?
As Elendil rode on, thoughts of the previous week drifted in and out of her mind. Of loss and gain, times of old and what the future may hold, dependant on the items she now carried. Her mission was of no less importance now, then was her assistance in the liberation of the stronghold from Bolikar or his drow cohort. Yet somehow, even with that burden upon her, here in the mossy halls of her wooded kingdom Elendil felt at ease. Surely the woods held plenty of dangers of her own, but to the ranger, it was as natural for the forest or the creatures within to act upon matters of instinct and survival, without the complications of motive or morality humanoids seemed to be governed by.
She would enjoy the return to her current abode, though she could not truly call it home…
(Will continue when I wake up unless you feel free to make a personal thoughts post.)
Xaris Day 1 9am:
The rest of the troupe known commonly now as the Lights of Starspire had gathered to discuss the actions the next week would hold for each of them. It had been decided that most would descend into the mines to clear what they may meet, secure what they may for an excavation or survey team to be established, and then return in hopes of still being able to guard the coming caravan in a weeks time. Xaris had opted instead to remain behind, to affiliate himself more with the surroundings of the new frontier post, and to get acquainted with those few military men garrisoned here. Though he was not trained by any practical military method, none could deny his prowess in battle, and his presence alone would surely be an inspiration to those stationed here, many who to the gnome seemed to have seen fewer winters than he’d have liked. Winter was fast approaching, and with it danger’s and complications outweighing purely monsters or brigands, and he would need to take what opportunities that presented themselves to try and turn this motley militia into a well trained standing army.
Xaris excused himself as the meeting concluded, and took himself down to the bailey, where a half dozen Militiamen gathered, and were practicing routine sword techniques under the instruction of a man by the name of Thomas Jane. Acting as the current captain of the militia, Thomas was still young himself, perhaps twenty years of age, with thin stubble forming along his angular chin. As he slowly thrust and cut with his longsword, the six militiamen gathered repeated the actions with their shortswords in return, though even as he approached Xaris could not only see the lack of skill or conviction in the recruits, but the inexperience of their appointed trainer Thomas as well.
There was much to be discussed…
(Feel free to approach and interact, or give names to the 6 npcs, check out the Base of operations thread for info on them… the other six are patrolling the perimeter, you may call them back if you desire etc)
Bronwyn day 1 (actions end at 3:30pm)
Bronwyn too, while showing some excitement at the notion of traveling more with this strange and invigorating group of individuals, thought it wise to secure a means of income, and resources. It was with Bart’s blessings that she set up her small lab in the basement, currently unused for anything but storage, or the odd bedding. So, behind the partial cover of crates and barrels, excess bolts of cloth and foodstuffs Bronwyn set to work, her desire to etch to parchment the power of her skill, the drive to carve out a life here within these stone walls, even if only temporary, set her to work, diligence and patience her only companions.. (Starting you at 8 hours a day work standard day leaves 8 hours afterwards for interaction and 8 hours rest and sleep currently)
Bronwyn found that her hand at scribing scrolls came naturally. Though it was draining to both her mentally and financially. Hopefully they would sell on the market. In a little over six hours she had managed to scribe both her daily slots of fireball into the parchment, the golden writing fading to black as the inscription was completed. (See Q/a for details) Would she try for some of her lower level spells? Perhaps try her hand at potions instead? Or perhaps it was time to take a break for the day and fuel her body and her mind.
Day one Mine group, 12:30pm
For Talus, Linnix, Aelistae and Dylan, their course lay to the north. Bidding their lordship goodday, and checking over their gear one final time. Some of the group more excited than others to leave the confines of this up and coming fortification. The journey to the mines itself was fairly uneventful, and took only a few hours to reach, convenient for delivery to the outpost should it be reclaimed. As the quartet arrived at the destination, a pale, man with a bald pate and muscles toned from years of intense physical labor met them a few hundred yards from the entrance.
“Aye about time ye folks showed up, mine’s not gonna clear itself of that vermin and the stones not be helping anyone sittin down there by its lonesome. I’ve been told there’s ore down there and me an’ my boys will get to it if it is, but not with monsters and critters runnin amok. That’s where you shiny people come in. After fellin ogre’s and flyin witches, a few trog’s and gobs shouldn’t be a problem. Now git on goin and give em ‘ell for Ol Willy!” The man punched his solid fist into an open palm and let out a guffaw, before stepping out of their way waiting expectantly for the group to pass him by.
Into the rising sun Elendil rode, thundering hooves of her newly acquired silver dun mare blazing across the copper hued landscape surrounding Starspire Bastion.
Though the trip with Bronwyn had been agonizingly slow compared to what speed afoot Elendil alone could make, had made their journey to the Keep over a week long. On such a fine mount she moved swiftly to her destination Though the Elves of Wealdath were not her people, being elves she had held an affinity to them and when she volunteered her services to them, her sense to duty and honor keep her focused on carrying out the duty without delay. She had had to turn down Lord Bartholomew’s offer to join them, to complete her assignment for the Council, nestled deep in the boughs of the Wealdath Forest. Her journey would take her a few days each way, for the elves knew something of defending their homes with deception, subterfuge, and utilizing nature’s own might in their defenses; and to pick her way through the web of illusion and glamour would take time even for the elf, whose time with the council and natural affinity for the outdoors gave her an edge over the twisting paths through the dense foliage.
Now, she returned with an enchanted chest strapped to the back of her steed, laden with the tidings of her investigation, and a token possibly more valuable still. The Starspire opal, along with the sealed letter attached to it, were the first attempt of open communication and relations since before the civil war. Bartholomew’s gift and good-will would hopefully open old doors anew, but the memories of the elves were long… would it be enough?
Elendil had started walking the mare when she first set out from the keep to warm up. After an hour she moved to the trot And then a canter, before she dismounted checked the attachments holding the chest in place, lightly loosened the cinch and the walked and trotted alongside the mare to give her a breather. Having so recently traversed the mountains, she knew where the watering places were and timed a walk phase for just before reaching one and drinking from the cool mountain stream she retightened the cinch and, remounted to walk, then trot and canter again. Elendil then repeated the routine, it was the best way to assure her of speed without over taxing the mare. Cresting the road at the summit of the pass through the Starspire Mts., she paused to look NE, over the verdant canopy of the trees that was the Wealdath Forest.
As Elendil rode on, thoughts of the previous week drifted in and out of her mind. Of loss and gain, times of old and what the future may hold, dependant on the items she now carried. Buried in her thoughs was a a worm-like worry having to do with the Courier that had come and then titled her Lady. As much as she tried to quell the fear, she wondered if she had been finally located, had her family found her?
Wlwndil drove on with some speed while she followed the road, but as soon as she reached SE corner of the Forest, she moved into the cover and safety of the trees. Moving through the forest would take longer, but she felt safer there. Night found her in the shadowy depths of the great Wealdath. She found a glade with a stream nearby and sufficient grass for the mare. In the way of a Ranger she used her skills and abilities to bond the mare to her. In their bonding the mare gave Elendil, her inner name, Dawn Star. She groomed the mare, set out her saddle blanked to dry, cleaned the tack and only then fed herseff. Elendil slept, knowing her affinity to nature would give her warning of danger. Partway through the night she woke, to give the mare a measure of grain, and once again in the dark of the morning. Elendil ate sparingly, the located the mare cropping grass and tacked her up and reset the chest. giving it some extra padding by folding up a blanket and setting it under the chest.
In the solitude of her ride her mind had time to dwell on the liberation of the stronghold from Bolikar and his drow cohort. Yet somehow, even with that burden upon her, here in the mossy halls of her wooded kingdom Elendil felt at ease. Surely the woods held plenty of dangers of her own, but to the ranger, it was as natural for the forest or the creatures within to act upon matters of instinct and survival, without the complications of motive or morality humanoids seemed to be governed by.
Following the pattern of the day before, Elendil move through the forest alert and on guard, not all animals in the forest were friendly—some were neutral hunger.
Posted on 2009-04-07 at 00:47:17.
Edited on 2009-04-07 at 06:49:06 by Dragon Mistress
“Now this is what I’m talking about” Dylan said as he swung in to breakfast behind Bronwyn, late with a bowl of hot porridge in his hands. He annexed the seat next to the cook’s while pecking out a small handful of choice fruits from the bowl. Without need for much encouragement, Dylan dug into another one of the best meals he'd eaten for some long time. Of course, sticking around where people knew you had the tendency to bring good food your way.
“And this is a woman of many talents; she goes from fireballing monster off walls to cooking a hot breakfast without missing a beat.” He said as she retook her seat between Talus and himself. “It’s a good thing we’re going for a little outing this afternoon, else I may do nothing but eat and sing here, and then I wouldn’t be able to move after very long, and that would make you would be the ruin of me,” he joked with the farm girl mage.
Back in his personal quarters he spent a decent fifteen minutes attempting to settle the subtle orchestration of his violin and his new cloak in such a way that neither did the other injustice. Matters were solved with a flash of ingenuity as he allowed the cloak to hang mostly on one shoulder, with the other slightly slack such that his violin case was not inhibited by it. Satisfied, he stole a final look in the mirror and noted with some regret that his beard could use a trim, but there was certainly not the time for that by now. He took his sword onto his belt and joined Linnix on her cart (assuming she is bringing it even here?).
". . . . That’s where you shiny people come in. After fellin’ ogres and flyin’ witches, a few trogs and gobs shouldn’t be a problem. Now git on goin’ and give ‘em ‘ell for Ol’ Willy!”
Dylan glanced down into the cave, catching just the key points of ol’ Willy’s speech. Shiny people? he asked himself, I suppose it’s only to be expected, such folk spend their lives weighing worth by lustre—shiny is only natural to him. He reflected on the tight quarters and possibly unstable area. Perhaps it was for the best that Bronwyn’s fireballs were committed to parchment than into these tunnels for today. The poor girl was so pleasant, but too shy to join them of her own accord.
Dylan popped his head further into the cave for a just moment, and then stepped aside the entrance. “So who wants to go in first? Or shall we all walk four abreast?” he asked with a low jester’s bow. He took his rapier in his hand and waited for at least one or maybe two others to volunteer to lead the delving before entering himself. Once fully out of the light of day he armed himself. If the illumination of the tunnel is not provided for, Dylan will apologize and explain his sight impediment. “I can’t see a damn thing, guys.” Then he will raise his voice in a short sung incantation of light, casting Light on his right ring finger (unless, perhaps, some one would like to cast it first).
(and I have just noticed another tragic failure of my most recent level up. I seem to have one less 1st level spell than I should, which will be remedied as quickly as possible.)
(More OOC; I never noticed just how long Light lasts—anyone of us casting it gives a full hour of illumination.)
Posted on 2009-04-07 at 04:40:34.
Edited on 2009-04-07 at 04:41:02 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Aelistae slipped from atop Daisy’s back and nodded at the large human that greeted them near the Mine. The words tripped over themselves as they tumbled out of his mouth, and about all the drow priestess could catch were the words ‘monster’, ‘trogs’ and the name ‘Ol’ Willy’.
Aelistae raised a smile party in incomprehension and partly in gratitude for the man’s exuberant welcome even after seeing the colour of her skin.
“It’s…good to meet you,” she ventured, after the large human finally paused for breath. “Do you know how deep this mine runs? And how many ‘monsters’ are down there?”
[After receiving a reply, since the man did greet us a ‘few hundred yards’ away from the opening:]
Aelistae crouched beneath the wooden beams that marked the entrance to the Mine. Her eyes swam through the thick darkness that lay within, flitted over the roughly cut stone and followed the slope of the tunnel down into the earth until even her drow eyes could go no further.
Aelistae shook her head and rose up once more onto the balls of her feet. “In the dark, in the world below, there is only one lesson that you must abide with: sarnor lu' venorik. We must move swiftly to stop our enemies from coordinating plans against us. And we must be silent or as quiet as we can be. Sound travels further than you may think underground.”
The drow priestess’ face soured slightly as she caught some of the pungent air emanating from the Mine. “Sst’tizzinow,” she murmured distastefully, more to herself than anyone else. “That must be the ‘trogs’ Willy talked of. Even the Spider Kissers avoid them. They’re surrounded by a…smell and eat anything – any flesh – that they come across.”
“I know now why Willy wanted us here,” she added to the others with a grim nod.
Aelistae slowly removed her cloak, allowing the sunlight to reflect upon her silvery hair and the mithril webs of her armour. She closed her eyes, savouring for a moment the burning kiss of the sunlight upon her sable skin. ‘Strange how that ball of fire hurts me when I look at it, and burns me with its beauty when I look away.’
“I’ll go in first. I don’t want you tripping over that sword of yours,” she replied with a half-hearted smile at Dylan, as the bard asked in what order they should proceed.
[OOC: I think it’s best for Aelistae to go first since I think she is better in a sword-fight out of the four of us. She might also be the first to trigger any traps, but that can’t be helped. I asked Kaelyn if Aelistae would know what a troglodyte was, since they’re so common in the Underdark. He replied that she would but even still I figure that the human name for them would be unfamiliar to her.]
Willy ran a rugged palm over his bald head as Aelistae asked him about the depth of the mines and the monster's therein.
"As fer how deep dey go, the notes I was given stated they ran clear into the mountains, good mile or so deep on the top floor, and 'nother half as long on the second. As fer how deep, I'd say you'd be safely lookin at a good half mile o' rock above yer head if ye get down to dig site two.."
He turned and looked back towards the mine behind him before returning his eyes towards Aelistae.
"As fer how many critters, well if was yer average lost gob or kobold me 'n my boys could've handled it, but I'm guessin by the fact they said y'use all was comin it be more than that... All I can say is be careful down der, u can't ever be sure what's round the corner, and I don't know if after all these years the mine's even stable anymore."
“A whole half mile?” Aelistae queried, the white tuft of her right eyebrow arching itself quizzically. “I hope whoever was mining here before didn’t dig too deeply.”
“But thank you for the information,” Aelistae added after reaching out and squeezing the old man’s hand gratefully. “With luck and the Lady’s blessing, they’ll be few surprises waiting for us down there. And in a few days you and your people can get to work.”
Posted on 2009-04-07 at 12:51:19.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
“How are you finding the Keep” Aelistae inquired of the woman as she returned to the bowl before her. “Is it very different to where you lived before?”
“It is not home, but everyone has been really nice,” Bronwyn add simply and honestly, but then I haven’t lived at home for some years while I trained in magic. I stayed with a retired Wizardess, until just a few months ago. Then we both moved back, to my Grandfather’s farm. It was the least I could do once she was thrown out of her cottage.
Bronwyn sighed softly. “After she passed away I found I could not make a go of being a wizard around home, They all remember me as a child running around our farm herding the geese or goats, which is why I was traveling toward Tethry to find a place to practice and make a living.” She pushed back an errant lock of hair that had escaped from her single long plaited braid.
Sitting down between Dylan and Aelistae after setting down the two bowls of porridge she shakes her head as she responds to Dylan’s comment, “I didn’t cook it this morning, only for the first few days before the cooks arrived. I did share my grandmother’s recipe with them since they liked it so much. I did help mile the cows this morning though. They are short handed in the barn,” Bronwyn said as she ladled a big spoonful of honey into her porridge and added and generous measure of Cream to her bowl.
“I understand that most of you are going out to the mines. When Elendil and I were there that first night some goblins and orcs near the mines and gnolls were in the area too. I was going to scribe a scroll today for fireball but it won’t be done for hours yet. But if you still need it tomorrow it should be ready by then. I hope anyway at least one will. “Bronwyn shares her information about the mine in case it might be of help.
Right after that Bronwyn start the long processes of scribing scrolls. She takes out her spell books and all her materials she set out carefully on the table they had brought her to work on. She had sanded it and smoothed it with bees wax and polished it until it had a soft mellow sheen. She sharpen her quill points and laid several out ready for use as needed, Only then did she uncap the precious and expensive bottle of scroll ink and set to work. Every word had to be precisely copied and the magic enchanted into the written words. She took great care, frequently checking her spell book for accuracy. About four hours later she had one down and set it aside and went to get something for lunch.
Bronwyn went straight to the kitchens. Looking for not much more than a hunk of cheese some bread, and a glass of milk, she nodded in respect to the head chef and chef cook. She waited for them to invite her into their domain. Once given she smiles and enters.
The kitchen is bustling lunch was being prepared for the lord and his family, so she sat off to the side on a tall stool at a sideboard.
“Maisy, Maisy, leave off the churning and help me quick,” the head chef called out to the kitchen girl. “Yes’m” the young girl replies and hurries off from the churn. Bronwyn moved over to her place and took up the abandoned position. Churning butter was a tedious chore but not mentally demanding--one she knows well. Beside she was doing nothing else right and it was a good break from the fine dexterity and constant attention to detail that scribing scrolls was. The steady up and down motion of churning was almost restful.
Finally the Chef and chief cook were done getting the dishes out for the lord and such staff and ate with them.
“Och, I’m fair fashed, desserts are out and the gentry will be done soon,” the chief cook said wiping the perspiration from her brow. The chef looks cool and calm now and is not so demonstratively relieved. The head cook looks about and her eyes light on Bronwyn at the churn. “Lady what are you doing?”
“Churning butter,” replies Bronwyn quietly. This was one of my chores when I was growing up.”
“Why aren’t you in at the meal.” she adds. I could make you something up from what’s come back before kitchen staff gets to it.
“All I need is some bread, cheese, some fresh churned butter,” Bronwyn adds with a wink “will be fine. I will just make a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch. I am not use to all the fine food.” Is there any of the porridge lest from breakfast?”
But it’s not but a cold and congealed lump, miss, what’s left that is.”
“That’s perfect,” replies Bronwyn, just turn it out on a cutting board and I will make you a treat.”
“What’s treat my lady,” asks Maisy as she returns to the butter churn now that last rush to get lunch out was done.
“Just you wait and see,” Bronwyn grins with a wink. Over where the congealed mass of the morning’s porridge was turned out, Bronwyn took up a knife and began slicing it into slabs about 3/4 inches thick and then squares about 3 x 3 inches. Bronwyn picked up a baking sheet and pot of honey and some rolled oats. Taking each square she dipped it in the honey covered it with the rolled oats, and then set it on the baking sheet, When she was done she drizzled a bit more honey on the top and put the pan into one of the still warm ovens. “Now let that stay in there until the porridge cakes are dried out. Then you can eat them either hot or cold themselves or with a dollop of cream on top. Enjoy, and save one for me. My Gran always make those when there were leftovers for us to snack on.”
Bronwyn then toasted her bread and cut a slab of cheese to put between the sliced with some butter and held it over the fire until the cheese melted. She finished up with an apple and one of the freshly baked porridge squares with a dollop of thick cream, compliments of the head cook. Now I have to get back to work. Scrolls won’t scribe themselves.”
Refreshed by her break, and simple meal and the warmth of the kitchen staff to her, Bronwyn went back to scribe her next scroll, taking the same care in preparation and execution with it. Finally with both scrolls sanded and rolled up into her scroll case, Bronwyn stretched stiff muscle unused to sitting so long at a single task. Bronwyn gathered up her cloak and a walking stick and set off for Buttercup’s grave site. One of the woodsmen had set up a stump of a felled tree there near the flowers Elendil had planted where she could stop and sit more comfortably than on the cold ground. It was an unexpected act of kindness from a person she didn’t even really know.
The sun was fading in the west over the mountain and though there would still be light in the sky until it went over the horizon the mountain cast long shadows over the grave site this late in the day.
"And I can go in second, I suppose." Talus chimed in. "I can augment my vision to be almost as good in the dark as yours, Aelistae. Plus I can protect myself from any missiles a hiding goblin launches at me."
Talus closed his eyes for a moment. After a moment's pause, a barrier of chaotically swirling energy sprang up around the warlock as he opens his eyes again. The display started with what looked like a series of his eldritch blasts flying out of the ground near his feet, arcing up to circle above his head before winding back down to the ground again. The points of energy change colors as they float through the air, deep purple morphing into red or blue, sometimes yellow, and the motes never seem to follow the same path as they orbit the warlock. Also, no two of the streaks of energy seem to travel at the same speed, so after a few seconds individual points mesh together and encapsulate Talus in a transparent shield.
"Okay. I'm ready whenever you are." he says, once his protections are in place. "Heh. These things are going to wish they'd run farther away after the battle at the outpost." The warlock readies his dagger as he finished speaking, but comparing the small blade to his better armed and armored companions pushes his words more to comedy than to intimidation.
“It’s not the goblins we have to worry about,” Aelistae muttered darkly, even as Talus displayed his magical prowess. “The goblins, I doubt, will put up much resistance. They’ll be more concerned with saving themselves than attacking us. The sst’tizzinow on the other hand…well, they’ll likely view us exotic meals after feasting on goblin flesh for all this time.”
The dark elven woman reached behind her to loosen her long, elegant sword from its sheath. “My House, years ago before I embraced the Light, used to capture and breed slaves. But even they, as cruel as they were, did not touch these ‘trogs’. They’re too dim to be broken, too hateful to be subservient. All they care about is feeding their hunger.”
“So be on your guard. We’ll likely know when they’re near from the smell. But, from what I’ve heard, they’re quite adept at the ambushes they set.”
Xaris walked down to the bailey where at a distance, he watched the seven men train. He almost winced at the lack of enthusiasm and discipline they all had, and knew that if this keep was going to be defended by these men, he would have to help them work as hard as they could. The wind blew his hair around as he walked closer, and he quickly pushed it back and tucked in his newly purchased chainshirt, its rattling starting to get slightly on his nerves. As he approached, he greeted the soldiers in front of him with a smile and a kind word.
“Hello, Thomas was it? I happen to notice you were training your men and thought that I could help.”
He stepped forward, and the men in front of him smiled and greeted him also. Thomas looked to him and spoke.
“ Ah, master Xaris, I am glad to have you in my presence. The stories of your heroism spread far and wide, and we would be honored to have you by our side.”
He looked at the small gnome, his eyes not coming off of him. It was not everyday that the average person saw a gnome, let alone one with such a different colour of skin. But Xaris did not mind, he was used to these looks by now and just took it as human curiosity, something that he still was trying to understand.
Xaris smiled and looked at the men and how they stood with their swords, commenting in his mind on how some slouched and on how others treated their weapon like a tool, and not an extension of their body like all good fighters should. He stepped forward once more, joining in between the sergeant and the six men he trained.
“ I couldn’t help but notice, but I think I have a few pointers to give to you and your men. If these goblins are going to come back we are going to be the first line of defense, and we all need to be as ready as possible.”
Xaris could see in captain James face that he really did not like the idea of someone else training his men, but he also did not openly come out and refuse Xaris’s offer. Instead he called one of his men forward.
“ Private Wilhelm, step forward and show master Xaris what he have been training all week.”
A young man about the same age as James stepped forward, obviously tense about sparring with Xaris. He gripped his short sword tightly and came up to Xaris, looking down to him. Xaris looked up, and smiled calmy. He reached back and unsheathed his mighty great sword which hung behind the green cloak that he received from Bart. He stepped back and readied his fighting stance.
“Whenever you are ready, sir Wilhelm.” Xaris spoke calmly, but his face suddenly getting serious, his jaw clenched and his eyes narrowed, staring directly into the face of Wilhelm. The man has obvious fear in his eyes, but still came forward at Xaris, his sword blatantly held with an untrained hand. He thrust his sword at Xaris, which he easily stepped to the right, and brought his sword down with two hands to touch the elbow of the arm which held the sword, and with a quick change in step brought the swords point to the mans belly, touching the tip of the blade to the leather armor. As quickly as the spar had started, it had ended.
Captain James crossed his arms and nodded to Xaris.
“ I see, maybe we do need your help after all.”
Xaris smiled and sheathed his great sword, and stepped to Captain James to shake his hand.
“ I will be glad to help you train your men, and even I can give you private lessons, Captain james. I can bring out the fighting machine in all of you, and I promise you that when the day comes to bring these skills to bear against the enemy I will be at the front lines, amongst the men in which I trained with!”
Xaris let go of the captains hand and began to show the men on how to hold the sword, defend, block, and take advantage of every opportunity you get. He explained how you have to practice with every ounce of your body and soul, and that the way you hold yourself and the way you look to the enemy is as much a factor as how well you use the sword. Intimidation is key to breaking moral, and you win battles by not only killing but scattering the enemy into oblivion, and picking them off afterwards.
Xaris trained with the soldiers, and after the training was over for that session he talked with james to the side.
“ Captain James, I shall try to train with you and your men every day, with every one of them. I will be trying to get you new gear as well. This leather will not protect you from much and I think all the men need long swords and large shields. Will you accept my help through out the many weeks to come? Winter is settling fast and we need to be in the best shape we can get in.”
Posted on 2009-04-10 at 19:01:35.
Edited on 2009-04-11 at 01:55:58 by Jozan1
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
On the way back in from her evening visit to Buttercups grave Bronwyn crosses the courtyard surprised to see the diminutive snowy gnome out practicing with the new guard recruits, they were young and inexperienced farm boys or boys from the city, she had met their captain briefly the other day, he seemed to be the only had any real experience.
Ah, well the young had to start somewhere. Which is what she was trying to do.
She sat on a bench and watched, not ready to return to the keep. Though she thought after dinner she might brew a few potions. She had set up her alchemical lab the other day and was ready to make some now.
The bell for dinner rang just then and Bronwyn rose to go clean herself up from her walk before going to dinner.
Completing those two scrolls had buoyed her spirits.
Posted on 2009-04-11 at 16:52:33.
Edited on 2009-04-11 at 17:39:57 by Brianna
With the arrival of new order’s for Atharam and his troupe, to continue on the search for, and apprehension of the fugitive known as ‘The Cardinal,’ the Helmite’s presence in Starspire Bastion had dwindled to a few citizen’s with passing pious interests, or children with ideals based on bedtime stories of knights and princesses.
That would change however as a sole rider, clad in gleaming full plate and bearing a tower shield cradled at his side and covering his horses’ flank bearing the proud fist of Helm rode into the bailey of the keep. Eyes fell upon him like morning dew upon the fields. The rider didn’t carry himself with the regal presence of a knight or paladin of the order, but there was a air about this man that commanded respect if not attention. As his horses’ canter came to a stop, a quick glance around would find a diminutive, pale white figure barking orders and instructions to a half dozen plus one men, each between twice and thrice his size and weight. As Thomas eyed the new arrival, he raised his longsword in acknowledgement before returning to a ready stance, preparing for the forest-gnome’s next demonstration.
Posted on 2009-04-11 at 18:58:20.
Edited on 2009-04-11 at 18:59:18 by Kaelyn
The horse-men cast his sea-green eyes around the bailey, his horse coming to a stop with a gentle tug on its reigns. The glances and looks given to him by the commoners were ignored as his stony-face turned to the shrill bark of a gnome.
He narrowed his eyes in scrutinization of the anomaly. He recognized it as a gnome, but of what racial standing he hadn't a clue. Rodderick sighed through his nose is minor frustration as he gracefully dismounted his horse, carefully maneuvering his tower shield off of the creature. The warrior began stepping towards the authoritive gnome, stopping one of the commoners.
"Would it be too much to ask you to tie up my steed?" He asked, offering up a silver-piece casually. Assuming the commoner complies, he brushed past a few more of the rugged passer-byes, plated foot-steps resounding as he made his way over to the gnome. Having seen his previous form of acknowledgement, Rodderick dipped his head to Thomas.
"Good day, sir gnome." Looked down at Xaris. "Sirs." Casting his glance to the recruits. He drew in a deep breath, clasping his hands behind his back.
"I assume you are in charge here, sir... gnome." Furrowing his eyebrows, seeing his blue-vein streaked body. He nods to the gnome.
"I am a warrior of Helm, here to defend this place from Goblinoids and other treacherous creatures. Rodderick Hughes, at your service." Without a smile, or even a bit of mirth, he jutted out his gauntleted hand and plated arm for a handshake, quite surprised by the gnomes’ strength.
Posted on 2009-04-12 at 20:34:19.
Edited on 2009-04-12 at 20:43:27 by Gamling
While Xaris was finishing up training the guards, a large human came up to him through the gates and introduced himself as a warrior of helm. Xaris reached out and grasped the armour clad fighter and smiled.
"I am glad to have another warrior here to defend the mighty fort that is the Starspire Bastion." The small gnome looked quite pleased as he spoke about the fort.
"You could probably help me train these men every day into mighty warriors, as of right now they are not up to par with what we need to fight these goblinoids." He looks back to Thomas, with a slightly apologetic face. " No offense."
He looks back to the steely warrior and speaks again. "But you probably should go see Lord Bart, tell him that you are here and I'm sure a proper position will be picked out for you. Lord Bart can be found further in the keep, I'm not sure where he is right now though. My name is Xaris by the way. "
With that he turned back around and began training the soldiers once more, tutoring and teaching them in the arts of swordplay, well as much as a barbarian knows atleast.
Posted on 2009-04-12 at 21:16:06.
Edited on 2009-04-12 at 23:47:22 by Jozan1