As he prepared himself for a fight, the tune he hummed getting louder in his throat the newcomers thought they would spoil his fun. As they acted to prevent these bandits from getting their due he slowly put his hammer back and turned to the group, ignoring the extra weight on his head.
''Well that was no fun was it? An' Alyx is still hungry. Guess i'll have to search in the morning.'' Looking at the sky, he judged it was time enough to rest up, and when offered to stay he contemplated for a while, then smiled a gap filled grin.
''Yeah, sure. I'll join your little menagerie. For the night.'' He looked them all in the face. ''Looks like ya need someone to keep an eye on ya in case someone more resistant to ya sweet words comes along.''
He dropped down, and looked at the one who questioned his armour. ''Me? A rager? Na, not likely. They're too weak for me. Nice armour though. Betta than what i 'ad before. No, i'm far more civil when I get in the rhythm of battle. Jus' as angry tho''' he chuckled at this, and pulled a flask from his satchel, taking a gulp them offering the one who adressed him.
The newly met dwarf assured Cor that he was not a rager. This relaxed the knight-cleric a bit. It was however the offered flask that put him most at ease. "Well, I do believe I will have a wee nip." After a good pull he returned the flask. "I am Cor Trollhammer, knight cleric of Odin and shepard to this herd of cats." Cor smiled, "I tried ta tell them ta nay spoil your fun with those bandits but as usual they do as they please." If you are seeking a fight ya could nay do better than to stick with us. Seems we attract trouble. That is when we are nay seeking it out. I'll let the others introduce themselves and over dinner we can swap stories. In teh morning we must continue our journey and if a fine lad like you wants ta tag along tis fine with this old dwarf."
Eclipse turns to the female talking to him, as he does such, he would examine her from top to bottom. He would try to figure out what she specialized in. He would speak to her, adopting a sly smirk on his face at the same time.
"Question is this, Do you really know your stuff? Looks can be decieving. Even the most trained must admit this. But if your looking for a work out, im pretty sure I can help in that area."
He would turn and motion for her to follow.
"Perhaps there is a better place to practice... I dont think they want me returning to that training ground, not after what i did to the dummy. But how about this, the winner buys drinks?
He would wait for her response, trying to anticipate her response.
Ulthok had seen the exasperation on Cor’s face when he had addressed the thieves leader, but the mage feared more for his friends than did from his friend. The spike armored dwarve sent shiver through Ulthok when had first seen him. The look and smell clued the mage that this might be an extreme fighter, the kind that once started won’t stop until all they believe foes are dead. When in rage they are even immune to some magic spells. Ulthok didn’t really care much if the bullies got their due, he just didn’t want to be included in the melee. For all they had been through, an ounce of prevention was worth the bird in the hand.
Peri hadn’t surprised him that she would join in but had no clue what might do and Valene’s Tygr scaring away the thieves mounts easily dispersed the ugly throng.
The dark dwarve was clearly the greater of the threats, so when Cor invited him to join them for the night it must be to size up his potential to help or hinder the party. "Right then lads an lasses, tis nigh time to set camp before we lose all light. let's get a fire started and see to a meal……, If you wish you can join us for the evening."
Ulthok, found soft spot to make his bed and prepared an evening meal for himself and Peri all the time keeping a close watch to what the small fighter was doing.
“Peri..we seemed to have done well or just got lucky. Watch the Dwarve, but don’t anger him. Most Dwarves have an odd sense of humor but if this one is a Berserker they can be very dangerous. We will need to get to know this fellow, so watch, listen and we will talk with him more later.”
Handing Peri an apple tart the two sat enjoyed their meal.
Lothor hardened his grip on the swords hilt and watched carefully as the scene unfolded, ever cautious. He heard an odd muttering from Ulthok to his side and the leader of the men started sneezing uncontrollably. Even Lothor with his limited imagination and knowing of anything magical linked the two together. He was about to have a word with his comrade when his new pet, the faerie dragon, jumped from his shoulder and onto the mean looking dwarf's helm.
Something odd must be happening. All the men but the sneezing leader suddenly lost their aggression towards the Dwarf and lowered their weapons, not even noticing the faerie dragon perched atop his head and their horses being scattered by the fun-loving female halfling and her strange mount. The leader, between sneezing fits, tried to rally his men but the vein attempt failed.
The men began to walk off and Cor beckoned for their party to move forward. Cor greeted his fellow Dwarf in his typical manner.
“Great Googlie Mooglie no we’re not with them... We don’t care to ride with the stupid.... besides that tall one appears to be allergic to a real fight.”
Cor ordered them to stop for the night and invited the Dwarf to eat and stay with them tonight and even to join them all the way to Craggian Core. Lothor, being naturally suspicious regarded the Dwarf calmly and saw no immediate threat. He certainly didn't look like the type to commit murder while his enemies slept.
Lothor as always joined the circle but said little to his fellow party members, though he took solace in the fact that another warrior had joined their group. Lothor noted to himself that if this Dwarven Berserker decided to ride with them he would do his best to befriend him.
The dark haired female human watched as Eclipse took a moment to look her over, not minding in the least. She knew she looked good and made the most of it even in having armor made as to enhance her body while still be highly protective. In only a short time later, Eclipse and the girl having introduced herself as Emily found themselves in the private home of Emily’s family. A very nice private home though when asked if the home belonged to her the girl deftly managed to sidestep an answer. Then it was into a large gym type area and the real fun began.
Removing her armor and placing her weapons on the gym’s floor, she turned to face him
“So, what say we forego weapons and just use our hands?” Emily asked of Eclipse.
Having no objections, the Elvin Ranger did the same and in a matter of moments, the two were fighting. Dropping low and spinning on one heel Eclipse tried a leg sweep only to find Emily not there, she having jumped and twisted in the air aiming a kick to Eclipse head. Moving quickly the Elf rolled and came up with a punch to the girl’s mid section only to miss as she twisted her upper body upon landing. In the course of the next, ten minutes the hand to hand continued with kicks, punches, both adversaries’ quick and staying low. Then it happened, Eclipse landed a leg sweep, and caused Emily to lose her balance. Yet as she fell, she propelled her body towards the Ranger to land on him, taking him down onto his back hard the breath knocked out of them both.
Both lay there panting, face to face, lips oh so close, a twinkle and come hither look in Emily’s eyes........
THE ROAD TO CRAGGIAN CORE
The party having found the dwarf fighter to be an amicable sort had bedded down with guard shifts detailed. With the coming of morning all once more packed up the bedding readied the horses and ponies. The Dwarf having introduced himself as Barreel Axehand was offered and accepted the use of the second pony and so the party was on its way once more. During the course of the next weeks travel, all came to know Barreel as well as he let them and vice versa even to the point that he took shifts as a sentry. As the party on the 6th day came within sight of the Mountains of Might so too did the first of the refugee camps.
Thousands, upon thousands of people, mostly Human but with Elves, Dwarf’s and many of the other races mixed in, were just camped in ragged formations. No order, no guards, no police to be seen. As the party rode through this wasteland of homeless souls it was clear that the only creed here was only the strong would survive and not meant in a good way. Gang’s of Human’s and Elves, Dwarf and Halflings having been formed had stacked out territory among the mass of tents, wagons and debris of a quarter of a million people.
The number and well armed nature of the party prevented many a fight and for those few that did think to start such, a show of arms, magic ability, or a slight trick from Peri was all that was needed to turn such aside. Then the party was out of the camps and on a clear road once more most of the surviving refugees having passed the walls of Craggian Core weeks before. However, for the occasional wagon of people the party had a clear shot to the huge fortress now just visible ahead. One more night of rest and on the afternoon of the seventh day, the party rode into a different set of camps, these consisting all of soldiers.
Tabards declaring forces from all over Trilogy could be seen, Dwarves from Erebor, Elves from E’Loth Lo’Rain. Rangers from the forests of Duraguzan, pikemen, swordsmen, cavalry and infantry from the lands of Myasith, Bra’dian, Mythgore and so many more. Remnants of the armies from Annoria, Palatine and Atarinn all lands overrun yet not giving up the fight to throw back the Dark King‘s forces and reclaim their lands. So many it seemed that even the huge fortress itself could not house them all. Unlike the uncontrolled chaos of the refugee camp here the chaos was tightly under control, patrols of military police everywhere.
Easily making their way through this orderly mass the party reached the South entrance of Craggian Core and passed under its gated arch to enter perhaps the end of their journey................
(DM OOC: Ok here is this week’s post; you have finally reached the Fortress of Craggian Core. Let me know what you are doing now that you are here and I will post again next Sunday.)
Posted on 2012-11-26 at 06:11:25.
Edited on 2012-11-26 at 06:16:37 by TannTalas
Lothor had gotten to like the outspoken and eccentric (This is how I presume Barreel Axehand from first impression!) Dwarf Warrior he now travelled with them one spare pony it was nice to have another melee fighter around, since Ayreon had left and the few conversations he had had with the stout Dwarf were enjoyable, he remembered choking on water as he laughed at one of his outrageous jokes.
On the 6th day a structure with no rival in Lothor's memory sprung up out of the very side of one of the mighty mountains. Its walls were vast and Lothor wondered if this Craggian Core had ever been breached, surely not.
Before those great walls, were a tumbling mass of small figures heaving and swaying around the sun casting the mountains shadow upon them. There was more people in that writhing swarm than he had ever seen. As they got closer he could make out figures of men with crude weapons and mismatched armour. A few stared at them menacingly but that's all they dared a couple of the braver thugs stepped forward, before hastily retreating before a show of magic or unsheathing of swords.
The next huge camp of people was more organised, but only just. It was obviously a military camp as the men here were far better equipped and looked a lot more dangerous. They wore colours from every land Lothor had heard of and a few more at that. Some looked hardy veterans who had fought in the army for years and yet others looked little more than fearful boys with only the faintest of fluff on their upper lip.
Once again though they passed through soundly and entered into Craggian Core itself. Lothor was hit by a wave of panic and his horse sensed it from underneath, he managed to calm himself, just. At the sight of all the people milling around, running errands and shouting loudly in such a confined space had panicked Lothor and nearly his horse too.
He trotted up to Cor and asked, politely, that they find some tavern or place to sleep soon.
(Once a place of rest is found)
Lothor dumped his belongings in his room and unstrapped his armour and sword, leaving them on the bed. He armed himself only with a dagger, tucked into his trousers and concealed by his top. Fortunately his beard had grown and he looked haggard from the days of travel... perfect.
He headed immediately from the Inn and only stopped to check Cor's permission. He knocked on the door and entered Cor's room asking him if it would be okay to visit the refugee camp they had passed through an hour before.
(Provided this is okay)
Lothor headed out of town as quick as possible, breathing a sigh of relief once he had reached the front gates. He travelled on foot down the now well trodden path to the refugee camp. When he reached the milling people and randomly scattered tents, he sought out to gain information either of the war effort or even just to listen to their stories of hardship.
(OOC: Lothor will stride through the camp trying to find new information and talk to a whole variety of people before heading back to the City at night.)
Bareel didn't really anticipate traveling such a distance with people he had just met, however he felt there was no better method to get around. Moreover, they did give him a pony to ride. He enjoyed company, and so he sat and laughed and joked with his new companions, ensuring the journey wasn't boring for any involved.
It was when they reached the camps that his face took that of a serious tone. Those who looked like they would cause trouble soon gave up when shown the force that could be exerted by each member of the group. He was disappointed when none followed through with their threats however, since it had been a long time since he had broken skulls or spilled blood.
When an opportunity arose, he questioned his companions. ''So, where is it we're 'eaded anyway?'' He asked, on one of the many stops. ''What is this place?''
When they reached town, he gravitated to the nearest tavern and began drinking, heavily.
A Stolen...Er Found Tart And A Battle To The Death...Or You Know Water
Peri awoke with a lazy grin on her face. She must have fallen asleep while looking for hidden treasures around the area. She shook her head softly as her stomach rumbled. Frowning, she thought, I wonder if I can find a bit more apple tart around here.
With a flitter of her wings, she flew up from her make-shift bed and surveyed her surroundings. But suddenly, she spotted exactly what she was looking to find. With a quick closing of her wings, she glided straight for where Ulthok was at. She nuzzled his cheek softly as her mischievous eyes searched him for his satchel. She stiffled her giggle as she found the satchel. As her head still stayed firmly nuzzling him to keep him from knowing what she was up to, her tail expertly pillaged the satchel till she found what she treasured most. First her tail hit a bag of money. She frowned... What would a faerie dragon need with money? Foolish thing really. Then her tail hit a bright gem that twinkled in the sunlight just like her other one. Her mouth twisted into a smirk perhaps she could... no, they were Uthloks and she wasnt about to steal...gems atleast anyway. Finally she found what she was looking for, the ever small piece of a apple tart. She giggled with delight as she kissed his cheek softly and jumped off his shoulder tart wrapped protectively in her tail.
Right before she was about to eat her prized tart however, The cat she had saw before etched closer to her. She frowned at the cat... never liked them really. They call themselves mischievous? Please, the dont even know the meaning of the word. Peri's eyebrow shot up at the cat as she flicked her wrist smirking. A bit of water sprayed the cat with the smallest of droplets soaking the poor furred creature to the bone. Peri giggled at the soaked creature and turned her tail about. With a new spring in her step, she sauntered off into a special place where she could enjoy her newly stolen...er found tart in peace.
Cor saw the poor people as they passed the refugee camp. Most hurried away, but occasinally a group would think about challenging the party. Once they got a real look at what they faced they also faded away to find easier pickings elewhere. Cor wished he had the time to bring some order to the camp but such was not the case. More travel brought them to the military camp which in many ways was not much better than the refugee camp. Cor led the group towards the tent with the biggest flag figuring that would be the tent of the leader.
Lothor asked permission to explore the camp and such was freely given. "We will spend a day here and see what information we can gather. Do as you will and we will meet here again tomorrow at noon." Cor moved towards the tent and addressed the guards. "Well now lads, would ye be so kind as to let whoever is in charge that Cor Trollhammer, Knight-Cleric of Odin requests an audience?"
Valene watched with interest those whom they passed. A heartfelt empathy was noted within her. She had been through hard times as well...Giants were not the best of hosts. Especially if you are on the menu.
As they entered the Core she looked around her, keeping tabs on where Ulthok was. She did not want to be left behind in this big place. As they found an inn, she got a room and paid for a meal. She made certain her room was across from Ulthok's.
Giggling she watches as Periwinkle appropriates a tart from Ulthok's satchel. Feeling sorry for the cat as it gets soaked, she ties a purple ribbon to Periwinkle's tail when she is distracted. Finishing it before she flies off to her hiding spot.
Valene wondered where the strange dwarf disappeared to. But felt it was his business to go where he pleased. But his joining the group would definitely be a boon, another fighter never hurts.
She smiles as she gently caresses Ulthok's face, although he looked tired from the ride. A small giggle is emitted as she realizes she can stable the tygr... It should prove to be an interesting day. She gives the tygr some meat as he lies at her feet under the table. An interesting day indeed.
As the evening drew on Ulthok joined the other party members around the small fire they have started for cooking. There always seemed to be a relaxing atmosphere from a campfires warm glow and crackling embers. Casual conversation was easy and soon the stories were started. Cor lead, he informed the spike studded Dwarv of the sites and dangers the party had faced. Barreel was interested in the battles and seemed to thrill at the danger and deadly odds the party had faced. He soon understood this wasn’t a treasure seeking band, but a group on a much darker and deadly quest.
Ulthok found the Dwarv to be a bit crude and he did have an air about him, but staying upwind was easy enough. Barreel soon got into the favorite game of oneupsmanship and told of some of his encounters and battles. He was clearly a force to be reckoned with when driven to fight. But then all Dwarves loved to tell of how great they are. The Halfling had been around Dwarves long enough to sort most fact from brag and he was impressed by the fighter.
As the time got later Ulthok in turn had introduced himself and his new companion Peri. He kept most of his talents to himself and let on more of his “procurement” abilities than his magic. You never give away all to a stranger. But if the Dwarv had the insight, he would know that having a “Familiar” wasn’t something a thief might just procure.
Excusing himself Ulthok took his leave and prepared to sleep. Peri fluttered off into the dark. The mage knew the small dragon could more than take care of herself so he made a simple nest for her use if she returned to sleep. Ulthok was still getting used to her ways and wasn’t sure how much rest she required. If searching the night was her way and sleeping on his shoulder during the day was their routine then so be it.
As day light was breaking Ulthok sensed a presence and soon felt a gentle nuzzle against his cheek. The cool touch of scales let him know it was Peri and not Val. The small creature lingered and as the saying goes, “It takes a thief to know a thief” and the Halfling could tell his new friend was up to something. Trust was building between them and the mage allowed the small creature to search his pouch, for now he knew of only two items she may desire from there. Peri’s failure giggle gave her away as she kissed his cheek and hurried off with her treasure. Although delighted that the Fairy Dragon only took an apple tart, he was concerned as to how long those would last. Food would be harder to find as they trekked deeper into the battle lands and fruit for pie or tart may be next to impossible.
The party traveled on toward CRAGGIAN CORE. The daily rides brought Ulthok and Peri closer, the trust was building. The nightly campfire brought the party closer. Cor’s sense of nature proved true again. Barreel was soon accepted into the group.
Six days into the ride they approached the Mountains of Might and as far as they could see were the remains of legions of refugees from all the races, but mostly humans. If they had been organized it might have been a formidable army, as it was they were just dangerous. They party stayed close together being sure their weapons were either in hand or in view. Peri stayed close on Ulthok shoulder, even she knew this wasn’t a place for pranks, but the well placed spell would turn away the foolhardy that thought to challenge them.
Passing through they continued on to place enough distance between them and the throng to risk bedding down another night. The group kept close guard now; roving bands would not be uncommon.
Rested as well as could be had the group again trekked on. By the afternoon they reached another tent city, this one outside the walls of CRAGGIAN CORE. These tents were in ordered rows and the many banners flapping in the breeze spoke of the remains of many noble fighting units. Had these been the whole of the original armies they would stretched far beyond sight, but they were just the remnant of dark battles, clustered now to regroup.
Cor lead his herd of cats through the encampment to the south gate of the city; drawing up to the tent with the largest flag. When Lothor asked his leave to explore the camp Cor addressed the group.
"We will spend a day here and see what information we can gather. Do as you will and we will meet here again tomorrow at noon." Cor moved towards the tent and addressed the guards. "Well now lads, would ye be so kind as to let whoever is in charge that Cor Trollhammer, Knight-Cleric of Odin requests an audience?"
Gesturing to Val; “Let’s see if we might find an Inn, this may well be our last night indoor for a goodly while. Maybe they’ll even let us bring our pets.” Ulthok waited for the thrumming he’d get for Peri.
“Of course I mean the Tygr and that cat,” he chuckled.
They turned their mounts and entered the south gate. With the numbers of refugees and the troops now stationed outside and inside the walls the mage was not sure they would find enough rooms. Well Peri and Val seemed to get along and the beast Val rode now obeyed well enough, so perhaps they’d just have to share a room.
“Peri, if you wish to explore be careful not to cause too much mischief. I’ll see if I can find a store of dried fruit to pack for our journey. Your tarts are already running low and such morsels will be much harder to find now. …… Val, your ride may disturb the horses in the streets so we will need to move with caution. The sooner it is off the streets the better. Too bad your hat would not make it look like a pony.”
Before long they found an Inn where the Innkeeper thought the Tygr and Dragon might do him well attracting the curious to his common room. Before long they worked a deal and both the Halfings had rooms. As arranged Ulthok and Val met for dinner in the common room, the Tygr under the table and Peri…well she would do as she pleased. The dinner would have been much more sparse had they not worked the deal with Innkeeper, but as it was the meat was not a choice cut and the boiled potatoes with gravy had little seasoning. Rationing was taking its toll and even ale tasted watered.
The evening went its course and Ulthok used the time to engage the locals and curious in conversation of the going of the war. When a few became a bit too rowdy toward the Tygr Ulthok quickly distracted them with some sleight of hand tricks. Why go traipsing about in the dark camp when he could gather as much information in a nice warm common room…… with ale.
Posted on 2012-12-02 at 05:15:23.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Rayne rode watchfully alont the outskits of the party where she had a clear view of the crowds on at least one side of them. She sept them for any rigns of attention they make garner as they rode. Her bow was in her hand and a arrows rested on the string ready to bdraw and fire if there were the need.
The refugees watched then ppass, some with dull eyes and then truned away to their own concerns, others watchedfor a longer tme perhaps with a shed of hope, still left to them. Still other watched with attentiveness that might have as it root many causesm freed lust ad few with freams of glory for themselves, hoever none ventured to imped their provrss to the city itself. They were all well mounted and well armed and though they carried not banner ot had no uniformity if gear what other appreaised as they passed kept them away.
Rayne saw the childdren and it was for them that her heart was saddened the most, Perhaps if she had some time she could lend a hand with healing. There sertainly must be a great need for such mongst all these people