Cor heard Valene call him. "Aye lass?" Cor motioned to an empty chair, "Sit if ye wish. I could use a distraction from my thoughts just now and the ale is not doing the job. Not that I have not given it more than a fair chance."
Cor wondered what brought the usually reserved Valene to seek him out but he was gald she did. e did not know much about her and realized that if he had been looked upon to perform her eulogy he would have been a babbling idiot trying to cover the fact that he knew almost nothing about one so close.
Valene brightened when Cor greeted her. She gratefully accepted the seat and settled herself with her feet a couple inches off the floor. "You look nice." She said cheerily after she called for an ale for herself. After taking a long drink she visibly relaxed and shook her head. "Ah... I've never had the pleasure of drinking with a dwarf. I've been told one must have hollow legs and a keg hidden in their belly to keep up." Her eyes glinted with amusement. "May I ask how you ended up topside, serving as the sometimes leader, more often caretaker of this little ragtag band of ours?"
The peaceful calm and quiet of the leisurely bath was interrupted by rapping on the door. Stepping from the bath and wrapping a towel around his waist the mage answered the door. There in hall stood Cor in his best armor.
“Don’t tell me….the King has called us again?” The Knight’s cleric let out a short bark of a laugh and told Ulthok not to worry about that …yet. But there was a new Paladin from the King of Callahorn joining our party. “Well at least you’ve got a homelander, I hope he’s strong.” The cleric’s brow furrowed slightly, as answered let him know it was a she. Her name was Lady Jessica Voltaire, Knight Defender of the Realm. Cor then excused himself to get into something more comfortable, like tall cold mug of ale.
Stepping back into his room he saw Peri snoozing contently in the empty pie tin. “Well the bath is cold so as long as I’m up another ale would be good.” Dressing quickly the Halfling then made his way to the dinning room. Passing through the halls he heard Valene call him.
“Ulthok? Can we talk for a moment?” He stopped as she caught up to him. “I will be brief for seriousness does not suit me tonight, but we both know that our affections have gotten out of hand. It does not suit people of our kind to be so closely attached to a single other. I value you, both your friendship and your skills... but this hot and heavy romance must cool. My life is owed to my god... and with the way things are....” Her pleasantness cracked, a hiccup of sadness in her voice.
Ulthok’s heart pounded as the beautiful female cleric continued.
“Maybe if we were not in the situation that we are...” She stopped, all her composure failing her. “If things were different I like to think maybe I would be happy with you.”…….. “but it seems the prank is on me this time... to find someone that suits me so well at the exact moment when I cannot devote myself to having him.”
As he Opened his mouth to tell her he understood she turned and “RAN” down the hall away from him. With deep sigh he remembered the words of Uncle Trapspringer, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” Ulthok figured Valene had found her fork and decided to take it.
“Ok, so now I really can use that ale now.”
Posted on 2013-03-11 at 01:46:04.
Edited on 2013-03-11 at 01:59:56 by Odyson
Cor laughed, "A hollow leg and a keg under the tble would be a good start lass but ye would need more than that ta keep up with a determined dwarf." Cor finished his ale and called for another before continuing. "How did I get where I am? That be a question with a long answer. I'll try not ta bore ye but let me see if I can give ye an idea." Cor noticed that more than a few other heads turned his way when they heard he would be telling a story.
"Even as a young dwarf I knew a life underground was nae for me. Not after seeing the surface. After trying my hand at several jobs I finally paused long enough ta hear Odin calling me ta his service. Now mind ye there are not that many dwarven clerics pledged ta Odin. Obviously as a dwarf I had been trained on the axe, not exactly a weapon approved of by the priethood. It took some time and I believe an intervention by Odin himself ta get the church accept me. Once in his service, I tended ta be more of a warrior priest than one ta stay in the temple. After years of service supporting the armiesI was called ta another vocation. I became a trainer and evaluator of paladins. It was my job ta test both the strength of their arms as well as their faith. Many of them resented having to prove their worth to a mere priest. It was then that Odin himself appeared and granted me the title of Knight-Cleric. To this day I am the only such titled person in his serice. My time with paladins and my noble birth finally drew the eye of the king and he approached me asking me ta undertake a mission that none should ever have to accept. I was to find and destroy an artifact of great evil; one that if found by the forces of darkness would destroy the world. How can one refuse such? Though I knew I alone was not capable of such a task, a determined group might just have a chance. More than a few have traveled with me on my journey; some no longer wlak with me and some no longer walk the world of the living. The cost has been high and the path riddled with traps but with Odin granting me strength I have managed so far. How much further I must go I do not know." Cor paused to drink more of his ale before continuing. "When this journey began I was naive enough ta think I was chosen for a great honor. I set off firm in my belief that goodness would be my shield. Now, I am not so sure. Many of those who fell were goodly folks. Even now good men die outside these walls. Will good triumph in the end' I believe it must be so. But can it win without tainting itself in the process; of that I am not so sure." Cor's eyes took on a distant look.
"Well enough melodrama from me lass. When I am not so preachy I fancy myself a right jolly fellow. A good ale, some good food and the comapny of a good whorrrr, ah I mean a fine lass, is the key to a happy life. throw in some good friends and some well mannered ribbing and the day will be more than worth living. Now what about you lass, what brings ye to this fine bunch of misfits?"
With the party back inside the fortress, knowing that if not for the actions of each undertaken as a group, they could very well be dead. The time for the moment was to relax and heal both wounds of the flesh and the memory of lost companions. As Lothor rethought the mission and Valene rethought the present, all were happy just to be alive. However, for Cor the last words spoken by Lexson Heart kept going around in his head.
“Save her you must Dwarf, complete my mission if you hold this world dear. Find our Queen and save her, or the Dragons of Good will never fly in your defense.” Find the Queen. Which Queen? Having discovered her secret half Elvin and half dragon heritage there were two possibilities. After a long bout of thinking he realized that the only dragons flying in the skies of Trilogy were ones of evil.
Rushing almost head long into the King’s chambers, he was quickly stopped by a large number of guardsmen all wearing different royal symbols. Clearly Cor had come upon not just one king but many. Once the guards had the Dwarf Knight Cleric calmed they presented him to the Kings gathered within.
"Sire‘s, the good dragons. Where be they? One of my party told me with her dying breath ta find the queen. I need ta know how to get to the court of the good dragons."
The first to reply was King Lacorana Palantinos, Callahorn’s ruler and his right by this being his courtroom.
“Lord Cor there is no court of Good Dragons on the mainland of Trilogy. Only on the Isle of Dragon’s Home at the top of Dragon’s Peak, would there be such. No one has been there or seen a dragon of good in over twelve hundred years since the end of the last war. I believe the last to have traveled there was the Valar Wizard Allanan when he gained their help.”
A light tap on his shoulder caused a raised hand and a head tilted to listen to a council of the other Kings, led by Cor’s liege King Meridynn, before Lacorana Palantinos returned his attention to the Knight Cleric.
“I have been informed that messengers were sent when the Evil armies first landed on our shores. None has returned. Did this party member tell you more of them, perhaps a way to call the dragons for aid you may have missed”
(Feel free to back post a reply)
With the meeting over, nothing having been settled as to where this dragon queen could be and how to find her. In the minds of all any other way to contact the dragons then by traveling to this island an unknown, Cor returned to the manor once more. It was not long after checking on all the surviving party members that he found himself opening the door to a fresh face, a Paladin sent by the same King he had just spoken too. Perhaps his words at the council had stirred some thought and this show of aid was the result. Deciding as was his nature to tease a bit he became quickly serious once more as he and this new edition to the party, Lady Jessica Voltaire, Knight Defender of the Realm of Callahorn,
The rest of the night was taken up by introduction of the new party member and the new openness of an old. Valene for the first time more interested with the rest of the party then just Ulthok alone. Perhaps things had changed between the two Halflings, only time would tell if for the better or worst.
With no mission before them and no duty upon the layer of walls, they could only listen and read the news of a wall falling here only to be retaken later. Though they had destroyed a good percentage of the enemies artillery enough yet remained to still cause many a hole upon the walls or within the fortress proper though the rate was noticeably less.
During this time, the thought of the girl and her last words kept Cor awake some nights so much that he finally made his way to the nearest church of Odin and began to pray. (Casting a combination of Divination and Commune spells) For hours Cor sat waiting for some word or sign but nothing did he receive in return. Then as he begin to fall asleep, still kneeling before the image of Odin, images rushed into his mind.
A fortress castle, dark and sinister.
Dragons flying around it.
Something strange, hard to see, not a normal castle.
A cage within, disheveled but defiant women with silver hair and a beautiful face.
Then once again as suddenly as the images had come, nothing, Cor now wide awake once more.
Eyes from afar took note of the battle. A few Orcish scouts and Kobold spies fell silent and unseen if they ventured too far from camp or company. They found their throats cut or a few well-placed arrows would find a flaw in their armor, but that was all. This fight was no longer a concern. She was close. She would be watching. She would be searching.
Then it started and the eyes watched as some fools waged an attack that would be beyond reason. It seemed some ones or some things were moving to take out the ballista’s.
First one then another went up in flames but these were no common flame. It was then they saw. Eyes squinted even for they were well-removed form the battle. A woman came into view as the cloaked magi defended the ballista’s and attempted to cause those who destroyed them pay.
The eyes watch the battle unfold. The ballista’s burned but at what cost? The cloak was pushed back and the eyes sat in a face coved in ash and blue dye. His hair was pulled back and dried blood stained his clothing. It was then he heard a crack behind him and he spoon around and dropped to the ground. Weeks in the wild places have taken his sent and the unsuspecting Kobold scout almost tripped over him before it saw too late as a short sword sprung up from the very ground and found its self run through the lower jaw and into the kobold head. All fell silent again.
The next day, flowers were on the gates. A single arrow held them in place. Smoke rose from a hilltop. About ten Kobold bodies burning, it was not many in the scheme of things but it was a start. A single arrow was in the ground about five feet away from the fire, the same arrow that held fast to the gate.
(DM OOC: Ok there you have my post for this week. As norm barring any RL stuff next post next Sunday.
Keeper I used Cor to move the story along as I knew Cor would have at some point cast those spells in talking to Odin about Lex’s last words. Also please in your next posts welcome your new Pali to the party. Again as stated in the Q/A great posts by all.)
Posted on 2013-03-11 at 06:53:59.
Edited on 2013-03-11 at 07:04:48 by TannTalas
As the sun began to sleep for the day and the sky was full of color. Maggot move away form his outlook on the hill, away from the war, from the death, away from the destruction, away from the smoldering bodies.
It was two hours past sunset, darkness had settled in. What was normally a time of awakening for the creatures of the evening was unpleasantly still and silent. ‘No fire this evening old man,’ Maggot thought to himself. ‘A tree to get off the ground, there is safety in them.’
Maggot found a good size tree and was about to climb when a sound broke the silence. He sank to the ground and looked out into the darkness in the direction of the sound. ‘Foot steps light, almost not heard… four of them.’ Maggot sniffed the air. ‘Dog but not kobold.’ A silhouette came into view and stopped. Maggot again sniffed the air. A low growl, ‘I know you,’ Maggot whispered and he now sat and extended his hand, ‘there is something about your smell my friend.’ The growling stopped and then a small whimper. ‘All creatures have left this place, why do you remain behind?’ the silhouette approached and Maggot saw now a fine wolf.
The wolf’s head was low, almost submissive as it approached him. Maggot lifted his head and offered his neck. Wolf sniffed Maggot and sneezed. ‘Yes, it has been some time since this body has seen clean water.’ The wolf flopped down across Maggot’s legs and offered up his belly. Maggot scratched the wolf’s belly, ‘You miss her, and it seems you miss food.’ Maggot reached into his pouch and found some dried meat. ‘Here, it is not much but it is all I can offer at the moment.’ The wolf took the offering.
Maggot looked up into the trees, ‘well it seems that safety will not be mine this evening.’ He looked back at the wolf already asleep across his lap. ‘We will sleep here then.’ Maggot leaned his head back on the tree, ‘I will take first watch,’ all fell silent again.
In his white nightshirt tucked into his breeches Ulthok resembled one of the serving boys that worked in the General’s house staff, so no one batted an eye as he draw four tankard of ale from the General’s private stock.
With three mugs on a tray and one in hand he balanced the brews and sipped the other as he made his way to his room. He had thought that the times with Valene had been grand but he also believed she was always free to go. Moving down the shadow hall he mumbled “Women, just when you think you…Great Googly Moogly!!!” Just then from a side corridor as a tall shiny armored Knight stepped out in front him.
The tray banged the armor and upset the three mugs of ale across the front of Knight; ale splashed down over the armor and the mug crashed to the floor. Gingerly protecting the remaining mug Ulthok looked up to see a beautiful female face peering down at him.
Posted on 2013-03-12 at 02:21:52.
Edited on 2013-03-12 at 02:27:15 by Odyson
The meeting with the assembled kings was less helpful than Cor hoped. It seemed they had no better idea of where the dragon queen could be found than anyone else. Taking his leave, Cor set out to pray at the temple of Odin and cast a few spells to assist him in contacting his god. It seemed Odin also was at a loss for no answer came. It was late and Cor's eyes drooped and finally slipped closed. It was then that his god sent him a vision.
A fortress castle, dark and sinister.
Dragons flying around it. Something strange, hard to see, not a normal castle. A cage within, disheveled but defiant women with silver hair and a beautiful face.
Cor's eyes snapped open. The woman had to be teh dragon queen in human form. But where was he to fnd the dark castle? Cor returned to the assembled kings and told them of his vision. "Tis obvious that she is a captive. The good dragons nae know where she is and they are likely searching for here and that is why they have not come to our aid. I ask that my group, or at the least me alone, be allowed ta untertake a search for her."
Lady Jessica Voltaire rounded a corner and suddenly something small crashed into her, actually she almost didn’t notice it except for the frothy ale that now coated the lower part of her armor all the way to her boots. She looked down upon what she could only assume was some small serving boy here in the General’s house.
“Look at what you have done,” she spoke in a tone which she reserved for chastising slovenly or lazy servants. Jessica was not routinely harsh towards servants; here many servants back home loved her because of her kindness to them. They knew if they did their jobs properly she would treat them right and even reward them when appropriate. Before her now was not that type of servant, he was obviously a clumsy sort and he even had a mug of the ale in his hands still.
“Were you just drinking on duty?” she asked with an incredulous tone.
“Lord Trollhammer’s party huh?” She said as the ale started to seep down into her boots, “I should have guessed.”
“Now the ale is starting to soak my feet,” she sighed as she lifted first one booted foot then the other.
“What?” She raised an eyebrow as he took another drink, then reached out and snatched the mug from him. “You aren’t allowed to drink while on duty are you? I am going to report you to the General for this.”
She seemed more irate about his drinking on the job than she was about the ale soaking into her stockings inside her boots.
"Oh, my Lady ,“ Ulthok sputtered, “be careful with that ale , look at what it’s doing to your boots!” As the Paladin looked down the mage cast a cantrip of Tarnish. Gradually her lovely shinny boots stated to darken and streak.
"Oh my, that must be cold on your feet,” and he cast another another cantrip of chill on the ale now sloshed deep in boot so that it nearly turned to ice.
“Really my Lady you should let me take that mug before you spell more. You are starting to look a sight for knight, ….ah forgive me, I made a joke!” , and he cast a third cantrip of giggle on the Lady Knight.
Despite his worry that he would bore her, Valene leaned forward and paid attention to his tale as if it were the most interesting thing she had ever heard. She enjoyed stories, as most halflings did, and she rarely got the chance to talk to a dwarf. The cadences in his speech and the may he treated his words were as much a treat for her as the tale itself. She tucked the knowledge away in case she ever needed to imitate his manner of speaking.
When he was finished she couldn't help but grin. "It's almost too romantic a tale. The mere priest granted so grand a title and to add to the excitement then given a quest of grave importance. It's a wonder I haven't heard any bards singing of you yet." She heaped the praise on, though the tone rang sincere. When he prompted her for her own story however she sighed.
"If only my own tale were as interesting as yours. Let's see... My mother wanted me to be a good and proper housewife, which suited me about as well as it would suit you, although I wager I'd be more comfortable in a gown and apron."
She winked as she drew a laugh from one of the small crowd gathered to listen to their stories. "Unfortunately when my dear mother passed on I was forced into the position of caring for my brothers. Luckily for me they soon found women willing to wed them, and luckily for them they were far sweeter than I. My methods of feeding my family had won me no friends in the town we had chosen to live so I made way for a larger city. It was there that I took up the mantle of priestess for my god, pardon me for not naming him, and picked up a few of the skills that allowed me to help out our dear master procurer."
She paused to take a drink in her god's honor and then smiled. "Long story short I ran afoul a group of hill giants and all those hated housewife skills of cookery and mending my mother had pushed upon me were my salvation. They kept me manning the stew pot and eventually you and your lovely little group stumbled upon us. You know the tale from there." She admitted she had left it a bit vague on purpose, but she also supposed that it would be interesting enough a tale for the dwarf.
Posted on 2013-03-13 at 01:00:27.
Edited on 2013-03-13 at 01:01:01 by Kriea
“Oh, my Lady ,“ Ulthok sputtered, “be careful with that ale , look at what it’s doing to your boots!”
Lady Jessica looked down at her boots and at first saw the ale appear to darken but then it faded away and returned to their normal shinny, though still damp appearance.
"Oh my, that must be cold on your feet,”
She felt her feet get colder and she knew something was up here and looked back at the serving boy before her.
“Really my Lady you should let me take that mug before you spell more. You are starting to look a sight for knight, ….ah forgive me, I made a joke!”
She was cautious now and spotted him making some small gestures as he spoke and then she giggled slightly before catching herself and her sudden humor turned to anger.
“What sorcery is this?” She said as her long bladed dagger appeared in her hand and was positioned right before his throat, “you‘re a spy”
“GUARDS!!! A SPY!!”
Suddenly the hallway was filled with the sounds of approaching guards who came at the call of a Spy here in the General’s household.
Cor heard someone yelling "Spy!" and it took just a moment to place the voice. It was the new paladin Jessica. Rushing to her side he came up short when he saw her holding a dagger and Ulthok looking a bit mischievious.
"Put that dagger away lass; tis nae a spy." Giving Ulthok a stern look, "Ulthok lad, what have ye gotten yerself into this time?" Making his way next to Jessica he continued, "Lass, this wee one is part of my group." He knew it would be a shock to Jessica but he did not spare a moment before adding, "Lad, ye best introduce yerself and appologize."