Red Dragon Inn

Red Dragon Inn Home Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark

Welcome, traveler!
( Member login. Not a member? Register here. )


Search    Memberlist    Usergroups    Forum Help   
Gallery    Shop    Jobs    Auctions    Pet Shop    Lottery   
Register    Log in 

Fringe Sojourn
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> Red Dragon Innsights -> Reigns of Alluvius
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:23 pm    Post subject: Tenacity and Speed Reply with quote

Early Afternoon. Valley Road. Lygian Range. Inner Arc.

The Valley Road began on a plateau and descended deep between the two cliff like faces of the mountains that rose on either side of it. The forest continued from the plateau into the mountains for almost half a mile before it gradually thinned to almost nothing, due to the ledge formations of rock that grew inhospitably throughout the area. Very little vegetation could find solace in the top soil free shards that were the mountain side trails and peaks. The Valley was the opposite, having captured all the nutrients that had washed from the sides of the mountains. As descent into the vale continued, the forest became ever more verdant, and a thick, dense canopy above allowed some view of the cliff faces on either side of them from below, while at the same time veiling all below from above.

“Eventually,” Virgil stated, breath ragged. “This byway will open onto a plains, but until then we're more or less bottle necked.” He took a deep breath and surveyed the surviving refugees, and the area around them. It was quiet for the moment.

The past hours had seen the party tested several times. Any of the regulars of the First Sword had proven themselves more than adequate to handle the advances of one Dog, and several Dogs had been slain in attacks meant to test the defences of the refugee train. Then they attacked one soldier with more than one Dog at a time, first two, and when that was unsuccessful, three. It was methodical, every attack was launched at a fresh defender, with one more attacker than the last, and when the defenders drew close enough to aid one another, the refugees were attacked. The latter were never killed, only hurt or maimed. Enough to slow their movement with the rest of the train. One regular soldier of the First Sword could handle three Dogs, but not four. The officers on the other hand were a different matter. They were better armed, better armored, and better trained. Kristoph, Brend, Livia, Virgil, and Fiona all proved more than capable in their own ways of putting off at least five Dogs at a time – not necessarily killing them, but driving them away. Kristoph's tenacity and Brend's speed both proved to be fatal to them, though, and no more than five were tried against either of them at once before other more vulnerable targets were sought out.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:26 pm    Post subject: Of Blades Reply with quote

Two had attacked Ronin directly, the agony of their deaths as their fur and skin burst and sizzled with electrical fire, having put all the others off the idea of attacking him directly. Five regulars had been killed by sheer numbers before their allies could save them. It was just enough to create a gap in the protection of the refugees. The Dogs now attacked and harried them onward at their leisure, injuring those they could while saving themselves with quick escapes back into the forest.

Virgil faced the back of the much slower moving train now, and scanned the cliff faces to his right as best he could. Vicks was somewhere up there with the younglings, hopefully free of pursuit. 'At least,' he thought, 'the kids'll escape. Maybe.'

Fiona had used the knowledge that the Dogs were more sensitive to sound to her advantage, and had employed different strategies. She had disoriented one and nauseated another, but that had only worked briefly, until their senses had been restored and they returned to the fight. It wasn’t until she had tried creating a high pitched ringing in their inner ears to cause pulsating headaches before the two had fled completely. As she had cast one effect after another, she had found herself growing in focus and intensity, and had caused the last four within range to fall unconscious. No sooner had they fallen unconscious than they reverted to their human forms; clad in skin and bones, and dirtier looking than their canine forms, the Dogs were quickly dispatched before Fiona could otherwise act. Kristoph had killed them, severing their necks.

The blade he used was distinctive; it was once meant to be a weighted training sword, but the blade was bent just slightly to one side, and it had been discarded – and rescued. It's hilt was marked with the number 7, marking it as one of a larger batch of forged blades. The only remarkable thing about it was how well it had been cared for. The blade Fiona carried was similar in it's care, having been the property of the same person. Her's was a Dragon Mark blade, slightly more ornate and more befitting a higher ranking officer; the hilt was ivory, capped in gold, with a golden Dragons head inlay in the blade just above the hilt. Kristoph has insisted she use his own blade. He'd cast a critical eye on that which she'd come outfitted with, and had eventually convinced her by, somewhat tersely, stating that he didn't want her to be using anything that might fail her in the field.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Watcher in the Woods Reply with quote

“They're going to come in numbers next time,” Brend and Livia were closer to their fellows now, the number of refugees they'd had to guard having dwindled down slightly. None had been killed outright, but some had been taken as hostages – or worse – if they fell outside the protective field of the First Sword. “We need to hit them fast when they do, surprise them.” Livia's gaze lingered on him as he spoke, half showing agreement, half derision at the notion that the Dogs could be surprised.

“I have some minor magics left, but that's about it. If they were more concentrated I could deal with them, but they're all over the place, appearing and disappearing.” Ronin straightened from a half crouch as he spoke. He'd been resting with his palms on his thighs, and pushed himself back to his feet. He looked back towards their trail as well. There was a haze in and above the treetops, gathering from small fires that had been left in the wake of loosed arcane energies amid the verdant growth of the forest. Their trail was littered by a number of hazy grey streamers wafting into the air and condensing just above the canopy.

Livia quietly left the group and went towards the tree line along the path. As she had quickly slipped between the trunks of the trees, she walked only a few feet from the path, but she had completely faded from sight. Though her magical abilities were far from the experience of Ronin, she had a few tricks up her sleeve; if someone stood next to her, they might only see a few odd shadows from the leaves blocking the light above. She focused harder, knowing that she would need to conceal herself completely, sight and scent, since the dogs wouldn’t need to solely see her in order to know she was there. Once she was satisfied that none would be able to sense her, she sheathed her sword and climbed the tallest tree along the pathway.

After she had situated herself in the tree securely, she pulled out her crossbow and aimed it towards the beginning of the path that lead down to their party. She may not be able to do as much damage as some of them, but she would certainly be able to pick off a few of the dogs here and there as they advanced. She breathed slowly, and focused her peripheral so she would be able to assess every movement from the outside of the path to better find any dogs that attempted to sneak in from the sides.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Duties Reply with quote

Kristoph decided to send the refugees on ahead of them. The regular soldiers who'd accompanied the First Sword, mostly Livia's company, accompanied the refugees. The rest of the First Sword held back, waiting for an attack that never seemed like it would come. Kristoph figured that there was no point to entrenching themselves behind any kind of makeshift fortification, doing so would only send the Dogs around them to get the refugees. Livia eventually came down from on high, relinquishing her favorable position and instead opting at moving forward with the rest of the Sword as they let the refugees slowly slip out of sight. It hadn't taken a long conversation for everyone to agree that the Empire was more likely focused on the dissenters than a band of homeless, helpless folks who probably wouldn't survive on their own long enough to make it to the next civilized outpost.

The Sword had no intention on abandoning the refugees, but they knew their situation well enough to know how badly outnumbered they were, and that the chances of them escaping intact were abysmally low. Anyone listening to them would not have recognized the dire straits they were in, however; as they walked they continued bantering and joking among themselves. Brend's comments in particular were irreverent, and though Kristoph's attitude was as sober as usual, an easy smile softened his face slightly as he walked hand in hand with Fiona. The rest enjoyed light conversation that centered around 'remember whens', as the veterans tried to compare what they were doing now to earlier campaigns that had seen them fighting to consolidate the tribes of the Kroatoan, more than one of them remarked on the irony of having once fought for the same hierarchy that was now trying to kill them.

Kristoph considered himself lucky that most of those he served with knew enough from a simple glance cast their way to not prattle on about him, or any of the things he'd had to do in service. He wasn't proud of most of it, after he came to find out what the Empire had done to the areas he'd subdued after he moved on from them. Brend of course felt the need to point out that the real reason he didn't want to talk about it was because Fiona was there. Kristoph glared.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Bestial Fury Reply with quote

The rest of the group snickered at his discomfort, but said nothing. He sighed under his breath and, glancing at Fiona, told her that he'd tell her whatever stories she wanted to hear when they were alone – he just didn't have the patience to put up with Brend's embellishments. Brend faked a hurt look, and Kristoph smirked despite himself. For a few moments, not more than an hour, they were a group of friends out for a walk through the woods, and everything was alright.

Then the howling began, and they were struck by a wave of bestial fury. Virgil and Livia had only enough time to raise their dual wing crossbows, cutting down a few of the first of the Dogs that charged in. The second rank faltered momentarily amongst the bodies of their faster comrades before they regained their composure, their courage banked by a third rank of attackers, a fourth rank, and so on. Hundreds of shifting canine warriors came through the woods, often veering into a human or hybrid dog-human form to attack before veering back into a four legged form to gain distance between themselves and the Sword.

Blades had been drawn as the first rank of attackers had suffered it's casualties, and the First Sword found itself fighting almost back to back, with the more magically inclined towards the centre, casting what they could outside the circle. While the First Sword had an advantage in training, weapons, and armor, the sheer number of attackers was against them.

The ravine they were fighting in broadened into more of a canyon that let the Dogs more fully encircle the knots of soldiers that were fighting. Their advantage in armament made its value immediately known as it allowed them to rebuff most of the glancing blows that were landed by the Dogs, and also allowed the First Sword the element of intimidation as sword and dagger plunged easily through most of the Dogs armor, with those wearing boiled leather slightly more protected than their less fortunate comrades. The numbers, though, were still telling. There was little room to swing a sword, and someone had to protect you while crossbows were loaded or spells were prepared, which made it hard for the First Sword to feel like they were gaining any ground at all as they fought defensively.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Fulcrum Reply with quote

“We could have been there,” shouted Brend to the knot of soldiers at his back, “in a hard days march if we weren't harried.”

It was true. It would have taken a lot out of the First Sword, but if they hadn't been continually attacked, they could have forced a march on the city that would have allowed them at least onto the plains that opened against its walls in almost a day. The refugees would be able to make it half of the way there, unprovoked as they were. His attacks pin cushioned the Dogs as they came in, lancing in and out, stabbing with surgical precision despite his sword being less than ideal for that kind of fighting. Kristoph was similarly beleaguered.

“We might not get there at all,” Kristoph's yelled comment was cut short as a veered Dog that he was about to slice into once again adopted it's four legged form and tried to dart into the middle of their knot of fighters, seeking easier prey than the two most heavily armed – Brend and Kristoph – that stood at the fore. Kristoph turned quickly and drove his knee into the beasts flank, then smashed the top of it's head with the pommel of his sword before turning back into the fray as one of the Dogs latched onto his left forearm and he had to knock it loose, too. The First Sword was losing ground. More and more they had to adapt to a more confined area. Flashes of sorcery erupted from the center of the knot as Ronin loosed minor spells into the crowd. One of the Dogs burst into flames, but it was only one among many, and the Dogs around it only suffered burned fur. The acrid smell of burned hair and the coppery scent of blood soon obliterated the smell of the forest around them.

“We need to attack,” Ronin panted loudly, and another flash of sorcery fled from his fingertips into the mass of beasts, it's effect as limited as the previous one. “Hit them hard enough to drive them back.” Somewhere behind him, standing back to back as they were, Brend laughed. No one else answered, no one else had any ideas. Everyone was getting tired. One of the benefits the Dogs had over the First Sword in terms of armament: those of the Dogs weighed next to nothing, while those of the defenders weighed enough to exhaust a man in any protracted encounter.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject: Vibrations Reply with quote

Fiona didn't think that they would be able to keep up with the number of Dogs much longer, and desperately tried to think of something. In her position in the center of the group, she had been using her magic to project a high-pitched sound in front of her that would only be audible to the dogs. Although she had expected to see at least several of the dogs in front of her waver from the ear-piercing blast, she was disappointed. She tried using high pitched sounds sent into their inner ear to disorient them, but her efforts failed again. As the dogs continued lunging, biting, and clawing at the group, in attempts to force their way passed. Fiona could not believe it. It was if they had been rendered deaf, even though she had been careful not to go to such extremes in her attacks.

Fiona frantically tried to think of something else. She could feel the light vibrations of the ground beneath her as the group varied their footsteps and the Dogs ran around them. Focusing on the vibrations, she opened the doors in her mind as Kristoph had taught her. Attempting to act quickly, she began channeling as many vibrations through her feet and in to her body. Her heart began palpating from the kinetic energy building inside her. She began to feel lightheaded, and made her way to the front line to face the Dogs. As they began to lunge towards her, her strength seemed enhanced as she began slicing through the dogs, leaving deep and lethal wounds in their hides. The energy that had been building, absorbed vibratory energy, was released through her sword with every swing; the more frenetic the activity around her, the higher the frequency the sword attained, each swing shearing almost effortlessly through hide, sinew, and bone.

Brend cast a glance towards Fiona as the mob opened up before her renewed vigor. His own blade dispatched Dogs quickly, his arms barely seeming to move at all except at the wrists as he executed two foes with quick arterial strikes which sent their life's blood pumping down their chests. Their eyes only had time to register the recognition that something was terribly wrong before they tried to veer back into human form and grab at the wounds, trying unsuccessfully to staunch the bleeding.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:46 pm    Post subject: Until Reply with quote

Brend cast one glance behind him again, towards the center of what had become an island of First Sword officers. He was sure that Virgil and Livia must have exhausted most of their crossbow bolts by now, though he was more certain about Virgil than Livia; he could see the former fighting mostly with two long knives now, weaving in and around the more heavily armed defenders. Livia was harder to keep track of. He was used to that in general, but she was specifically harder for him to see at the moment because of Ronin. The mage had edged forward and was using his Amplifier to channel and store power, without releasing it in the form of a spell. The result were three concentric rings along his arm which were glowing like an incandescent brand he kept waving in front of him whenever something managed to draw in too close; he was managing to keep a number of the closer combatants blinded, and some of them seared, but else wise it looked like Ronin's stores were similarly exhausted.

While everyone else seemed to be gain ground around her, Livia used the opportunity to close her eyes and focus on all of those around her, using her innate arcane abilities as an extension of her senses. Feeling the aggression of the dogs, she honed in on the most savage ones preparing to lunge towards different members in her party. Her eyes opened, but she didn’t use them as she aimed one of her two crossbows and shot at one dog lunging for Brend, while instantaneously aiming the second crossbow and shooting another running towards Virgil. Both shots hit them in the center of their rage and hatred, their hearts, and dropped them immediately to the ground. Her eyes became her secondary source for sight, and she quickly cut down a few of the most vicious targets around them. She was determined to make the few bolts she had left count.

Kristoph's primary focus had been brutal defense, mercilessly cleaving through Dogs, in either two or four legged form. He had kept close to the inner core of the First Sword were fighting back to back, and he tried to ignore the battle fever which was trying to call him away. The longer he fought, the more the indignation he felt towards the Empire was stirred into a rage. He felt his body growing tired, but his heart and mind felt like they were on fire, and he was a shell trying to keep it contained.

Until Fiona had moved to flank him.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: The Sound of Retreat Reply with quote

Kristoph had initially thought her martial skills might make her one of the weaker links, and he hadn't been aware of the enchantments she'd cast upon herself, but he did notice when she took up position beside him. The Dogs began to melt away from her as quickly as they did himself or Brend, and she didn't have the benefit of being as well armoured as either of them. They had enjoyed the benefit of being able to kick and beat the Dogs away with armoured limbs, when there were too many for their blades.

No matter how potent their attack, he realized, the sheer numbers were against them. Even with their redoubled conviction, their determination, and will to live, in moments they would all be dead. With that realization, something broke loose inside him and he felt unencumbered, somehow. He strode into the pack of Dogs swinging his sword, not wildly but methodically, hewing limb from body, and through backbones and skulls. He began to laugh, and from somewhere behind him he heard Brend shouting something – cursing at him – but the curses only lasted for a moment until Brend's laughter was echoing his own. The Dogs began to fall back from them, those in the front ranks turning before those behind them understood what was happening, and becoming trapped between the blades of the First Sword and their pack mates. The ground under their feet was becoming slick with the blood and hides of men and beasts.

A howl sounded from behind them on the trail, a howl that belonged to something bigger than any of the Dogs, and something which caused all but the most entrenched animal fighters to pull away from the First Sword and listen. A second howl, prefaced by a sharp yip, then deeper and longer than the first, had the survivors of the pack of Dogs retreating. Their numbers had been cut almost in half by a reasonably small band of fighters. No matter how elite the team, it was nothing short of miraculous.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Appeal to the Profane Reply with quote

Kristoph had given chase, and delivered a quick killing stroke to those still alive and immediately within his reach, before Brend's voice finally got through to him.

“Break time,” Brend called in almost a panting breath. He was seated on his own haunches, swaying slightly before he decided to just sit on the filthy floor. “We won, yay. They're gone.” Kristoph was moving back towards the group, slowly coming out of his battle fever. He looked at Brend, then Fiona, then the rest of the group. He blinked several times as he too swayed on his feet with a momentary look of disorientation.

“Come on,” Kristoph gestured, sparing only a moment to glance around. Except for personal belongings there wasn't really anything left to collect. Weapons and armor, both well used and battered now, and a few pack items, and very few supplies. Most everything else had gone on ahead with the refugees and the regular company soldiers. “They let us live. That means they were only supposed to find us, track us.” His heart was still racing, but his mind was refocusing.

“Yeah, but we can rest a minute.” Brend's eyes were closed. To his credit, he had probably dispatched most of the dead Dogs which were now crowding their feet.

“No, we can't. We have to run.” It wasn't an order, it was a statement of fact.

“Oh,” There was something in Brend's tone that sounded both juvenile, and disappointed, when he spoke that one word. What he uttered next was straight up profanity.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Something Wild Reply with quote

Part V: The Hour of Loss

~ ~ ~

“At the temple there is a poem called 'Loss' carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.”
― Arthur Golden


~ ~ ~

Exarch Camp. Lygian Range. Inner Arc.

Jareth sat astride a warhorse, another flanking him being ridden by a man in a long dark cloak and cowl; the other man was clearly hiding his appearance, but was being very sloppy about it. It was clear that he was either bald or had a receding hairline; the front of his hood was only pulled up far enough to cover the top of his head, not the front, and the front was smooth and marked with distinctive tattoos of lighting which seemed to streak down his face. Jareth paid his companion no mind, and looked on passively as the dire wolf approached them and transformed into a humanoid shape, with all the look and accoutrements of the old Druids of the Outer Arc. Jareth noted the man had an almost bestial set to his features even when walking on two legs. The newcomer snarled at the pair.

“Most of my Dogs are dead,” the vicious tone was contrived, he cared nothing for the Dogs. If anything, he considered them to have been in the way of his hunt. Even the title of their unit was an affront to him. Dogs were something domesticated, and Kitarlin of the Fenns was nothing like that.

“And?” Jareth asked bluntly. He didn't care about the Dogs, or about the hunt, or anything else Kitarlin cared about, including Kitarlin himself. Jareth, Lord Tain, took his orders straight from Damon, the Emperor and God-King himself. The two men continued to stare at one another hard for a moment, and for a moment, it looked like it would almost come to blows. Then the robed man nudged his horse forward to stand between the two of them.

“You're not a Dog, are you Kitarlin, Lord of the Fenns?” the robed man murmured in an appeasing tone. “You're something wild, aren't you. Something that can't be contained.” Every statement stroked Kitarlin's ego, and he didn't pick up on the contrived nature of the statements. For every statement made to the contrary, he was like a dog being scratched behind the ears. A smirking grin split his face at what he perceived to be compliments. “Something that needs to hunt,” the man continued, easily playing off the Druids emotions. “There is prey on the High Road. The man, Vicks. He's stolen the young ones; the older ones are fodder, to hard to train. The young ones, however,” the robed man paused, letting the statement hang in the air. “The man Vicks is your prey. Two of your best Dogs will accompany you.”

“I can take him down myself,” Kitarlin had immediately bristled.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: His Name Is Reply with quote

“We know, I know,” the man soothed. “I only ask you take them so that they may learn to hunt from you, and then shepherd the children back to us. A more fitting job for a border collie than a wolf, wouldn't you agree?”

Kitarlin slowly smirked again, and offered a slow nod. He turned his back and headed further back the trail to where it forked up into the High Road. He raised a hand to his mouth, inserted two fingers and offered a shrill whistle. A small pack of Dogs came, in human form, their exhaustion and reluctance written across the features of their faces. There was a short exchange, and two of the younger of the pack slipped in behind Kitarlin, two who must have fancied themselves young wolves.

The rest of the Dogs made for camp. There had originally been almost two hundred of them, and they had no trouble losing themselves in the camp of the Second Sword which lay arrayed before them now. The camp was over a thousand strong before they had arrived, and over half that number were heavy armed and armored fighting men. In man form, they filtered among the soldiers, not even noticing that they were treated as lessers; simply glad to be accepted somewhere, and offered scraps from the stew pots and skewers.

Jareth looked to the robed man after Kitarlin and the others nearby had filtered away.

“Is that wise, Lord Exarch? He's an animal,” Jareth meant it in the literal and figurative sense of the word. The Fenn Lord had no mind for tactics. “You're just as likely for him to get himself killed, or to have him bring back the children in pieces.” The robed man waved off Lord Tain's concerns.

“It doesn't matter. We have enough children swelling our ranks as it is. We've culled and culled, taken the best, and the best, and the best until all that's left is the rest. One small group of children won't mean anything to anyone. Damon wants them dealt with as a matter of principle,” the robed man noted Jareth's eyes narrow when he used the Emperors given name. That was tantamount to sacrilege depending upon your beliefs.

“As for me,” the robed figure never finished that thought, and a small smile twisted his lips. Chaos and death were the flavor of mischief that amused him the most. They were their own reason for sending Kitarlin out to sew destruction. “Don't call me that, I don't like people knowing my rank.”

“Sir?” Jareth asked. He wasn't sure what to call the man, who snorted at being called 'sir' as well.

“My name is Jonas.”
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Stories Reply with quote

Afternoon. High Road. Lygian Range. Inner Arc.

Vicks was tired.

There were a few older children, almost young adults, whose presence he was grateful for. Alone, he had too few hands to make sure the youngest were safe, and that they stayed fed and comfortable enough that they fussed as little as possible – the cries of babies would be a sure call to any hostile person or thing roaming the passes. While the rag tag party moved, he ranged both ahead and behind it, scouting and covering their trail respectively, as best he could. They'd brought with them what rations they could carry, each child that could walk bearing some small satchel or knapsack. They were fortunate enough to find wild berries along the way, picking them as they went – and those that picked indulging as they went, keeping their strength up.

When they'd began their exodus into the hills earlier in the day, Vicks had told stories to the children, encouraging their silence with the hushed volume of his storytelling. He was old Kroatoan, and he knew all the good stories about heroes and villains and monsters. Stories about Jordanian the Nightmare, the Tain who consumed his fallen foes; the Koda, Korthal, who was as strong as thirteen men; the Flight of the Prodigal Phoenix, which was a favourite tale about greedy, foolish men, who, after having gained their status at the expense of others, organized an expedition to follow a falling star they thought was their god, and drowned in the eastern ocean as a consequence, weighted down by the wealth they would not share. But those were Tribal stories, not Imperial, and that was frowned upon now.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:03 am    Post subject: 'Dog'ma Reply with quote

Even though the children he'd trained and seen grow to adults had been raised on them. There was a point to them that wasn't just Imperial dogma, and the stories could vary on who told them – they weren't rigidly constructed – because the point of them was the lesson, whether implicit or explicit.

The Imperial counterparts to the stories changed names, and somehow always served to bolster the idea of service to the Empire as the primary virtue of life; that was Petyr Silver's doing, an officer of the Fifth Sword. In the years since Petyr's initial conception, it had become Imperial dogma.

It's elevation in status had been openly encouraged by Azira Dy'Hauc, The Emperor, Damon the Makabe's adviser. That had been the first of several missteps on the part of the Imperials that had lead to Vicks leaving the direct service of the Empire, instead enlisting under Kristoph, one of the men – one of the children – Vicks himself had trained.

It had been late in the morning when he'd told his last story. The valley below the path and ridge they walked was alive with the sound of animals, but there was nothing distinct in the echoes that made their way up to Vicks and the children. Vicks was grateful for that, even though any louder sound would have drawn any and all attention from him and the children, he wouldn't want to explain to them what it was. As it was, he already had to explain to one inquisitive child who'd not yet seen a decade. The girl had asked what the noise was, after his last story and he'd smiled and answered in a hushed voice.

Kef dogs,” he added as a mental afterthought, 'hopefully'. Kef dogs were small dogs that were kept in most settlements, usually inside or close around the premises. Their primary use was in hunting rodents and other small pests that the family residing there would find undesirable. They have shrill barks, and are also known for not realizing their size, and not backing down when confronting a potentially deadly foe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:05 am    Post subject: Two Dogs Reply with quote

People that sometimes tried keeping Kef dogs in and around sheep or swine often found that the dogs themselves were the first to be eaten by larger predators, their shrill barks at rodents and large insects or even the herds themselves having drawn wolves or large cats to them instead of away. “Just now you'll hear them yelp and run away,” he winked at the girl, and blew air through his moustaches, causing them to rise and fall. “You'll see.”

But he hadn't trusted his own assertions. Not that he thought they were the sounds of Kef dogs, but that they would end up yelping and running away. He had been out of the direct Imperial structure by the time the Dogs had arrived, but he knew of them, and their purpose.

After he entrusted the care of the smaller children to the larger, making sure they knew their bearings and when he would return to them, he backtracked and waited. He was hoping to wait for nothing, and was about to break from his vantage point after waiting only an hour – it would take him almost as long moving double time to return to his charge. Then he froze as two Dogs came into view, skinchangers in animal form, noses to the ground and searching. This wasn't his first campaign, nor his first time dealing with something that was more animal than human. He'd set his watch so that the latrine pit they'd used for their stop here was between him and those that pursued him.

He knew sometimes skinchangers who were new to their abilities found it hard to control, hard to define the line between man and animal, and that usually their demeanour favoured the animal side; as animals they were confused by their instincts just enough, and as men they were often more bestial in mien and nature. He'd known if they were men scouting for them, his skills at covering their tracks would render their tracking useless; not so with beasts, though. Fortunately for him, Vicks had always found such men to be sufficiently slow of wit for strategies that involved things like tactical ambushes.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Survival Instinct Reply with quote

Unfortunately for him, he was too far away to deal with both of them foes at once by surprise; his charge would reveal his location and intent. He drew a long sword and rose while sprinting forward at the same time. The Dogs raised their heads and he'd targeted one, who in a moment of eye contact realized its danger and turned quickly enough that its wiry tail was amputated the swing of his sword. The injured animal, driven by overwhelming pain and instinct to survive, fled. The remaining lunged at Vicks's unencumbered arm, the Dogs teeth biting into Vicks leather clad forearm. Vicks rolled backward with the lunge, drawing the Dog with him and rolling over onto him. The skinchanger was large, bigger than a normal dog, but Vicks was bigger still, and possessed of a wiry, unassailable knobby strength of an old man. From on top of the Dog, Vicks grabbed the skinchangers snout, and started to force its jaws open, and it started to change forms into a man – if it didn't, Vicks would tear its lower mandible clean away.

As the Dog sought humanoid form, Vicks slipped his gnawed on arm underneath the creatures throat, while beginning to rise with his knee upon its back. It couldn't stop changing midway through to defend itself. Vicks was going to snap the mans neck, and the skinchanger realized it. Panic set in and at first he tried clawing the air behind him to no avail. The Dog changed tactics, one arm still flailed uselessly, but the other had found a crude knife within its ratty tunic. Vicks spotted it, and the mans neck snapped just a moment after the blade had scored the side of Vicks calf. The skinchanger lay motionless as Vicks stared down at it. He thought about the children, and about the children he'd raised that had become the First Sword. “You shouldn't have come near my kids.”

He spat and examined his leg with his fingers. He dabbed blood away and felt it. It was a ragged cut, but not deep. He wouldn't lose any capacity to move, so he bound it loosely and set off hastily. He wanted to catch up with his charges, and didn't notice the binding becoming loose. After a mile returning towards his wards, blood and sweat had saturated the binding. His scent collected in sand and on brush, despite lack of track or broken branches.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject: Too Old Reply with quote

Late Afternoon. High Road. Lygian Range. Inner Arc.

Barks had chased the group for nearly an hour now, the only respite being that they were few in number, and had initially been distant. The last fact changed over time, with the wild noises growing closer, gaining ground on the veteran Vicks and his would be cadre of children.

'Kristoph was right to send me up here,' Vicks thought to himself. 'I'm too old to be down there fighting,' he was puffing his breaths now, the running back and forth had worn him down. He'd have rather stood and fight. His strength was still enough to prove a deciding factor in a contest like that; he didn't have the endurance for protracted battle anymore. He was still on his feet and able bodied by virtue of will power and muscle memory alone. He spat. Just because he was an old man didn't mean he wanted to die like one. He was also a warrior, and if he was going to go...

He could tell by the growing nearness of the Dogs barking there was going to be a fight. The thought rejuvenated him somewhat. But he needed something to put his back up against, to prevent them from surrounding him. One on one, he knew he stood a chance, but if it was a group melee, him against them, they'd wear him down and bleed him out. To Vicks, that was almost as ignominious as having a heart attack. He was waiting for something before he chose his place to make a stand; the trails and ridges that cut through the side of the Lygian range mostly cut through the centre of the mountains, carving the range into peaks and valleys. He'd been guiding the group towards the eastern most paths, after having cut west and north wherever they could to distance themselves from the Second Sword and the Dogs – for all the good it had ended up doing. It was somewhat fitting, Vicks thought, that they were heading back towards the east now – towards the cliff side trails that ran parallel to the valley Kristoph and the rest of the First Sword were now, or had been, fighting in. Their flight would take them full circle back towards the valley they had been fleeing.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:37 pm    Post subject: Not Long Now Reply with quote

Time seemed to compress and expand like the palpitations of his heart as he moved back and forth along the train of children, from rearguard to scout, back and forth, back and forth. Some of the children talked to him, and he responded, though he couldn't remember what he'd said after. The oldest among his charges listened, though, and kept the younger ones aloft and corralled.

“Not long, now,” he repeated, not manic, but every few minutes like a mantra both for himself and the children. They were close, almost to the exposed ridge, then it was a straight shot to the east along the valley. Then they'd have to secure safe passage down to the plateau, he thought, then added, One thing at a time. Barks kept sounding, both close behind, and moving parallel to them. Their path gradually opened from a cleft in the rocks, forming a T-junction to the open air of a ridge overlooking the valley below. Tension had been building in Vicks chest and it was suddenly released, once they set upon the ridge path, their pursuers would be limited in how many could approach at once. He could man a narrow section of trail perhaps not indefinitely, but perhaps long enough to dissuade the Dogs from their quarry.

The shouts of older children and cries of younger ones issued from those towards the front. The time it took Vicks to arrive vanished in a blur of pounding footfalls. The children seemed to move with him in a mob as he did, cries had arisen among the others as well, and everyone moved towards the front like a wave with Vicks at its epicentre. From the western most ridge came a Dog – a skinchanger in canine form – as well as from the path along the junction they were travelling. Before them, blocking their escape were two more Dogs, as well as something else. It was bigger, its snout more tapered and shoulders broader. It must have outweighed any of the Dogs by at least a hundred pounds. As Vicks and the children came to a halt, the latter huddled around him as best they could, with the youngest being shielded by the eldest who were themselves terrified. The Dogs were growling low in their throats, and the other creature – some lupine abomination – veered into the shape of a man.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:40 pm    Post subject: Stay Away Reply with quote

“He only wants the kids,” the recently changed man spoke. His smile was wolfish and threatening as much as it had been in four legged form. “Probably let you come back, though,” the man seemed to think he was playing with Vicks as he spoke. “Train a new generation, what do you say, Vicks?”

Vicks' face turned red, then almost to purple. Stay away from my kids, the mantra began again in his head. He didn't answer. The man facing him, the man who had been a wolf, nodded to the Dogs behind them. At the signal, the Dogs veered as well, and became men. They moved towards the group, towards the children.

“Gentle now with the pups,” the lupine skinchanger made a murring sound, the canine equivalent of a purr. “He wants them... intact.”

Kitarlin. Fenn,” Vicks teeth ground together, his hands deftly travelling down his leathers. Most of his weapons were in satchels, or bags, or lashed away somewhere. Too unwieldy for the work he was doing, running back and forth. Every pound he could shed was energy he had saved. Now he was regretting it. The only weapons he was wearing were mostly short blades, save for two longer ones on his hips. “Stay away from my kids,” he growled, almost as deep and feral as the Dogs.

What happened next was a flurry of motion. Kitarlin was smirking, the Dogs were closing, and suddenly a knife sprouted from the throat of the man behind and flanking the group. Their humanoid forms had provided much easier targets than their canine ones would have. The smirk left Kitarlin's face as Vicks drew his long knives and bellowed forwards, causing the children to give him as much berth as they could. The side of the cliff was near, and it was a long fall to the fog shrouded forest floor. One of the two Dogs facing Vicks managed to knock one of the long knives not only away, but out of his hand and off the cliff. The children closest to the edge watched it vanish into the fog before their attention turned back to their protector and would be abductors.

One of the two Dogs quickly followed the long knife over the cliff, a mix of a yell and a yelp escaping his throat as he did; Vicks backhand as the result of being disarmed had knocked the Dog not only senseless, but to it's death.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:48 pm    Post subject: Wings Reply with quote

The remaining Dog was unarmed and wary of the blade that remained waving in front of him, it stepped backwards out of range, but Vicks thwarted it's intention to escape by throwing the knife at it haphazardly. As the Dog was distracted, Vicks reached out and grabbed it by the neck and groin and heaved the Dog into the air with a grunt. Almost simultaneously, one, then two, then three arrow shafts sprouted from Vicks back as he turned to heave the last Dog off the cliff. Kitarlin stood with a smirk, and a longbow. The last Dog fell with a yowl of terror as it fell, and Vicks turned towards Kitarlin. A heavy breath caused blood to spray from Vicks lips.

“Told you, stay away,” Vicks lunged towards Kitarlin. Kitarlin sidestepped and Vicks bellowed, “From my,” Vicks managed to grab the bow, tugging the leader of the Dogs forward enough to snag his arm. Kitarlin tried to pull back but Vicks sacrificed his footing to pull the other man forward into a crushing hug. “My kids!” Vicks shouted as he toppled backwards. The two of them disappeared over the edge and the children rushed forward to look.

The other Dogs that had vanished in similar fashion had left their imprints among the fog clouds below, though the rifts in the mist were slowly closing. Behind the children, a blue-white flash of energy formed, and two men materialized, their arms raised high towards each other, hands joined together to form an arch with their bodies.

“Where's Vicks?” One of the men asked as he broke contact with the other and stepped forward to the side of the cliff as well. The other man asked a question behind him, in the form of a name.

“Kaius?” The blue robed figured queried. Kaius turned back to look at him and shrugged, just as one of the children tugged at Kaius's sleeve. He looked down to the child.

“He got his wings back,” the child spoke softly, wide eyed.

Kaius turned to Atticus, and at an encouraging gesture to ask more the High Mage, looked again to the child. “Who got his wings back? Where's Vicks, he's supposed to be with you.” The child – a little girl – looked at Kaius as though he knew nothing at all. With one hand she gripped Kaius, and the other hand pointed out over the cliff.

“It's alright, he got to be an angel again,” she smiled up at him. Several of the other younger children turned away from the cliff as well, smiling at Kaius and Atticus. The older children bore a look that was half sad, and half filled with wonder. “Like she said. He got his wings back.”
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: A Field of Pesh Reply with quote

Evening. The Peshlian Basin. Inner Arc.

The veiled threat of thunder rumbled in the distance; it seemed to be warning that it was moving closer, and bringing a storm with it. It was darker than it should have been as the afternoon passed and evening fell, even though the canopy provided by the trees was becoming more sparse as they travelled. The sky was clouded over by the time they emerged from the tree line, and the cliffs behind them cast them further into darkness, as they found themselves looking into what appeared to be an immense earthen basin more than a hundred miles wide, it's far side obscured by a distortion in the air somewhere in between. Similar mountain ranges, cliffs, and forests seemed to skirt the rest of the basins edge as far as the eye could see in the failing light. The basin was particularly verdant, and although their blooms were hidden by the absence of light, the aromatic smell of roses – pesh in Puhra Dahli - in numbers of thousands upon thousands and more, met the First Sword like a gentle wall.

The way through the basin seemed to be spider-webbed with hard packed trails that could afford two people side by side, and it seemed as though there was some forethought in their creation. They meandered to and fro through snarls of wild roses, thorns, and vines, but they did so in ways that hinted at the hand of man in their creation: they all moved parallel with, and perpendicular to, each another. The refugees and surviving regulars had arrived at the basin first, having maintained their speed and distance advantage over the officers who brought up the rear guard. They had already started examining the paths, the surroundings, and taking their ease as they waited to push forward again. Most who hadn't ventured out amongst the roses out of simple curiosity nodded or waved their greetings to the officers as they arrived. Few set to getting ready to leave immediately; they'd give those who'd guarded their backs what time they could take for themselves to rest and try to renew themselves. Several came forward to offer skins of water, dry rations, and rations foraged from the wild during their flight.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: You Don't Think I Pay Attention to Things Reply with quote

Kristoph accepted both water and food, though he offered them both to Fiona first and took his own second. He looked out over the basin, fixing it with a hard stare. Someone had offered him some type of red berry, he'd accepted and now popped a small handful into his mouth and chewed slowly. He swallowed and deliberately waited until those who'd just arrived with him had taken at least some form of refreshment. “Do you see it.” It should have been a question, but it had come out flat.

“See what?” Brend answered, his innocent tone at odds with his words. “The big empty space with nowhere to hide that they'll probably ride over us on?” His tone was almost annoyingly jovial. Sometimes it seemed that he didn't worry about anything at all. “This is what you get for wanting to be a gardener, you know.” He gestured to the open field. “Fate's sense of humour sucks.”

Plopping down between some of the bushes, Livia retorted, “So does yours sometimes.” She stretched out her legs, laid back, and rested on her elbows, suspending her upper body over the ground. Just as lazily as her recline, she asked Kristoph, “What do we see?”

“Not enough,” Kristoph answered. He scanned the distance ahead of them, then glanced upwards as though a silent appeal to whatever gods were in the sky might help. “I don't know that it's the lack of light. All the larger plants have been gone a long time, but is that because people have harvested them once, and did something to the land to keep them from growing, or is it because there was never anything larger than this,” he gestured briefly. “My point is,” he was interrupted as Brend, who'd reclined in a similar fashion to Livia, spoke up.

“The city, where's this city we were supposed to be looking for? Shouldn't we be able to see it?” Brend's gaze had been following Kristoph's gaze, and he hadn't been paying attention as much to what was being said. “Huh? Oh.” His attention had returned to his friend and leader, to find Kristoph had fixed him with a look that rode the border of annoyance and amusement.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Problem and Answer Reply with quote

Fiona continued standing, looking out over the dark basin. “Certainly the city is still there…” Her tone was half questioning and half hoping.

Kristoph moved to stand beside Fiona, matching her gaze. “That's the problem. We don't know if it was every really here. There are no written records, we're relying on word of mouth; oral history through legends and myths.” The muscles of his jaw had bunched tightly together. If he bit down any harder, he'd crack teeth. “This might have killed us.” His gaze shifted from the basin – vacant except for plants, as far as could be seen. Night had completely fallen now, and vision was further limited.

“If it's not here, we have nowhere to run or hide or escape to; the Second Sword will ride us down. We've been lucky they have the train they have to manoeuvre through the valley and trees. If they get to where we're standing now, and we don't have an answer,” he let that notion hang in the air. The results were obvious. No matter how much distance they put between themselves and the Second Sword, if they didn't have walls at least, the Second would have a direct charge at them wherever the First went.

Fiona turned her head towards him and took his hand. Waiting until his eye met hers, she said devotedly, “We will figure something out.” Knowing he had inspired and driven them this entire time, she hoped she could inspire him now. She figured even if they couldn’t find the city, they could work together to come up with some way out, some alternate solution, something that wouldn't leave them stuck. They had to.

“What's the problem, then?” A new voice joined the chorus. An old man was squatting on his haunches close to Livia and had addressed her more than the others, a point punctuated by his the nodding inclination of his head towards Kristoph, Fiona, and Brend. Urdru, the elder Puhra Dahli, had appeared amongst them without warning or notice. One moment the space was empty, the next moment it was not.

Brend's head snapped towards the elder at his intrusion, the surprise making his hand stray to his hip – to find only empty air. His sword belt lay on the ground between himself and Livia. He swore in surprise. If it had been an enemy he'd have been empty handed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Knightfall
Knight of The Black Rose
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 258
See this user's pet
Jobs: Caretaker, Groom
Can Be Found: RhyDin / Bristle Crios
13878.72 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:34 pm    Post subject: Annoying Ineloquence Reply with quote

Kristoph had cast a quick, obvious glance in their direction, but made sure to keep Urdru in his peripheral vision. The old man's peculiarities reminded him of someone, but he couldn't place it. His lips betrayed a small smile despite the sober tone of the situation.

“It's surprising,” Kristoph murmured more to Fiona than the rest, casting his glance back her way only to dart his eyes towards the other two men and back to her in indication of whom he spoke. “I don't think Brend can stand him because they're too much alike.”

Fiona smiled in response to Kristoph’s assessment, but her attention turned to Livia.

At Urdru’s question, Livia had sat straight up in defence. As she did, her hands instinctively dove down to the cuffs of her knee length leather boots, prepared to grab the long knives she had hidden in each. Once she realized it was just him, she loosened her posture and placed her hands on the ground next to herself to once again recline slightly. “The problem is,” she answered Urdru tersely while picking up one hand briefly and motioning across the vast empty space in front of them, “we came all this way for nothing.” Kristoph may have been right. The only other person that aggravated her as much as Urdru did was the man on her other side.

The old man furrowed his brows. “Huh?”

Kristoph's attention had turned more completely to the old timer before anyone else could interdict. “We should be within sight of the city, should we not? And yet,” he gestured to the vast, dark fields before them. “The Second Sword will overtake us when their mounts gain the fields. They'll send heavy cavalry and simply ride us down.”

Urdru stared at him, and feigned wide, almost ignorantly bovine eyes.

Kristoph's brow drew downward in annoyance and Brend snorted and looked away from them, focusing on the field before them in the hope that some tactical opportunity would occur to him. Before Kristoph could chastise him, though, Urdru raised a hand in defence, as if warding off whatever comments were forthcoming.

“Did you hear him,” Urdru nodded towards Fiona, then jerked his head towards Kristoph. “He's always going to be like that, you know. Oddly formal. He never breaks the habit.” He must have been referring to Kristoph's earlier comments.
_________________
A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Fiona ONeill
Lady of The Knight
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 468
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Scribe
Can Be Found: Bristle Crios
7903.92 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Magic and the Moon Reply with quote

He stood slowly, a series of cracks and pops issuing from his bones and joints as he did so. He smirked, the weathered lines of his face crinkling in amusement. “Some people just live in the past, I guess.”

Fiona watched the old man intently as he spoke as though he knew Kristoph and how he would ‘always be’. She stared hard at him as if trying to decipher every wrinkle. Eventually she saw what Kristoph had meant. Since she had been spending more time with the members of their party, she had learned more of their personalities and quirks. Urdru shared much of the same humour and laid-back demeanour as Brend. Urdru always seemed to focus on and stay as close to Livia as possible, as he had appeared just now. Livia had mentioned to Fiona when Urdru had spoken to her and Brend in the woods when they were scouting with Kaius. Livia had complained to Fiona about Urdru in the same annoyed tone as she had used to complain about Brend. Maybe they weren’t just ‘too much alike’ like Kristoph had said, but it was something more, like maybe they were somehow the same. Fiona told herself that couldn’t possibly be true, though the old man did defy reality on occasion. Either way, he seemed like he knew more than he was volunteering.

“So,” Fiona asked casually, taking a different tactic than Kristoph’s formality, “Do you know where the city is?”

Everyone was suddenly looking at Urdru. His grin turned impish in a way that somehow admitted his guilt before he found the words.

“Of course I do,” Urdru waved at the entire rest of the group, as though they were asking the most obvious, inane, question. He pointed out into the darkened field, where the rest of the group often found their own focuses straying. “If the moon were out, you could see it, too.” Thunder rumbled as if on cue, not yet overhead, but growing closer. He anticipated one of them, as mouths opened to voice questions or demands. “It's magic, of a sort, that hides it. Not something any of you are likely to be able to break, nor even Ronin – so leave him to his rest; you might need a his arsenal again before this is done. He's already tried to pierce it, and so has Atticus.”
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> Red Dragon Innsights -> Reigns of Alluvius All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 5 of 6

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Dragon's Mark Producer - Rob Portinga
Original site design © 2005 by Nomad  •  Forum design © 2005 Isaura Simon