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Old 06-14-2017, 04:32 AM
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Arc One: Death of a Militiaman

GIANTSLAYER
Book One: The Battle of Bloodmarch Hill
Trunau
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While every family took pride in the coming-of-age of their next generations, few could command the absolute respect that the Chief Defender managed, and nearly the entire town had crammed into the Commons, the open skies gracing the day's celebrations with decent weather. The representatives of both the Countinghouse and the Sanctuary vociferously claiming the favor of their patron deities in facilitating the spectacle. The floors of the amphitheatre gleamed from a fresh scrubbing, and the food and drink stood at the perimeter, awaiting the conclusion of the formalities and the commencement of the actual festivities. Small knots of conversation among the tightly knit elements of Trunau’s residents made even such large gatherings easy to endure. The mountain air was dry, and while the rapidly falling sun’s gaze shone on the crowd, the thin air kept everyone relatively comfortable.

The bustling assembly milled about until the unmistakable Halgra mounted the dais, her commanding presence convincing even the visitors to fall silent. Behind her, a girl just beginning the journey to womanhood waited at the bottom of the steps, timidly shuffling her feet in nervous anticipation. Nodding graciously to a few prominent members of Trunauan society, the Chief Defender cleared her throat softly before raising her voice, easily capturing the ear of the whole crowd with the voice of a canny stateswoman.

"Good afternoon, friends and visitors. The hour is upon us. My youngest child, my dear, sweet Ruby, has come of age. Tonight she takes up the very symbol of our enduring freedom!" Halgra paced about the center of the stage, her presence holding the rapt attention of everyone in the throng. When the subject of the Hopeknife was mentioned, she thrust her hand aloft, the weapon clutched in her long fingers, the gleaming metal catching the rays of the setting sun.

"I have performed my duty as Chief Defender for countless youths in my tenure, including my other children, of course. All of them mean a great deal to me, but this ceremony tugs at my heart in a special way," Halgra continued, turning to face the stairs from whence she had come. "Ruby, please come up here now," she said in a soft voice, beckoning to the child with her empty hand.

Once Ruby had joined her mother at the center, all emotion was erased from Halgra’s face. She could not have actually banished the feelings of pride and fear from her core, but this was not the moment for sentiment. The Hopeknife was no trinket, but a deadly serious reminder of the realities of life for non-orcs in the Hold of Belkzen. "By the laws of our town, you are a grown woman now, Ruby. As such, it is your duty to defend both the institution of Trunau itself and all its inhabitants. This Hopeknife is a tangible representation of those duties, and is only to be used in times of dire peril. You should never be without it, and it should only be drawn with intent to kill, and only to save from an even worse fate. You must be ready and willing to use it on yourself, your friends, your mentors, even myself if it is called for. The orcs will not do you any courtesy. Do you swear to do this?" Halgra asked, staring hard at her daughter.

The importance of the moment overwhelmed Ruby, and she was unable to convince her throat to work properly, instead dipping her head once in assent. It was a lot of responsibility to place on one so young, but the truth of Trunau was that there wasn’t the luxury of further time to nurture their youth. Halgra took on a kind elder’s tone as she drew the Hopeknife from its sheath and demonstrated on her own extremities which arteries to sever with the wickedly honed blade. The weapon was obviously of exquisite quality, even to those farther back in the crowd. Ruby nodded once more in understanding, and her mother placed the knife back in its sheath and looped the chain necklace upon which it hung around the girl’s neck. "Tonight Ruby becomes a full member of our town’s society! May she be welcomed with open arms! Let the festivities commence!" she shouted above the roar of approval from the crowd.

"TRUNAU FOREVER!" Halgra bellowed as the applause subsided, evincing a slightly staggered echo from all the residents of the beleaguered town.


Tug of WarAs Halgra descended the steps to join the crowd, she called out, "Someone get me a bottle of whiskey, now! And Rodrik," she grinned, reaching her long arm though a group of bystanders to grab a tall man by the shoulder, "How many do you think you can best this time? I assume you'll want to stick with just Kurst, correct?"

The man whirled to face the Chief Defender, a knowing look of mirth on his face as he boasted, "Four, no less! No, make it five!" He chuckled aloud as Halgra turned to get Ruby's attention once more, but interrupted her before she could speak. "Five AND Ruby," he raised the stakes.

The weathered Halgra's body shook with glee as she shouted up to Ruby, "Rodrick and Kurst say to pick any five you wish! I've got ten gold pieces riding on this. You'd better win!"

Atop the dais, the young woman glanced from face to face, unsure of whom to have accompany her. She knew that the tug of war was a rite of passage, almost as much as the Hopeknife ceremony itself. To pick only muscular brutes would be obvious. She needed to be canny, and pick those who could outwit the Grath brothers. She set about her search with a renewed sense of purpose.

The first selection brought a gasp from the crowd. They had expected Ruby to select one of her hulking half-orc siblings, but instead her young voice croaked, "Mister halfling," she beckoned toward a young shortfolk whose face bore the mark of more trials than his years warranted. "Come,
anchor my team. The Grath brothers must be felled by one small of stature!"


The girl paced back and forth a half dozen times before speaking again. "My lord priest!" she gestured toward a stout dwarf several rows back. "Come, may you bring Iomedae's blessing on this struggle!"

Without missing a beat, Ruby cast her eye to the opposite side of the crowd and stared down an inconspicuous half-elf that none of the others quite noticed. "You! You blend in well! Show the Grath's that an everyman can be a champion as well!"

Her first three selections made, Ruby was on a roll. Het confidence was that of one thrice her age,
and a fire shone in her young eyes. "My lady!" she stretched out both arms toward a simple woman toward the back. "The boys shouldn't have all the fun. Come to the front with me! Let's prove our mettle!"

With only one spot left on the length of hempen cord to be filled, Ruby looked at Rodrik and Kurst with a note of pity in her eye. "We outnumber the brothers by such a margin, it would be unfair to take another. But Rodrik insists, so I will make my final pick...that old man over there!" Ruby indicated a hale elder human on the fringes, eagerly indicating he take the spot next to the other human.

"You made your bed, boys," Ruby taunted, her adolescent rashness creeping to the surface. "Now lay in it!" she concluded, hefting the rope and awaiting the signal to begin.


OOGMGo ahead and introduce your characters to the scene, provide thoughts on the ceremony, and describe taking up the rope. Participation is impossible to refuse by Trunau's social norms. My next post will resolve the entire tug of war and really get the game going.

Good luck, and enjoy!
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Last edited by Ziether; 06-15-2017 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:51 AM
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Tug of life
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The past week had been one of trials and mental anguish for Lim.

He had finished a long amount of travel, fitted with any number of terrors and hardships. Walking through the Hold of Belkzen with only his hopeknife and a wolf as his companions proved to be a test in nerves. At any point a group of Orcs could descend upon him and claim his life for 'trespassing' on their lands. The wolf itself could as easily have decided that Lim was better off as a meal than a traveling companion. When he finally got to the end of his journey, it was only to find that objective of his travels no longer lived.

It was a surprise that Cham had managed to keep things from his mother for him. He would have easily expected the old(er) Halfling to simply take the items for herself, rather than keep them for his eventual, or even impossible, return. It was itself a testament to how much Cham had appreciated the woman, his mother. The one hundred platinum pieces was a shock. The fact that his mother had even managed to scrape so much month together showed her unwillingness to even move on with life after he left. The sense of guilt for what he did to his mother by leaving was hard for Lim to cope with. That combined with his grief was torture enough for his soul.

One drunken evening found Lim spending most of the money. A sword, armor, a glowing stick, bullets, camping gear... his spending was only limited to his drunken imaginations. Did Brunch really need barding? He wasn't about to start riding the wolf anytime soon, was he? Unfortunately he wasn't able to take any of the items back and now he was stuck with them. The wolf didn't seem to mind wearing it, and the other things he purchased for her though.

His week became calmer at the end, allowing him to finally come to a sense of equilibrium with the town. He didn't drink as much, and thus he didn't make as much of a fool out of himself and Brunch. The thought of attending a hopeknife ritual was something that practically screamed for him to run. But another thought entered his mind. One from Dorfin. He how had a home again. And because of that, he had a duty. A duty to them, and to himself through them.

With a sigh, Lim stood as one of the first to arrive for the ceremony. It positioned him as one of those in front. Granted, being one of the town's Halfling generally allowed him this position anyway. Lim watched the event with mixed emotions. He felt a small sense of pride for the girl, but watched in his mind's eye his own version going on 20 years prior with acrid memories. How stupid and naive he was back then. How wrong about the world and his place in it. How ignorant of his strengths, and the choices that would shape him. Before he could even appreciate the spectacle in front of him it was over, "Trunau Forever," and he was whispering the required response that others around him where shouting with glee.

There were those more jubilant the Lim, as the ceremony ended, and the celebration began. Actually, there were few that were less morose than Lim. As such he was still standing in place when he was pointed out by the girl. Pointed out to take part in another tradition that he was wishing not to. But again Dorfin's face flashed to his mind's eye, and his body took a step forward. Just one. That one step speaking his assent to participate. Lim mentally steeled himself, before allowing his legs and feet to continue.

Lim remembered Rodrick and Kurst from his youth. Boisterous and impetuous, but only when not on patrol. They were good men, for fighting against the orc raids. As big and tall as they were (at least compared to Lim himself) they seemed like orcs to Lim in their own right, in all but race.

He didn't know if he would be of use in this instance, but he was determined to not make the same mistake again. The rope in Lim's hands forced those memories to immediacy. His own hopeknife ceremony's tug of war was a disaster, seemingly over before it even began. Eight Halfling boys, against the two towers of men. The seconds until the loss could be counted on one hand. One hand was currently wrapped around the corded rope. A second joined it, and feet in a stance far apart for leverage, and Lim was ready for fate to finally smile on him this week.
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Last edited by Insacrum; 06-19-2017 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Fixed some grammar issues.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:53 PM
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Unceremonious Ceremony
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Flynn put the stein to his lips and let the sweet mead fill his mouth, his third of the night and with the ceremony just barely underway. He hadn't wanted to come, and not only because he'd seen a dozen of these since he took up residence in Trunau. No, it was the fight that darkened his mood and bolstered his appetite for drink. Flayleaf, again the topic of conversation, but that only led to deeper issues and gave voice to held grudges. Now Riella was somewhere in the crowd showing her best face and he was left on the outside to brood. It was true that the time for his own son's hopeknife ceremony was almost upon them, and he knows he should act as social as the ceremony demands, but he was struggling now to even stick around. His store beckons.His store and the cellar beneath it, with the small ivory box and the fragrant contents within it.

Ruby, one of Halgra's litter, takes the stage and the words are exchanged. The girl seems barely more than a child, something he'd noticed more and more in recent years as his own son grew toward adulthood. The instructions, the knife, such a responsibility to place on someone so young. But it is also true that youth does no favors in a place like this, and the orcs outside Trunau have no concern with age when they attack. The stein is empty before he realizes it, and he sets it back on the stall he'd obtained it from with a sigh. With the instructions over, the games begin and Flynn can see that Rodrick and Kurst are all too eager to take part.

It is hard not to like the brothers, who seem to find fun despite the bleakness that accompanies their role as patrol captains. They made fine drinking companions for him on many nights and he didn't see reason for tonight to be any exception. Whether victory or defeat in the competition, all involved were treated with equal respect. Ruby begins to pace the stage, calling out her picks for the team. He is surprised by her choice of the halfling, but even moreso by his own selection. Swallowing the bitterness he'd been laboring over since he arrived, Flynn plasters a proper smile on his face and eases his way through the crowd toward the rope.

"My dear girl, you have made a fine choice. You may have found one stronger, but you'd never find one better looking." His swagger is all confidence as he takes up the rope held by the halfling, nodding to the man as he does. Not a face he recognizes but Trunau sees it share of new people during the ceremonies. Something about the halfling draws a second look, though. Flynn can't pin down what it is that intrigues him, but there is definitely something odd about him. Perhaps Ruby saw it first, more perceptive and accepting of strength that lurks beneath the surface.

"Let's give them a proper mud bath, eh?"
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:06 AM
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Hopeknives. These people rush to death.

I dream nightly to follow the-

A taste of flowers and razor blades and dung and epiphany sears across his tongue like fresh acid. In its wake a calm quiet descends. The furtive mind unravels, coiling outwards tentatively like a tongue prodding the space where a tooth once resided. For a brief, brief moment he finds himself alone and void, a being of pure matter forgotten in a dead universe. Brief beyond measure the respite, as soon the crowded street will assault his senses again.

Trunau isn't the largest city he's visited in his shortvenerabletoolong existence, but it is dense with life. A hard, desperate life, often enough. It and its people have served him well these last few years, in both wealth and resources. The desperate often fall for desperate solutions - a fact he is discerning enough to capitalize on. The cowled robe shadowing his weathered face is of far finer make than the one he'd arrived in.

In all likelihood, there are more than a few old men in this crowd, despite the average life expectancy of a Trunau native. Rose's piping voice could be calling near anyone, yet he knows instinctively that he's being addressed. The front of his cowl swings upward, the corners of his mouth chewing nervously on the bushy grey nest of his mustache. He has no choice but to answer the charge, though the thought of all that attention sets his mind to skittering.

His gait as he wades through the crowd is awkward though hardly hindered. Despite his height he seems to dwindle between revelers until the clear space before the platform looms large. Then he is out in front, a gangly figure in disfiguring black, soon mounting the stair at a young woman's behest. Furtively, his fingers rise to peel back his hood, revealing a rictus grin courting a wild light in his deep black eyes. The lines on his face grow even more pronounced under the strain, yet he takes his place at the rope with narry a grumble.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:30 AM
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More Like Tug o' Peace
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Mianna found herself nursing a mug of mead like she had the previous hopeknife ceremonies she found herself attending.
These were perhaps one of the most important ceremonies that could be performed in the village itself, heralding the arrival of a new adult of the village that could help stem the tide of the invasion that was pushing and pulling constantly. Perhaps more significant was the newly made adult herself, Rose. Being of course of a generation that knew of the orcish conflict she could potentially be of the generation to know no strife, or be of the last to perform the ceremony in the future. All of that left a sour taste in Mianna's mouth however, one that the mead did little to mask from her as she vaguely paid attention to the conversation that she was scarcely a part of.

It was to her surprise then, when she audibly heard herself being reference and the crowd around part ways slightly as Rose seemed to be addressing her directly. The traditional Tug of War. A battle of strength and wisdom between the newest wielder of the hope knife and the group they choose, and Rodrik. He was one that Mianna had met on occasion, although work with him had been scarce and long coming. She respected him at the very least, but like many did not feel close to him to make an informed decision. Still, she took the mug that had been barely touched before tossing her head back and downing through rest, slamming it onto the table that she had been seated at for some time now. All pretense of wisdom and aloofness now off, Mianna grins at Rose and punches her gently on the shoulder as she walks up and reaches into a side pouch to grab some chalk. Crumbling it in her hands, she coats her palms and fingers in the whitened powder before gripping the rope and hefting it up, "I'm ready whenever you are Rose, we'll give Rodrik a run for his ****ing money then!"
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:34 PM
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It's All in the Legs, Fellas
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He was charmed, as always. The festival was soon going to be in full swing, but for now, as he watched the youngest of the Village Defender's children receive her Hopeknife, why... his smile was ever-blooming, bright and broken only by light laughter. The young one was finally going to become one of the people. Sure, these ceremonies were common and he'd been to far more than he'd like to count, but the delight was always the same measure. As Ruby picked up her knife from the hands of her mother and assented to her knowledge of the tool, his smile dampened - though only for a second. She knew how to use the knife, but he'd pray to Iomedae that she would never have to.

As the ceremony finished and the festival began, Bathas had already grabbed himself a stein of mead and a leg of some once-wild animal. Food was free and fresh at these events so the first person to the food would be the wisest man around. He'd tell himself that at least as his robes, by now, likely cried against his wisdom. Trunau was not known for it's well-fed populace, much less the sanctuary acolytes which rationed off a portion of their food stores to the needy. So when the meat was gone and Bathas was reveling in the flavor alongside the other festival goers, he decided against thinking too hard about the repercussions. The young would only gain their knife once and he could only eat like this when they did.

The call of the young one on stage woke him from his trance as Bathas danced along with an older halfling, his pattern landing rather poorly with the shorter woman who seemed practiced. A blessing to be granted respite from his clumsy two-step, Bathas grinned up to the stage, seeing a gathering of folks ready to give it their all this year in the tug-of-war. What a great tradition... but, by his count, and it was rather off for him to be counting this late at night, the young lady had picked one short of a full team. The dwarf stood, befuddled as the crowd opened up for him and nodded toward the stage. He turned around and stared behind him, expecting another, before turning like a bolt with the realization that she had selected him.

His wide smile threatened to tear his mouth as he laughed heartily and jogged up the the podium. His legs felt like they were stepping on air as he ascended to the top and landed on the hard dais. Appraoching the final position on the hempen rope Bathas leaned towards the crowd and flexed his left arm in a show of might. The tattooed symbols of the Iomedaen sanctuary gripped against the muscles as he shouted aloud to the audience, "Let's have 'erselves a real test of strength! These boys don't know what they're dealing with here." Swaying his arm towards the rest of the assembled challengers and clenching the opposing fist in a sign of solidarity, Bathas let the audience to themselves as his arms weighed down on the end of the rope.

"Now fellas, buckle down, we've got quite the duo to be challengin," the cleric muttered out as he slid down beside his allies, getting a solid grip and lowering his body. "Remember to keep a low center a gravity... though you halflin's got the right idea already. Bahaha!"
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:38 PM
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Rope TrickWhen everyone was lined up and ready to proceed, the announcer wasted no time. The tiny gnome man stood on stilts and called into a cone to project his voice, "Six on two! Six on two! Let the match BEGIN!" and all of the participants put their all into the contest as if it were a true battle, their backs, shoulders, arms, and legs bulging with the stresses of pulling on the length of hempen cord. As the onlookers might have bet, the combined determination of the challengers was more than a match for the pair of sturdy Trunauan militiamen, at least at first. Before they could celebrate their lead, the rope shot back toward its original position, only to reverse course once more and threaten to tug Rodrik across the goal line.

The stout brothers were not ready to end their bid for glory just yet, and both gritted their teeth and pulled as hard as they could, threatening to lift the little halfling from the ground entirely. Tugging all the way back past the initial position, the challengers were caught off guard until Ruby shouted, "We can’t lose to a POET and his pet!" Setting their heels into the dry earth of the Commons, the six halted their uncontrolled rush forward and managed to gain the upper hand once more.

Try as they might, the valiant Grath brothers were not enough to overcome the combined power of all of Ruby’s selections. In a steady, embarrassing march, the smaller team was unceremoniously dragged across the chalk line in the middle, the victors collapsing in a heap from the sheer effort. Although they had won the contest, it had been no simple task. They had nearly been defeated by such an insignificant opposition.

Laughing in the dust, Rodrik pushed himself to his knees and levered up to his full height, helping each of his former opponents to their own feet and shaking their arms in congratulations. "You pulled heroically," he offered before giving a glance about the crowded amphitheatre. "Why don’t we escape this insane spectacle for a bit? We’ve been turned into entertainment for the masses long enough. Maybe we can grab some refreshments and avoid the clamoring throng for a bit. To be honest, I'm surprised you managed to beat Kurst and me, and I'd like to get to know you a little," he added, arm stretched out to indicate a less-trafficked stall with savory sausages and a nearby cart laden with barrels of some sorts of beverages.

Not to be completely silent, Kurst finally spoke up to add his own congratulations to the victors. "Ruby, it was a delight to participate in your Hopeknife Ceremony. With any luck, you’ll be as important an asset to the town as your older brothers soon enough! Trunau forever!" he intoned seriously before turning to the elder members of her team. "My brother and I honestly thought we could carry the day, but there was something about you all working together that put us off our best. Perhaps you," he looked down to meet Bathas’ eyes, "really do have the favor of the Inheritor." Seemingly uncomfortable putting so many words before those he only knew the faces of or less, Kurst dropped slightly behind his older brother, allowing Rodrik to lead the way toward food.

Once the group had arrived at the stall, Rodrik waved to the operator, a small half-orc woman. "My thanks, Ezka," he offered, grabbing a pair of thick, greasy sausages before turning to address the others once more. "Let me ask you one thing first," Rodrik began. "Why are none of you capable folks members of the Trunau Militia? I understand your reasons, sir priest. You do as much good in your capacity. The rest of you could really contribute to making Trunau a better, safer place!" he rambled, a broad smile crossing his face. It was clear that he had no illusions that he could recruit everyone all at once, but his earnest admiration was apparent to all.


OOGMGo ahead and converse with the Graths as much as you wish. Roll any skill checks in the dice thread with related questions attached if you want to be able to reply to the brothers’ responses. I’ll put those responses in the Dice Thread so you can have them to craft further queries with. We’ll create the posts with quotes built in to preserve the conversation, but not spend a month going back and forth in PbP. You’ll want to progress, I assume.

You have a good 60-90 minutes of in-game time to work with. It will conclude with the introduction of another NPC, so don’t go anywhere far.

If you have any questions, you know where to find me.

Excelsior!
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:22 AM
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We are winning!

We are losing!


We are winning!

We won!


Simple thoughts, these, but at least they are his own. What began as an exercise in keeping with local customs, and perforce keeping local customers, soon blossoms into something delightful and exciting. The spindly arms that scrabble at the woven strand move freely and solely of his own conviction. The frowning brow is his own expression, not that of a man thrice his age. His jaws unlock and spare further grinding of his teeth, displaying a smile near beatific with peace. Strange all around, considering his circumstances.

His apparent age playing no part in his recovery, he waves away Rodrik's aid with seeming good-natured grace, clasping hands only after regaining his dignity. The earnest congratulations touch a soft space within his chest for a time, though it will fast begin to fade. Indeed between the roaring crowd and the directed attention he begins to feel the edges fraying on the outermost territories. While his mental expanses are great, it is only a matter of time before the nothing devours the very heart of him once again.

He welcomes the idea of getting away with relish. He is less enthused when he realizes such getaways still include company. How far was he willing to go, really, to satisfy public decorum? A little further, he realizes instantly, as the prospect of attempting to flee the brothers strikes a chord of unwarranted terror hard enough to cause a stumble. The feeling persists even as a sausage is pressed into his hand. It mostly hangs there, limp as the fixed smile on his many creased lips, while he listens to Rodrik say his piece.

What is it? He knows its there, a niggling piece of something just tickling the back of his brain. He is not a man to ask questions of the living, preferring instead paper and ink and silence and flesh. The others are allowed their say; those answers are freely gleaned by all. What is it? Subversive...

Attention sparks his attention. He realizes with a start that his hood is still draped across his back, revealing every twist of his mind across the lunatic folds engulfing his features. He stares the aspiring Bard! in his eyes for a panicked moment, then coughs out a single, unsettling excuse.

"Mental instability!"

The laugh that follows, of course, could only further serve to prove his point. It isn't the mirthless cackle of one lost forever to madness, however. The discerning ear notes instead the forced tones of a man laughing at his own poor joke, arguably an even worse offense.
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:29 PM
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The struggle was worth the time, it seemed, as Mianna and the other 5 began an arduous back and forth between the parties it almost seemed for a multitude of points that they would lose, until the final pull came and Rodrik and Kurst made their way over the line and into the mud unceremoniously as ever. Laughing gaily as everyone began picking themselves up the competition couldn't have gone any better, and with Rodrik's suggestion to move onward towards an area of slightly less concentration, she picked herself up and followed onwards to the suggested stall.

There she sat, more drunk with the giddiness of victory than ever been before, listening to Rodrik and Kurst say their remarks towards both Ruby as well as the other 5 who had been chosen for the battle. Listening more intently now as she expected the tone of conversation would become more serious Mianna was surprised to find that instead th talk turned to that of recruiting. The Trunau Militia... she was tempted to join but in all honesty she would simply be doing the exact work that she was doing now but under more restricted banners. "I appreciate the offer, Rodrik, but I've always preferred helping on my own term. It doesn't mean I'm not up to assisting the milita for sure." Looking at the other four that accompanied her now, Mianna grinned back at Rodrik once again and pointed at the old man who seemed to have had some kind of outburst all of a sudden, "Although some of us have strengths other than pure brawn it seems. Would you give oldie here a sword and shield?"
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:50 PM
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"Sword and shield....?" The quizzical tone trails off as he looks away, apparently lost in thought. "No no, never touch the stuff, I'm sure of it."
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Old 06-22-2017, 09:48 AM
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The rope in his hands seemed to weight down Lim's spirits. The figurative tug of Trunau on his heart now had a literal counterpoint in reality. He watched as the rest of those selected made their way to the dais and grabbed their own portion of rope. The dwarf made sense. He figured a group of them would win just by not being moved and finally pulling the rope once the opponents got tired. The archer girl was an interesting choice. He thought that she would trade in finesse, but the corded muscles she carried as she approached spoke otherwise. The other two were less obvious choices. The old man was probably a liability if anything, and younger looked too skittish to even want to be up here.

Once the marker was dropped and the pulling began, Lim was having flashbacks to his own contest. Even after digging in with the rest of the group, he felt himself and everyone else start to slide towards the Graths, regardless of the group's intent to do otherwise. Finally he noticed that they had stopped moving forward, perhaps they were managing to do what he had failed to do some twenty years prior. At this point he had managed to survive twice as long as his previous attempt, and when he started to feel the rope begin to reverse course, a slight bit of hope entered into his consciousness. Something he hadn't been able to acquire for long stretches before. Even still, he wasn't expecting this amount of it to last long. Regardless of his less than acceptable outlook at the moment, the rope continued to inch close and closer to the group's side of the dais.

Finally it was over. They had won. A small sense of relief flooded him. And then it was back to reality.

The Grath brother's stood tall over the group. Taller than Lim was comfortable with. Granted, they had just knocked there pride down a bit, but they had enough of it to spare. Lim had wanted to beg off of the food, but had little time before they were being ushered here and there by Ruby, each other, and the crowd around them. Finding themselves in front of a sausage vendor with an offer of not having to pay, Lim gladly dug into the offerings. Free was free, and there was no telling where the next meal would come. He even managed to take a good sized portion for brunch... perhaps he would even give some to the wolf.

With mild pleasantries out of the way, the question of duty to Trunau came up. It was almost as if the two didn't remember him. Actually, he was sure that they didn't, or else they would remember him from his brief time serving the militia. His brief time, before leaving Trunau. He wanted to be careful with his response, but wisdom would fail him that day, "Hmph... Been there. Done that. Have the scars to prove it." It was said more to himself, but it was loud enough to be taken as a response, sarcasm and all.
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:55 PM
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Heaving back the rope was the easy part for him, it meant very little to do so. When the rope pulled back against the dwarf, Bathas was less than familiar. His strategy of growing roots like a tree and not budging was poked full of holes with the might behind the arms of their opponents, the Graths. He'd seen the two grow throughout their time in Trunau, young ones barely able to hold their little wooden shields and swords. They'd grown well, strong as the rock under his feet, and were giving a show of their youth. It was only fair that he should teach them a lesson. Soon the two would be too strong for him, too jaded by their watch for his simple mind to beat.

Hunkering down, Bathas let the rope stop, he'd show them something only a hard-headed dwarf could do. Something so simple that the young watchmen would overthink his ploy. Bathas stopped moving and became a rock. His team might not have been full of burly muscle, but if he never let them pull the rope then ground could never be gained by the young-lings. His entire effort was put into making sure that the rope didn't move for the Graths, his team would make sure that it would work for their side. They'd prove him right as the Graths found themselves rather empty footed at the end of the game, lying in the mud.

The human, the one laughing at the end of the bout had a head on her shoulders if the power behind her arms was any detail to measure that by. It would be to him. He'd say that without her help then his plans would be moot and his beard would be taking a mud-bath currently. As the Graths acknowledged the others and payed him a small nod, Bathas turned to his side and whispered in a voice not keen on whispering, "Yah did good lass. I'd pay fer yer drink, if ya'd give me the honor." Then, in a fit of celebration the dwarf clears his throat and turns to the group with a louder, "In fact, how bout I pay fer the resta yer drinks as well? Was a good showin!"
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:51 AM
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A part of Lim perked up at the thought of a free drink. A very dark part. A part that he wanted to be kept locked away. Lim had plenty of good memories from early in life drinking with friends. Drinking with those from Tranau. But his more recent memories in regard to people drinking alcohol, and the things that they did while doing so tainted his memories. The phantom pain in his back and limbs only drove home his desire to numb it. Pain was a constant companion in his mind, but was that enough of a reason to turn down a drink. He didn't want to be rude.

"Perhaps some juice for me... Or water."

Lim was already wondering what how his previous statement might have been taken by the Grath brothers, hoping that this newest one wouldn't just continue to agitate the brothers, but it would seem that the two were too far into their celebration, and drinks to care about any possible slights unless they were large and direct. Lim was neither of those things at the moment.

The one thing that had kept him going while he was away from Tranau was his hopeknife, even when it wasn't directly with him. And being back in Tranau, and watching another get her own should be cause for celebration. Lim would simply have to play the part until he could do otherwise alone.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:47 PM
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The Brothers Grath, cont'dThe two patrol captains stood by awkwardly as the five awkwardly deflected Rodrik’s question. Not wishing to waste anyone’s time, Kurst spoke up, poking his brother in the ribs with a jovial glint in his eye, "Wouldn’t it be nice if we had something to do? With Omast busy working on all that graffiti around town, and the sudden quiet, we’ve been left with not much more than our light patrols!" The young woman’s words being the only response they’d received, he added, "No, young lady. A sword and shield would be an insult to this gentleman. In fact, even our father, Jagrin, will lay down his bow soon. My brother here is set to inherit the position of Patrol Leader in his stead!"

Rodrik was visibly uncomfortable with the line of conversation pointing in his direction and swiftly butted in, his voice oozing with that flowing quality that made his patrol teams love him so much, "You, young lady, look like you could give my best patrolmen an honest challenge for their pay. I would likely wager on you over myself at your age." Looking the group over he indicated Bathas, "You, I recognize. Your service is deeply appreciated. Without you and your fellows I know I would not be here enjoying this fine sausage today." Wasting no time, Rodrik proceeded to address the silent Flynn, "And I must admit that I have not had need to frequent your establishment, but I haven’t heard anything ill about you. Any folks who choose to make a life in Trunau must have good reason. This is not a hospitable land."

Switching from the grateful yet somber tone he adopted when addressing the priest and shopkeeper, Rodrik cracked a wry smile as he looked down to Brolim, "Don’t think I…overlooked...you, my good sir. Cham told me you’d returned to Trunau. Welcome back!" Crossing his arms before him, the patrol captain admitted, "It’s not like much of what goes through the Ramblehouse escapes my ear. Cham’s an old friend, and I like to get away from the Longhouse sometimes and do some writing. A room among the shortfolk is just the place." When the tiny warrior commented about seeking a beverage that wouldn’t inebriate him, Rodrik chuckled in good humor. "I had a single ale earlier, but I know the burdens of keeping my wits about me. It wouldn’t do to let the brew get to me and have an attack strike the town. Sobriety is a tool in the fight against certain death. Would that I could get good old Omast back to it," he tipped an imaginary cap in Brolim’s direction, saying, "I respect your restraint."

As Rodrik nodded in deference to Erid, another halfling arrived to join Brolim. "Cham, my dear," Rodrik waved happily, "I’ll be with you in a moment." He turned back to the older man and half whispered, "I see through your facade, sir. You are as canny a man as any in Trunau. I must remind myself to seek you out in the coming days. You might have something to add to my arsenal of surprises for the raiders." Lowering down to one knee, the born leader embraced Cham Larringfass warmly. "You got my usual room prepared for tonight?" he asked earnestly.

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"Of course I do, young man," Cham matched charm with charm, answering Rodrik’s question before addressing the rest of the group in a voice that projected more than one might expect from a body so small. "You’re minor celebrities, you know!" Cham began, sweeping the five with one arm. "It would be great for business if you could stay at the Ramblehouse tonight! I wouldn’t charge a single copper piece, and I could throw in a full breakfast in the morning!" She eagerly looked to each in turn before throwing in, "I entirely understand if any of you have duties that interfere, but even a few of you might be a great boon! I got Agrit Staginsdar from the House of Magic to give all the beds a thorough cleansing with her magic earlier today in anticipation of those looking for lodging after the Hopeknife Ceremony."

Seeing that she was interrupting the conversation the Grath brothers had been attempting to carry on, Cham bowed and retreated politely, adding, "There’s no need to decide now. Rodrik will be spending the night, so you can just come by with him if you choose. I’ll have a key ready for you if you make it!" Without further ado, the diminutive innkeeper turned about and disappeared into the waning crowds, her frame easily lost among the larger bodies of Trunau’s mostly human populace.

Fumbling over his words, Kurst made excuses to leave, nodding to each of the others in turn before telling his brother, "I’ll see you tomorrow morning at the Longhouse, right? You promised we’d draw up some new patrol routes to confound the orcs. Father is expecting us." Not waiting for Rodrik’s response, he took a swig of water from a large clay cup, then set it down gently. "Goodnight, gentlefolk, and well fought."

OOGMYou may continue to address Rodrik with any questions, as well as discuss among yourselves whether or not any or all of you will accept Cham's invitation to stay at the Ramblehouse. I would completely understand if Flynn, for example, wants to be with his wife. The next GM post will occur the next morning, with a brief overview of the night.

As always, point any questions my way in the OOC!
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2017, 08:43 PM
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Mianna grinned as Rodrik's flattery fell quickly upon deaf ears. The compliments were nice, but she knew to hold her position fast for as soon as she agreed the quickly regimented society of the guards would swallow her whole. Swallow her pride, and continue to push back enough "Even so, I do what work I can on my own, or when asked to. No need to give me an official position Rodrik, although I'll take up that offer at some point." Idly waving Rodrik along, she listens closely as Cham began greeting them and ushering them inside, and this was the flattery that she absolutely couldn't resist. Smiling her mouth off, Mianna nods at Cham and hefts her pack up onto her shoulders first before turning to the others around her. "I'm not sure what any of you will chose, but I'm personally not one to turn down an invitation for a free night at the Ramblehouse."
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