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Old 11-25-2017, 01:27 AM
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Part II - The Ruins of Rhest

Snarls in the Dark; Day 14
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You could hear it crashing through the darkness even as you ran. Your breath falling heavily as you pant to keep your legs running. You could hear them, running – circling. Another high-pitched howl in the distance, eyes glinting in the distance through the tall grass, snarls echoing across the water, tempting you to run off the solid ground. Snarls, deep hungry snarls echoing. You have only a moment to catch your breath.

Only a moment.

You take another deep breath and begin running again, uphill, hoping to find dryer land, somewhere where you can lose your pursuers without risk of drowning in the marsh.

Before too long you come to a sudden realization. There’s another noise up ahead of you and before you can turn to run in a different direction you see another humanoid, another not worg. A beautiful stupendous fabulously not green skinned sight. – Then another and another.

There was a right proper group of you now. With a nod, a smirk, and flash of steel you all knew what had to be done without saying a single word.

Fate, or maybe the Gods, had smiled upon you – meeting each other here and now. You would meet the worg riders head on – it was your best, and only hope.

That was two days ago.

No less than a score of riders laid dead in the Marsh by sunrise, and you burned them all. Problem was, what do you do now? If even one of those grey furry bastards got away, they’d have your scent. No, there was no choice, you needed to kill them before they came back for you.

Luckily, one of the greenskins had a crude map in his possession with a big red circle around the ruined city of Rhest. With a destination in mind you set out.

You’re a little weary of your companions, but they held their own against the worgs, and anyone who kills goblin riding worgs can’t be all bad, can they?

As the sun rises you turn, weapons ready in a flash, as the sound of hooves echo on the dirt road. A large barded horse charges into you camp, whinnying furiously, a half conscious armored man in the saddle. The horse’s sounds grow more frantic, almost desperate. The man mutters something, but you can’t quite make it out. He’s marked with the holy sigils of Torm, The True and Loyal Fury. He is battered and bruised, but he will live. It takes more than a broken body to keep the spirit of one chosen by The Hand of Righteousness down.
The Voice
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Jostling.

Up.

Down.

Up.

Down.

For what seems like forever. A sea. A vast open sea. You’re on a boat? Why would you be on a boat? The last thing you remember.

No.

A canoe perhaps. You haven’t been on a river since you were a boy and you’d go fishing with your father after a day of working shaping the wood. So calming. A fishing pole is in your hand. The float in the water moves up and down, and then a bite. You pull the fish in and it’s a tiny red snapper. Red. Red like the color of a beating heart.

No.

Flying through the air. The beating wings of an enormous eagle -the chosen birds of Torm. The ferocious and noble raptor cries as it begins its descent preparing to collect a meal. Your grip tightens as the beast soars faster towards the ground, its massive talons wrapping around a doe, its talons spearing flesh like Rhoma. Rhoma – who fell to the worgs…

No.

Not yet, Justice will come in time. Heal.

Heal now Tiberius. Heal, and put the flames to the sword.


Standing in a field, the world burns all around you. The sky choking with black smoke shines orange with flames, but you – you glow with a light as pure as snow.

A flash.

Your eyes open. Your body aches, your mind is jumbled. Your limp body is draped over Tread. Where are you?

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Last edited by wodine; 11-25-2017 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:53 PM
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Ibnathius
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It is not as much the fact that they do not exist in a spheric layout, but a constant reminder that even the brightest of our minds are too narrow and simple to fathom the complexity of the multiverse and the dimensions of the other planes. Ibnathius had seated himself close to the fire and helped Artax, the stallion, to a calm spot a few yards behind him. He had somehow - he had forgotten who actually asked the question in the first place - winded himself out in an explanation of the Multiverse. He had half a centuryís experience in teaching and dissemination, so even though he regarded these new folk as barely capable of taking in such material, he spoke as even as he felt needed.

That is also why... he paused and listened. Hooves in gallop. The Great Beyond forgotten in a flash of an instant, Ibnathius quickly rose - a nimble maneuver that hardly fitted a man who had seen well over one-hundred-fifty summers, Someone is coming.

Brown eyes gazed over at the massive bulk of the elk and saw that it too, had felt the rhythm of an approaching equine. at least it is not the soft paws of a worg, Ibnathius mused as he quick, but calmly mounted Artax and rode to the opposite side of the camp fire than where the sound of the hooves was coming from.

His attempts of adjusting every manís tactic to the best common defense proved to be of no use. The man on the horse was barely alive and there was, apparently, only those two.

When they - some of the others - had gotten him off his horse and down beside the fire, Ibnathius approached, scanning the man for magical auras and then flicked out Protection from Evila wand - a slender two-inch thick bar of black metal with ivory tips in both ends. You, speak! Who are you? He wasnít rude - after all, the skin on the man was not green, but it would be safe to say that the few days of fleeing had brought every one, thereby also including Ibnathius, on the edge...


 
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:51 PM
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"Peace, Ibnathius," a small, quiet voice said from near the barely burning fire. The speaker was thin, slight in build, and covered in a worn, simple cloak. Inno stood, and pulled back the cowl to peer at the incoming rider. Eyes, clouded with a thin blue-white film, narrowed as he struggled to look through the darkness, and see the threat.

His hair was shorn close, barely more than stubble, and it was torn here and there by old scars that were faded into pale white lines on his skin. Scars that someone so young should not have borne, as the young penitent looked barely into his teens, although the weary sigh that escaped him made him seem much older.

Horse, he corrected himself. The rider seems less a rider, than a saddlebag.

Inno moved forward, his small frame shuffled across the ground with a slight limp. "Were this the bad ones, I doubt they'd announce their attack with such noise. And not with a single horse, and limp rider." He lifted a hand towards the horse, a gesture of peace and supplication, even as he bowed his head downwards. The young boy whispered to the great beast, which towered above him.

"Peace, my friend. I mean no harm, to you or yours, there." With a thought, the acolyte sent out a wave of healing towards the pair, positive energy pure and comforting. "No harm, only help. I could not hurt a... never mind, you probably wouldn't mind hurting a few flies, would you great one? Do they annoy you? Me too, but they have their place in the world."

"Please," he said with a motion to his new allies around the fire." If the great horse will allow, get the rider safely down. I will minister his wounds."

 
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:45 PM
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Gavin Falldor
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Gavin had actually been enjoying himself; watching the sunrise, tuning out the elf as he expounded on the mysteries of the universe- had anyone actually asked him a question, or did he start on his own? The woodsman wasn't sure. Regardless, he now found himself fully alert, with an arrow nocked and pointed at the new arrival, who, it was becoming apparent, was no threat at all. Even if the man were hostile, which he doubted, he certainly was in no condition to attack. Gavin casually lowered his bow and returned the arrow to his quiver. Eik, meanwhile, was a bit more cautious, his head still lowered, ready to charge the interloper. He calmed the great elk with a wave of his hand, a signal that all was well.

Gavin cautiously approached the horse and rider and moved alongside the animal. He kept a gentle hand on the horse's neck to keep him at ease; this was clearly a war horse, not likely to be startled, but also trained to have a swift response to threats. Better to play nice. "There we are, big guy. We're all friends here. Mind if I help out your buddy? You did a good job bringing him here." He took a firm grasp in the rider's arm and gently pulled, shifting the man's weight from the horse to him and easing him out of the saddle.


 


 
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Last edited by Exhibit A; 12-01-2017 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:32 AM
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Tiberius Cask, Paladin of Torm
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Tiberius was sore and bruised, cut and scarred, and the taste of blood in the back of his throat gave a metallic twinge that he could only hope was not meant to be the end of him. Tread had proven beyond a doubt the most loyal of steeds that a knight could ask for but even Tiberius could tell his companion was tired and had wounds enough that even healing might not be enough to save him. His focus is not what it should be and the sudden feeling of another helping him from Tread's saddle brings a sense of reassurance for he could tell that they did not have malicious intent, and with Torm's grace he had found a moment of respite.

The feel of solid ground beneath his feet, still left him swaying for a few moments, and he finally took a heavy knee and used his shield as a crutch of sorts as he regained his balance. His throat was dry and parched, and his breath was labored, but his heart beat as strong and true as the day he took up his oath to Torm but his words could barely be croaked. "...Water..."


oocI still have a few golds to spend, nothing major but Tiberius is pretty much ready and I wanted to at least get an initial post up to get things moving forward.


 
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:13 PM
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Inno nodded, and motioned to the others. "Water," he whispered. "And lead the horse to some, as well. Keep him near, if you can, and he can be healed at the same time." He carefully ministered the wounded warrior.

"Don't worry, I am a healer, you are with friends. All will be well, in a few minutes. Be at peace. "

Inno placed a hand on Tiberius's head, and sent a wave of healing energy into the man. He expanded it, around him in a circle, so that the horse also received the benefit, before it might be lead away in search of water.

 
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:39 PM
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Ibnathius
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Ibnathius unhooked the waterskin by his side and looked down on the croaking man. Yes, water would surely do him well, but nobody knew what sort of diseases this man had - herpes, syphilis, gum disease? Instead he flipped out his mess kit and brought the brown horn cup and splashed it full of water. At least it would be easier to clean the cup than the skin. He offered the water to the man and waited for Inno to work his magic.

Hmm.. Will he survive? The elf asked as he immediately recognized the marks of a soldier and a veteran. Useful if nothing else.

I wonder, Ibnathius began, while he gloomily eyed the dark path from where the rider had approached in full gallop, what he was fleeing from?


 
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:33 PM
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From his place next to the wounded man, Inno answered quietly.

"The same thing we all run from. The horde. The slavers." Inno smiled wanly, the gauze over his eyes obscuring the light that sparked within. "Or anyone with any sense would be, at least."

The young man looked up at his companions, and smiled, a thin, worn smile that bore the weight of the world in it. Still, it curled his lips up just enough to bring a bit of warmth to the comments. "What we should be doing, had we any sense. But we don't, heroes never do. Wouldn't be heroes if they did."
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:14 PM
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Tiberius Cask, Paladin of Torm
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Still a bit disoriented from loss of blood, he humbly accepts the water and down the cup gratefully letting the water wash the worst of the blood taste from his mouth and ease the dry lump that had been forming. He didn't know how long he had been out, how far Tread had carried him or even in what direction but luckily for him Tread had found possible friends. "I am...Tiberius Cask, servant of Torm."

Steadying himself on the shield he unlatched his helmet and let it drop to the ground beside him let the cooler air in and making breathing easier. "We stood against the horde for as long as we could to buy time for those at the ferry to escape, there were too many though..."


oocI still have a few golds to spend, nothing major but Tiberius is pretty much ready and I wanted to at least get an initial post up to get things moving forward.


 
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Old 12-09-2017, 05:08 PM
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Ibnathius
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Ibnathius looked down on the healer for a long judging moment. Was he joking with him, but the haunted man didn't come off as a typical joker... Ibnathius explained, I meant it not in broad terms... More like hope many and what parts of their forces.

The man woke and spoke and while he listened very intently, he knew himself better than taking the role of leader in the group, thus he stepped back and waited for others to judge the man and his words. The old elf also silently wished that the knight would tell more about the battle at the ferry...


 
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:24 PM
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Day 14; Morning With the arrival of Tiberius the camp was suddenly full of activity. While there had been no sighting of wolves or greenskins in the night, the morning was not without its threats. In the distance howling could be heard echoing through the marsh. The hounds had been relentless, and it would only be a matter of time before they finally decided to attack again, perhaps after gathering their strength.

According to the crude maps found on the goblins Rhest was two days march northeast following this old, beaten road. The only other option was to flee southeast, and make for the city of Witchcross, but it was no less than 80 miles from your current location. Not a good option when being pursued by four legged, and hungry enemies.


Tiberius Cask Gavin Ibnathius Inno Thaldor
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:47 PM
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Ibnathius
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The old wizard frowned down on Tiberius. A moment ago he had thought that he would wait and hear out the man’s explanations, but howls and the smell of a chase had him on better thoughts, That’ll have to wait... The words were a comment to his own thoughts more than anything and he realized that as he turned to ready Artax. Uhm.. Welcome Mr. Cask, we are heading for Rhest... he closed his eyes and focused for a moment, and away from those that pursue us. I suggest you do the same. In fact, one tutoring index raised as so many times before - different times, different students - I suggest you follow me... Us!

He sat one leathery boot up in the stirrup and with a click of his tongue, he got himself saddled and turned Artax for the direction where Rhest was. It occurred to him that the others was still milling about on the ground, doing nothing exactly... Mr. Dwarf, he snapped gloved fingers, Inno, Gavin! he pointed a the elk and jerked a thumb back towards Rhest, We need to get going. The last bit was a bit indulgently. Kids had to learn and often his patience never quite matched the laissez faire attitude of youth.

There was another thing... the dwarf and Inno didn’t bring a horse. Neither did Gavin, but Ibnathius suspected that the monster elk could carry him easily enough, maybe even the others too. He shrugged and turned his attention to the route they needed to go.


 
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:19 AM
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Gavin Falldor
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"Yes, of course," Gavin replied as he finished up watering the horse, "I must apologize for our abruptness, Tiberius, but as you can probably imagine," he paused long enough for a howl to emphasize his point, "we don't exactly have time to tarry. Are you up to getting on the move again?"

He didn't wait for an answer before beginning to gather his things. After all, it's not like they were going to stay regardless. If the warrior had any trouble, they'd have to deal with it on the road. Giving Eik a quick pat on the shoulder, he sent the elk off to scout the road ahead. An elk was much less conspicuous they they, and if he got into any trouble Gavin would know immediately.




 
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:21 AM
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Tiberius Cask, Paladin of Torm
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Tiberius slowly rose from where he had been kneeling, and found the pounding had subsided and the dizziness had passed as a result of fresh water and some healing magic. He looked at those that Tread had brought him too and nodded. "You have my thanks the water and healing energies have at least restored my energies, and appear to have done wonders for Tread as well. A couple days back...maybe be more if I was out longer we had a report from a Rhest patrol that had been set upon on the Old Rhest Trail by ogres, orcs and goblins, the patrol was wiped out and was fearful for what it meant for Rhest."

Hooking his helmet on the side of Tread's saddle, he mounted Tread in short order as he continued to talk. "I would welcome to join your company on the path to Rhest, in the hopes that a force is gathering to repulse or break the horde, and I can only hope that it is not too late for Rhest as the patroller feared."


oocI still have a few golds to spend, nothing major but Tiberius is pretty much ready and I wanted to at least get an initial post up to get things moving forward.


 
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:56 PM
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"Aye, if you are well enough, let us go. Tarry too long, in one place, is a call for disaster, these days." Inno pointed a hand at his companions. "I tarried, and paid the price, a difficult price." The young man paused, his thoughts seeming half a world away for a moment. "If not for them, rescuing me... I would still be in the hands of that savage army."

He nodded to Tiberius. "So, rescuing you is payment, I suppose, to the universe for their kindness. Kindness begets kindness, I suppose." He moved to follow the others. "Come, let us away, then."
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