The Girl and the Dragon, Part II

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The Girl and the Dragon, Part II

Post by Jagtai » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:00 pm

OOC: From the previous thread.

IC:

Kale and Tharseris did not reply, but it seemed obvious that they would come along. Kale merely nodded.
Beside him, Raijin nodded as well. He would join them too.

Io nodded at Arilyn.

"I understand, Lady Arilyn. Your path is different from Josylin's." She looked at Josylin, but her answer was directed at everyone present when she replied:

"You are quite right, Lady Josylin. Even with the help of three dragons, your skills would not be enough. But there is still hope." She took a deep breath, then continued. "Millenia ago, when Elves and Dwarves ruled the world, before anyone here was born, there was a great war. Zakhrin entered the world and led his armies of darkness towards the Children of the Stars and the Children of Stone. To defeat him, the two races - secretly aided by the Gods of Light and Darkness - forged seven great weapons; the Hand of Acrona, the Sword of Yun, the Keeper of Secrets, the Hunter, the Fist of Ulric, the Spear of Woden, and the Fang of the Wolf. With these weapons, the Seven fought and defeated Zakhrin. You," her features grew even more serious, "must retrieve the artifacts."

"Unfortunately, I know only the location of the Hand of Acrona. You will have to find and retrieve the rest yourselves."

She looked around at each person in turn. Then she smiled.

"The Hand of Acrona is located somewhere in the ancient fortress of Zarad, deep within the mountains east of here. And a word of advice - things are not always what they seem to be."

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Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 01, 2007 8:19 am

Votrex, listened as intently as he could, by now he knew a few more words, but he still required frantic flicking back and forth to fill in the gaps.

Confident he had the general gist of what was being said, that they had to seek magical weapons before seeking out and fighting some god, he decided he had little to add to the conversation. All in all it sounded like a quest, something Slayers tended not to embark upon...

Still... He considered himslef an unorthodox slayer and there had been no shortage of battle so far... Besides, with the war with the Skrvvti seemingly ended for the time being it would be hard to find suitable foes to fight in the darkness under the world. Trecking through abandoned caverns for days, trying to find hostile creatures to fight, while avoiding Skrvvti territory wasn't something he was looking forward to... Plus finding himself another chronicler in Grrvti, Gurt would be busy at the talks...

No despite the strange circumstances he was in and the way it detracted from the traditional interpretation of the Slayer code - he was very happy to stay and continue the fight...

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Post by Pryde » Wed May 09, 2007 5:09 am

It was beginning to feel like she had somehow wandered into one of those old fairy tales her father used to tell her as a child. Ironically enough she never wondered where her father had heard those tales, but as far as she was concerned they were all fiction. The only difference between those tales and this one was that this story was very much real. Her life had become a bedtime story and young Josylin had just about as much as she could take.

"This is ridiculous," she said, getting up from her seat and pacing away from the fire. "This has to be a dream... This must be a dream. Only my imagination could come up with something so absurd."
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

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"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by RileyKenobi » Sat May 12, 2007 11:54 am

Romi watched Josylin disappear from the orange glow of the fire, muttering to herself.

I gather she's slightly overwhelmed. Jaeger's green eyes winked in the firelight.

It'd be fruitless to ask if you would be. Josylin has, until this moment, never believed dragons to be real. And now, here she is, sitting around a campfire with three of them. Speaking from her perspective, I'd be flustered too. Romi scratched Jaeger's eyeridge and got up, following Josylin at a short distance.

When they got out of immediate earshot of the campfire, Romi spoke up.

"Unfortunately this isn't a dream, Josylin," she said quietly. Romi looked at her injured leg and grimaced. "Though I must say I'd prefer if I was imagining this damn pain."

Josylin didn't say anything as she looked back over her shoulder.

"I know we're not very well acquainted," Romi said. "But I am a good listener, and one of the focal points of your current, ah, perplexed state, if you will."

She smiled and hoped comradery would win out any immediate negativity between the two of them.
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Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 15, 2007 1:40 pm

Elsewhere, amongst the 'Cixxr Crf' [The Murder Peaks.] a large flat stone, laying against the side of the mountain, near the top started to slowly roll. It rolled aside just enough for a corner near the bottom of the stone to open up a tunnel behind. First two gloved hands appeared, then two eyes and an iron helmeted head. The first dwarf dragged himself out into the open, wielding his warhammer and eyeing the desolate, windswept plateau. 'Ci nng iy fkrk fr Cxxr Crf!' [This is it, we've made it, we're on the Murder Peaks!]

An axe was slid out next, followed by two rough hands and a bright orange mohican. Wriggling a little the second dwarf pulled himself through the hole and dragged two small knapsack's after them. 'Ytp frrr ghr kjkpfrrrr Frrrgn frgh? [Well Fergen, we're here, where no dwarf has stood for centuries, let's hope we can find a troll!.]

The plateau was a barren place, no vegetation, large boulders and crevices could hide all sizes of creatures. Fergen, the first dwarf walked purposefully to the edge of the plateau and surveyed the landscape. It was an impressive sight, forests, paths, lakes, distant mountains... He was clearly impressed. He pulled a map out of his bag and studied it for a moment, when his comrade joined him he pointed to the map, then to a dark silhouette in the distance, ' Krfi gkr rtr gw Hgt krrr ghr frgh kmkfre!' [Well, if we're where we're supposed to be that place in the distance must be Hegat Keep!]

His bright haired friend, nodded and rubbed his chin thoughtfully, 'Kn jrrrr tyi gyuf friii tkrrr fgrgrr?' [Hmmm, looks like signs of a fire down there, I thought Hegat was abandoned?]

' Syu frrr fvf ghur rter okfe ptrfghj krt,kttt hgw wgeh minm ptruys drfrrff irs oekr aarjk krts... [It's been a long time Kretus, times may have changed, we don't really know what we're going to find out here, we should try to avoid straying too far, find a troll or similar you can do your thing and we'll get back!]

' Frvr kyu ith wref vrvwq minm soe ae mnop ' [You can get back you mean! I'm going to meet my destiny!]

Fergen rolled his eyes at this comment, he'd forgotten how choresome being a chronicler for a Slayer was... It hadn't been too bad on the four day hike from Kmkfi, their mine... Of course Slayers were fine when they were travelling - when they were slaying was the problem...

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Post by Pryde » Wed May 16, 2007 3:05 am

"That's an astute observation," Josylin replied in frustration. She wasn't really sure why the woman bothered her so much. She seemed nice enough but maybe Josylin just couldn't get passed the fact that here she was talking to someone who flies around on a dragon of all things. In truth it was all a little too much for her to take in. First the dwarves, then an elf and now dragons? Just yesterday that sort of thing would have seemed impossible, and now they're being asked to gather ancient artifacts to fight a God?! Where does the madness end?

Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of Arilyn watching her and that bothered her more. Of all the nonsense that had happened today Arilyn was the one thing that perplexed her the most. She just couldn't shake this feeling that she knew her somehow. Her voice sounded vaguely familiar and her very presence alone felt strangely soothing. Then there was the uncanny resemblance between them. Josylin had seen herself in a mirror enough times to memorize every flaw and imperfection in her face and seeing them in someone else was maddening. If she hadn't known any better she would have sworn Arilyn was some sort of doppleganger.

"Look," she said after a moment of silence, "I apologize if I sound rude, but you and your--friends aren't supposed to be real. I've read every book about the war with the cult and every one of them says your order died out thousands of years ago. If those rumors weren't true then why the deception? Why remain hidden for so long?"
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by RileyKenobi » Fri May 18, 2007 3:05 pm

Despite herself, Romi broke into bubbling laughter, her face lighting up with a wide smile.

"Who says things go the way they're supposed to? As a sorceress, you of all people should know that!" she said, smiling. She shook her head. "I'm sorry."

Josylin stared at her. Romi swallowed her smile and tossed her hair from her face habitually.

"You didn't answer my question," Josylin said.

"True," Romi nodded. "Hiding was essential to our survival. People like him," she looked back at Aaron, "and the members of the Cult that still survived made it impossible for the dragons and their riders to remain in the open. Obviously I wasn't even alive when the Order first when into hiding, but we're taught this once we're, ah, selected."

She fell silent after this, a strange look crossing briefly over her face. Romi looked up again.

"Deception is never the desired option," Romi said, tilting her head as she spoke. "But as time went on the stories became legends and legends dissolved into fanciful bedtime stories, and ultimately, utter nonsense. This protected us more than anything else. To my knowledge, this is one of the first times since the Sin Wars that dragons have revealed themselves outside our stronghold."

OOC: Feel free to correct anything, Jag. I'm kind of making things up out of base knowledge, haha.
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Post by SmokeMare » Fri May 18, 2007 3:19 pm

Up on the plataeu, Fergen and Kretus had made a makeshift camp and were settling down for the night. Fergen had made a small fire and ignited it with his tinder box. They had endured a long journey and sat huddled by the fire, smoking pipeweed and munching dwarf bread.

Kretus seemed more excited by the experience;

'Hiuo ejro jsf iyr tut sot nbgk werof! Huyi tnvmsp fo eo?' [Feels strange being out in the open eh? No four walls around you! Eh?]

His companion was rather more cautious, and kept peering into the darkness, for creatures attracted by the fire;

'Kereo fosj jrerjk lwkp wpeo nmcao reje ejrgjh jhdl klelkel kersija...' [Keep your eyes peeled! We don't know what hostile creatures are out here!]

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Post by Jedi_Kit_Fitsu » Fri May 18, 2007 4:32 pm

Robin had stayed quiet throughout the entire affair of the sorceress, Josylin, blabbering on about how they're new friends weren't supposed to exist. Robin smiled slightly and then quickly it turned into a grimace as his body ached with pain from his recovering wounds.

Robin then stood up and sheathed his two swords, "I must take my leave now, this area doesn't feel quite right. I'll be back after I scout the land a little more."

Robin then turned and walked into a dense area of brush and worked his way slowly away from the makeshift camp. Pushing branches aside he moved silently through the underbrush, his eeirly quiet footsteps never gave away his position. Scanning the horizon there was on thing that caught his attention, up ahead on a small plateau there was the telltale signs of a camp fire. "Looks like we got some company," he muttered to himself.

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Post by Pryde » Fri May 18, 2007 11:54 pm

"Who says things go the way they're supposed to? As a sorceress, you of all people should know that!" Romi had said, and she was right. Even Josylin had to admit she didn't fully understand the mystical energies with which she casually weaved intricate spells. She knew how to manipulate them, but not how they were created or where they came from, and though she could not see them she knew they were there. It was the same with dragons, or even the Gods themselves. Josylin for one had never been very religious, believing religion to be just a bunch of superstitious mumbo jumbo just as she had believed that dragons were not real. However, in spite of having no evidence to support their existence people still prayed to the Gods as if they were real. Perhaps faith was all you needed.

"Hiding was essential to our survival," Romi continued, "People like him," she looked back at Aaron, "and the members of the Cult that still survived made it impossible for the dragons and their riders to remain in the open. Obviously I wasn't even alive when the Order first when into hiding, but we're taught this once we're, ah, selected."

She fell silent after that and Josylin sensed that there was more to that story then she was initially letting on. She didn't want to pry into the woman's personal business, but she suspected that joining a secret order of dragonriders may have required a bit of sacrifice. After a moment Romi raised her head and spoke again.

"Deception is never the desired option," she said, tilting her head as she spoke. "But as time went on the stories became legends and legends dissolved into fanciful bedtime stories, and ultimately, utter nonsense. This protected us more than anything else. To my knowledge, this is one of the first times since the Sin Wars that dragons have revealed themselves outside our stronghold."

"Protected?" Josylin asked sarcastically, "What does a thousand year old dragon need protection from? The two of them made short work of those cultists earlier, what could possibly harm them? And while we're on the subject why do you need us? Why not fly to the fortress and retrieve the artifact yourselves? With the kind of power you possess what use are we to you?"
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by SmokeMare » Mon May 21, 2007 8:22 am

Votrex watched Robin wander into the bushes and fade from sight. He was impressively stealthy thought Votrex, particularly as he was carrying some serious injuries. He broke another piece of dwarf bread and lit his pipe again. After a quiet munch and a puff on his pipe, he considered whether to try and get some sleep.

The quest seemed to have hit a lull, his fingers were getting itchy again. He started imagining fighting various things. His thoughts went back to when he'd first seen the dragons. Initially his reaction was how would it be possible for a Slayer Dwarf to defeat a Dragon? Every way he rationalised it, he couldn't see a method had a reasonable chance of success. Baffled he thought back to the stories, there were several stories of Slayers who had defeated dragons, but invariably the dragons had been found in caves or dungeons, whereby they would not have been able to fly... It still seemed like an indomitable opponent. ..

He wondered whether his runes would offer him much protection from dragon's breath... According to his rune caster he had the most protection a slayer could have, bar carrying Manek's axe into battle with him...

What that meant versus dragons was a little of a mystery, as until a few moment's ago he'd thought them exstinct for hundreds of years....

He mulled it over in his mind, puffed on his pipe and watched the rest of the group going about their business. After a while the boredom set in again and he pulled out his phrasebook, then carefully constructed his sentence so he could address them,

"Ahem, shood wee continue on too-night? Or shood wee try tee get soam rest? What doz you all think?"

He looked around expectantly for an answer from someone with the authority to suggest one way or the other.

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Post by Jagtai » Mon May 21, 2007 8:55 pm

Suddenly, Io appeared next to Romi and Josylin. Neither had heard her approach. A slight smile was lingering on her lips, as she fixed her gentle gaze on Josylin.

"At any other time you would be right, Lady Josylin. But there is a reason why creatures as mighty as dragons use riders. As I am sure you know by now, it is a symbiotic relationship. The dragons have the sheer power, but the humans have the creativity to use that power. That is also the case here."

Her eyes grew serious as she continued.

"There are several reasons why we need you and yours to assist us. First of all, there are dangers beyond reckoning waiting in Zarad - dangers that must be defeated by creativity rather than power. Second, the artifacts can only be used by the pure of heart - and only Jaeger fulfills that prerequisite. And third, there is a prophecy that a small group of - excuse the term - misfits will succeed against Zakhrin where others would fail. And you and the rest of the group fit the description."

She placed a wrinkled hand gently on Josylin's shoulder.

"There may not seem to be a purpose for your presence right now, but there is a reason for your being here. You must simply have faith."

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Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 22, 2007 8:08 am

Votrex, stood up defiantly, a little annoyed at having been seemingly ingnored. He coughed loudly,

*** AHEM! ***

"I am growing weary of sittin' around! Surely we should be getting back to the quest? We've tarried long enough!"

As he said it he felt stunned... He knew he'd used language which by rights he shouldn't know... Sure he'd been reading the phrasebook quite intensively, but he knew he'd said things, with full understanding of their meaning, but not knowing where that understanding came from...

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Post by Jedi_Kit_Fitsu » Tue May 22, 2007 11:30 am

As the others talked a voice sounded over top of them which seemed to come from nowhere, "We're not alone out here."

After a second of silence as many looked to see where the voice came from, Robin stepped out from the brush and held his hand to his shoulder as it throbbed in pain. "There's a campfire not far away on a small plateau"

"I'm going to go scout out the area, Votrex, you come with me," he then turned towards the others with a hint of malice in his eyes, "let's let these 'noble' types continue their discussion." He had said the word noble as if it were some type of disease, but before he could get any other reaction he had already gathered his things and dissapeared into the underbrush, waiting for Votrex

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Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 22, 2007 2:13 pm

At a total loss for words, but desperate to seek out some action Votrex leapt into action, extinguishing his pipe and grabbing his axe. Besides, Robin still appeared to be carrying an injury and he couldn't leave him without support.

Throwing his bag on and gripping his axe he darted into the desnse forest after Robin. He soon saw what Robin once they were away from the glare of their own campfire. Up on a plateau part of the way up the jagged mountain range they were headed for a small fire seemed to be burning.

***

Up on the plateau, Fergen had opted to take first watch, promising to awaken Kretus at the first sign of action. Kretus was lying on his side, snoring loudly, with a rough hessian blanket draped over him. This of course was rather in contrast to the way Votrex slept. While Fergen sat and sipped some hot Wurg broth he'd heated up in a pan, something was stirring nearby. A low grunning groan, coming from teh nearby rocks...

He carefully put his bowl down and leaned over to Kretus,

'Wtk pr! I tkni hre's mnthtnw cnmnf... Tfk fru mght rtve ctedag hihi!' [Wake up! I think there's something coming... The fire must have attacted it!]

Kretus opened one eye, grinned then opened the other. Slowly he rose to a sitting position and listened, sure enough he could hear the soft grunting of a creature approaching, trying to be stealthy it seemed...

'Gkrei osfj rtyn menwu oteieol gktlroy!' [Hah! It sounds like a troll! This could be a shorter trip than we thought!]

As the sound grew closer Kretus grabbed his axe and simultaneously rose and span. Sure enough a squat, knobly beat with a pot belly and a large club had been approaching. The creature seemed a little phased but raised it's club gingerly. Kretus grinned and charged, hefting his axe high above his head.

The sight of a laughnig mohicaned dwarf charging at it startled the creature and in panic it shielded it's head with one hand and took a wild swing with the other. The blow struck Kretus as he ran in and kocked him off his feet. Scrambling quickly up he got a grip on his axe again and approached more carefully this time. It occured to him now that the creature wasn't as large as he would have expected for a troll... He stepped in and the creature swang again, this time he blocked it with the shaft of his axe, then slammed the pommel into the creatures face, bloodying it's nose and causing it to drop it's axe and grip it's face. Kretus hefted a sharp kick too it's inner leg causing it to topple onto the floor groaning in pain...

Kretus slammed a foot on it's chest and prepared to deliver the coup de grace, when Fergen ran over screaming, Hrfi! Hrfi Nhl ptrep thsi Oesil! Gheury frote nske rtuei ghv juiyit! [Stop! Stop! It doesn't count! He's not a troll!]

Desperately holding out his copy of Thyr Kghto cixxz Hrj jkr - A complete modern bestiary - A warriors guide. by Gurt Irnfndr. He had the book open on a page with a detailed sketch of the creature Kretus was standing on and pointing the description. Kretus looked at the page, then back at the perpelexed creature whose simple brain couldn't work out why it hadn't been killed yet. It had simply seen the dwarves, thought they looked good enough to eat and had hoped to club them over the head and drag them back to it's small cave...

Kretus shook his head in disbelief, flicked the to page describing a Troll and read that description then looked at the now baffled creature under his foot. Fergen snapped the book shut his point made.

' See, there's no point in killing this miserable creature, he's no good to eat and there's no honour in slaying him... If you get killed and he goes down as the last thing you killed, you'll go down a laughing stock! You'll never get into Vrrrkht Ko'rssi !'

Kretus stepped off the creature and pulled it to it's gnarly feet. Once it was up he realised how wrong he was. It was clearly no bigger than a dwarf and neither fierce nor intelligient, He pointed to the distance, waved his axe menacingly at him and growled loudly. The gnoll, for that was what it was didn't need another invitation and set off as fast as it's stumpy legs would carry it.

Kretus threw his axe on the ground in frustration, 'A bloody gnoll! It could only happen to me! I didn't kill him so you don't need to put that encounter in the chronicle...'

Fergen rubbed his chin thoughtfully nad pulled out a notebook and pencil, 'How about, something like, 'Kretus, seeing the creature was not a worthy opponent simply disarmed it and sent it on it's way vowing only to fight creatures that could test his metal.'

Kretus shrugged, 'Hmmm, accurate I suppose... It's better to keep a slayer chronicle accurate... And it sounds better than, 'Heroicly slew the defenceless creature believing it to be a near invulnerable Troll...'

The creature long gone they returned to the fire, This time Fergen wrapped himself in a blanket and tried to get some sleep alongside the glowing embers of the dying fire.

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Post by Pryde » Wed May 30, 2007 10:59 am

Josylin stared at Io, not entirely sure what to say to her. At last she finally nodded and looked away. She was stuck on this adventure so she might as well get used to it. Her shoulders slumped she headed back towards the fire and sat down. After a moment Arilyn came to join her. "Io's right, you know," she said, "Your presence here was preordained thousands of years ago, as was the presence of everyone else here today. All of you must face the coming darkness together, it is your destiny."

"That doesn't make it any easier," Josylin quietly muttered to herself...
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Jedi_Kit_Fitsu » Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:25 pm

Robin held his side as he waited for Votrex, finally the small dwarf emerged into the underbrush near Robin and Robin noted that he spied the capfire up ahead.

Robin kneeled down as he spoke, "Stay close, friend. The key is to be as silent as possible." He then smiled as he added, "Worse comes to worse we make some noise and we get to have a little more action than if we stayed and listened to those other blabbering about ancient races and such."

Robin then patted Votrex on the shoulder and turned towards the campfire, they both began walking towards the fire and every so often Robin would hold his hand up if he heard a sound.

Finally, they both made it up the plateau and were close to the fire, Robin moved a branch aside and looked through the gap.

He was stunned, "More dwarves?" he asked turning to Votrex

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Post by SmokeMare » Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:14 pm

Votrex looked back at Robin, "Yes... Not from my mine though... Hmmm, interesting, seems another slayer! That's unusual..."

Votrex frowned at himself, his human speech was unnerving him a little...

As they approached, Kretus spotted them out of the corner of his eye and leapt to his feet, axe at the ready, 'Kghy jirot norpt!?' [Halt, who goes there?]

Votrex kept his axe low and walked into the firelight with Robin in tow. The noise had woken Fergen. Votrex raised a hand in a gesture of greeting, 'Greetings, my name is Votrex, what manner of business brings you from the mine?'

Kretus looked at him stunned, 'V... v... Votrex....? I thought you were a legend! Fergen! Get up ! Votrex is here!'

Fergen by this point had pushed his rough blanket aside and climbed to his feet. He glanced up and down at Votrex intricate tatoo's and jewelry, then gasped in awe at the numerous glowing runes adorning his axe. 'Votrex! We're honoured! This is Kretus and I am his chronicler Fergen, what brings YOU to the surface?'

Votrex looking a little sheepish said loudly and clearly to Robin, "Erm, they're surprised to see us..."

Fergen's eyes lit up, "You can speak the human tongue also? I'd never hear that!" He had a confused look on his face at Votrex translation of what he'd said, he understood better when Votrex glared threateningly at them both. "Yes, I speak a little human, we're on a quest - the details of which are complicated... Why are you here?"

Kretus answered this time, "I am seeking death at the hands of a Troll, Fergen is here to report my heroic deeds... With the war with the Skrvvti seemingly at an end, there's not much chance of meeting my destiny in our mine... "

Votrex looked at their packs and back down to the valley, "Come with us, another sword would surely be more than welcome, and I am sure you'll get many chances to meet your destiny along the way."

Kretus and Fergen whispered to each other...

'A chance to fight shoulder to shoulder with Votrex!? That would be worth ten trolls in my chronicle!'

'A chance to include Votrex in my work?! We have to go with them!'

Kretus then smiled warmly, "We'd be very honoured to accompany you!"

After Robin intruduced himself properly, they stamped out the small fire, gathered their belongings and followed Robin back to the camp.

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Post by Jedi_Kit_Fitsu » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:16 pm

Robin made his way slowly through the underbrush and finally arrived back at the camp where everyone was still seated and doing nothing of interest to him, "Well," he said stepping out of the brush, "it seems our little friend Votrex isn't alone out here."

Robin hen stepped aside and allowed room for Votrex and the other two dwarves to enter into the campfire circle. "Don't get too close to that one," he said half pointing to Joslyin, "no matter what happens she won't believe you're real."

Then, collapsing back to the ground, Robin clutched his side in pain and leaned his back agianst the tree trying to force the pain away.

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Post by SmokeMare » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:26 pm

Kretus and Fergen looked around at the group of misfit warriors gathered around the larger campfire. The exchanged a few sharp sentences in dwarvish, then Fergen looked to the group in general, "My name is Fergen and this is Kretus. He is a Trollslayer, and I am his chronicler - Votrex and Robin have invited us to follow your group - which we will do if we're welcome."

Kretus smiled at the group of unusually tall people around him, "We, are not from Votrex's mine by the way... Are we welcome to join your group until I can meet my destiny?"

Kretus standing alongside Votrex looked rather green and unimpressive. He looked like the typical Slayer, a couple of tatoos, a reasonably sized axe with a couple of runes on it... Seeing him standing next to Votrex with his intricate patterns of complex tattoos and runes, and his awe-inspiring axe...

They waited hoping for a positive response.

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Post by Jagtai » Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:14 am

OOC: Assume that everyone has greeted the dwarves. It's time to move on.

IC:

The motley party broke camp at sunrise. Io could not stay, but Arilyn agreed to take the party as far as Zarad before she had to go herself. The two spoke a few words in a foreign language, before going their separate ways.

The group travelled for several days, over tall mountains and through deep valleys. Here and there, they came across barbarians, but with Tharseris and Jaeger scouting ahead, the group easily avoided them.

Finally, a few hours before the sun set on the third day, Arilyn rounded a corner. As the rest of the group turned the corner as well, she pointed upwards.

"That is Zarad."

Before them stood a tall mountain. A massive gate had been placed at groundlevel in the center of the mountain wall. Numerous guard towers grew out of the mountain, obviously guarding the gate. They looked slightly remniscient of mushrooms.
The stonework was magnificent, obviously dwarven work. Here and there, dwarven runes mixed with elven and human letters.

Zarad was awe-inspiring as it was, but its beauty was marred by skulls and bones strewn across the valley floor in front of the gate. A battle had stood here long ago.
The gate itself looked like it had once been covered in gold, but now only the upper half was still plated in gold. It looked like someone had tried to peel off the gold on the lower half. The gate was opened slightly. It no longer posed a hindrance to an enemy.

Tharseris glanced at the magnificence. Then she suddenly spoke, a dry and hateful streak in her voice:

"Welcome to Zarad, the City of Wonders. Its fate signals the fate of the world."

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Post by RileyKenobi » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:25 pm

Jaeger stared up at the mountain-city before them. He gave a great sigh and swung his gigantic head back towards the group as Tharseris spoke bitterly.

The last marriage of the three great races. Now one has disappeared, another returned underground, and the third let itself dissolve into leaderless rabble. The great days have been over for a very long time, it seems.

His voice resonated inside the heads of each person present. Romi let her hand rest on the hilt of her rapier as she surveyed the open gates. She let Tharseris's words sink in for a moment.

"How comforting. Is there a certain way of going about this, or shall we just make ourselves at home?" Romi had read about Zarad, but she'd never been there. It was likely Jaeger had, but he hadn't said anything to her prior to this moment. It was the first time this trip Romi had felt vulnerable. It wasn't a pleasant feeling.
Stop blowing holes in my ship!

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Post by SmokeMare » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:22 pm

Votrex surveyed the ruins more closely, the architecture was unusual to say the least, but it had clearly stood the test of time. Kretus and Fergen inspected the crumbling, bit still sound walls carefully, it looked like nothing they'd ever seen. Fergen turned to Votrex, 'What is this place?'

Votrex gripped his axe and glared into the gloom, 'An old relic of the Sin Wars... I think...' His tone had bitterness and anger in it. He struck a glance at the rest of the group, "What's the plan then? I say we charge in blades swinging and Grimthor forgive any pitiful soul who gets in our way!"

Votrex had the fire of battle in his eyes, his fingers were rythmically drumming around the handle of his axe...

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Post by Jagtai » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:53 am

Kale looked at Thierra and the Knights, then at the dwarves, and finally at the remaining members.

"What do you suggest we do? I must say that, with all due respect Master Votrex, charging in may not be the best idea. I have heard that the place is haunted - if that is true, our weapons will not be of much use."

Joseph looked at the few remaining members of his original expedition; of the original twenty knights, only four remained. Thierra was still there, as well. He shrugged.

"We will follow the suggestion of the group."

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Post by Jedi_Kit_Fitsu » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:04 am

Robin stared at the vast structure in front of him, "We have to be careful when we enter, maybe we should send some people ahead to scout the area?"

Either way Robin drew his bow and prepared for anyone or anything that would be a threat inside the large gate.

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Post by SmokeMare » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:41 pm

Votrex's commitment to battle was urging him to ignore the others advice and to charge the ancient doors, giving him the element of surprise. However at the same time he was keen to hold back and kept telling himself 'That's not how ~they~ do things...'

Instead he motioned with his hand for the others to wait and crept silently up to the gates, his bare feet making no noise on the cobblestones. When he got to the gate he saw it was both rotten and partly open, gently he nudged the door forwards a touch and peered inside.

The hallway beyond was in a sorry state of repair, decay had set in, though most of the furniture and fittings had not been removed, time had not been kind to them. Slowly he edged in axe at the ready, with his improved night vision he was able to scan the room for signs of enemys, but there were simply none there. Ancient mouldy, tattered curtains were flapping in the breeze in front of the broken windows. Rotten shutters hanging off their hinges were banging rhythmically against the walls. He peered deeper into the room, over turned chairs with missing legs, shattered tables, shredded, rotten tapestry's...

He turned back over his shoulders and waved them forwards, then whispered just loud enough for them to hear, "Come on... The coasts clear..."

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Post by Pryde » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:19 pm

Josilyn stared up at the abandoned walls of the city, it was hard to believe this place was once a bustling town full of people. Now, though, it was little more than an empty shell of what it used to be. "It feels--cold," she said quietly to no one in particular.

"These halls house much pain and sorrow," Arilyn chimed in suddenly, "The spirits of the dead rest here and over the years their growing hatred of the living has grown vengeful. They will try to mislead you and halt your quest for the relic. You must not allow yourselves to be led astray by the sound of footsteps or a whisper on a wind. Nothing you see here is as it seems, remember that."

Josilyn looked at her, something in her voice sounded as though she were leaving. "You're not coming with us?" She asked.

Arilyn turned to her and laid a hand on her shoulder. "I'm afraid not, my child, my time here is at an end," as she said this Josilyn could tell she wasn't looking at her. Following the elf's gaze she caught sight of two more elves approaching them from the forest.

"Remember what I taught you about the Will and the Word," Arilyn said, turning back to face Josilyn. "Forget everything you've learned about magic and focus your Will into a single thought. Command that thought with the Word and there is no limit to what your mind can accomplish."

"I won't forget," Josilyn assured her with a slight bow of her head, "Thank you for your help."

Arilyn smiled and shook her head. "No, it is I who is thankful," then without another word she turned and strolled over to where the two elves were waiting.

"Wait," Josilyn said suddenly, running after them. "What's going to happen to her?"

"Arilyn has broken the rules of our people," one of the two rangers replied, "Her fate will be decided by the Council."

Josilyn started to reply but the look in Arilyn's eyes urged her not to. She snapped her mouth shut and headed back to where the others were waiting.

"It is time," the ranger continued, holding his hand out for Arilyn to follow.

"Yes," Arilyn nodded and started forward while the two elves fell into step behind her.

"Does she suspect anything," the elven ranger asked.

"No," Arilyn answered with a sigh, her head shaking softly, "My daughter does not suspect a thing."
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Jagtai » Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:57 am

Tharseris heard the conversation of the Elves, but didn't really care. She changed into human form, and then looked at Jaeger, beckoning him to do the same.

Joseph nodded to Votrex, and led the knights and Kale inside. The place was eerie and a cold wind swept along the road. Every building was in ruins - it seemed obvious that the place had been abandoned in haste. Joseph turned and beckoned to the rest of the group...

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Re: The Girl and the Dragon, Part II

Post by SmokeMare » Mon May 04, 2009 8:44 am

Votrex led the way - clearly eager to discover any potential adversaries. Closely followed by Kretus and Fergen, Fergen bringing up the rear. The howling wind was whistling through the abandoned ruins, they crept forwards, peering into each dark alley and forgotten building. Fergen unsheathed his sword, an unusual weapon for a dwarf. He beckoned to Kretus and Votrex, "Shhhh, do you hear anything?!" Votrex screwed his face up, "No, why what can you hear?" Fergen lowered his sword slightly, "That's the point... Nothing!" Votrex peered into the gloom where they had come from, the rest of the group that had been following them appeared not to be there anymore. "Hmmmph! We're alone... Whether theres ancient magic at work or either us or the others are lost..."

As the looked around hopefully for signs of the rest of the group a low moan rang out. Gripping their weapons more tightly they began looking not just for the others, but for the source. Shadowly clouds of pure blackness rose out of the ground. Wasting no time all three chose a target and attacked. Fergen and Kretus were closest to their targets, but when they reached them and swang their weapons they passed clean through the dark phantoms. Kretus yelped in paid as a black whisp of phantom scorched his arm, bubbling his flesh, he called out to Votrex, "Bah! It's no use! They aren't vulnerable to our wea..."

He trailed off as Votrex now glowing brightly rune axe slashed through three or four phantoms per sweep. Each one shreeking and vanishing as he carved them up. Kretus and Fergen were forced to resort to evading their foes and allowing Votrex to destroy their opponents. Huddling together while Votrex slashed and hacked, Kretus grumbled to Fergen, "Hmmph! Not very heroic this is it?" Fergen shrugged, "Better to survive until we meet something you CAN fight!"

Soon, the phantoms had all been banished by Votrex's axe. With still no sign of the others Votrex headed towards a crumbling spiral staircase set into the ground, beckoning the others follow him.

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Re: The Girl and the Dragon, Part II

Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 05, 2009 12:08 am

With the combination of dwarvish vision and Votrex's glowing brightly rune axe, the gloom was easily visible to three warriors. The room below was a dome shaped room, some 20 feet across. The air was dry and musky, smelling of decay. A fine white powder covered all the surfaces and huge cobwebs were dangling from the ceiling.

Splintered and broken furniture littered the floor. Votrex's glowing runes illuminated the room with an eerie blue light. Kretus looking left and right sharply nudged Votrex with his shoulder, "Why exactly are we here anyway?" Votrex chuckled softly, "The One who shall not be named is preparing for war... There is supposedly an artifact that can help defeat him somewhere in this fortress."

Plodding through the dust left foot prints, one pair of booted and two barefoot tracks. Votrex led the way into the nearest corridor. Inside the corridor were graves stacked five high on both sides, dry skeletons, wearing armour and wielding weapons lying peacefully in the cavitities. Votrex turned to the others, "Hah! Catacombs! If there's one place to find mystic relics - it's the catacombs."

Kretus and Fergen followed Votrex along the narrow corridor. Votrex axe was glowing more brightly now, a sign of magic at work. His tattoos were glowing too and his skin began to itch. Pressing forwards they became aware of a clicking, clacking noise - like dry sticks being bashed together. There was the odd clang of metal. Fergen looked back over his shoulder... "Erm... Oh... Skeletons!" As Kretus and Votrex peered past him in to the gloom they could see the corridor full of dry ambling skeletons, advancing towards them. Worse still, the ones ahead of them started climbing out of their tombs too, as did the ones at the sides of where they stood. Kretus pulled Fergen behind him in the confined space and readied his axe. Votrex was already hacking away, starting with the ones trying to climb down on top of him.

Dry bones splintered and exploded as Votrex raised and lowered his axe, soon Kretus was swinging and hacking, less dramatically - but almost as effectively. Fergen, stuck in the middle was unable to participate, the narrow corridor only allowing walking in single file. He consoled himself that his sword was not the best weapon for smashing up old bones anyway...

Votrex was like a mincing machine, pushing the tide back, Kretus was giving ground and smashing his opponents when he could. Events took a turn for the worse when they heard the creak of bow strings being pulled back. Ancient arrows sailed through the air, and sailed through the skeletons, Votrex and Kretus held up their axes, deflecting some shots, but Votrex took an arrow in the thigh and Kretus in the shoulder. They didn't yelp in pain, even as skeleton sword arms slashed at them, carving the flesh on Kretus arm. Votrex screamed, "We cant stay here!" With that he renewed his efforts, sending skeletal limbs flying in all directions.

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Re: The Girl and the Dragon, Part II

Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 05, 2009 10:54 pm

Votrex hacked his way forwards, skeletons exploding in clouds of dust. The ones equipped with melee weapons were not much of a problem, but the ancient arrows sailing through the air had taken a toll on the three dwarves. Eventually they staggered into the next chamber, the way clear, but arrows from the rear still sailing over their heads. As they entered the chamber Kretus and Votrex took up vigil on either side of the doorway, hacking down the skeletons filing through after them.

By the time the flow had stopped dried blood splattered over all three dwarves, arrows were sticking out of their bodies. It appeared from the number that Votrex had been the target of chioce for enemies. He was grinning like a maniac, and quickly began snapping and pulling out the various arrows. Fergens armour and the fact that he was in the centre, meant he didn't have much work to do - none had pierced his flesh, it was a simple matter of pulling and distangling some from his armour. Kretus was panting heavily, trying to pull an arrow out of his shoulder. Votrex, having cleared himself out walked up and placed one hand on Kretus shoulder and with the other, worked the arrow out. They then sat silently, plugging their wounds and bandaging the two slayers up.

Kretus spoke first, "Hah! What say we take a break, I could use a drink and some weed." Votrex nodded, halting his impatient pacing and sitting next to his new companions. They pulled out their flasks and sipped water, then each pulled out a small pipe and began puffing away and studying the chamber they had entered. It looked something like a tomb, possibly of somebody important, in the centre was a stone knight, but his armour was shaped unnaturally, he was lying on top of a stone sarcophagus, but wasn't carved into it. The sarcophagus was very finely detailed, the carving was exquisite, even though the designs were macabre. Fergen puffed on his pipe, "Hmmm, somebody important in there I shouldn't wonder..." Kretus nodded, puffing as he did, "Probably buried with a few items of value..." Votrex scowled, "Hmmph! We're not graverobbers! We're supposed to be looking for the erm, hand of acronyms or something."

Fergen squinted and pointed his pipe at Votrex, "What about if the artififact is IN the sarcophagus?"

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Re: The Girl and the Dragon, Part II

Post by SmokeMare » Tue May 12, 2009 8:32 am

The pipes burned into embers and went on, Votrex deep in thought emptied the ashes out of his pipe and tucked it into his pouch. Standing up he wandered over to the stone sarcophagus and began studying it. "Hmmm, I suppose it could be worth a try... Give me a shove with it."

Slowly Fergen and Kretus climbed to their feet and moved towards the giant piece of stonework. After much heaving and grunting the sound of grinding stone echoed around the chamber. As they pushed and shoved the runes on Votrex axe began glowing brightly again, as did some of his tatoos. With a cracking and creaking the giant stone warrior on top of the coffin climbed to it's feet and wielded it's stone sword menacingly.

The three dwarves shuffled back as the blade whipped in front of them, missing my inches, it moved unearthly fast for a lump of stone. Fergen pulled out his crossbow-pistol, cocked a bolt and let loose. It bounced of the solid stone torso without so much as chipping the stone. Kretus ran forwards and slammed his axe blade first into the monsters left knee, but his axe bounced off and the giant blade slammed into him, sending him flying through the air. Votrex by this point has skirted around to the side, the creature swiped at him, but he met the sword with his great axe, as he pushed back towards the creature, the statue released the pressure and swung high for a downward chop , but before it could slam down Votrex span 360 degree slmming his now brightly glowing axe into the creatures knee, splintering it into shards of granite.

it teetered and wobbled, then caught its balance by prodding the great sword into the ground, it looked ridiculous with one leg, supporting itself on it's sword, before it could make a further move Votrex slammed his axe into the other knee toppling the statue monster. When it hit the ground it splintered into shards with a fantastic blue burst of magical fire. Fergen ran over to Kretus, and began shaking him, "Kretus! are you alright ?!"

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