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Author Topic: Crown of Shadows Pt.II [IC] Part 1  (Read 375030 times)
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Harrowed
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« on: January 26, 2008, 06:50:15 AM »

Arc of Obares, 3rd day
Early Morning
Overcast skies
South River Fang Tower


The smell of dying hangs in the air, a suffocating blanket layed over a bed of stink from the rotting river below. Tall braziers, sculptured to represent the twisted forms of elf maids holding aloft their own butchered heats, burn with bareful red flames, washing the interior of the room in a visceral glow. The stone walls drip condensation over blood red banners set with the black symbol of Izrador. The same banners decorate the grey blocks stacked into crude pillars that flank each other and line a short path. At the end of the path rises a dias of more grey stone, multiple steps up to a simple wooden chair of dark wood. The finish of the chair is mared by chunks gouged from the wood's surface, threatening to collapse the structure under it's occupants weight.

The room brightens slightly as the swelled doors are pushed open. Two figures stride into the room. Their forms cloaked in black cassocks that expose only black sword hilts and red tabbards of Izrador. Between they drag a limp, naked human man. Layers of bruising under caked blood obscure most of his features. Bloodshot eyes over a handlebar mustash dart back and forth.

A figure draped in strange, swirling layers of shadow rises from the wooden chair. As unseen feet step down the dias the shadows twist and contort forming into an distorted parody of a human cloaked in a cossock made of pure dark. From under the twisting shadows that cover his form several black chains drag behind him, they clank and rattle as they fall from dias level to level.

The figure stops several feet away from the Sword Brethren, their heads lowered in respect as the beaten man looks up with defiance written across his face.

"Jael, Jael, Jael, what went wrong?" The rasping voice had an unnatural tone, as if speaking with a mouth never designed for humanoid speech. "I gave you a simple task, intercept the Fey couriers,' the rasp took a tone of steel dragged across stone, 'and you failed me. I am not without mercy and understanding, so I gave you a second chance. Bring me the rebel scum that the fey met with, instead you chase them across Erendane."

The dragged man spits out blood onto the floor and coughs wetly. A mailed fist raised by an angry Sword Brethren is stayed with a glance towards the swirling shadow form.

"I didn't fail you,' the man gets his legs under him and stands, none too stable, 'I had the Beacon planted on them. Who ordered that attack on the fort? I had them in my hand ... the Beacon would have ..."

Jael screams in pain as he is violently slammed onto his back. A black chain hovers unnaturally in the air, one end coiled around Jael's ankle, the other disappears into folds of shadow.

“Jael, you failed me. I don’t want to hear your excuses,” another black chain darts out from the shadows and wraps around Jael's other leg. The two chains twist like snakes and Jael hangs upside down between the two Sword Brethren.

“I am not without mercy, so I'll give you a choice. I can shred your soul to feed my chains, or I could send you after them again. One last chance to redeem yourself, would you like that Jael?"

Jael groans as a trickle of blood runs from his mouth and down across his face. "I'll kill them for you, I swear." The chains rattle as they lower him to the wet stone floor and release his legs.

"They will be heading for the Aruun Jungle, near the Kingdom. You will have no trouble finding them in the jungle, I'll see to that." The form turned slightly, speaking to the Brethren. "Put him in the Pit for a week. If he survives, release him. Perhaps a time studding will teach him the cost of failure."

Jael screamed, a long sad note as the Brethren dragged him away from the swirling figure.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 05:18:00 AM by Nifelhein » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 07:04:50 AM »

Arc of Zimra, 10th day
Early Morning
Overcast skies
Caradul


You were each lead by the Queen's guards deep into the twisted boughs of the Elder Tree. Paths lit by twinkling fairy torches seem to double back and within minutes you are lost as your senses of direction fail you. The guards stride on without interruption, gentle connections when splits in the path come up. The sounds of the city below fall away as the faints strains of singing can be picked up. Beautiful elven voices raised in song, their words of bravery and defiance against the Shadow are inspiring and lovely.

The guards sudden make a sharp turn through an arcway of bright yellow leaves. Inside is a small room spell crafted from the Elder Tree, the surfaces are all of smoothed rich wood. In the middle of the room is a slab of oak several inches thick, it hangs from the ceiling by thick grape vines. Around the table are raised swells of wood that serve as chairs. Upon the table are refreshements layed out on silver trays.

You are not alone in this room.

You were not the only one to volunteer.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 11:36:18 AM »

Murwick

A male Dwarrow roughly 3 feet 9 inches walks into the room leaning on an ornately carved walking stick, and he seems to have a limp.  He has bronze skin, long black hair tied behind his head, and vivid green eyes.

"With songs that speak to my heart and soul, and refreshments that promise a satiated stomach, I wonder what lies in store for us?"

"Music and drink make our short lives less miserable."         

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 12:05:03 PM »

Shelg

Shelg stepped into the room without another glance at the Queen's guards. He could almost feel their sense of relief as they backed away to whatever it was they had to do now. Shelg mentally shrugged, he's used to not being trusted: as a fey he was not trusted by any in the Shadow's forces, and many times ignored, which suited him just fine; as a turncoat... a traitor, even if he betrayed the Shadow, he was even less trusted, though certainly not ignored.

Shelg walked around the room. Being constantly surrounded by wood still seemed strange to him though not all that uncomfortable, something familiar about it. He poured himself some tea from the refreshments on the table, savoring the smell before taking a sip. The tea here was much better than anything he had back in the conquered lands.

He looked up as dwarrow, another half-breed, step into the room, narrowing his eyes as he always did when studying someone he did not know. Shelg nodded slightly as the dwarrow spoke but did not reply.

He did not sit. He stood with his back to one of the walls, cup of tea in hand, eyes on the door as he heard the steps of more people coming...
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2008, 02:59:47 PM »

Murwick smiles and nods back, noting the silent new volunteer.  He sits down and quenches his thirst with the free beverages, as he never turns down anything that's free.

"What languages do you speak?  Can you understand me?  The name's Murwick, what do they call you?"

To make it more obvious, Murwick points to himself and says, "Murwick"
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 07:06:06 PM »

Murwick shrugs his shoulders and looks into his glass as he downs the refreshing liquid.  He looks towards the entrance.

"I hope the others are more talkative than you."
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 07:34:57 PM »

Teliir

As the vines part before her, Teliir is in awe of the magical wonders her Southern kin are able to work with the large trees of the Caraheen.  The cold and wind are not so forgiving of the shelterwood trees of the North.  Her hand traces the smooth lines of the grain visible on the surface as the way opens to the lit room.  Hand still admiring the feel, the eyes dart to the two figures in the room, a large, stocky gnome seated and an elfling standing against the far wall.  A second glance at the elfing took in the evil markings on his skin and his aloof and cautious manner, causing Teliir to stare darkly at him for a moment longer than she should have.  Her hand twitched toward her knife before her consciousness of the absurd safety of her surroundings held her instinct at bay. 

All will be explained in due time, I hope...

Grabbing some of the fresh fruit so hard to find in the Veradeen, Teliir addresses the gnome first, keeping the elfling in the corner of her vision.

"It is not usual to see one of the river folk in the Forests.  What brings a gnome to our lands?" she says in hesitant but competent Trader's Tongue.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 09:12:45 PM by Pheros » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 10:36:35 PM »

Murwick

"What brings me here?  Well free drink and fruit, what else?"

Murwick smiles and winks, and chuckles a bit.  Then he burps a little.

"But in all seriousness, the occupied lands crush one's soul, and I sought to flee them for a time.  But there is something in me that can't stand idle, if my skills can be of some use.  Perhaps it was my childhood on the barges, constantly moving, that makes me want to wander.  But it matters not, I am here, and I have answered the call for volunteers."

Murwick points with his thumb over to the Elfling.

"Mouth over there doesn't talk much, but he seems cordial enough, if nods are cordial."

Murwick takes another handful of juicy fruit and takes large juicy bites out of it.

"Oh... I'm Murwick by the way, my lady.  I haven't got that one's name yet."
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 10:57:41 PM »

Teliir

"Yes, he wouldn't talk much, would he..." Teliir mutters with another dark look at the elfling.  "Some call me Silverbow, but you may call me Teliir" she says to Murwick with a slight dip of the shoulders, still half-turned toward the elfling.
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 11:14:50 PM »

Murwick

"Teliir..."
"That's a pretty name.  Pleased to make your acquaintance.  I do hope there are more volunteers than this..."

Murwick looks towards the door.  Then back to Teliir, and then towards the Elfling.

"That was some mighty fine singing out there.  I must commend the Elves on their voices."

Murwick smiles again.

"Any idea what we volunteered for?  I didn't catch what we were supposed to be doing, but I don't really care what it is.  My bones are itching, if you take my meaning, and they need scratched.  Sitting around does not suit me, though moving around too much might spell my doom.  But it seems we all have a darkness hovering over our heads, waiting to strike us down when it wills..."
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 11:17:49 PM by samwise7 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 11:29:06 PM »

Teliir

"Yes, my Southern kin think that songs will win the war, it appears.  Though their arts are commendable", she says with a glance around the wooden room, "they are softer than they should be in times like these."

Teliir glances at the food on the table, and contemplates the hunger pangs she will have to endure again when she starts drinking the tea on the trail.  The present desire for the food offered outweighs the future pain she expects, and she indulges in another piece of fruit.  I don't know when I'll see real food again...

"I know not where we are destined, but danger is sure to follow, and that is something I never dislike."
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 11:44:22 PM »

Murwick

"I like danger, and then I don't.  I guess it depends on how bored I've been right before it happens."

Murwick winks and laughs.  He then gets up out of his chair, and wipes off the extra fruit juice that is on his hands on his pants.  He leans against his masterwork walking stick and limps over to the door looking for the other volunteers.

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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 12:11:19 AM »

Shelg

Shelg was about to say something when the dwarrow spoke in the unknown tongue and then the snow elf came in. He has seen some of them walking around the city - but they were not many - they avoided him like all the others, doubly so because of their shared heritage. It is something he learned only when he reached the Danisil, and they were suprised at it: they have never seen an Erunsil-blooded Elfling. But of course, it was not only the fact that he betrayed the Shadow... it was that his mother betrayed the elves.

That is at least how they see it.

Teliir's eyes darted to the exposed tattoo, and Shelg noticed the barely perceptible twitch. He noticed it only because he expected it. If he was going to travel with these people he had to know their reaction to him right from the start, things could be much more dangerous if they discovered the tattoo while trkking in the depth of the Erethor, away from anyone who knew the truth. One of the Danisils he travelled with from the Arrun offered to "modify" the tattoo for him, Shelg refused. While he would not let his past dictate his future, he will not deny it - it is a part of what he is.

There was no need for his words yet... the dwarrow spoke enough. Shelg kept to his silent observation.
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2008, 08:24:57 AM »

Staying in the shadows at the entrance to a room like none other he had ever seen, Avren watched all manners of fey enter the room.  He felt alone.  He had not seen another human in over an arc, his time spent healing wounds and regaining full motion in an arm almost hacked off by an orc vardatch.  He owed the elves a debt for saving his life but could not see how this task would help his people.  Looking at the luxury before him, Avren knew that the fey had never felt the lash of an overseer, seen friends and family cut down before their eyes, or had to eat out of refuse that even goblins would not touch.  What use am I to them; or better yet what use are they to my people.

Listening intently to the sibilant tones of the fey, Avren finally recognizes a heavily accented version of the trade tongue.  If these are to be his companions on the Witch Queen's task, he should learn as much about them as he can.  Moving slowly into the room, he announces "Good day, my name is Avren.  I was told to come here to learn of a task that will repay my debt. If you are to accompany me, I seek your council and swear my support."
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2008, 09:39:41 AM »

Murwick

"Greetings Avren, I'm Murwick, and that lovely Elf over their is Teliir.  I've nicknamed the one against the wall Mouth, as he doesn't talk much, but he seems alright to me. 

I don't know how much council I have to give, but what I have is yours as well.  There are some great drinks and fruits here, you should take advantage of the Elves' hospitality.  I know I have.  Take a seat, you can have mine if you want, my leg is cramping something awfully and I need to stretch it out a bit by standing.

I wonder who else will show up.  We have quite a collection of races here.  Maybe the Elves are starting a zoo..?"


Murwick chuckles softly and continues to look out the door for more volunteers.

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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2008, 04:41:17 PM »

Teliir

Teliir quickly scans the human up and down as he enters, nearly dismissing him as un-noteworthy before seeing the strength in his eyes. 

We are an interesting assortment.  Well met Avren.  What debt do you have to my kin that must be repaid? she asks politely.
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2008, 07:15:44 PM »

Verador

A grim looking snow elf in dark leathers strides through the curtain of vines with a predator's grace. A snowy eagle rests on his shoulder and a massive white wolf pads in behind him. He has an elegantly recurved bow made of translucent wood in a case on his back and wears a grey cloak clasped with a silver and onyx broach in the shape of an elegant ellipse.

He glances around the room as he moves to a chair at the table next to Tellir. He nods briefly to her, but says nothing. The white eagle flaps powerfully of his shoulder into the upper branches of the room and the wolf lies down at his feet.
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2008, 07:51:39 PM »

Teliir

Teliir smiles to see one of her kin enter the room.

At least there's another fighter on this journey.

[Partol Sign] Welcome Brother.  Forest Peaceful? she quickly signs, using the generic "all is well?" question that the sign language is limited to.
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 10:44:59 PM »

Verador

slender hands move in two small motions. All clear. We rest until the thaw.

The stoic elf sets a thin piece of white marble on top of the table, then sets a slightly smaller piece of black stone on top of it. He then puts two metal cups on the pair of stones, pours water into them and  whispers something in elvish. The water quickly begins to bubble, despite the lack of fire. He then sprinkles a fine, sweet-smelling grey powder into the cups, stirs once and hands one cup to Tellir.

One hand moves to his chest then makes a small gesture toward Tellir. A greeting she seems to know well. It is good to see you once more.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 10:47:22 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2008, 03:42:17 AM »

Telliir

Teliir accepts the cup with a smile, signing with her other hand: Many thaws since we last passed.  Your bow at my side is welcome. 

She raises the small cup toward Verador before sipping.

Dangerous other, she signs as she indicates toward the elfling.  Shadow-friend or elf-friend?  Caution needed.  Her look speaks volumes that the signing can't.

She returns to eating the fruit offered by their absent host and intermittently sipping Verador's tea.  Somewhat unconsciously, her left hand reaches out to caress the white wolf now sitting between her and Verador, and her other places the cup down long enough to call the eagle down from the top of the room with a morsel of food and a stroke under the chin as it lands near her before retreating.  She studies both animals with with a long, slight smile, and then relaxes more than before to await their host.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 04:00:48 AM by Pheros » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 05:10:55 AM »

Verador

His eyes glance to the elfling for a moment, then back to Tellir. He nods almost imperceptibly, then glances down to the eagle now perched on Tellir's arm, stretching it's neck towards her while being scratched behind the head, obviously enjoying the attention. One corner of his mouth twitches.

Someday I would learn how you do that. She hostile to most others.

Gesturing lower to avoid notice, he glances around the table.

The others? Who are they?

His gaze falls to rest on Avren. His fingers still make small motions under the table as he sips his tea with the other hand.

Is this the one we have been asked to accompany?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 05:27:33 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2008, 05:39:08 AM »

Shelg

Shelg saw the new comer snow elf before, perhaps in the palace when he was there to give the books he brought with him to the council; the snowy eagle looked familiar. Where else could he have seen him? He wasn't allowed to wonder very much around the city, his main companions were the group Danisil whom he came to Caradul with but they had obligations here, the reason they came. He was visited three time by the Nariz, the Danisil avatar that who lead the danisil druid to Caradul: the first time when he called him to face the council and tell them why he came; the second was a friendly visit; and third time was to ask if he wanted to volunteer to a mission, and although many in the council were still suspicious of him, Nazir said he will vouch for him. Shelg agreed without a second thought.

Shelg observed the quick and subtle hand movement of the Erunsil. It's been a long time since mothers lessons, he thinks as his memories flash for a moment back to the Old Castle and his training years. He forces his mind to the present, and returning his empty cup of tea to the table, positions himself so as to see the others better.

Two snow elves, one human, and a dwarrow, Shelg looked over the other volunteers, they all seem capable. Whatever it is they want us to do...
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2008, 08:25:30 AM »

Murwick moved back from the door as Verador approached.  A look of excitement and some fear played across his face when the wolf entered, though he seemed interested in it too.

He watches the hand motions of the two, but stays silent for a change, not wanting to interrupt the conversation.  Plus, he figures he's introduced himself already to Teliir and she will most likely introduce him to this new fellow she seems a costumed to.  The language of hands interests him, and he finds it beautiful, though he doesn't understand a thing.

He does nod however.

He walks over to Shelg and stands beside him, though doesn't talk to him, and leans against the wall in like manner.  He's not sure why, but he feels bad for him.  Murwick thinks he must have some good qualities if he is here, and not dead.
 
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 12:43:24 PM »

Teliir

Teliir only smiles and gives a slight shrug to Verador's befuddlement as the eagle finishes its food and returns to the upper branches of the room.

Gnome M-u-r-w-i-c-k; Crunching-snow voice.  Human A-v-r-e-n; soft bark but strong wood.  Mission unknown.

Many questions and few answers.  But don't all things in life start this way?

Teliir grabs one of the fleshy gourds offered on the tray and cracks it open, handing half to Verador and eating the meat from the half in her hand.
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 01:46:16 PM »

The movements and gestures of the fey are graceful but unnerving.  They look through me rather then at me, as if I was a piece to some puzzle.  The pale ones look battle tested, what did he have to offer them; his skills were humble especially in this vast wood.  Get me out on the plains and I could show these fey how to survive in a world overrun by the Shadow.  To answer the female fey, he pulls up his sleeve to show the barely visible scar, proof of the strength of elven healing.  "I owe my arm, my life to your healers.  I fought in the woods you call the Green March, trying to find those of my people who still fought against the darkness."

Seeing the others move toward the table and having learned never to waste food, Avren slowly moves toward the table opposite the female fey.  Avren knows he should feel safe here, at the heart of the Witch Queen's realm, but he can't take his eyes away from the doorway into the room or keep his hand far from his ceduku.


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