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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 1  (Read 359644 times)
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TwiceBorn
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« Reply #150 on: September 03, 2010, 12:48:35 AM »

"Um... w-we've been wondering that ourselves, s-sir. My companion and I were sent ahead as an advance survey crew, b-but the engineer and the labourers should have arrived by now, given the urgency of the project. I have n-no idea where they might be... b-but I do know that our master will be extremely unhappy if this pass is not cleared within the next two arcs. It sounds like it must be key to the war effort in these parts... but what do I know, I'm a mere lackey..."

Kjellan turns his eyes to his toes once again, while sweat beads at his temples.
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« Reply #151 on: September 03, 2010, 02:35:00 AM »

The hobgoblin glanced up at Kjellan's choice of words. "Two arcsss..." it nodded, looking up at the collapse blocking the pass. "That fitsss." A moment later it glanced at the pair before it. "Without a full labor force the tassk is imposssible. We've had reportss of a number of projectss in the area sset back due to delayed or reapropriated work crewss. Do you know where your labor was being ssent from?"
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 09:26:56 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

Jack Chick, Abdul Alhazred, and Aleister Crowley walk into a bar...
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« Reply #152 on: September 03, 2010, 07:51:24 PM »

"Ummm... I seem to recall them saying something about Kardoling," responds Kjellan as he rubs his chin. "At least I think that's what I overheard... That seems likely, doesn't it? As mere lackeys, we are told no more than we need to know to get our work done..."  

The "gnome" pauses for a moment, then murmurs while staring at his toes. "But you are right, m'lord, we will never get the job done within the next two arcs if the labour crew does not show up soon..."
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« Reply #153 on: September 03, 2010, 10:47:05 PM »

The hobgoblin stares at Kjellan for a long moment, it's wide mouth set in a straight line, impassive and unreadable. Then it slowly nods. "I'll ssee if we can reasssign some sslaves. Anything with hands can work a pick and haul sstone. I haven't seen orders for any of our engineerss being asssigned to this project. I hope whoeve is's running thiss project wasn't coming with your labor."
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« Reply #154 on: September 03, 2010, 10:56:40 PM »

"Thank you sir... Thank you... I'm sure that our master will reward those who ensure the job gets done in a timely fashion!"

Kjellan bows several times before the hobgoblin, then looks up cautiously to see if anything more might be expected of him.
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« Reply #155 on: September 04, 2010, 12:41:49 AM »

The hobgoblin nods. "I think we're done here." The hobgoblin walks away making a motion to his men to prepare to leave. "Kahv, you sstay with them. If those dwarvess up the mountain notice thosse two, they won't lasst the week."

The Oruk looks at the hobgoblin like it's grown a second head. "Yes." The massive warrior says, "having me around will definitely make them less noticeable."

"Your job is to keep them alive." The hobgoblin continues. "If they die, so do you, and then I can write this mission off as a failure. And you off as a casualty. Either way, my life gets easier."

The Oruk shrugs. "True. Fine."

The hobgoblin and the orcs take off at a run down the trail leaving an exasperated Oruk and a squinty eyed Grak gazing after them as they turn out of sight. A moment later the two soldiers of the Shadow turn in unison, staring at Kjellan.

"Right," the Oruk grunts. "I'm going to sleep. Anyone wakes me for anything that doesn't involve killing something or eating something, they get killed and eaten."
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:37:54 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #156 on: September 04, 2010, 01:02:51 AM »

Dunkun watches from the bluff as the orc-sized figures leave, leaving the small figure and a huge shape that can only be a Oruk.  

As the Oruk settles in, Dunkun mutters to himself with a sigh: "Well, this will be interestin'..."
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:30:35 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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« Reply #157 on: September 04, 2010, 07:29:14 PM »

Vorstuk Garrison, Road of Ruin, Arc of Zimra, Fall


On a lone wagon Wendle sighs as he looks out at the road before him.

"I think it's about that time. Wake him up."
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 07:36:10 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #158 on: September 04, 2010, 07:54:38 PM »

Dorin stirs from his study of the road ahead and grunts his assent. "Aye aye, Capt- ah, Wendle." He places a large hand on the Erenlander's shoulder and give him a modest shake. "Time to be up and alert!"

He allows himself a wry grin. "Just 'cause we let you catch a few winks doesn't mean we can have you take the whole trip without a few glimpses of the grand views on the road." His face loses a bit of joviality as he adds, "Keep your wits about you, friend Eirik. The Road is no place to be caught with your guard down."
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:38:24 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged

"You want me to what?! ... Gimme a minute."
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« Reply #159 on: September 05, 2010, 12:38:34 PM »

The garrison fortress of Vorstuk straddles the Road of Ruin like the gaping maw of some terrible beast. A thick, wide structure sits on either side of the road, connected by an arching bridge about thirty feet off the ground. Downward facing iron spikes give the impression of teeth, and the decomposing bodies hanging below them on hooks or nooses causes unbidden thoughts of baited worms before monstrous fish to spring to mind.

The buildings are made of limestone brought from the Bluff and reinforced with iron across the battlements and around windows and doors. The rust running down the pale stone looks much like blood. The fires on the tops of the towers at the edges of the fortresses seem much like awful glowing eyes. The garrison brings to mind a bloody demonic face looking to devour all travelers before it.

On the bridge, a group of orcish soldiers laughs and cheers at something like a pack of unruly human children. A moment later a body goes sailing out over the ledge, connected by a rope, going taught with a nausea-inducing wrench and swinging down to join the corpses, twitching and spasming it's final moments. Above, a broad-shouldered orc leans out over the edge with a grin and spits down at the victim. With a final chorus of laughter the group continues across the bridge to the left garrison.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 01:17:43 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #160 on: September 05, 2010, 11:00:12 PM »

Eirik stirs with a jolt, moving from resting to waking in the blink of an eye. His mind, not quite as quick as his body to react to the hand on his shoulder takes awhile to process the words filtering through the haze. He wipes at his face, dragging the last of the tiredness away, and rights himself in his seat.

"Must have been more tired than I thought..." the Erenlander almost winces, as he glances around. The menacing sight before him makes his blood run cold as ice. They had apparently reached Vorstuk. His heart beat like a jackrabbit about to enter a wolves' den. It was an appropriate comparison, he thought. The unshakable "crack" as the noose pulled taught on the hangman's latest victim was disturbing to say the least, and the sound sends shivers along the back of his neck. "Can't say I'm sorry to have missed more of the 'grand view' if it's anything like this," Eirik whispers almost to himself. He finds that, despite the disgust and fear warring in his belly, his voice is calm. He keeps his head ducked though. He doesn't want to meet the cold stare of those dead eyes.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:38:36 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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« Reply #161 on: September 07, 2010, 12:07:06 AM »

Dorin stares hard after the group of orcs making their way off, a rumble beginning in his chest. He almost gets to his feet, but remembers himself just as he begins to do so. Shaking his head, he settles back into his seat and checks the pry bar at their feet. Looking up at the wretched corpse, he glances over at Eirik and makes himself meet the dead man's gaze. Quietly and swiftly, he raises a fist in the Dornish salute to the fallen. "It would be easy to say you get used to it."

He throws Eirik a look. "But you never do seem to."
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 12:48:58 AM by Sholano » Logged
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« Reply #162 on: September 07, 2010, 08:10:56 AM »

Eirik watches his Dornish companion's response with a bit of awe. It settles him, in all honesty, to know that he is not the only one upset by the public display of death and horror. Dorin's reaction actually brings shame to his cheeks, and he follows the man's lead, lifting his eyes to the swinging corpse and trying to put the memory of it's features in his head. Another life cut down by the cruel Shadow.

He meets Dorin's gaze when it is thrown his way. "Do me a favor, friend Dorin. If I ever do get used to it, give me a quick tap on the head and set me straight, eh?"
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« Reply #163 on: September 07, 2010, 12:31:18 PM »

Wendle snorts. "A tap on the head from him would probably do more than set you straight. Be careful what you ask for."

Wendle, in contrast to the humans, does not look or acknowledge the twitching body in any way. Even when it's legs suddenly begin to kick and thrash. Even when it's arms shockingly reach up to claw at the noose. Even as the limbs slowly grow weaker and slower over an agonizing minute as they approach, eventually passing directly underneath the stilling body, the Gnome says nothing more.
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« Reply #164 on: September 10, 2010, 03:03:19 PM »

Passing beneath the shadow of the archway, the passengers on the wagon trying to stay calm despite the corpses swinging above, they cannot help but notice the immediate difference in temperature. Perhaps it's just the lack of sun, but even the massive Dorn feels the chill when the shade swallows them. The darkness is blinding as their eyes adjust, but they are aware none the less of the eyes watching them from the slits in the walls.

Then, the shadow is gone and the sun makes them squint. It's as if this place had been carefully calculated to make those near it as uncomfortable as possible.

Wendle lets out a slight sigh and pulls the wagon off the main road, circling about and approaching the open gates of the garrison.

The number of orcs is staggering. The wagon pulls into a simple, flat open courtyard where soldiers are drilling, eating, laughing, fighting, and unfortunately, many of them are also staring at the wagon like a wolf eyes a lame calf.

The biggest, meanest looking hobgoblin either of the humans have ever seen comes strolling out of the gate house. He is shirtless, bald, carries the scars of many terrible wounds and is grinning like a fool. On his back is an orcish warblade and in his hand is a wooden board with a sheaf of papers tacked to it. A bleeding gash on his right shoulder is being tended by a short, thick attendant wearing a long black hooded robe with a grey handprint on the chest. The hobgoblin is completely ignoring the hooded figure, making the stitching the creature is trying to do nearly impossible. "Wendle!" The hobgoblin barks. "You're late. And fat. Watch out, the cookss were already eying you the lasst time you came through."

"Skarren!" Wendle laughs. "You've gotten even uglier. Kill anyone today?"

"Only one so far. This new batch is jusst as dumb as the lasst, but they're more eassily ssscared. That'ss good, really. Might let them lasst a few more dayss on the line." The hobgoblin says. "What do you have for me?"

"Salt, mostly. Pepper too, and a few crates of linens." Wendle says, thumping Dorin and jerking his thumb toward the back of the wagon.

Skarren's eyebrows shoot up at the mention of pepper, and he nods in approval. "It'ss about time. I wass worried we were going to have to sstart eating refugeess again. Meat jusst doesn't keep around here without ssalting the pisss out of it." He looks around the yard and spots a dozen orcish soldiers squatting in the dirt playing some kind of game with bones. "You lot!" he yells, "Get your worthless carcasses over here. You're on supply detail!"

Wendle watches, amused as the solders pick themselves up and angrily approach the wagon. "You know, one of these days they're going to realize that they might be able to just gang up on you and put you out of their misery."

"Never happen." The hobgoblin says as the soldiers glare at him. "God likess me."

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« Reply #165 on: September 15, 2010, 05:55:54 PM »

Dorin grunts in acknowledgement and swings down from the wagon. He lifts the first of the boxes without a word, his face the blank stare of a man doing boring labor and starts stacking the goods to the side of the cart, a few yards out of the way to give the unwieldy vehicle a chance to turn around. His mouth twitches at the hobgoblin's mention of God, but he schools himself quickly and hopes that a reaction to the Shadow is nothing out of the ordinary.
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« Reply #166 on: September 15, 2010, 06:10:54 PM »

The ork soldiers begin taking the crates and carrying them behind the gatehouse looking equally bored.

As Dorin absently hands off one of the larger crates to one of the soldiers, a brief look of surprise passes it's face and it's fingers slip under the obviously unexpected weight.

A crash and a snarling howl erupts from behind the wagon as the crate comes down on the soldier's foot. After a moment spent comically hopping, the orc looks up at Dorin with murder in his eyes and rips it's massive war blade free of over it's shoulder.

Without any kind of hesitation, it swings...
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 02:02:54 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #167 on: September 16, 2010, 12:36:50 AM »

The chill never quite leaves Eirick's skin with the return to the sunlight. The feeling of eyes and the sight of so many orcs surrounding them leaves him edgy. He keeps his peace though, eyes darting to and fro, uncertain where to focus until the hobgoblin drags his all his attention to itself.

I'm not sure if I'm comforted, or disturbed by the jovial nature of this conversation, he thinks before the monstrous howl sounds from the back of the cart, and he turns just in time to see the ork's hands. His mouth tightens into a thin line and he begins to stand, knowing he's already too late to prevent a blow, but unable to sit there while his companion is cut down.
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« Reply #168 on: September 16, 2010, 03:00:18 AM »

Dorin's eyes widen in the moment before the blade lands, but he finds himself with no time to react, or even call out. Instead, the big man can only brace himself for the blow with his teeth gritted, brick-sized fists balling up.
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« Reply #169 on: September 16, 2010, 04:08:26 AM »

The back side of the war blade slams into Dorin's ribs as he turns his body into the orc's swing. He grunts as the shock hammers through him. With a snarl he lashes out, his bare fist clanging down onto the blade driving it into the back of the wagon. It bounces free as the orc pulls back with practiced reflex,

then stops and stares in confusion and shock as it sees how badly the weapon is bent.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 01:30:35 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #170 on: September 16, 2010, 10:13:21 PM »

Eirik clambers down from the wagon's seat, the pounding of his feet on the road beneath echoes in his ears alongside the pounding of his heart. The Erenlander rushes to the rear, still uncertain as to what he's actually going to do once he gets there.

He stops dead in his track at the sight that greets him, as stunned as the orcish soldier. The blade seems to quiver in mid-air, bent at the wrong angle. Hysterically, he finds himself thinking, Wendle is right. I shouldn't ask Dorin to give me a tap on the head, I might lose my head.
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« Reply #171 on: September 17, 2010, 01:41:38 AM »

Wendle is hot on Eirik's heels, looking around at the scene. He completely ignores both the soldier with the bent blade and the massive Dorn who is holding his side white faced from pain and shock. Instead he screams wordlessly and throws both his hands to the splintered crate on the ground, sputtering for a moment before finally finding his words.

"What the bleeding piss!" He screeches. "I swear to the Shadow himself that the next man or beast to throw my goods on the ground today is going to get my whatever hits the dirt crammed up their arse!"

He somehow manages to push the orc soldier backwards about six inches as it stares in confusion, raising it's bent weapon like it wants to bring it down on the screaming gnome's head, but stopping to glance at the bent  blade as if unsure of the weapon's functionality. That moment is all Wendle needs to pick up a piece of the shattered crate and start swinging it wildly at Dorin.

"You good for nothing, over-sized boro heap! Do you grease your goddamn hands before every stop? If this were a ship I'd have you lashed to the mast!"

The stick comes down on Dorin, breaking in the middle, causing the big dorn to shy back slightly, but otherwise not bothering him a bit. Wendle takes no notice and winds up for another swing.

"Skarren, I want rope! I'm gonna hang me a Dorn!"
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 01:53:42 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #172 on: September 17, 2010, 02:13:57 AM »

Dorin blinks when Wendle strikes him, the blow not painful but unexpected. The big man tries to raise his hands in the air in surrender, but winces at the motion and drops them again. Instead, he slowly backs away from the irate little merchant and begins to splutter protests.

"Look, boss, I'm sorry! It was just an accident! C'mon, you know how I am sometimes with things, they just slip."

As the beating continues, the Dorn continues to give way before Wendle's fury, backing himself in circles around the cart.
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« Reply #173 on: September 17, 2010, 04:44:09 AM »

The orcs seem completely at a loss, the one with the bent sword and the wounded foot still obviously angry, but taken aback by the unexpected fury of the pudgy gnome. A few of his fellows chuckle. He sneers.

"Quartermaster! I require a new weapon."

Skarren moves slightly out of the way as Wendle begins chasing Dorin around the cart, moving toward teh back to survey the damage more closely. "That'ss Chief Quartermasster, Ssoldier. Why sshould I give you another weapon? Sseems to me that you never really learned to usse the one you had."

The soldier growls. "That human threw this box at me. He needs to die."

"Sseems to me that trying and failing to kill that human wass what got your old weapon broke in the firsst place." Skarren says twisting his mouth in mockery. I don't know how you managed to bend a vardatch on a human without killing him, but if you're any indication of the current quality of soldierss coming out of Gassterfang, we might as well just pack it in now and let the Bitch Queen have her foresst. The firsst elf you ran into would feed you that blade."

The orc's eyes flash. "Hobgoblin, you need to learn deference to your betters."

Skarren raises an eyebrow. "I have deference to my betterss"

It takes a moment for the insult to sink in, but then the orc's features twist in outrage. It roars and lunges toward the brawny hobgoblin, swinging the bent war blade in both hands.

Skarren steps into the blow, and leans to the side. The blade whistles past him. His hands blur, one coming up to brace on the back of the orc's skull, the other swinging up in an arc and crashing into the startled soldier's throat in an open handed blow that brings the ridge between the hobgoblin's fingers and thumb into the soldier's wind pipe. The orc chokes out a gurgled gasp of pain, and Skarren simply pushes with the hand on the back of the orc's head hurling the soldier to the ground.

The soldier starts to pick itself up, then stops, it's feet slipping a bit. It's hands come to it's throat and it's eyes widen in fear and shock. A strangled gurgle escapes it's lips.

"What'ss the matter?" Skarren asks. "Can't breathe? Sounds like your throat got broke. Shame. That don't take long to die from"

The orc stumbles to it's feet and lurches toward the big hobgoblin, a pleading look in his eyes.

"What the Dark do you think I'm going to do to help?" The hobgoblin says, turning the orc around. He points. "I think I ssaw Father Roycilo on the other sside of the training yard. If you hurry, you might get to him before you die. Maybe he can fixss you up."

The orc frantically starts running forward, stumbling through a line of drilling soldiers, clutching his throat. He gets about fifty feet before he stumbles, crashing to the ground. he tries to pick himself up, but his legs and arms don't seem to be working correctly. He managed to scramble forward on the ground, waiving for help, then collapses, his movement's weak, then still. Only a brief shudder marks his end.

The yard was silent for a moment watching the soldier die. Many of the soldiers glance back toward the wagon, seeing where the dead orc had come from. After staring for a moment, the tension building, it suddenly snaps. Everyone simply goes back to what they had been doing, as if a violent murder had not just taken place. Drilling continues, dice games resume, arguments pick up. Nothing has changed except the number of orcs in the world.

Skarren turns to the group of soldiers, who are still standing rapt as they watched their squadmate die. "Take hiss gear to the sstock room, and hiss body to the messs hall. And get the resst of thiss delivery out of here!"
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:38:02 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #174 on: September 18, 2010, 06:46:14 PM »

Dorin looks slowly around the yard, trying to figure out what the safe move at this point is. With a glance at Wendle, he bends to pick up the dropped box. As he does so, a sharp pain flashes through his side.

Whoreson cracked a rib...

The big Dorn grunts, but grits his teeth and goes to work.
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