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Author Topic: Under a Pale Grey Sky [IC]  (Read 118296 times)
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arnon
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« Reply #300 on: May 26, 2007, 08:09:55 AM »

Shelg

Something instinctive sent his hand to grab an arrow at the sound of the caw. It was almost completely drawn as he turned his head to the sound and was frozen in place. Either by fear or fascination... Shelg could not say. His eyes followed the colorful winged-reptile as it flew with twists and turns above the ship.

Is it a Dragon?

His gut said no but his mind wasn't sure. How can one be sure if one has never seen a Dragon? He forced his hand to let the arrow go, dropping it back into the quiver. This is not the danger, he knew, not unless we make it so.

Shelg set his eyes on the scared man in front of them as he spoke up again. At last he understood that last sentence, simple as it was.

"Yes," he said simply and nodded. "If you keep your peace as well," he added quietly.
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« Reply #301 on: May 26, 2007, 08:19:47 AM »

Amara stares, wide-eyed, up at the feathered serpent for a few moments, before - grinning in obvious delight- glancing towards Taleel.

Unless directed otherwise by the captain, she offers the human G'Tul another bow.  "Should trouble occur here, it will not be with the approval of the captain", she says, figuring that's a commitment she's safe in making.  "We are here to trade and seek knowledge, not to fight."
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« Reply #302 on: May 27, 2007, 02:50:19 AM »

Grrrak

Grrrak glared at the scarred man and thought to himself, "I, an Odrendor warrior, a Chosen of Izrador, was bred for war, not peace.  I am a instrument of war, a weapon with which to wreak Death and Destruction."  Grrrak never was one to take threats directed at him lightly.  He certainly did not look kindly to the scarred man's threats even though it was in the guise of a friendly warning.  "Back in the real world I knew, you, human, would have been summarily killed for even merely  attempting to imply what was suggested with such impunity."  Nevertheless, Grrrak kept his scowling inside.  He knew there was little even his massive raw power will achieve if he cleaved the man in two.

Despite the glare of the sun, Grrrak couldn't help but turn his gaze upward towards the sky when he heard the loud caw.  He fought against it as he tried to spy the fantastical flying serpent the scarred man just mentioned.  He knew, most Orcs, and any legate for that matter, would have laughed at him in disdain if he uttered a tale about such a thing; he'd kill them of course, but no matter now.  Grrrak was captivated by the shimmering beast even as he studied it.  The predator in him contemplated how brutal a fight it would be if such a huge winged would give battle,  but thought, "Ahhhh, but imagine the glory that would be bestowed if he could somehow return head of such a creature at the end of a longspear!"

Then Grrrak's musings came to an abrupt end when Shelg and Amara spoke up conceding their collective purpose, although even he had to admit to the practicality of their calling the port town.  He reasoned, "Yes, there's no benefit of being distracted from our objective.  We need to start our search as quickly as possible.  The sooner we finish our business here, the sooner we can begin Theorin's expedition."  Grrrak scowled as the flying serpent whipped around in the clear blue sky.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2007, 02:19:12 PM by Berova » Logged
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« Reply #303 on: May 27, 2007, 06:04:15 PM »

The beautiful sight of the bay almost made Sareth stop worrying. Despite moving closer and closer to Theorin`s great prize, the situation was likely to end in disaster for young Legate if he wasn`t extremally careful, since he was playing quite a dangerous game.... if victorious Theorin is likely to kill him as traitor, and his Mentor`s allies from Cabal may not care enough to spare his life- after all, he was nobody important in the grand scheme of things. And he couldn`t  trust other Enforcers too much, even Amara was no fool, though apparently the most trusting and eager to share much of her knowledge. Shelg was still wary, bloodshirty orc made him uneasy, and Daniel preferred to keep with Shelg and Grrak. At the end any of those could become his undoing.

As agreed with Red Taleel, he wore merchant`s robes instead of Legate ones, and avoided displaying his holy symbol and his Astirax. He studied the surroundings carefully, and couldn`t stop a nasty grin when the scarred man started to speak about peace and outside war not being their concern. You are a fool to think that you can be forever safe in your nice haven. Haven`t you  noticed the Age of Darkness that fell on the world century ago, and the will of Izrador crushing those that defy him? At the end, even your little peace will be broken.

But then his grin disappeared, as he noticed the enormous winged snake. Even such a being won`t stop the forces of One God when the time comes, but for now we cannot risk its wrath.[/  He spoke after others, giving a respectful bow to the G`Tul and trying to appear as relatively honest merchant who wants to avoid any trouble.


"Of course our intentions are peaceful, we are here in business, and we would be foolish to brake peace where your people have such a mighty defender".
« Last Edit: May 27, 2007, 07:26:40 PM by Lord Melkor » Logged
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« Reply #304 on: May 28, 2007, 07:00:05 AM »

Arc of Halial, 20th Day
Early Afteroon
Clear Skies
Northern Coast of Asmadar
Port of G'Tul


The crew mutters, or calls out, comments like the Enforcers. Red Taleel calls out last, "I've got no interest in violence today, unless it's brought to me."

The man grins, several of his teeth glint in the sunlight like crystal, "G'Tul accepts your words of peace, and will keep the peace."

The creature caws once as utters 'peace' and dives for the water, its wingtips just brush the water as it passes the Clear Sky and loops in the air climbing and in a few moments passes over the waterfall and disappears.

"Welcome to G'Tul,' he looks at Amara, 'before you made a trading request but it was during the ritual words. Please, make your request again."
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« Reply #305 on: May 29, 2007, 01:15:10 PM »

Amara blinks in mild surprise, then flashes the scarred human face of G'Tul a grin, flourishing another bow.

"Of course.  It would be my pleasure.  We seek information and service, from an individual who is not merely a pilot skilled in the navigation of the local waters, but in the lore of wind and sky in this part of creation.  The good captain and her crew would also welcome the chance to view what this fine port has to offer for trade, in case there are mutually beneficial bargains that might be struck."
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« Reply #306 on: June 01, 2007, 07:53:34 PM »

Amara blinks in mild surprise, then flashes the scarred human face of G'Tul a grin, flourishing another bow.

"Of course.  It would be my pleasure.  We seek information and service, from an individual who is not merely a pilot skilled in the navigation of the local waters, but in the lore of wind and sky in this part of creation.  The good captain and her crew would also welcome the chance to view what this fine port has to offer for trade, in case there are mutually beneficial bargains that might be struck."

He nods, "I know just the person, he is covered by G'Tul's peace as well, so you may treat freely with ... I suppose ... at least ..." He pauses and shugs, "I do not want to seem rude but I do not know whether Walker-of-the-Dunes is female or male and 'it' just seems wrong."

"I shall arrange for a local guide to take you to ... hmm ... 'her' oasis. Convincing her to provide what you need is up to you. The guide will take several hours to arrange so, please, enjoy our city. I'm sure that you are as curious as our people are about you."
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« Reply #307 on: June 08, 2007, 05:35:29 AM »

Shelg

Shelg's eyes follow the feathered serpent till it disappears over the waterfall. Damn, was all his mind could work out.

He looked over as Amara and the native spoke on in the Traders lingo. It bothered him immensely that he did not understand the language fluently, "Well can he help us or not?"
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« Reply #308 on: June 08, 2007, 11:14:58 AM »

Grrrak

The sight of the flying serpent only served to remind him of the relative inadequacy of his far ranging weapons, something he needed to rectify in short order.  But he did not hold out much for the prospect they would find anything suitable here, in a land of "peace".  Nevertheless, Grrrak was looking forward to finally stepping back on solid ground.

"It is agreed then, we are to meet back here, dockside, with your guide in three hours."

In answer to Shelg question, Grrrak spoke up, "G'Tul apparently knows just such a person Amarra spoke we are in need of, someone called Walker-of-the-Dunes.  G'Tul claims it will take a number of hours to arrange for a guide to lead us there and suggests we to enjoy the city in the meantime." though thinking in passing, "I doubt very much G'Tul would approve, in any way, how I'd enjoy your city.  Even so, I am curious what strange sights we will see." 

"With several free hours, perhaps we can determine if there might be a master of the forbidden arts who might be able to greatly aid our search."
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« Reply #309 on: June 11, 2007, 04:51:08 AM »

"I admit that I would hazard a guess that this Walker individual has some degree of unusual talent, though I might well be wrong in that.  I cannot claim to understand the lore of these Southern waters as yet..."

Amara shrugs.  "I can make enquiries about finding other people who might be of use to us, if anyone would like me to.  Under cover of the activities of the captain's crew, I doubt that we should attract too much attention here, unless word has somehow been passed ahead to look for us here as well."
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« Reply #310 on: June 15, 2007, 04:05:12 PM »

Grrrak

"Words have been known to travel faster than fire on the plains, and some say, even as fast as the wind." Grrrak gazed down on Amara, looking up and down at her, "...not attract too much attention, you say?  Ask a sailor if that is remotely possible... nevertheless... if we are to complete our objective,  need to be done no matter the sacrifice... but do not forget, you're under G'Tul's peace now, so make your inquiries, take someone with you."

Intrigued by the exotic smells, sights and sounds G'Tul had to offer, Grrrak wondered if it was wise for him to venture off the Clear Sky.  He was under no delusions, controlling his rage can be challenging at times, but he was willing overcome his initial to trepidations to explore such a fantastic opportunity.

"In few hours we return to meet the guide who will lead us to Walker-of-the-Dunes, agreed?  Meanwhile, is there anyone who'd like to accompany me in G'Tul?"  Grrrak leaves momentarily to pick up his equipment in the cargo hold. 

Upon returning, Grrrak quips, "Let's go." and heads down the gang plank.
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« Reply #311 on: June 16, 2007, 02:17:00 AM »

Shelg

Shelg was looking at the strange city when Grrrak spoke up. He was saying something along the line of what was going on in Shelgs mind. "I'd be glad to get of this ship and step on solid gorund for a while," he says and as he looks at Red he continues "No offense to the ship and crew Red." This is an opportunity that few on the continent have, he thought.

"Will you be joining us Daniel?" he ask the woman as he prepares himself to go into the town. Strange how he came to "trust" in these past Arcs, he was more confortable with her and would probably relay on he intuition more than any of the other new enforcers. "This could be interesting."

Beffore stepping down the plank he says "Peace or no, we should be careful and observant as allways."
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« Reply #312 on: June 16, 2007, 06:06:39 AM »

Amara cracks a wry half-smile as Grrak looks her up and down.

"Perhaps you will draw a lot of attention.  I admit to being used to the shores of the Pelluria - but even here, your presence does not seem to have startled G'Tul, at least...."

She glances around those on deck.  "Would anyone care to tag along with me while I make enquiries?"
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« Reply #313 on: June 22, 2007, 06:12:54 PM »

Sareth looks at his companions with slightly amused expression.

"I have to agree with Grrak- additional caution is never a bad thing, and we don`t know how far the reach of our enemies extends, or where they have their spies..."
  Oh, and I hope you will never know, you are definately too smart for raging orcish warrior. But caught between the plots of the Order, you are more likely to die in ignorance.

"Anyway, I would prefer to go with Amara and help her with those enquires. I am confident that no one will recognize me as Legate in this merchant`s disguise
."  Sareth clutches his holy symbol of Izrador, hidden well beneath his clothes.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 06:16:39 PM by Lord Melkor » Logged
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« Reply #314 on: June 22, 2007, 07:23:29 PM »

Rather as Grrak did towards her, Amara runs her gaze down then up Sareth.

"Make sure to rein in your assumptions of authority", she says, tone thoughtful.  "Most legates I've met are used to commoners clearing a path for them, speaking only when requested to do so and then with a great deal of respect, and avoiding eye contact.  Here, if you act is if people shouldn't behave like that, we'll probably find ourselves in a fight.

Still... having you pretend to be over-humble's unlikely to work.  Perhaps a masquerade as a merchant wealthy enough to employ a translator and bodyguard might serve.  Here, I would hazard a guess that those without the power of G'Tul's authority will be ranked by wealth above other things.  And little bespeaks wealth like having proficient retainers."
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« Reply #315 on: June 27, 2007, 09:47:45 PM »

Arc of Halial, 20th Day
Early Afteroon
Clear Skies
The streets of G'Tul


The main street of the city leads from the port and straight to the waterfall. Two raised sections of cut and shaped stones that bracket the river flowing from the looming waterfall to the port. At intervals with no real pattern bridges wide enough for a wagon cross the river. Some appear to be made with the same stones that the streets are cut with. Other are made of wood and reeds, some look solid enough for people to cross, others look like they are ready to collapse into the river.

The river looks like it's never seen a trace of the pollution of Erenland's cities. The Enforcers can see clearly from the surface down to the moss covered stones at the bottom.

A gull screaming and dives towards one of the stone bridges. It landed on a raised block next to a grinning child with skin so dark that he looked to be burned. Darting it's head it plucks something from the child's hand, and climbs into the air with it's prize. The child jumped down into a crowd of other children like him, pulling their colorful clothing around them they fled across the bridge and disappeared into the crowds of milling citizens.

The Enforcers get open stares, as people nudge others and point. As they moved through the crowds people move away clearing a path for them. Not very far, just enough to allow Grrrak to pass.

The buildings here seem to be multiple level dwellings, colorful plants grow in window boxes under just as colorful shuttered windows.

Just ahead is an open area clear of permanent buildings, instead it's full of crowds and wooden stalls. Shouts and calls in the same foreign tongue as vendors hawk their wares. This may be a foreign land but everyone can recognize a marketplace when they see one.
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« Reply #316 on: June 27, 2007, 10:58:50 PM »

Grrrak

Grrrak remained skeptical, but no less curious of this strange land and people. The city, so pristine, seemingly so ripe for conquest, appeared to be, in his estimation, defenseless.  Strangely, the people were as curious of them as they were of the natives.  Moreover, strangely enough, they showed no fear of the Enforcers.

Grrrak marveled at the sights, but most of all, he was intrigued at the smells and sounds of the marketplace.  He was curious as to what strange goods and artifacts they had, "Should we see what delights and intrigue the market has to offer?"
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 03:06:48 AM by Berova » Logged
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« Reply #317 on: July 03, 2007, 08:09:10 PM »

Amara strides into the port with no small degree of confidence and good humour.  The atmosphere of the place is sufficiently familiar to set her at ease, and exotic enough to pique her interest and curiosity.

She tries to try to keep an eye on her apparently-mercantile companion, taking a half-random wander through the sights, sounds and smells of the market and places of trade... which probably won't distract her too badly.

En route, she keeps an eye out for the sort of individuals with whom she is used to dealing - people "in the know", about worthwhile information and interesting trades; those watching rather than participating in transactions; those who hold earnest discussions in secluded corners and quietly conduct trades in swift displays of sleight of hand.

She'll present herself as an individual interested in the less conventional opportunities, services, trades, and bits of information that the port has to offer - all as a streetwise facilitator making enquiries at least partly on behalf of her "patron", Sareth.
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« Reply #318 on: July 04, 2007, 03:36:42 PM »

Shelg

Shelg's eyes follow the grinning child as he and his friends run into the crowd... a strange sight. In his travels and crossing of southern Eredane, Shelg did not come upon many children running around and playing.

On the whole, Shelg pays the natives as much attention as they do him, and though his eyes dart from face to hands to body posture (and what it might hide) and back to face and then on to the next person, his mind tries to store all these new sights and smells and sounds. It is strange to see a people not yet touched by the war, there was something... comforting? a voice not his own whispered in his mind's ear. Shelg shook his head.

The marketplace was immediately recognizable, and yet, it had something that was missing from the few markets he has been too. Granted he did not spend much of his time in marketplaces, whenever he was on the move he had to remain as invisible as he can due to his fey heritage. Grrrak's voice broke through his mussing.

Shelg gave the giant orc half a smile and nodded.
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« Reply #319 on: July 06, 2007, 08:25:27 AM »

She'll present herself as an individual interested in the less conventional opportunities, services, trades, and bits of information that the port has to offer - all as a streetwise facilitator making enquiries at least partly on behalf of her "patron", Sareth.

Arc of Halial, 20th Day
Early Afteroon
Clear Skies
The streets of G'Tul


It was a short wait before the young boy came running back with his master in tow. Amara had seen his kind before, a merchant. He had the hard desert look, his eyes constantly narrowed against the sun and the skin, his tanned skin looked like cured leather. As he approached she notes the curved Ceduku hilt peeking around his back between the layers of thin multicolored cloth.

"Greetings, G'Tul's peace on you and yours. You may call me by my G'Tul name, River Rider."

He taps the boy on the shoulder, he turns and flees into the crowded street.

"My boy tells me that you are procuring for a trip, for your master one named Sareth. Asmadar is a strange and wonderful place to those from the larger land to the west. I offer my humble services as a middleman, I know the local people and their ways. I know whose urns have not cured long enough. I know who recycles superior steel into weapons. Most importantly I know the routes, how to avoid the creatures of the dunes. What services can River Rider provide?"[/color]

Shelg glances over his shoulder and sees Amara talking to the tall man, looking back the merchant he discribes what he is looking for. It takes several tries and a sketching in a container of colored desert sand but understanding is achieved. She points towards another stall, built against what appears to be a open air tavern. As Shelg walks in that direction he hears the woman skreetching, turning with one hand on his weapons he notices that she's gesturing to the merchant that he's approaching. Several feet away in the tavern area Shelg notices several dark skinned hard looking men watching him. Obviously guards for the merchant that he's approaching.

"Greetings Mainlander, I am Ranjip. That shrill harpy that you came from indicated that you are looking for unique blades. She has sent you to the finest merchant in G'Tul for such things, a fact that she will try to squeeze a finder's fee from my humble self for. Such is the nature of life. But you seek blades, not wisdom."

As Shelg discribes again what he is looking for the man nods along. "I see Mainlander that you are an unusual man, another man I might try to cheat however you have the look of a hard man who is bedmates with death. Ranjip has lived long years by not cheating such men, that path leads to profit and waking up to look into the face of your ancestors."

He reaches under the counter and produces a pale wooden box, scarred, chipped, and deeper than it is long. Undoing the catch he turns the box and opens it in Shelg's direction. The inside of the box is lined with white sand and jutting from the sand are two hilts wrapped in brown leather. The steel has a strange redish tinge to it, short sharp swirls of crimson that end shortly after they start.

Reaching into the box he pulls one free of the sand, and with a quick flurish cleans the sand from the blade and presents it to Shelf hilt first. There is no crosspiece, merely a tight knot of leather on one side and then it's all blade. One side of the blade is finely edged, the other side is wicked and curved into serations that remind Shelf of the waves on the storming ocean. The steel of the blades is filled with the same crimon swirls.

"I have the honor of presenting a wonder of the desert, my uncle claimed these blades from an abomination deep in the endless desert. He was searching for tombs of the ancients to plunder and was attacked by a creature that he claimed was more demon than man. My uncle's men were all experienced desert men, and my uncle alone staggered back to civilization. These knives were among the treasures he claimed from that accursed place. He named them 'Vulture's Delight'.
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« Reply #320 on: July 06, 2007, 09:18:24 AM »

Shelg

Reaching for the leather clad hilt, Shelg takes the crimson knife in his hand. He has never seen a blade with these colors. Vulture's Delight. He tells a nice story this merchant, thought Shelg as he tested the weight and feel of the knife in his hand and tests the edge of the blade ever so lightly with his finger,it does have a good feel though.

Looking back up at the merchant he motions the the knife still embedded in the sand, "I may?" and with a nod from the merchant, Shelg grabs the hilt of the second knife and pulls it out. Cleaning the sand from the second blade Shelg inspect again the blades closely, tightening and loosening his grip on them, then changing his handle on one blade, then the other, then back to normal. Is there something familiar about them, or is it just my imagination?

"What is the price?" he asks as he thrusts them both back into the sand of the wooden box.
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« Reply #321 on: July 06, 2007, 12:13:39 PM »

Shelg

Reaching for the leather clad hilt, Shelg takes the crimson knife in his hand. He has never seen a blade with these colors. Vulture's Delight. He tells a nice story this merchant, thought Shelg as he tested the weight and feel of the knife in his hand and tests the edge of the blade ever so lightly with his finger,it does have a good feel though.

Looking back up at the merchant he motions the the knife still embedded in the sand, "I may?" and with a nod from the merchant, Shelg grabs the hilt of the second knife and pulls it out. Cleaning the sand from the second blade Shelg inspect again the blades closely, tightening and loosening his grip on them, then changing his handle on one blade, then the other, then back to normal. Is there something familiar about them, or is it just my imagination?

"What is the price?" he asks as he thrusts them both back into the sand of the wooden box.

The weapons both have an excellent weight and balance, the style of design is close to elven fighting knives but is still different.

"The price, that is an unusal situation especially for a merchant such as myself. You see my uncle left these knives to me as a rememberence, may his spirit rest easy in the afterlife and never return, and he left special conditions for their sale. I would not want his spirit returning wishing me ill. So you must indulge a poor merchant."

"Take both of the blades in your hands and make a thin cut, just enough to bleed, on the back of your hands. Let several drops of blood fall into the sand of the box."
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« Reply #322 on: July 06, 2007, 01:41:40 PM »

Shelg

Shelg looked the man in the eyes the whole time he spoke. He thought at first he might have heard him wrong, but no. He heard him right, he wants my blood. Is this some kind of sorcery? Some kind of a spell?... Some kind of a trap?

Shelg had no answers, but was intrigued even more by this strange price. He looked again at the knives, embedded to the hilt in the sand of the box. It couldn't have been more than a couple of heartbeats, but Shelg could swear that he was looking at them longer. His heart was in his ears, he felt his blood acutely flowing down his arm, and through the veins in the back of his hands. He almost turned around. What do I need a few more drops of blood? he thought, I gave my hair to the storm... what's in giving my blood to the sand? And if some demon will track me down for this? "Let it track you then, face it as it comes. Take a hold of you destiny Shelg," some voice was saying in he recess of his mind, "It is never too late..."

"My blood," he said looking at the merchant, not asking, stating. He reached for the knives, hands steady with no hesitation, and pulled them out of the sand once more. With an expert hand he cut himself, one cut precisely as the other: same place, same length, same depth. Then with the back of his hands above the old wooden box he squeezed the knives so as to encourage the blood to flow, "Take my blood," he whispered, "it is mine to give. I do not fear you."
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« Reply #323 on: July 06, 2007, 05:00:28 PM »

Grrrak

As Shelg dealt with a G'Tul merchant hawking his wares, Grrrak peered over the two from time to time, as he scanned the goings around them.  He was looking for a vendor of salves and herbs.  When the merchant, a snake just like all the rest of them in Grrrak's estimation, displayed the contents of a beaten old box, Grrrak eyes focused sharply on the unique blades. The Odrendor could barely believe his eyes, he had not seen such delicate instruments of death since his early years, before he made his way into central Erenland. He remembered them well, how he could he forget ever?

Though Grrrak proudly bore their scars now, there was a time when he wasn't sure he'd even have a chance to bear such badges of courage and prowess.  The vermin Erunsil, with whom he bore a special hatred for, were pale as ghosts.  They seemingly fought like them as well, disappearing from view as quickly as they attacked.

On one occasion, an Erunsil ambush trapped their Orc Fist within a culvert.  They were knee deep in snow.  The next thing they knew, a quarter of their number had fallen victim to the vermin's vicious assault.  Arrows were protruding from their chests, arms, legs, and even eye.  All knew they were in deep trouble. 

Those who still stood or could still stand, gave a blood curdling battle cry in unison as they charged up one edge of the culvert towards some of their Erunsil tormentors.  They paid a price though, as the vermin on the opposite side continued to rain death, cutting many more of them down.  They gladly paid it though, as a vicious melee ensued.

Alas, the Orcs set upon their Erunsil ambushers like a pack of starving wolves.  Unfortunately, the vermin were ready for them.  Only, in place of their deadly Icewood bows were, instead, the vicious long knives, just as deadly.  The pale foes slashed again and again.  In a mere blink of an eye, Tok was eviscerated and died even before his body fell on top of the now crimson snow.  Just a heartbeat later, they exacted their own price however, as they cleaved through the vermin like they were hacking through sword grass...

Shelg's strange bartering with Ranjip snapped Grrrak out of his revelry, "What kind of demonic treachery was this?  Was he, like their patron, a higher form of Fell that... feasted on blood?" Grrrak thought as he stared down at the G'Tul trader.  To his surprise, Shelg decided to carry out his side of the bargain.  Grrrak had mixed thoughts of amazement, admiration, and dread.  His gaze then focused on River Rider with a scowl, as he concluded, "What ever be the price mongrel... should a demon come to make his claim upon you, this River Rider will pay, and the demon will have to deal with Deathbringer and get through me."

When Shelg and the G'Tul completed their transaction, Grrrak took the opportunity to ask, "What other wares do you deal with trader?"
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 08:01:40 PM by Berova » Logged
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« Reply #324 on: July 07, 2007, 12:41:34 AM »

Shelg

"My blood," he said looking at the merchant, not asking, stating. He reached for the knives, hands steady with no hesitation, and pulled them out of the sand once more. With an expert hand he cut himself, one cut precisely as the other: same place, same length, same depth. Then with the back of his hands above the old wooden box he squeezed the knives so as to encourage the blood to flow, "Take my blood," he whispered, "it is mine to give. I do not fear you."

Drops of blood fell onto the white sand quickly spreading and then being absorbed into the moisture hungry sand. A loud cry startled Grrrak and Shelg.

Neither one of them saw the vulture that landed on the edge of the stall, above Shelg's head. The bird spread it's wings and screamed, a wordless animal scream but it carried the tones of a predator. The marketplace went silent as the scream cut through the bartering and haggling. A strange brief moment of silence before several of the merchants exploded in cries, not of outrage but of almost prayer and reverence.

"G'Tul, peace be on you."
"The spirit of the predator, G'Tul."
"He is marked, G'Tul is upon him."


The merchant stared at the bird with wide eyes, he nodded furiously as the bird took to the air and quickly disappeared over a tiled roof.

"This is an auspicious day, the spirits have blessed both you and my humble self. It has been my honor to serve the spirits will in this, I will take what ever humble payment you deem appropriate."

He looks up at Grrrak, "I am a humble desert merchant, I sell supplies to survive the shifting dunes. Deep canteens, special cloth to filter the sharp sand from your face. Alas, I fear that my wares will seem wretched after the events that have blessed your friend."
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