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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 3  (Read 59983 times)
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Luiniel Blades
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"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #425 on: March 12, 2017, 08:51:05 AM »

To Siobhan's more experienced eyes, it was clear the girl was unstable. The fire in her eyes was barely contained and there was no telling what might happen if she was pushed too far.
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« Reply #426 on: March 13, 2017, 01:07:04 AM »

"Careful, she's on the verge of snapping. Anything could set her off. Siobhan says calmly in Erenlander while subtly moving into a position to interpose herself between Amethyst and Fedwyn. A ripple of heat shimmers around her right hand, ready to call the Ashblade forth in a flash if needed.
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« Reply #427 on: March 13, 2017, 01:25:45 AM »

The Dworg girl takes in a sharp breath and seemed perturbed by Siobhan's stance. Her breathing slowed down and she seemed more in control of herself as she stood up a little straighter than she had a moment ago. "See. Your friend doesn't trust me... Why don't you just leave already."
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« Reply #428 on: March 13, 2017, 02:31:39 AM »

The Dragonmaw Fortress:

Dunkin, having avoided the talk with the Dworg girl he'd met earlier, he made his way once again back to the Dwarven council chambers.

Row, the guard he'd met from before was still there on duty. He looked more alert than last time and noticed Dunkin almost immediately. "Well, aren't you becoming a familiar sight. I think I can guess what you're here for. Several of the council members have come back as well as the commander." he stroked his chin thoughtfully for a moment.

"Did you learn anything useful about navigating those tunnels from Calia?"
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« Reply #429 on: March 13, 2017, 06:29:37 PM »

"I bother because I don't believe there's malice in you," Amethyst responded - honestly, if perhaps a little carefully so, given her view of the external influence upon the girl.

She smiled gently, spreading her hands.  "I'm Amethyst.  And this is Siobhan.  She's rather protective of me.  But that's different to being hostile towards you.  We've nothing against you... and the offer of something to eat was quite genuine.  I'd be happy to share a meal and have a talk with you, if you were willing.  We've come a long way, and all of this is new to us.  If we can learn, then we would like to.  I'd be happy to trade stories of the outside world, if that would interest you.  Or we might be able to offer something else, perhaps, depending on what you're interested in."

As she spoke Amethyst used the end of her staff to draw patterns in the dust of pulverised rock - working to form the symbol of Hope, here in the depths of the holdfast where it might both be far from the Shadow's minions and where it might perhaps yield some immediate assistance to the spiritually-embattled young dworg.  Magic of a sort, to be sure... but hopefully both more subtle and more potent than any spell she could assemble on the fly to combat Fedwyn's malaise.
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« Reply #430 on: March 14, 2017, 06:24:52 AM »

The girl blinked, gritting her teeth. She looked away and started pacing and shaking her head.

"Why? Why are you being so kind to me?" As Amethyst completed the symbol, the familiar sensation of tranquil confidence filled her and everyone else around her. Fedwyn glanced at the symbol scratched into the ground, her gaze seemed drawn to it. For a few moments she was still. Suddenly it was as though most of her strength was drained and the girl slumped to the ground dropping both of her weapons.

"Even my own mother was never so open to me. I was... I was ready to hate the world. I want to, but I can't bring myself to hate you. Why? Who are you? Why are you so... so good?" her voice had dropped to just above a whisper and she fixed Amethyst with a look that seemed honestly confused.
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« Reply #431 on: March 14, 2017, 06:42:13 AM »

Siobhan simply smiled. No matter how many times she saw it, or felt the power of the symbol it was still amazing. Amethyst had a way with people that was simply unlike anything else in the world.
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« Reply #432 on: March 14, 2017, 08:01:52 AM »

"Hate is one of the Shadow's favourite weapons," Amethyst answered, offering a rueful little smile... while looking rather intrigued as well as touched.  Hope deflating someone was new to her... though it did at least suggest that poor Fedwyn's near-frenzy had genuinely been of malign origin.

"And, well."  She shrugged, expression bashfully sheepish, before she cracked another smile.  "I tend to find that most people have good in them, if they're reminded of it.  The Shadow doesn't want anyone to remember anything good... but we can carry it around with us wherever we go.  I've walked through lands ruled by the Shadow, and found good almost everywhere I went - often scared and trying not to be noticed, but there for all that.  Even where the Shadow is desperate to seem to have crushed everything and everyone, there are still people who do what they can against it.  It's just so easy for people to forget.  To be tricked by the Shadow into doing its work: without its trickery, without people giving in, it would be so much weaker.  It's not just a bully - it's a two-faced liar, too.

You see, it loves to persuade people that hate is the way to beat it - when hatred so often just serves to help it.  The more it can fill people's hearts with spite and bile, the easier its task is.  The more people fall into the darker side of themselves, the stronger it gets.  What it's desperate to hide from people is that we have the power to decide whether or not we let its lies guide us.  We can stand in the middle of people who have let it sway them... and still rule our own hearts, and try to offer a little of the light of hope to others.

I'm barely any taller than you.  I'm physically a lot weaker, for sure.  It wants everyone to think that the only way to oppose it is with bitterness and violence - the more violence and the more death the better.  But kindness and hope are the greatest weapon and the strongest armour I have against the vast majority of the Shadow's attacks.  Yes, it has its armies and its servants, and we need brave souls to stand between its killers and everyone and everything that should be protected... but it wins its recruits and weakens its enemies with lies and deceit.  And there are things - like Hope, and Truth - that it is desperate for us to lose sight of.  Because as long as we hold to those, it can't claim us for itself.

So... why am I 'so good'?  Because I have faith that you're as deserving of a stranger's respect as I am, or even my lovely companion here."
  She flashed a smile to Siobhan, aware that her poor friend was unlikely to catch more than one word in twenty of this.  "I know that the Shadow wants you, just like it wants me, and wants Siobhan here - and I also know that it wants to trick you into thinking that you have no other choice but to give yourself to it.  But you're no mere puppet.  Your heart is your own - and that's what scares it.  A free heart: that's the opposite of everything it stands for, and all that it's trying to do.  You can already feel that your heart is free, I think.  Can't you?  That there's hope, even amidst the shadows of the world as it now is?

After all, if even a weakling teller of tales like me can learn to light a torch against the evil from the North, then Hope really can't be dead.  And if it's not dead, if it's alive and vibrant and real and the enemy of the Shadow and all its works, then you can carry it in your heart.  We all can.  Every single heart can be a holdfast against the Shadow."
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« Reply #433 on: March 15, 2017, 05:55:41 AM »

The girl simply stared at Amethyst for a few moments. The words she said seemed to have had a rather profound effect on the girl. As the pair watched, it was like a weight was being lifted off of her shoulders and she stood up straighter. She glanced uncomfortably at Siobhan a moment and then gave a look back to Amethyst. There was no longer any sign of the anger she had displayed upon their first meeting just a few minutes ago.

She began slowly. "If what you just said about the Shadow is true then I want to help you. You say you've traveled the world. I've never even set foot outside of the Holdfast. You say that your stories you tell helped people. I've never had any friends and ever since my mother died... I've been all alone it feels like. I'd heard stories of the Kurgan Dwarves and when I met one I thought maybe things would be different but he was just like so many others. I didn't know what to make of the rest of you. I thought you'd be more like him, uncaring. Especially to someone like me. But no, here you are. Talking to me like what race I am doesn't matter. Telling me that I can make a difference just by believing." She paused a small smile appearing on her face.

"My name is Fedwyn. Tell me about your world and I'll tell you about mine."
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« Reply #434 on: March 16, 2017, 12:21:43 AM »

Dunkin shrugs at Row's question. "I learned some things, though not what I had hoped.

I met an older dwarf, member of the council, in the tunnels below. He was helping prepare the arena. I was wondering if I could have a word with him about tomorrow's event.
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« Reply #435 on: March 16, 2017, 12:28:27 AM »

Siobhan returned Amethyst's smile with one of her own. Though she couldn’t really understand the exchange between her and the girl, she could see the effect it was having. Once again she marveled as the impact of her friend’s words. For all of her education and training, her newly found affinity for fire, nothing she could do came anywhere near the sheer magnitude of Amethyst’s impact on the world around her. With just words, and a presence unlike anything she’d ever experienced, she turned enemies into allies, lifted spirits in times of despair and simply seemed able to redirect the course of events.

The young firebrand shook her head in amazement as the girl…. it sounded like her name was… Fedwyn based on the eye contact and tone when she spoke it…like someone offering something important to them. …..when Fedwin smiled, all sign of hostility gone, though she was still wary of Siobhan herself. Which meant she was also smart and more than a little perceptive. Anything that even took a step towards Amethyst would have to go through her first.
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« Reply #436 on: March 16, 2017, 12:51:05 AM »

Dragonmaw Fortress

Row nodded at Dunkin's words. "You're in luck. That likely would have been Councilor Hugen, he'd gotten back not even an hour past. Commander Oldor of the Iron legion is back as well. You're free to see them as far as I know, though it did not look like Oldor was in a good mood, so be careful."
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« Reply #437 on: March 27, 2017, 04:06:50 AM »

Fedwyn's home:

The talking with Fedwyn was eye opening for the young Dworg girl to say the least. Amethyst felt they learned the answers to their questions more openly from her than they might have otherwise.

"The Gorund Clan hold to their traditions. But in the last 40 years, at least according to my mother and since we've been cut off from the other clans, have become more practical as well. I'm not entirely sure what that means for outsiders though. But maybe you, especially you, could convince them somehow.

I've seen a few warriors with the power of magic utilize it in a fight. No one ever complained and those few were often honored. Or so she I've heard. There has never been any to ask to fight as a group before... at least on the Clan warriors side. I once saw a pair of Goblins and even a pair of Worgs fight against one of the clan warriors at the same time. But traditionally no one has ever asked to fight together. The way it's looked at; in order to be seen as a true warrior, one must first prove their ability to stand on their own in combat. The strong overcome this task and the weak... well they die."


"I have to warn you though, that while no one has ever entered the arena in a group, it is strictly forbidden to interfere in the outcome of a fight which one is not involved in. The penalty has been expulsion from the clan. Or so the rumors claim."

She turned her gaze momentarily to Siobhan. Something like a look of determination fell over her.

"I'd like to know what your... friend thinks." she says frowning a little. "Do you think you could teach me some of your language? I think I liked the way it sounded."
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« Reply #438 on: March 27, 2017, 05:26:59 AM »

Dragonmaw Fortress - Council Chambers:

Dunkin was led by Row to the council chamber doors. Taking his axe he tapped it on the door three times.

A moment later, the door opened. One of the guards inside nodded quietly to acknowledge Row and  Dunkin.

It was clear that he'd entered into the middle of an important meeting. The council room was full of armed Dwarves. He thought he recognized a few of them and he definitely noted the councilor from before who was sitting near the front of the room. A It was clear to him that Row had no idea what was going on.

At the head of the table was an imposing and thickly muscled Dwarf with sharp eyes that seemed to radiate violence. He had a well kept but grey peppered beard tied in adorned knots and unkempt long hair that was going down his back. He was outfitted in what Dunkin could only assume was ancient and well used Mithral full plate. He had two broad looking swords on either side of his hips along with a number of throwing axes on a bandoleer. On the table rested a golden buckler on top of which was his a helm also made out of Mithral. This was very likely Commander Oldor of the Iron Legion.

"- Shadow forces are planning something new. I don't know what it is but they've increased their patrol rotations and they've they're sending out larger patrols around our tunnels."

"So what, more reinforcements have arrived for them?" the councilor Dunkin recognized as Hugen, asked

"Unfortunately, yes. I believe they mean to box us in... and we can't let that happen."

"Our walls are strong enough to hold against any number of them." Another councilor spoke out. "We don't need to keep sending out patrols, we lose more of our numbers that way than anything else. You've seen how they fare. They die and we live. It's as simple as that." There was some muttering around the room at that.

"We have our reasons for keeping the southern tunnels open." Hugen said.

"Did you know they've had workers in the tunnels for weeks, probably arcs now, digging? They're making the tunnels wider and taller. Why? How would you know any of that without sending scouts?" Commander Oldor asked incredulously.

"Oh and what does that tell us, the tunnels are larger now? More maneuverability for orcs. More supplies, maybe. Even if they bring more Ogres, we're ready for them."

Another Dwarf, this one was young and obviously overweight dressed in a weathered red robe stepped up. After a moment he spoke and Dunkin realized that he was an not all that young Dwarf just... pampered. Maybe just over 80 years. He didn't look like he'd seen a hard days work in his life.

"Please, please. Councilor Dramus. Commander Oldor. We have more information to announce. Perhaps it will give some more insight into what you are speaking of." He then pulled out from a leather bag two thin metal plates. "According to Mistress Dola and our circles divination's, we've two messages to give. The first: 'From the blackened ash of the west, fire shall come to burn the stone of the east.' and the second: 'The moving stones of an age past shall awaken from their long slumber, from the bound and broken souls, they will complete the bidding of the Grey one.'" He stopped after that and looked at the council.

The room became a flurry of confused and worried murmurs. Row looked over at Dunkin. "No idea what any of that meant."
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« Reply #439 on: March 28, 2017, 12:41:19 AM »

Dunk's face sets to a hard grimace. At a break in the talking, he speaks out of turn and loud enough to be heard across the room.

"I know what that means. The Shadow sent them in the crush Durgis Rock. Walking stones, taller than an ogre. Heavy footfalls and the sound of grinding stone. Earth, brought to life. They never tire and never stop, without flesh or blood or weakness.

Sealing the tunnels might buy some time, but it won't stop them. Maybe enough time to find a way, though.
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« Reply #440 on: March 28, 2017, 03:49:11 AM »

Dragonmaw Fortress - Council Chambers:


As Dunkin spoke, the gravity of his words made the room quiet down for him. Many of the Dwarves turning to face the outsider had varying mixed reactions to what he had said but most were of grave worry.

Commander Oldor looked at him with an appraising glance. While Councilor Hugen looked on with surprise.

The loudest speaker, Councilor Dramus called out. "You say you've seen these walking stones, and these are what destroyed the Rock." he eyed Dunkin hard as if trying to find some fault with what he'd said.

Councilor Hugin looked over at Dramus. "It's clear what he's saying is the truth. We should be grateful that a warrior from another clan has survived to tell us this."

The pampered looking Dwarf in the red robes held out a hand. "Now when you say walking stone, do you mean this?" as he spoke he began to fall into an elongated trance like chanting. Power rose through him and into the ground, a few moments later stood a small figure the size of Kjellan or Wendle would be, made of natural stone and earth.

A different voice spoke out, his voice booming over the room. A regal looking aged Dwarf with lightly graying black hair, wearing a breastplate of mixed metallurgy emblazoned with a golden sun and mixed with a silver moon, and carrying an axe that Dunkin recognized as a Thanes Axe stood up. "Our guardians and the one you've conjured up here do not require the widening of tunnels to move about. If our kinsman says he saw these abominations destroy Durgis Rock, then I say we believe him and heed his warning." The Thane gave Dunkin a knowing nod of thanks. "So what then are our options for collapsing the tunnel?"

As Thane Gorund finished speaking, Commander Oldor looked over the group arrayed in front of him. "It won't be easy. We don't know if the enemies tunnel has any weak points we can use or not. Next, they control it. Last estimates counted somewhere around four thousand or so Orcs and an unknown number of Goblin sappers, Worgs, slaves, and Ogres. There were also last count four lesser Legates and one Commander Legate as well as his personal group of his. They have more now though we don't know how many. At least another thousand, I'd suspect."

The Thane tapped his finger on the table. "We'll have to commit a lot more to this. How many do you think you'll need, commander?"

"To be sure, the entirety of the Iron legion and two hundred others. Also one hundred of our best miners."

"You'll have it... Haznan," the Thane said addressing the red robed Dwarf. "The divining you've gathered. How long do we have? How many Channelers do we have in total and of that how many are strong enough to conjure? Also what is the status of the Guardians?"

The Dwarf blinked and started counting under his breath. "We've a total of forty seven Channelers. Of those I believe eight of them are both strong enough and are of the correct learning. Not counting Mistress Dola. From what we know, her predictions are rarely incorrect but at most, I'd say we have a week. Of the Guardians, the Elder is still active as well as one of the younger guardians. The other is still recuperating within its chrysalis shell and will not awaken for some time."

Dramus looked as though he was going to have an outburst, he'd been getting fidgety the longer the more resources were being pulled away. "Thane Gorund... as your councilor I must urge you to exercise restraint here. We cannot commit so many of our resources in one move. If he should fail then we will be sorely lacking in our defenses here." the doubt in the councilors voice drew much in the way of disgruntled looks from other councilors and especially that from the commander and his men. But the Thane considered the words of his councilor carefully before answering.

"You are right Dramus, committing everything would be foolish. But this is something we cannot simply ignore either with the time frame we have. Commander, you will take the Iron legion as well as two hundred and fifty additional warriors and the one hundred miners you need. Haznan, you will gather choose six of the conjurers and ready the Guardians. Call the circle again, we need to know exactly where the weakest spots are to collapse the tunnel."

Dramus nearly started to argue but pulled himself back as he realized that his Thane was giving orders. Instead he asked "With the committing of so many troops, to this mission we'll barely have enough warriors to adequately defend our walls. What if the enemy attacks in strength?"

Councilor Hugen crossed his arms. "Weren't you the one who said we'd be ready to handle anything with our walls?"

"Simple." the Thane said, cutting into the brewing argument. "We make the blooding happen tomorrow. Our newest warriors will join those for the defense of our walls."
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« Reply #441 on: April 06, 2017, 09:45:32 AM »

Dunk attempted to answer the volley of questions, nodding to Dramus, shaking his head at Haznan's display.  But when the Thane spoke he was relieved that it was for action, and that his help might stop another hold from falling.

As the plans were setting, Dunk tried to catch the notice of Older.  He had to make sure he and his companions were on the other side of the tunnels when they collapsed.
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« Reply #442 on: April 06, 2017, 05:13:21 PM »

Dragonmaw Fortress - Council Chambers

The full chamber flooded with murmurs of agreement and stoic nods among those gathered.

Councilor  Dramus was clearly unhappy about the way things turned out, his arms were crossed and he was shaking his head.

"My Thane," Councilor Hugen said loudly above the throng. "About the blooding tomorrow. Are we even going to allow for our usual bouts? What are we to do with any of our captive survivors should our warriors fail to pass?"

Thane Gorund gave it only a moments thought. "... No, we cannot risk having any of our trained warriors die before this happens... Any survivors will be put down either by the axe or by crossbow bolts. We'll not allow any enemies to be within our hold before the real fighting starts. When they're dead, give em to the butchers. We'll use their blood to slick our approaches should the Orcs make a push for our walls. Any of our young warriors that perish will be brought on the mission instead of the wall." There was no argument from anyone at their Thane's proclamation.

Commander Oldor began giving his immediate orders."Alright, you heard our Thane. Spread the word quickly and get our supplementary troops ready. If you've any rents in your armor, notches in your blades, or dents in your shields, drop em off at a smithy to get repaired and get yourself to an armory and replace what you need. I won't allow for mistakes with your gear. I also want everyone here to bring a pick with them. If you aren't fighting or off preparing for an attack, you're going to be be working on collapsing that tunnel. Golan, I want you to get our miners organized, they'll put an extra stone in their step if its you doing it." As the crowd moved Dunkin now saw the familiar face of the young Dwarf they'd saved. He nodded at his orders but clearly wanted to speak with Dunkin first.

As the room began to clear out, Commander Oldor finally caught the younger Dwarf's gaze. He came over to meet the scout directly.

Clapping Dunkin on the shoulder the grizzled commander spoke confidently. "You've done us another great service here. I don't know what might have happened without your warning but we'll see the shadow are the one's caught by surprise."

Thane Gorund looked up from his council table; a contemplative look on his face. "True, we now understand the second divination from our circle. But we still can't be sure what the first divination from Dola meant about the fire of the west coming to burn the stones of the east." It was clear to Dunkin that the Thane had something in mind but he was not sharing it.

He shook his head. "But that's not your problem. Is there something you need? You've earned a boon from us. Name it and you shall have it."
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« Reply #443 on: April 07, 2017, 11:32:06 AM »

"My companions and I have my Thane's dying quest to carry out.  All I ask is that we be on the other side of the rock fall when the ceiling comes down, and for any information you can give us on less dangerous paths leading west.  I must lead the others home, and as much as I'd like to stay and fight side by side with you, I am duty-bound to go. 

But if we can do anything on our way to make trouble for the Shadow, we will help."
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« Reply #444 on: April 07, 2017, 01:44:00 PM »

Thane Gorund looked at Dunkin with a new found respect. "I offer you a boon and you offer me more help than I've any right to ask for... ha! I'd forgotten what it's like to have true allies.

I will not ask you to help fight our battles for us. But I know I'm not in a position to deny help if you should prove too stubborn for common sense. Speak it over with your companions before you make any rash decisions for them, you've a duty to your Thane, both the one who tasked you with a dying request and your new one. A Dwarrow, right, or so I heard?"
he was actually smiling at this point. Dunkin could tell it was a hard contrast from the normally furrowed brow and frown lines he'd acquired during his age.

"Whatever you decide, whether its to be on the other side of that rockfall well before any trouble starts or try and cause more trouble for the Shadow, I'll have some of our best scouts join you after the Shadow hour has passed. I've battles to prepare for."

Golan waited till the conversation seemed over before coming over to Dunkin. "Dunkin, before I forget, Mistress Dola sent a message for me. She said that she wanted to meet you all before you left." he shook his head. "I didn't understand why it seemed somewhat pressing at the time, but now I see what she meant. Things are changing a lot faster than I imagined they would. I've got my orders now but I'm sure I'll see you again soon."
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« Reply #445 on: April 07, 2017, 03:02:55 PM »

Dunk nods and smiles slightly at the Thane's words, and watches him go.  As Golan approaches, he smiles broadly.

"Yes, we will meet again soon. Thank you for the message, I will get the others.  Be well Golan, and be careful, those stone things are dangerous. I've not seen their like before.
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« Reply #446 on: April 13, 2017, 04:42:30 AM »

Pardrum Holdfast: Fedwyn's Home

The council meeting concluded, the Dwarves quickly scattered across the hold. Their steps moving in a hurried pace.

Dunkin set out to find his companions. It wasn't hard. Even now the newcomers still attracted some level of attention wherever they went. Disdain was plain on the faces of some of the Dwarves he saw.

"Some of your group was seeing heading that way." one of the Dwarves said pointing  to the south east.  "It's primarily a storage section for things we don't use anymore." He seemed a little pained by mentioning it. "Heard they'd be likely heading over to ask the Dworg girl some questions. Heh, good luck getting anything out of that one... Oh I also think I saw a Gnome and another human walking around, seems they headed that way too. They were asking the shop keeps a lot of questions."

Following the words of the resident, Dunkin made his way to the quieter section of the hold. Just a short while later and after almost getting turned around, he rounded a corner and spotted lights, near them was small squat and largely unremarkable stone house. Outside however, were Amethyst, Siobhan, and Ivy. Along with the Dworg girl Fedwyn he had met once already. He noted that Kjellan and Eirik were also making their way over to them now.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 04:53:23 AM by Luiniel Blades » Logged
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« Reply #447 on: April 18, 2017, 11:09:08 PM »

Dunk looks around the group, catching everyone's eye (including Fedwyn) before speaking.

"There's trouble.  The stone creatures that chased us out of Durgis Rock are being brought here to attack this hold.  The council has moved the blooding up to tomorrow to get as many new warriors ready for the attack.  We may not have to participate, as we need to get ready to leave here.  The clan would welcome our help on the walls, but we need to be on the far side of this army before the attack begins if we are to ever escape and finish our mission.

But first, Mistress Dola wants to speak with all of us.  We should find her now, then prepare for leaving.
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« Reply #448 on: May 15, 2017, 03:42:26 AM »

Everyone stared at Dunkin with widening, unblinking eyes for a few seconds.

"Those stone creatures?!" Eirik asked, alarm evident in his voice. "But we saw them. They were all destroyed."

Kjellan shook his head. "The one's sent to Durgis Rock, maybe. But if you had the ability to make more, wouldn't you?" The Erenlander just shook his head. "Well if that's true then we need to listen to what Dunkin is saying. We should see Mistress Dola and then get out of here as soon as possible."

Fedwyn caught the eye of Dunkin but almost immediately glanced away from him. It became obvious very quickly that while she was paying attention to those who were speaking and could tell that it seemed important, aside from perking up when Dola's name was mentioned, she was unable to discern what was being said.
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