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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 3  (Read 117337 times)
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« Reply #550 on: June 20, 2018, 06:01:11 PM »

Having spent some time calming Fedwyn - not least, assuring her that someone astride a great four-legged beast was not necessarily to be feared, let alone attacked as soon as she came within charging distance - Amethyst did indeed accompany Siobhan closer to Alyssa.

Removing the half-mask customarily worn to shield her mouth and nose from the dust of travel across the plains, she tipped back the hood of her elven cloak and offered a warm smile.  Though she studied the stranger with intent interest, she had trust both in her ability to spot an undercover servant of the Shadow and in the convivial trustworthiness of virtually everyone she met face-to-face.

"We are a strange group, and no mistake.  But we will do our best to help you.  I'm Amethyst, and this is Siobhan.  Do you need a drink, or anything to eat?  We can spare something immediately to help you have the strength for the walk ahead.  We can sort things out as we go, if you're up to it.  Oh - is there anything at all in your honoured steed's tack that you wish to keep?  If it would help your mount's chances to remove any of it, we can.   Otherwise, I fear that we really should be on our way."

For her part, Amethyst had every intention of spending some time charming Alyssa, to secure another friend for herself and the group.  After all, people were almost always fundamentally decent when she gave them the chance to be, and even such an unusual thing as introducing a fugitive channeller to a dworg was bound to go all right.
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« Reply #551 on: June 26, 2018, 04:51:14 AM »

Interlude- THE LONG DAYS AHEAD:

The old woman stood atop the hill; it wouldn't be long now, she knew. She could feel it in her bones; the whims of fate were turning, conspiring once again. She'd hoped she would get to live out an easy life, at least once more. But deep down she'd known the truth for some time now, it had all been a false hope. One she'd managed to convince herself of. She was the master of illusions after all.

In the distance she saw those with lives she had help shape and shepherd for some time now. The families of farmers going about their usual days, tucked away in a hidden nook within the world, despite the growing shadow upon the land. The children played in the fields, blissfully unaware. The adults happily watching, but knowing in their hearts how lucky they really were. She'd always made sure they knew the truths of the world when they were ready. But she alone knew the whole truth.

The wind began to blow past her, steadily picking up in speed. The grasslands had begun to turn from their summer gold to the autumn red now. The Amber Wave, it was called. It was beautiful, but only for a short time. Soon the grass would harden, becoming brittle, and the storm winds would set in. The air would fill with dust and debris. Towns without walls would find themselves hit with the worst of the storms. People caught without the masks or some way to shield their eyes and lungs would find themselves miserable at first, but it could quickly become a life-threatening condition. The Bleakness, this time was called by the Sarcosan people and the plains-dwelling Erenlanders. It was the worst time to travel safely... but the best time to move about undetected.

She should have been moving already, she knew. Just like that old codger was already doing so. He had always been like that, she mused, remembering the times when they'd both been younger. He'd always been the one to move first, complaining the entire way that if he didn't do it no one would make the first move. But she planned for possibilities. Besides, she couldn't just up and leave these people. She had responsibilities now, such as ensuring this next generation was able to act properly and with guidance.

The old woman smiled, recalling the day that little girl had come into her life. Amethyst had been something special, something she thought gone forever. That had been the first sign. Someday she knew, someday that little girl would become something this world would need.  She picked up the harp from the ground. It's white wood and gold inlay upon the top seemed to glow in the setting sun. She plucked a few strings. She couldn't wait for much longer, but there was still time

"Hurry home, Amethyst." She said, speaking a language that had not been heard in far too long. She spoke to the wind and wished as much as she dared and then she began to play.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 03:15:50 AM by Luiniel Blades » Logged

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« Reply #552 on: July 04, 2018, 07:01:39 AM »

The days that followed meeting with a newer companion, Alyssa, were arduous for some, while surprisingly pleasant for others. But all the days were long. An unforgiving summer heat was beating down on all of them for the first three days. There was no sign of wind or perspiration in the air. Amethyst, Eirik, Mandag, and Siobhan didn't seem to have too much issue with the heat but all the others were having issues and needing to drink more water than usual. Further compounding this, there were no rivers or streams nearby, all ponds were dry too. Watering holes appeared few and far between, many were surprisingly deep underground and would have taken hours if not days to properly unearth.

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« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 02:27:26 AM by Luiniel Blades » Logged
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« Reply #553 on: July 05, 2018, 09:17:38 AM »

Dunk stops short at the vision of Kjellan with the eyes of an avatar.  Was the Witch Queen that powerful she could take over any under her gaze?

He stutters, and takes a knee in an attempt at respect.

"Y-y-yes, My Lady. We are coming as fast as we can, but the road is difficult.  The food has been scarce."

He then shuts up, and blushes, realizing that is not her concern and their rumbling stomachs are not worthy of her attention.
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« Reply #554 on: July 06, 2018, 02:14:44 AM »

Kjellan's face did not react to his statement. There was several seconds of silence then he spoke again in that same demanding voice.

"Nothing can be easy anymore Dunkin. Such is the path we have all set ourselves upon. But unlikely opportunity arises within unexpected places. But for this opportunity to bear fruit, I must ask you do something which you may come to hate me for. When you reach the rivers edge, I will ask you to divide your current group. Your current task is necessary and must be completed without failure. Both of these will require a Dwarf, and..." Kjellan stopped to look at himself. "one will require a Thane. Regardless of your feelings, events have shown me that neither can be completed alone. You need not choose now but you do not have too long to decide either. Come to me as a group, or split your forces, I will not force you on either path. But whatever your current trouble are, at least until you reach the river and have made your decision, you must ensure Kjellan's survival."
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« Reply #555 on: July 06, 2018, 11:49:04 AM »

Dunk shook his head.  The hardship of recent days had left him confused.  The voice and tone were different.  "The Elf Queen?  Durgis?  Who speaks through him?" he thought, but moved on.  He trusted the leadership of both, and would follow orders of either.

"I will keep him safe. Count on it.  But how should we split up, and where should the other group go?  I don't know enough about these lands to lead, or even to keep us fed.  I'm failing them."
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« Reply #556 on: July 07, 2018, 01:26:54 AM »

There was another pause as Kjellan's black eyes seemingly began to bore into Dunkin "I can tell you have plenty of questions but you should know exactly who I am. With the use of this crown, Kjellan allowed Rhiann to possess his body, and through her, I am able to speak to you directly.

As for your troubles, surely you are not alone in this. You make it sound as though you are the only one they can rely upon. Drop your foolish pride and ask your companions for help. Do not be afraid to take risks, if necessary. Success or failure is determined by the actions one takes.  You must persevere.

I know where to lead them and there will be help along the way for both. Would you really feel comfortable with that knowledge now, Dunkin?"
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 01:29:35 AM by Luiniel Blades » Logged
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« Reply #557 on: July 07, 2018, 11:01:03 AM »

A deep blush of shame slams into Dunk's face as his thoughts are told to him.

And now I fail her he thinks, hanging his head lower as he knows she'll hear that too.

"You're right, of course. I've spent so much time alone, or leading, I'm lost now. But I can learn from the others. I will. I will persevere. We WILL survive.

No, you're right. It's not my place to know why or where.  If I need to you'll tell me, and if you don't I will follow the mission.  Thank you My Lady. I will try not to lose heart again."
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« Reply #558 on: July 07, 2018, 05:42:30 PM »

There was the same alien presence emanating from Kjellan's body for several long moments, but then his expression shifted. Shifting to something far less imposing and much more empathetic.

"Thedron told me it would be this way with the future generations. You in particular bear among the heaviest of burdens. But thankfully you have to wisdom to heed others counsel. No matter how long one lives or how strong or how powerful one becomes, you must never lose sight of the world around you." Kjellan smiled. "Your resolve is heartening. I'm sure you'll succeed."
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« Reply #559 on: July 09, 2018, 11:57:31 PM »

"Thank you my Lady. Your faith in me will not be misplaced.  I will bring you what I bear, and carry the others as far as I am able."

Dunk, still on one knee, lowers his head further down, a mix of respect, shame, and resolve.
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« Reply #560 on: August 06, 2018, 05:48:57 AM »

"Farewell for now, Dunkin."

With a nod, Kjellan closed his eyes for several long seconds and suddenly dropped to his knees with a hard thud. To Dunkin's eyes a now almost imperceptible light from the Kurgun's Crown faded out. Kjellan's breathing became labored and ragged and he fell to the floor as though he'd just finished running for several miles after working a long day.


Fedwyn moved over in the grass next to Siobhan. "S-Siobhan, are... are you okay? You look quite tired." she asked hesitantly. The young Dworg's speech in the trader's tongue language was coming along quite well now. It seemed strange that one who closely resembled an Orc and who had been so volatile and angry when they had met her was now hesitant.

Something had been happening to her, she knew. But all she could remember now were the nearly forgotten moments of her nightmare. It had almost seemed exactly like it was, a bad dream. But the now faint pulsing of the agate in her hand and the man's voice who had howled with rage at the spirit within's interference let her know it was all too real.


"I'm not sure if there's really any difference between what the two of you are doing. The amount of magic you're pulling is about the same." Ivy said flatly, her eyes steadily changing color as she glanced between Eirik and Alyssa. "You've hit the limit of your abilities and... yes, you're both channeling when you do that. That's probably how you got caught before." She said, directing her comment to Alyssa.
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« Reply #561 on: August 06, 2018, 09:17:13 AM »

Dunkin gets up as the Witch Queen leaves Kjellan, and goes over to him, helping him to his feet. 

"Are you a'right, Thane?  I don't know if you were listening in there, but the Elf Queen just spoke to me through you.  We should discuss it, but once you catch your breath."
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« Reply #562 on: August 13, 2018, 03:29:28 AM »

Kjellan looked up at Dunkin with an exhausted expression and nodded. The Dwarrow seemed more mentally drained and physically exhausted from the experience. But nodded with a determined look in his eyes.

"Yes... I was able to listen. Heh... it was strange though... Muted words." he said as he reached for a waterskin. "It was like I could hear myself speaking... but the words themselves were distorted. My mind was having to... race something ... so much larger than itself in order to keep... a hold of myself." he looked at a bit of a loss for the right words to continue.

"Do you get it... Dunkin?"
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 03:39:47 AM by Luiniel Blades » Logged
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« Reply #563 on: August 13, 2018, 02:42:45 PM »

"These are fascinating, and could be more than a little useful."

Amethyst sounded bouncily cheerful as she leafed carefully through a sheaf of documentation, a salvaged satchel slung over one shoulder.  "There's some food as well, but I think that these papers could be even more helpful."

Lifting her gaze, she smiled happily at the world in general... before blinking in perplexity as she took in at least some of the others' demeanours and interactions.

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« Reply #564 on: August 13, 2018, 08:33:23 PM »

Dunkin shook his head.  "Some, but not all of it.  I think she wants the group to split up, and I think you will lead one while I must go with the other.  But I can't imagine what it is that you'll need to do, or that will need a Thane.  Maybe she seeks to make a pact with another group, or knows of other dwarves?  I don't know; I only know this." he says as he hefts the scroll case.

"And I know I need help with the hunting.  My traps are coming up empty, my bags have been destroyed.  My knowledge of the mountains is of little use here."
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« Reply #565 on: August 14, 2018, 05:40:48 AM »

Kjellan ground his teeth together. "We spent so long in the mountains. We sacrificed our home. Our families and clansmen gave up their lives, just so we could get this scroll case out and try to bring it to the Elf Queen... and now she wants some of us to just turn around and go back on some... cryptic  command?!  It doesn't make any sense Dunkin. Why'd she wait until now to tell us now?!"

... ... ...

She opened her bag to place the new ledgers next to Grandfather's book. Her dyed inks were finished now, and she thought to look at it's pages once more. Nothing had changed on the pages. It was still the same ancient binder it had been since she'd gotten it.

It was like a fog lifted from Amethyst's perception and the lingering sensation of euphoria that had perforated her existence for a time faded. Little troubles she'd been able to ignore came into sharp focus. She'd busied herself with arcane theories and alchemical studies among the group members over the last week, but now it came back to her.

Siobhan was looking tired, more haggard over the last few days, and had been angry. It now seemed like she'd been burning things all over the place.
Fedwyn had been happily seeming to share in Amethyst's good mood.
She now stood next to Siobhan talking and looking very worried.

Eirik had been either busy helping her study arcane magic or hunting... no he'd been more busy foraging for her to help with alchemical needs.
Ivy had been helping out with the arcane practice.
Alyssa had been there too. Talking to her, getting used to the group and training with her own Channeler abilities as well.
The three of them were chatting among themselves now.

Dunkin had also been off hunting. But he'd been having nothing but a run of bad luck it seemed.
Kjellan had been busy off on his own lately. Talking to seemingly nobody most times or nodding absentmindedly.
The two of them were off in the distance now, speaking to one another about something she couldn't hear.

Mandag had been remaining at a cool distance the last few days. Though she did remember him eyeing her from time to time.
Wendell had come and gone. He seemed more concerned with how much Amethyst had been standing out lately and as such he'd been giving her tips on how to not attract any attention to detail. How to guard her looks, how to speak with people more in cities. Who to watch out for and how to talk differently depending on the station of said individual.
Dorin had been the one constant in all this. He moved forward, helping to make camp. Making sure their tracks were kept to a minimum. He trained with Mandag sometimes, or just did strength training himself.
Timeon continued giving everyone training in the more notable tongues of the south during night time. Making sure everyone got the right cant and dialects down.
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« Reply #566 on: August 14, 2018, 11:02:21 AM »

Dunk chuckled wryly.  "My whole life has been chasing after cryptic orders.  Woden was never one to explain himself.  I never understood until after, if at all.  I suppose that's why I was never cut out to be a leader.

Let's get back to the group, Kjellan.  I'll need to get more help finding food to get us through this."
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« Reply #567 on: August 18, 2018, 11:02:16 PM »

"Dunkin, what did you find during your scouting today?" Eirik asked, when the two remaining members of Clan Durgis entered the camp.
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« Reply #568 on: August 20, 2018, 07:37:33 AM »

Amethyst paused, allowing herself a few moments in which to wonder whether she might perhaps have been under some kind of enchantment as a result of finally managing to open the mysterious tome... or at least of having come under some kind of influence from it.

Then she sighed, concluding that it was far more likely that she had become lost in the whirl of her own thoughts.  Making sure that she carefully tucked away her precious finds, she eyed the assorted other groups and individuals around their campsite.  Worriedly pursing her lips as she studied Siobhan, she attempted to catch Fedwyn's eye - firmly believing that the dworg trusted her enough to signal for aid, should she feel that Amethyst might be able to provide it.

She would normally have approached with confidence... but surely, if Siobhan had wanted her help then she would have asked for it - wouldn't she?  Over and above even the other longest-standing members of their band of renegades, Siobhan was the one whom she trusted the most....  Then again, she had clearly been letting people down while hopelessly distracted.  Far from buoying people up, she had become all too self-absorbed and distracted by her intellectual curiosity.
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« Reply #569 on: August 20, 2018, 11:09:17 PM »

Dunk shook his head.  A string of bad luck, and a message from the Elf Queen. She has another task for Kjellan and I. That's all I know now, but we'll be told more when we get to the river.

We'll need all the help we can get, if any are willing. And I need help now. My traps are coming up empty; my hunting knowledge doesn't help down here it seems.
He hangs his head in disappointment.
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« Reply #570 on: August 21, 2018, 10:52:00 AM »

Eirik looked down, he was perhaps even a bit guilty as he glanced over at Amethyst.

"I'm sorry Dunkin, you seemed so self-sufficient in the Kaladruns that I didn't even consider that you might be having this much trouble hunting here on the plains. My skills have been divided recently, partly looking for food and partly helping Amethyst with her other tasks. I hadn't really been paying too much attention to how our food stores were holding up. I'll begin devoting more of my time and helping with that more."
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« Reply #571 on: August 21, 2018, 11:00:35 PM »

Dunk shook his head gently.  "No need to apologise, I was sure I would be fine without help too. But your help I will gladly welcome."
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« Reply #572 on: August 22, 2018, 03:32:11 AM »

Accepting the implicit invitation in Eirik's look, Amethyst moved closer - somewhat awkwardly hefting the satchel as she narrowed the distance.

"One of the Shadow's couriers ran into rather severe trouble here.  I now have documentation that might well allow me to bluff a way through checkpoints - even with this group, so long as they're not specifically looking for us.  There's also enough food to keep all of us properly fed for another day or two.  I'd hazard a guess that the Shadow's messenger ran afoul of whoever, or whatever, came through here in the big group.  But... in tracking, I'm about at the level of occasionally finding rabbitholes, not reading the secrets of footprints.  But to be carrying this much in the way of supplies, he must have been planning on quite a long trip.

There's also a bow and a quiver of arrows, among other things."
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« Reply #573 on: August 28, 2018, 10:48:30 AM »

Wendle marched up over to the group. The Stout gnome crossing his arms with an appraising look.

"About our troubles, finding the food's a good thing that happened. Although our hunting has been less than adequate for all of us we should be able to hold on if we start really rationing or foodstuffs now and yes, that might mean us going hungry a few days." he glanced around.

"Those papers are risky to use I'd say. One time, maybe two at best but then we should forget them. As for those weapons... that's something I've been meaning to talk with all of you about. We're heavily armed, for a group of travelers. It's fine when we're running around in the middle of the wilderness. Or even when we're in the mountains and we're looking to fight, the Kaladruns are a warzone. But out here in the plains and especially when we start hitting towns, weapons get noticed and people remember who had them. Collaborator or not.

We're going to need to start losing some of those weapons and hiding what we might need to survive. There are some resistance cells who might find them useful, and maybe if I still had my wagon we could have made some of this work but I don't believe we'll get into any town with them.

Eirik, that means emptying your pack. Dunkin, just you being you is going to start being a problem. You'll have to hide in the open and somehow convince others you aren't a Dwarf. Fey such as Dwarves are kill on site. Halflings are slaves, so we'll have to do something about Ivy too. Maybe we could make her seem like a slave but we're going to have to sell that one hard.

Books are illegal too. So start thinking about hiding that tome you've got Amethyst and the fewer people who seem like they know how to read, the better."
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« Reply #574 on: August 28, 2018, 12:46:26 PM »

Dunk nods at Wendle's words.  "Aye, I'd heard of as much.  Not sure how well, I can be hidden or disguised.  Probably best if I'm a long way off if there's a town or humans involved.  Might be able to sneak into a larger city at night if noone is looking too close and Amythest helps me hide my features, but any small town I'd be easily spotted.

Anything you can't bear to get rid of give to me.  They won't kill me any faster if they find three weapons instead of two."
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