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  1. #61

    Default The Halfling War Council In Stormreach #5

    Stormreach has a few "Little" Problems...

    Chapter 5: The Spider’s Sac

    Morah Ismora sat patiently waiting on a bench in the back of the Golden Wing Inn. It was a bit out of the way and not nearly as lively as her favorite place, the Phoenix Tavern. There she could listen to the live band play and dance, but not today. Saldez had asked her specifically to meet him here, Morah assumed, because this particular inn was known for its discretion.

    “Greetings Lovely,” Saldez whispered the silky words right behind Morah’s ear to give her an appropriate start as well as a chill.

    Morah gasped, whirled around quickly and threw her arms around the handsome halfling’s neck in delighted surprise. She nuzzled herself in the crook of his arm and placed her finger vertically across his lips.

    “I have been waiting for you all afternoon! Why can’t we go to back to the Phoenix tonight?” She teased in the hopes of getting her way.

    Saldez wrapped a strong arm around her waste, placing his hand in the small of her back in order to confidently draw her body closer to him. “This is where I want you to be.” He kissed her neck lightly in order to further demonstrate his point.

    Morah very nearly swooned but pressed further, “Can’t we just go for a little while?” In answer, he brushed his lips against hers in a delicate kiss, which she returned and melted into his arms. When he released her, she made no further protests.

    “Did you do bring me what I asked for?” He queried bringing her back from romance to reality.
    She cast her eyes down suddenly remembering the strange request Saldez had made of her.

    Morah pointed under the tavern bar at a burlap laundry bag. He seemed pleased as she handed the bag over, “What do you want with that thing anyway?” She queried making a disgusted face.

    “That’s not for you to worry about Lovely.” He replied, looking in the bag to make sure he had what he was looking for and then back up at her. “I’ll arrange a room for you to spend the night.”

    Morah looked suddenly wounded. “What? Aren’t you staying with me?”

    In reply Saldez allowed himself an almost hungry look at the beautiful girl. “Is that what you want?” He smiled and advanced into her personal space never taking his eyes from hers.

    Her eyes were wide and innocent with anticipation and a longing to feel loved. She wanted to please him, but felt strangely conflicted. He came very close to her then, drawing his hands up to her face. His expression softened a bit as he stroked her cheeks with his fingers, running them into her hair and drawing her in for a deliberate and passionate kiss.

    He drew himself away from her soft lips and nudged his forehead against hers. “Promise me you will stay here and wait for me.” He whispered softly. “You’ll be safe here, and I’ll return for you later.”

    Morah nodded, and looked down so as not to show her disappointment.


    Lessah was busy following Ryvis in the shadows of the city’s buildings. She had little trouble spotting the tailor, and so far he had led her through the city and into the harbor to the end of the warehouse district. She could smell the salty sea air and see the last rays of light reflecting on the water in the harbor where docked ships waited until they were ready to set sail.

    She lightly made her way to the nearest rooftop in time to see him ducking into the side entrance of one of the warehouses. She picked her way around until she could pinpoint the appropriate building Ryvis had gone into. Through the aged and cracked wood Lessah could see a faint glow of light coming through a wall in the rear of the building. She perched herself on a ledge and peered through the crack in the wall. She spied Ryvis speaking to a grossly overweight halfling seated behind a table, eating from a huge pile of steaming meat and vegetables. Lessah could only just make out the back of the halfling’s balding head, but she could see Ryvis very well, and her halfling ears perked up so she could catch the conversation.

    “What in the nine hells took you so long?” Demanded the fat halfling, his mouth was full of food and it muffled his speech a bit.

    “I’m sorry, Gil.” Ryvis explained apologetically. “I still have a shop to run you know.” Ryvis was sweating a bit as he spoke and he was wringing his favorite hat in his knuckles as he talked. Lessah thought to herself that this must be the infamous trader, Gil Yarbarrow. She watched as he got up from his meal, and closed the distance between himself and the frightened tailor.

    Gil’s outstretched arms suggested he wasn’t angry at Ryvis, but when he was close enough, he grabbed the tailor roughly, spun him around, and pinned him against the table. He then stabbed the halfling in the hand with the same knife he had been using to eat his food. Ryvis cried out in pain as the knife penetrated all the way through his hand and into the table.

    Lessah could see Gil well enough now. He had dark tuffs of hair only on the sides of his head, a large, pudgy nose and dark eyes. He seemed as wide as he was tall, and greasy meat still clung to the side of his mouth and cheeks. He spit food and rough words at the whimpering Ryvis.

    “You’re shop ain’t gonna be nothing when we’re done here Boy-o. This place is gonna be so busy shoring up its defenses to try and stay out the Aundairian war, it ain’t gonna notice that some two-bit halfling tailor has closed up shop.” He removed the knife roughly, spilling his wine goblet over in the process. “Ah, now look what cha made me do…” He protested, Ryvis immediately fell to the floor and Gil kicked him almost playfully, “Cheer up Boy-o! We’re gonna be rich, heh heh, rich!” He declared wiping his knife roughly on Ryvis’ cap and stabbed another generous piece of meat onto it immediately.

    Another halfling came in then, and Lessah’s eyes narrowed with rage at the site of him. When he spoke, she could hardly believe what she heard.

    “I have it Gil.” said Saldez clutching a burlap bag at his side. “It’s here.” He produced the bag for the obese halfling to inspect.

    Gil grabbed the bag and looked inside and then at Saldez. “Ha ha ha!” He laughed and slapped Saldez roughly on the arm. “You see, brother,” Gil boasted pointed at Ryvis, “that one succeeds where you fail!” His smile suddenly dropped, and he turned back to Saldez. “What of the girl then?”

    Saldez straightened, “She’s dead sir, I killed her myself,” and he produced a locket that Lessah recognized as Morah’s favorite.

    Gil looked at the young lad as if to size him up. “She was a ripe and pretty young thing.” he said smiling, revealing large bits of meat still in his teeth. “Did you taste a bit o’ that sweet fruit before you did the job?” Saldez’s answer was a confident look that Gil accepted as a ‘yes’.
    Outside on the ledge, Lessah could not believe what she was hearing--could not breathe. Morah dead at the hands of Saldez? Flashes of anger coursed through her body. Her heart pounded, and Lessah had to concentrate hard not to overreact. She thought to herself that she was going to slit that two-faced halfling’s throat from ear to ear as soon as he walked outside. She had already subconsciously drawn her dagger and had it at the ready.

    Gil spoke again, this time to Ryvis. “What about that other ptsrtck?” Gil asked using a halfling expression that loosely translated into ‘*****’.

    Ryvis was wrapping his hand in a strip of cloth. “She’ll not be hard to find.” He answered breathing heavily; “I put so much ever-bright extract into the stitching of her suit that she’ll glow like a beacon come moonrise.”

    Lessah’s eyes widened in fear as she peered over her shoulder at the new moon. Her face was awash with light and she looked down to see her delving suit beginning to glow with bright white light. Startled, Lessah dropped the death grip she had on her dagger; it bounced off the adjacent wall and clamored to the ground. The noise did not escape the attention of the three men inside the warehouse. Gil immediately made a motion to Saldez, who darted out the door.
    Lessah, however, was already on the ground and running in the shadows, naked, her suit left behind on the ledge in a crumpled, glowing heap of material.

    Running along the dock, she noticed that people seemed to be everywhere. Fearing that Gil’s men would not be far behind her, Lessah took to the water and started swimming. She swam around the dock, darting in and out of boats in order to stay hidden. She finally picked her way around rows and rows of docked ships to the open water that would lead her to Stromreach’s other dock in the Wavecrest pier area.

    She crawled out of the water, shivering and naked, and ducked quickly behind several rows of barrels and supplies that were waiting to be loaded onto one of the ships. The Dockmaster strolled by to inspect the cargo before it was to be loaded, and scratched his head as he found a burlap bag missing and a pile of fruit spilled carelessly all over the dock.

    Lessah poked three careful holes in the bag she had stolen. And put her head and arms through them making a sort-of oversized shirt, giving her an appearance very much like a street urchin.
    She heard footsteps then--guards from the port authority most likely--and Lessah dashed into the shadows. She could hear two male voices talking, their voices carrying into the night.

    “So her dad says if I marry his daughter, he’ll leave me his farm when he dies,” one guard was saying in his thick coastal accent as Lessah slowly crept through the shadows around the two men. The light was on them just enough so Lessah could see that one of the guards was Gindel. He listened with passing interest to the other man’s story, and never even glanced in Lessah’s direction. The guard continued to speak, “His daughter’s nothing special, quite ugly really, but I never owned no land o’ me own afore. What do ya suppose you’d do?” He asked Gindel.

    They were passing too close to Lessah now for her to move, so she froze in place, hoping they would keep walking. She considered for a moment calling out to Gindel, but did not want to risk breaking his trust or the connection she had with the port authority. The new information, she would have to divulge to him later, after, of course, she had killed the treacherous Saldez and the trader Gil Yarbarrow.

    Gindel spoke to the other guard as they passed by. “A lady is only as good as her heart, friend. But I will say this--the woman I pledge my heart to would look good even if she were only wearing a sack.”

    Lessah’s heart jumped. No way would he have made that cryptic remark if he hadn’t seen her. She picked her way down the street and broke into a dead run until she reached the harbor, safely stowing herself in the small space between two buildings, so she could think. Immediately she thought of her sweet and innocent cousin Morah, and began sobbing. The girl fell to her knees punching the nearest wall until the pain from her bloody knuckles was worse than the pain in her heart. She swore vengeance then, and made an oath to Dol Dorn, the god of strength and arms, under her breath, remembering that her thinking coin was also lost with her delving suit.

    Lessah looked around the skyline of the harbor, and sighed. She would have to circle all the way around the city to get back to the Marketplace and figure out her next move. She paused a moment to think about where she was headed. Going back to her apartment would be suicide. Gil’s thugs would be waiting for her there. The guildhall of the Order of the Sword and Rose, would be closed up at this hour, and there was no guarantee that anyone would be there to let her in. She finally decided that it would be safer for her to break into Gindel’s loft apartment, and borrow some clothing and weapons from him.

    She struggled to scramble barefooted up to the nearest rooftop, and began picking a careful path that would take her to back to Gindel’s home.
    Last edited by Lessah; 06-06-2007 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #62

    Default The Halfling War Council In Stormreach #6

    Stormreach has a few "Little" Problems!

    Chapter 6: Lerincho Yarbarrow

    Lessah had a devil of a time prying open Gindel’s window without thieves’ tools. When she was finally inside she hastily began rummaging for some leather garments that might fit her.

    “You’re late.” An unfamiliar male voice said casually from the pitch blackness of the next room. Lessah turned, startled, as the light from a match suddenly sparked up, lighting up the stranger’s face--a halfling face. The girl considered running, and even backed toward the same window she had come in, but the stranger spoke again. “You’ll not be going anywhere, Youngling. You make more noise than a herd o’ minotaurs when you sneak. There’s nowhere you can hide from the likes o’ me.”

    The odd nickname struck Lessah. No one had ever called her ‘youngling’ before. It was a halfling nickname reserved for the youngest members of the family, or by fathers to their halfling daughters… Lessah felt as if her feet were glued to the floor, her heart was pounding, and she wanted desperately to run, but could not find the will. So she stayed frozen in place.

    The stranger had used his match to light a small lamp next to him. Though dim, Lessah could see that the stranger was quite a bit older than she was. He had short, black hair that turned into silver only in the sides of his head, and deep blue eyes, much like her own. His clothes were a bit tattered, but under them he appeared to be well-muscled, and in better shape than he should have been for his age.

    “Who are you?” She finally managed to say, but something inside Lessah told her that she already knew.

    Rolling his eyes, “You’re far too serious Youngling, just like your mother.” He puffed his pipe idly and waited for her to react.

    “You’re Lerincho Yarbarrow,” Lessah stammered. “My…father,” she concluded biting her lip.

    “Don’t be thinking you’ll be getting any awards for brains or anything esle girl, unless you count the one I already gave you for being the worst thief in all o’ Stormreach.” To demonstrate his point, he threw a dimly-glowing delving suit on the floor at Lessah’s feet and he continued. “Cleaning up yer messes in this town is downright exhausting!”

    Lessah fixed him with a stricken look, but tried to recover, she realized he must have been talking about the assassin she had killed behind the Wavecrest Tavern as well. Now she realized why the body had never been discovered. She realized too that he must have been following her for quite a while, long enough she thought, to… ”You are the one who tried to poison me!” She accused.

    “Lerincho put his hands up in a questioning gesture, “don’t take it so personal girlie. It wouldn’t have killed ya! Yer immune to it now anyway. Ye can thank me later fer that!”

    “She took a deep breath and asked, “What is Gil planning to do with that poison?”

    “Ha!” He pointed a finger at her, “You think you’re so smart Youngling?” Lerincho chuckled a bit and smiled a pleasant smile that revealed a small gap between his two front teeth. Lessah could not see how a knave like this charmed her incredibly serious mother into bed. “Yer in over yer head, and daft as well! Aye, at least yer sister’s got her good looks, you had better learn to be a proper rogue soon or you’ll end up dead.” He laughed again as if making another private joke, “You may end dead anyway! Ha, ha, ha!”

    Lessah became very angry at the mention of her cousin, “Morah IS already Dead!” Lessah exclaimed fixing him with an incredulous look.

    “Wrong again girlie!” Lerincho said poking his finger at her, “That drug-running boy could no more kill that delicate flower than his own mother. She's been spotted. Yer sister's already on her way to see her Uncle Gillie, and he’ll not be too pleased that he’s been lied to.” Changing his expression suddenly to very serious he said, “Put yer suit back on Youngling. It’s time fer you to follow in yer Da’s footsteps.”

    “Why are you doing this?” She asked him.

    “Don’t ask questions ye ain’t ready to hear answers for youngling.” Lerincho countered back and pointed for Lessah to go and change.

    Lessah complied, suddenly hopeful that Morah was indeed alive. She dashed behind the doorway of Gindel’s bedroom. It was then that she noticed the folded-up brown packaging that contained the concentrated troglodyte poison that had made her so sick earlier. Neatly folded into a small square, so not to spill its contents, Lessah reasoned Gindel must have taken it from her apartment as evidence. Reacting quickly, she stashed the entire package into the pocket of her suit.

    Her father was behind her then, with what looked like a basin of water, which he wordlessly threw on his daughter. Lessah noticed immediately that the glow of the suit subsided almost completely. “Everbright extract.” he muttered more to himself than to Lessah, “What an amateur!”

    They were off then, both of them together, Lerincho made his daughter lead the way so, as he put it, “they would both get there alive.” Lessah tried purposefully to test the man’s agility, using the rooftops and leaping over and into spaces she wouldn’t dare have tried on a different night. She felt, though, the need to prove herself to him, to try the limits of her own power. Lessah scolded herself for being so petty that she would need the approval of a man she had never met, but the girl continued to take greater risks all the same.

    To Lessah’s dismay, he seemed to have no trouble keeping up with her. Moreover, he made the extremely difficult jumps she was doing look effortless--practice, she assumed. When they arrived, she drew a guilty bit of satisfaction that the old rogue had beads of sweat streaming down the sides of his face. They looked at the warehouse, which still had dim rays of light shining through the cracks in its back room.

    Lessah wondered inwardly if her father would really want her dead, as well as her cousin. Then she remembered that the man had used the word ‘sister’ not cousin, to describe the bard, she wanted to ask him about this, but could not find the courage.
    The muffled screams of a halfling female broke the still night air, and she peered into the alley in time to see a human thug with a bag slung roughly over one shoulder. The bag was moving, and sounded very much like Morah. Lessah made herself ready to jump down but a firm palm on her shoulder directed her otherwise

    “That’s not the way girlie.” Lerincho withdrew his hand. “No more ledges fer ye neither.” Lessah fixed him with a confused look and he indicated with his finger the highest point of the warehouse roof. “Up there. You’ll know what to do when the time is right.”

    Lessah was deeply conflicted. “Father,” she tested the words gingerly, “I don’t understand…” She could see that the new title affected him, and watched as his facial expression softened a tiny bit.

    Lerincho silenced her with a look. He pointed to the roof again, and Lessah did not argue this time. She was too concerned about Morah. She was scared, excited, and worried all at the same time. If she lived, she thought to herself, that she would have to spend months thinking about the events of this night. When she reached the high point of the warehouse roof, she glanced quickly back over her shoulder, but Lerincho had disappeared.

    She turned her attention to an exploration of the roof in order to discover exactly what her father had wanted her to see up there. She spotted it well enough--a dagger had been stuck into the wood on the rooftop. Not just the wood, Lessah realized, but a hinged door that would give a person access the building. Lessah could see now that Lerincho was helping her, and she felt immediately conflicted. She wondered who he was really helping: Lessah, The Yarbarrow Brothers, or himself. The manner in which he was going about it, suggested he had a hidden agenda all his own.

    She pried open the roof door carefully, stashing the dagger in the folds of her suit, and landed noiselessly in the rafters of the warehouse. Silent and still, she watched as the human thug who carried the kicking and screaming bag walked underneath her and through a door to the back room. She followed the path of the rafters until they came to a small vent. It was too small even for a halfling to climb through, but offered the girl a view into the next room.

    She tensed with anger at the site of Morah being dumped roughly out of the bag and onto the floor. Lessah could see that Gil was there, sitting at his table with a full goblet of wine. He brought his massive frame around the table, walked over to Morah, and lifted her chin so he could see her face. Lessah could see the girl was frightened, and tears were streaming down her cheeks.

    Lessah quickly took stock of what else was in the room. She could see Ryvis, in the corner with his bandaged hand, and three halfling fighters rested on the far wall, along with the human thug. There was something else too--a flash of light in the corner of the room that was unlike anything the girl had seen before.

    Out of the shadows, as if from nowhere, a halfling emerged dressed in dark crimson robes. The others in the room looked surprised by the appearance, as if the corner had been previously empty. Everyone, even the heartless Gil, straightened up and showed a hint of fear at the sight of… Lessah squinted, trying to get a better look. She guessed him to be some sort of magic user. His hair was jet-black with silver on the sides and slicked back so that it looked wet. For all intents and purposes, this halfling looked exactly like Lerincho, save the eyes. Lerincho’s eyes were sky blue, like Lessah’s, and this man’s were beige and gold.

    The caster strolled past Ryvis, who took his hat from his head and looked down. He passed Morah and eyed her with curiosity, narrowing his gaze a bit as if to study her quickly in detail, and placed himself firmly in front of the fat Gil Yarbarrow.

    “Idomeneus,” Gil started to say, using the caster’s name as if to explain himself, but was cut off as Idomeneus waved his hand. A nearby length of rope on the floor sprang to life and began effortlessly strangling Gil. “Please… brother…” Gil managed to whisper through puffed, red cheeks.

    The spell caster released him, and addressed the gasping Gil. “Indeed, brother…” He began with a bit of distaste, “I have been waiting a fortnight for the ingredients for which I have asked and paid. The same ingredients, I might add, that will make your trading business flourish beyond your wildest imaginings.” He gestured around the room as he spoke, “Why then do I see you holding court?” Gil tried to speak, but Idomeneus cut him off. “I have scried you. I know that thanks to Lerincho, you have what I sent you for, so if I might be so bold…What in the nine hells are you doing brother? And what, if I may inquire, are you still doing in Stormreach?”

    Gil had recovered fully then, and stood his ground to his brother. “Listen up Ido,” he began, “I know what I’m doing. I got a score to settle with a certain lying little Halfling. After that, you’ll have your goods, and not a minute before.”

    A knock came just then--a special knock from a side door that Lessah guessed was an alternate entrance. Gil smiled and pulled Morah roughly behind his great girth. He then made a quick hand gesture to the fighters who drew their weapons.

    The person who emerged from the side entrance was none other than Saldez Boromar. "I have nothing new to report Gil," he began, "we have men in her apartment and others combing the city. It’s only a matter of time before…" Saldez stopped short. His eyes darted across the room at the four thugs and he drew his weapons, preparing for a fight. Saldez craned his neck to get a look at Morah while the four surrounded him.

    With an ax that dripped acid in one hand and dagger in the other, Saldez began an elaborate dance with the four men, their blades ringing against one another. Saldez took a few quick steps backwards to get his opponents on the move. As his opponents moved forward, Saldez screamed and jumped over the head of a particularly short halfling with a tuft of bright orange hair.

    Gracefully landing on the balls of his feet, Saldez spun and slashed at the orange-haired halfling's back with his ax; a scream of pain echoed through the room as the halfling began to sag toward the floor. Saldez spun on a heel to keep the other three in front of him, kicking the injured halfling's feet out from under him. As Saldez lashed out with his dagger at the human, a purple streak of light erupted from the corner of the room. Saldez leapt up almost to the ceiling of the warehouse and ricocheted off of the central rafter in an attempt to dodge the missile. In midflight, the purple steak struck Saldez in the chest throwing him through the closed warehouse door, shattering it to splinters.

    Lessah realized that Idomeneus must have thrown the spell at the athletic Saldez. The caster was giving orders to his brothers now, and preparing what looked to be a complicated spell. "Bring her!" Lessah heard him shout over the continued clinking of blades.

    When Lessah looked down, she realized that the battle had begun fresh right underneath her. Saldez, now breathing heavily with sweat dripping from his brow, had sprung through the door and onto the same rafters where Lessah was hiding. If he saw her, he did not notice. He was too busy dodging the daggers that were being hurled at him from down below. His left arm hung limp and he had lost his dagger, probably during his collision with the door. One of the halfling fighters managed to jump into the rafters with Saldez, compounding his problems. As Saldez turned to face the other halfling, Lessah realized that her best option for escaping with Morah relied on helping Saldez out of his present situation.

    She pulled her dagger from her suit, along with the brown paper containing the troglodyte poison. With a quick movement, she stabbed the paper to coat the blade with ichor, and tumbled the length of the rafter to place herself behind Saldez’s opponent. She stabbed the halfling sharply in the neck, and he fell before she even had a chance to withdraw the blade. He landed hard on the floor with the hilt of Lessah’s only weapon protruding from the back of his neck.

    With a quick glance at Lessah, Saldez wordlessly jumped back to the ground in order to engage the two remaining fighters. The human, however, had caught sight of Lessah, and was more interested in throwing daggers at her than engaging Saldez.

    Lessah was fully occupied with dodging the human’s throwing darts to realize what else was going on. Many of them missed the mark and lodged themselves in the wood of the rafters. Seizing the opportunity, Lessah began pulling the darts loose and returning fire at the human. It was then she noticed that Saldez was down to only one opponent. The human noticed it too, and lost interest, for the time being, in Lessah.

    The human squared off with Saldez and drew a short sword from a sheathe at his hip. The broken-nosed man lunged at Saldez's left side with a snarl. Quickly turning, Saldez launched an all-out attack on the man, but he seemed to be a half-heartbeat behind the human. Their sound of their clashing blades rang loudly through the warehouse as the two continued their dance. As the fight continued, Saldez found himself being forced steadily toward the back wall.

    Lessah made ready to jump down and retrieve her tainted dagger when she noticed Gil barking direction from the door "Kill him! Come on, put your back into it! What are ya waiting for?"

    Taking advantage of the distraction, Lessah allowed herself to fall directly on top of the dead halfling. She seized her dagger, still buried in the halfling’s neck, by the hilt and let it fly. It landed its mark square in the center of Gil’s massive gut, and the big man tumbled backwards, gasping for air and crawling backwards in slow motion. She could see the man was trying to speak, and could not. She smiled to herself with satisfaction knowing first hand the kind of misery he was in.

    The man lashed out again at Saldez's left arm but this time Saldez managed to swing his ax across the front of his body and parry the strike. Saldez's blow knocked the man off balance and he lost his footing on the rough planks of the warehouse floor. As the man fell, Saldez dropped to the floor and slashed at his chest with his ax. With a hiss, the ax buried itself deep into the man's chest and he hit the floor with a crash.

    Gil’s brothers had managed to take hold of him and were helping to drag him backwards towards a bright, white door. Lessah caught sight of Morah, half out of the bag they had placed her in again, struggling to free her self. A flash of color crossed Lessah’s peripheral vision in the next instance, it was Saldez, she realized sprinting by, his opponents dead on the floor behind him.

    The Yarbarrow brothers, Ryvis and Idomeneus, almost had the struggling and grossly overweight Gil through the white door. Ryvis turned to grab the bag containing Morah as well, but it had been pulled clear, and her with it. In the next instance, there was a flash and the door was gone. Leaving only Lessah, Morah, Saldez, and four dead opponents.


    Hours later, Lessah patiently sat waiting in silence for her turn to speak with Aribell Kross, the Mistress Of The Order of The Sword and Rose. She glanced over at her cousin, or perhaps her sister, she decided who was being fully entertained by Andark. Lessah never even bothered to ask the silly little halfling why he was here at such an early hour. He was dressed in a jester’s outfit, which sported the light-blue and gold colors of the Andairin royal court. His gold vest was much too small, even for a halfling’s size. The jester’s hat he wore was a felt crown that had little bells at the end of each crown point. He was juggling and dancing for Morah who cheered him on. Lessah asked Andark why he would be at the hall at so early an hour in a jester’s uniform.

    Andark stopped abruptly and allowed all the fruit he was juggling to fall dramatically to the floor around him. One piece, an orange, hit him smartly in the head and he pretended not to notice.

    Instead he replied, “Lessah my dear, you have got to get up pretty early in the morning if you want to be taken seriously in this town!”

    With that, he grabbed the bottom of his little gold vest and straightened it smartly causing the little bells on his hat to shake and jingle a bit, emphasizing his point. He marched off to the kitchen then, and Morah ran after him, asking all kinds of questions about court and the queen,

    “Aribell will see you now,” Elle, Aribell’s secretary said to Lessah in a almost a whisper. Saldez, Lessah noticed, was being carried deeper in the hall on a stretcher by clerics of the Order. She glanced up quickly to see if Morah had noticed, and the girl had not.

    Lessah knew it was not likely that Morah would leave the hall until Saldez was able to walk out with her. Morah had gone on and on about how bravely he fought for her and would not stop crying. That is, until Andark showed up and distracted her with antics.

    Wearily she descended the stairs and made her way to Aribell’s office. This time, ever bright lamps had been placed to light-up the otherwise dark hall, and there was nothing but darkness outside the large widows.

    Aribell sat behind her desk writing what appeared to be a letter when Lessah entered. Too tired for formality, the halfling rogue seated herself into the adjacent chair and waited patiently.

    Aribell looked up at Lessah and spoke, “What an exciting evening you’ve had Lessah.” She began. “Saldez informed me before he became completely unconscious, that you saved his life in that warehouse.”

    “Will he…”

    Arabell raised a hand to cut Lessah’s question off. “He’ll be fine, we have our best clerics at his side right now.” She smiled a bit, “He is cooperating fully, and he’ll make a fine agent for the Order if he chooses to accept the offer.” Aribell paused and sipped warn milk from a cup. “Let’s talk about the things we know, the things we don’t and what is between.”

    Lessah informed Aribell of what she knew about the troglodyte poison, and her first hand knowledge of what the effects were. She also implicated the tailor Ryvis as a Yarbarrow brother and conspirator.

    “It would seem the Halfling War Council has revived itself.” Aribell concluded. We know of three brothers, the trader Gil, the Necromancer Idomeneus, and the tailor Ryvis,” she fixed Lessah with a quizzical look. “Is that correct?”

    Lessah burned inside. She knew that her father had to be considered a member of the Council by his brothers, and started to open her mouth to tell Aribell as much. The words stopped in her throat, and she found that she could not bring herself to betray Lerincho after he had risked himself to help her and Morah.

    Aribell raised her eyebrows in question, and Lessah replied, “Yes, that’s correct.” Lessah looked down slightly and asked the obvious question on everyone’s mind, “Arabell, what are they going to do with that poison?”

    “More importantly,” Aribell corrected Lessah, “Is where are they going? Combined those concentrated extracts are almost instantly deadly.” Aribell, put a hand to her head in a concerned gesture, “Thank you for your time Lessah, please don’t be a stranger as the Order is always a friend to you.”

    Lessah walked home then, right down the middle of the street. She didn’t care who might be watching from the shadows; she was exhausted. She arrived home to a thankfully empty apartment, washed up, and changed her cloths. Lessah found that, though tired, she still could not sleep. Too many events were running themselves over in her mind.

    She climbed out her window and onto her roof just as the first rays of light were threatening to crest the Market Place walls. The familiar sounds of the fruit vendors crashing around and setting up shop for the day were a strange comfort to the girl.

    Lessah sat on her roof and allowed the sun to light up her face. She thought about the events of the night before, and wondered inwardly why her father would risk retribution from his brothers to protect Lessah and… her sister. Lessah decided that Lerincho must be father to both girls. She thought to herself that Lerincho’s brothers must not know about their existence. If they did they did not let on.

    “Sunrise, is now my favorite time of the day lady.”

    Lessah closed her eyes and smiled at the voice behind her. “Hello Ranger,” She replied.

    Gindel walked over to sit beside Lessah, and put a comforting arm around her. Lessah was far too tired to argue such a bold move and instead, laid her head on the young ranger’s shoulder.

    They sat in silence for moment, watching the sun crest the walls of Stormreach. When Gindel finally looked down to speak, he saw that Lessah had fallen fast asleep. He smiled to himself, pleased that she would trust him enough to show such vulnerability.

    “We have much to talk about when you wake up sneak.” He said to the top of her sleeping head.
    Last edited by Lessah; 06-12-2007 at 11:48 PM.

  3. #63
    Community Member Robi3.0's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    In lab Renegadely Making

    Default The Way to Tangleroot, chapter 2

    Belbe had started her shift about a half an hour before sundown. The sky was a deep purple now as the sun finished pushing the last of its self behind the horizon. The wagons of the caravan were now circled around themselves for protection. Belbe was rather pleased that she didn’t have to even tell them to do it this time. She had spent the first hour of the shift trying to explain the basics of swordplay to her young guard partner. She eventually gave up and told him to yell if he saw anything out of the ordinary.

    They were now walking the radius around the camp about 180 degrees from each other. The rest of the camp had gone to bed a little while ago. The only real movement coming from the camp was, besides the two guards, was the light and shadows from the campfire dancing around from under the wagons and between the wheel spokes. The weather had taken a turn for the better while Belbe slept away the afternoon. Now instead of having her cloak pulled up tight around her, it hung loosely around her shoulders. The moonlight gently gleamed off of her chain mail, silver like her hair. She tried to keep her self from becoming too bored by reciting spell verbal components in her mind, while keeping a lookout for danger.

    “BELBE!” Belbe’s mind rocketed into action when she heard the voice of her partner call out. Heming was the young man’s name. She always thought that Heming was more of a halfling name, but her partner tried hard and meant well. He actually showed up on time for guard duty more often then Grimlore and Kirshank put together. “BELBE!” She made her way around the radius of the wagon as fast as she could. Aided by a spell or two she arrived only a few seconds after Heming had begun his call. He looked very surprised to she that see had gotten to him so quickly Belbe crouch down low to the ground as soon as she arrived. “What is the matter?” She whispered as she pulled Heming to his knees by the back of his shirt tail. Heming pointed out into the night. “There is something out there.” Sure enough the forms of two large humans dragging another of equal size could be seen in the distance. “What’s going on” Heming asked as he reached, hand shaking, for his short sword.

    Belbe knew exactly what was happening as soon as her keen elven eyes made out the shape of a mohawk on the top of one human’s head. She reached out and put her hand on the hilt of Heming’s sword preventing him from drawing it. “Go wake one of your a buddy and tell him to take over my post.” Belbe stared out into the distance. “I’ll take care of this.” Heming took off in the direction of the guard wagons; Belbe stalked out after the retreating party, making sure to keep good distance between them and her. Her elven agility aided her greatly as she shadowed her quarry.

    Grimlore and kirshank must have walked a good ten miles out from base camp before they stopped at the edge of a small forest. “What now Grim?” Kirshank dropped Ulf’s leg. He hadn’t imagined how hard it was to drag a 220 pound man all that way. If he had known he might have thought twice before agreeing to help Grimlore. “I suppose we are far enough away that we can kill his stupid accuse for a human now. Do you have the stuff?” In response Kirshank pulled a pack off the top of Ulf’s prone from; He pulled ten days worth the rations for one person out of it. After taking a bit of some tail bread Kirshank dumped the rest on the ground. Then he patted a bulging coin purse attached to his belt. Grimlore grinned that the thought of his plan blooming in his mind. “Good, now when everyone wakes up tomorrow, they will assume that Ulf robbed the expedition and ran off into the night. No one is going to bother going to look for him if they belief that.” Grimlore eyed the stolen gold. “You do know your splitting that with me 60/40 right.” Kirshank pulled a long dagger out of a belt sheathe. “If by 60/40 you mean 60 for me and 40 for you, sure. After all I did most of the dragging.” Grimlore looked at Kirshank with dangerous intent in his eyes. “WHAT, it was my plan I should get the most.” Kirshank gripped his dagger tighter. “I did this as a favor to you. I didn’t even hate the guy. The boy could drink! I should get the most.” Kirhank lounged out with his dagger. Just before it reached its intended targets throat, Belbe stepped out of the shadows. “Stop it” Kirshank pulled his dagger back before it hit the Barbarian’s throat. He shot Grimlore a sideways smile before turning to face Belbe. “Okay, 50/50.”

    Belbe scowled at the duo. “What in the name of the Host are you two doing?” Grimlore more cavalier than usual leaned up against a tree and put his foot on top of Ulf’s chest. “I was wondering when you were going to come out of the shadows and join all this fun.” “You are not going to kill him, just because you don’t like him.” Grimlore stood straight up and kicked Ulf, who was starting to wake back up, square in the face. He succeeded in knocking him back out again. “I don’t like him this is true but it is more then that. Kirshank show her the map.” Belbe rolled her eyes. “I already know about Ulf’s map. I was there remember.” Kirshank pulled a piece of parchment out of his belt pouch. “No, this is a real map. I lifted it from the last tavern we where in, before I got hammered.” Kirshank pointed at the map. “This is where we are camped. We are heading east. In two days time we will be right in the middle of Hobgoblin Country.” Belbe grabbed the map to examine it more closely. “The three of us would make it out of there. Hells, Ulf might even make it out, but everyone else is going to die. That’s going to make it awfully hard to get another job don’t you think?” Kirshank finished and proceeded to kick Ulf in the ribs twice. Ulf was still out cold. Kirshank just kicked him out of spite. Belbe sighed. “You guys are right. We can’t let this idiot lead those bigger idiots to their graves. We’ll have to do something about this.” Grimlore smiled his trademarked toothy grin. “But you’re not killing him.” Kirshank stared that Belbe blankly. “Then what are we doing with him.” Belbe walked over to Ulf’s pack or rather the pack Grimlore and Kirshank stole in order to frame him. She began to rummage through it. “I have a better plan.” Kirshank’s eye brightened a little bit. “What kind of magics are you going to cast on him Belbe? Turn him into a frog, or maybe banish him to the abyss?” Belbe pulled some rope out of the pack. “No, you’re going to tie him to that tree.” Belbe pointed to a large tree right on the edge of the forest. Kirshank kicked Ulf five or six more times before dragging his limp body to the tree and stringing him up. Belbe picked up all the food that Kirshank had dumped on the ground and put it back into the pack. Then she placed it at the foot of the tree that Ulf was tied to. She turned around to return to camp only to be met with Grimlore’s angery glair. He had moved behind Belbe as she bent over to place the pack at Ulf’s feet. He was uncomfortably close now and Belbe became a little frightened. “What by the grace of the six are you up too? Leaving him tied to a tree is going to kill him as surly as I would have. This way is going to be a lot slower; you should just let me slit his throat.” Belbe cleared her throat and step closer to Grimlore in an attempt to show him she was not afraid. “I am up to nothing. If you kill him he is surly dead. If we tie him up here someone might come along and untie him; if not then it will be the wilds that kill him not us. I won’t have us killing someone in cold blood.” Grimlore back off a little but not much. The tension seemed to loosen a little between them. “What ever you say Boss” The venom dripped thick off of Grimlore’s tongue as the last of that conversation rolled from his mouth. Belbe started to walk back to camp, only giving a passing glance at Ulf as she departed. “You know what I find strange. You seem to have no problem with cold blooded killing when we’re getting paid. Why is that?” Grimlore’s words stung deep. Belbe could only reply under her breath. “Yes, that is strange.”

    Grimlore and Kirshank stayed behind for a few minutes to make sure Ulf was properly secured. What that meant was that they beat him till he was awake and fully aware of his predicament. Before leaving Grimlore got up in Ulf’s face and whispered, “Who is the one who is might now?” Ulf answered back by spiting in Grimlore’s face. Grimlore simply turn around and muttered. “That is your one Freebie Ulf, good thing you won’t be around long enough to need another.”

    From the distance Belbe could hear Ulf’s cries of pain. She tried to ignore them, but they still bothered her a little. What is wrong with me? She thought.
    there's one thing you never put in a trap if you're smart. If you value your continued existence. If you have any plans on seeing tomorrow then there's one thing you never, ever put in a trap.

  4. #64
    DDOCast & Hero Theris's Avatar
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    Thelanis: Anne|Annala|Torzion|Anastazie|Sprockettz|Theris

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  5. #65
    Community Member Robi3.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    In lab Renegadely Making

    Default The Way to Tangleroot, Chapter 3

    On the way back to camp everyone was disturbingly quiet. As the group topped a small ridge that bordered the camp, Belbe could see that camp was just starting to wake, as the sun began its ride into the heavens.

    Belbe crept silently into the camp fallowed by Grimlore and Kirshank. Once they had made it into the perimeter of the Covered wagons, Belbe looked that the other two. “I am going to bed don’t bother me.” She then walked back to the wagon she had made her bed and crawled inside. She took off her cloak and armor leaving on only a Wool tunic and a pair of leather britches. She with out losing a beat then moved over to her person pack and began to search for something very specific. She pulled out a few wands and laid them on her stretched out bed roll, then a couple of empty spell component pouches. She had almost dug to the complete bottom of the bag before she found what she was really looking for, a plan brass cylinder. She grabbed it and made her way to the entrance of her wagon and stuck her head out to make sure that no one was spying on her. Her survey of the outside had proven to be to her satisfaction, so she ducked back into the wagon and popped the lid off the case. Belbe pulled several sheets off rolled up parchment out of the tube and began leafing through them to find the one she was looking for.
    She placed the parchment on her bed roll and smoothed it out flat. She began to read the words softly to herself while concentrating on them in her mind. She began to feel energy build up in the back of her mind. It was small at first but it began to grow. The faster she read the faster it grew. The more she concentrated the stronger it got. Finally it grew to the point wear it could not be contain. Belbe uttered the last word from the scroll and disappeared in a flash of light.

    After departing Belbe’s company Grimlore and Kirshank walked to the center of the camp and sat around the blazing campfire and waited. The expeditions cook busily hovered over the fires stirring this and flipping that. Kirshank helped himself to a cup of coffee and sat back down on a log next to Grimlore. He took one sip of the coffee and made a face. “This needs something.” He said to no one in particular; then he pulled a large flask out of his cloak pocket and poured some of its contents into the mug. Grimlore got up after a few minutes and walked over to the cook. “What are we having today?” Then with out waiting for a reply he manhandled the cook out of the way and began to make a plate. Before returning to his seat he poured himself a cup of coffee.

    Belbe’s slim figure materialized only a few paces for where they had left Ulf tied to the tree. He was hanging limply in his bindings. A large black bird had made the back of Ulf’s head a perch and was probably waiting for his body to rot up a bit so it was easier to eat. Belbe hoped to herself that he had passed out and not dead. She approached Ulf cautiously and once she was within range she swatted that the bird. It flew off into the wood squawking in protest. Belbe left Ulf’s head and let go. It fell limply to his chest, but much to Belbe’s joy he groaned. She gently shook the poor man until he woke up. Ulf startled awake and cried out “Don’t Leaves me.” His voice was very hoarse probably because he and been yelling for help since they had left him. Belbe pulled a water skin from the bag that lay on the ground by the tree and held it up to his lips. “Drink this. You will need all the strength you have so relax I am here to help.” Belbe spoke in a soft soothing tone. She hoped that it would help defuse the situation. After Ulf had emptied most of the water skin Belbe ripped a strip of cloth off of the bedroll, which accompanied the pack, and wetted it down with the rest of the water. Ulf was badly beaten. His left eye was swollen shut dried blood crusted his upper lip and ran along his jaw line. Belbe even thought that he was missing some teeth but she couldn’t be sure if that was Grimlore and Kirshank’s doing or if he had been missing those teeth since before they had met. She did her best to clean the poor man’s face up. For the most part Ulf just hung there and took it like a man only wincing a few times while Belbe was working. Belbe looked the young man in the eyes after finishing cleaning his face. “I need you to listen to me very carefully and most of all trust what I am about to say as truth. I am going to untie you, but before I do that I need you to promise that you will not go after Grimlore and Kirshank. If you do it will only lead you to your death, since I was the only one keeping them from killing you the last time. I won’t step up for you again.” Belbe took the proud barbarian’s defeated look to mean he would oblige her, and cut him down. He fell to his knees momentarily unable to support his own weight. It was then that Belbe noticed the thick blackish purple pressure bruises around both his wrists, probably the result of being tied up and passing out forcing his wrists to support his whole weight. Belbe helped him to his feet. ”It is time for you to Flee Ulf, and maybe one day our paths will cross again under better circumstances.”

    Ulf gathered his things and took off in a running stumble heading due west. Belbe watched him until he disappeared in the distance. Then she pulled her last teleport scroll out of her back pocket. She cast the spell and once again disappeared in a flash of light.
    there's one thing you never put in a trap if you're smart. If you value your continued existence. If you have any plans on seeing tomorrow then there's one thing you never, ever put in a trap.

  6. #66
    Community Member Robi3.0's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    In lab Renegadely Making

    Default The Way to Tangleroot, Chapter 4

    Grimlore and Kirshank where both finishing their breakfasts when they heard the Head Master yell, “We have been robbed,” they both continued sitting on their log until they had completely finished their meals. When they were done they got up to investigate. After all they had to put on a show if this was going to work.

    The Head Master was sitting amongst a pile of papers, supplies and the broken remains of a lockbox. Kirshank was the first to enter fallowed by Grimlore. “What seems to be the problem?” Grimlore said as he made his way around Kirshank. He did a rather convincing job at faking a surprised look when he saw the mess him and Kirshank had left the main supply wagon in. The Head Master got off his knees and kicked around a few piece of debris “We need to find out who did this.” “I’ll do a head count to see if there is anyone unaccounted for.” Grimlore said as he tried to hide his smile. Head Master gave Grimlore the go ahead with the wave of his hand as he walked out of the wagon. Grimlore and Kirshank smiled at each other as they fallowed the Head Master out of the wagon.

    Grimlore walked to the center of the camp as Kirshank walked the perimeter of it banging on wagons and yelling for a roll call. “I want everyone front and center; we have a thief among us and I aim to be weeding him out.” Grimlore stood in the middle of the camp and yelled more and more command louder and louder. Pretty soon everyone was lined up in the center of the camp while Grimlore called out names. After about ten minutes they had completed the roll call and everyone had been accounted for except for Belbe and Ulf. Grimlore knew full well where Ulf was so he sent one of the minor guards to check his bunk while Kirshank and he walked towards Belbe’s. She must be pretty tried after last night Grimlore thought to him self as they walked to Belbe’s wagon. Once they where at the wagon Grimlore pulled open the flap to stick his head in and wake Belbe up.

    Belbe’s body materialized inside the wagon. Hearing the ruckus outside from the roll call she knew that something was up. She quickly striped down to her underclothes and climbed into her sleeping bag. Just then Grimlore’s head poked into the wagon. He saw Belbe laying there seemingly asleep. He quickly looked around the wagon and noticed the contents of Belbe’s pack lay scattered above where Belbe lay. A few component pouches, some wands but more interesting was the scroll case that was opened and the stack of scrolls the lay beside it. “Belbe wake up we have been robbed.” Grimlore shouted at the top of his lungs. Belbe jumped awake being very careful to hold her sleeping bag over herself as if hiding something. “I know and you know that I know so why are you bothering me?” Grimlore looked at her suspiciously. “We are doing roll call you need to make an appearance so people know you are here.” Belbe sat up a little more but managed to keep her entire body covered up. “Okay, leave me and I will be out in a moment.” Grimlore eyed her a little harder. “Actually I would prefer you come with me a right now.” Belbe rolled her eyes and stood up still keeping the blanket over her body. Grimlore rolled his eyes back at her. “You can leave the blanket you know and quit wasting time.” Belbe dropped the blanket; it landed in a pile around her ankles. “Fine but would you mind leaving while I dress myself.” Grimlore seeing that she was not fully clothed which was the opposite of what he has suspected pulled his head back out of the wagon and shut the flap. “Be quick about it then.” Belbe simple smiled as she pulled on the britches and wool tunic. She slipped on her boots but didn’t bother tying them. She was planning on going back to bed as soon as possible.

    Grimlore escorted Belbe to the center of the camp where the rest of the employees and scholars stood in a line. The bright morning light stung her eye a little, so she cup her hand over her eyes after she brushed a few stray hairs off of her face. Only a couple minutes passed when the guard that Grimlore had sent, returned from Ulf’s bunk with a halberd. “Ulf is missing. All I could find of his was this.” The guard presented the weapon to the Head Master; he took it and examined it for a while. “This was Ulf’s most prized weapon; he would not just leave it here even if it was him that has stolen from us.” Head Master looked at Belbe and Grimlore. “Something foul is afoot I want all available men searching the area around the camp for Ulf.” Belbe wiped some of the sleep out of her eyes. “That sounds like a good plan, but right now I am tired I just finished up the night watch where I might add I didn’t see anything weird. Grim here is in charge for the time being.” Belbe turned around and walked back to her wagon. Grimlore fallowed her and grabbed her firmly by the shoulder before his entered the wagon. “I don’t understand why you didn’t just try to talk them out of looking for Ulf of course this wouldn’t be a problem if you had let me kill him. Belbe looked over her shoulder. “What I don’t understand is why you went though all that trouble trying to frame Ulf, but you couldn’t check and make sure you had gotten rid of all his stuff. Beside they are not going to find him. This is your mess clean it up.” Belbe brushed Grimlore’s hand off her shoulder and climb into the wagon got ready for bed and went to sleep. Grimlore just shook his head a little and walked away.
    there's one thing you never put in a trap if you're smart. If you value your continued existence. If you have any plans on seeing tomorrow then there's one thing you never, ever put in a trap.

  7. #67
    Community Member Music_Man's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Default The Merry Pranksters, The Saga of Killbot, Chapter 1

    The Saga of Killbot, Chapter 1: The Noose and the Heart

    Killbot sat on the floor of the holding cell staring through the bars that separated him from the outside. The big warforge wasn’t much of a thinker or philosopher, but he at least understood the metaphor. Somewhere inside him he experienced epiphany regarding his construct nature and the prejudice that goes with it. Though, he would be hard pressed to actually express those feelings in words. It’s not that Killbot is stupid (he’s very brilliant at what he does), rather he is inarticulate and anti-social nature make him unable to explain the alien sensations of “emotion.”

    As the sun slipped by and the silhouettes of the bars crept along the wall, Killbot came to understand those prejudices were the reason he was being sentenced to immediate execution. But he still could not comprehend why it was that way.

    It was a delicate situation with a bit of history, but the authorities didn’t care about reasons. Killbot had recently encountered Jaggie Jukebox for the first time as he was leaving Tangleroot Gorge. The female warforged played him a few songs, and inside Killbot was filled with an unexplainable sensation – unlike any other he’d experienced. It was not only her songs, but something more about her presence that made Killbot feel. To any non-construct the sensation was quite obviously Lust, though the barbarian warforged created solely for battle had learned little of such pleasantries. This had been the only time they met, and it was rather brief. Regardless, as are the forest creatures drawn to the Orphean Lyre so is Killbot enamored by Jaggie Jukebox.

    When Killbot learned Jaggie was kidnapped by two warforge, he made his way as quickly as possible to the scene of the crime. Not understanding others could not read his mind like his master had been able to do, he felt he didn’t need to explain or validate his desire to help. This made him come across just a little (to make an understatement) hostile and untrustworthy to the two halflings who were with Jaggie at the time. The fact he was warforged made it even harder for the two halflings to see the sincerity behind Killbot’s bewildering behavior. Being shunned away by the two lil’uns, Killbot turned his fury on the city. Jaggie needed rescuing, and if the bard’s friends weren’t going to help Killbot needed to take matters into his own hands. He ran about in his rage tearing up buildings, acting as a vigilante, and threatening bar frequenters in order to gain a lead. Maybe for the better, Killbot found no leads, which is what lead him to seek help from the SRPD; though that was probably the worst decision the barbarian has made to date.

    Killbot was arrested on the spot when he barged into the SRPD’s office raging and demanding a large number of men to rescue the missing Jaggie Jukebox. The Chief of the Paladin Division had a good laugh before they detained him. Certainly they didn’t care about a missing adventurer; adventurers go missing all the time – it’s the nature of the trade. Killbot was also unaware his recent bout of destruction of city property and vigilantism had made him a wanted warforged.

    The SRPD relished the opportunity to finally have someone to blame for all the warforge related crimes that remained unsolved. And certainly their new scapegoat would be very pleasing to the Coin Lords, some of who were very upset with the SRPD’s performance – or rather lack thereof, especially in regards to maintaining the peace and order among the Coin Lord’s constituents. Constituents who just had their houses smashed and their husbands threatened by this very same warforge.

    Certainly having this one renegade warforge to “bring to justice” worked to their advantage and made them look good, not only to the men paying their wages but also to citizens who knew nothing more than they were told and lived their lives in fearful prejudice.

    __________________________________________________ ______---=====++++====---__________________________________________________ ______

    Killbot was humbled. He knew of nothing he could do to escape; he even hated the thought of calling it escape. Rather he needed redemption, though such a word was not a part of his limited but functional vocabulary.

    Through the thunder of steel-barred doors came a man in robes. Killbot assumed him to be the executioner, for there wasn’t much time left until the order was seen through. As the man came closer, Killbot could see him hiding within a cowl. It was obvious this man did not want his face to be seen by anyone, though Killbot didn’t care for subtlety at this point and paid no mind. That is until the man stopped in front of Killbot’s cell.

    Killbot was at first surprised, then he re-noticed the fact he was the only one being detained in this particular cell block.

    The man peered through his cowl, into the cell. The man was obviously angered and upset. “Get up, ya big lunk o’ bolts, nuts, ‘n’ junk. It’s time ya be leavin’ this place.”

    Killbot stared at the man with his blank red eyes. Killbot blinked. The man grew more annoyed, obviously he was in a hurry. The paladin unlocked the cell’s door.

    “Look ya big lug, I haven’t got the time for you to sit there stallin’. I’ve got a schedule to keep. Now get up, yer coming with me.”

    Reluctantly Killbot stood and followed the man out of the cell block. Quite to his surprise, he followed the man out the front door of the building too, and across the market place as the man sunk further into his cowl. Further still Killbot followed, until they had reached the wealthy section of Stormreach. Killbot was feeling quite out of place, and as his pace slowed the man grew evermore impatient.

    It was at this point Killbot realized this man’s robes were the common attire of the Coin Lords; it made sense now why the man was afraid to be seen escorting a wanted warforge through Stormreach.

    Killbot continued following the man’s lead quite curious as to what new fate he would be facing; perhaps he was meant to be a body guard or an assassin – Killbot would rather be executed than to sink to such lowly or dishonorable professions, but he decided to focus on the moment as opposed to fantasizing potential futures.

    They entered a large house, and climbed two flights of stairs before entering a large study littered with overfilled bookshelves and unorganized notes scribbled here and there. There was a desk by a window. A large chair had its back turned towards the two. Initially, Killbot had assumed this house to belong the Coin Lord, but it now seemed maybe it didn’t.

    A familiar voice spoke from the chair, though neither of them could see the speaker. “Ah, I see you’ve returned my friend to me. That was a very wise choice you made. Please, Killbot, wait in the hall while I finish business here.”

    Before the doors closed and muffled the rest of the conversation Killbot heard the Coin Lord speak. “That’s my side of the bargain. Now where are those documents.”

    In a few moments the doors reopened, and Killbot looked within to see the Coin Lord sitting at his desk – it was the Coin Lord’s house after all.

    “Alright, it’s time to go now. These are for you – keep them safe.” Killbot was more than a little bewildered; he has a very keen eye, yet this elf managed to slip right past him at the same moment it had opened the door. Once Killbot recognized this as none other than The Reinvented he grabbed the papers being offered to him.

    “I recommend you keep these document with you at all times Killbot, they grant you full protection from the law to a lesser extent of the freedom I enjoy. I further recommend you lay low while I finish smoothing this out. There are a number of issues at play here, including the SRPD’s chief paladin’s personal vendetta against me and my associates.”

    “Oh, and one last thing. You owe, Sir Varro Velox your humblest apologies – if I’m not mistaken you thrashed his house just a little.” It was obvious from the hand gesture and tone of voice that was a generous statement.

    With a waggle of his fingers, the two were teleported to a more secretive sanctuary.

    "I hope you learned something from this. 'Cause I'm telling ya -- that's the way you survive doing what we do; staying ahead of the game and out of harms way."

    In response Killbot could only nod. He had learned much, mostly about the ways of men, politics, and the corruptability of the human mind to find escape from psychological pressure (all of which were completey arbitrary and incomprehensible to the warforged). But most importantly, Killbot came to realize how he was different from all those he had encountered waiting for the noose... Unlike all of them who falter in their steps, the path he travels has a heart, incorruptable and inpregnable & nothing can stop him so long as he stay true to his heart & step.
    Last edited by Music Man; 06-22-2007 at 11:43 PM.

  8. #68
    Community Member Deriaz's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default The Brothers Forged, Chapter 3 cont. Part III, Questionable Intent

    The Brothers Forged
    Chapter 3, cont. (Part III)
    Questionable Intent

    Ragyr was practically dragging Deriaz down the street, early in the morning, before anyone else was on the streets. “We’re leaving. Come on,” he sighed, “would you just come already?”

    Deriaz shook his head. “I still have to tell everyone how long I’ll be gone for! We don’t even have enough potions, and you haven’t told me anything about where we’re going—“

    “We be goin’ to the Menechtarun Desert, though we’ll be makin’ some other stops along da way, y’know?” A Halfling with an odd accent behind Ragyr spoke up, catching Deriaz off-guard. “It be a ten day trip. We be leavin’ today, an’ we won’ be back till prob’ly da evenin’ of the tenth day. Yer sure you two can handle the responsibility?” he glared up at the two Forged.

    Ragyr swung an arm around Deriaz’s shoulders, grinning. “Course we can!” he laughed.

    The Halfling narrowed his eyes. “An’ ye be sure ya don’ be wantin’ pay for dis?”

    Deriaz’s eyes widened, and he looked at Ragyr. “No pay? Whatever happened to—“

    Ragyr cut him off. “Yeah, yeah, I know. I only work for a reward. But honestly, if it will get you to stop worrying so much, I think no pay for this is perfectly acceptable!” he laughed again, but Deriaz still looked worried. Ragyr punched him playfully. “Come on, what’s the worst that could happen, hm?”

    The Halfling coughed. “Well, ye could die if’n we be ambush—OOF!” the Halfling coughed as Ragyr pushed him over with his foot. The black Forged moved in front of Deriaz, and grinned.

    “Come on, Deriaz. It’ll be an adventure. Don’t you like adventures?” he laughed a third time.

    Deriaz stared at him for a moment before finally speaking up. “. . . You’re insane.”

    Ragyr grinned wickedly. “Possibly. Now, come on!” He walked behind Deriaz, pushing him towards the large covered wagon a few feet away.

    With his feet dragging in the dirt, Deriaz glanced back at Ragyr. “Could I maybe write the Fellowship a letter, then, telling them where I’ll be?”

    Ragyr growled, seeming to become more urgent. “No, no time. Come on, we’ve got to be off!” He grunted, pushing Deriaz into the wagon.

    Deriaz’s attention shifted instantly to the brown wood on the floor. Around him, there were boxes, containing food and supplies. It looked to be an exploration caravan than a merchant one. Ragyr looked up at him, and hopped into the wagon with a sigh. “Look, they’ll be fine, alright? It’s ten days. What could happen?” Ragyr took a seat across from Deriaz. He grabbed the closest item next to him, an apple, and bit into it. “Look,” he said with a full mouth, “trust meh on dis one, mk?” He swallowed. “This is gonna be simple. It’s exploration. Nothing bad. What’s the worst that could happen? We just go through a few forests, see the sights, record some stuff, and we’re back.”

    The Halfling could be heard outside, moving towards the front of the wagon. “Yeh, or we could die, if’n we run intah somethin’ dat doesn’t like us bein’ der.” Ragyr growled at the depressing comment, but shifted back to Deriaz, who continued to stare at the ground.

    Ragyr tossed an apple at him. It bounced off Deriaz’s head, and into his lap. He picked it up, looking confused. “Trust me. We’ll be fine.”

    “Yeah, sure,” Deriaz sighed, as the wagon slowly began to move through the Marketplace. “Any reason we’re the only two on this caravan trip?”

    Ragyr laughed. “Cause this fool is too cheap to hire more than us. And we’re even cheaper, considering we’re not getting a reward, and we don’t even need to eat or sleep! What could be a better deal, hm?” Ragyr frowned as his words seemed to fall on deaf ears. Deriaz’s attention had shifted to the apple, almost looking as if it was the most curious thing he had ever seen.

    Ragyr sighed, and grabbed a slip of paper and a writing stick. Quickly, he scratched out a note. To sign it, he pulled out a small, red vial. It appeared to be blood, though it wasn’t for certain. As the caravan passed by the Fellowship’s guild hall, he leapt out of the wagon. He sprinted to the door, slipping the note under, and dove back into the wagon. Deriaz continued to focus on the note.

    Anyone who would have happened across the note would have found it hastily written. Parts of it were illegible:

    To the Fellowship people, and anyone else who could possibly care:

    The runt. . . Deriaz, that is, is in my care. We’re going on a caravan exploration trip. We’ll be headed down to the [the writing is illegible here]. Will be back in ten days. And don’t worry, I’m [a smudge] going to [more illegible writing] to Deriaz, alright? Don’t worry about us.

    We won’t be worrying about you.

    A large, deep red ‘R’ was printed below it. It was also signed ‘-Deriaz Ironfist’ carefully, looking like Deriaz’s writing than Ragyr’s.

    Ragyr grinned to himself as they passed south through the city gates, and into the wilderness. He leaned back, and put his hands behind his head. “This is the life, hm? Just relaxing, and having not a care in the world!” Ragyr leaned over, grabbing a bottle of wine. He uncorked it, and drank half of the red content in one swallow.

    Deriaz continued to stare at the apple in his hands.
    Thelanis - Warforged Shield of the <Fellowship of the Golden Night>

  9. #69
    Founder TreknaQudane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Merritt Island, Florida


    Storms of Xen'drik: Rain (Part 3)

    Softly chanting, Gauche went through the motions of a spell. After a bit of coaxing the Kundarak Wizard had agreed to train him, though in truth it had started out as blackmail, Drenor had been quite eager to get his keys back.
    Reaching the end of the spell, Gauche quickly snapped his hands together with a small thunk. Slowly he pulled his hands apart and saw the bit of wax was still there.

    “I'll be takin' it then your spell failed again,” Drenor started, “Yea've got no chance being a real wizard if you can't even create a simple ghost sound cantrip.” Standing up, the dwarf walked over to Gauche, “Go through the motions again...”

    A little bit more hastily than he would have done otherwise, Gauche worked himself and Drenor through the motions. He remembered exactly how to do them... he just couldn't. His own body seemed to be working against him. Occasionally he'd been able to get the cantrip out with no issues, however his success rate was no where near good. It was beginning to frustrate the warforged immensely.

    “I've got an idea Gauche, if yea are willing ta try. Some Kundarak agents engrave runes on their armor to make it easier to manipulate magic in, “ quickly the dwarf traced the outline of one such rune in the air, where it hung with a dull orange glow. “ yea could try the same thing with your... body.”

    Letting the words hang in the air both literally and figuratively, Drenor walked quietly out of the room leaving his apprentice and friend Gauche alone, though he'd not admit the fact if anyone asked, with the floating rune and a tiny hammer and chisel floating besides.

    <- Chapter 2 ->
    <-Thelanis Anthology Index->
    Last edited by TreknaQu'dane; 06-09-2007 at 11:54 PM.

  10. #70
    Community Member Deriaz's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default The Brothers Forged, Chapter 4, Inside the Mind of a Killer

    The Brothers Forged
    Chapter 4
    Inside the Mind of a Killer

    The caravan slowly rolled back into town from the same gates it had exited ten days ago. A black Warforged could be spotted inside in the back, waving a hand in front of a blue one. . . Who looked to be slightly different than when he had left.

    The caravan rocked to a halt, and footsteps from the front could heard as the Halfling came around the back. A frown was easily visible on his face as he approached the two. “Exactly what duh ya mean by ‘I dunno wot his problem is’, eh?” the Halfling spat.

    Ragyr seemed to be caught completely off-guard for once. “I. . . I meant what I said! He’s never acted like this!” Ragyr said as he hopped out of the back of the wagon. “He went into a trance around day four—“

    “Lucky for us, that was de day we got ambushed,” the Halfling sighed.

    “—And he hasn’t snapped out of it since. I figured he’s just thinking, but after five days of nothing. . . Not even a mental thought. . .” Ragyr trailed off.

    The two stared in silence at Deriaz, who was still in the same seated position he was in before he left. Nothing was in his hands, though he kept them cupped as if the shiny red apple was still there. Ragyr eventually coughed, and spoke up. “Well. . . I suppose I should take him someplace safe, hm?”

    The Halfling coughed as well. “Yeh, well, yeh mind explainin’ one more t’ing for meh? Wot’s with the whole mutation thingy dat he went through during da trip, hm?” He sighed seeing Ragyr’s blank expression. “I mean how he got. . . How he got. . .” Ragyr reached up and tugged Deriaz out of the wagon. The blue Forged followed obediently, but no expression was on his face.

    “Y-You mean how he got bigger?” Ragyr stammered. He almost looked as if he stared at Deriaz with a look of terror in his eyes. But he was right. Deriaz stood at least seven feet tall now, and the limbs of his body, his torso, and his head—Though only slightly--All looked as if they had enlarged.

    The Halfling nodded. “Yeh said he was. . . What. . . Only about six-- Seven hun’erd when you signed up fer this?” Another frown when Ragyr nodded. “Well, yeh could have told me he’d get dis big!”

    Ragyr shrugged. “Look, he shouldn’t have done this. I’ve only got one idea for why he’s doing this and. . . Well, frankly. . . I don’t exactly like it. . .” Ragyr trailed off again as he scanned over Deriaz.

    The Halfling looked confused. “One idea? Wot, yer friend here be eatin’ somethin’ to make himself bigger? Cause he looks as if he’s tippin’ the four-digits in weight!”

    Ragyr shook his head. “No, no, not that. . . Though you are right. He’s at least a thousand, but. . .” He paused, and the Halfling tapped a foot, waiting for an answer. “I’m taking him someplace safe. Maybe he just needs time, and he’ll go back to normal, you know?”

    “Yeh, wotever. . .” The Halfling sighed, and began work on moving the wagon through town.

    Ragyr tugged on Deriaz’s arm. “Come on, um. . . Runt. We need to get you someplace safe. . . One of the tavern’s, maybe?. . . Look alive!” he groaned as he tugged the lifeless zombie. “For the love of Blades, could you just co-operate with me for a bit?” He continued talking to Deriaz—Though it was obvious it was more to hear his own voice—As he lead the blue Forged to a nearby tavern in the Marketplace.

    ~ ~ ~ Inside the mind of Deriaz. . . ~ ~ ~

    Deriaz scanned his surroundings for the nth time. It wasn’t that he didn’t know where he was; far from that. He just had no idea what was going on.

    The floor below him was stone, and in the shape of many large squares. Deep cracks ran through them, though, and through the small rivers of water that separated the squares. On the edges of the platform, which itself was only a few hundred feet wide and long, were cliff faces. They went down for miles, into the black darkness below. Some parts looked as if a chunk had broken off, and fallen to the depths. As if to demonstrate, a large crack split the silence, and a massive piece of stone split off from the ground. It tumbled downward, disappearing into the pit. At the same time, a swift pain enveloped Deriaz, but it was gone as quickly as it came.

    He looked next, at the people standing around him. Some were Forged, some were human, some were elf. . . All stared at him, except for the chilling fact that most of the faces were gone. As the rock fell, Deriaz watched in horror as the faces of two of them disappeared. A woman with white hair and equally white skin, and a Forged with only one eye and no ghulra. Deriaz’s mind raced, trying to remember who they were, but the names were gone as well. All that was left was the bodies standing lifelessly, with the heads angled at him to give the illusion of staring at him.

    He shifted around uncomfortably, then. It wasn’t that he wanted to get comfortable. It was the fact that chains were covering his entire body, restricting him from moving easily, and two masks covered his face. One covered his forehead and left eye, and the second covered his mouth, and made a second layer over his left eye. He shifted around again, but suddenly fell backwards as something tugged him to the ground.

    “Brilliant, isn’t it?” a voice came to his ears. A blue Forged eventually stood over him. He stood seven feet tall as well, and looked just as heavy as Deriaz now looked. As Deriaz stared, he couldn’t help but notice this new person looked exactly like him. The newcomer stepped around him, and continued talking. “Because Ragyr isss split from you. . .” he started, but grinned as Deriaz flinched at the way he talked. A hint of insanity was in his voice, but the hissing was what bothered Deriaz the most. It reminded him of a snake.

    The newcomer started again. “Brilliant, isn’t it? Because Ragyr is sssplit from you, that leaves me as next runner-up to inherit the body. Oh, if only that fool could have been a little sssmarter, and just waited to see how easssy it is to take it from you. All you have to do,” he said in a sing-song voice, talking with a beat, “is erase. The memory. Of what. Isss already. . . There.” He spun around, and grinned at Deriaz.

    Deriaz shifted again, and only succeeded in moving an inch to the right. His new weight was uncomfortable to him. “Exactly who are you again?” he groaned.

    “Name’sss. . . S1T6L,” he said with a cackle, “but you can call me Serpent. Can you guess why?” he cackled again.

    Deriaz rolled his eyes. “I have no ideeeeAH!” he yelped as Serpent grabbed the chains and pulled, squeezing them around Deriaz. Another face from the crowd of people disappeared as the pain faded away.

    “Then you are a ssstupid one, aren’t ya?” Serpent said with a laugh. “Look, it’sss like this. . . Well, lemme give you the short version, ssso I don’ hurt ya head, k?

    I’m. . . You.” He grinned again, and slammed a foot into Deriaz’s stomach.

    The wind rushed out of Deriaz, and he coughed. He didn’t know why, but he did. After a moment, he shook his head. “You’re me? But I’m me. And you look like me. So how can you be me if I’m me and you’re you and not me and my mind is mine and yours isn’t mine as well?”

    Serpent stared at Deriaz for a moment. “. . . Look, Mistake, d’ya have any idea what you jussst said?” He sighed as Deriaz nodded. “Good, cause I don’t. . .” He shrugged, and continued. “Anyway, it was back when we tried to split. The first time. You were a spawn of that accident, mmk? In other words, Missstake, um. . . You’re a mistake. And. . .” The grin faded from Serpent’s face, and he glared at Deriaz with a literal fire in his eyes. “I want my body back. Mmk? But we jussst gotta erase whatever you’ve got crammed in here already. Your mind, that is.”

    He lifted up the chain. “And we kinda gotta get put back into one. Thank the starsss that comes along in the mind wipe package, hm?”

    He dropped the chain, and grabbed Deriaz by the neck, lifting him to his feet. “Now, then, let’s finish up with the names and the friendsss, and let’s get started on the bigger stuff.”

    Deriaz noticed a light purple glow coming from Serpent’s left arm. He spied the word ‘FaiLeD’ etched in his arm, exactly like in Deriaz’s own. The capital letters were the ones glowing, and the arm and hand began to slowly flatten. They became razor-sharp on the edges, and eventually molded into a massive bastard sword hooked to him by the elbow. “Say goodbye to your last little friend over there,” Serpent cackled, and motioned toward a little red-headed Halfling in the front of the group.

    Deriaz’s mind raced, and he tried to grab the name as quickly as he could. The blade of Serpent’s arm was quicker, and it dug into Deriaz’s stomach, through a small slit between the chains. The pain was severe, but there was no oil or any fluid lost. The face of the Halfling faded though, as Deriaz frantically snatched the name in his thoughts. The stone floor thundered as another large crack ripped through it.

    Serpent grinned, and threw Deriaz to the ground. “I could finish this now, but. . . Thankfully for you, I’m the kind that likes to play with my killsss. . . Remind you of anyone? What’s he call himself now. . . Ragu? Raga? Ragyr? Ragyr, yeah. I learn from the bessst, kid,” Serpent laughed, and walked off again. Deriaz caught a glimpse of a chain connected between himself and the back of Serpent’s head.

    Deriaz let his head fall back to the stone floor, not minding the little river of water that was running into his head. He tried desperately to remember the name of the last figure whose face had disappeared. “L. . . L. . . Um. . . L. . .” he muttered repeatedly, but nothing came. He cursed himself silently for forgetting so easily, and let time slip by.
    Last edited by Deriaz; 06-19-2007 at 07:52 PM. Reason: Typos
    Thelanis - Warforged Shield of the <Fellowship of the Golden Night>

  11. #71
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    Default Fellowship of the Golden Night, The Ambassadors, Volumn IX

    Fellowship of the Golden Night
    The Ambassadors
    Volumn IX "Transitions" Chapter 1

    *Uxor nestled in the crook of Varro's arm, quickly succumbing to slumber. On his back, looking to the ceiling, Varro closed his eyes as well, but sleep was far from his intent. The Avatar had much explaining to do.*
    Varro: <What is happening to me?>
    <I seem to recall a certain new Augur saying that his position did not seem 'holy' enough. I also recall that I told you soon it would be.>
    Varro: <Must you always be sarcastic?>
    <Must you always begin our talks with a question?>
    Varro: <Fair enough. I can't help it. You could have warned me... you made it sound like all I had to do was throw gatherings.>
    <You were told you would know great joy and be blessed. You are mortal still, do not mistake that. You just are coming to acquire a few new talents.>
    Varro: <How do I control the images I keep seeing?>
    <You will never be in control of them Augur.>
    Varro: <Lovely. So at random times, I'm to be overwhelmed by this host of visions...>
    <You certainly are a jittery think, aren't you? It is not 'random' images, Augur. You are connected to all the joy, triumph, laughter, and... happiness of others. You see the moments of pleasure in their lives. The reason it seems to overcome you is you have not learned to accept this as being part of who you are. Once you understand that it will always be there, you can focus on it, or on the things around you. As you grow better with it, upon both.>
    Varro: <So... mental conversation... a voice that is always heard... by many at once even... now the sight of all happiness. Anything ELSE I should be warned about?>
    <Only if you insist on hearing things you won't yet understand. The more time that passes, the more fluidly your new talents will function. You are one, you just haven't grasped al full understanding of that. I will say that more is coming Augur.>
    Varro: <In what way?>
    <Many. You will go where your desire takes you. All who look upon you will know that you serve our domain and that you are smiled upon. This will earn both respect... and disdain, Augur.>
    Varro: <Nothing without a price I suppose.> *Varro relented his talk with the Avatar, and instead allowed his mind to wander in the plethora of images that fought constantly for his attention. Always, he was an observer. He found that while some of the sights and feelings were pleasurable on a basic level, many more were so on a perverse or even grotesque level. The Avatar was correct - celebration belonged to ALL manner of beings, good and evil alike. His focus narrowed as one image started to pass through his awareness... Uxor, coiled against him like a contented cat. It was a bit peculiar to be able to look upon himself as an observer, but there he was, and there she was.*
    Varro: <Uxor?>
    *He saw her sit up, and immediately he began to lose his grasp of the image, but not before something else had his attention. A voice, and one that was not the Avatar...>
    Varro: <Who is this??>
    <Me? Who are YOU!? Varro is it you?>
    Varro: <Only in so much as you tell me first.>
    <Has to be you. Who else uses so much twisted talk.>
    Varro: <Maybe I only SEEM like Varro to lure you into security.>
    <This isn't funny. Get up!>
    <No, it's NOT funny... wait, get up? From what?>
    <From bed, what do you think I mean?>
    Varro: <Uxor?!>
    *Varro forced back the images entirely, with some difficulty, until he had the sights and sounds of the world around him once more. One of these sights was Uxor, sitting up in the bed beside him, and staring at him indignantly.*
    Varro: How did you do that?
    *Uxor rolled across the bed to fetch something to write with. Though the expression on her face was all that was really needed... she had similar questions for him, and none too happy. Varro awaited her writing patiently, propping himself up.*
    Uxor: "Well it's not the first time someone's walked around in my head. I just thought about what to say to you, and hoped you could hear it. It worked with Mekari, so I figured the same would apply to you. I don't appreciate it either. If you want to know something, ask. Don't come snooping in my mind..." *she stopped writing. Perhaps she felt hypocritical of berating him, considering what she'd put him through recently.*
    Varro: I wasn't snooping. It's just something that came to me. One of my ... how shall I say... divine gifts? I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet, sorry to wake you. Again.
    *She rolled her eyes at him as she continued to write.*
    Uxor: "That again. I wish you'd stop with all this Avatar stuff. I'm starting to think I come to bed with it rather than you."
    Varro: Don't talk like... I can't help...*he huffed* this isn't something I can just cause to go away.
    Uxor: "Maybe you should have thought about that."
    Varro: Look, if the god of... *he waved with his free off hand nonchalantly* of whatever it is you believe in for a god... If they came to you and told you that you could be an instrument of change... the power to reach the masses...a voice on their behalf, revered, feared, hated, and celebrated... would you do it?
    *She shook her head 'no'*
    Varro: No? You're telling me you'd say no to that? This isn't just the honor of your name in song and tale Uxor, this... this is notoriety on a divine scale!
    Uxor: "Life isn't about that Varro. We strive for balance with the world around us. What I believe in is karma, you know that. If there are gods, so be it. My purpose is to atone for actions I take in this life. What you're talking about is trying to control the balance, not move towards it."
    Varro: Well for all this talk of balance and answering for your actions, it certainly doesn't stop you from c... *he stopped himself, recalling that the last time he'd thrown out a flippant comment, it bought her hand across his jaw. She looked at him expectantly.*
    Varro: Alright, I can see you're not exactly with me on this. Just give me a chance to show you how useful this can be. Think of something that makes you happy. Anything. Think of the best meal you've ever had, or the greatest victory... just something that puts you in a good mood.
    *She huffed lightly through her nose, but sat up tall and closed her eyes meditatively. Varro in turn permitted the flow of images to engulf his consciousness once more. He tried to move among the images quickly, which was almost a dizzying experience. In passing, he could see her, reflecting on her meeting with a gleaming white man. By appearance, Varro presumed the man and Uxor were connected some how. Before he lost sense of her altogether, he tried once more to contact her.*
    Varro: <Was that your husband?>
    *He started to feel discouraged as the sight of her became lost amid the sea of other pleasures of the lands... until he felt her reply.*
    Uxor: <No. My father.>
    *Varro opened his eyes and fought back the images once more. He tried to hold to that connection with her. How his mother ever managed this as a normal means of communication was a mystery.*
    Varro: <Look at me.>
    *Slowly she complied, and as her eyes came open, the two sat staring at one another.*
    Varro: <Can you still hear me?>
    Uxor: <Yes.>
    *he smiled at her proudly* Varro: See? No more writing required.>
    *She shook her head to that notion in protest.*
    Varro: <You're not talking though, you're thinking. Besides, any vow that permits you to communicate with the quill certainly can't fault you on this method.>
    Uxor: <You don't look for ways to get around your vow Varro.>
    Varro: <But you weren't looking. Uxor think of it. You could be far from me, and yet I could still contact you. Think how broad our work can be done. Failing all that... it is good to feel what your voice is like. Well. At least what you imagine your voice to be like.>
    *She straightened a little more from embarrassment*
    Varro: <Don't worry... it feels beautiful.>
    Uxor: <You're just flattering me to have your own way.>
    Varro: <Flattery with the truth, the only kind worth giving. Lies are easily suspected. Useful, but much trickier to work with. As for having my way... well, I'll confess to that.> *he shifted his weight to playfully roll her towards him. She couldn't suppress a smile, despite her best efforts.*
    Uxor: <You're always scheming.>
    Varro: <Always.>
    *She relaxed her face to look more serious. Worried even.*
    Uxor: <speaking of truth and suspicions... people are going to start talking... if they haven't already.>
    Varro: <Let them. All that matters is we are content. Don't trouble yourself over gossip.>
    Uxor: <And what if that gossip turns to saying this arrangement of ours compromises our ability to do our duty for the Fellowship?>
    Varro: <You've been staying here every night for quite some time. Even before 'this' as you call it. We functioned fine then, why should they think it any different now?>
    *She gently ran her fingers along the back of his neck, whereat he grinned broadly, shivering mildly.*
    Uxor: <Sorry... I forget sometimes how cold I must feel to you.>
    Varro: <Actually I'm getting used to it. Enjoying even perhaps. But that doesn't prove anything except that I enjoy you. If they have something to say about it, let them come to us. We'll handle them as they come, alright?>
    *She didn't answer. He didn't press her for one either.*
    Thank you all!
    INTRODUCING: Thelanis Thursdays (Sarlona Sundays now up and running too!)
    The Thelanis Mass Event Schedule - what's happening on server
    "Ask Mer'lask" of DDO Podcast Roleplaying advice for the community

  12. #72
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    May 2006

    Default Fellowship of the Golden Night, The Ambassadors, Volumn IX

    Fellowship of the Golden Night
    The Ambassadors
    Volumn IX "Transitions" Chapter 2

    *The party was going better than Varro had anticipated. There were countless citizens there from far and wide. It seemed that at last he would be able to crush the rumor of his demise. Each time he turned to greet a guest, he was met with a small gift... food mostly. He accepted them with a broad smile, but after a time, he didn't think he could force himself to eat anything more. <At least it's better than them reaching out because they want to touch my face> he thought.
    It was not long into the party when an eruption of color and music confirmed what he suspected. The Avatar was present.*
    <When you get a moment Augur, I have something for you.>
    Varro: <you know, I did say no gifts....>
    <You will enjoy this gift. I said more was coming, if you must lump it with that explanation, my semantic bard. This is not a gift, this is another part of being Augur.>
    Varro: <A man after my own heart, tricking me into accepting gifts. Very well. What shall I do with the crowd?>
    <I will address them.>
    Varro: <Really? I thought that was my job?>
    <This is your birthday Augur. The greatest time of celebration, and you are to enjoy yourself.>
    Varro: <Fair enough.>
    *Indeed, the Avatar did address the people. Varro realized he'd been out dancing among the crowd in a set of skivvies, blending with the rest of the party goers. He then materialized once more atop the docks, fully ablaze in the multicolored robe, and directing the patrons to gather on the dock.*
    *Varro was riddled with questions and uncertain comments from his guests, who wondered at the appearance of the stranger that went by so many different names among them. Cries of 'The Watcher!' 'Dances with Kobolds!' 'Rainbow!' and 'Gary!' erupted among the people. The Avatar gestured for Varro to approach.*
    *The Avatar reached for Varro, and Varro accepted the grasp, as the Avatar explained to the people that the bard was to receive a gift. Varro was startled as he felt, more so than saw, the soft mist of something wrap round him. He looked down, and his eyes were met with an echo of the colored robe that the Avatar wore. A shout of 'Rainbow Two!' carried to his ears, which he definitively thought belonged to a certain Warforged friend of Uxor's. He ignored the tease, very astonished at the garment that was around him*
    Varro: <What is this? I...>
    <All who look upon you will know that you are smiled upon, Augur.>
    Varro: <Thank you. It's... is it real? It doesn't feel like cloth.>
    <It is a part of you. As will be this...>
    *A hush fell over the crowd as another form appeared beside the two of them. This figure also wore the multicolored robe, but it was female in appearance. Varro thought it looked rather fair skinned... not quite the ice of Uxor, but not entirely far off of that. For a moment, Varro wished Uxor was here to see it. She was never going to believe it otherwise unless she saw it first hand.
    This being radiated divine purpose, rather than moving among the people as the Avatar did. The crowd stood silently watching her as her voice permeated the air.*
    Varro is the sort of person we delight in seeing among the people. We have a gift for his services.
    *Varro glanced hesitantly at the gray haired male Avatar, who shoved him forward, as Varro had all but tried to slink behind him for protection from the female Avatar. Varro dropped to his knees and listened to the words of the second Avatar.*
    This is a gift that was difficult to acquire, and all here should know that the essence of it is bound to Varro alone. It comes from lands far from these... in what you mortals call the 'Mournlands'...
    Varro: Mournlands?! *he exclaimed, but stilled his tongue.*
    *She continued undaunted by Varro's astonishment*
    Accept this gift as a sign of our appreciation of you.
    *At Varro's feet, a round shape glittered into being. It was a large shield, worn and ancient looking. Varro stared at it with unblinking eyes, until some part of him - or perhaps a prod from the male Avatar - set him to picking it up. Despite the size of it, he found it to be most maneuverable upon his arm... far less cumbersome than many of the shields he'd adorned in the past. Upon the face of the shield could barely be seen a crown resting in a field of green, and a wheat-like pattern that worked up to encircle it. He didn't have time to study it closer to try and make out the scene further. It was difficult to tell what the meaning of these symbols were... images from a time long gone from memory perhaps. Even before the prompting by the two Avatars, the crowd had burst into congratulations and looks of wonder at the gifts that had been bestowed upon the Augur.*
    *For once, Varro really didn't know what to say, and he could not find words to give to the Avatars. Instead he simply radiated gratitude to them*
    <You're welcome Augur. Enjoy your gifts. You will find they come and go for you at your will.>
    *At last he managed* <They're a part of me now, aren't they?>
    <That they are Augur. The scepter as well... your adjustment time was simply not complete. You've made much progress however, and after watching you, we felt you were ready for this.>
    *Varro walked among the party goers as the Avatars faded from view, and he was almost in a daze with the excitement of it all. He heard one of the patrons calling out in alarm*
    "Your contest! That isn't fair, they went and trumped us all!"
    Varro: "Then we'll do it anyway, and find an outfit for me to wear when I'm not being so formal." *he said in an almost dreamy state, and experimentally, he tried to will the robe and shield away. He stood once more unadorned save that of his skivvies. Varro could only hang his mouth open with a maniacal smile painted all across his expression.*
    Thank you all!
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  13. #73
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    May 2006

    Default Fellowship of the Golden Night, The Ambassadors, Volumn IX

    Fellowship of the Golden Night
    The Ambassadors
    Volumn IX "Transitions" Chapter 3

    *Varro lugged the crate over the counter of the bank, and started to make for his next stop on his round of errands. His party had past, but there was still much to be done for the Olympics.
    As he was leaving, his eyes came upon one of the guards, who looked at him with a knowing smile. Varro kept walking.*
    <Are you sure about this?> *came the voice of Mekari in his mind. In the ever so slightest sense, he was relieved that to reply to her did not require the efforts and concentration of the Avatar's gifts.*
    Varro: <That's an awfully bold disguise. I wonder how long before someone finds the real guard who belongs at that post.>
    Mekari: <Only temporary. Just long enough to have a few words with you.>
    Varro: <I'm glad they are few... I don't have time for very many.>
    Mekari: <You insist on spending all your time with the pale faced girl, or else I'd have come sooner to speak.>
    Varro: <Yes well it's the only way people trust that I am me, and don't paw on my face... thanks to you. But enough of your frustrations - which must be a forgotten experience for you to be so exposed - what am I to be 'sure' about?>
    Mekari: <Your tournament. Not to mention these parties and gatherings of yours. You speak too freely of your talents my darling.>
    Varro: <Again, thanks to you, I had to find a way to crush the rumor... one that YOU started... that I am dead. As for the tournament, it's not merely my tournament. It sounds like you've already brought yourself up to speed on my being Augur.>
    Mekari: <As I said... you speak freely.>
    Varro: <Well what of it? There's no going back now.>
    Mekari: <I would that you'd have thought things through before you leapt to this. But you are right... no going back. However, the choice to be so public in your service to this 'celebration god' is one there is still time to remedy.>
    Varro: <Why, pray tell, is that?>
    Mekari: <Knowledge. Do you realize the potential you have... that could be put to purpose? More are coming, and if you insist on becoming something of value to them, I won't be able to protect you this time.>
    Varro: <It's too late to go back... in all ways.>
    Mekari: <Once word of your gifts reaches them, they will come for you.>
    Varro: <Did you think coming to tell me that would win you some sort of admiration from me?>
    Mekari: <I tell you because of my love for you.>
    Varro: <Of course. How stupid of me to forget that that's always what your purpose is, isn't it?> *he unintentionally rolled his eyes despite the fact she was not in front of him to see it.*
    Mekari: <I can try to shelter you, but more and more you make that difficult. Even I cannot say no if they were to take you.>
    Varro: <I'm told there comes a time when children grow up, and no longer require their parents.>
    Mekari: <Then pray to your god that you will not have need of me. For the day that you do, and I am not there, you will cry for the love I show you.>
    Varro: <Well thank you for your concerns, but I think you'll find me far more capable than you suspect, and especially now.>
    *No retort came, and he was glad of it. There was much to prepare still, and arguing with her was not upon his list of errands.*
    Last edited by Merlask; 06-26-2007 at 01:37 PM.
    Thank you all!
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  14. #74
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    May 2006

    Default Fellowship of the Golden Night, The Ambassadors, Volumn X

    Fellowship of the Golden Night
    The Ambassadors
    Volumn X "Testing the Waters" Chapter 1

    *Dancing. Drinking. Lovemaking. Killing. Stealing. Thousands of images he'd waded through, his mind leaping from one being's pleasures to the next, seeking the one scene that he knew would aid them. At last, Varro glowered at the sight of the bound Jaggie. Saber's glee at his accomplishment of grabbing the bardic 'forged had allowed Varro to see that which Saber was celebrating. Varro tried to continue watching, but it was difficult, as the sights frequently tried to revert to other activities in other parts of the world. Feeling the images slipping, he called out to the Avatar again*

    Varro: <Is it always this hard to hold gaze on something useful?>
    <You've been Augur for a little under a few weeks of your life. It is going to take time to learn to use that which you have been gifted to>
    Varro: <Sorry. Time for me to learn the ropes is just not a liberty at the moment... speaking mortally as it were.>
    <For starters, you need to relax. Stop trying to see one thing, and come to appriciate as many as you can fathom at once, Augur>
    Varro: <There are so many... and the one thing I WANT to see will be lost in it all>
    <Because you are trying to watch, not appriciate. Once you appriciate it, it will come readily to you>
    Varro: <I don't understand 'appriciate.'>
    <Then understand this... that which you see can be of the present and the past. If you do not come to appriciate, then you will have no way of knowing if this thing you 'want to see' is something that is happening now, or something that has already transpired>
    Varro: <Ah. Right. I forgot about that. Just tell me what you mean by appriciate>
    <What do you think the word means, Augur? You are a musician, so I'll explain it to you in a way you can wrap your mind around.... you're trying to watch, like a detached member of an audience awaiting a show. But you know the joy that one can have in coming to accept the rapture of the song, and letting that song move through you. Letting the art coil around your very being. When you can do that, your skill as Augur will move with you and through you, and you will never know that you had been seperate of it.>
    Varro: *he huffed a little in frustration, roughly having an idea of what the Avatar was refering to now. How to accomplish it was another story altogether. He allowed the images to slip from him entirely, and resumed his focus in the world around him. At least he had some news for them* <It's me. I've seen her. Unfortunately I can't tell if what I saw was what is happening now, or what has already come to pass. I'm working on it.>

    *The reply he received felt very irritated* <You know I hate when you do this, right?> *Uxor seemed most displeased*
    Varro: <Well it's not as if I'm doing it to get under your skin here Ux, I'm trying to help. Would you rather I ran all the way to you and THEN told you what I know, or tell you as soon as I know. This way is much faster, and time is our enemy>
    Uxor: <Just... unnerving. Even if what you saw was the past, it gives us something to work off of. Could you see where she was? Who was with her?>
    Varro: <It's somewhere with a lot of warforged. Saber is there... the one who was with the Lord of Blades. I saw Ragyr too, which doesn't surprise me too much. Couldn't hear anything that was said though... mostly it was Saber's perspective. I'm still working on getting another angle. She was bound, but she looked alive. I can't get a solid connection to contact her the way I contact you yet though, unfortunately. Which partly makes me worried that what I've seen is done and over with.>
    Uxor: <Keep trying. There is all sorts of trouble afoot. It's like the whole town is coming in on us at once>
    Varro: <I will. What sorts of trouble?>
    Uxor: <Well, if you'd get your head out of that Rainbow Robe for two seconds, you'd know>
    Varro: <That's hardly fair>
    Uxor: <Nevermind. Just keep on with what you're doing, I'll work on my end. You have a better faster shot at this than anything I can do on foot, so I'll deal with other things in person, alright?>
    Varro: <Do me a favor>
    Uxor: <What favor is that?>
    Varro: <Think happy thoughts.>
    Uxor: <I want to be optimistic about this as much as you, but...>
    Varro: <No, I'm serious. If you keep a light heart or at least let your mind wander to that which is pleasent to you, I will have an easier time coming to find you if need arises.>
    Uxor: <Understood. I'll try.>

    *Uxor went to find Liyra, as Liyra and Dal seemed to be very instrumental in keeping an ear to the ground and searching out Jaggie's kidnappers. She related all that Varro told her to Liyra*
    Thank you all!
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  15. #75
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    May 2006

    Default Fellowship of the Golden Night, The Ambassadors, Volumn X

    Fellowship of the Golden Night
    The Ambassadors
    Volumn X "Testing the Waters" Chapter 2


    Merlask: Varro, Uxor, The Avatar
    Deriaz: Deriaz and Ragyr
    Liyra: Liyra
    Clanscorpion: Sorgo, Sho, and Lord of Blades
    Jaggie: Jaggie and Saber)

    *Ragyr continued walking away, but glanced back once at Jaggie. He grinned to himself, starting to formulate a plan in his head, before facing forward and continuing again*
    *Ragyr heard talking, very direct, in his head. It felt familiar somehow, but what he heard was* <RAGYR! The Gods have summoned you!>
    *Ragyr froze, and looked around, not recognizing the voice* <Hmph. The gods? Exactly who is this?>
    *Red eyes glared from over the head of one 'forged, as Saber shoved passed. He had seen the second in command of Blades army taking too much interest in his prize*
    The Voice: <The Gods have no patience for your doubts. You have been summoned to answer a great calling! Accept... or perish.>
    *The Avatar spoke to Varro directly, but privately* <That was uncalled for.>
    *Varro replied to the Avatar just as privately* <Look, how else was I gonna get him to stop and listen to me?>
    Ragyr: *His eyes widened slightly* <Perish? Really? And how do I know this isn't some intricate trick? I've had more than one person talk in my head before.>
    Avatar to Varro: <Your gifts are NOT a toy, Augur, use them carefully.>
    *Varro glowered at the Avatar's reminder*
    Varro to Avatar: <Fine fine, but just trust me when I say that I'll need all the help I can get here.>

    Saber: Hoy! Warforged, step away from that scrap. She belongs to Blades. *he called out to Ragyr*

    The Voice: <I am the voice that was chosen to speak, so as not to shatter your primative mortal mind. Rejoice in their mercy. Serve their will well, and you will be rewarded.>
    Ragyr: *he turned around to Saber* What, me? I've already stepped away. Got a problem with me admiring something of Blades? *he answered the voice* <Hm. Rejoice. Pardon me if I don't but..> *he stopped at the word 'reward'* <Reward? What kind of reward?>
    The Voice: <Boundless eternal reward will be yours. Gifts of the highest powers.>
    Ragyr: <Hm...> *Ragyr considered this idea for a moment.* <Tempting...>
    The Voice: <You have but to answer the questions of the Gods, and you will be blessed by their favors.>
    *Varro felt the Avatar speak to him again* <Careful Augur.>
    Varro to the Avatar: <I am, I am>
    Ragyr: <Questions? Hmph. Simple. Let's hear these questions.>


    *Uxor approached Liyra, seeming very urgent in expression*
    *Liyra turned to Uxor* What's going on? News bout Jaggie?
    *Uxor nodded and wrote* 'Varro's come through for us. He says he's seen her. He's just not sure if what he saw was happening NOW, or if it's something from the past. But it is Saber who is with her. And Ragyr.'
    *Liyra frowned* Did you see where they were?
    Uxor: 'he said they were in some kind of gathering of warforged. There were a lot of them.'

    (Back at the camp)

    *Saber walked about Jaggie, then looked at Ragyr again.*
    *Varro tried to focus on Saber's pleased thoughts, trying to retrace the steps that lead him to where they were now encamped.*
    *Saber's mood was changing now. Jealousy lumped in his throat.*
    The Voice: <Ragyr, describe for the Gods what manner of existence you find yourself in at present.>
    Ragyr: <Manner of existance? As in...?> *He glared at Saber* Can I help you, by chance? Or you just trying to waste my time? *he grinned.*
    The Voice: <Your surroundings.> *Varro meanwhile continued to try and sort through past images of Saber.*
    Saber: Admire something else, warforged. That's all I'm saying. Blades said he be here for her, not you.
    The Voice: <Explain to the Gods where you are for your current calling in life>
    *Varro cringed at his sloppy twisting of the question to Ragyr* Varro to Avatar: <Lil help?>
    Avatar to Varro: <None. This is your mess Augur, figure it out.>
    Varro to Avatar: <Are all Augur tossed to the air like tiny birds from the nest? To fly or die?>
    Avatar to Varro: <What a good idea...>
    Varro to Avatar: <No no no, just... learning is all. Frustrated.>
    Ragyr: <Hm... where are we... 'bout two leagues, maybe three, from the harbor. On a beach.> *he laughed at Saber* I'll admire what I want, thank you very much. *he grinned again*
    The Voice: <What day is it mortal? By your reckoning?>
    Ragyr: <What day? What does all this matter, anyway?>
    The Voice: <Do not question the will of the Gods, mortal! Their wrath is ever present. Answer that which is asked of you.>
    *Ragyr shrugged and related the day* <Yeah, sure, answers. Whatever. Keep on asking then>
    The Voice: <What plans have you for the Musical 'forged, known by the mortals as Jaggie Jukebox?>
    Ragyr: <For her? Don't quite know yet. Anything to try to get her out of this current situation. I do kind of owe her for practically saving my life.>
    The Voice: <Very well. You have answered the questions correctly, and appeased the Gods. They now have a task for you to claim your final reward.>
    Ragyr: <A task?> *he seemed to become less amused and slightly frustrated* <You said all I needed to do was answer questions to be rewarded. Not do a task.>
    The Voice: <Ungrateful mortal one! To serve the Gods IS a reward, and acting in their service is the highest form of appeasement to them. You have proven yourself, do you not desire your reward by the favor of them granting you the opportunity to serve them, and claim that which is yours?>
    Saber: *He grabbed Jaggie about the arm* Up. Blades should be here soon.
    Varro to Uxor: <They're outside the harbor. I'm trying to get Ragyr to leave a signal for you to follow. They're on a beach.>
    Ragyr: *grinned, though it was to the voice* <Right. A task. Hm... exactly WHAT do you have in mind?>
    The Voice: <Very soon, a messenger of the Gods will be coming to deliver unto the mortals tidings. You must create an offering for this messenger...>
    Avatar to Varro: <Don't think for a second that I'm going to stick myself down there in your dealings. I cannot save you Augur.>
    Varro to Avatar: <Fair enough.>
    Ragyr: <An offering? Hmph. Offerings are usually given to gods you believe in, aren't they? And I'm not exactly a faithful one... but I'll bite. What do you want me to do?>
    The Voice: <At the base of your surroundings, close to the waters, build a beacon to welcome this messenger. Be it of fire or light, that is up to you. But the more pleasing the beacon, the greater your reward.>
    Ragyr: *he blinked in confusion* <Let me get this straight... you want me... to build a beacon... telling you where I am... in the middle of Blades' camp?>
    *Mentally Varro stammered a moment for words*
    The Voice: <It is not a beacon to YOU... it is a beacon for the messenger. Once this beacon is built, your location is immaterial>
    *Varro relayed the information of the beach and the beacon to Uxor, but another vision passed by him. That of Blades. He related more to her* <Uxor... Blades is going to start killing the Fellowship. He's delighting in thinking on it.> *and he flipped back to Ragyr*
    The Voice: <Do you not realize that the Gods are aware of where you are already? How else would you be blessed with receiving this task?>

    *Uxor related the news to Liyra, who looked at her in disbelief*
    Liyra: Does Varro really expect Ragyr to set up a bonfire given where Ragyr is?
    *Uxor posed Liyra's question back to Varro*

    Ragyr: *he paused, glancing between Jaggie and Saber* <...Alright. Fine. How big is this supposed to be? Just big enough to see?>
    *Varro tangled amid images of Blades, Saber, Ragyr, Ragyr's conversation, his attempt at contacting Jaggie still, and Uxor's conversation*
    Varro to the Avatar: <HELP!>
    Avatar to Varro: <Just...relax Augur.>
    The Voice: <Do that which you believe will best please the Gods, mortal. Make an offering worthy of the messenger.>
    *Varro's mental tangle left him to send to Uxor next* <Know that your failure will result in your demise!>

    *Uxor blinked a moment, then wrote to Liyra* 'Yes, I think that's EXACTLY what he thinks Ragyr is going to do for him.'
    *Sorgo walked up to Uxor and Liyra and saluted. He had a shield on one arm, and a mace in hand. He was ready for battle. Sorgo looked grim.*
    *Uxor looked to Sorgo and wrote* 'We have a problem, and I'm afraid it's going to take some...fighting.'
    Sorgo: Sho told me to protect you... sadly, I saw this coming.
    *Uxor nodded and tried to write an explaination of what was going on for Sorgo*

    Saber: Bloody worthless 'forged. *Saber growled at Ragyr, then moved Jaggie forward.*
    Ragyr: *He grumbled under his breath* Worth of... *he retreated back to his mind* <You're telling me to build something that is worthy of a messenger, no less one I don't believe exists, and that I'm suppose to know how big it's supposed to be?> *Ragyr took a step forward, tugging Jaggie's shoulder, and subsequently, Saber, back. He stared at Jaggie for a second before speaking* I think she's fine here. If anything, I'll bring her to Blades.
    The Voice: <Well what offering do you suppose a God deems worthy, mortal known as Ragyr? A tiny torch? A little palm mirror?>
    *Ragyr laughed at the voice in his mind* <You still haven't told me what god, exactly, I'm building this for.>
    *Jaggie gave out a muffled yelp from her gag, as Saber shoved her forward and away from Ragyr* Saber: You'll not get my reward for her. Find something else to please Lord Blades.
    The Voice: <The Gods go by many names mortal. This, however, will be the herlad of those who are of Celebration, of Accomplishments, and of Victory.>
    *Ragyr grabbed at the ropes around Jaggie's back, tugging her back again* So you snagged a Forged. Good job. Not exactly worthy of a reward, is it? I've done that and more. *He whispered under his breath to Jaggie* Sorry 'bout that. *Ragyr laughed even louded to the voice in his head* <Celebration? You're kidding, right? What game are you trying to pull? Who am I talking to?>

    *Uxor finished relating the situation to Sorgo* '...and now Varro is trying to get us a signal of where they are so we can try to extract Jaggie.'
    *Sorgo nodded, understanding everything exactly. He took of his helmet for a moment to wipe his forehead, and for that slight second, Uxor could see what looked like a dragonmark on his face.*
    Liyra: *she made a note of the dragonmark, but said nothing, then sighed and asked* Any luck with that beacon?
    *Uxor again questioned Varro* <Anything?>
    Varro: <Eh... complications, but I'm working on it. Just get yourselves to the harbor and be ready.>
    *Uxor wrote* 'He's working on it. But he said we need to get to the harbor to look for the beacon.' *Uxor also noted the mark on Sorgo, and seemed concerned over it... but she likewise did not ask questions of it yet*
    *Sorgo starts praying, then waved his hand over Uxor and Liyra, blessing them*
    *The sound of static and hissing came to their ears, and a blue Forged and a large metal dog came into Uxor, Liyra, and Sorgo's view. He paused, looking over them* Deriaz: ... Am I interrupting something?
    *Uxor looked relieved...and at the same time worried, to see Deriaz. She thrust the pile of notes she'd used to explain to Sorgo into Deriaz's hands now.*
    *Deriaz skimmed the noes, but only nodded. He didn't say anything.*
    *Sorgo mind connected with Sho* <Sho, where is Blade's camp? Jaggie is in trouble!>
    Sho: <What!!? Damn! 2 leagues west from the harbor on the beach! GO!>

    *Varro glowered at Ragyr's reactions* <Alright, I'll level with you... mortal. Do you want Jaggie out of there alive or not?>
    Ragyr: <Mortal. . . hmph. I'm beginning to believe you're nothing more than me. But yes, I want her out of here. She saved my life, I may as well do something to try and save hers.>
    Saber: Blades wanted her alive and gave me the task to bring this filthy traitor back, not you. *Saber's hand was firm on the handle of his axe*
    Varro: <Help is coming Ragyr, but it needs to know WHERE to go to help, alright?>
    *Ragyr glanced down at the handle of the axe, and back up at Saber. He seemed perfectly calm.* And you did it. Good job. You want me to clap? Now, why don't you just let me take care of her?
    Ragyr: <Help is coming... hmph. And exactly who is coming? Cause honestly, I'm starting to doubt that a real 'messenger' is coming. Why don't you just come right out and say it?>
    Varro: <The Fellowship. They're coming for Jaggie. Thankfully they have me here to tell them that you're NOT one of the ones trying to harm her.>
    Ragyr: <Hm... the Fellowship? That's all I needed to know. So you want the beacon on the beach? How big?>
    Varro: <Big enough for them to spot from the harbor, so they know where to aim for>
    Ragyr: <Big Bit of a problem though>
    *Blades exists his tent, and was humming to himself, very pleased with how things were going. This pleasure resonated to Varro's awareness*
    Varro to Uxor: <Oh...hell....>
    Uxor to Varro: <What??>
    Varro to Ragyr: <Figure something out! Blades is coming Ragyr!>
    Ragyr: <Blades is what?> *he glanced over his shoulder, spying Blades*
    *Blades then stopped, seeing Ragyr, Saber, and...Jaggie.*
    Saber: *growled at Ragyr* Lost in thought, 'forged? *he shoved Jaggie back with another hard tug*
    Ragyr: *snapped to attention* Lost in thought? Of course. Trying to comprehend how stubborn you are. <Ok. Two problems, I suppose. Look, just give me a minute here, and I'll get you a beacon.>
    Varro to Uxor: <Blades is on the move. I don't know if Ragyr can give you your signal in time>
    Saber: Huh, whatever, bloody worthless forged. *he turned around, dragging Jaggie behind him. He nearly smacked right into Blades.*
    Blades: Saber? Did you bring Jaggie in?
    *Ragyr looked between Blades and Saber, like he didn't know what to do.*
    *Saber dropped to one knee and threw Jaggie to the ground before him* Yes Lord.
    *Jaggie whimpered as she glanced up to the Lord of Blades.*
    *Ragyr took a step back, glancing between the beach and the image of Jaggie at the feet of the Lord of Blades.* <Beach... or fight... beach... or fight... Oh, hell.>

    *At this bit of information, Uxor grabbed a hold of Sorgo and Liyra, and then used the two of them to usher Deriaz into running...she seemed urgent about them setting off right then*
    *Deriaz nodded, remained silent, and was ready to go where taken.*
    *Sorgo repeated directions to Uxor, who followed his instructions*
    Uxor to Varro: <We can't make it in time if he's that close already. Stall them...>

    *Varro grimaced and did the only thing he knew... he reached out to Blades with his mental volley*
    The Voice: <LORD OF BLADES! Your great works have attracted the favor of the Gods!>
    *Blades punched Jaggie in the face as he herad the voice, thinking she was playing one of her games.*
    *Varro grimaced. That wasn't quite the reaction he had in mind.*
    Ragyr: *without thinking, Ragyr burst out audibly* Hey! *he clamped his mouth shut instantly*
    Jaggie: *though still gagged, she grimaced* murr...pammar...
    Blades: YOU!! You betrayed me! *and he hit Jaggie again*
    *Varro tried once more.*
    The Voice: <LORD OF BLADES!! The favor of the Gods is upon you! Claim what is rightfully yours, and heed to the herald of the Gods.>
    *Saber stood and smiled, most pleased with the wonderful treatment of the musicforged*
    Blades: <I need no one to tell me I am God, I KNOW I am. I am Lord of BLADES!> *Blades turned to Ragyr* Hey what?
    *Ragyr, not knowing if the voice was still there, retreated back to his mind* <How about a flare? You got time for a flare?>
    The Voice to Blades: <There are many Gods, Lord of Blades. Each unto their own portfolio. It so happens that your divine works have attracted the attention of ours.>
    Blades: <I am greatest of all, now get OUT of my HEAD!>
    Ragyr: *he shook his head* Nothing. Was just, um, thinking. And out loud. Yeah. *he thought again* <ANSWER ME! Do you have time for a flare, or am I doing this myself?>
    *Oil seeped from Jaggie's brow. The plating that had been poorly repaired after Saber had marked her was breaking from the blows.*
    Varro: <Flare would be excellent Ragyr...and eh...just be ready if you see someone in a moment>
    Ragyr: <Alright. You got it. You want a flare, look to the sky.> *He shut his eyes, and the runes began to glow slightly on his body.*
    The Voice to Blades: <Do not call the wrath of they who regard you in an admirable light, Lord of Blades.>
    Blades: <There are no gods, except Lord of Blades. Get out of my head!>

    Varro to Uxor: <You said stall them, so I will. Just... get yourselves here fast. I don't know how long I can last doing this.> *he situated the sparkling multi-colored robe, the shield, and scepter. He knew he was going to regret this. He focused hard on the location of Saber, Blades, and Ragyr*
    *Uxor hurried her group down to the shores of the Harbor and watched for a signal*

    Varro to the Avatar: <No help at all?>
    Avatar to Varro: <None Augur. You are about to step out of my domain unfortunately, with what you're thinking about doing.>

    *Blades kicked Jaggie hard, throwing her upward*
    Jaggie: Ka-um! *when she hit the ground again, light whimpers could be heard and her eye had turned dark. She was lost in herself.*
    *Ragyr clamped his eyes shut, and raised one arm to the sky. A red jet of flames rocketed from his hand. At the same time, he raised his other hand in the direction of Blades* Sorry, but the tables have turned. *He pointed a finger at Blades face, and a ray of fire shot forward.*
    Thank you all!
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  16. #76
    Community Member
    Join Date
    May 2006


    Fellowship of the Golden Night
    The Ambassadors
    Volumn X "Testing the Waters" Chapter 3

    Merlask: Varro, Uxor, The Avatar
    Deriaz: Deriaz and Ragyr
    Liyra: Liyra
    Clanscorpion: Sorgo, Sho, and Lord of Blades
    Jaggie: Jaggie and Saber)

    *Blades ducked, the spell knocking his helmet off only. Blades then tackled Ragyr.*
    *Ragyr hit the ground with a grunt. One eye opened, and he grinned at Blades* You're much heavier than you look, you know?
    *Blades's spikes dig into Ragyr, and Blades punches Ragyr in the face over and over, spikes digging in*
    *Saber jumped back at the sight* I told you he was worthless forged Blades! Just like the bloody scrap here! *his axe was fully unsheathed*
    Ragyr: *he growled in pain with each blow* <Not. What. I. Had. Expected. You and that damned --- OW! --- guild had better get here quickly!>
    Varro: <They're coming. And I'm coming too. Just you be ready, alright?>
    Ragyr: <Be ready? Oh, sure. If I'm not dead by then. You have any idea what I just did?>

    *Liyra turned toward what seemed like a blinding flash, and realized it was a jet of flames being shot skyward* There's Ragyr's signal! Varro got him to actually make one.
    *Uxor nodded and motioned for them to set off towards it*
    *Deriaz nodded, but continued to remain quet. He made one quick hissing and static sound to Spike, and the metal dog growled and followed close behind.*
    *Uxor came to the water's edge, and looked for a boat for them to pile into*

    Blades: Saber, shut up and ready the army! *he got up, picked up Ragyr, and threw him 50 feet*
    Saber: HOY! *the call could be heard from all around. Warforged stopped their tasks and turned quickly. All seeing Blades fighting his second in command, Ragyr.*
    *Ragyr landed head first into the ground, and lay motionless for a moment before slowly struggling to get up.*
    *Varro closed his eyes, holding the scepter and concentrating on where he desired to go, and the form of the Bard appeared in a blinding, glittering flash, amid Saber and Jaggie. In a voice that was louder than anything, his words reverberated in any mind within earshot* <DIE BEFORE THE WRATH OF THE GODS!> *which was received by friend and foe alike*
    *Blades flinched at the noise in his head*
    *Ragyr glanced back at the figure of Varro* <Oh, sure, you come as I get thrown. Nice timing.>
    *Varro hoped his flamboyant entrance was enough to startle some of them. He knew that it would not, however, slow Blades - other than to cause him to wonder at the loud voice. Blades had seen him before, and such a disguise would not fool him.*
    *Blades drew his double bladed sword*
    *A yellow glow came from Jaggie's brow. Another whimper could be heard, but then it stopped suddenly and became a growl.*
    *Ragyr slowly got to his feet. White energy covered his right hand, which he placed over the holes the spikes had made in him. Slowly, they began to mend. With his free hand, he pointed another finger at Blades, and a ray of frost shot outward.*
    *Varro swirled his arms, and a great burst of color errupted all round him, and flashing lights and steady beats came forth, as he brought on the most powerful dancing sphere he could summon.*
    *Blades charged...the Juggernaut had started. Frost covered one of Blades enormous spikes*
    *Varro stood in the center of the spell. Any who approached would have to contend with the magic.*
    *Saber staggered from the shout of Varro, but he still gave out another command* Rush!
    *Blades charged with great speed, and jumped, launching himself in the air towards Varro*
    *Ragyr glanced between Saber and Jaggie* Mind if I take your little prize? *he rushed forward, knowing full well he wasn't much in a melee fight, but attempted to get past Saber to grab at Jaggie*
    *Varro braced and started to sing his hold song, as fast as he could manage without error which ruin the whole attempt at song.*
    Saber: Bloody forged! *Saber's axe came swinging for Ragyr's head. Behind them, Jaggie was crawling up to her knees.*
    *Ragyr skidded to a hault, and jumped back, trying to get out of the axe swing. The blade still clipped him across the eye. He stumbled back, trying to repair it quickly with his magic.*
    Saber: *the axe came swinging again, but left Saber's hand, as a jagged ball of wood and brass colored steel slammed into his back*
    *Ragyr blinked in surprise* Wha--? *he shook his head, and grabbed for the axe quickly.*
    *Mud splashed up in the air as Saber crashed to the ground* Graah! *Jaggie ripped at the plating on his back*
    *Varro finished his song, but his eyes widened as he realized that Blades form was still falling fast upon him. He scrambled to try and tumble out of the way*

    *Uxor paddled harder. She had tried to speak with Varro, and did not get a response.*
    *Sorgo cast mass haste*

    *Ragyr laughed as Jaggie ripped at the plating* Well, glad to see you're willing to fight. *He spun around, grunting as he swung the axe at a nearby forged which was coming up behind him. It was becoming apparently obvious he wasn't good in an actual one on one combat*
    *Jaggie glared upa t Ragyr. Oil oozed from her brow and her plating wasn't its normal smoothness. It was becoming sharp and jagged. The bindings around Jaggie's arms began to stretch and snap. She began to charge at Ragyr*
    *Ragyr started in amazement at Jaggie's new look, but then ducked as the forged behind him growled and swung. He quickly turned, and planted his palm into the assailant's stomach. The forged became coated with ice. Ragyr' swung the axe, shattering the statue. He then turned to see Jaggie coming at him* Alright, now, let's not get too extreme here. I'm on your side, alright?
    Jaggie: Rurtt... *a deep sound rolled up from her chest as she ripped the cloth from her mouth. She'd be on top of him in moments.*

    *The boat load of Fellowship came ashore. Most of the warforged were engaged with the commands of Saber and the Lord of Blades. None the less, Uxor motioned for htem all to take caution and stay down. She slinked out of the boat and moved forward, waving for them to proceed*
    *Deriaz jumped out of the boat, and Spike followed, both seeming to not want to touch the water. Immediately, Deriaz seemed to scan the fight, looking for someone.*
    *Liyra unsheathed her sword and crept forward, obviously trying to keep from rushing right into the battle.*
    *Sorgo followed, then fell to his knees, blessing his friends and summoning a giant scorpion*
    *Uxor fussed with some goggles for a moment, and her form went dark, and difficult to see.*

    *Blades fell to the ground hard, missing Varro barely, but the force from the crash knocked Varro back.*
    *With the wind knocked out of him, Varro slid across the ground to the edge of the dancing sphere. Breathless, he couldn't call forth his musical talent in that moment, and he clutched at the graze across his side from Blade's impact. He instead took the opportunity to bring forth a short sword that gleamed with positive energy.*
    *Blades got up, standing up in the crater he made, trying hard to resist the spell, dancing only slightly*
    *Varro looked past Blades to Ragyr and Jaggie, and reached out mentally, since he couldn't speak* <Ragyr! Come to the lights, get in the sphere!>

    *Uxor moved in the darkness towards the camp steadily, watching behind her for her comrades, and ahead of her for signs that she'd been spotted, as she slinked along invisible.*
    *A stray arrow flew at Uxor, and Sorgo jumped infront and blocked with his shield*
    *Sorgo couldn't see her clearly, but he felt a gentle pat on his shoulder. She pressed on towards the ruckas of light and combat ahead.*

    Ragyr: *he took another step back, and flames erupted on his hands. He dropped the axe* Alright, now, Jaggie. Don't take it personally, but I'll defend myself if I have to. *He focused on Varro again* <Bit busy, if you can't tell.>
    *Flames or not, Jaggie sent down a flurry of blows to strike at Ragyr.*\
    *Ragyr tried to move out of the way, but wasn't quick enough. He fell to the ground at Jaggie's blow, and struggled to get up.*
    *With great urge, Blades danced out of the sphere, and stopped, staring at Varro with great anger.*
    *Varro quickly resumed trying to get another hold song off. Several of the forged around were caught in the sphere now, or standing and staring aimlessly from his song.*
    *Blades ordered his bowmen to line up around the sphere.*

    *The group came upon the scene of Jaggie and Ragyr rolling about in fighting, Lord of Blades standing amid it all, and Varro surrounded by a host of Forged caught in his dancing sphere, as well as a pack of forged archers taking aim for him now.*
    Sorgo: Let us charge. Let me charge, they need help. Out numbered.
    *Sorgo felt another slap on the back. He could presume this was approval. He could already hear Uxor's armor clinking as she went dashing forth.*
    *Sorgo charged, calling out to the Flame.*
    Liyra: *taking Sorgo's charge into the melee as a go ahead, she ran forward, ducking and weaving through the warforged, to reach Jaggie.*
    *Deriaz made another hissing and static sound to Spike. The two sprinted forward, literally throwing themselves onto anyone they could find.*

    *Varro weighed his options. If he stopped singing, he could go invisible, but more than likely the archers would still know where to aim... if he finished singing, he could catch those close at hand, but the archers could still strike him. So he turned to the only skills he had left that could be of use... bluffing and intimidation.*
    *In his very loud voice, he called forth to the warforged around, his voice sounding as if he were standing right next to them...*
    *Varro's form shimmered, and he held the shield and the scepter in hand, and the shimmering purple robe materialized on him. He held himself up very tall, not even bracing for the volley of arrows, hoping that all of this would cause enough of them to hesitate for him to form a plan. He tried ot maintain a calm presence as he boldly walked directly towards a few of the forged, seeming undaunted by their readied bows.* <FLEE...OR PERISH, MORTALS> *and he walked calmly towards them, gliding practically.*

    *Sorgo charged Blades with great anger, and swung his mace at him*
    *Blades barely felt it. He grabbed Sorgo's mace, and bent it out of shape, knocking Sorgo back. Then he grabbed the scorpion and ripped it in half.*
    *A whirling sand flew up at Blades face, and he felt a tremor in the ground trying to make him lose his footing. He maintained it, but the onslaught of sand served to get in his eyes, blinding his sight. Somewhere amid this whirling sand, he felt the distinctive sting of a blade. It was not as effective at piercing his hide, but he knew that whatever this sand was, was related to his second attacker.*
    *Sorgo drew his Silver Flame longsword, and called to the Flame. HIs sword burst into blue flames, bright enough to light the entire camp, and he charged, slicing at warforged around him.*
    *Blades punched the ground, sending a shockwave to knock his attacker down.*
    *Uxor fell to the ground, but she had at least managed to prevent Blades from seeing what he was doing, hindering his attacks.*

    *Ragyr got to one knee, shaking his head in pain. One hand went to his head, holding it in pain.*
    Jaggie: Ruuurrtt *Another deep rolling sound, and Jaggie stopped striking Ragyr. Her eye trained on someone else.*
    *Deriaz and Spike slowly were making their way towards Ragyr, who had gotten on his hands and knees.*
    Ragyr: *He got to his feet after a second, only to be met with the blade of another forged, cutting into him.*
    *Liyra ran over to Jaggie's side, standing to face Ragyr. Without saying anything, she tried to hand the shield back to Jaggie.*
    Jaggie: Flaame *the blue flame of the sword marked her new target. She didn't take the shield, didn't even look at Liyra... she ran at Sorgo.*
    Thank you all!
    INTRODUCING: Thelanis Thursdays (Sarlona Sundays now up and running too!)
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  17. #77
    Community Member Deriaz's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default The Brothers Forged, Chapter 4 cont., Inside the Mind of a Killer

    The Brothers Forged
    Chapter 4, cont.
    Inside the Mind of a Killer

    Ragyr ran through the doors of the Phoenix during the night, almost in a panic. The disguise of Bolt had been completed, but something in the back of his head told him it wasn’t going to last long.

    He ran past the first bar, but skidded to a halt as he saw the figure of Jaggie passing in front of him. He jumped to the left, hiding behind the wooden pole that stood in the doorway. Carefully, he looked around the pole to see if she had noticed him. Ragyr guessed she hadn’t, because she continued to the bar. She proceeded to scribble something out to Cog.

    As quietly as he could, he slipped around the pole, and made his way to the left. He headed up the wooden ramp quickly, and took a quick left around to the overhanging platform on the top level. He saw Deriaz there, and dared to give a sigh of relief. He didn’t want anyone knowing he was there.

    Deriaz’s eyes lit up, and he nodded. “Hullo s—mmf?” he started, but Ragyr had jumped on Deriaz, clamping his mouth shut.

    “Shut up, alright? Don’t say a word. If you do, I swear. . .” he whispered. He let the message set in, and removed his hand after a moment. “Now then. . . For the love of Blades, how are you moving and talking? I left you here, and you wouldn’t respond to a damned thing.”

    Deriaz mouthed the word ‘Ragyr?’ and Ragyr nodded. Deriaz’s eyes lit up in surprise, and he looked Ragyr up and down, studying him carefully.

    Ragyr sighed again. “What happened to you. . .? Let’s see here. . .” He looked around Deriaz, and grinned at the sight of Jaggie still writing something to Cog. He turned back to Deriaz. “Alright, let’s make this quick. I’ve never done this before, so. . . Um. . . Here goes nothing, right?” His hands began to glow white, and the runes around his body also began to glow a dark purple.

    Deriaz’s eyes widened, and he tried to yell something. He only got out a loud yelp before Ragyr had clamped Deriaz’s mouth shut again. Ragyr crouched behind Deriaz for a moment, thankful for the blue Forged’s new size. He waited a few seconds, and then looked to Deriaz. “Would you shut up!? I’m just gonna dig around in your head. Maybe I can solve this without getting anyone else involved. . .” he looked around Deriaz again to Jaggie, and growled to himself. “Though I’m thinking it’s a bit late for that. . . Anyway, I’ve never done this, and I just made the spell up myself, so. . . Um. . . Here’s to not making it worse, right?”

    Ragyr put his hands on Deriaz’s head, and closed his eyes. Grey clouds came into his vision, and they seemed to go on endlessly. After a moment, a large snake came into view. It’s mouth opened, and it lunged forward at Ragyr. Ragyr let go of Deriaz’s head immediately, and let out a yelp of surprise himself. He covered his mouth, and waited a few seconds. “Why did he have to like snakes, of all things?” Ragyr mumbled, and moved forward again.

    The clouds came into his vision again, and eventually the snake lunged again. Ragyr braced himself, and the snake felt as if it passed right through him. A moment later, he was standing on what looked like a small site of a ruined temple. The squares were terribly cracked, and some of the rivers between the squares had small snakes running through them. It also looked as if a very large portion of the floor had been cracked to its demise. In the far corner, the floor looked ready to crumble away, off into the darkness below. Ragyr assumed it had happened recently, considering how one of the corners was missing a massive chunk of stone.

    Serpent and Deriaz were on the other side of the ruins. Serpent had his back turned to Ragyr, but started laughing almost as soon as Ragyr glanced their way. “Didn’t think you’d get past the little snake trip. Thought you hated snakes, Blaze? Hm?” He turned around to face Ragyr, and cackled.

    Ragyr growled. “Don’t call me that. . .” He quickly regained his composure. “Besides. . . It’s just an illusion. It’s not a real snake.”

    Serpent sighed. “You’ve always been a stubborn one, haven’t you? Always getting what you want, no matter what gets in your way. . . I wasn’t expecting a visit from you until later.”

    “Later? What do you mean by later?”

    “Later as in a few days, obviously,” Serpent laughed, and pointed at the chain on the ground. This one led from the back of Serpent’s head, towards Ragyr. It wrapped up around his body, up into the back of Ragyr’s head as well. Ragyr cursed under his breath, for not seeing it before. He glanced over at Deriaz, who also had a chain leading from the back of his head towards Ragyr, except Deriaz had a mask over his face as well.

    “Y’know, I don’t know why you don’t like that Jaggie character much,” Serpent grinned. “She’s so helpful.”

    Ragyr’s mouth dropped open slightly. “What? What are you talking about? What did that little. . . What did she do!?”

    Serpent pointed at the corner of the ruins that looked to have crumbled away. “It’s so simple to cut away memories from the little mistake here,” he kicked Deriaz in the side and the ground cracked a little more, “when she has him recall them. What progress I’ve made! That corner over there? All those memories would have taken so long to get rid of. Maybe five days? But she helped me get rid of them in the course of a few hours! I think I like her. Unfortunately, I think she caught on. She didn’t seem to want Deriaz to remember anything else. . .”

    Ragyr stomped a foot on the ground in anger. “Why are you here anyway!? What do you want with Deriaz?”

    Serpent looked confused. “I thought you hated the little guy here?” Deriaz tried to say something, but the chains and masks were restricting him so much that it only came out in a muffle.

    “I don’t. . . I mean, I do, but. . .” Ragyr mumbled.

    “What’s that?” Serpent put a hand to the side of his head, mocking someone trying to listen better.

    “I said I don’t!”

    “Then why do you defend him?”

    “Because I. . . Um. . .” Ragyr shrugged. “Just get out. Now.”

    Serpent raised his right arm. The armplate hooked itself off, revealing the word ‘ExPeriMent’ etched in his right arm, similar to Deriaz’s own. The capital letters began to glow, and the arm and hand morphed into a large blade. He pointed both blades at Ragyr, who cursed again for not noticing the first blade. “I think you’re the one that should be getting out.”

    Ragyr snapped his fingers, and a staff appeared in his hands. “Make me,” he grinned.

    Serpent cackled. “I don’t have to! Just look at your feet!” he motioned down to Ragyr’s feet. Ragyr looked down, and cursed a third time—Though audibly this time—at the small snakes that had slithered out of the water and had started to curl around his feet. Ragyr yelped, and jumped away. The look on his face was a sheer terror at the snakes.

    Serpent cackled wildly at the display as Ragyr released the spell, and disappeared out of Deriaz’s mind. The chains that led to Ragyr slid across the floor on their own, and fell over into the darkness beyond the floor. “Your brother sure is a comedian, isn’t he? So glad I became better than him,” he sighed, and turned back to Deriaz. “Now, then, where were we? . . . Ah, right, removal of the memories. Hold still,” he cackled, and slowly came at Deriaz with the blades.

    Outside, Ragyr recoiled back away from Deriaz. He stared wide-eyed at Deriaz, who only stared back like a naïve child. Ragyr cursed a fourth time, and then a fifth at the sound of someone coming up a wooden ramp. He saw Jaggie turn around the stone pillar, and Ragyr dove behind Deriaz. Carefully, he leapt off the wooden platform to the ground below. He tumbled as he hit the ground, and sprinted out of the Phoenix.
    Thelanis - Warforged Shield of the <Fellowship of the Golden Night>

  18. #78
    Community Member Deriaz's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default The Brothers Forged, Chapter 4 Part III, Inside the Mind of a Killer

    The Brothers Forged
    Chapter 4 cont. Part III
    Inside the Mind of a Killer

    ((The following is a transcript, and a very long one at that. It will be written in story-form. Participants included:

    Deriaz / Jaggie / Morrandir / Juryrig / Derbolts / Lynde. Big thanks to participants! Sorry to those who wanted to join, but could not!))

    Deriaz went over the events of the past nights in his head. Everything had happened so fast. . . It was hard for him to get all the details. But he tried his hardest as he sat in the Phoenix, trying to get himself together.

    = = =
    The five had entered his mind. Derbolts, Lynde, Juryrig, Morrandir, and Jaggie had all rushed in, without even fully knowing what they were getting into. He respected that, but continued on with trying to remember the events of the night.

    Clouds had met them first. Dark, gray ones. Juryrig looked at the group, having the advantage of having been in Deriaz’s mind only a few hours before. “Be prepared. The snake is but an illusion. Fear not.” Baldes snapped out of his forearms. Long, adamantine ones.

    “Hn,” Derbolts nodded. “Snake isn’t real.”

    Two large, glowing eyes greeted them after a few moments. The eyes were connected to the image of a massive snake. It hissed, and lunged at the group, trying to scare them back out of Deriaz’s mind. Juryrig ignored the threat, and walked through the snake.

    Derbolts whimpered, and muttered to himself, “Not real, right. Not real.” He followed Juryrig. Morrandir followed closely behind, and slashed a bit at the snake.

    “Geh. . .” Jaggie lifted her shield, and tumbled to the side away from it. Lynde followed closely behind her.

    The snake hissed again in frustration, seeing that it’s attempt had failed. It dissipated after a moment, along with the clouds. Ruins came to their feet to meet them. The stone floor was horribly cracked, and parts had even crumbled away. A larger portion than before. Deriaz sighed at how much he had actually lost, but thanked the fact he had someone gotten it back. He continued with remembering. In between the stone squares, the rivers of water still flowed, but more snakes had entered into them.

    Off in the distance, someone yelped. Far away from the five Forged, there was Deriaz, being skewered by Serpent’s dual bladed arms.

    Juryrig was the first to react. “Drop Forgebrother Deriaz, Ssserpent!” he yelled.

    Morrandir looked confused for a moment. “Hold on,” he said. “Was that me, being stabbed by. . . You?” He pointed at Juryrig.

    Serpent froze, and whirled around to face the group. Deriaz remembered the feeling of anger that seemed to pulse through the chain that connected the two. “You again?” he yelled back at Juryrig. “What do you want thisss time!?”

    Juryrig pointed at Serpent. Immediately, Lynde set off at him. She looked ready to body check the Forged in an attempt to get him away from Deriaz. Morrandir muttered to himself, “ ‘Parently not.”

    Serpent scanned the group quickly. “Wait a sssec, here. . . How many did you bring thisss time, black one?” he hissed. His eyes widened as Lynde drew closer in the charge.

    Derbolts drew a Bastard Sword. “The bladed one. . . Is Serphent?” he asked. Juryrig lashed out next, firing a bolt of psionic energy at Serpent. Morrandir slung his shield on his back, and unsheathed a massive greatsword.

    Serpent recoiled back from the bolt, and wrapped a bladed around around Deriaz’s neck. “Back off!” he growled. “I’m ssserious!”

    “You aim to choke a Forged!?” Lynde laughed, and checked the bladed Forged to the ground.

    “Hn. . . Don’t hurt Real Deriaz,” Derbolts said, and ran toward the group near Serpent. Jaggie looked about at the group stunned. She looked to the chains, then, and seemed to be trying to make sense of the chaos that was occurring before her eyes.

    Juryrig yelled, “Cut the chains!” He raced forward, following the others.

    “Cut the right one, then, this time!” Deriaz yelled to Juryrig. Deriaz chuckled to himself as the memory ran through his mind. Juryrig had ended up stabbing him, whether intentional or not, the first time he had entered his mind.

    Derbolts stopped in front of the chains. He raised his sword into the air. “Which part? Which is right!?”

    “The h—“ Deriaz started, but Serpent clamped his mouth shut. A tug-of-war started between Lynde and Serpent as the two tugged to get control of the blue Forged. Jaggie began chirping, trying to aid her music to the fight. The chaos seemed to prevent the effect from happening. She sighed.

    Juryrig landed a long blade deep into the chest of Serpent, and then grabbed him close with his other hand. Serpent growled as he was cut into, and he lost his grip on Deriaz. “You don’t know what you’re doing!” he yelled at the five.

    “Grab Deriaz and run!” Juryrig ordered the others. Lynde moved forward, though, and used the chance to put both of Serpent’s arms behind his back in a double arm bar.

    Morrandir spoke up next. “Say the word, and I’ll cut the chains!”

    Derbolts looked at the chains again. “Hn. . . Which part is right? One has to be right, Juryrig, which one?” Jaggie continued chirping, but her spell’s effect still seemed to have no effect amid the chaos.

    Juryrig kept his grip on Serpent, and shrugged. “I don’t know. . .”

    Morrandir growled, “Just cut them all, then!”

    Deriaz spoke up again, raising his voice to be heard. “Cutting them all won’t do anything! Go for the one behind his head! It’s you best bet!” He chuckled. “I hope?” Deriaz smirked as that memory ran through his head. It was a wild guess, and a long shot, at that. Juryrig had seen how the chains had regenerated when he cut the ones around Deriaz.

    Morrandir nodded. “Alright, I’ll give it a shot!” He heaved the sword onto his shoulder, and charged towards Serpent. Derbolts seemed intent on the same target, and followed suit. Lynde grabbed the chain on the back of Serpent’s head and snapped it taut for the two.

    Serpent hissed again. “You foolsss don’t know what you’re doing! Thisss isssn’t—“ he started, but jerked back as the chain went taut. There were two back there, the group discovered. One led to Deriaz, and the other went over the side of the platform. Both Derbolts and Morrandir brought their swords down on the links, but they only clinked at the connected. It looked as if it needed more than just normal steel to break.

    “That one wasn’t right?” Derbolts looked confused.

    Jaggie stopped chirping. “The other link!” She pointed at the second link to the right that went into the back of Serpent’s head. Juryrig seemed impatient, and pushed with all his might against Serpent. The two plummeted off the platform into the darkness. Deriaz ended up being an anchor, and the chain became taut as the two hung over the edge. Lynde, however, severed the chain at the same time they pushed away, but didn’t hit the end next to Serpent’s head. . Serpent reacted quickly, and clamped his jaw onto the end of the chain as they fell. They were suspended only by Serpent’s sheer jaw strength on the chain. He hissed something to Juryrig, but it wasn’t able to be made out.
    Thelanis - Warforged Shield of the <Fellowship of the Golden Night>

  19. #79
    Community Member Deriaz's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Default The Brothers Forged, Chapter 4 Part IV, Inside the Mind of a Killer

    The Brothers Forged
    Chapter 4, Part IV
    Inside the Mind of a Killer

    Lynde reacted as fast as she could. She grabbed the chains, and pulled back hard to stop they’re fall. Jaggie didn’t make any move. She seemed overwhelmed by the Warforged and the flailing blades. Deriaz didn’t blame her. From his end, even though he had been in the chains, it was a bit much to take it, and it all happened so quickly.

    Juryrig cut the chains around Serpent’s head, trying to sever the connection himself. He yelled up at the others, “Drop the chain! It grows BACK!” The chain began to deteriorate, though, at the disconnection. A few of the chains around Deriaz began to deteriorate as well, but not all of them. The connection on the right of the back of his head seemed fine.

    Lynde slammed her elbow into Serpent’s face as the two came up, knocking him backwards. Juryrig thrust the forearmed blade up through the chin of Serpent at the same time. It came out of the top of his head. Serpent went limp instantly, and Juryrig grabbed into the chain to hold on. Deriaz continued struggling in the chains. Jaggie made a move, and moved over to Deriaz to help him. Morrandir was already there, helping him get out.

    “Still connected to. . . Something?” Deriaz muttered. The right connection was still there. It wrapped around him a few times, and then went over the edge into the black.

    “Jag, we have a problem,” Morrandir stated as Jaggie approached. “He’s still connected over here. . .” Lynde pulled out her adamantine falchion, and brought it down on the chain. Derbolts came over as well, and started trying to cut away at the chains. Deriaz let out a growl of pain as Serpent’s deteriorating chain started at the connection to Deriaz’s head.

    “Connected to what?” Jaggie asked.

    “Cut the chains, and they grow back!” Juryrig yelled up. He was still hanging onto the chain. He was right, too. The chain severed, but grew back easily. They seemed more stubborn than the first ones.

    Deriaz shook his head. “As long as the ones connected to Serpent are gone, forget about these ones. Maybe they need to be severed on the other end?” The group looked around, trying to find where the chain went.

    “I can’t see where that chain is going,” Morrandir muttered.

    “Other end? . . . At Serpent? He went over, into the dark. . .” Derbolts muttered as well. Deriaz started to say something, but screamed in pain when the second chain finished reconnecting.

    “Ah, this is taking too long!” Morrandir growled. He sat down, and began to chant. The greatsword began to glow as it was blessed. After a moment, he got up and swung at the connection again as the others hurried to tug up Juryrig. Deriaz screamed in pain again, but the chains did not grow back.

    Deriaz motioned the ones around him to the one’s at the edge of the platform. “Go help Jaggie. Get Juryrig back up here.” Derbolts and Morrandir nodded, and ran to help Jaggie, who looked as if she was starting to lose her grip.

    As the group pulled with Jaggie, Deriaz watched the end of the second chain erupt in a small ball of fire. It moved slowly on its trail, like a wick on a firecracker. He shrugged after a moment, and then ran to help the others.

    Morrandir’s feet slipped after a moment, but Derbolts and Deriaz grabbed at him and pulled him back. Deriaz sighed. “That’s the last thing I need, is more than one casualty in my own mind.”

    “Blasted stone,” Morrandir muttered, and continued tugging. A moment later, both Juryrig and Serpent’s body came over the edge of the platform. Immediately, Lynde kicked the corpse back over the edge.

    Deriaz frowned as the corpse went out of view and Morrandir stated he was going to find any more lurking personalities. “Well, I can’t say I’m not happy that’s over.”

    The group came to an agreement to get Juryrig out of Deriaz’s mind and to safety, until Morrandir brought up a good question. Deriaz couldn’t help but laugh at the way it was stated as the memory came back to him. “Wait,” Morrandir paused, “How DO we get out of here?”

    “I could. . . Make. . . A door, maybe?” Deriaz laughed. “I don’t know exactly. . .”

    Derbolts pointed at the clouds on the far end. “The clouds. . . Can we walk back through them?”

    Jaggie muttered, “Der, you better wake up and be yourself after this. . .”

    The group took the chance and walked through the mist back out. Deriaz grinned as the memory of Morrandir tripping over a stone while they left came to him. Deriaz turned to Jaggie. “I’ll see what I can do about being normal, k?” he said with a grin.

    “Normal? You’re not normal, Deriaz. Just be you. . .” she sighed. Derbolts seemed satisfied, and he ran to catch up with the leaving party. Jaggie looked around. “Um. . .”

    Deriaz knew what she meant. The damage. The stone was already mending itself, however, and the floor was appearing again. “Quite a bit of damage, eh? Should be fine, though. . .”

    “So. . .” Jaggie looked up at him. “Do you remember anything now?”

    “Hm. . . Remember stuff. . .” He nodded. “Sure. I remember lots of stuff now.”

    “Do you mind me testing that?”

    “Testing? Um. . .” Deriaz hesitated. “Sure. . .”

    “Who’s Liyra?” Jaggie asked.

    “Little red-headed Halfling Bard. She’s kind of a fan of Zoltando, or it seems at least.”

    Jaggie seemed content with the answer. “Good. Who is Uxor?”

    Deriaz couldn’t help but laugh at that question. “Why wouldn’t I know Uxor? Ambassador of the Fellowship of the Golden Night. Seems fond of Varro. Mute. I went into House Deneith with her.”

    Jaggie grinned. “And who is gonna help me clean up a mess left behind by a silly metal dog?”

    Deriaz blinked. “Wait. . . Mess? What mess? What did Spike do?”

    Jaggie chuckled. “. . . Very good. . . See you on the other side, friend.” Deriaz watched as she made her way to the clouds, and left his mind. For the first time, Deriaz was alone in his mind.

    = = =

    And he still was. Everything was back to normal. Except for the things that Serpent had left behind. He was still seven feet tall, he had weighed himself to be exactly 1100 pounds, the hissing slipped in a few times, and he had the strange ability to be able to morph his hands and forearms into blades, like Serpent.

    He shrugged, and relaxed in the Phoenix. He didn’t want to move, due to his new weight. It felt as if five tons of rocks were on him, pushing him down. If it was three, he knew he’d be able to move. But five was a bit much. He shrugged again, and leaned against the stone wall, enjoying the rare silence of his own mind.
    Thelanis - Warforged Shield of the <Fellowship of the Golden Night>

  20. #80
    Community Member Music_Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default The Merry Pranksters, The Saga of Killbot, Chapter 2

    The Merry Prankster, The Saga of Killbot, Chapter 2: Coming of Age

    Killbot sat alone as he usually did, though it was only a short while since Twiggy had gathered his things and took the Eye of Kol Korran back to Stormreach. Before he had left, Twiggy left Killbot with two new light maces. Sir Roundstump had warned Killbot, though, very explicitly to use extra caution when handling these two weapons. He set them down next to the two cupcakes given to him by Jaggie Jukebox, which he always kept with him -- a reminder of heart & the path he chose. (While Killbot is quite attracted to Ms. Jukebox, the cupcakes represent a more intangible ideal of duty with moral implications than a symbol of affection.)

    After the kidnapping of Jaggie Jukebox and the fiasco Killbot created, Axyl had pulled some strings to have Killbot pardoned from his execution sentence and granted a diplomatic immunity of sorts. Since then Killbot had been laying relatively low; mostly he was training the art of two weapon fighting from his first friend & master trainer Twiggy Roudstump, who happened to be the master bowman who taught Axyl the art of archery (but that’s a different story all together).

    Twiggy was quite amazed at Killbot’s progress & even more please that Killbot had taken a keen liking to piercing weapons, just the same as he. In his adventuring days, Twiggy had accumulated a vast arsenal of weapons he worked with, but now in his prolonged hiatus (& and assumed retirement) he had no use for most of them. (The lassie Halflings admired his skills, but they were of the class types that didn’t want to be around sharp of pointy things).

    The two weapons in Killbot's hands sent a strange, sensation through his body when he grasped the mace heads. It was very unusual to the barbarian; if it were intensified it might register as pain – then again, maybe not. But the fact remained, in honor of Killbot’s mastery of two weapon fighting – the precision of form and wile of improvised juxtaposition – Twiggy had granted Killbot two of his most priced weapons, Adoryn’s Malice & A shock greater construct bane light mace. When he presented the weapons to Killbot, Twiggy stated he would never have given them to Killbot if the warforge’s skill was not so great that he didn't need to worry about nicking himself with the weapons. In honesty, Twiggy was convinced the warforged was much better at the TWF art then he could ever be – construct learning he called it; one of the reasons Twiggy liked warforge so much, and especially Killbot.

    Killbot wasn’t disturbed by the weapons, and relished at the idea if he had them during the battles of his past. And thus his mind wandered to a place no one else knew, and only Axyl could understand due to the referential nature of Killbot’s past that occurred somewhere other than Xendrik…
    Last edited by Music Man; 12-10-2008 at 11:34 PM.

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