View Full Version : Dead of the Night: Game Thread - Chapter Two
02-06-2010, 09:00 PM
Still quite puzzled by the attorney's words, Cissinei says to him in as low a voice as possible, "Well, first of all, Sergeant Ragnol and three other constables did an investigation last night and questioned all of us. But once he had come to the conclusion that the killer was a vampire, he appeared to be satisfied. It seemed that he was convinced there was no hope of catching this vampire and apparently believed that if we left town the vampire would leave as well. This is the reason he told us to leave town. Secondly, you seem to be under the impression that more than one person was murdered here last night. I assure you, there was only one murder last night that we are aware of. And as for this one victim, we barely knew him for a day and all we can tell you about him is that his name was Zeliex and that he came from the town of Sidnar. That's pretty much all we can tell you about him. Are you sure about who you claim to be? You appear to be very uninformed or misinformed about the facts if you are truly from the magistrate's office."
I say, "Well, the deceased is Zeliex, and he was our friend. We didn't know each other that much, but he was still my friend." I say with a whisper, "He was attacked by a vampire. Leon went down in seconds but he didn't die. We got him out of there fast enough. It escaped and we buried Zeliex today. That would be a brief summary of it."
02-06-2010, 09:22 PM
Matt blinks a few times then states,
"Well the Constables' offices and the Magistrate's Attorneys do have a love-hate relationship. They are the law and arrest the criminals, we investigate and prosecute. As I said we've been very backed up recently, so there is a chance that I have some facts from another case mixed up, because I don't know of a single investigation by the Constable's office on this case.
"Now... vampires? Really, do you expect in a modern society in a court of logic and reason that someone will believe it was vampirism?
"So a vampire entered into the inn, attacked this Zeliex and then left without a trace. Now I'm not a demonologist from the Church but from my Sunday school days I believe that a vampire attacks off hunger. A vampire would have attacked someone in an alley way in the darkest place it could find, but let's say it was a vampire. If you were not involved with the vampire nor Zeliex, what benefit would you leaving town have?
"Now here is what I think. Your friends here witnessed a murder from thuggish assassins, were threatened and are trying to use a supposed investigation from the Constable's office as a reason to leave town. I don't see how the key witnesses of a murder would be told by any law enforcement to leave town immediately. That sounds like fleeing the scene of a crime to me."
Matt starts looking down into a large book that he has with many loose papers with notes strewn throughout it. He flips a few pages and lets an 'ahum' out as he scratches his chin.
"Excuse me, I'll be right back". Matt stands up and walks to the restroom areas.
02-06-2010, 11:55 PM
Cissinei looks at the 'attorney' in stunned silence as he walks off. Then she turns to Alden and Amber and whispers to them, "What in the world is going on here? I was going to point out to him that Zeliex WAS murdered in an alleyway and not inside the inn. But he just kept on talking."
At about that time, Varian and Leon enter the inn. They see the others seated in the corner, but no attorney. They stroll over to the table and Varian asks, "So, are we ready to go?" Then he looks around briefly and asks, "What happened to the attorney?"
Cissinei looks at Varian and whispers, "I guess he went to the restroom." Glancing around with a concerned look on her face, she then continues. "There's something very strange about this guy. For one thing, he's got all his facts mixed up. And just before he wandered off, he started saying something about how he thinks assassins killed Zeliex, that we were threatened by these assassins and now we're trying to skip out of town to avoid an investigation. He doesn't believe that the constables told us to leave town. Apparently he thinks we made the whole thing up. I have to tell you, I'm a little worried about this. What do you guys think we should do?"
Varian rubs his chin in thought for a moment and says, "Well, we could try to duck out of here while he's not looking...or we could go to the constables' office and get this matter cleared up. But I'm not even sure that's a good idea. We could be walking into trouble there."
02-07-2010, 02:11 AM
As we approach the inn things start to happen so fast that by the time I return my mind to the world at hand the 'attorney' has gone off into the inn with Amber and Alden and the others went off to return everything. Shaking myself back into reality I decide to see if there is anything interesting going on with this newcomer.
As I enter the inn just behind Leon and Varian I hear Cissinei explaining that she has serious doubts about this man. Distractions were not something I was really in the mood to deal with, I couldn't risk losing this opportunity to track her down. Two months of this desolation and only one lead, and that was fortune smiling on me for once, I was not going to let this slip away from me. I knew full well how quickly she could move about, and there were so many unanswered questions.
"I don't know about you guys, but I can't afford to be held up by some botched investigation. If it seems like he might end up holding us here for any real length of time then I will see to it that we merely give him the slip and take off. Cissinei, if you don't seem to trust him then I will take your word on it, we'll see if we can't get the truth out of him yet."
02-07-2010, 04:20 AM
I whisper to the group "It kind of makes sense that the constables didn't tell this guy about an investigation. In my dream one of them is in league with the vampire. But I don't know where this guy got his facts though." A small grin crosses my face as I look at Alden. "What you think we should do Commander?"
02-07-2010, 10:35 AM
Matt walks back to the table after only a minute this time holding a piece of paper in hand.
"I apologize for that, but I wanted to read this note that the Chief Constable's assistant gave me this morning. Just to be sure."
A folded piece of paper that looks as if it had been written in a hurry unfolds on the table as Matt tosses it down face up so that everyone can read it.
Attorney Locke Esquire,
There was a murder of a man named Zeliex over at the Serenity House inn. The main suspects of the crime attempted to flee the city immediately following the funeral. All of them were killed in a fight with city guards on their way out.
We believe that they were assassins from an outside kingdom as some are clearly foreign. Please investigate and conclude as much.
"As you'll see the note is dated tomorrow, and I believe that I wasn't supposed to get it until tomorrow.
"I have been investigating Ragnol as a member of the Kargat for a long period of time, as witnesses keep disappearing.
"In short you're lives, and now mine for stumbling on this, are in grave danger. We need to hurry and leave town as soon as possible. We should travel by land as a river barge will be too easily followed and found if there is any pursuit.
"By the way, I'm coming with you because if I stay I'll be killed too... thanks".
02-07-2010, 11:25 AM
Cissinei looks at the others in obvious indecision, hoping the others might have an idea of what to say at this point.
Varian, looking somewhat skeptical, picks up the note and examines it closely. After a moment he looks at the others and says, "I'm not sure what this all means. But perhaps now is not the time to discuss the matter. For now, I think we should do as this man says and leave town as soon as possible." He turns to the attorney then and adds, "And Mr. Locke here will indeed be coming with us as I believe he can give us a better explanation once we leave town. And if its alright with you sir, we will be headed to Karg as we have some business to attend to there. I'm assuming that taking the King's Highway will be suitable for everyone." He glances over at Rune at this point. "There are a number of inns along the road in addition to a few farming communities that might prove to be helpful. And we can discuss other matters along the way."
02-07-2010, 12:44 PM
"I agree. I think we should make haste too."
02-07-2010, 08:15 PM
"So long as our plan takes us toward Karg with haste then I am all for it. And if there are inns and other such places that can be used to continue to see if my target has indeed been through the area then all the better. As soon as you are all ready then I am set to leave." As I speak there is a fire of determination blazing behind them. It is obvious that nothing is going to get in my way at this point.
I slam my hands in the table, "Damn the Kargat! They will pay one day, oh... they will pay one day. Why are they doing this? Who are they after?" I sigh, "Yes, lets go, I can't do anything about them now."
I get up and fasten my sword on tight to my back. And I walk out with everyone else. "Lets go get everyone."
02-07-2010, 11:46 PM
Matt whips his head back in shock at the young man banging loudly on the table. He hadn't seen a man with a temper like that since his military time, lawyers and politicians were far too reserved to allow a physical sign of their emotions.
"Agreed, we need to find out why the Kagat is after you and your companions, and we need to flee the area as soon as possible."
Matt walks up to the inn keep and drops a number of gold coins, "I'm going to need as much bread, pickled fish, bottled wine, beer, and liquor that you have. Also a horse if you have one available." Matt drops a number of coins on the table.
Matt turns back to the Commander "The big thing is to figure out why they want you dead. My guess is that you saw something or know something that you haven't realized yet. What other run ins with the Kargat have you had?"
02-08-2010, 10:18 AM
Varian puts his hand on Matt's arm with a firm grip, and with a serious look in his eyes says to him, "Not here. We'll talk about it on the road. And keep your money. We have plenty for now." He looks at the innkeeper with the same serious expression, scoops the the coins up that Matt put on the table and hands them back to him. "Come on. We're leaving, right now." And with that he turns and walks out the front door of the inn, quickly followed by the others. The innkeeper looks at Matt with an eerie, puzzled, cross-eyed look and shrugs his shoulders.
02-08-2010, 04:37 PM
I quietly get up, grap my gear and head out the door. Ligering only long enough to wait for Alden.
02-09-2010, 10:46 PM
Seeing Amber get up and head for the door I grab my pack from the ground next to me and sling it onto my back, glad to finally be on the trail. My face says it all: I'm coming for you.
02-09-2010, 11:28 PM
At last, the Knights of Shadow, plus two, were on their way and headed east on the King's Highway. Already close to half the day had passed, and although it was a later start than the group would have liked, they were glad to be on the road once again with the town of Maykle now behind them. It was doubtful that they would get very far on this day, but at least it would be some progress.
Once the group is well out of the town, and well out of earshot from any others, Varian turns to Matt and says, "I really wish you had not blurted out all that about the Kargat right there in front of the innkeeper. That was really not a very wise thing to do if, as you say, the Kargat are after you as well. Now, you say you were given that letter by the Chief Constable's assistant. But I don't understand. Why would Sergeant Ragnol write a letter to you to do an investigation of a murder when he had already done one...especially if he was a member of the Kargat? You would think if he were a member of the Kargat and wanted to hush up the murder, he wouldn't have you investigate it at all. And why would he make up some story about assassins doing the killing when he we came to an agreement that it was a vampire? Something here just doesn't add up?"
02-09-2010, 11:57 PM
The darkness of the grayscale clouds spoke of a bleakness that was all too common these days. Matt couldn’t remember the last time that he could actually remember seeing the sun shine. Everything was drab, gray, dull, and lifeless.
Hearing the questions from Varian, Matt turns his head to face the man “I don’t know. Very few things about the Kargat make sense. So much of it is in secrecy that you never know what is going on. Perhaps the assistant doesn’t work for the Constable but a rival Kargat member. Perhaps the assistant works for someone else. I honestly don’t know.”
Matt eyes the shadows of the dark elm trees that surround the road. He wished that they were walking in the trees and not on the highway. Bad things happened to people on the highway, Matt realized that bad things happened to people in dark and spooky forests too.
“I think that maybe whatever your group has going on that has caught the eye of the Kargat is influential enough to have caused some divisiveness and while the Constable was going to kill you, the rival sent the note so that I would get you out of there. Or it could be vice versa and I was sent to stall you so that assassins could raid the inn.
“The one thing I know when it comes to the Kargat, the power players within aren’t used to playing by any rules. They will torture, murder, lie for the fun of it. They will burn a school full of children to the group so that they can assassinate a Mayor. I have no doubt that their enemies within the Kargat are treated very similar to their enemies without. If the Kargat is anything like politics or the legal system then it’s full of rivalries and bitter feuds.
“I just hope that whatever your group has stumbled upon is enough to bring some justice back into law.”
02-10-2010, 12:54 AM
The letter having mentioned a group of assassins having been killed while fleeing right after "the funeral" stuck with me and allowed me to actually focus on the present for a while, though tracking down my target was still pressing in my mind.
"I have a feeling they wanted you to investigate so that they could have something that wasn't so strange to tell people if anybody ever came asking. Two months ago, if somebody had told me that creatures like those, gargoyles did you call them? Like those weird statues anyway, could come out of nowhere and attack people I would never have believed you. Maybe vampires are seen the same way around here? I'm not native to this area so don't take my word on it, just a thought.
"Though what really has me worried is that the letter said that the assassins were killed trying to flee the city right after the funeral, but I haven't seen hide nor tail of anybody yet. Why haven't they attacked us yet? Why aren't they trying to kill us? I can't think of any other group that they might talk about trying to pin the death on."
02-10-2010, 12:35 PM
I finally pipe up, easing my way into the political situation. I haven't really spoken up until this point, letting the others bang around ideas, but something was really bugging me.
"We know someone already did an investigation last night. Today you said the Constable ordered you to do an investigation. The facts are completely different..." I stop for a moment, looking at the group.
"How do we know the person we talked to last night WAS the Constable? Maybe the two aren't even the same person. That would explain the differences in everything. Personally though, Rune, I would like to have the Assassins come out. Any time now. I'd much rather see my enemy. "
02-10-2010, 12:55 PM
Matt looks at the two as they chime in.
"Well it should be a simple process of elimination. However we don't have all the information to do it correctly, but we can get an idea of what's going on.
"First thing is that we need to talk about the big elephant in the corner. Why is the Kargat after you? Obviously you've had some run ins with them before you met me.
"Second thing is to find out who would have something to loose if your information or events take place. That's your most logical enemy.
"Third thing is to find out who has something to gain from the loss of the enemy. That is going to be an ally that we have.
"Fourth thing is to find out what the enemy and the ally have planned for us, and then and only then can we choose our own path.
"Fifth thing to do is find out how to bring all of this to justice."
02-10-2010, 01:27 PM
Varian says, "Now hold up a minute. The stable boy at the inn ran and fetched the constables, four of them in fact. It does not seem likely that he fetched the Kargat instead. And according to Matt and his letter, Sergeant Ragnol is one of the constables. And we know damn well this whole business about assassins is a lie. There are no assassins and there never were. It was a vampire! We fought the damn thing! We saw what it did. We saw the puncture wounds in Zeliex's neck. For some reason, some one is lying to us."
Varian turns to Amber then and says, "Amber, in your dream, you say you saw one of the constables. Which constable was it?"
02-10-2010, 03:59 PM
I have been quiet while the others try to hash out what was going on. My thoughts drift elsewhere till Varian asks me a question. "Ummm. His name was Estran."
02-10-2010, 08:10 PM
"Estran," Varian says. "Wasn't he the one that was keeping an eye on everyone else while Leon and I went with Sergeant Ragnol into the stables? The one who apparently did not care for Alden? Well, if that is the case, and if Amber's dream truly was a vision from Ezra, then it would seem that Estran was obviously working for the vampire."
"Yes," Cissinei says as she suddenly appears to have figured out something important. "According to Amber, he called the vampire, Master. Amber also told me that the vampire said something about the elf, presumably Zeliex, being uncooperative to him. This may mean nothing really. But it could mean that Zeliex was also working for the vampire...as a spy perhaps. Amber said that the voice from the glowing red eyes spoke of some one who might begin to remember things. I am almost certain he meant me. According to Amber, the glowing red eyes said I might prove to be a nuisance if I remembered too much and that, with the elf dead, they would have to try some other means of keeping an eye on us."
Varian thinks about Cissinei's words for a moment. Then slowly he turns to look at Matt. Cissinei sees Varain's look and likewise stares at the attorney. "It seems to me, and I consider myself to be a good judge of character, that Sergeant Ragnol was genuinely concerned about the possibility of a vampire in Maykle. I honestly don't believe he is working for the Kargat. Otherwise, why would they have Constable Estran meet them in the alleyway, when they could have the sergeant instead? And yet you said you have been investigating him as a possible member of the Kargat. And according to that letter you have, supposedly written by Sergeant Ragnol, he was making up some lie about a group of assassins and asked you to investigate it...But he didn't write that letter did he? You...you wrote that letter in the hopes that you could worm your way into our group."
At these words, Cissinei lets out a gasp and cries out, "It's him! He's the new spy! He's working for the Kargat!" She then suddenly pulls the bow from her back and in the blink of an eye she has an arrow loaded and aimed, point blank at the newcomer's face.
Varian, now anticipating trouble, draws his sword and readies himself. "If you do not wish to die," he tells the self-proclaimed attorney. "You had better start telling us the truth."
02-10-2010, 11:05 PM
As I hear the commotion behind me I can tell that this is going to turn ugly real soon. Immediately I have my longsword drawn and I have turned to face whatever might be out to attack us.
"I really don't care all that much about the Kargat or vampires or anything like that, I don't even know much about any of that. What concerns me is the dark-elf that is headed for Karg." I march over to the attorney and grab him by the front of his shirt, forcing him to look me in the eye. "I don't care what your reasons may be for wanting to join this group," I begin, my eyes flowing with calm, frozen rage. "But I swear to you on the very sword I carry, and on my honor as a swordsman, if I find out that you are going to get in the way of me and my target...I will quite gladly kill you myself."
With that said I turn back the way we had originally been headed, and begin walking, leaving my sword in my hand as an extra message. Suddenly my voice is rather chipper.
"Are you guys coming? You know he can talk and walk at the same time, at least I hope he can. So long as he is able to walk and breathe at the same time, he seems to be capable of flapping his mouth without the need for thought."
Suddenly I remember something I had meant to say before all the hubbub began.
"Oh, and I'm sure you have all thought of this already, but I just wanted to clarify that I don't believe the assassins mentioned in the letter is a group sent to kill us. I believe the 'assassins' in the letter IS our merry band of travelers. My guess is the murder of Zeliex was supposed to be pinned on us and we were supposed to be dead so we couldn't talk. But with the possibility that our attorney friend forged the whole letter then it opens up a whole new realm of options. If our dear friend here did make up the letter himself it would explain why we were never actually attacked."
I stop and walk back to where everyone is still standing. "Well may the god's strike me dead if I haven't become curious myself now that I'm talking about it. I always did love a good puzzle, and this is one of the best I've seen in some time. Though I would be curious why, if our attorney friend here did in fact forge the letter, he would date it wrong, and put in a false claim of assassins being killed fleeing the city today. Normally I would say let me figure this out myself, but because I'm in a bit of a hurry to catch up with a dark-elf, which if you don't know is no easy feat let me tell you, then I will agree with the other two and demand that you start spilling the beans and making them honest beans."
02-11-2010, 04:36 AM
Amber steps behind Alden and to one side. A hard look in her eyes, she raises her hands to the same level as her shoulders.
I walk over to Matt, my sword unsheathed and producing the magical flames, "Well, if you're the spy, then I would be talking right now." I say in a mean loud voice.
02-11-2010, 08:41 PM
"Whoa" Matt exclaims in shock and horror as a group of ruthless brigands assault him, or at least that his how he explains it to himself.
"You can't say that I wrote the letter and then use the letter that you claim is completely false to incriminate me. Estran was working for a Vampire? Undead have corrupted the Kargat? Dark Elves, what?
"Listen, if I was a saboteur or assassin everyone would be dead by now. It would have been much easier for me to arrange the whole thing at the inn. Now I have no idea what most of you are talking about, if Ragnol wasn't working for the Kargat and Estran was, that puts a big twist on things.
"But Rune puts the point right in there, that all but Rune is a freaking idiot. The letter said that you were killed escaping town. The reason why you didn't get killed by the assassins was because I told you to use a separate exit of the town and go the long way around because they were waiting at the edge of the town.
"Now listen if you think that I was going to make up a letter about guards paid off to kill you, then give you the means to escape guards that didn't exist, in order to follow a rag tag group that is chasing after a drow, a vampire, and god knows what else, then your theory has more holes in it than a piece of cheese... Give me a break."
02-11-2010, 09:43 PM
As Matt finishes his last sentence, a chill breeze suddenly comes out of nowhere and sweeps past the group standing there in the road. And with it comes the strange uncanny feeling that they are all being watched. But looking around, no one but themselves can be seen.
Matt begins to speak again. "Now, I..." But as he does so, his voice, oddly enough, takes on a different tonal quality altogether, becoming more of an exaggerated hiss with an obvious lisp. He suddenly goes into a coughing fit and doubles over slightly, and as he does so, his tongue slips from his mouth and is now revealed to be a forked tongue like that of a viper, where it was not so just moments before.
"What the..." Matt gasps with an astonished look on his face. But again his speech is impeded by the serpent's tongue which now parts his lips. This time however, it is wet with spittle...or perhaps it is venom.
Cissinei gasps at the sight now before her. "You see!" she cries out. "He is some kind of monster!" And with that she takes aim and pulls back on her bow.
I grab my sword even more, "Wait!" I say with shock in my eyes, "Someone may be doing this to him. We can't kill him yet." He readies himself to swing at Matt if need be.
02-13-2010, 08:44 PM
Cissinei, ignoring Alden's cry to wait, does not hesitate. With a look of confidence on her face, as though she is certain that what she is doing is right, let's her arrow fly.
But despite the close range, Matt is able to dodge to the side just in time to avoid the incoming missile which whizzes past him. Now realizing his life is in danger, he sneers, let's out a slithering hiss and draws his sword.
02-14-2010, 01:11 AM
"No person, and no," I pause trying to figure out the word, unable to come up with what I want I simply continue, "no...thing is going to get in my way. I will not risk you compromising my chances!"
I grab my longsword with both hands and swing with all my might.
02-14-2010, 08:45 AM
Matt jumps back as Rune lunges at him. But he just barely misses avoiding the swing altogether and instead receives a deep gash across his chest. He howls in pain, once again revealing the forked tongue of a serpent.
"No, indeed", says Varian as he quickly steps behind Matt in a flanking maneuver. "The Mists have merely rewarded him...a forked tongue for a man...whose words are poison!"
As he says this last, Varian takes a swing at the attorney's backside. He connects with a hit that would have failed had it not been from Matt's blind side. Cutting deep into the man's shoulder, the target of his strike staggers and almost falls.
Now spitting out blood, he issues out more words of poison with it. "I curssse you all! May the Misssts keep you wandering...never to find the anssswerss that you ssseak...'til you have long departed thisss realm!" He then prepares to lung at one of his assailants, determined more than ever to take someone with him.
Before Matt is able to make his move however, Alden, now comprehending the change that has overcome the man before him, steps forward with his flaming bastard sword and says, "This is for Wat!" He then swings his sword, hoping to end the battle here and now.
Unfortunately, Alden's emotions get the best of him and his swing is wide of its intended target.
Matt, now seeing that his life has been spared for just a moment longer, takes the opportunity and tries to make the most of it. He swings his own at Rune and in an act of desperation, lunges at him and attempts to bite him.
02-14-2010, 05:53 PM
The suddenness of the battle takes me by surprise. I, like the others, had my sword in hand, but the sudden violence still left me flatfooted. Sad that a warrior was caught this way, but this was supposed to be another friend. Matt lunges forward at Rune, his sword leading and his bite following.
With a yell I heft my blade and bring it down, hoping to flank the traitor in one final swipe.
02-15-2010, 07:08 PM
Leon's sword barely manages to find it's target, clipping the redhead on the backside of the skull. But it is enough to down their opponent.
The former attorney falls to his knees as a trickle of blood runs down the side of his face and his eyes roll back in his head. He then collapses in a heap and the fight is over as quickly as it began.
02-15-2010, 07:36 PM
"Maybe one of you guys knows what just happened here, but I don't. The whole suddenly being part snake thing was kind of strange to me, but since he's dead now I'm not too concerned. Though I suppose we should at least bury the body somewhere, but we need to make it quick if we want to have a chance of catching up with the dark elf." I grab the body by the arms and prepare to haul it somewhere else to bury it unless someone else has a better, quicker idea.
02-16-2010, 10:22 AM
"I think what happened," says Varian, "was that the Mists took notice of him, and tried to tempt him into evil. I have heard of such things before, though normally it only happens for much worse crimes such as murder and torture. I have never heard of it occurring for merely lying, although I suppose if it is often enough and negatively effects the hearer in any way, I would imagine it is quite possible. I have been warned about such things in my lessons as a cleric because the casting of a necromantic spell, even if it is for the good of a person, such as a Raise Dead spell, can attract the attention of the Mists. Basically, if the Mists think there is any possibility that they might be able to tempt someone into further acts of evil, they may grant that person an ability of some kind. In this case, I believe that if he had gotten a clean bite on you, you would have found it to have been poisonous. However, whenever the Mists grant one of these abilities, they take something away in turn, thus the forked tongue, which would no doubt prove to be a hindrance when dealing with other people, as they would be quite repulsed by it. And if one should fall to the temptation of the Mists, and continue doing acts of evil, the Mists would continue granting that person more abilities, eventually turning that person into a monster of some kind."
Hearing all of this, Alden can't help but think about his uncle and wondering if this had anything to do with his uncle becoming a vampire. But preferring not to think about such things, he shakes his head as if doing so would dismiss such ideas from his thoughts. Then, seeing Rune grabbing the dead man's arms, he offers his assistance. "Here, let me help you with that," he says as he grabs a hold of the corpse's legs. "But where should we take him?"
Varian looks around and spying a patch of trees and brush nearby, where the soil and debris might be lose enough to easily dig out for a shallow grave, he says, "How about over there?"
The others nod in agreement, and Varian leads them in the direction of the trees whose leaves have turned the golden, browns and reds of late Autumn. Cissinei follows along in silence, unable to take her eyes away from the fork-tongued corpse, that earlier in the day, tried to lead them astray. However, as soon as the group steps into the gloom beneath the canopy of trees, they notice that there is someone else there.
02-16-2010, 02:09 PM
I reach down and disgustedly wipe my blade on the traitor's clothing, a dour look on my face. As Rune and Alden carry the body over, I follow close by, my sword still in my hand. The thought of the mist turning one into a monster was not a comforting thought. What was even worse was the thought of how close I had lived to the edge of the mists, the evil so close, yet so ignored, or at least respected.
"If the man was lying about so much, I think we should check him. See if he has anything else that he was hi-" I stop suddenly, seeing the other person, and immediately drop into a ready stance. "Who are you?"
02-16-2010, 03:11 PM
Groaning from the pain in my stomach, I attempt to get my arms underneath myself in order to raise from the ground, but fall back in the leaves. There is no telling how long I've been here. Sweat and dirt make strips of my brown hair stick to my head and face.The last thing I remember was traveling through the forest during the night. "Must be in worse shape then I believed," I think to myself. I'm obviously on my last breath. I keep hearing voices. Multiple voices.
Then it happens. I catch movement in the corner of my eyes. Couriers of the dead coming to collect me. I know it. Its becoming harder and harder to focus my sight. Just before I start drifting toward the afterlife, the voices grow louder and I can almost make the words out.
"Who are you?"
Did I hear that right? The question stays in my thoughts as my eyes grow heavy...
02-16-2010, 04:02 PM
As Alden and I are carrying the body toward a small copse of trees Leon heads out before us. Suddenly I see him stop and drop to a ready stance. I hear him ask the other person who they are in a tone ready for a fight. Since I am merely carrying a corpse and not someone we are trying to take care of I simply drop the body there and step forward until I can see the other person, my hand drifting toward my sword at the same time.
These Mists are getting to you, I think to myself. You never used to be this suspicious of known criminals and now look at you, reaching for your sword just because Leon asked who the person was. And who is it? Someone on the verge of death. I sigh audibly. Even if I have become very suspicious of people lately, I still can't leave a person to die for no reason.
Quickly stepping over to the body I begin to check as best I can for signs that will tell me whether there is a chance he will make it or if he is beyond hope already, while at the same time I shout for Varian.
"Varian, there is a man over here who could use you. I think he's unconscious already so you don't have to worry about him attacking you, but I can't just leave him to die."
02-16-2010, 05:53 PM
"Nor can I", Varian says as he hurries over to the wounded man. Taking a quick look at the man's injuries, Rune and Varian see that he has suffered a horrible gash across his mid-section and judging by the cut in the man's studded leather armor, it was evidently done by a very sharp blade. It is also apparent that the man has lost a great deal of blood as the entire front of the man, from his stomach and down the front of his legs is caked in dried blood while the area around the wound is soaked in wet blood.
Varian glances at Rune with a look of astonishment. "It's a wonder this man is still alive," he says to him. Then turning to the wounded man, he says to him, "Hold on. You're going to be alright. I'm going to heal you." Not even certain if the wounded man heard him or understood him, Varian casts a couple of healing spells on him.
The others meanwhile, including Sebastian, look on with expressions of obvious concern, while they wait for the wounded man to respond.
02-16-2010, 07:19 PM
The man immediately shows signs of recovery from the magic. His eyes flutter open and a look of astonishment washes over his face. It takes a moment to wake from his stupor.
His voice cracks as he speaks. "Wha..." He slowly props himself up, leaning on an arm as he looks toward the man kneeling over him. "My thanks to you, friend. I was certain I was at death's door. You are... truly gifted."
Now sitting up and easily seen, the man looks to be of average height but lean, almost too thin for his build. He is quite filthy, not only from the dried blood from his wound and dirt and leaves clinging on his back. It seems he has been in the wilderness for quite some time. His brown hair is a tangled mess and a week old beard covers his chin and hollow cheeks.
He scans the others and frowns once he sees the corpse. "My thanks to you all. It looks as though your companion was not as lucky as I. I'm sorry for your loss."
02-16-2010, 11:30 PM
"Do not concern yourself about this other man," Varian says to the stranger as he glances over at the corpse now at the edge of the patch of trees, "for he was no companion of ours, but rather a potential enemy." Clearly wishing to change the subject, he smiles at the newcomer and says, "I am Varian of Ezra. But it is not I that you should thank, as I am nothing without the powers granted to me by the Lady of the Mists."
Alden steps towards the man and extends his hand. "And my name is Alden. I am pleased to meet you. Might I ask you...what was it that gave you such a severe wound? You have the appearance of a man who is on the run."
02-17-2010, 09:07 AM
I walk over and quietly hand the man my canteen of water.
02-17-2010, 11:04 AM
I gladly take the water from the the woman and give my thanks. After taking a few sips I hand the canteen back to her. "My name is Vlin." I hesitate for a moment, gathering my thoughts on the recent events. "I... Well, I'm not sure you would believe me if I told you. My... friend and I were attacked by some... creature."
Tears fill my eyes and I pause a moment, recalling my lost companion. "It murdered my friend and nearly took my life as well. I could not begin to explain what that butcher really is." My voice turns into angry tones. "All I know is that it has plagued my life. It moves as quick as the wind and is nothing more than a blood thirsty executioner. I tell you this... I will have my revenge!"
02-17-2010, 03:45 PM
I relax visibly, but never sheath my sword. Too many times already has the strange attacked us, and so soon after a betrayel, there was no way I was going to let my guard down again this soon. Of course, he could be completely fine, and there was no way we could just let him die.
Thankfully Varian's healing seemed to work wonders, and the man rises almost immediately, before he sets on his sad tale. I listen near the back, my blade resting idly by my side.
"We have seen our fair share of the monstrous. " I say, looking at the body before us. "What did this thing look like? Human? Animal?" I ask, silently hoping it is the vampire, yet dreadfully terrified at the same time.
02-17-2010, 04:09 PM
As the man declares his vendetta against whatever creature killed his friend I stand up, sheathing my sword as I do.
"Forgiving me for sounding harsh or insensitive, but are you able to travel? If you can I would like to get moving again as soon as possible. I am trying to track down someone and with all the delays over the last few days I must be falling behind at this point and I can't afford to let the trail go cold again. If you are unable then we will do what we can, but it would certainly be a help if you could eat and drink and tell anything else that must be told while we travel."
I look around at the rest of the group to see how they will react.
02-17-2010, 09:56 PM
Now able to get my feet under me, I stand and give a shrug to the man behind the others. "I apologize. I've never been able to get a good look at it. As I said before, it moves far too quickly. Faster than any man could. It seems to be a man, but acts like a beast." I kneel back down, collecting my pack and checking its contents. "It is always draped in dark robes and hooded. I've never even seen the thing's face."
I sling my pack over my shoulder and nod at the other man with Elven features. "Yes, of course. I'm sure you all have things to do." I turn to who introduced himself as Varian of Ezra. "I owe you my life, friend. Say your price and I will repay you. I haven't much coin..." I start to rummage through my belt pouch. "...but what I have is yours."
02-17-2010, 10:01 PM
Varian says to the newcomer, "You owe me nothing. Healing the wounded is part of what I do." Then he looks at Rune with a slight grimace on his face. "I understand your concern Rune, as well as your sense of urgency. And though you have not been very forthcoming about the details of your quarry or why you are after her, I have to wonder if you have any reason to believe she knows that you are after her, and if so, whether or not she has cause to flee from you. Whatever the case, there are certain things I simply must do along the way. The burial of this body and tending to the wounded are among them.
"From what I understand, the person you are after has a three day head start, which means she may already be in Il Aluk by now. If so, then the trail has already gone cold considering the size of Il Aluk. If not, then it means she has stopped somewhere along the way, and there is a good chance she will remain so."
"I'm sorry if these constant delays cause you any distress. But I promise to help you if I can, and I am confident that if you were meant to find her you will...Now, if everyone will give me a hand, we will make this a quick burial and be on our way."
Varian then grabs a nearby fallen branch and begins digging a trench with it. Alden, Cissinei and even Sebastian soon join in and lend a hand.
02-17-2010, 11:58 PM
As Varian interrupts my question I stand and listen feeling incredibly anxious. All I can think about is how much we need to leave. But as he continues speaking I realize that he is entirely right. Of course, I have known this to be true all along, but for once there was hope and I allowed myself to be swept along. Even now part of me fought to tell me to just continue without them, they were slowing me down, but I just couldn't do that. After he finishes speaking I can do nothing but stand there for several moments, no words coming to mind.
After a bit I finally manage to say, "I'm sorry." I bow my head as I continue. "You are entirely right, and I realize that I have been a strain on this group since yesterday when I found out about her. May your," I pause for a moment trying to remember the details, "Lady of the Mist forgive me, and I hope that you may as well. I will have faith that we will find her in time." And then I add as an afterthought, "Though it is best not be too much longer, there are plans that were already laid, and it would be incredibly difficult to change them," though this is said with a smile in my eyes, as though there were a joke there that only I understood.
As Varian begins to dig a hole for the body of the 'attorney' or whatever he was I step up beside him, helping as best I can with my bare hands and my sword.
02-18-2010, 03:33 AM
"Please, Vlin is it? Please sit and rest. We have a long journey ahead of all of us and you were injured." I sit down nod towards Leon, letting him know that I've got my eye on the newcomer.
02-18-2010, 02:00 PM
I give the woman a nod. "Your probably right, thank you. May I have your name?" I take a seat next to her and check my wound. Grabbing my own waterskin and a clean cloth from my pack, I dab some water on the cloth to wipe my face and clean the dried gunk from my newly healed wound and the surrounding area, while listening to the woman and her companions.
"You said something about Il Aluk? Is that your destination?"
02-18-2010, 02:43 PM
I look at Amber, then the group digging the grave. That traitor didn't deserve such niceties, but formality and religion urged it on, so I keep my peace. Instead I move behind the injured man, Vlin, my larger frame not so subtly casting a shadow over him and Amber. She may well be watching him, but I am not leaving either.
"I am glad you are doing better. " I say sincerely, my voice low. " We are heading in that direction....yes."
02-18-2010, 11:22 PM
As he continues to dig the shallow grave, Varian responds to Rune's apology. "Eh, there is nothing to forgive. I understand your anxiety and realize that things are not proceeding as quickly as you would like them to. I think that, of all the difficulties that are sure to test you in the coming days, the test of your patience will be among the most trying. But perhaps my words will have offered some measure of comfort and have helped to put your mind at ease. And, who knows...perhaps when we are back on the road again you might see your way to enlightened us a bit about this person you are after. I am, after all, fairly burning with curiosity by now." Varian glances up at Rune and grins with this last sentence as though it were half meant as a light-hearted tease.
The digging of the grave continues for a bit. But it is not long before Varian decides it is deep enough to suit his purposes. "Alright," he says. "I think that is deep enough." Before placing the body into the grave, he follows the recommendation that Leon had started to give when they first entered the copse of trees, which was to search the body of the dead man for anything that might prove to be useful to the band.
They then place the body into the ditch and Varian says a few words over the grave even more brief than those he said for Zeliex. When this is done, the body is covered up and the second funeral of the day quickly comes to an end.
02-19-2010, 12:52 AM
I smile at Vlin. "My name is Amber."
02-19-2010, 08:46 PM
As Varian speaks two voices begin to argue within my mind. The first is fearful. It was one thing to let some people tag along for safety in numbers, I think to myself, but to tell them the story behind my hunt, that means actually letting them join me. Is it safe, should I? These doubts and worries eat at me for a time, but before the service is done a different thought begins to form. Listen to me, I sound just like one of them: terrified and suspicious of every person and every thing that moves. Am I willing to risk becoming that man? As the service progresses I slowly debate the topic out in my mind, and by the end I have come to a conclusion.
"Varian, if you would like to know the story behind my hunt then I will tell you. But it will have to wait until we are on the road again. First we must make sure everything is in order. And I do hope you are right, maybe it's just meant to be. But we had better find her before all too long because-" I stop short, pausing. "Well, just because, I'll explain more on the road."
Turning to the new comer I reach out my hand in greeting. "And to you, goodsir, I must apologize for my rudeness in not introducing myself. My name is Rune Valeria."
02-20-2010, 12:22 PM
Cissinei likewise steps forward and introduces herself. "And I am Cissinei. I am pleased to meet you, though I wish it were under better circumstances."
"Indeed," says Varian. Turning to Vlin and then to the others, he continues, "Well Vlin, you are welcome to travel with us unless any of the others object to it. But judging by the way you looked when we first found you, already I feel more comfortable with your company than the last man who tried to join with us." He glances over at the recently covered grave as he says this, and then back at Vlin. "After all, I truly doubt any one would have allowed themselves to be so severely wounded merely to earn our trust. And from the description of your assailant, it seems we have much in common, though it may not have anything to do with that which has been plaguing us for the past few days. You see, we too have had an encounter with a similar creature which killed one of our number just yesterday. We have reason to believe they are connected to or are in fact, members of the Kargat, though we cannot be certain of this. So, as I've said, if you are headed in the direction of Il Aluk, then you are welcome to come along. Either way, we must be moving along."
Alden nods his head in agreement and gathers up some the items taken from the body of the fork-tongued 'attorney'. "Well, I guess my days of being called Commander are over," he says outloud to himself, as the group returns to the road and resumes their trek down the King's Highway.
02-20-2010, 02:04 PM
I shake my head at the whole ordeal. There was something to be said about safety in numbers, and the newcomer's story really did seem to pan out. With the attitude of 'let what is done be done' I hold out my arm to help our new companion up. Alden's comment brings forth a chuckle.
"Like you were suited for all of that now." I say, running a dirt covered hand over my close cropped hair.
02-20-2010, 02:09 PM
I return the greetings of the others who introduce themselves. Listening intently on Varian's words, I scan the others and notice their demeanor. They all seem mentally fatigued.
"I admit, I can understand your skepticism. I would also have my own suspicions if not for the aid you have given me. Whether you believe me or not, I do give my word that I have no motive to harm any of you."
I turn to take a look at the woodlands and my thoughts return to the images of my lost friend and her killer. I allow a long sigh to escape my lungs and nod to myself. "Since I seem to be at a crossroads as to what to do, and I wish to return the favor of your assistance, I would be more than happy to accompany you. I might not be in the best shape right now, but hopefully I can be of some support to you."
02-20-2010, 03:29 PM
I giggle at Alden's comment about not being called Commander any more. "I'll call you Commander if you want," I say with another giggle, as I start to walk down the road with everyone else.
02-21-2010, 03:08 PM
"If you start calling him Commander, I swear I am going to start my own adventuring group." I say in a rare moment of mirth.
02-21-2010, 03:25 PM
Once we begin traveling, I walk next to Varian. My brow furrows in confusion as I listen to the others poke fun at Alden's expense. "Could I ask what this talk of a 'Commander' is? You're a group of adventurers?"
"You spoke of your own troubles with something resembling my own. I would say that I've stumbled on a bit of luck, if you were able to fight this thing. I've heard of the Kargat, but I'm oblivious to what they are, except that one should not cross their path. Are they the reason you are all going to Il Aluk?"
02-22-2010, 09:56 PM
As the group continues their trek down the road, Varian keeps his eyes ahead of him and begins to answer Vlin's questions. "Well," he says, "We are an adventuring group, that is true. In fact it was just last night that we decided to make it official and decided to call ourselves the Knights of Shadow. But, apparently, the man we just laid to rest in the grave did not fully understand the true nature of our band, despite our rag-tag appearance, and mistakenly believed us to be a military order of knights or something. But I can assure you," Varian says with a grin as he glances over at Vlin, "we are nothing of the sort. Anyway...the man, who claimed to be an attorney working for the magistrate of Maykle, called Alden Commander, obviously believing him to be our leader in this order of knights. I'm sure you can see the humor in that.
"Hey now," Alden exclaims. "That's not so hard to believe is it?"
Varian glances at Alden momentarily and grins. Then he continues. "As for the assumption that we fought the creature that resembled your assailant, I am afraid you may be greatly disappointed in that regard. The truth of the matter is that we are fortunate to be alive. Whatever this creature was, it chose to leave rather than fight us. But I am certain that had it chosen otherwise we would not be here talking to you. We have reason to believe it is a vampire and that it is associated with, if not a member of the Kargat, which is the not-so-secret police of King Azalin.
"And the reason we are going to Il Aluk is that it lies on the road to Mordent, which is our real destination. In Mordent, I hope to do some training there at the Church of Ezra in Mordentshire. Amber is also headed there in search of answers of her own for personal reasons.
"These were our original reasons for heading in this direction anyway. But since meeting Rune last night, we now have another reason. Rune is trying to track down somebody who, according to witnesses, may have gone in this direction as well.
"Which brings me to another topic of discussion." Varian looks over at Rune as he says this. "I think it's time we talked about the circumstances of your efforts to catch this person that you seek. And I hope the unforeseen presence of Vlin will not deter you from discussing this matter. But, trust me, I believe it is much more important than you can possibly know that we do so.
"If I recall correctly, last night you mentioned that you have only been in this land for about two months and I asked you then the same question I will ask you now: This person that you seek, has she only been in this land for two months as well?"
02-23-2010, 05:05 AM
I listen as Varian once again tells me I should tell of why I am on my search. I decide that I must tell someone eventually if I really hope to find her. "Very well," I begin, "I suppose you are right. I will tell you. First, you are right that she has only been here for two months as well. You see, she and I are betrothed. We are supposed to me married before the end of the year but almost two months ago she was carried off in the night by some creatures I have never seen before. They looked just like those," forgetting the word I simply continue on with what I know, "those grotesque statues back by the cemetery. Anyway, I was able to track some sort of magical energy from them for several days until they entered into this thrice cursed Mist! Once I entered into it I was unable to sense them anymore, the trail was just gone. I have been wandering for two months in this forsaken wasteland trying vainly to find any scrap of hope that I might find her some day, that I might be able to do what I should have done that first night and save her."
Emotions begin to flood me, visible on my face. A dozen different emotions are all fighting for control, and then the next moment my face is frozen over worse then a white dragon's breath. My voice no longer shakes with the varrying emotions, it is calm and cool and calculated. "When I find whoever is responsible for all of this I will not kill them, for death is far too good for them. I will make them suffer until the worst levels of the abyss seem to them as the sweetest of dreams."
Reaching up to the hilt of the great sword strapped to my back I say, "I swear upon my honor, upon master's name, and upon this sword, that I will save her, and nothing will stand in my path."
As I finish speaking I continue to walk in perfect silence for a time, not worried whether anybody responds or not. Simply focused on my goal, assured that I will be victorious.
I am coming, Moon of my heart. And we will be together again.
02-23-2010, 11:18 PM
Varian listens to Rune's tale with a mixture of surprise, concern and confusion written on his face. Alden meanwhile, just seems to grow angrier at the cruelties and injustice caused by all creatures that rule the night. Cissinei on the other hand, hangs her head in apparent sadness, and a visible grimace clouds her face when Rune announces that he is to marry the dark elf he is chasing after.
An uncomfortable pause in the discussion momentarily follows Rune's oath to save his fiance. But Alden is the first to break the silence. "I swear," he says with obvious anger, "one of these days, I will make them pay. All creatures of the night, I will hunt them down and destroy them...or I will die trying."
Varian nods his head as if acknowledging a prophecy of doom. Then he speaks in a soothing tone of voice in an apparent attempt to calm the rage that he sees within his companions. "Well, I am glad you have been truthful with us, Rune, and I feel confident that you will not regret doing so. But I must now tell you why I believe it was important for you to tell me how long the two of you have been in this land. Unfortunately, you are not going to like what I have to say."
Varian pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts. Then he continues. "You see, I have come up with a theory that you may find hard to believe. But so far, everyone I have asked about it has not been able to disprove it. On the contrary, their stories and testimony have only further supported this theory...as outlandish as it may sound. But, it is my belief that anyone who is not a native of this realm will eventually have their memories altered so that they will come to believe that they have lived in this land all of their lives. They will forget where they came from and quite possibly the people they knew. They may even forget who they are. From what I've been able to gather, it usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the memory alterations to occur. And if you have already been here for two months, you have very little time left. The longer you stay in this land the greater the chances are that you will forget all about this woman that you seek. And if that were not bad enough, there is a high probability that if and when you do find her, she will not know who you are. I'm sorry to have to tell you this. But you must be prepared for this possibility."
02-24-2010, 04:55 AM
Amber quietly listens to Rune. She can empathize with him on losing someone close. At Alden's outburst, she stares at him, wondering if his temper will get the best of him. When Varian tells Rune, she hopes he is wrong.
02-24-2010, 03:10 PM
I fall quiet as I listen to the others speak. After Rune declares his oath to find his loved one and his revenge, I give him a grim nod, showing my sympathy and understanding.
Alden's own lust for vengeance is unexpected and surprising. The rage in the man is almost intimidating, and it sends a shiver down my spine. These people certainly have seen better days. They seem so determined and eager to resolve their troubles, I think to myself.
Confusion and fear overcome me once Varian states his theory. "Alterations? Your saying that people's memories are being removed or blocked by some force? I can't say I have had any missing or conflicting memories, but... that would go along with your idea, I suppose. Do you believe there is purpose behind it, or just some fluke happenstance?"
02-24-2010, 09:01 PM
"If there is a purpose behind it," Varian says, "I cannot imagine what that purpose might be. Yet I have a hard time believing that it is just a fluke happenstance. It seems to be a property of the realm of Darkon, however, for I have never heard of this memory alteration taking place outside of this land...which means that leaving this land and crossing over into a neighboring land should prevent the alteration from taking place. One interesting note that I will point out however, is that Alden is the only person I have ever met, who is a non-native of Darkon and yet has avoided the memory alteration. This of course, could be interpreted as evidence against my theory. But I think it's an indication that there is a way to prevent this memory alteration from happening. Perhaps, Alden's mentor Wat was aware of this method and he did something to prevent the memory alteration from happening to Alden. And perhaps the Kargat took some interest in this. It would help to explain why Wat chose to hide in the woods and live as a hermit. It would also help to explain why the Kargat tracked him down and killed him, assuming it was the Kargat, of course who did this. And finally, it would also explain why the Kargat has been after Alden as well. Maybe they think he knows something."
As Alden, listens to Varian's words, it gradually dawns on him that Varian might be on to something. Could this be true? I knew that Wat had spent much of his time in Il Aluk. And he always warned me about going there, saying I should avoid the place if at all possible. He never had anything good to say about the city or the government. I know he was much more educated than he ever let on and I could sense that he was always hiding something from me whenever I asked him about Il Aluk or his past. Hmm...I wonder.
02-28-2010, 01:43 AM
"That does make some sense."
03-02-2010, 04:04 AM
I listen as Varian speaks of his theory. A small fear begins to take hold in the back of my mind. She did walk around unattended, maybe she doesn't know she shouldn't be here? No!! She can't have forgotten me! She is stronger than that! She loves me more than that. The inner battle begins to grow until it is a raging storm inside. Before long the struggle becomes so bad that I can't even stand. Clutching my head I drop to my knees, the mental pain becoming physical to me. After what seems an eternity to me the torment begins to subside and I am finally able to open my eyes and look at the world around me. Seeing the faces of the rest of the group staring at me I begin to stand.
"My apologies, friends. I am ok, I merely gave into the fear and horror of some of the possibilities. I cannot allow myself to believe that she might not remember me, to believe that would kill me. I will continue to believe that there must be something deep down that still remembers who she really is and who WE are together." Looking directly at Varian I say, "I believe you. But for the sake of maintaining hope I have to believe that this memory alteration can be defeated. After all, I remember life outside of this Mist so there must be some way to resist it. I will cling to the belief that she can too."
03-02-2010, 09:15 PM
Varian is startled to see Rune suddenly collapse in the road. But despite this it does not come as a complete surprise to him. Nor does it appear to be entirely unexpected by the others, though it is evident, by the expressions on their faces, that it saddens them to see their new friend so distraught over Varian's disturbing revelation. And while several of them are filled with the desire to go to Rune and help him up, they resist the urge to do so, knowing that Rune is fighting a battle in his mind that only he can win and that the looks on their faces are enough to tell Rune how they sympathize for him.
The group comes to a stop as they then listen to Rune's words, and when he is done, Varian offers what hope he can. "And so you should," he says to Rune. "For to give up all hope is to admit defeat. And that is something I will not do...nor should any of us." He looks around at the others as he says this last. Turning back to Rune he continues. "And as I have already pointed out, Alden is living proof that there is a way to defeat this memory alteration. For your sake and for the sake of your loved one, do not forget this and remain mentally strong, for I am certain that it will be your mental strength that will be tested more so than your physical strength....And one more word of advice: Start keeping a journal or a diary. Write as much as you can about who you are and where you come from...just in case you happen to forget. Oh, and I'm sure I don't need to tell you to keep it secure at all times as you would not want it to fall into the hands of those who might use it against you." Varian then turns and says, "But come along. Time is running short and we must not be dawdling about in the middle of the road." He resumes walking then as he urges the others along with him.
Moments later, as the group continues along the road, Varian speaks up again. "Well, perhaps we could talk of other things at this point. Cissinei, I believe there was something else that you wanted to tell us...perhaps concerning the dream that Amber had last night or the figure you saw in the asylum grounds? You have been very quiet all day, and I suspect you have something important on your mind. I think now is as good a time as any."
Cissinei heaves a heavy sigh at Varian's words and says, "Yes, there was something else." She hesitates a bit, glancing over at Vlin as she does so, as if she is not sure he can be trusted. But despite her misgivings, she continues anyway. "When Amber was describing her dream, I knew that the suspected vampire and the one he called "Lord" were talking about me when they spoke of the one who could be a problem for them if she remembered too much. You see...I too had another dream last night...or rather, what I suspect to be a returned memory. I told you of my previous dream on the night before, where I was being chased through the halls of a castle or a dungeon of some kind by some unseen monster. Well, this time it was much the same, except there was more to it. This time, I entered what appeared to be a vast library, full of bookshelves and hundreds, perhaps thousands of books scattered throughout in a seemingly half-hazard manner. I moved through these bookshelves, and as I did so, I came to one end of the library where I saw something unusual. There was a gigantic glowing book, taller than a man and twice as wide. It floated upright a few inches over the stone floor. In front of the book was a large table, filled with books of normal size. One was open and a multicolored quill enscribed in it, although no hand or creature directed it. I stepped closer to try and read what was written there and in the large glowing book. But when I did so, I was startled by something. I turned to look...but I can't remember anything more...all I know is that whatever I saw there, it was quite frightening."
03-04-2010, 08:31 AM
"I'm sure that you will recover more memories. Hopefully more good ones than bad ones," I say with a smile.
03-04-2010, 12:34 PM
I walk quietly, listening to the others speak. Rune's troubles concerning his missing betrothed fills me with sorrow, and his companions seem to feel his anguish as well. I notice them watching me from time to time, partly with curiosity but their lack of trust is obvious. Knowing that they too have dealt with many dangers and tragedies, I do my best to not let their mistrust bother me. If not for their assistance, I would definitely have the same feelings about them as well. When I make eye contact with one of them, I simply give them a solemn smile and fix my sight back on the road.
Once Cissinei explains her dreams, my mind fills with questions. "Pardon me, miss, but you said you suspected the dreams could be returning memories. Do you think that because they are recurring, or is their anything about the dreams that gives you a feeling of familiarity?"
03-04-2010, 10:08 PM
Cissinei thinks about it for a moment and says. "Mmm...I don't know. Perhaps both I suppose. But also because they just seem so real." She then bows her head in despair. "But then, when you cannot remember anything about your past, what can you base what's real and isn't real on. There is, of course, the possibility that it seems so real to me because I am so desperate to remember things from my past that subconsciously I've convinced myself that the dreams ARE real. The truth of the matter is that, with so little in my head to distinguish my dreams from my memories, there is no way I can be certain of anything."
Varian, seeing the anguish in Cissinei's expression, a sight he has been witness to all too frequently these past few days, again tries to use his logic to offer a word of encouragement. "Do not give in to your doubts, Cissinei," he says to her. "And give some thought to this: whether these visions you see are dreams or returning memories, they have to be coming from some place of reference. Dreams are not manufactured from whole cloth, but rather from bits and pieces of one's past. So it does not matter a great a deal if these visions are dreams or memories, because either way, they are grounded in reality to some extent. They have to be."
Cissinei raises her head and turns to look at Varian with a thoughtful expression. She nods her head as if to say 'thank you' as a faint hint of a smile appears on her face.
Alden, clearly wanting to change the subject, sees the pause in the group's discussion at this point and decides to take the opportunity. "So, enough talk of gloom and doom for now I think. What do you guys say we take a short break? And while we're doing so, maybe we can take a look at some of the stuff that we've salvaged from our most recent losses among the living." Here he indicates the items taken from the bodies of Zeliex and Matt that appeared of some value. "Can any of you spellcasters detect magic items?"
Varian, stops and turns to look at Alden. He then glances at the others and back to Alden. "Not a bad idea. If it's alright with the rest of you, a quick break might be well worth it." He looks around and seeing a nearby clump of trees by the road side he motions the party in that direction. "Here, let's have a seat over here."
Alden follows Varian to the shade of the trees and sits next to him. Varian then begins to examine the items carried by Alden and says, "Let's have a look at these things." He then casts a Detect Magic spell and indicates six items. "Well, it appears we are in luck here. These items are magical. I'll see if I can identify their properties, but it might be helpful and go a bit quicker if anyone else can also detect for magic." Here he glances at Rune and Amber, not at all certain if either of these two are capable of doing so.
03-04-2010, 10:19 PM
All the talk of lost lovers and horrid dreams has me keeping quiet. There is nothing at all I can input of any significance. I haven't had anything besides normal nightmares, if you can call shadowy figures and blood normal. No revelations. No goals. Just....moving. Really, everyone else here has an overreaching goal, and I am just running.
After a moment, I stop moping. Maybe my goal is to be with them, to keep them safe. I look at my ragtag group of companions one at a time, taking them in, and my jaw sets. Yes, that is what I will do. Keep them safe, or die trying.
As we pull to the side to take a break, I breath a sigh of relief. All of the serious talk was taxing, even to one just listening. It was a scary thought, one's memories being false. Were my parents really my parents? Did they really die in the war?
Questions for another time.
"So what do we have?" I ask, bending over to look at the objects.
03-06-2010, 12:20 AM
As Varian looks to me in asking if anyone can help him check for magical properties I am a bit shocked. I wasn't aware anyone had figured out that I was capable of any sort of magical ability. If this man was able to figure that out, then who else knew. In a realm where people were killed just for who they might be associated with, or less at times according to my experiences the very thought of people being able to simply know these sorts of things terrified me. But I quickly manage to recover myself, the focus had been on me enough for the day as far as I was concerned. The less I was in the spotlight the less there was chance outside witnesses might take notice of me.
"Sure, Varian. I will help out as much as I can." Reaching inside myself I grasp hold of the power that always hung just out of view. "By the might of Life and the Light, show to me the power that cannot be seen." Suddenly a whole new dimension of sight is granted to me and I am able to see the magic that Varian had spoken of. I begin to focus all the power I can into reading what the specifics of those flows entailed.
03-06-2010, 01:25 AM
As the others congregate near the trees, I keep near the road. I feel the need to be alone for a while. "You all go ahead, I'm fine for now. Varian's magic seems to have given me a second wind." I give them all a slight grin. "I'll just keep an eye on the road."
I let my pack drop off my shoulders and lay it on the ground. At first, I think about walking on ahead, in order to stretch my legs, but realize its best to stay close to the others. I don't want to give them any reason not to trust me. As I look up and down the road, lightly kicking at dirt and grass, memories of the attack flood my thoughts. The monster that has haunted me for so long tore my world apart a second time. "I'm sorry, Ilyria... I'm so sorry."
Turning away from the others, I quickly wipe the tears from my eyes and take a deep breath. I stop myself from thinking any more about my dear friend and turn my thoughts toward the image of the shadow man. His sinister laugh and evil acts start to make me fearful and queasy, but the feelings quickly turn into anger. I grab the hilt of my sword and curse under my breath.
" I promise you, demon. From this very moment, I live for one reason. I swear, I will kill you. You've destroyed me and everything I love. I will send you to hell, no matter the cost."
03-06-2010, 10:19 AM
Varian catches the momentary look of concern on Rune's face after being asked to help identify the items, and says to him, "Don't worry. I'm not a mind reader. Having grown up in Nevuchar Springs I've known quite a few warrior elves who also knew some magic as well. And to be honest, I wasn't aware that you knew any magic, which is why I asked. For that matter, I don't even know if Amber can detect for magic and I know she knows a little magic." He glances at Amber as he says this, hoping she can lend a hand as well.
03-06-2010, 04:17 PM
I look at Varian, relief apparent on my face. "Either you are lying to me about being a mind reader, or you are simply incredibly observant. I will choose to believe the latter since otherwise it would appear that doom is simply waiting to befall me."
That said I return my focus to the magic items. Two are seeming to stand out so I focus more of my attention on them.
03-06-2010, 09:26 PM
I sigh a bit, wishing I didn't have this magic. "Yes, I can help identify these things. Let me see them when you're done, Rune."
03-06-2010, 11:43 PM
After a few minutes of examining the magic items, Rune and Amber have been able to identify all but two of them. So, with what information they have been able to gather with their spells and abilities, the group draws straws to determine the order of picks. It is then left to them to decide along the way, which item they want and whether or not they want to try and identify them better before making their choice.
In the meantime, the group resumes their travels east along the King's Highway. After a short while, late in the afternoon, they see what appears to be a makeshift campsite just ahead of them and a little off the road to the north. There are seven brightly colored wagons, otherwise known as vardos, a few dozen dark-haired people of varying ages, mostly dressed in equally bright clothing, several draft horses and even a couple of pet black bears all gathered around a smoking fire pit. The sound of laughing children can be faintly heard as can the sound of the chirping birds that fly high above the camp. Even from a distance of a few hundred yards, they can be easily identified as a caravan of gypsies.
As soon as Varian sees them, he comes to a stop and says to no one in particular, "Vistani." He then looks at his companions and says, "Well, it appears we are in for a bit of luck...though whether it is good luck or bad luck remains to be seen. The Vistani may be able to provide some answers for us, maybe tell us our fortunes and perhaps even help identify the last two magic items. On the other hand, they may just as well rob us blind. What do you all think? Should we approach them?"
03-07-2010, 04:38 PM
"I don't know..." I say, feeling the hilt of my blade beneath my hand. " I am not too keen on approaching a group of...that sort." I look at our group, one by one, then at the large bears and people.
"I'm not comfortable..."
03-08-2010, 12:53 AM
I sigh. "Well they probably know we are here. As much as I don't want to, I think we have better odds approaching and being friendly." I whisper to myself "and I really want nothing to do with them."
03-08-2010, 12:49 PM
I take a moment to study the campsite, watching the people moving about. I give Amber a nod. "You're probably right about them knowing of our presence, and who knows what else, but I doubt they are an immediate threat to us. More than likely, they are asking themselves the same questions about us. Since they have set up just off a road such as this, they are probably looking for trade, not trouble. If we do decide to approach, I say keep to the exterior of the camp until we know their intentions, and stay together."
I lower my voice. "...And protect your coin purses, jewelry and other valuables. Many Vistani excel at pick pocketing and deception. They could easily talk you out of some items while stealing the rest." I take a moment to scan our surroundings, making sure I did not miss anything while we walked.
"Scan the area" Perception check
03-09-2010, 10:42 PM
Vlin scans the gypsy campsite and the area surrounding it, but finds nothing out of the ordinary, nor does he see anything in particular to be alarmed about. Even the two bears wear collars around their necks which are attached to chains.
Varian looks at his companions. "Well, one thing I do know about the Vistani is that you would be hard pressed to find anyone who understands the Mists and this land of ours better than they do. But I agree with Vlin that any of us who approaches them needs to keep a close eye on their money. Still...I'm willing to give them a try. However, I understand if anyone of you would rather not deal with them. You can wait outside their camp if you like. Hopefully, this won't take too long. But either way, there isn't a lot of daylight left in the day to be traveling anyway." Varian makes a motion to head in the direction of the gypsy's camp.
Alden glances over at Leon then back at Varian, "Wait." Varian looks back at Alden. After a short pause he continues. "I'm not real comfortable going into their camp either. But I'm not letting you go in there alone. I'm coming with you. Someone's got to watch your back."
Cissinei then speaks, "I'm coming too. I've got far too many questions that I need answers to. Maybe they can give me some."
The three of them begin walking in the direction of the camp.
03-11-2010, 10:13 AM
I give a nod and follow Varian and the others.
03-11-2010, 12:14 PM
I shut my mouth quietly, my mouth setting firmly, and trudge forth after my companions. The silent vow to watch over them hasn't been forgotten, and though this camp didn't look spectacularly dangerous, things could always take a turn for the worse. If and when that happened, I would be ready.
As we walk, I make sure to tuck my money purse into my armor, keeping it out of sight.
03-11-2010, 04:10 PM
I let out a deep sigh and reluctantly walk with my friends towards the camp.
03-11-2010, 06:26 PM
"Perhaps there is one among them who can identify what this belt is capable of," I say. "I will accompany you and see what happens, maybe one of the gods will have mercy and give me a lead through these travelers."
03-11-2010, 11:33 PM
As the group approaches the gypsy camp, they gradually pick up on the sounds of people talking and going about their business, but most especially the laughter and shouts of three children playing on the near side of the camp, all of whom appear to be 8 to 10 years of age. Two of them are boys engaged in a mock battle with wooden swords while the third child, a girl with a doll, cheers them on, apparently playing the part of the damsel for whom the two combatants vie for her affection. The two boys are so heavily evolved in their swordplay in fact, that they don't appear to notice the group approaching until they are practically on top of them. One of the boys almost runs into Varian, but stops just short, turns with a start and yelps out something in a foreign language. But he quickly composes himself and says in Darkonese, "Oh, I beg your pardon, sir. I did not see you."
Varian, smiles at the boy and says, "That's quite alright. No harm done."
The other boy laughs and shouts out, "What's the matter, Calin? Can't you see where you're going?"
"Calin, is it?" Varain says to the boy just in front of him. "Tell me, Calin. Can you tell me who the leader of your camp is and point him out to me?" He pulls out a copper piece and holds it up as an offering.
Calin answers by saying, "Our Raunie, Oma Amelia is the one who guides us. But she does not talk to strangers unless it is to tell their fortunes. You will need to speak to Captain Grigore. That's him over there." Calin then points to a large man who appears to be in his mid-fifties with dark hair and mustache, gray temples and a cap on his head. His well-tanned skin and the crow's feet at the corners of his eyes seem to indicate he is a well-traveled man with a serious demeanor. Calin then snatches the copper piece from Varian's fingers and runs off to continue his play with the other children.
Varian, meanwhile, glances about the camp to get a better look at the people there. Then he slowly proceeds in the direction of Captain Grigore. As the group draws near to the circle of vardos, many of the gypsies turn to look at who approaches, including a man in his mid-twenties, a male teenager, an old man seated by the fire, two middle aged men playing a fiddle and a lute, a few middle-aged matrons, two attractive women in their early twenties and Captain Grigore himself.
The man in his twenties, walks towards the group and as he steps up to them says, "Greetings, travelers. I am Abel of the Dragomir Clan. What can we do for you? Perhaps you have come to trade. We have many fine things for sale, such as good luck charms, fine weapons and herbal remedies. Or maybe you would like to have your fortune told by Oma Amelia. Or perhaps you would like to test your martial skills by wrestling a trained bear or even partake in the once in a lifetime opportunity presented by our very own House of Mists, where you can participate in a mock battle against a monster of your choosing."
03-16-2010, 11:10 PM
Varian turns to the others to see if they have any questions or requests. But seeing that none of them apparently have anything to say, Varian turns back to Abel and says to him, "Well, we were wondering if there are any among you who might be able to identify a couple of magic items for us."
Abel looks back at Varian with just a hint of surprise on his face and replies, "I see. If you will wait here, I'll see what I can do." He then bows to the group ever so slightly, turns and walks to the far side of the campfire. There he speaks with Captain Grigore for a bit. After receiving an answer from the captain, he turns and walks to the end of vardo that sits just behind the captain. He knocks on the door there and soon after appears to have a conversation with someone inside the vardo. The vardo is situated in such a way however, that none of the group is able to see who it is that Abel is speaking to. A few moments pass as the group watches on with nervous anticipation. Finally, Abel finishes his conversation and returns to the group. "Please, follow me if you will."
The group does as instructed, some of them turning to each other to gauge their reactions. But Abel leads them to the same vardo where he was just talking. When they get there, a thin elderly woman steps out of the vardo. Her hair is wavy and gray, though most of it is hidden beneath a scarf that is just as colorful as her dress. Her face is wrinkled and weathered and the few teeth she has remaining are yellowed and stained. About her neck and arms hang several strands of beads, charms and amulets. She peers at the group with eyes that seem to see into their very souls.
"This is Oma Amelia," Abel says to the group.
"You wish to have some magic items identified?" she asks them.
"Y-yes," Varian stammers out in a less than confident voice.
"Let me see what you have," she answers back. Alden then steps forward and shows her the belt and the arm bands. She looks at the items and asks, "And what are you willing to part with in exchange this service?"
Varian, fumbles around in a pocket and produces a gem. "Will this do?" he asks her.
The old woman takes the gem, looks it over and says, "It will do." She then proceeds to cast a spell and begins examining the items. After a few moments, she announces, "These arm bands will provide some protection from physical harm to one who is not already wearing armor. And the belt - it will provide its wearer greater fortitude. Now, then." She continues as she looks up at the group. "Is there anything more you would like to know? I sense that there are many questions on your minds."
03-17-2010, 11:10 PM
I look at the old woman doubtfully for a moment, but it is obvious she knows what she is doing. All of this, the magic, the fortune telling, had never been for me. A good blade and a quick thrust were usually enough to satisfy my person, but everything had changed. No longer were foes in front of you, nor were they ever obvious. The game had changed, and it was time to take a different approach.
I step forward. "Ma'am, are you the one of which they speak who can tell fortunes?"
03-18-2010, 10:39 PM
Oma Amelia looks at Leon and says, "I am she. Do you care to know what your future has in store for you? It will only cost you a gold piece."
03-19-2010, 02:09 PM
"Ma'am" I say, digging into my pouch and producing a handful of gold pieces. "With the luck we've been having, I think any heads up will be good for all of us. "
03-19-2010, 10:51 PM
"Very well then," the old woman says. "Step into my vardo everyone, and I shall look into your futures."
Everyone follows the old woman into her wagon, which is dimly lit by a lantern and a few candles. It is a large vardo, but considering all the clutter inside, it is very cramped for all of these people. Looking about they see all kinds of strange objects stacked here and there or hanging from the walls and ceiling, from unusual trinkets to books of arcane lore and from beads and incense to jars of components for potions and spells...and a few things that can't be identified. In the center of the vardo is a table covered with a red table cloth. The old woman tells the group to gather around the table, using whatever they can find to sit on. Then, once the group has situated themselves, Oma Amelia, now seated on the far side of the table, produces a large deck of fairly worn cards each with an identical ornately designed backside.
"Now then," she says to Leon. "Since you were the first to ask for a fortune telling, you shall be the first to receive one. The cards that I hold in my hands are called tarokka cards and once they have been handled by a person, they have the ability to foretell that person's past, present and future. But only I can interpret the meaning of these cards." She looks around at the others as she continues. "One at a time, I will have each of you handle the deck of cards and you will shuffle the cards until they feel right to you. Then you will hand the deck back to me and I will lay the top five cards out in the pattern of a cross face down. Once the cards have been placed, I will reveal them in the same order in which they were drawn.
"The first card, which lies at the center of the cross, is the focus card and represents the individual about whom the information is being sought. The second card, below the focus, represents the past and while you may not see much point in my telling you about the past, it does help to establish the card's accuracy. The third card, to the left of the focus, indicates those things that stand ready to oppose the focus card. The fourth card, above the focus, represents the future. And the fifth card, to the right of the focus, marks those things that stand ready to aid the focus card."
Oma Amelia turns to Leon and says, "Now then, if you will, please shuffle the cards." She then hands the cards to Leon, who, in turn, shuffles them. When he feels they have been shuffled enough, Leon hands them back to Oma Amelia, who places the top five out on the table in the manner she had indicated. Once the cards have been placed, she then begins to turn them over, saying a bit about each card as she does so.
The Focus - "The Master of Swords. The Warrior. This card represents you, he who would use force or violence to accomplish his goals."
The Past - "The Eight of Swords. The Dictator. This card speaks of the all that is wrong and evil in government. It is the mark of the despot and tyrant who rules with violence, fear and intimidation. It also symbolizes the mad general who leads his army into suicidal battles or orders them to stand against hopeless odds. Your past has been marred by two such men, King Azalin the tyrant and Vlad Drakov, the militaristic ruler of Falkovnia. You lost both of your parents in the Dead Man's Campaign, the war fought between these two men. And it has been the single greatest influence on your life."
The Force of Opposition- "The Broken One of the High Deck. This card represents a darker aspect of yourself. While normally it indicates defeat, failure and despair, in your case it speaks of the fear of these things. Though you hide it well, your soul is tormented by a lack of confidence and an unshakable subconscious doubt in your abilities. More than anything, it is the fear of failure that you must strive to overcome, or it will surely be the end of you."
The Future- "The Two of Coins. The Philanthropist. This card calls to mind acts of charity and giving. And since it lies in your future, it indicates that you will soon meet someone who will offer you something without expecting anything in return. Accept this offer. As it will lead you to an opportunity to return the favor. And though there will be loss involved, in the end, you will benefit from it."
The Force of Aid- "The Three of Glyphs. The Healer. This card indicates a friend who will be there at your side when you have risked your life to aid others. This friend may be a companion of yours now, who will heal your wounds when you are injured, willing to risk his own life to do so and may have already done so."
03-25-2010, 08:24 PM
The cards speak true, each ringing out one after another, and each striking home like an arrow. My mouth slowly falls open as she flips and speaks, then shuts and tightens, the tendons in my neck standing on end. Reliving the past is not something I wanted to do, and speaking of failure was even worse. Failure wasn't an option, it was not a possibility. Failure meant death. An end to all means.
At least, that is how I had always believed. Brutal life, cold truths, and a strong will to survive despite my losses had instilled that in me, a fortitude surpassing what should have been normal, but also a fear. A fear of not being good enough, of failing. Falling.
It would not happen.
The future though, was interesting. Not dark nor deadly at all, but a symbol of hope, of help. A reprieve. As she speaks of my companion, my eyes drift to Varian, and I nod once in thanks. Healer, helper, and friend.
As she finishes I stand and offer a small bow of my head. "Thank you ma'am. I will take what you have said into consideration."
03-25-2010, 11:19 PM
Oma Amelia then turns to Amber and has her shuffle the cards. When Amber is done and has handed the deck back to the elderly gypsy woman, the Vistani seer lays the top five cards out in the same fashion as before, and speaks to Amber.
The Focus - "The Master of Stars. The Wizard. This card represents you, who have been granted the gift of magic."
The Past - "The Seven of Swords. The Hooded Man. This card speaks of those who are prone to acts of evil through their stupidity or deception. But it also symbolizes bigotry, intolerance, and xenophobia. You have recently been forced to leave behind your home and your family because of the prejudice and superstition of people too ignorant to understand your gift. And because of their foolishness they have brought pain and suffering upon those who did not deserve it."
The Force of Opposition - "The Seven of Stars. The Illusionist. This card tells of lies and deceit. It warns that much is hidden from even the most careful observer and that there may be far more to the world than was previously suspected. As a force of opposition, it indicates a secret society or an organized ring of spies and informants that seeks to thwart you in your endeavors."
The Future - "The Seven of Coins. The Thief. While this card often represents those who steal or burgle, it means something entirely different for you. It is an omen of sad times to come, for it marks the loss of something...or someone important to you."
The Force of Aid - "The Four of Glyphs. The Shepherd. This card calls forth the devotion of friends and allies. It marks those who are loyal companions and indicates that they will be there for you when times seem unbearable."
Having given Amber her fortune telling, Oma Amelia turns to Rune and has him shuffle the cards. She then places five cards before him and proceeds to tell him his fortune.
The Focus - "The Master of Swords. The Warrior. This card represents you for the same reason as your companion."
The Past - "The Donjon of the High Deck. This card tells of imprisonment, or more precisely, the recent kidnapping of someone dear to you. It also speaks of your quest to free this person from captivity."
The Force of Opposition - "The Esper of the High Deck. This card speaks of the powers of the mind. But as an opposing force it indicates the loss of portion of the mind, perhaps the loss of knowledge or memories in either yourself or the one you seek. It is not a definite thing - only a possibility."
The Future - "The Three of Stars. The Enchanter. This card is the mark of determination, often indicating initial failure and hardship, followed by the overcoming of challenges and eventual victory. It says that though you may be frustrated by any number of things, you will eventually succeed in finding that which you seek."
The Force of Aid - "The Five of Coins. The Guildsman. This card speaks of sharing and fairness and of those who work together to achieve a common goal. It indicates profit for those who form partnerships and stick with one another through bad times and good."
03-26-2010, 08:13 PM
As Oma Amelia reads out my fortune I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed. After listening to the first two I had begun to hope that she might provide me with some answers to my questions, but as she began telling my fortune all I found was that she confirmed that my questions were real, but didn't really answer any of them. But even through the disappointment hope shone. My future seemed to point to victory, to achieving my goal, and that was all that really mattered. No matter what obstacles stood in my way, I would overcome them, I would conquer them, and I would bring Sarai back home with me. Too bad she never said how far in my future that would be, I thought briefly.
03-26-2010, 11:28 PM
Vlin is the next to receive a fortune telling, and after he shuffles the deck, Oma Amelia places the cards before him and tells him what she sees.
The Focus - "The Master of Coins. The Rogue. This card symbolizes those who seek wealth by non-conventional means."
The Past - "The Eight of Stars. The Necromancer. This card speaks of evil and the undead. It indicates that you have recently encountered a being that fits this description and that you have suffered greatly because of it."
The Force of Opposition - "The Eight of Glyphs. The Bishop. This card speaks of those who plan, plot, and scheme and suggests a powerful person or persons who adhere to a strict code or unjust laws. Beware of such people as they stand to thwart your goals and your way of life."
The Future - "The Four of Stars. The Abjurer. This card speaks of hardship and confusion to come, and indicates that much determination and effort will be required in the coming days, though it does not portend any success or failure - only that there will be struggles to come."
The Force of Aid - "The Raven of the High Deck. This card indicates a hidden source of information or a secret potential for good. Be very observant and keep a vigil for such sources of aid."
Varian is the next in line, and Oma Amelia tells him the following:
The Focus - "The Master of Glyphs. The Priest. This card represents all who devote themselves to the worship of a deity, such as youself."
The Past - "The Two of Glyphs. The Missionary. This card indicates the patron who spreads his teachings and faith to others and represents your teacher who taut you the ways of your religion after you lost your parents. He was the single most important influence in your life."
The Force of Opposition - "The Darklord of the High Deck. This card calls to mind the fact that your religion conflicts with that of the official state religion, which is often a tool used by the ruler of this land to control his subjects. You must use caution or you may find yourself in a conflict with the ruler himself."
The Future - "The Nine of Swords. The Tortorer." An obviuos look of concern appears breifly on the face of Oma Amelia as she reveals this card. "It grieves me to tell you that this card foretells of suffering and anguish. Something will soon happen that will cause you great pain."
The Force of Aid - "The One of Glyphs. The Monk. This card tells of inner strength and self-reliance. It advises that you to rely on the wisdom of others and the teachings of your fath when times become hard."
As Oma Amelia reveals Varian's fortune to him, a look of concern becomes visible when the card of the Darklord is revealed. Her words to follow do not provide any comfort. But it is nothing compared to the distress brought on by the next card, that of the Tortuer. What could this possibly mean? Whatever it is...it sure does not bode well for me.
03-27-2010, 12:25 AM
As Amber listens to her fortune, she is saddened to learn that more pain is in her future. All her life she has hoped for a fairy tale ending like in the stories her mother used to tell her. Now she begins to realize that life will not hold a fairy tale ending. No prince is going to sweep her off to his castle and keep her safe. She is going to lose something close to her heart and she is going to have to fight for happiness. She sits there quietly and waits till everyone else's is done.
03-27-2010, 02:15 PM
Vlin listens as Oma Amelia reads the other's fortunes. Looks of sorrow, fear and determination fill each of their faces. I was right. These men and women have been through hell.
Once the gypsy hands her deck to Vlin, he is hesitant at first, but decides to quickly shuffle them and pass the cards back. The description of the necromancer card instantly reminds him of his bane, the shadow man. Vlin cringes, but continues to listen to the woman's reading. He gives Oma Amelia a thankful nod once she finishes.
Bishop? Abjurer? Raven? What does it all mean? His thoughts dwell on the words.
03-27-2010, 10:53 PM
Oma Amelia then turns to Cissinei. It is her turn to shuffle the cards and hand them back to the gypsy seer so that she can look into her future.
The Focus - "The Master of Swords. The Warrior. Like your companions before you, this card speaks of your skill at arms."
The Past - "The Mists of the High Deck. This card indicates that your past is a mystery that is yet to be revealed, for it is shrouded in mists so deep that not even the cards can see it. Unlike your companions, you have as much to learn about your past as you do your future."
The Force of Opposition - "The Nine of Stars. The Conjurer. This card heralds the furthering of ignorance and the purposeful repression of the truth. It also tells of those who draw their powers from unnatural sources, and those who wish to keep the truth hidden."
The Future - "The Two of Stars. The Diviner. This card represents the unveiling of secrets and the gaining of knowledge and wisdom. Things will be shown to you and mysteries will be solved, though the gaining of answers may only invite more questions."
The Force of Aid - "The Five of Swords. The Myrmidon. This card marks the sudden reversal of fates so common in the chaos of warfare. It is a sign that when things look most grim and all hope is lost, there may still be a way out that is unexpected."
As Cissinei looks on, she is clearly disappointed when the gypsy woman can not tell her anything more about her past. And her 'force of opposition' has nothing about it that makes it any better. However, the last two cards seem to offer some measure of hope and her countenance clearly improves because of it.
Finally, it is Alden's turn. Reluctantly he shuffles the deck, apparently not impressed by the gypsy's supposed ability to see into the future, or perhaps not sure if really wants to know what lies ahead of him. Nevertheless, he gazes on impatiently as Oma Amelia, lays out the five cards and begins reading his fortune.
The Focus - "The Master of Swords. The Warrior. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that this is the card that represents you."
The Past - "The Two of Coins. The Philanthropist. This card calls to mind acts of charity and giving; unselfish devotion and caring for others. You met a person of this description in your past who took you in when times were difficult. This person, I sense, was a great influence on your life."
The Force of Opposition - "The Beast of the High Deck. This card indicates that there will be a creature, driven by passion and rage, which will stand in your way and may threaten your very life."
"Wait," Alden says to the gypsy seer, holding his hand out to stop her from revealing the next card. "Show me the Force of Aid before revealing my future."
Oma Amelia nods her head and complies with Alden's request.
The Force of Aid - "The Master of Glyphs. The Priest." Almost involuntarily, both Alden and the gypsy woman glance briefly over at Varian, who in turn has a perplexed look on his face. "Curious that this card should come up as your force of aid," she says to Alden. "I suspect that it means your companion here will be performing some service for you."
"And now your future?" Alden nods to her. She then turns the final card over and when she does so, her eyes open wide and her face becomes pale and frozen.
"What?" Alden asks her. "What is it?"
The gypsy woman looks up at Alden as though she were looking into the eyes of a ghost. "It is the Horseman - the sign of death and disaster."
"What?!" Alden exlcaims with alarm. "Nonsense! It can't be! I don't believe any of this! This is a bunch of hokum and you're just a charlatan!" Alden, quite visibly upset gets up and brushes the cards away as he does so. "That does it! I'm out of here!" Alden then turns and storms out the door of the vardo.
"Wait!" Oma Amelia yells at him. "It doesn't necessarily mean your death! Wait!" But the look on her face seems to say otherwise.
Varian, frowns at the gypsy woman, then turns to follow his friend out the door. "Alden! Hold up a minute! Where are you going?"
03-28-2010, 04:15 AM
Amber watches Alden storm out and Varian chase after him. She turns to the women. "Can his fate be changed?"
03-28-2010, 07:18 AM
Before Oma has a chance to respond I reach out and put a hand on Amber's shoulder.
"I don't think it's his death that he's worried about, Amber," I say sadly. "I think he just feels that she confirmed his fear that everyone around him will die. I'll go talk to him."
Turning without waiting for a response I dash outside after Alden. As I begin to catch up I call ahead, "Alden, hey wait up!"
03-28-2010, 11:25 PM
I just sit there, my shoulders down, my arms crossed, watching and listening as each fate in turn is revealed. As Alden runs from the vardo, I do not even turn, so lost in the chaos of my mind and of thought. Too much has happened, so much to happen. I close my eyes briefly.
"What does it mean?" I ask quietly, my eyes shut against the world, my skin tingling from a mixture of fear and anxiety.
03-30-2010, 04:57 PM
Oma Amelia looks at those who are still there in the vardo and says with a stone cold expression. "The cards speak true. It is the exact interpretation of them that is the question. But mark my words, very soon, your friend will once again come face to face with death. This cannot be disputed, nor can it be changed...But perhaps I can sell you an amulet that will ward off death when it comes to call." She then rummages through some things on a shelf and produces a purplish ornamental stone set in silvery mount and attached to a silvery chain. "I can part with it for, say...fifty gold pieces. It may save your friend's life."
Meanwhile, outside the vardo, Alden comes to a stop soon after leaving it when he notices that all the faces of the gypsies in the camp have turned to face him. Varian and Rune quickly catch up to him. Then Varian, seeing that they are being observed by the gypsies, speaks to Alden in as calming a tone as he can muster. "Alden, Don't worry about what the gypsy woman said in there. Even if her cards were half accurate, it doesn't mean she was. Maybe the cards were speaking about the death of an enemy of ours, or like you said, the cards are just totally wrong. Whatever it is, it's not worth getting upset about."
Alden glances over at the faces staring in his direction and back at Alden. Obviously not wishing to cause any problems with the gypsies he pauses and reluctantly says, "Yeah, you're probably right. No need to start any trouble than we already have. But just the same, I'm ready to get out of here. It's already growing late in the day and we need to start looking for a place to spend the night. We don't have much daylight left and I have no desire to stay the night with the gypsies...not that they would let us anyway."
"Agreed," says Varian. "We should be getting on our way."
At that point, they hear the bark of a dog and looking about they see Sebastian headed towards them with tail and tongue both wagging away. Realizing they had momentarily forgotten about the dog, their concerns are quickly eased as it becomes apparent that the children have been playing with the dog and keeping him company while everyone was inside the vardo. Sebastian prances up to the three, obviously glad to see them again, as he is followed by the children who, by their expressions, will be sad to see him go.
03-30-2010, 07:40 PM
For a moment I wonder if the amulet is worth the price, but I quickly decide that the amount means nothing if it could help Alden. I give Oma Amelia a nod and after digging through my belt pouch, I collect 50 gold pieces. "Here, miss. I'll purchase your trinket. If you've no more to say on the matter, I'll take my leave."
Once we're all out of the vardo, I walk next to Amber and quietly speak to her. "I'd like you to take the amulet. I know very little about death wards and such, or the words of a Gypsy..." I hand her the amulet. "Perhaps your abilities will allow you to discern its true nature and if this is helpful. Besides, Alden would trust you more than myself, so you should give it to him."
I leave Amber to catch up to the others and search the camp for Abel or another member of the clan who seems to be approachable. Once I do, I give them a smile and greet them in a polite manner.
"Pardon me friend. I was wondering if you knew anything about the area east of here, along the King's Highway? Any troubles or happenings you know of?"
Asking about the road ahead/diplomacy check.
03-31-2010, 03:19 AM
Amber takes the amulet that Vlin hands her. She stares at it. 'Will this really work? Will this help him or will this give false hope?' Amber clutches the amulet tight in her hand. 'I don't want to know if it's real. I will just believe.' Amber walks towards Alden and puts the amulet in her pocket as she walks.
04-01-2010, 09:13 AM
As the group gathers at the edge of the gypsy camp, Leon catches the eyes of an attractive young woman who is clearly not one of the Vistani. Rather, she is dressed very simply in the clothes of a local resident and appears to have just bought a simple bracelet from one of the gypsies. She is admiring it on her wrist when she looks up and sees Leon glancing over at her. She smiles in a very friendly way towards him, turns away shyly, and a moment later turns back to see if he is still looking at her.
Meanwhile, Abel responds to Vlin's question, "Well, there are a few small farming communities along the road and a roadside inn or two. But I have not heard of any recent trouble in the area...Which is not to say that there hasn't been any," he adds as an ominous afterthought.
The young woman who has just apparently bought the bracelet, walks over at that point and says, "Pardon me, you all are new to this area, am I right?." Then, without waiting for a response, she somewhat nervously she adds, "I was wondering because you look like nice folks who might be needing a place to stay for the night...and well, it is getting late in the day and...and if you are interested, I'm sure my father would be willing to put you up for the night at our farm house...for free that is." She glances nervously at Leon as she finishes her offer, clearly hoping the group will accept her invitation.
04-04-2010, 09:46 AM
I had walked from the vardo in a daze, trying desperately to wrap my head around the fortune that had befallen our friend. It could mean so much...but...was he doomed to..
Suddenly my eye catches a woman who seemed different. She wasn't dressed like the rest of the people around here, and she seemed...just different. Her shy smile alerts me that she saw me, and suddenly I find myself turning red.
What? How can I be embarrassed after hearing all of that? Yet my body responded of its own, and my face began to turn red. As she walks up, I find myself having trouble catching my breath.
"Umm, I...well...yes. That sounds delightful...I just have.." I stutter, for a moment before smiling and regaining my composure. "Thank you ma'am for your kindness. I am Leon. Your offer sounds wonderful, but there is no way we could just stay for nothing. Perhaps we could help out some way?"
04-04-2010, 10:31 AM
"Well," the young woman responds as she smiles and looks down, then back up at Leon, seemingly somewhat embarrassed to make an admission. "Perhaps there is something you can do for us in return...if you feel the need to. But, as for myself, I'm afraid I've let the time go by without paying attention and I believe that it will be dark before I arrive at my home...and my father will be quite upset with me if I return home after sundown...especially if he learns that I had been buying trinkets from a band of gypsies. Then, of course, if I didn't make it home at all...well...
"Anyway, I thought that it might ease his concerns if I arrived home with an escort. I'm sure I will still receive a bit of a scolding...but he would be most grateful to you if you were to make sure I made it home safely. My name is Catalin, by the way." She finishes with a shy smile, looking at Leon. Then she turns to the others.
Varian, glances over at Leon with a grin, then says to Catalin, "I am sure we would be most delighted to escort you home, Catalin. My name is Varian..."
Sebastian walks up to the young woman at this point, sniffs her and wags his tail.
"...and this is Sebastian," Varian continues.
Catalin smiles at the dog, leans over and pets him.
"But, let's be on our way then, shall we? The less your father has to worry about you the better I would assume."
Catalin, still smiling, nods in agreement, and with that the group resumes their travels down the road.
04-04-2010, 11:32 AM
I watch in silence as the conversation takes place between Leon and Catalin. As we begin to resume our travels I introduce myself to Catalin. Seeing as she mostly directs her attentions toward Leon I simply leave it at a simple introduction and allow her to resume focussing on Leon. As we walk, however, I pay attention to her out of the corner of my eye, trying to find out what kind of a person she is.
04-04-2010, 02:23 PM
I quietly walk with the group, thinking to myself, 'Do I trust the gypsies, who have caused me to lose so much, or do I just throw the trinket away?'
04-06-2010, 08:57 PM
As the group continues their travels west along the King's Highway, the gray, cloud covered sky gradually darkens and a chill breeze blows at their backs, sending a constant wave of red and gold leaves scurrying on past them as though there were some place they needed to get to in a hurry. Occasionally the sound of rustling leaves is accompanied by the sound of something larger moving through the dense foliage along the roadside. But every glance in the direction of these sounds reveals nothing to be found there. Still, it is difficult to shake the feeling that something is following them or watching them from the dark shadows of the nearby copses.
Along the way, Catalin occasionally shivers from the cold and draws her cloak tighter about her as she tries to remain in good spirits. Every so often she glances at Leon beside her and it is hard to tell if she is just a bit nervous or made uncomfortable by the dismal weather. Finally, she begins to talk about her home and family, perhaps in an attempt to ease her worries or maybe just to make the time go by quicker. She talks of her father and mother, and her younger brother, Estran and of the chores she has to do and the boring life she leads there on her family's farm. She lists the names of their horse and their two dogs and talks about how she always dreamed of going to the big city and attending the balls and various other functions that only the wealthy get invited to.
Varian, Alden and Cissinei however, remain quiet throughout the final leg of this day's journey, apparently either too busy reflecting on recent events or just not in the mood to talk about the trivial matters that seem to be of such interest to their newest acquaintance.
Eventually, it grows so dark out that it becomes necessary to light a lantern in order to see the road ahead of them, as not even the light of the moon is penetrating the clouds on this night. This causes Varian to become very concerned. But Catalin assures the group that they are nearing her home, and a short while later they all see the lights of several farm houses off in the distance.
"See, I told you," Catalin says to the group. She points towards one of the lights and says, "That's my home over there. Nothing to worry about. We're almost there."
04-07-2010, 06:58 AM
As Catalin starts talking I continue to maintain a hidden interest, two months in this land has begun to make me somewhat suspicious of anyone showing kindness. But something she said concerned me, and just as we are beginning to near the farm-house I finally remember why.
"Tell me more about your brother, Catalin, he sounds like a very interesting man."
04-07-2010, 08:48 AM
Catalin giggles a bit in response to Rune's request. "Man?," she says. "Well, if you call a thirteen year old a man." Giggle. "I'm sorry. I guess I should have mentioned his age. He's a good kid I guess...when he stays out of trouble and isn't playing his childish pranks on me. But boys will be boys, and he's like any other, I suppose."
04-07-2010, 06:30 PM
"He sounds like it," I respond, my face now honestly reflecting the happiness that it had been faking when the question was asked. "I look forward to meeting him. I haven't seen many young people around lately. It will be good to see some young, mischievous spirit." I smile to help hide my relief.
04-09-2010, 11:12 PM
A short while later, the group approaches the farm house indicated by Catalin as being her home. As they draw near, the front door of the house opens up and out steps a man who appears to be in his mid-forties and holding up a lit lantern. "Catalin!? Is that you?" he yells. "Who is that you got with you?"
"Yes, Father," Catalin answers back. "It's me...and these are some very nice people who offered to walk me home." She waits until the group is close enough to the house that it is no longer necessary to shout before continuing on. "I'm sorry for being so late. But I'm all right...thanks to these nice folks."
"Young lady!" he yells back at her despite how close she is. "You had me worried half to death! What do you mean staying out past sundown? And where have you been all this time?"
"I'm sorry, Father. I was out visiting Mrs. Drayden. I took her a basket...and well, you know how she can get to talking...and I guess I just lost track of time. But I met these nice folks on the road and they offered to walk me home. Wasn't that nice off them?" Catalin glances over at the group in the apparent hopes they won't betray her little fib.
Another voice is heard then coming from behind the man, "Catalin? S'that you?" Out steps a boy of about thirteen years of age. "Catalin, yer in trouble! Pa's gonna tan yer hide." But the boy stops and takes note of the group that accompanies Catalin. "Golleee, Catalin. Who ya got with ya?"
The man turns to the boy and says, "Get back inside, boy, and help your mother."
"Ah, dern it," the boy says with an obvious look of disappointment on his face. "I never get to have no fun," he says as he turns back inside.
The man then looks at the group, now with a much calmer expression and perhaps just a bit embarrassed. "Eh...sorry about the cold greeting folks. I do appreciate you all looking after my baby girl." Then with a sudden look of concern on his face, he asks Catalin, "You did meet these folks before the sun went down, right?"
"Don't worry, Father," Catalin assures him. "They're very nice people."
Now, with a somewhat more relieved expression, the man looks back at the group and says, "Well...in that case, I'm pleased to meet you. My name is Avery Jacobs...Um...Won't you all come inside? You're probably hungry from a long day of traveling. I'll have the Mrs. fix you up something to eat. It's the least I can do."
04-13-2010, 10:02 AM
I spend most of my travel listening to Catalin talk about her family, inputting little things and sharing quiet conversation. As the night falls however, I can't shake the odd feeling of being watched, and keep my hand near my blade at all times out of habit. Some things are just so ingrained there is nothing you can do about them.
I breath a small sigh of relief as we near her house. Flashbacks to that terrible night outside of the inn hit me, and I feel a ghost pain from where the beast slashed through my sides. A man walks out and yells at his daughter, but calms after a moment, and invites us in.
"Mr. Jacobs, " I say, holding out my hand, "It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Leon, and these are my companions Varian, Alden, Cissinei, Rune, Vlin, Amber, and Sebastian. " I say, introducing each in turn. "Thank you for your kindness. Sorry for our late arrival. "
04-14-2010, 05:10 PM
During the walk to Catalin's home, I stayed more toward the rear of the group, pondering the fortunes and other recent events. The young girl's chatting seemed to help the others forget about our troubles, but I ignore most of what she says and keep my eyes on our surroundings with my bow in hand.
Once we arrive and Leon introduces us, I give Mr. Jacobs a thankful nod. "We appreciate your hospitality, sir."
04-14-2010, 09:11 PM
Mr. Jacobs shows the group into his house and Catalin's late arrival home is soon apparently forgotten. He has his wife, Catalin and Estran quickly fix them a nice dinner and tells them not to be concerned about the cost of it as they have recently harvested their fields and have plenty of food to go around. Sebastian is allowed to come inside as well and after getting acquainted with the other dogs in the house, is given a meaty bone to chew on. Soon, the group and Catalin's family are seated around a dinner table and where ever else they can find room in the house, enjoying a good home-cooked meal typical of Darkonian tastes.
During their dinner, Mr. Jacobs asks them where they are headed and what has brought them to this place. But Varian looks at the others before giving him an answer, with a knowing look that seems to say that it might be best if they did not say too much. "Oh," he says to Mr. Jacobs as he turns to him. "We're headed west on our way to Karg and points beyond. Some of us have business to attend to in Mordent." Realizing this might sound a bit evasive, he adds, "Eh...For the time being, we are merely traveling together as a group. But not all of us have decided to go that far."
"I see," responds Mr. Jacobs, seeing that he may not get a better answer than that, but not wanting to press the issue too far.
The room gets uncomfortably quiet for a brief moment until, Mrs. Jacobs breaks the silence. "Well, we certainly have no intention of turning you out into the night. But I must apologize that we do not have enough beds for you all, though we will do all we can to make you comfortable nonetheless."
"Oh," says Varian. "Do not go out of your way, mam. You have already shown us more kindness than we could have hoped for. We will be perfectly fine right here by the fireside. And thank you for inviting us into your home," Varian looks about at the others, hoping they catch his subtle meaning in this last sentence and recall their conversation earlier in the day about how vampires are unable to enter a home without being invited in. "Perhaps there is something we can do to repay your kindness."
Mrs. Jacobs nods and says, "Estran, Catalin...why don't you see about gathering up some blankets for these people." Then turning back to the group, she adds, "I'm afraid the floor may be a bit rough to sleep on. But I'm certain it would be preferable to sleeping out in the cold."
04-15-2010, 06:50 AM
I simply enjoy my meal, keeping tabs on the conversation between Varian and Mrs Jacobs out of the corner of my eye. But as things begin to take on a more serious note I put down the food in my hands and give them my attention so as not to miss anything that might be important.
04-16-2010, 09:35 PM
The evening passes by with little more than small talk as it becomes clear that none of the Knights or their companions wish to speak of recent events, though recent events are all they seem able to think of. So what conversation there is, it is generally prompted by members of the Jacobs family who appear to make every effort at being gracious hosts despite the fact that they appear somewhat nervous about their guest's quiet and seemingly melancholy behavior. Catalin and Estran are easily the most talkative of the gathering, for it is the two of them who have seen the least of the world around and are obviously the most interested in what lies beyond the mundane plot of land on which they have lived the entirety of their lives. They ask about the places from which the group members have come and where they grew up. And while the Knights and their companions are in no way rude to them, their answers tend to be short or often leave the impression that they are not in the mood to discuss such matters. Alden, on the other hand, barely finishes his dinner before nodding off into a deep sleep, the result of his efforts to stay awake the entire night before. Eventually, even Catalin and Estran give up on trying to draw any further conversation from the group and the evening draws to a close. The family members then head of to their rooms and leave their guests to the family room at the front of the house, to make themselves as comfortable as they can by the fireplace.
Soon, all that can be heard is the sound of the dying embers popping and the occasional gust of wind as it rattles the shutters of the window. The red glow from the fireplace gradually grows dim as the light begins to fade. In time however, the room takes on a cool bluish glow as it becomes evident that the clouds of the night sky above have parted to allow the light of the moon to cast it's eerie luminescence upon the land.
Sometime later, the sudden howling of a wolf, off in the distance, disturbs the stillness of the night. Sebastian's ears perk up at the sound and he lifts his head as though expecting to hear more. Several members of the group also hear it and are awakened by the distant howl. But realizing there is no cause for alarm at such a common and far away noise, they roll over and attempt return to their nocturnal repose. But sleep now seems to elude them, as thoughts of creatures in the night now begin to stalk their conscious fancies. Still, the attempts are made and they lie there for what seems to be an hour or more.
But they are startled once more, when Sebastian, for no apparent reason, perks his ears up once again, stares intently at the window and begins to emit a low growl. Though all in the room but Alden are awakened by Sebastian's disturbing behavior, Varian is the first to take a peek outside the window to try and discern what it is that has Sebastian acting this way. What he sees sends a chill through him and he quickly turns to the others and whispers, "Everyone, it appears we are being observed."
Those in the group then curious enough to peer through the cracks in the shutters, sees clearly illuminated by the moonlight about 50 yards away, a lone wolf seated on its haunches facing the farmhouse and gazing at the window with a malevolent intelligence in its eyes...clearly unafraid to make its presence known.
04-17-2010, 10:42 PM
The night passes, and though I try to remain friendly and talkative, after the past few nights, it is hard to stay cheery, even with a good meal sitting in my belly. As the night wears on, our group starts to wain and leave slowly. I wave goodnight to the family, my eyes following Catalin and her little brother as they head to their rooms, before I let them roam to the window for a moment, trying not to think of everything that is out there.
Sleep finally takes me, and I am silent, still, until the howl of the wolf awakes me. I sit bolt upright, my hand on my blade, but after a moment lay down. After Sebastian's growl however I jump up and move beside Varian. "What is it doing?" I ask, staring intently at the wolf.
"Should we go and see?"
04-18-2010, 12:41 PM
Happy to have a warm shelter and a hot meal, I allow myself to fully relax for the first time today. I give the Jacobs family my thanks many times, letting them know how much I appreciate their kindness they've shown to complete strangers. Any questions directed toward me are answered quickly and with a smile. I explain to the Jacobs that I am a simple woodsman and was very lucky to meet the Knights earlier today.
After all the traveling and a full belly, it does not take me long to drift asleep along with the others, but after the howling wakes us, my mind once again drifts back to my enemy. When the dog's growls wake us a second time, I remain on the floor until Varian warns us of the curious situation outside. I quickly move to a window and easily spot the beast. "In all my travels, I've never seen a wolf dismiss concealment so easily." Knowing that wolves are mostly pack hunters, I watch the area for signs of others.
04-18-2010, 06:43 PM
As the meal wears to an end I feel myself beginning to relax. This is one of the first times I have actually felt comfortable since first arriving in the Mists. Spending time around a good meal just chatting with people has most certainly raised my spirits some. As everyone else goes to sleep I simply lay down on the floor, close enough to the fire to stay warm and close my eyes.
But sleep is not my friend tonight. Every time I begin to doze off I am met by terrible dreams of Sarai being tortured, being tormented. Sometimes I am able to get to her, but what she has suffered wakes me in a cold sweat, my heart wrenches to the bone. Other times I am helpless to watch as she is beaten, tormented, mocked, displayed, and other horrors worse that my mind simply couldn't bear. It doesn't take too long before I give up trying to sleep and attempt instead to merely rest. Finding a wall I can relax against that is warm enough, I sit and think over what has happened in the weeks since I departed on my quest to save her. The passing of time seems to have stopped.
As the wolf howls in the distance I see some people stir. It seems others aren't sleeping all too soundly either. Varian checks out the window and remarks what he sees.
"Well that's rather strange," I think to myself. "What wolf would not only come out in the open, but would do so entirely alone, and then would just sit and stare?"
Deciding I must find out if there are still more things about these lands I need to know I ask quietly, "Maybe it's just me, but where I come from wolves don't walk out in the open by themselves and then just sit there and stare at people. Is there something I'm missing here?" My eyes never leave the wolf in the yard.
04-20-2010, 01:23 PM
Like his companions, Varian is very hesitant to turn away from the wolf as they gather around him to peer out the window. "Well, as far as what it's doing," he says in response to Leon's questions, "I'd say he's just watching us...which, of course, is a bit disturbing all by itself. That fact alone makes me think we should leave it be, for I have my suspicions that what we are looking at is no ordinary wolf. As Vlin and Rune have pointed out, it certainly doesn't seem to behave like an ordinary wolf. So...I'm thinking it could be a minion of the vampire...or the maybe even the vampire himself. If it's the former, there isn't much to gain by going outside and threatening it...and if it's the later, well, let's just say that I'm not ready to give up on life just yet. So I say we leave it alone. And if Amber's dream last night was some kind of vision or something, then according to that, the vampire was told to merely keep an eye on us for the time being, which suits me just fine."
Vlin does not perceive anything that would contradict Varian's assessment.
04-20-2010, 06:06 PM
I sit back and think on what Varian has said. If they have been told to just watch us then they don't consider us a threat yet. More than that, they aren't convinced that we will become a threat in the future. In their minds there is a decent chance that we might never become a problem to them. I voice this to the rest of the group and then continue. "Since we seem to be up against forces that are far superior to our own, then our only chance of victory is based entirely on strategy. And the only advantage I can think of right now would be deception. If they continue to think that we are not a threat then we can carefully begin to build up our strength and our plans. But this means we have to be very careful what we do and say, and even how we fight. If we show them how strong we are then they know what we can do...but if we hold some back, try as much as possible not to fight at full strength, then we can keep them in the dark and remain as an insignificant threat to them. I just don't know how we can go about learning more about them without letting them know we are doing as much, unless someone could slip away for a while to do so. And as much as I hate the idea of letting them watch, I must agree that Varian is right, we have no other choice because fighting them seems like pure folly at the moment."
I stop, realizing that I am thinking out loud and have said all this verbally. I am thankful that the night is dark so that the rest can't see as heat rises to my cheeks. I walk back to my spot against the wall and wait to see what the rest decides for the time being.
04-21-2010, 05:43 AM
"I agree. Let the wolf watch, for now at least. We need our rest tonight. We have had a very long and tiring couple of days." Amber then moves her stuff close to Alden and lays back down.
04-22-2010, 12:09 AM
With the group coming to an agreement to do nothing for the time being about the wolf that appears to be watching them, they all lay back down and eventually go back to sleep, though for some, it is a sleep haunted by disturbing dreams. Nonetheless, the night passes without further interruption.
The follow morning they are gradually awakened by the sound of the Jacobs family as they prepare for the morning and begin cooking some breakfast. Try as they might to go about the work as quietly as possible, apparently content to let their guests sleep as late as they like, it is inevitable that the group is awakened by their sounds due to the close proximity of the kitchen area to the family room where the adventurers sleep. But it is a pleasant awakening, as they are greeted by warm smiles and an invitation to a nice breakfast before the group must be on their way again. With the sun shinning through the windows and the cheerful sound of birds singing in the trees, it seems for a time that the day may actually turn out to be a good one. But just as the group has gathered their belongings and is about to head outside, there is a knock on the door.
Mr. Jacobs glances over at the rest of his family with a concerned look on his face, apparently not accustomed to having people knocking on his door at this time of the day. He then gets up, with some trepidation, strolls over to the door and opens it. Standing there just outside the door, is what appears to be another one of the local farmers. Mr. Jacobs clearly recognizes him, but the man has a sorry expression on his face and is obviously upset about something.
"Tullus," Mr. Jacobs says to him, "what is the matter? You don't look well."
"It's..I..." the man stammers, apparently at a loss for words. "Will, s-something terrible has happened. I...y-you'd better come with me."
"What is it, Tullus? Tell me," Mr. Jacobs implores him.
"It's the Milfords."
"Well...what about the Milfords?"
"They...they're dead, Will. All of them." Tullus suddenly has the look about him as if might go into hysterics.
"What?!" Mr. Jacobs exclaims. "What'ya mean they're dead?"
At this point, Varian jumps up and goes to the door, opens it further and startles poor Tullus, who obviously was not aware that the Jacobs had guests. "What's this about somebody dying?"
Mr. Jacobs tells the farmer, "Don't be alarmed Tulus. There's a group of travelers who stayed with us last night. They're good folks. Take my word for it. Now tell us what happened."
Tullus nods his head and gradually regains his composure. Then he says, "Th- the Milford boys. They was suppose to come and help me with some chores this morning. Wh-when they didn't show up, I went looking for them. But when I got to the Milford's home...they was...they was..." Tullus suddenly turns away in disgust as though the mere thought of what he saw there would make him violently ill. "I - I can't even describe it. It was horrible."
04-22-2010, 04:17 AM
I walk over to Varian. "We had better go and have a look."
04-22-2010, 07:51 PM
"I'll get my stuff," I say and quickly head over to make sure I have everything packed and ready to travel. Within minutes I am ready and waiting outside.
04-24-2010, 09:48 AM
I give Varian a quick nod and join Rune in gathering our gear.
04-24-2010, 09:59 AM
With looks of obvious concern on their faces, the group gathers their things and exit the house along with Mr. Jacobs. They join Tullus who is waiting outside and Mr. Jacobs introduces everyone to Mr. Juneb whose farm lies just to the north of his. They then begin walking up the King's Highway and turn off on a farm road that heads north and gradually curves to the west. As they are traveling along, several of the nearby farms come into view, all of which appear to be well tended to as the fields have been recently harvested and much of the produce has been gathered in bundles and bushels and is waiting to be hauled off to the city and sold.
While they are walking along the road, Varian asks Tullus if he can give them any clue as to how the Milford's may have died. His answer comes as a complete surprise to everyone.
"Well," he says hesitantly, "it looked to me like they was all eaten up by bugs."
"Bugs?" Varian asks. "Are you sure?"
"That's what it looked like. There's dead bugs all over the place...and their hands and faces was all chewed up...and there was bugs all over them...and...and..." Tullus suddenly looks as though he's about to be sick to his stomach and has to pause for a minute.
"That's okay, Tullus," Mr. Jacobs tells him as he pats him on the back. "You don't need to say anything more."
Alden looks around and says, "Bugs! What could have caused that? And how the hell are we suppose to fight bugs?"
Varian gives him a look as if to say, 'Good question.'
But the group continues to travel up the farm road and as they do so, Mr. Jacobs points out the various farms to the group so that they know who lives where. As they come around the bend leading west, they see that a group of the farmers have gathered in front of the Zalen's house, just across the road from the Milford's. All of them are discussing the deaths of the Milfords and turn to look as the group approaches.
As soon as they are close enough, Mr. Jacobs speaks up and says, "Ah...gentlemen, these are some travelers who were passing by and stayed with us last night." He indicates the group. "Perhaps they can be of some assistance here."
The group of farmers look at them with a variety of expressions ranging from suspicion, to curiosity, to bewilderment. But all of them seem to be silently asking, 'What can you do for us?'
04-25-2010, 09:27 AM
Conscious of how my halting and stumbling speech quickly labels me an outside of some kind, not to mention to general disdain for elves of any kind in these lands, I chose to remain silent. Instead of trying to ask questions I decide the best thing I can do is see for myself what we are dealing with here. Slowly and gently I ease my way through the group of people and head for the farmhouse, bracing myself mentally for what I will see inside.
Opening the door I look in and try my best to take in as much as I can of the room while maintaining a grip on my sanity.
04-25-2010, 11:34 AM
I give the farmers a reassuring nod. "My apologies, gentlemen. I am Vlin, a simple woodsman, but my companions here are kind-hearted adventurers. They are the Knights of Shadow. Mr. Jacobs here was kind enough to take us in for the night, so perhaps we could assist your community by investigating the... tragedy. It is the least we could do."
04-26-2010, 04:50 AM
I give a reassuring smile to the farmers and head towards the front door.
04-28-2010, 10:54 PM
As Vlin speaks to the farmers, Rune strolls over to the front door of the Milford's house, followed by Amber. All the while they are watched by the distrusting glares of the farmers who appear to be on the verge of objecting to their investigations...and yet these objections are never voiced. Perhaps it is because the farmers realize that they have no answers to the mystery presented here and they would rather have someone else deal with the horror that awaits within the house.
Varian, and the remainder of the group wait for Vlin to finish talking and then to see if the farmers have anything to say about it. But it soon becomes clear that, despite their obvious discomfort with the idea, none of the farmers has any intention of impeding the group's efforts to solve this most disturbing mystery. At that point, the rest of the group joins in behind Rune and Amber as they head towards the house.
Rune meanwhile, has already reached the front door and even before he opens it, he sees the first indication that what lies beyond will not be a pretty sight to behold. Smeared across the front door and around the inner edge is a bloody hand print. It appears to be that of an adult, though whether or not it is the hand print of one of the Milford's or perhaps Tullus or somebody else as they were leaving the house remains unclear.
Here, Rune mentally braces himself and pushes the door open. Inside, the gloomy house it takes a few seconds for Rune's eyes to adjust to the low light. But it is immediately apparent that some manner of violence has occurred here, as furniture is strewn about in a half-hazard fashion. A few chairs and a cabinet have been toppled over and lay on their sides. Dishes, cups and various other nick-nacks are scattered about the room and all about are gnats and flies and host of crawling insects too numerous to identify. In several places along the walls are streaks of blood, blood splatters and bloody hand prints. The wooden floor is likewise speckled with small pools of blood and bloody trails that lead off into other rooms.
After taking all of this in, the group begins to take note of other features of the room which is clearly a sort of living room, with a fireplace off to the left and an attached dinning area and kitchen space to the right. On the far side of the room are two doorways that probably lead into bedrooms. And to the right in the kitchen area stands a single door that probably leads into a pantry.
Both of the doors on the far side of the room have received a considerable amount of damage, as they are both heavily speckled with dirt and clumps of mud and have apparently been bashed in. They now stand slightly ajar, though it is too dark in the rooms beyond to see what lays beyond.
04-29-2010, 02:11 PM
I look around at the scene before me and my heart heaves as badly as my stomach does. The thought of what must have taken place for this poor family is pushing the limit of what my sanity can bear. But then I am reminded of someone to whom this must be even worse. Leaning to Amber I whisper quietly so nobody else can hear, "Why don't you take Alden outside, or at least remain close to him to help assure him that this was not his fault. I can fill you in on anything we find later."
04-30-2010, 02:44 AM
I nod at Rune's suggestion and walk over to Alden. "Alden why don't we take a look around outside the house. Let's see if we can find any tracks or clues to what attacked these people." I thread my arm around his and start walking outside.
05-01-2010, 10:55 AM
As Amber moves Alden toward the front door, I draw my sword and cautiously move toward the far doors that seem to be the bed chambers. I look back at the others and point the tip of my sword at the door on the left to indicate where I'm going. Once I reach the door, I take one deep breath and slowly push the door open.
05-01-2010, 02:18 PM
Alden glares at the mess in the room around them as if he were in fact thinking to himself, "Why? Why is this happening? Does this have something to do with me?" He appears to suspect that Amber is intentionally trying to lead him away from the scene and for a moment it seems to bother him. But one more look at Amber and it dawns on him...Perhaps she is right. Maybe I could use some convincing that this is not my fault. With no further resistance, he allows Amber to guide him out of the house where they begin looking for clues there.
The first thing Alden notices, which he points out to Amber, are numerous footprints leading into and out of the house. But most of these were, no doubt, made by the farmers and the Milfords coming and going from the house as well as the group, and there is no telling how old they might be. The vast majority of these tracks were made by people wearing boots or shoes. But there appears to be one set of tracks that is very difficult to distinguish, which comes from and heads towards the west. These tracks are very unlike anything they have ever seen. But then Alden and Amber are not experienced trackers.
Meanwhile, inside the house, Vlin slowly approaches the far door to the left. As he does so, he takes notice of the fact that, some of the bloody footprints on the floor are very irregular. Obviously they were made by a bipedal creature, but without humanoid feet and apparently very hairy. Mixed in with these tracks are clumps of mud and dirt. And scattered about them are odd bits of straw. The remainder of the tracks appear to be those of the Milfords clearly in great haste as they attempted to flee from whatever it was that pursued them. Upon reaching the door, the bloody markings there are very similar, made by a creature with indistinct but seemingly very hairy fists that pounded on the door until it opened.
After bracing himself for what might lay beyond, Vlin pushes the door open until he can see into the room. There lying on the floor of the bedroom, is the bloody corpse of a young man. His hands and face chewed up by hundreds of bugs, many of which are still embedded in his flesh or are lying dead in the puddle of blood that has pooled around his body. The lidless eyes of the corpse stare blankly up into space, its bug-filled mouth hangs open in a frozen scream and its body is contorted in agony, showing that the poor soul died in a hopeless struggle against the attacking insects. It is truly a horrific sight to behold.
05-01-2010, 06:22 PM
The scene in front of me wakes memories of my friend's recent death. For a moment I can't tear my eyes from the pool of blood. The world around me slows down to a dead crawl and I seem to lose complete control of my body. I can't move, can't breathe, can't even blink. For a split second, everything seems to blur and spin, and just as quick I find myself staring at the gruesome corpse.
"I... I..." My senses come back to me and I'm able to shut my eyes. A moment later I catch my breath and the stench of rot and death hit me like a hammer. I use all my strength and willpower to turn away and exit the room. A few steps later I finally open my eyes and see my companions faces. "It's... I..." The world spins again and nausea overwhelms me. My legs crumble underneath me and I stumble to the floor, leaning against the wall.
05-06-2010, 03:14 AM
I look over at Alden. "Alden, I have a gift for you." I pull out the necklace. "I thought you might like this." I hand him the necklace.
05-06-2010, 08:39 PM
I head across the living room, drawing my longsword as I cross to the door to the other damaged door. It's at times like these that I am very grateful for the ability to see even in very low light, it allows me to protect others from having to see the same things I might. Carefully slipping into the room, trying my best to keep it darkened to normal eyes, I ready my sword and my heart for whatever I am about to see.
05-06-2010, 09:39 PM
Cissinei, seeing Vlin being quite overcome by the sight he had just witnessed in the bedroom, comes over to him and lays a hand gently on his back in an effort to comfort him. "Are you alright?" she asks him. But then realizing the futility of her question, she nods with a knowing expression of grief and says, "That bad, huh?"
Meanwhile, outside the house, Alden turns away from the curious tracks he was following to look up at Amber with a puzzled expression and accepts the necklace she offers him. He pauses for a moment while he stares at the necklace as if tying to figure out some hidden meaning behind it. Looking back up at Amber then, and still wearing a look of confusion, he says to her, "Um...not that I don't appreciate the thought...but...what is this? Where did you get it?"
Back inside the house, Rune makes his way to the other door on the far side of the room. It too is smeared with bloody hand prints and is slightly ajar. But it takes more effort to push open than did the other door as it is obvious that something lays up against the bottom of the door on the other side. But Rune is able to push it open without too much difficulty. Once he opens it up enough to allow himself to enter, he does so...and he slips into a room of indescribable horror! 'Slip' is quite accurate in fact, as he nearly loses his footing in the slippery pool of blood that lies just inside the room. Laying about what was clearly another bedroom are the corpses of three people, whose features are chewed up so badly by bugs that they are beyond identification. Many of the these bugs, both the crawling variety and the flying kind lay embedded in their flesh or are scattered about the room, while many more continue to buzz around in the air or crawl around on the furniture and floor. It quickly becomes obvious, by the location of much of the furniture, that the people in this room attempted to barricade the door in an effort to keep something out. But it seems that all their efforts were in vain, as they too were apparently eaten alive by the swarm of bugs that descended upon them. One of the bodies, which had been slumped up next to the door, falls over, its bloody and mangled head hitting the floor with a sickening thump and landing so that it's lip-less mouth sneers up at Rune with bug filled teeth and a macabre grin on what's left of its face.
05-07-2010, 02:51 AM
My cheeks redden as I blush. "I got it from the Gypies. It's for good luck. I...I got it so that you would know that I believe in you and to thank you."
05-07-2010, 02:55 PM
The sword falls from my hand, landing in the blood with a sickening splurch. Instinctively I close the door even as my body goes numb, glad that none of the others are able to see this horror. As the horror takes over my mind my vision begins to blur and dim until I can no longer see anything, slumping up against the closest wall to keep from falling. Slowly I slide down, heedless of the pool of blood that I will be sitting in. The darkness around me spins, though I can only feel it rather than see it spinning. Time has stopped and I have no idea how much time has passed before I feel partial sanity returning.
05-08-2010, 12:55 PM
Unable to raise my head, I simply nod in agreement. "These poor people... they... they did not deserve to die this way." It takes a while, but I am somewhat able to collect my wits. I gather my legs underneath me and, with a little help from Cissinei, raise myself off the floor. It feels like I left my stomach down there. I spit out the sour taste in my mouth and place my hand on Cissinei's shoulder. "Please. Do not enter the room. No good will come from the sight."
I take a look at the room and my companions filling it. "This is nothing short of evil. I say we torch the house and the corpses inside of it. Perhaps the barn as well. These... bugs need to be disposed of quickly, before someone else ends up like the Milfords."
05-12-2010, 10:48 PM
Alden smiles at Amber and says, "Thank you, I appreciate the thought." He muses over the necklace for moment, then says, "I will wear it always...not because I believe anything that the gypsies might say, but because it will remind me of you." He smiles at Amber again, then turns backs towards the tracks. "Now then...any ideas about what might have made these tracks?"
Meanwhile, inside the main room of the house, Varian and Leon approach Cissinei and Vlin while looking around with obvious disgust and bewilderment. Sebastian however stays at the front door, very hesitant to enter the house. He cocks his head, lifts his ears, and lets out an occasional whine as he appears to sense that something is not right in this place.
Varian looks over at Vlin and asks, "So what do you think? Was the farmer right? Were these people actually killed by a swarm of bugs? Or was there something more to it? Looks to me like someone...or something bashed those doors in, and I doubt it was bugs."
05-13-2010, 02:17 AM
Amber smiles at Alden then looks at the track. "I'm not sure."
05-20-2010, 04:31 PM
"I agree. The amount of insects is a little strange, but I am no expert, and they do feed from carrion. I did not take the time to study the... corpse for signs of death." I bend down over the strange tracks to examine the shape along with the debris of mud, dirt and straw.
Still feeling nauseated, it takes me a moment to raise back to my feet. "I saw only one body. Have we found all of the family members?"
Survival check:examining the bloody tracks
05-20-2010, 09:18 PM
Alden looks at the tracks which appear to come and go from the farmland to the west. "Maybe if we followed these tracks they might lead us to more clues," he says to Amber. But looking to the west, he seems to notice something else unusual. "You see that farm over there?" again asking Amber. "Did you notice that the fields have been left untended, unlike the rest of the farms in the area? I wonder why that is?"
Meanwhile, back inside the house, Vlin takes the time to study the tracks more carefully. Some appear to be the kind of tracks one would expect the family members to have made while fleeing from something. Others however, are not very clearly defined at all. They appear to have been made by a bipedal creature, approximately the size of a man, but with very irregular and hairy feet. There are no signs of heels, toes or claws, but there is a good deal of straw, mud and dirt mixed together.
In answer to Vlin's question, Varian says, "Well...that depends on what lies in that other room I suppose," as he he points towards the door through which Rune disappeared. He then calls out, "Rune! Are you alright in there? Have you found anything?"
05-22-2010, 07:00 PM
At the sound of Varian calling out for him a hint of sanity begins taking hold of me again. Quickly making sure they aren't worried about me I call back that I'm fine.
"There are three more victims in here. I'll be out in just a moment, give me a chance to look around a little bit."
Picking up my sword from the puddle of blood it was sitting in I clean it on the front of my pants and then re-sheath it. Once settled I begin to make a more careful look around the room to see if there is anything around that might help us figure out what has happened here.
05-24-2010, 04:03 PM
Amber looks over at the farm. "That is strange. Maybe we should ask the other farmers."
05-25-2010, 10:26 PM
Rune looks about the room, and judging by the furniture and the various other items laying about, it appears to have been the bedroom of Mr. and Mrs. Milford. In addition to a large bed, there is a dresser with a mirror upon which rest several articles typically used by women such as a brush, hairpins, a jar of cream and minor pieces of jewelry. The room also contains a chest, two nightstands and a chair, all of which had been pushed up next to the door in a fruitless attempt to bar the door. None of these things appears to be remarkable in any way and many of them are splattered with blood or have bugs crawling over them. Unlike the main room of the house, there do not appear to be any tracks in here other than those made by the three people who died here.
Outside the house, Alden nods his head and says to Amber, "That's a good idea. Maybe the other farmers can tell us something about that farm and perhaps shed some light on the mystery here. Come on, let's go ask them." Alden heads over towards the other farmers who are standing just across the road and looking on with a great interest and uncertainty.
05-26-2010, 02:53 AM
Amber follows Alden over to the farmers. "Excuse me. I was wondering if you could tell me why didn't the fields over there get tilled?"
05-31-2010, 11:44 AM
"I need to get some fresh air. Perhaps Amber and Alden have found some insightful clues." Being anxious to leave the house, I exit quickly. Looking around, I see Amber and Alden with the gathered farmers. I take a moment to smell air that is not saturated with death and rot.
I search through the numerous footprints just outside the door and notice a few strangely shaped ones that seem to go westward. I study the tracks, checking the size, spacing and shape in hopes for some idea what it belongs to.
Survival tracking check.
05-31-2010, 09:55 PM
The farmers look at Amber and Alden as though they're trying to decide just how much they want to say. But one of them finally speaks up and says, "That's old man Levrin's farm over there. He died 'bout two weeks ago and they ain't no one ta tend ta his fields...not that they's anythin' worth tendin' to anyhow. He died all alone, bitter an' mean an' none a us care ta have anthin' ta do with them fields."
Vlin meanwhile, takes note of the tracks heading off to the west and sees that they resemble the unusual ones found inside the house. Now however, due to the soft earth on which they're made, he is able to tell a few more things about them. First of all, whatever creature made these tracks appears to have weighed a great deal less than one might expect for a humanoid with its stride. And secondly, the bottom of the creature's feet appear to have been covered in some kind of strangely striated material...perhaps twigs, grass or straw. It also appears to have come from the west and then retreated there as well.
06-28-2010, 10:33 AM
After looking around the room for as long as I can stomach I squeeze my way back out. Once in the next room I notice that I'm the only one there and calmly make my way outside, hoping that the farmers won't be suspicious of one of my own kind being the last one inside. Once outside I walk over to Vlin and whisper, "Nothing much to report from the other room, except that whatever made those strange tracks in the rest of the house doesn't seem to have ever made it into that room. I fear there are forces at work here well beyond my knowledge."
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