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Dragon's Egg - Act IV

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Onward to Glory

    With the addition of Roderick and Dalla, and counting Batos, who has acquitted himself well thus far, the party now numbers a dozen. It is more difficult to move quietly, and to be unnoticed, with this greater number, but on the other hand there is strength to be found in increased numbers. The group sets out toward the Drimmen-Delve, abandoning to road for now and cutting a path around the taint and toward Ballara.

    The addition of Dalla to the group seems, at first, to hearten Burnbright, as if having another young woman along, and a northerner at that, will lead to an inevitable friendship. Burnbright watches Dalla's sessins with Ankar, which Dalla takes seriously though she is lacking in skill, both with blade and bow. Burnbright's attempts to strike up a conversation with Dalla are fruitless, however. The younger girl tries a number of subjects, often speaking uninterrupted for minutes at a time about her woad paint (which she wears at any opportunity), the prior battles seen by the group, or what may lay ahead. She tries, too, to engage Dalla about what it means to be a shield maiden, and whether either of them will ever equal Veborg's exploits of old. It is no use, however, as Dalla's answers are short and do not invite further conversation.

    Burnbright gives up after a couple of days of journeying and goes back to talking to familiar members of the group. She seems ot have developed a closer tie with Branwen, since their time in the cave, and Branwen even tries to say Burnbright's name (though Burnbright must have taken pity on the harpy at one point and told the child her real name, since Branwen refers to Burnbright as Catty). Branwen takes a shot at other party member's names as well, though with varying degrees of success.

    For Dalla's part, she remains taciturn. Most of her waking time is spent near Ankari, falling in silently behind him as the group walks. She is civil if any ask her questions, though perhaps more cold to Baldhart than others. At night, it may be that there is the sound of ragged breathing and sniffling coming from her direction. Though she occasionally casts a less that pleasant look toward Baldhart, she makes no attempt to engage the larger woman, wheher in combat or conversation. Dalla does speak up when a choice or issue of debate confronts the party, invariably siding with Ankari and making statements to back up his suggestions. On the whole, she seems to alternate between being rather dour, or looking like a frightened girl. It is clear she is making an effort to be strong, however, and though her lessons with Ankari proceed slowly, she does not give up.

    The party moves north through land dotted with patches of snow or ice, though the weather itself stays mild, as least for the initial portion of the journey. The wind is cold and biting, but generally carries the pleasant scent of pine and sometimes even of the distant ocean. When the direction reverses and the wind blowns down from the Taint, the tang of corruption comes with it.

    Masama continues his training of Burnbright in unarmed combat, and even though it is clear Burnbright prefers working with weapons, she seems to take to the training. There is never any evidence that Masama grows angry or impatient, but he is nevertheless a rigorous master, and he does not baby her. A couple of times during their sessions, he lands a particularly good blow and sends Burnbright sprawling onto the hard ground, at which time he waits patiently for her to rise again. By the third day of the trip Burnbright is nursing a bloody nose and cursing Masama's speed, saying a guy that big shouldn't be so fast. Masama does, however, appear to have a healthy respect for Burnbright's kicks, which she aims for his private area when she grows frustrated with their training.

    In speaking with Mauve about his abilities, Masama says: "If an object has great power, I may be able to sense it. As I said, my skill is limited, and some items hide their own power, or else it is wrought in some way alien to me. I know not which, only that there have been some objects that I was told were powerful, yet I could sense little or nothing from them. More often, I will sense them, but I cannot discern their purpose. Delving into those mysteries is simply beyond my ability in some cases."

    Apart from training, playing with Branwen, and talking warrior-woman talk with Baldhart, Burnbright pesters Mauve for the slippers at least once a day, wanting to go dashing up the side of trees or scrambling up a rock face in them.

    Branwen is silent for the most part. She eats a lot for her size, but she has at least learned not to soil her tunic, now moving off discreetly to relieve herself as she has seen others do. Occasionally, she will sing some small animal out of a thicket, and when she does those within earshot hear the very gentle pull of her song (Dalla looks alarmed by this the first time it happens, but seems to take it more or less in stride when no one else looks concerned).

    Keitsumah experiments with casting her healing spell into a necklace, but the efforts prove fruitless, as the necklace simply doesn't want to hold the magical energy, which dissipates shortly after casting if not directed to heal some person or animal. Surely there is some secret to it, since there are items imbued with magic, but Keitsumah does not know those secrets.

    The trip is largely uneventful for a number of days, with the party taking watches, scouting ahead, and generally making as much progress as can be expected over wild ground. That changes on the fifth day when Cadell, who happens to be scouting just a bit head of the group that day, spots smoke on the horizon. Ballara is not yet close enough to be the source. The ground the party is on drops away ahead, and the Taint rests almost like a living thing far over the right shoulders of the group members as they walk. In the area that drops down, ahead, a sparsely-treed hill rises, the hill spattered with patches of white snow and ice, and the smoke is coming from the other side of that hill. Beyond the smoke, the land rises again into the Taint, though the party's path will take them around the hill and on to Ballara without entering the tainted area.
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart
    ((6'9", muscular, covered in war paint, has a very girlish ox-horn hairstyle. When battle seems possible to her, you notice she's undressed for battle and the weather. Not down to undies, but a short dress and no cloak. Her limbs are exposed, and she leaves a cutlass at her hip.))


    I see the icy ground below. And a hill. And what's beyond? "Campfire or battle?" I ask aloud.

    Nissa replies, "I'll find out." And she flies.




    Nissa

    [​IMG]

    I fly straight ahead, remaining level as I pass over the valley, then increasing my altitude as I near the hill.

    I have a bag with oil and a torch sheathed like a sword. I'll need to land if I'm to light it, though. I don't want to give away my position. Hopefully, I'm high enough to see without being seen. I'm high enough to see without being shot, anyway.

    Will whoever's there think to look up?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  3. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    ((Yay, new Act! I wish I could have greeted Roderick before they started to travel together.

    Mauve: 20 years old human female, black hair, one eye of brown color other golden with a slit pupil, like a cat or snake. Three jagged scars across a side of her face. Low pitched voice. No armor, a red trimmed with fur cloak that has seen better days, and unlike the other women in the group she wears pants. *shock* Weapon of choice: Spear

    The majority of the characters have descriptions scattered there: http://mythicscribes.com/forums/dragon-s-egg-rpg/6640-getting-know-you-thread-2.html
    It would be nice to create a thread with descriptions and no extra posts.

    @SP Mauve would have asked in these days more of the monks' ability to detect/identify magic and would try it if not a variation of her own. And she used a detect magic on Dalla (another on Roderick for sure!) when she joined the group. I assume the result was nothing, right?))


    "Not a battle, I hope so." I stop by Baldhart's side and shrug. "If it is nothing important it would not hurt to wait the nightfall to make Ballara's crossing. If the town is surrounded by hills like these a group like ours will not pass by unnoticed, and they will grow suspicious when not all of us enter the town."
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    ((feel free to continue to post in Act III to wrap up stuff you wanted to do)).
     
  5. Keitsumah

    Keitsumah Inkling

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    Keitsumah

    ((Young elf of 18, large violet eyes, long brass hair, grey fur cloak and a glowing gemstone necklace the same color as her eyes. Under the cloak she wields a staff and a small knife, but that's not much more useful than for skinning animals. Clothes consist of tan skins stitched into a well-fitted shirt and leggings. She has a blotchy scar on one hand.))

    I watch the smoke as it curls into the sky, and a chill trails down my spine. Smoke means fire. Fire is pain.

    I grit my teeth and pull my sleeve over the scar, quivering where i stand. I have only just begun to handle being closer to campfires, but the image of an uncontrolled blaze sends my mind winging to parts unknown.

    My throat constricts and I force myself to swallow. "B-Baldhart... what if it's a wildfire...?" my eyes rove over the trees around me and my vision begins to darken. Tinder. Food. Hungry flames licking at me, consuming...
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ((I don't feel the need to do Act III stuff myself, but I was wondering if the 53 berries we have on us would be good berries by now. Between Liadan's purify spell and Keit's goodberry spell, I'd like to think if the two of them did nothing with the berries Baldhart would keep asking them to since she picked most of them herself so the party would have healing supplies. By 5 days, even Keit rolling snake-eyes would result in all 53 berries being turned good.

    The 53 berries is the 8 Liadan purified, plus three pickings: 11, 18 and 16.

    Also, any ruling on the number of oil bottles we took with us?))


    Nissa

    I fly back to the party. "A mother with her throat ripped out and two boys, 11 and 13—dead. Something or someone was dragged into the Taint. It's not gnolls; the tracks are too small."

    I turn to Roderick. "Looks like you didn't bring your gear for nothing."

    I wait for what Anakri refers to as the prattling.



    Baldhart

    "Not wild, then," I say to Keit. "And they went after children…

    "This is one of those times I'm tempted to charge into battle without a word, but first… a suggestion or two: Nissa with a torch—distraction, fire bomb. Archers cover fighters—Dalla, you're new, so prepare to hold fire on Ankari's word so our fighters don't have arrows in the back.

    "If anyone has reservations about getting involved, bear in mind this isn't just about avenging innocents. My guess is that these creeps take cover along the edge of the Taint. Whatever cowards killed that poor family will do the same to us… only right now, it's us who are onto them."

    To Alin, I add, "And that doesn't mean they don't know about us. Maybe they dragged corpses to lead whoever avenges the innocents into a trap—which you know how to spot while Nissa flies right over the trap with her attention-drawing torch. Or without, if you prefer she scout before bombing."
     
  7. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    I remove my cloak and throw it over Burnbright's shoulders. "I wish I had a helmet too. A scarf will have to do. We should arrange a proper disguise for you later, and if it comes to battle do not even think in taking part in it. Don't look at me like this." I cover her hair with the scarf and retrieve something else from my backpack. "Do you remember the fun you had with the slippers? Here they are. If things get dangerous and you find yourself in trouble make use of what you have learnt to get away."

    I turn to Baldhart. "We are the only ones in miles who would be insane enough to enter the Taint to avenge anything. I am sure Ballara's townsfolk cower behind their walls or whatever they have. But let's go, if the tracks are fresh they are worth investigating."
     
  8. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Before the Dead

    Dalla is an astout student with reckless focus. I monitor her interactions with the others and take note. On the third day, after a session of archery meant to strengthen her back more than increase her accuracy, I walk alongside her as she tracks down errant arrows. A bow is only as powerful as the missle it launches, after all.

    "The enemy we face will be greater than you, me, Baldhart, or any one single person. People are weapons, too, the greatest of them. From this point on, you will interact with each companion with the same focus as your lessons. They will be your shield in the darkness to come, your sword when you are weak, and your support when you fail.

    "I understand your reluctance concerning Baldhart. Eventually, a bridge must be built over tha gaping chasm. Of the others, you have no excuse. Especially Burnbright. I have sacrificed for her, and will continue to do so for as long as required." I drop my hand from it's place over the priestess' amulet.

    "Do not let my words with the others misguide your judgement of them. I am loyal to them more than they are to me. I will kill for any of them so they continue on this quest. Lives are nothing more than a flame caught in a stiff wind. It dances and flutters, always on the verge of being blown out. For as long as we can, give light the darkness and give warmth to those who would gather around us.

    "Know them. I would suggest you speak with Alin the thief and Burnbright before the others. The first knows more of stalking and silence, the second is the banner of our cause."

    After the Dead

    A pressure builds between my eyes. I suffered through lengthy explainatins of why a trip to the gnolls would set us back on a time sensative mission, only to witness my companions veer from their course at the first sign of something unusual. No point in arguing. My words would only serve to bolster their resolve to the contrary.

    "Alin, the pixie and I will investigate. If something is unusual, we will notify our midget angel and send her back to gather you. We don't need a heard of oxes to lumber through the wilderness and alert whatever threat of our pressence."
     
  9. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    I give Burnbright my skull helm. To Ankari, I say with a smile, "Just don't start the battle without me."


    Nissa

    Torch unlit, I fly, leading Ankari and Alin to where the tracks lead.

    Once all are ready, I watch for the tracks, signs of hostiles, a head count if I can. I use wings and whatever objects I can to see without being seen, and I trust in my wisdom that I don't go so far in I lose my way as the dwarfs did…

    ((WIS check / prime))
    [​IMG]
    ((I tricked rolz by not typing 'WIS.' Yay!

    For PlotHolio, if you didn't know, an attribute check is 1d20+level+modifier. In Nissa's case, the +4 is Lv.3 +1 WIS.
    Some characters add another number or two to certain checks due to class, race and/or deity.))
     
  10. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    "How lovely." I cross my arms. "Do not follow the tracks if they are old, do not keep going if they get too far into the Taint and do not stray from them, or you will be surprised by how different it is on the ground."
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Before the Dead Bodies

    Dalla listens to Ankari, somewhat chastened. She is silent a moment at talk of Baldhart, her eyes brimming with tears. "She didn't have to kill him, did she? Even if Aslaug was making him do things. There are other ways to stop people. When I was a girl I remember two men in the village arguing over a woman. One had been deep in his cups and came after the other with a knife. The other man found a spear to defend himself. Village men came running as the man with the spear held the drunk off. They tackled the drunk man and took his knife away, then dragged him to the temple to sleep off the ale. No one died. Everyone knew the man wasn't in his right mind."

    Her attitude toward the other party members does soften a bit. She seeks advice from Aliron, as Ankari suggested, and makes an effort to talk to Burnbright the next day as the group travels. In her characteristic way, Burnbright seems to have forgotten any tension that might have been between them and immediately treats Dalla like an old friend, which seems to embarrass Dalla a bit.

    After the Bodies

    Nissa leads Aliron and Ankari to burned out farm. Two structures, one a house and the other looking more like a barracks, are smoldering. The dead woman is in the house, and the place appears to have been ransacked. It's not so much that things were taken, but just smashed to bits for the fun of it. The barracks-like structure looks like it could have housed up to ten people, though there are only two bodies inside. It is similarly smashed. Two dead horses lay on the ground, their bellies split open, and a handful of dead cattle are littered around the farm. Both the horses and cattle have, upon closer inspection, had cuts of meat sliced from the corpses.

    Examining the area around the farm, Ankari and Aliron are able to make more sense of what tracks there are. The ground is hard, and there is ice in places, but there are still places where impressions are left in open dirt, or where long stalks of dead grass have been trampled. There are non-human footprints, too small by far to be gnolls. They may be the right size for goblins, but they are strangely elongate and end in clawed toes. Quite ungoblin-like. There are, however, human tracks in among those that leads from the farm, though these are very hard to make out and are mostly ruined by the tracks of the clawed creatures. At least five sets of tracks exist, barefoot, and they are closely packed together, as though those who made them may have been bound in a tight group. The tracks lead away toward another hill, beyond the burned out farm, that lies half in the edge of the Taint.

    Back among the main group, Masama works through his unarmed combat forms, moving slowly and smoothly from one stance to the next, making motions with his hands and taking deep breaths. Burnbright looks on, almost as though she wishes to join him, but then raises a hand to a slight bruise on her cheek from Masama's lessons. "If we fight, I think I better stick with a spear."

    Dalla looks at the group as though they may have gone mad. "Are we really going to chase after a fight? In the Taint? I thought we were on an urgent mission. Surely those people are beyond our help..."

    Masama pauses in his forms. "Asra has lead us here for a purpose." He turns to Baldhart. "Do you believe Aslaug may be behind this burning? It seems such things plague the north, and whereever we find death her name is not far behind."
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  12. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    When Burnbright says she prefers the spear, I tell her, "Use a blade, yes, but never give up the unarmed training. It wasn't until last week that I discovered the advantage of knowing how to take care of myself without a blade."

    When Dalla questions our actions, I reply—careful to keep my tone gentle. "I'm all for avoiding unnecessary battles, Dalla, but what if the creatures took prisoners? What if the creatures follow us and we are attacked by surprise, at a time that those who rely on armor and weapons are not prepared? I'm not entirely certain that this battle is necessary, but I doubt it's avoidable."

    To Masama, I reply, "It wouldn't surprise me if Aslaug is behind this. Though I don't see the gain in burning homes and killing the families inside. Were these people targeted, or does her army of monsters simply kill because they can?"



    Nissa

    "There's a chance that the prisoners are still alive. Barefoot, they won't get far. Either we find bodies or a place they're being held. I suggest I get the others to come this far, then while the group waits at he crest of the hill, I can fly into the Taint and see what we face.

    "If either of you object, don't be shy."

    I wait a few seconds for a response.
     
  13. PlotHolio

    PlotHolio Sage

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    ((Roderick is average in almost every regard; the kind of man you'd pass on the street and not give a second glance. His complexion is ruddy, his eyes are slightly sunken, and his nose is just a little too long for his face. His dark hair is receding in an unflattering way, leaving him with an oddly shaped widow's peak just above where his hairline should be. He's only twenty-eight, but people treat him like he's forty. He gives the impression of a man who hates everything and everyone, but is too tired to care.))

    Roderick

    I'm still not exactly comfortable with this group, and I think the feeling is mutual. I catch them glaring at me when they think I'm not looking. None of them trust me, especially Aliron. Maybe it shows on my face that I'm not as concerned with the farm as the others are; I've been the one burning them more often than not.

    The apocalyptic babble that I thought was just Nissa's thing is apparently more than that, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm right to disregard it. Still, I voice my doubts.

    "This Aslaug you speak of may not be responsible. Anything or anyone could have done this. After all, dark times are swiftly followed by dark people."
     
  14. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Before the Dead

    "The answer you seek isn't the answer you need." She is vulnerable, but not broken. My lessons are hard and meant to reveal the character of this jaded woman. "Scholars would debate your question at length. They will map out the cavern, analyze the players, and break every action into formualic probability. At one point, a theory may exist that Baldhart could have saved Tommem's life if she had used another weapon, Tommem had been distracted by something, Mauve had slipped and died, Alin had shot at another enemy, and so on.

    "The author of that theory would have puffed his chest, pleased with his many days or weeks spent in proving his theory, and shared his voice to yours in condemning Baldhart. But scholars are fools. Place any of them in the same scenario and many more innocent would have perish, including the scholar himself. Warriors are not afforded the time to deliberate such decisions. We do not play at a board game, we play at survival. Every breath is sweeter than the last because it is fresher and closer to the last you'll take.

    "The answer you don't want to hear is that your anger is misplaced. You are angry at Baldhart for doing what anyone, including yourself, would have done in the same situation. The difference is that she survived while other would have died." I pause a moment to let my words settle. What comes next will hurt.

    "You're angry at Tommem because he betrayed you. He promised you a happy life, gave you a face of an innocent man, and may even have been a good fellow. But something dark squirmed in his heart. Something Auslog identified and seized, twisted and exploited. He sided with her. The motive could simply have been to do what he promised you. Marriage, a home, children. Vile seeds give vile fruit. What life would it be if Auslog had her way and subjects the entire north to a brutal life?

    "Don't misunderstand. We all harbor a darkness within our hearts. Every man is born flawed, for we fear the ultimate truth of our life: we all must die. Good is identifying your dark flaw and making choices despite it. Evil is giving in. Tomemm gave in. It is now time for you to recognize the darkness within you and work against it. I expect you will choose as I have and do as I will."

    After the Dead

    "Alin and I will scout ahead. How much time has passed since the abduction, and how much time is left for the prisoners to live, may be slipping away. Go warn the others. Tell them to look for an X on trees that will mark out paths. Tell them at least fifteen humaniods have abducted five humans. The enemy isn't gnoll. The elongated footprint and claw indicates they may be lizardmen."

    When Nissa flies away, I point to the trail. "Alin, I'll follow the trail. You will shadow me from the cover of the trees. Focus on silence more than camoflage. If the enemy is nearby, they will spot me and think I am the only threat. I'll flee and draw the enemy into our coming party. Remain and investigate. I trust you to do what is needed."
     
  15. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    I see Nissa coming to us. Alone. Fast. I tell Burnbright, "When you're older, you must make a sacrifice before battle. For now, the sacrifice is this: you will accept your youth keeps you off the frontline. You will watch, pray, and commit to your training. Masama's as well as mine. If someday I am your only trainer, I can teach unarmed combat and the spear. Still, Masama is best. I don't have it in me to bloody your face as he does."

    I made my sacrifice when I brought Dalla. Still, let Burnbright see another. I give Roderick a ring. "If you mean to join me on the front, wear this. If you think you're about to fall in battle, focus on the ring… I guess. It will lend you life for a minute—but then the ring will take it back… or so I heard."

    ((+6 HP for ten turns; -6 HP after the tenth turn; one activation per day.))


    Nissa tells us the numbers. "15 lizards, 5 innocents. No way of knowing if there's time, but Ankari counts on us to move. He'll mark an X on a tree to mark his path. Follow it."

    I move. Full sprint. I am the fastest one here!

    Nissa passes me. Make that the second fastest.



    Nissa

    I fly, intending only to wait by the marked tree until Baldy sees. Once she does, I'll fly above Ankari.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  16. PlotHolio

    PlotHolio Sage

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    Roderick

    Baldhart and Nissa take off faster than I've ever seen anyone run, and I struggle to keep up. My pack hops up and down on my back as I take bounding steps, though I've unslung my shield to prevent it from clacking. The ring Baldhart gave me fits perfectly on my pointer finger, which is a little unnerving. I'd stifled my fear of magic long ago, but there was still a nervous itch in my mind whenever I was exposed to it.

    I've never fought lizardmen before, though I'd heard stories. If those fish monsters are anything to go on, we're in for a tough fight. Here's hoping their captives don't make things worse by getting in our way.
     
  17. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ((Clarification: Baldy just ditched her pack and let it plop in the snow. She's about as unencumbered as can be, wearing only her dress, purse (which may or may not have goodberries in it), necklace and the ring that keeps her from freezing her ass off. Nissa has the cutlass, though I'm contemplating having her light the torch first to bomb the enemy.))
     
  18. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    ((@PlotHolio I don't know if you saw that, but Mauve welcomed Roderick with magic in the act III. Just wrapping things up. :) ))

    I chuckle when the farmer-in-disguise says it may not be Aslaug's work but make no remark, pacing back and forth instead, unable to stand still. The darkness draws me. It feels right to enter the Taint here and now, that something is about to happen, may it be good or bad. It's like before, a presentiment, except it is not, because I am not one of those superstitious dolts who believe in such follies. There must be a reasonable explanation that I am not aware of, but it's there in the back of my mind, tugging at me and creating this sensation.

    But I have no time to ponder. Nissa returns, and Baldhart starts running as soon one could exclaim 'balderdash!'.

    "Gods be damned. Baldhart, not so fast!" I run after them, not quite at the same speed. "If you leave us behind, if we fall into chaos the children will be left behind and vulnerable!" I had forgotten how they were inconsiderate of the children. Always eager to spill blood, always leaving them behind.
     
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    I slow down a little and glance back. "See that the children keep pace with you. Batos, Masama and I can move quickly without the tell-tale jingling of armor." I check the path ahead to make sure I'm not about to run over a drop-off or slippery patch. I try to assure her, "We won't start the fight without you unless we're forced to." I check to see that Masama and Batos are with me, then move full sprint, even if they aren't.

    Ankari and Alin are vulnerable. Nissa, too, no matter how high she can fly…
     
  20. PlotHolio

    PlotHolio Sage

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    Roderick

    Okay, Roderick, you have two choices. First, you can follow those guys and possibly die at the hands of vicious lizardmen. Second, you can hang back and help Mauve with the children.

    This is the kind of choice I hate to make. Which fate is worse, death by lizards or death by children?

    Children. Definitely children.

    By the time I make my decision, Baldhart and the rest are already completely out of sight, and a horde of ravenous children slowly closes in around me, herded by Mauve. Damn it. I should have gone with the others!

    "I'm scared," a little girl says says to me. "What should I do?" Why are you asking me? How in blazes am I supposed to respond to that? Think!

    "Don't be," I say haltingly. "Fear may not... come out right. Nnn." I clap her a little to hard on the shoulder, and she grunts. "Being afraid is dumb," I say with gusto. What the hell am I doing?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
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