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Dragon's Egg - Side Treks

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Nihal, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    "I am done with fleeing. The strong harass the weak until they are exhausted and beg for the murder frothing at the mouth of their pursuers. I will no longer be weak. We have a task one that will darken our souls and harden our hearts. How else does a blade meet a blade without snapping unless it is as strong. I know you feel the same way. How else do you explain your aid?" I busy myself with the landscape. seeking any advantage we may have in case of attack.

    "The priest deserved it. Men like him speak words with two meanings; one applied to his interests, and one to his enemies. Little separates what the religions do from the concerted efforts of criminals. There will come a time when I will hunt these beings who would demand worship to appease a petty ego. Their bodies, fat with the offerings of their followers, will feed the world anew."
     
  2. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    "Ankari, no, stop." I block his way, raising my hands but stopping short from touching him. They just hover between us, keeping the distance. Talking to him is like walking over thin ice, you can guess where it'll break but it doesn't care about your guesses; it's when you hear the loud crack under you feet you know you made a mistake.

    "You are deranged. Can you hear yourself? You condemn something just to do it the next moment. This is the time when you observe, when you abstain from taking drastic actions while you do not have time to sort out what you truly want and what you truly need.

    "I understand you loathe me and everything I do represent." I lower my hands. "But what damage will it do to consider my words just this time? This single time? I am sorry I am hindering you, but it became a vital issue now." Why am I so worried, what's wrong with me? This friggin ranger is driving me insane. I bite my dry lips softly before proceeding, giving them some relief. "The path you have chosen is dark indeed. It will likely annihilate you, but people like us are past worrying. Yet, alone you can change nothing, your death will be for naught. You are fleeing.

    "You are strong, you are a menace to any individual, but to the world you're nothing. If you can't fix what is wrong this way, is it still worth? Is this still the right way? Why was it so important in first place? You are strong, but right now your mind is weak. You are confused, you are in pain, I don't know, I only know your judgment is obscured by strong emotions, emotions so overwhelming they are affecting everything you are. You're far from balance, you—" My inability express my thoughts is frustrating! "Please, just... breathe."

    That was ridiculous!
     
  3. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    The little woman jumps before me and holds out her arms. A barrier that is not. I stop and offer a smile, despite the thickening night. The things that between us haunt her, even though I have forgiven her attempt at sticking a dagger in my chest. "Mauve, you have earned my gratitude. There is no need to any retribution from me. I will not slay any would-be deities in the foreseeable future, unless Aslaug counts herself among them." I step around her, taking slow steps so she can catch up.

    "You are now part of this pack, a thing under the protection of my blades. I understand what everyone thinks. I am violent, a wolf who bites first before sniffing the air. Yet for every measure of scorn placed on my shoulders, you cannot deny that my actions have been positive gains. After our fight with Calexa, most of the group lay dying on the stone floor. I guaranteed the survival of this group, even Baldhart who seeks to earn wings like a dove unaware of the waiting hawk. I also spared Calexa from the demon. You are a woman, take the darkest thoughts of the most violent man bred to become the scion of some vile cult, and that would be a mercy to what awaited Calexa had I given her up. I am not without mercy, nor without honor."

    I stop so that the crunch of snow will not bury my words. "My life for the pack, Mauve. The pack for Catli, and to slay the threat to this land. Nothing else."

    I resume the walk when the fangs of the night bite into my exposed skin. "You may think me deranged, a maniac with an ego. I will not deny my ego, not any longer. But, of all our members, which one of us have remained the most focused on the task at hand? Even now, with half the group wishing my blood to heat the snow, I seek a way to continue our quest."
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  4. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    He called me a "thing". I chuckle. Now he sounds more like himself!

    "Ranger, ranger, you misunderstand me. The deal you have done was something abominable, yes, but necessary. This priest's death was something good, but unnecessary. Instead of protecting us you jeopardized everyone, this is what bothers me." I rub my arms. "Someone sound of mind would not do something so inane. Lovely, but utterly foolish. It is not what I call 'focused at the task at hand' either."

    I press ahead to walk by his side. "You also enjoy talking about packs and trust. Balderdash! You do not trust us nor are you trustworthy. We can not rely on someone who keeps disappearing and doing stupid things on a whim. How can you say we are your pack if you still act like a lone wolf?

    "I do not wish to see you becoming a grass eater, I wish you to think. Please, it is not that hard.

    "Oh, and if you ever consider sparing me from some terrible fate do me a favor and don't." I grin.
     
  5. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Balderbash? No matter. Something has changed in Muave's tone. A lightness of tone, evidence of her shifted disposition towards me.

    Some would puff their chests at Muave's words, deny such claims, and bare teeth in defiance. As I have in the past. The trials of the north have driven home a wisdom my master longed to do. Had I but heeded his words.

    "You are right. I will try to limit my distractions, think a little more. Just don't tell the others you won."
     
  6. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    He bent! The tension that had been building up on my shoulders disappears. There is still much work to be done. I doubt he's being completely honest, but this change of behaviour is minor victory I must cherish. Not my first and only victory over him, as the fool seems to think...

    I flash him a smile. "Only if you tell no one you saw me in a dress."

    Apparently taking the risk was worth the effort, this is an outcome I didn't foresee. Contemplating our situation, I can't help but smile again. This ranger has no idea of how many lessons he has taught me—certainly not the lessons he intended to teach, what makes everything far more amusing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Aliron & Bressel

    Bressel and Burnbright continue moving along the coast, neither encountering any difficulty as they pick their way slowly along the rocky ground in the dim evening light. Neither is certain exactly where Aliron, Masama, and Branwen are to be found, but Bressel seems confident that Aliron will find them, and Burnbright picks up on that confidence and tries not to worry about what may be happening in Arendal.

    Aliron, waiting silently and keeping his eyes and ears focused on his surroundings, soon hears the pair approaching. It is not difficult to make out Bressel's voice as the two approach.

    Ankari & Mauve

    Moving along the cliff's edge, both Ankari and Mauve are able to make out, faintly, the silhouettes of the three small boats against the dark water of the ocean. There is not way to the docks, save scaling the rocky cliffs or creeping into Arendal to make use of the stairs.

    The village is alive with activity, with people running to and fro, shouting orders or questions at one another and trying to organize the chaos of villagers as they emerge from their homes. A number of villagers, mostly women and children as best you can tell, are led toward the small stone building in which Mauve was imprisoned. The villagers disappear inside and do not emerge again. Two men have taken up positions outside the door to the building, as though guarding it, and other men dash about the village, gathering up the very old and the very young, as well as women of all ages, and lead them toward the building as well.
     
  8. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron
    Watching Bressel and Burnbright approach, he lets them past watching behind for sign of being followed.
    When sure they aren't being followed, he calls out to them.

    "Bressel, What news have you?" Aliron asks stepping out into view behind them.

    Bressel quickly explains the situation,
    Ankari wanted for murder, Mauve locked up for helping the ranger, The gnolls demands.

    "What does the village say about Branwen?" Aliron asks still scanning the area.

    "They either do not know about her or she has been forgotten." Bressel replies,"Speaking of the little bird where is she?"

    "She is close, with Masama." Aliron replies. "Burnbright, how are you?"
    Aliron scans once more, then walks towards the ocean cliff, glancing at Burnbright.

    Aliron slips the rope from where it is concealed, and steps off.
    "We can talk more in the hideout." Aliron walks down the cliff and into the cave.
    Burnbright will be next, Bressel will be last.
     
  9. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    As the others climb down, Aliron explains to Masama the news.

    Once everyone is in the cave, Aliron begins.

    "First, Masama, We need you to stay with Branwen and Burnbright. With you two safely here with only Bresel and I know where you are, we will be able to fight knowing they won't find you."
    "Bressel, return to the town, tell them I will be there shortly. Don't tell them this, I must get our party member out of lock up. She's in the temple? They will not burn Branwen, nor the mage. I don't know what to do with Muave, since Baldhart is divided on oaths."
    Aliron tosses a stick in the fire. Aliron moves Bressels pack closer to him.

    "I must speak to Baldhart about her plans for the gnolls. Maybe I can be the liason between the lawful party members and the unlawful ones. Far to many times I was the shunned relying on others to pass messages."

    Bressel looks to Aliron, "Wait you think the ranger is still close by?"

    "You don't know the ranger, any time you think a normal person would do something, the ranger does something else. Most people would flee, the ranger will stay."

    "Cadell wants to negotiate, How does one negotiate with people that kill women and child. That misguided honor. Honor is what the weak use to manipulate the strong."
    Aliron moves over brushing Branwen's hair from her face.
    "Masama will protect you little elfbird." Aliron looks to Masama, "Will you take care of Burnbright while we are gone? Know this, if either is harmed by you, or by others that you could have prevented, I will hunt you down. I don't like trusting people, but you are the only one that can do this. The village would burn Branwen and would turn Burnbright over without a blink to save their asses."
    "If we do not return, take them both far away from here. Away from the gnolls. Keep them hidden until the taint is no more." Aliron tells Masama, then turns to Burnbright.
    "If we don't return, I believe Baldhart will find you naked and with wings, and she will find you where ever you go. Maybe if your god sees fit, she will allow her to be your Nissa. Know this fight is to fight an evil bigger then anyone person, even you, bigger then your mother, bigger then the gnolls."

    "May you all pray to your gods for evil to fail, that those that die in this battle do so with dignity and honor and that far more of them die then our side."

    Aliron turns back to Masama, offers his hand, do you agree to watch over these two special girls? Guard one for your god and one for the world?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  10. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Watching from the woods

    The excitement at my latest achievements dies down as we approach the town, each step bringing us closer to those hypocrites. Soon we'll be forced to face them and relive the moment they turned their backs on us, all while they berate us, if not worse.

    I follow the procession of women and children with my eyes. They can't possibly fit everyone inside the cells, can they?

    Two men watch the door. With so many people moving towards the fortress remains I could not have chosen a better time to escape. I don't disturb the silence, allowing Ankari to use his silly elven ears to listen to the chaos and determine the reason behind their mobilization. Instead, I glance at the docks then at the women again, mentally listing where the children–our children, not Arendal's–could have been taken.

    I finally turn to the ranger. "What, now?"
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Aliron

    Masama raises himself up to his full height, which is rather impressive. White teeth and the whites of his eyes shine out of his dark face in the dimly-lit cave. "There's no call for threats here. I've sworn to Asra to protect the holy child, and so too I will protect this other. No harm will come to them while I live."

    Burnbright looks a little more uncertain. "You're both going?" she asks, looking at Aliron and Bressel. She casts a sideways glance at Branwen and then takes an uncertain step toward Aliron. "I still think I should fight. I feel like a coward, hiding in here while people might be getting killed all because of me. But if you want me to stay, I will, and I'll listen to what Masama says. But there will come a time when you'll have to let me fight alongside you. This is my fight, as much as any of yours. More, even."

    Masama strokes his beard and nods as Burnbright speaks. "Indeed, Asra has set a path before you, and once the goddess molds your destiny, you cannot avoid it. Your time will come child. You will take your place beside this Veborg you revere, and the long line of shield maidens who followed her."
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Mauve & Ankari

    As the both of you continue to watch Arendal from your hiding place, it becomes increasingly clear that there is more to the stone structure and the cells beneath than meets the eye. Every child in the village passes through the door into the small building, though there is no sign of either Burnbright or Branwen. If either of them is inside, they must have entered before you arrived. Most of the village's women also go in, and no only do none come back out, there is no crowding around the door to indicate they are having a hard time getting people inside. Before long, the only villagers you see are men, both militia men and a few others, walking the streets of the village in groups of two, each with torches held high.
     
  13. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Activity along the docks and the fortress confirm a plan. I focus on what is said, hoping to understand a bit of their plans.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Ankari

    The villagers are speaking loudly enough initially, when the townspeople are being moved into the stone building. They are aware that a threat to the village exists, and speak loudly of getting the women, children, and elderly into the "caves." Later, as most of the villagers have been moved and there are only patrols walking the street, you make out less because much of the conversation is hushed. There is nervousness over the possibility of an attack, and also talk of some sort of plan to strike at the enemy. You can't make out any details.

    As you watch, you do see that there is still activity around the inn, unlike any other building in the village besides the temple. The door to the Maiden's Spear opens and you catch a quick glimpse of Grim, the innkeeper from Srilkind, emerging with a barrel in his hands. He moves through the near darkness toward the stairs to the docks below.
     
  15. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Ankari and Mauve

    Strategies and countermoves. What does Baldhart intend to do with boats loaded with combustible fluids? Why does she do it with little care of the enemy watching? "I'm not sure what's in those barrels, but you don't load up a boat with food or drink when the people who can use it will be packed away in some cavern. From a guess, Baldhart used our experience in the tunnels and has those barrels full of oil. If the enemy will come from Srilikind, why the boats?"

    I watch, more out of consternation than anything else. She wants the gnolls to be on board. That, or she'll float the boats to Srilikind and light them there. No, the gnolls would have enough time to flee a burning Srlikind. She must want them on board.

    "Does Baldhart have your fish ring?"
     
  16. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron looks at Masama.
    "As I said, I trust few people. I made no threat, if you fail to protect these two, I will send you to meet your God and explain your failure. If you stay true to your word, there is no threat."

    "Burnbright, I agree with you both. There will come a day when you must fight. This battle is not that day. There is an army of dogmen coming, the town will face them if they have too. But they would sell you out in an instant to avoid the fight. We cannot fight to our best if we must watch those around you on both sides."

    "Masama, maybe you can show her fighting technics for areas such as this cave?" Aliron smiles "I think she has sworn off bows, but stay behind her if she tries to shoot a bow. It safer, trust me on that."

    "I think we should go." Bressel says from the cave entrance, then climbs up.

    "I know you will take care of the girls." Aliron admits,"Trust no one but our group. There are too many that would harm them both in the world. Do not even trust the warrior woman from the tavern. Her loyalties are divided at best, and an enemy at worst."

    "If we do not return, go far away as fast as you can." Aliron repeats, turns to Branwen. "Listen to Masama, he will teach you much. He will teach you the ways of the civilized. Treat you as a person not a beast."

    "Burnbright, know that we fight not only to protect you, but to end the evil trying to take over the world, the evil that would use your abilities for that purpose. All that have died, their blood is not on your hands, but on the one that seeks the power to spread its evil in this world. Never give up. Learn the sword, so one day you can free your mother if there is anything left of her, or avenge her if there is not. Maybe if the gods allow it. You will deal the final blow to the evil that seeks to control you."
    Aliron swings out and upward.
     
  17. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Watching the docks

    "Oil, on boats?" I frown. "She might be transporting it to create a trap somewhere on the coast, or the boats are a flaming weapon to push against a target..."

    For all I know the gnolls had no boats, how could it work? Did I miss something?

    "...oh. Ankari, what do we know about these gnolls besides their numbers and prowess at killing? They will do anything for Burnbright. The oathbreaker is either transporting the oil for a trap or will make them believe Burnbright is on one boat."

    I glance at him. "What did you mean by fish ring?" Shaking my head, I look back to the town. "Nay, it does not matter, I have nothing on me, no ring against the cold nor enchanted knife."

    It's a good thing these disgusting peasants took it from me, I couldn't give up from the knife myself. Now it'll serve a greater purpose, oh, it will.

    "Speaking of possessions, do you still have that pebble-on-a-string I gave you?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Ankari & Mauve

    As you continue to watch, you see Baldhart's unmistakable silhouette moving from the inn to the stairs to the docks. Like Grim, she is carrying a barrel of oil. Both she and Grim disappear down the steps with their barrels, returning long moments later. A third figure meets them at the stop of the stairs, and you can make out the shape of a severed arm on this one. Gisla is saying something to Baldhart, though what it is you can't make out.

    Masama, Branwen, Burnbright

    Branwen stares at the cave exit for a moment after Aliron leaves, then looks back to Masama and Burnbright, her eyes bright in the fire light. She makes a questioning noise and points at her mouth. Masama digs through his pack and retrieves a piece of tough dried meat, which Branwen immediately begins gnawing on, moving to sit away from the fire with her back against the wall.

    Masama turns to Burnbright and says "Come, let me teach you to defend yourself as was requested. If the enemy reaches us, you and I must fight. The holy child is too young, yet."

    Burnbright adopts a fighting position with her knife, but Masama shakes his head. "Put the blade aside. You will not always have access to a weapon when you need one, and even if you do a foe may disarm you. The strength you need is in your arms, here, " Masama slaps one large hand against his upper arm, "and here in your legs." He slaps his thigh with the same hand.

    Burnbright frowns, but sets the weapon on the stone floor of the cave. When she rises, Masama is in a fighting stance, his legs wide with one forward of the others. His hands form fists, turned upward, and his arms are pulled in close to his body. "Strike me. And by strike, I do not mean tickle. Let me see what I am working with."

    Burnbright chews her lip thoughtfully for a moment, then assumes more of a bar-room brawling stance, then dances forward and swings at the big man.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Aliron & Bressel

    The night is growing colder on the cliffs overlooking the sea, and the light remains dim, making Bressel choose his steps more carefully than he might otherwise, while Aliron moves with more ease. Nothing stirs either on the cliffs or in the trees, the sound of the two men walking the only noise to accompany the crashing of the waves far below.
     
  20. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Bressel and Aliron move quickly as they can back towards the town.
    When the town is in sight Aliron moves silently towards the temple, while Bressel continues on the tavern.

    Aliron hides watching the temple and the activity of the town. With so much activity in the temple he decides to simply walk by and look in while on his way to the tavern. Two male guards, Bressel had said there was one woman, Gilsa guarding Mauve.

    Did they release her? Did she escape?
    He searched the roof tops, looking for the best place to place archers. Did the town on humans have any competent archers?
    Did the town have any competent warriors?
    He searches the chaos of activity looking for Baldhart or others of the group.

    [Unless something alters the activtity, I will probably transfer back to main thread as we will join the group]
     
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