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Dragon's Egg - Side Treks

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

  1. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    "Burnbright, your day will come. You must prepare for it. But today is not your day. Learn to fight, learn your abilities that our enemies seek to exploit in you."
    Aliron moves to the rope, looks at the sleeping Branwen.
    "I must go. Careful who you trust. There are spies everywhere, and people looking to profit from information about you."
    Swinging out on the rope, Aliron adds:
    "I would even kill Bressel if I thought he would reveal your location. Keeping you from the hands of those that want to exploit your power is that important. Never stop caring about people, most aren't worth the concern, but there are good people in the world worthy of consideration. Care of the weaker person is what makes the difference between good and evil."
    Aliron climbs up to the edge of the rocks and looks carefully around, making sure no one is around. Then climbs up and begins walking back along the edge. After a few minutes of walking he looks for a way down to the water. He climbs down and sets a marker for Baldhart.
     
  2. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    "That has always been your problem, Cadell. What does it matter if the gnolls think you're honorable? Do you seek to please others to define your worth?" Time slips into the void of night, leaving not a trace of its passing. The gnolls await, but I can spare a few more words for this broken man.

    "This land, the entire world, is fractured into beliefs created by the whims of convincing fools. What weight does the word 'honor' have in such a reality? Honor! It is like the word "evil" or "good". Tell me Cadell, do you think Branwen is evil? I already know your answer, though you do not understand the significance. Branwen is no more evil than you are honorable. Yet to the priest, she was, and to the gnolls, you are. What does that imply?

    "This is the principle this group needs to come to terms with. You call my act against the priest murder. You spit the word with the rigid spine of judgment. Yet the priest would have Branwen killed." I raise my hand to forestall any feeble argument. "Yes, everyone would have orchestrated an escape. We would have rode into the dusk, away from the threat. But what if we couldn't escape? Had the priest succeeded in his designs, he would have killed Branwen. Then we would have bemoaned the loss and accused the priest of injustice, of murder. Does your honor support this? What does your honor say of defending the defenseless? What does your honor say of sacrificing one's soul for the preservation of another?

    "Do not speak to me of honor, Fallen One. Do not wrap yourself in honors as thin as the breath that escapes the dying oppressed. Would that you know the sacrifices I would make on your behalf. Not because your are a friend, but because you are as weak as Branwen and as confused at the villagers who would follow the priest that sought her blood. I do not mean that as an insult. The world is divided into the strong, and the weak. You have decided which group you would belong to."

    I take a few steps alongside the hoof prints, but pause. "Go to your Liadan. Enjoy the blissful love of a woman before the blood spills and washes away the illusion cloaking your eyes. It is a rare thing what the two of you share."

    Not waiting for any comments, I sprint into the night.
     
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  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Cadell

    I remain silent as Ankari speaks, his words honed like knives. He derides my sense of honor, confusing it for weakness, and touts his own views as strength. He compares me to a child. How that could possibly not be an insult, I can only wonder.

    And yet some of his barbed words do strike true. He speaks of sacrifice, of defense. Have I done that for Branwen? For Catli? Was trying to keep Ankari from slaying the priest truly the best I could have done? Or should I have...

    I shake my head in frustration. Dwelling on could-haves, would-haves and should-haves will get me nowhere. What matters now is all that lies before me. I have had my discourse with the gnolls, and they have made their decision, at least for the moment. I have not put aside my vows to protect Catli -- this is part and parcel of that. It isn't my fault that the rest of us are so divided. I wonder if any of us will learn to trust each other again.

    I sigh and urge Llucheden onward, picking my way carefully through the trees and snow. All things considered, that could have gone worse. At least we were not driven to crossing blades.
     
  4. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    The rustling sound sends me to the shadow of a tree. For a moment I consider climbing it, now I have the means, but end dismissing the thought. The less an enemy knows about you the better. I peek from behind the trunk, trying to locate the elf woman and determine what comes ahead from her reaction.
     
  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Líadan

    I pause and hold my breath at a rustling sound from ahead. My heart patters in hope and dread. Cadell? Is he hale or hurt? If only I could call to him without Mauve overhearing. Bothersome girl.

    [​IMG]
    ((...wow.))

    Blast it all. I move forward and call to him in elvish - Mauve doesn't know it, does she?

    <Cadell, are you all right?>

    Cadell

    Líadan calls to me, and I sigh again, dismounting. How many others are out there? <More or less. Did Baldhart send you too?>

    [​IMG]

    Líadan

    <No, I came on my own, to make sure Ankari would not harm you. Mauve followed me, for reasons I don't know.> I look around for her, then move forward to hold Cadell close.

    Cadell

    <Well, he didn't. I'm as surprised as you, I'm sure.> I return the embrace, but keep it brief. <I must get back to the village and tell Baldhart what the gnolls said. Ankari passed by; he stopped long enough to insult me, then ran to follow my tracks to the gnolls.>

    I swing back up into the saddle and reach for her hand.

    Líadan

    I take Cadell's hand, mounting behind him and wrapping my arms around his waist. I lean forward to murmur in his ear as we ride back toward Arendal. <Don't expect any help from Baldhart; she thinks you've gone soft.>

    Cadell

    I snort. <Ankari said as much. He called me weak and confused. All because I tried to send the gnolls away from here rather than letting them slaughter the town, or be slaughtered themselves. I asked them to retreat without harming anyone, least of all Catli. They said they'd consult with Aslaug in the morning -- she may decide to attack Arendal whether or not Catli is there. The gnolls knew she'd been moved out.>

    Líadan

    I avert my eyes from him. <I'm glad you managed that much, but I don't think you should have gone behind our backs like this. It's no wonder everyone's so divided. I don't think Baldhart trusts anyone now.>

    Cadell

    I twist around to face her, jerking on the reins. Llucheden halts with a snort. I meet Líadan's eyes, my own narrowed in anger. <Dammit, Líadan, not you too! Is everyone I called friend turned against me now?>

    Líadan

    I flinch back, eyes wide. <I never said I was against you, love... just that I don't entirely agree with what you did. Or rather, with how you did it. I think you did right to try to avoid needless death, but doing so in secrecy when we are already so tense and doubtful was not the wisest course.>

    Cadell

    <I had to, Líadan. Either I went in secret, or not at all. Baldhart would never have condoned this if I had asked her permission. I am just doing my best to protect the company, especially Catli. Is that so hard for people to accept?>

    I urge Llucheden forward again, lapsing into silence.

    Líadan

    I do not answer him. Can we truly be called a company anymore? Should I even include myself with the rest of them? I made no oath regarding Catli; Cadell is my only reason for being here in the north. Without him at my side, what do I have left?
     
  6. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    The sound becomes clearer, rhythmic crunches and thumps. Horse. As if she had read my mind the woman call's the knight's name, speaking in their elvish language. I hear his reply and only his, not Ankari's. Makes sense, they wouldn't bother to talk in elvish if he was also around. Names, a lot of them, even mine.

    [​IMG]
    ((Damn, wasting good rolls...))

    Taking advantage of the enchanted sandals I climb the tree I've been hiding behind and watch them from my perch. I can make out more names, but that's all the information I can get from them. The self-righteous knight seems angry as ever, yet the woman remains calm as she talks to him. Squeamish as she is, she would have some other reaction if she learnt of a confrontation between the knight and the ranger. They ride away, self-centered as always, and I stay quiet until I can't hear the horse anymore.

    What, now?

    I know the gnoll's general direction and I know the ranger is unharmed, safe from the two elves. It was my main concern. Although... why not come a little closer now I'm here? I climb down and study my surroundings, paying special attention to the way the knight came.

    [​IMG]
    ((Oh. Curious.))
     
  7. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron

    Seems like I have moved quickly, and the rest of the group is in disarray.
    I take down the marker and walk along the edge of the ocean watching for Baldhart and any sign of danger.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Aliron

    The night remains cold and relatively dark, with cold spray carried up along the cliffs by the action of the waves and wind rushing in from the sea. You see no sign of danger, and no sign of Baldhart as yet.

    Mauve

    You are able to follow the path further west. After a few minutes you hear the faint babbling of a stream, which you come upon shortly thereafter. The hooves turn north, moving along the bank of the stream. That is the way Cadell came from.

    Liadan & Cadell

    Riding back into Arendal, the village is much the same as when you left it. Villagers patrol in widely spaced-apart groups of two - or at least they were until they heard the sound of hoof beats. Just as you come within range of town, two patrols have already gathered, weapons out, and are taking up what passes for a defensive stance, eyeing your direction warily (your elven sight allows you to see them before they see you). A third patrol is running up the street to join them.
     
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  9. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Cadell

    I resist the urge to roll my eyes at the sight of armed patrolmen looking in our general direction, and raise the white napkin, still clutched in my gauntlet-hand, as I continue forward. My real hand is occupied with the reins; I have no intention of reaching for my weapon. As if I were foolish enough to do so.

    Liadan

    I watch the patrolmen in silence, my hands still around Cadell's waist and nowhere close to my bow. I truly hope they don't see fit to attack us; it would be a shame to Cadell, not to mention the company, to shed more of Arendal's blood on the way back from a parley.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Liadan & Cadell

    The village men relax visibly when they get a good look at you. One man lets out a deep breath, and puts his arm down to one side, trying to cover a slight tremble as he grips his weapon.

    Another man punches his companion in the arm and says "Told ya. Them gnolls don't have no horses."

    They go back to their patrols.
     
  11. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Now she thinks she's a tracker!

    Fresh water.

    Fresh?

    I cup my hands and take some of it, sniffing before taking a sip. Straightening myself I resume my pursuit, seeking the trees and shadows whenever it's possible and keeping my ears pricked for company.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron
    Aliron continues to walk back to town. Watching for danger or signs of trouble.
    [if he reaches town, he will head to the boat.]
     
  13. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    In the woods

    (I'm taking the liberty of splitting from #1027. I'll not do it by PM because I believe this solo trek will last quite a time.)

    It has been a while since this thought first sneaked inside my mind. I don't know when it started, but I often caught myself questioning my own choices, my view of the world. 'Does she really need to die? Is she really insane?' What a zealot I was, pushed by the fear of the unknown. It was before I had my first taste of the corruption, before I glimpsed its true nature. Now I know better, I can see it. I can see the reasons and the path ahead is clear.

    I need to discover more. Understand. Gather knowledge. Gather power. Where a road closed, one opened. Dangerous, dark. I am the only one who cares about our world, and I am one of the few that can take this path. How fitting. I look over my shoulder, checking if I'm being followed, trying to walk silently.

    [​IMG]

    Not that they care. I could die tomorrow and no one would mourn me. They just take a particular relish on controlling me and getting on my way. Among our company I was the only one who didn't pursue a selfish objective. I just want to put an end to the suffering, so we would see no more Gaels, Mauves and Aurores, no more Aslaugs and Burnbrights. I want justice. It's not for me, I don't expect to live happily after, I have nothing to lose, nothing to gain. It's the irony at its best.

    I look ahead, walking towards the trail, seeking it. I have until the morning to find the gnolls, watch them and learn.

    [​IMG]

    If I'm caught? Improvise. I've become quite good at it.
     
  14. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Somewhere in the forest

    (Continuing from almost the above point.)

    "...fine. Now stop following me." I shrug and turn my back to the elf, resuming my own little trek. After a while, I glance over my shoulder and prick my ears to company.

    [​IMG]

    I suppress a yawn. The sunrise isn't far now, if it's not raising already. Almost two full nights of no sleep. I feel like crap. No, I'm close, I can complain and sleep later. Almost there.

    Once I reach the stream I keep moving, following the water and looking for signs of their goblin-on-warg scouts, only to avoid them. I need to get closer, really close. Carefully...

    [​IMG]
    ((Now I'm surprised. A good stealthy roll? Mauve?))
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  15. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    "The sun isn't long from shining it's merciful light upon this blasted lands. I fear closing my eyes. Sleep stalks me like a black-coated wolf, silent in it's incessant hunt."

    I run my thumb along the axe's edge, appreciating the sharp pain as it cuts past the numbness. "I do not follow you because of your magic. Truth: I am bored and need company. When the sun rises, it will reveal what side the gnolls have taken. Where are you going, anyway?"
     
  16. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    ((It seems he would talk to her way before the stream, so leave this DEX roll for later.))

    "Hah." Pretty, if not poetic words. Do they practice in front of a mirror everyday; is this why I am so worse at expressing myself? I grin. "Yes, I am also exhausted. No, my body is, my mind is still pretty awake.

    "I doubt you are following me merely for the joy of my company. You don't even keep a conversation, you dodge questions like a... fearful tiny hare! You are curious at best, wondering to what misdeed I am up this time. Very well." I turn to him and make a little bow. "I am going to a place you can not go, do something you are unable to, seek the knowledge that was repeatedly denied to me. I grew tired of feeding of little breadcrumbs, ranger. It is, certainly, not working well."

    I wave a hand at him. "Go find a safe place and sleep. You not only stink but you look awful now. You need the rest." I pause, cocking my head to the side, then walking the remaining distance between us. His hand is huge in my own, cupped hands, and I wait the moment he'll jerk away from me with a mischievous expression. "You cut your finger. Look, if it troubles you that much I shall return and wake you up."
     
  17. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I shake her hand and keep a firm hold until she pulls away. "Although you have not asked, I will dispense my advise. Power is currency. Like any precious metal, the quest for it is self-defeating. To gain it, you lose a part of your soul. Once in possession, you fear to lose it, hoarding it against the envious hands that partake in the same quest as you. Fear of its loss will worm into your heart, consume your thoughts, and demand your constant attention. With power in your hands, you become brittle, weak, and weighed down by chains. True power comes from independence. Freedom.

    "Our party does not grasp this. They cling to their cultural identities and false deities. You and I are similar in our freedom of societal constraints. The only difference is you have chosen a path that thrives on power. I'm not asking you to step off that path, but follow it on its natural coarse. To hack a path through the choked wilderness may uncover a threat beneath the bushes." I kiss the back of her hand, then grip her hand in both of mine. "Be on your way, little mage. I can take the hint. I will rest here, in this spot. If you would be so kind, return to me when the sun rises and wake me if I'm asleep."

    I let her hand go and lean against the nearest tree. Maybe I've been going about this wrong. Well, not with the priest, or Calexa. Or the gnolls. I close my eyes and fold my hands over the symbol of Aslaug. Sacrifices and scars.
     
  18. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    I can't help but giggle when the elf doesn't flinch. He holds my hand; he even kisses it! Nodding, I squeeze his hand a little and reply in a gentle voice, "I understand. I shall keep your words in mind." Little does he know.

    He sends me on my way and I resume my walk, pausing for a moment and scratching my head. "Do not linger here, sleep somewhere further in the forest." I tuck a handful of hair behind my ear and point to a side, glancing at the ranger. "My trail could be followed back to you. I am perfectly aware of my lack of talent in any sneaking related situation and I doubt I do not leave trails." With a second nod, I return to my own quest, pondering his words.

    The ranger became hard to read, no matter how much I tease him I can't squeeze out some of his familiar violence. I can understand the frustration, the suspicion, the hatred, but not this apparent kindness. Kindness. Or is he finally playing this game of lies and he's a hell of a player? Curious.

    ((Now the stream and sneaking part posted above can take place.))
     
  19. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Early in the morning, if not pre-dawn

    I spit a leaf while I skip a step or two, trying to not slow down. I swear I can be heard within miles and my tired, stiff body isn't helping, nor is this stupid undergrowth tugging at my clothes and whipping my face.

    Could I get the bottle out while running? ...no, stupid idea. What the hell, Mauve?

    I need to find him. I need to wake him up. I giggle, barely believing what I've just accomplished, until I trip and almost fall face-first. Focus!

    ((If the ranger can be located somewhere near he was last seen: ))

    Finally slowing down, I come to a halt at Ankari's side, crouching to shaking him. "Wake up, wake up!" I retrieve the bottle and take a generous sip, welcoming the momentary warmth the wine lends to my limbs, and push it in his hands. "It's past time to go!" Grabbing his arm I pull him up with me. "Come, they're moving!"
     
  20. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    A violent shake destroys the numbing bliss of sleep. My hand falls to my axe. Mauve's voice. She's saying something important, but words from a better time, spoken from a better man, evaporate with consciousness, and I struggle to remember.

    I stumble forward, angry at the twist of fate, at the shattering of forgotten peace. When her words pierce the haze, I stiffen. "What do you mean 'they're moving'? Who?"
     
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