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The Winds of Ysgard - Part One

Discussion in 'Winds of Ysgard' started by Nimue, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    Bendalitz felt no need to scribble down the features of Loke. One would struggle to forget them anyway. He quickly packed away his writing utensils and strode over to him, dagger showing.

    "Loke, it seems," he said. "Well, I suppose the Druid could little have chosen better if searching for a warrior ... or a poet."

    Truth, with regards to the warrior part at least. Years ago, it had been, but Bendalitz was not one to forget. When the two of them found themselves so strangely brought together, beneath the strong walls of an elven castle, with eyes on one target. Quite the fighter, Loke had shown himself. Bendalitz was not.
     
  2. DMThaane

    DMThaane Sage

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    Loke flashed a half smile at Bendalitz. "Well, we all have our skills."

    He had slain many elves that day but it had been Bendalitz who had finally gotten them within the castle walls. By the end of it he had lost many of his Raiders and few he called friend but the elves had lost someone more important, not to mention the castle itself. It had been a good trade.

    He turned back to the brash huntress–Addison, she'd called herself–and walked forward, the crowd parting between them with ease.

    "My name is Loke," he said, bowing his head slightly. "But I am called many things by many people. As to my fame, well, I am no Farrun Dragonrider." He gestured at the famous hero. "But I killed many elves and wrote many poems and so I am well known."

    He glanced at the boy, Einan. Iridheen, he realised. He had fought alongside Iridheen. He still considered this a human matter but an ally was always a welcome thing.

    He turned back to Addison, his mouth curved in a warm smile but his eyes curious and watchful. "I would not worry about social courtesy. Heroes are forgiven such things and the names of those chosen here will already be echoing out across the Western Kingdom."

    And how would they react, those who had never sought such things? Fame was akin to a length of rope. It could be used to reach many places and to secure many things but it could also tie a person down. Not to mention how readily it could be turned into a noose.
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison smiled at Loke, and gave a nod in response to the bow. Me hands ain't free to curtsy, and he's hardly the type for want o' that. When he spoke of killing, she found it an odd way to introduce oneself. But when the man turned away, she simply said to her relatively sane allies, "Get a good look at his back. If we make enemies, you can expect to see his back as he makes himself the impassible wall to any who mean you harm."

    She turned to the Dragonrider whose name was, in fact, Dragonrider.

    "If it comes to that, Sir Dragonrider, don't expect me to be the damsel in distress. Troia either, I bet, but speaking for meself I got me arrows, axe, and something fancy under me cloak. Me surname means 'warrior,' but I ain't exactly that. Me battles've been against beasts. A wyvern, once. People once, too. But any killing I did that day, it wasn't people. I have a way o' stopping a man without killing him, if you're interested in discussing it later."

    She turned to Eamon. "What I'm most interested in discussing later is the beastspeaking Farrun mentioned. With Ari here, I can maybe figure it out. Faster, if you'll teach me--or maybe just a few pointers, if lessons is asking too much. I'll admit I don't really know what I'm getting meself into. I'm quite sure beastspeaking lessons ain't it. I'm also quite sure that, whatever it is you want from me, you got me this close to a dragon, a rider, and the freedom-fighter queen herself. I know I want to be a part of it. Few things I've been more certain about than this."
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  4. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Farrun waded up through the crowd behind the last three chosen companions, trying to keep track of the tension and alliance that was passed from one person to another. He resisted the urge to put a quelling hand on everyone's shoulder.

    "Questions and introductions are better done where it's quiet," he said mildly. And in private, before the audience picks up on the disagreement here. "For now, if you can all face the crowd--"

    "Don't forget this man." That was Eamon's voice, quavery but distinct.

    Farrun turned to see who he was pointing at--the well-dressed Dunman talking to Loke.

    "Bendalitz?" Farrun cried, startled.

    Hala will kill me, was his first, not entirely rational, thought. He's needed here... Isn't he?

    Nevertheless, he held out his arm for Bendalitz to join them, trying to hide his confusion. He glanced covertly up at the queen, but she was too far away, and too impassive, for him to make out her expression.

    "There you are, together, and I can rest," Eamon said, a look of profound satisfaction on his lined face. He turned and gestured imperiously to the footmen, who opened the great doors, and the druid disappeared inside.

    Farrun took that moment of quiet to turn to the crowd and shout, "We have our companions!" There was another great roar, and not too much disappointment on the faces of those nearest. He felt a great gust as Thoros unfolded his vast bronze wings and lunged into the air, gaining height as he battered the rooftops with his downdraft. Farrun glanced back and saw him circling over the hall.

    And I can rest, echoed back to him in Thoros's lazy voice.
     
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    As the old druid no longer needed Addison's arm, she purposely took her place at Loke's side. She momentarily let her palm gently touch the man's forearm. In part, as a friendly gesture, and in part to make sure her appearance at his side does not surprise him. Though I suspect his eye is keener than those of the Queensguard.

    She concentrated on her curtsy this time. I think I finally got that one right. She gave the crowd a pleasant smile.
     
  6. DMThaane

    DMThaane Sage

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    Loke watched the crowd, their disappointment and excitement. Everyone so caught up in emotion. And why not? It was still a dazzling picture, after all, and it gave them hope that any among them could turn out to be heroes.

    And so he smiled, and he watched, and he tried to ignore a feeling half-remembered from a dream. The feeling that he was staring into a dragon's maw and that it would swallow him whole. Well, at least something of the dream had been answered. He was, indeed, falling. But it was only because he had leapt.

    "And now we can die happily," he muttered. "For as fools or heroes, we shall all now live forever."
     
  7. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    When the Druid said his name Bendalitz grinned almost like a madman, joining his new comrades without a single solitary hint of hesitation. Thank the Gods, Eamon did choose him. A good thing he did, else Bendalitz would have had to arrange a purely coincidental run-in with the group, say, a few days after setting off. Better this way, for him to be remembered truly as one of Farrun's fabled companions.

    He turned to the Caernishwoman apparently named Addison and leant in. "I do not believe we are acquainted, and since it seems we have wound up in the same little battalion, we probably should be. My name is Bendalitz Agrippen. I don't suppose they know me in the Caern, do they?"
     
  8. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard was content to stay silent as the others spoke, still nursing the feeling that he was getting in way over his head. It was a very disparate group the Druid had chosen -- some known far and wide, from the sound of it, and others of little or no renown. The gods certainly had strange ways of working. He folded his arms, looking quietly between his fellow travelers-to-be.
     
  9. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison replied to the one member the group she had yet to speak to.

    "Pleasure. Addison Lane's me name. Don't know if you had a chance to pen that onto your paper yet. As for what they know in Caern, you're asking the wrong Caernishwoman. I've spent more o' me nights under the stars than under a roof, or at least that's been the case for the past seven years. I'm not even sure how many in Caern know o' me."

    The word battalion in particular caught the Huntress' attention, but heeding Farrun's words, she decided to speak of such matters outside the public eye.

    "So what about you, then? You work closely with the queen, as Farrun does. Perhaps I can count on you to educate me regarding formalities. Can't promise I'll be good at 'em, but I think the crowd liked me curtsy. Been years since I last curtsied--'til after hearing talk o' the wolf-queen and a dragon-rider at the inn. I practiced in front o' the mirror for an hour at least. Didn't know I'd be receiving an invitation, else I'd've saved the guards a bit of embarrassment."
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  10. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Troia rested her hand on Ari's back as she and Einan joined their new group, her heartbeat thumping in what seemed her throat. She glanced from one new companion to another, taking in their names and looks--and hopefully something of their personalities. If she was being thrown into a journey with these people, she at least wanted to know what exactly she was getting herself into.

    Beside her, Einan shifted, one hand resting on the hilt of his belt knife. Typical. Troia snorted, and his expression of stubborn resentment broke as he glanced at her with one eyebrow raised. That rash temper of his would land him in trouble someday, and Troia winced at the thought, knowing that with him, it wouldn't be anything other than big trouble.

    With a final glared tossed at Einan, she turned to Rikhard and put a hand on his shoulder. "How're you holding up? You look a little dazed."
     
  11. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard turned as a hand came down on his shoulder, and smiled wanly at Troia's words. "Just trying to fathom how I ended up being a part of all this. It's a bit more than I bargained for when I came here." Had Caradoc and Eoran known about this? That could be why they'd led him here. Or perhaps they simply thought he'd be better off among his own kind than among the elves. Who could say?
     
  12. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    Bendalitz chuckled and cast a glance at Farrun, before returning to Addison. "I don't think either Farrun or me have ever truly mastered the court habits. My bow is shoddy at best." He now looked up at the Queen, giving something of a wave. "That's why I prefer not to bow at all."
     
  13. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Troia looked curiously at Rikhard. "Not to pry, but why did you come here?"

    Ari shot out from under her hand and wove his way between the two of them. Troia opened her mouth to call him back to heel, but then she saw that he was looking up at Rikhard expectantly, tail wagging.

    "Gods, but he's taken a shine to you," she said, chuckling. "He wants you to pay more attention to him."
     
  14. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard chuckled, and obligingly rubbed Ari's soft ears as he responded to Troia. "I was brought here by two rangers from Iridhe -- brothers named Caradoc and Eoran. They found me half-starved and lost in the wilds, and shared their food and clothing with me." He didn't particularly feel like delving into how he'd ended up on the mainland at all.
     
  15. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    "Iridheen elves?" Einan asked, his full attention snapping to Rikhard. A strange, urgent sense of excitement was suddenly rushing in his blood. "What were they like?"

    Self-consciously he reached up and touched the pointed tip of one ear, an action made familiar by years of habit. Those pointed ears were the only parts of him that were even remotely elvish.
     
  16. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    "They were good people," said Rikhard, turning to Einan. "Very skilled in the ways of the wild, and not stingy about sharing their knowledge. They saved my life." It was more kindness than he had seen since... a long time ago.
     
  17. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Einan didn't respond, and Troia recognized that far-off look in his eyes. Sometimes he did that. They'd be talking, laughing, spending time with friends in the village hall, and in the middle of everything Einan would just...pull out. She'd look over at him and he'd be staring at nothing, eyebrows drawn together in deep thought...or sadness.

    As always, it was her job to shake him out of it. "You know," she said, touching his elbow, "we should introduce ourselves to the others and see if we can talk with them as well. We've barely paid them any mind at all."

    "Mm?" Einan blinked, looking as if he were surfacing from very deep water. "Oh. Yes."
     
  18. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison contemplated how she ended up between the two warriors. The younger chosens were near-obscured by Loke's girth. Troia's overhead words silenced a budding concern the group would divide into factions. If we divide into combat lines, then yes, I'm in me place.

    She replied to Bendalitz, "If it's all the same to you, I prefer to keep practicing me curtsy. Every beast has its rituals. Social courtesies heroes are exempt from still apply to me, even if I earned the title in the eyes o' me old boss or I manage to earn it in the eyes o' me new boss. Spend months at a time away from people, you need something to remind yourself you're still one of 'em."
     
  19. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Farrun caught Bendalitz's mad grin and chuckled to himself. *When was the last time he'd seen that look on the man?

    No rest for him, yet. "Follow me, men--and women," he told them, in a lower voice than he had used for the crowd, but still carrying. *He turned to the ivory-inlaid doors as they swung open, wider this time, to admit their entire company. *No one would mind the dog; there were enough hunting hounds and lapdogs roaming the castle.

    He led them through the grave and majestic Haelding Hall, past pillars with gold-leaf designs and heavy-woven chronicle tapestries, and down a side corridor hung with ancient shields and spears, newly polished. *They came to a long room with slanting rafters and niche windows, diamond-paned with ice-thick glass. *All the beams and the fireplace at the far end were ornately carved and decorated with rich, faded color. *A large walnut-wood table sat in the center of the room, surrounded by nine chairs with the old crown seal cut into them.

    A young man in a silver-trimmed russet tunic leapt up from a windowsill as they entered. "Some wine and water, my man," Farrun called to him. "And food." Someone here had to be hungry. *The servingman bowed and left through the other door.

    Farrun sat down at the middle of the table, the windows to his back, and beckoned them to sit. *He rested one elbow on the tabletop, at ease; the crisp linen of his sleeves and the crimson of his tunic flared against the dark wood.

    "My name is Farrun Ramshorn," he said, his tone acknowledging that most of them knew this. *"Call me by it--I need no 'Sir's or 'Dragonrider's." He gave Addison a crooked smile. *"If you've come from farther away, well, I'm the rider of that bloody great beast you saw out there."

    He leaned back a little, settling himself. *"I don't know what you've heard about the purpose of this journey. We will be looking for dragon eggs in the caverns and ruins of the mountains. The wizards say that Thoros's presence may wake dormant eggs. *Once we leave the gates of Hintercrown, we travel in secret, as best we can. *Hatchlings are vulnerable, and we do not want to lead others to them, or allow them to fall into enemy hands. *Thoros will not stay on the road with us--he will be scouting, flying over as much land as he can cover, both to preserve our secrecy and to see if he can sense wild dragons or egg clutches. Our hopes rest with him, more than anything."

    He paused, his brown eyes running over their faces. "I cannot guarantee that you will become dragonriders. *The Seers know nothing so clear. *But they have seen living dragons, and they have seen every one of you traveling with me."

    "It will not be an easy road. *We will begin in the northern reaches of the Dragonbone Mountains, where Thoros was hatched, and we may travel further north to the Sithlein Mountains. *It is likely that we will meet the Yvalhyn. *I pledge to protect every one of you with my life and Thoros's breath, but sometimes...that is not enough."

    He exhaled, and continued in a lighter tone. "Hopefully, we will meet nothing more difficult than summer squalls and muddy roads. There will be a wagon for our supplies, and for shelter in bad weather, but for the most part we will be sleeping rough, and eating traveler's rations. Though Thoros can usually find a deer or two." He smiled, sensing the dragon snoring deep beneath the castle. "Once we reach the mountains, we will go on foot."

    Farrun scratched his beard, thinking that he'd forgotten something. The journey had been on his mind for so long, and now that it was possible all his plans came rushing out, trying to make something solid. "You will be given a purse for your supplies," he said suddenly. "Compensation, to be sure. If you don't have a horse that is used to rough pasturage, one will be provided for you." He ran a hand through his hair, disordering the long dark curls. "You don't need to take this journey," he said finally. "No one will force you. But we need every dragonrider we can find, and the gods have pointed us to you."
     
  20. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison's cross-legged posture appeared quite feminine, though less so as she got her hands on a large piece of meat and tore into it. She caught herself eating as she would in the wild, then dabbed her palm and chin with a napkin. She ate relatively daintily, going forward, and was careful to swallow before speaking.

    "So travel in secret… no crowded streets. This I like. And I don't know if I'll be riding a dragon or raising a baby dragon or what, but Ciardha's path's full o' turn I ain't expected, and following it's done me good. If I get me a dragon, so be it. 'Til then, a horse'll be plenty generous.

    "I got plenty o' skins, though me breelwing armor's most appropriate if I need to store the rest o' me armors. I will need to stop at the inn to get me axe. It's irreplaceable. You'll be glad it's in me hands if we're ever in a spot, so while we're pledging, here's mine to all o' you.

    "Me axe, me bow, me shockers—traps, I mean—and me knowledge o' the wilderness is what I bring to the table to keep all o' you alive. Don't expect me to hide behind the strongest if we're in a spot. I ain't killed a person nor do I want to, but I've slain a wyvern, just one mind you. I mention it not to brag, but to make it clear I won't be hiding behind the strongest if we're in a spot. I'll fight at their sides."

    She decided to keep concerns of overprotective men to herself for now, and simply added, "Farrun, I can be quiet enough if you need me as a scout, too. Trust in me skills as a Huntress, and you won't regret it. Maybe me and one o' the young ones if you prefer scouts pairing up.

    "Whatever danger lies ahead, seems there's more danger if we don't get those eggs. I ain't being forced. I'm in."
     
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