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The Winds of Ysgard - Part One

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

  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "I'm a wyvern-slayer," Addison said. "It's a title I earned from slayin' a wyvern, and I slain plenty of other beasts. But what I ain't been until tonight was a man-slayer!

    "And let me tell ye who y'are to me. Y'are the one who forced me hand. Ye forced me to kill a man. And another and another. Was it worth doin' this to me?"

    Addison raised her blade slightly, in case she would need to bring it down on the man. But she wouldn't if she didn't have to, she told herself.

    "Killin' three men or four don't make no difference. I hate ye more than I hate the ones I killed. So if ye mean to breathe the same air as me, how about tellin' me about that stupid bag? It ain't about gold and horses when y'are the one with a bag on ye head. What'd been me fate? Me and me friends? Who were ye sellin' us to?"
     
  2. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Chrisania gave the hooded man a little pat on the head and said, "You do not know Rhunon when you see her? You are lucky she is on vacation this day or you may have more than little shock, yes? She is not usually merciful to those who wrong her. But Gerta often bring good fortune to unfortunate, yes?"

    As Chrisania touched the man's head, she projected a brief image into his mind of Addison garbed in nothing but a raging snow storm, the winds of which whipped her fiery hair about wildly as brief flashes of lightning cackled off of her skin, only further punctuating her currently enraged features. When he looked upon Chrisania, he saw her with flowing golden hair and a smile as generous as the curves of her figure. The image was soon gone, the women's normal forms apparently masking their "true" ones, though none but the bandit were able to see it.
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison thoight she better resembled her own goddess, but judging by the brigand's eyes, Chrissy's illusion made Addison a convincing likeness... likely as nude as the artists' depictions.

    Forgive me, Chiardha, I mean no offense to the goddesses. A Huntress backs the moves o' one of her own...

    Addison made her voice more goddess like--more volume, less brogue. "How generous of you, Greta." Addison was a bit impressed with the way she rolled the R in Greta. The acting was calming her storm... but Rhunon was a raging storm. Anger needed to be played up, not down.

    She went on, "You revealed our true forms. Does this mean I am to deliver this irredeemable mortal to the most frigid bowels"--cold bowels? Just run with it, Addy--"of the abyss?"

    She brought down her axe, not on the man's head, but next to him on the side that would not block either 'goddess' from view.

    "Or does this lowlife deserve Smiling Greta's generosity because he is going to confess his sins aloud before his fellow men and woman?" Addison lifted her blade. "Behold!" She pointed out Rikhard and Troia. "These are our faithful servants, Rikhard the Raging Hermit and Troia the Gold Dagger! And coming to their aid--"

    Addison pointed to Farrun with her blade, making like she could hold her axe outward with one arm and leave it like that all day. She figured another five seconds and she'd wince and blow the act. She lowered the axe with feigned ease.

    "--is Captain Nearwalk the Godless Soul Crusher! Even with my true form revealed, he will defiantly walk past me and remove your head for endangering his party. Your soul will be the plaything of the Selkie. If your confession is useful and interesting, you may be able to postpone your eternal suffering."

    A flash of bright, blue sparks sizzled in Addison's hair and blade.

    "Speak, mortal!"
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  4. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    "Addison!" Farrun called again, hearing her somewhere past the row of trees. Her voice wasn't raised in distress, but it wasn't happy neither.

    He shouldered through the pine boughs, every sense alert and magic waiting just a hair below his skin. The scene beyond stopped him in his tracks for a moment, as his dark eyes quickly took in the felled bodies, the scuffle, the patches of blood on the ground. Addison stood with a stained axe, and next to her--was that the same woman from Ilstenford? But he spared her little thought when he saw Rikhard, and the blood that covered his right arm.

    "What in the hells happened?" he boomed, glancing over the surrounding trees for other enemies as he strode towards the injured young man. "Sit," he told Rikhard firmly, seeing how pale he was, and with a hand above the wound, began to stem the worst of the bleeding and pain with a glow of warm light.

    The man in the burlap hood groaned, his eyes flickering from one woman to another. "Oh, have pity, have pity... I've gone mad, that lightnin' turned me mad. We was only goin' to hold you ransom, get that fat purse what Jeralt saw the big man holdin' in the stables. And one or two of them horses. That was Serka's plan, that's all it was, and we wasn't even goin' to harm you or do nothin' with the girls. They put a lower price on your head if you don't kill no one," he added, pragmatically.

    Farrun's jaw tightened as he began to get the picture, but he kept silent and continued healing. It seemed like Addison and the other woman--Chrisana?--had the captive in hand. Though he was beginning to have some ideas of what he'd like to do with the would-be kidnapper.

    "On the gods, that was the plan," the man said plaintively. "If you're the goddess...or her chosen somethin'...you'd know. There was the stranger what had other ideas, but Serka didn't trust 'im and we follow her, you see?"
     
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison decided she had enough killing for one day.

    "Other ideas. Yeah. That's exactly why I was playin' for blood even if ye weren't. Ye live to know it now: a Huntress ain't prey, she's a predator, a beast who'd sooner kill or be killed than be caged. As for ye boss, she had a fool plan. Ye cry for help, trap or no trap, ye get people ready for a fight. I ain't sorry ye mates're dead, but I ain't gonna kill ye if ye up and move when and where we say. I ask ye once. Ignore me, refuse me, I let me blade do the talkin'."

    Addison asked Farrun how to go about escorting crooks to the authorities.
     
  6. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Somewhat relieved to see the extra numbers, Chrisania said, "Ah hello. Come here, we have need of you." as she walked over to Farrun and led him closer to the group.

    Not wanting her words to perhaps ruin the ruse with their prisoner, Chrisania reached out to take Farrun's hand under the guise of leading him along and attempted to project the illusion of her voice into his senses. The magical drain of projecting an illusion onto a single target within direct contact was trivial and it would also allow her to speak without being overheard.

    If he didn't avoid her touch, he heard, "It is good you are here. Your friends have been ambushed by very bad men. We have one we can question, kill, or turn in to guards. Or maybe all of these, yes?" She went on to explain what happened as well as the ruse that she played on the prisoner to help keep him in line and perhaps a bit more talkative.
     
  7. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    He had stopped almost all the bleeding from the cut on Rikhard's arm, and eased the pain of it, but he wanted to thoroughly clean and close it in a safer place, and with more time and attention. "Hold fast," he told Rikhard. "I'll have you patched up when we're back at camp." For now... Farrun rose, and moved towards Addison and the captive, her questions on his mind.

    He was intercepted by the brunette woman from the inn in Ilstenford. Chrisania was her name; he was sure of it now, hearing her accent again. Her touch on his hand surprised him a little, but the spark of magic that flitted from his hand to his head surprised him much more. Before he heard a word of mindspeech he had thrown up a mental shield, strong and simple sorcery.

    A witch as well as a potion-brewer, eh? Farrun had wondered at how quickly the bandits fled, and chalked it up to the sudden slaying of their brothers, but now he reflected on the effect that two women casting magic might have on the outlaws who underestimated them. And perhaps this mind-touch explained the babbling of madness and goddesses from the tied-up man. After that moment of thought, behind his solemn brown eyes, he reached out and gripped Chrisania's wrist, gently removing her hand from his arm.

    "I let no being inside my mind, save one," he said mildly. "And I believe it is common courtesy to warn a man before you attempt to magick him. Unless, I will give you, that man was meaning to steal or kill young folks." He glanced at the wretch moaning on the ground, looking Addison's axe in the eye.

    "Now, I thank you greatly for your help in fighting off the bandits. I am very happy to see everyone alive and well." A great understatement; the possibilities of this attack were just beginning to sink into his brain. "Whatever you have to say to me, I will listen, just in speech and not magic."

    He turned his shoulders to include Addison in what he said next. "I wager a few honest threats would suffice to bring this man with us quietly. If not, it would be easy enough to gag him, tie him over a saddle, and set him to sleep. He'd wake up to see the magistrate," Farrun said, with grim satisfaction.
     
  8. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Chrisania gave a polite bow and spoke in a low voice so has not to be overheard by their prisoner, "I am meaning no harm and intending no more offense than a whisper in ear. Apologies if my actions have been misread or offend you in some way. I will not repeat this thing. I would tell you what has happened if you listen, yes?" She then went on to explain the events leading up to Farrun's arrival with particular concern for the potential return of the bandits (possibly in greater numbers) as well as Addison's apparent shock over the whole thing. She was quite concerned about her "sestra"s behavior, but felt that here and now was not the time or place to deal with it.
     
  9. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison heard Farrun's advice, then turned to her captor. "There's enough lightning in me axe to keep ye still, but if y'are willin' to walk to the magistrate, ye'll get there and with all ye limbs intact, too. I'll even speak for ye and say ye'd no intention o' killin' or mistreatin' a lady—I mean aside from the bag and the rope."

    A part of Addison wondered how deeply she could bury her axe into the bagman's body if she hit him on the top of the head. In her mind, the man was cut in half, noggin to nuts.

    She tried not to think of killing as she glared at the blubbering coward. She had something to say to him about how not to treat a lady, how not to treat an animal... it was probably witty and mildly amusing. Addison's gripped her axe handle as if trying to squeeze the blood out of her weapon. She didn't want to say many words to the man.

    "Move."
     
  10. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard jumped as Farrun approached, and sat obediently to let him tend to the stinging, bleeding wound. He kept his eyes on Addy and the captive, keeping his mouth shut except to thank Farrun. He didn't have anything to say in any case.
     
  11. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    "Thank you for the tale," Farrun said to Chrisania, looking over at the exchange between Addison and the bandit. "Though I'd almost like them to return, so I could let them know what I think of violent cowardice like this." His voice was a dark rumble, echoed in his own head by Thoros's vengeful agreement. The dragon was nearly upon them, and intent on searching the surrounding wood for stragglers. He was not confident of finding any, though, for the springtime forest was a dense canopy from above.

    Addison had just told the bandit to move when a great winged shape cast their clearing into shadow for a moment, before flying on in his search. The hooded captive shrieked, "The wyvern! The wyvern!" before buckling to his knees again.

    I am no wyvern, Thoros growled, thoroughly insulted.

    The thought of stragglers dredged up something in Farrun's mind, and he held out a hand towards Addison, who was bristling at the bandit. "Wait. I'd like to ask him one thing before we march."

    He strode over to the bandit and lifted him from the ground by a handful of his tunic, waiting patiently until the fear-stricken man was standing on his own feet again. Then Farrun held out his other hand palm-up, and a glowing golden rune popped into existence above it. "If you lie to me, the sign will go dark. If you mix truth with falsehood, it will dim. I hope for your sake that it remains bright." It was simple wizardry; he suspected that Chrisania would be able to do something similar, but he wanted to rely on his own casting. The bandit moaned about sorceresses and wizards, but Farrun ignored him.

    "Now," he said, in a deceptively mild tone of voice, "Who was this 'stranger' you spoke of, and what did he want to do with us?"

    "I don't know who he was!" the bandit protested. "Else I would've called him by name! Thin fellow, straw-colored hair, wore dark clothes that looked like they seen better days," he said rapidly, clearly trying to buy mercy with as many words as possible. "He had a weird way of staring at you. You see, he came up to us out behind the inn yard, when Jovan was talkin' about what fat marks you was. Said that there might be more coin in it than that, if we captured one or two of youse and brought you to the right people. He wouldn't say who these people was. Serka said that sounded like a fine amount of trouble, when there was an easy purse to be got right here. Gods' eyes, and she didn't know half the trouble you was," he groaned, keeping a wary eye on the bright rune.

    "Anyway, after that he demanded to be let in for a cut, as he'd heard our plan, and stood his ground when Serka got in his face. So he was along like any one of us. But it looks like he got away clean," the bandit said, with bitter envy. "Least, he ain't dead."
     
  12. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison gave the bandit a look as if she was waiting for an excuse to use the axe. Even the Huntress wasn't sure how much of it was an act. She expected her first human kill would be followed by tears, not... this. She would ask one of the other manslayers about it later.

    For now, it was the bandit who needed a question.

    "Looks like ye sign ain't gone dark yet, but I ain't gonna lower me blade just yet. Now that ye know the cost o' lyin', I got a question. Ye'll consider the others run off and left ye before ye get yeself killed over an honor among thieves principle, if such a thing exists.

    "Serka. Her most likely location. Surely there's a place ye'd all meet if things went amiss. Spill it, or spill ye innards."
     
  13. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    The bandit blinked and sputtered. "A meetin' place? After a rout like this? If we'd been comin' back with gold or hog-tied--" He glanced between them and revised what he'd been going to say. "--loot, we'd've gone to the cave down by the river. Back down that way," he said hastily, jerking his head. Farrun sent a terse mental directive to Thoros, before the bandit spoke his next words. "But Serka won't be there. For one, she'll be right pissed at us men for runnin' off. For another, we don't set plans like that, 'lest somebody talks to the guard or watch." He sounded obscurely proud. "After a while we'll find each other in an inn or tavern in one of the milltowns, and ye group up and go for the next big mark. Sometimes with Serka, sometimes with Grey Narl, sometimes with anybody big enough." The bandit licked his lips, and fell silent again.

    Farrun cast a gimlet eye on the still-bright rune, and stifled a sigh. So they would run, like rats fleeing a pantry through a hundred gnawed holes. Even if Thoros and the party hunted through the night, there was no guarantee that they would come up with any unlucky brigands, not on their home territory.

    "We will tell the magistrate that you were truthful with us," Farrun growled, his grip on the man's tunic slackening for the first time, though he was still firmly bound. "Come with us quietly, and we will deliver you whole."

    The bandit nodded fervently.

    Farrun turned towards Addison for a moment, still keeping the brigand in his field of vision. "I can go alone to Ilstenford," he said in a low voice. "He might go begging and pleading. Depending on what the judge passes down. It'll be easier if you stay at the camp with the others, you and Rikhard and Troia." There was something in her face that made him wonder when the hammer would fall. "Think on it."

    With that, he strode over and offered Rikhard a hand up, meeting Troia's eyes--she was standing tall but shaken. "Back to camp! Thoros will mop up the dregs, if there are any left. Mistress, I'd be obliged if you came with us," he said to Chrisania. "Be safer for you, and I think we'd all like to thank you better."

    He grabbed the bandits' arm again, to march him forward as their small party gathered.
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison said to Farrun, "I'll see everyone gets to camp safe."

    Her words sound brave and bold, but her eyes are moist. She doesn't make eye contact with the bagman. She makes as little eye contact as possible with anyone.

    "Join us, Chrissy. Maybe I can get us a fresh kill on the way."
     
  15. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Chrisania eyed Addison with something between a look of concern and suspicion. She had seen similar looks in others and while it often was just something that required time to pass, some few did descend into madness. Making a silent vow to herself to ensure that it would not be the latter, she said, "Thank you. I would like this."
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    As they headed back to camp, Addison spied a deer. She did not actually see it, but senses his presence. It took little effort for her to send a thought to the deer of a great place to graze. The deer would not feel a thing as her arrow entered his brain.

    As the deer grazed, Addison pointed him out with a silent signal. She let her axe fall to the ground, and the deer did not react. She nocked an arrow. Her right hand was trembling. Not enough that her friends would notice, she was sure, but enough that she needed to take a couple seconds to aim.

    She missed.

    The last time Addison missed a stationary target, she was nineteen. And tired. Since then, she might have missed two animals that were moving. This was her bow for the past seven years. She knew it like she knew her own hand. But her own hand was trembling now. It was useless to fire a second shot. A hit would more likely wound than kill, and she would more likely miss than hit.

    "Troia? Rik? He's yours if ye want him."

    She shouldered her bow. She would give her friends one shot each. If they missed, she would let the deer run.
     
  17. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard shook his head and looked at Troia. He'd be as likely to miss as Addison, with his arm still wounded.
     
  18. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison watched the deer run off. Live.

    "I'm not hungry anyway." She was trying to make light of the situation, but her tone was cold. She forced out half a chuckle, rendering her delivery even less amusing, then picked up her still-bloodied axe and continued toward camp.
     
  19. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    "You should clean zis before it rusts, yes?" Chrisania said gesturing at the ax, "Besides. It comes off easier when wet. I know good cantrip for zis if you need."
     
  20. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison's tone lightened a bit. "I might need that." She was going to wait until camp and talk to Loke of this, but...

    "Ye had a use for it, Chrissy? I mean, the need to get human blood off a blade? I killed bigger and meaner beasts, and fought men, but... I never had to clean human blood off me axe."

    She replayed the battle in her head, this time imagining she didn't finish the shocked men... imagining they'd get back up...
     
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