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Dawn Glory (FR fantasy)

Discussion in 'Creativity Surge' started by Sir Yerril of Morningmist, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. My tale begins, as many will, with an end.

    The thick oaken door shattered like a sheet of glass as it was struck by an almighty blast of force. Magecraft, Gulde thought, it had to be. Nothing else could have wrought such destruction on the forest town of Kulta that he called home. Simple wooden huts blazed red and gold, almost merrily, in an ironic contrast with the surrounding scene of fear and death. Terrified peasantfolk scattered under the hooves of the giant four-legged beasts that had swarmed through the newly-opened portal in the outskirts of town, and wherever they trod the land seemed to whither and decay, melting into hues of brown and black, as if the beasts were beings of pure pestilence. Perhaps they were, but the forester had little time for such ponderings in his current situation.
    He stood in front of his family in his hut, facing the door, and placing himself between them and the horror that strode through the newly altered doorframe. He held his Grandfather’s sword in front of him, a gesture that he knew would do little to shield him from the advancing figure, even from across the room he could feel the sense of raw power and evil that emanated from its form. It was cloaked in thick black robes, emblazoned with mystic sigils of blood red, and they appeared to dance around the figure in waves, as if it was standing atop a windy hillside. It did not stand, but instead floated a few inches off the floor, adding only more height to its tall, broad-shouldered frame. It held a rune engraved staff in one clawed, inhuman hand, and a batlike, scaled figure perched atop its shoulder, its eyes gleaming green, and its barbed tale flicking slowly back and forth.
    The figure strode on midair over to Gulde, grabbed his leather jerkin, and lifted him up off the floor with impossible strength, holding him there until he began to choke. The forester by all rights should have been able to see the face under the hood, but all he could glimpse were some long, pointed teeth, transfixed in a skeletal grin. The scaled bat by now had flapped to a ceiling beam on leathery wings of red-brown, and sat there, watching intently. The robed figure held him there, its victim panting for breath, but showing no signs of any life itself. After a while, Gulde’s sobbing wife could bear it no more.
    “Who are you? What do you want?” she cried. The cowled head jerked down suddenly to regard her, teeth glinting in the darkness of its hood. In one fluid movement, with inhuman speed, the figure hurled the forester to the ground, turned, and pointed its outstretched hand straight upwards. There was a brief flash of light and an immense crash, followed by some squawking from what Gulde assumed to be the scaled creature.
    When the forester dared to open his eyes once more, he found he could see the Sembian plains for miles around. He was lying with his family on what appeared to be the top of a mountain, wind whipping around the stone with a low wailing sound. He mustered the strength to crawl to the edge, and peered over, quickly withdrawing with a gasp as he realised their position. They were on the very top of a huge spire of stone, in the middle of the village, right where their house had once been.
    He turned to attend to his family, his wife and daughter, who sat embracing in the centre of the platform, quietly weeping. As he started towards them, he was startled almost off the edge by the reappearance of the robed figure. It stood in a place that only a split-second ago had been air, between him and his family, with the winged creature back on its shoulder. It spread its arms, and began to speak, in a dry voice that bespoke of endless tombs.
    “Where is…the child…?” Hearing this, Gulde’s daughter bravely rose, and strode defiantly over to the spectre.
    “I am here,” she declared, “you may take me, if you will but leave this village in peace.” The figure looked down at the girl…and laughed. It was not a sound of joy, and happiness, but a twisted perversion of a laugh, that went straight to Gulde’s heart.
    “Child,” it rattled “make no assumption of honour on my behalf. Were I to take thee, there would be little to stop me from destroying this miserable hamlet, and leaving it a decaying swamp. But no, I see there is bravery in thee, beyond thy years. It is not thee I hound, but the other. He of the light, he of the dawn. Pray tell, where would I find him?”
    “You shall never find him!” shouted Gulde, sudden anger and fear welling up inside him, “He is chosen by the gods! He will be a champion of justice, and he shall end your miserable existence!”
    The figure laughed one last time, and then was gone, although his voice remained on the wind, whisperng; “can you be so sure?”
    With that, the tower of stone began to rumble and shake, the forester’s ears were filled with a roaring sound, and his stomach rose with the unwelcome sensation of falling…


    [This message has been edited by Sir Yerril of Morningmist (edited January 15, 2002).]
     
  2. Big B Gems: 27/31
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    [​IMG] Goodness gracious. Good stuff. Do post on.
     
  3. Headbanger Gems: 29/31
    Latest gem: Glittering Beljuril


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    Great starting. DO you have more written already?
     
  4. [​IMG] In a clearing of the woods surrounding Kulta, a young man was hard at work chopping logs on a stump in preparation for the coming winter. He stood at around six feet, and an unruly mop of golden-blonde hair framed his chiselled face. His eyes were a striking blue, a colour that offset the deep green forester’s outfit he wore. He brought the axe down with obvious strength, and his eyes held the impression of a sharp mind, and a large heart.
    His chopping was cut off as a low rumble sounded from the direction of the village. He stood up straight, and listened intently. After a while, faint screams reached his ears, and he gasped softly. Picking up the axe, he sprinted from the clearing.

    High up in the boughs of a tree, two angular green eyes watched him go.

    Yerril arrived at Kulta far too late. He stopped as he cleared the woods, and staggered in disbelief. His axe dropped, forgotten from his hands, as he stared at the blackened ruins before him. Throughout the ruined streets and smoking huts not a flash of green showed anywhere; all around the landscape was scorched, charred, and rotting. Flies swarmed angrily over what were once flowerbeds, but now had been reduced to miniature swamps. There were no signs of life, save for a lone dog, barking atop the blackened pile of timber that had once been the shrine to Silvanus, the great oak father. Perhaps most confusing of all was the large pile of granite that lay where once had been his home, as if a tower had collapsed in on itself. He stood on the hilltop overlooking the ruins of the village for a while, until, tears beginning to flash in the corner of his eyes, he called out to the sky;
    “What has happened here? Where are my family?”
    A voice answered from the forest behind, startling him, a voice that was at once light and deadly serious.
    “You shall not find them in this place, young one,” it spoke.
    “If not here, then where?” asked the young man, still to the world at large, although the slowly creeping feeling of dread answered the question for him.
    “One day you will join them, when your purpose is fulfilled, and you grow weary of this life, but until that day, your kindred are lost to you,” spoke the voice, in a tone that betrayed great sympathy.
    “Who are you, who presume to know my purpose?” shouted Yerril angrily, whirling to face the trees behind him. He was met with only trees, and silence.
    “Show yourself! I command you!” he bellowed, tears now streaming openly down is face. After a brief pause, a slender figure began to detach itself from the gloom of the forest. It was clad in black leather, with a long curved blade of deepest red at the hip. The pointed ears and angular features of the newcomer betrayed his identity; an elf.
    “Very well, human, as you command,” the slender elf retained his patient tone. “I am Nimbule, of the great Amakiir family, although you may refer to me merely as ‘Nim’. And you, I presume, are Yerril, son of Gulde. Well met.”
    Yerril continued to stare for a few seconds longer, then gave up, flopped to the ground, and began to weep openly. Nim remained standing, and continued to speak.
    “Little remains for you here, child. I suggest you move on. Find a niche for yourself, perhaps a shopkeeper, or an adventurer, even. Life can throw anything at us at any time, and that is what it makes it so glorious; the endless random chaos of it all. It may not seem glorious at the moment, but given time, you will come to appreciate its full magnificence.”
    “But…what of my family, my village?” asked Yerril.
    “Do not fear for them, they are happy together in a place far better than this world we inhabit. Turn your thoughts away from loss and grief, and focus instead on new beginnings, a bright new dawn.” Yerril raised his head slightly and smiled weakly at the now broadly grinning Nim.
    “Sound advice, friend elf, will you not join me on the journey I must undertake”
    “No, child, I have duties elsewhere, and I must go. I leave you with my best wishes, and one final piece of advice. The road to Marsember is dangerous, full of bandits and worse. Do not travel unarmed.”
    Yerril jerked his head up, about to ask why the elf had mentioned Marsember, but once again he was greeted by nothing but silence and trees. He sat for a while longer, turning his options over and over in his agile mind. Finally, he came to the conclusion that there was little he could do but follow the elf’s advice. Sighing resignedly he picked up his axe, and set off to the north.

    High up in the boughs of a tree, two angular green eyes watched him go.
     
  5. Big B Gems: 27/31
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    [​IMG] "Find a niche for yourself, perhaps a shopkeeper, or an adventurer, even. Life can throw anything at us at any time, and that is what it makes it so glorious; the endless random chaos of it all. "

    Heh, I like it.
     
  6. OoC1: Big B, are you mocking me? :D ;)

    It was one day later, on the road to the Way of the Manticore, that Yerril encountered his first problem: food. The flat, featureless plains around him offered little sustenance, and although there were black clouds above him, they showed no sign of rain. He was beginning to feel the strain of the long slog in the chill autumn wind. The young man was sloping along a cobbled way heading due west, and the road stretched out for miles before and behind him, punctuated by the occasional emaciated tree, its leaves brown and wet in the oppressive, muffling air. He still carried his heavy axe, but it had seen no action – Yerril had not seen a soul since he had left Kulta, and he was beginning to debate the wisdom of carrying it along. And now, with his head aching and slurred from dehydration, the prospect of ditching the weapon seemed all the more pleasant.
    At around midday, he was pleasantly surprised, when a small patch of evergreens broke the monotony of the road. It was here that he sat down to rest, and scramble among the roots in search of mushrooms, to perhaps provide a small amount of nutrition. He started to build a campfire, but gave up when it began to rain, gradually at first, but soon escalating into sheets. Yerril sat in a hollow under a tree, and thought of the events that had led his life to this point, and if it were not for his silent contemplation, he would not have heard the noise. It was a low yapping noise, like that of a dog, and it was answered by a growl from somewhere nearby.
    His blood pumping in nervous tension, Yerril slowly rose, picked up his axe, and, offering a silent message of thanks to Nim, crept off in the direction of the barking sounds.

    OoC2: Sorry, not much today, I've been Energy Drained by a Vampiric Day At School. Keep replying, people, otherwise I can't continue...
     
  7. Big B Gems: 27/31
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    [​IMG] No I am not mocking you :p. I seriously like it ;).
     
  8. zaknafein Guest

    this is good i say. excellent even
     
  9. He reached the road without incident, the air tense and silent, the cobbled way as unchanged as ever. He glanced back behind him warily, and returned to the relative safety of the tree. Thankfully, he chose to place his axe across his knees, so when the screaming red demon hurled itself from the branches of the tree opposite him, he could bring it up in just enough time to shield his head from the blow that followed.
    He sprang to his feet, his woodsman’s axe gripped in two hands, his blood plumping hard. The horned monster picked itself groggily up from where it had landed, and brandished its short sword. It came on warily, waving its blade menacingly, then just as Yerril was about to inexpertly attack, it sprang back, and barked something that the youth hoped was not a call for reinforcements. It said a lot for Yerril’s luck when three more of the demons stepped out from behind the trees.
    Yerril sighed frustratedly, and bellowing at the top of his lungs, charged at the original red figure. If the little monster was scared, it didn’t show it. It stood there regarding him, sword arm by its side, until the charging youth was almost upon it. At this point, it ducked and rolled underneath him, viciously stabbing up as it went. Yerril collided against a tree, his angry charge diminished, and a bright crimson stain slowly spreading across his jerkin. The demon stood there smiling, holding high its bloodied sword triumphantly, and its three friends joined in him in mocking laughter.
    Yerril lay against the tree, struggling for breath, as the captain advanced slowly, its weapon raised for the final killing blow. He watched it approach; tongue flicking across tiny pointed teeth, eyes glinting with dark malice. For one of the first times in his life, Yerril felt fear. The fear uniquely encountered when the odds are stacked against you, and there’s nothing you can do to change them. He glared into the monster’s round, black eyes with defiance he did not feel, and all of sudden, they were gone.

    Yerril blinked in surprise. Before him stood the headless body of the demon, still standing, and swaying slightly in the breeze, and behind it stood the cause for its sudden loss of life. Still clad in his black leathers, stood Nim, a voracious grin on his angular face, and his crimson sword aloft in his hand.
    He leaned in close, and winking conspiratorially, handing the beleaguered young man a round phial of blue liquid.
    “I had a feeling you would be needing this!” he whispered. Yerril recognized the potion as a potion of healing, similar to the ones he had once seen on a shelf in the shrine of Silvanus. Gratefully he uncorked the bottle, and tipped it down his parched throat. He grimaced in fresh pain as his wound began to sizzle and repair, new flesh filling in the gap the demon had created. He sighed and flopped back against the tree, confident that Nim could handle the other three, who were still standing gawping at their beheaded leader.
    Sure enough, the elf winked once more, and sprang off. The monsters had forgotten their shock now, and anger was stamped all over the faces. They snarled as Nim ran straight at them, and readied their blades for the inevitable collision…that never came. A split second before he was in range, Nim leaped high into the air and straight over the heads of the waiting demons, with such incredible speed that Yerril had to shake his head to make sure he wasn’t seeing things.
    As soon as the agile elf landed, he span on his heel, and plunged his curved blade into the back of the nearest creature. It collapsed off his blade onto the wet ground, just as his two allies realised the location of their foe, and raised their blades once more. Nim laughed aloud, and brought his own blade around with a precise whipping motion, sending the two swords catapulting across the clearing. The two demons clutched burning hands, and glancing at each other in fear, sprinted off in the opposite direction, yapping in fear.
    “Oh no you don’t!” Nim shouted, and swiftly drew two throwing daggers from his boots, sending them whirling end over end to plant themselves in the monsters’ backs with two simultaneous thudding noises. The doglike creatures collapsed in a pile of arms and legs, and were still. Nim sighed, and sheathed his sword.
    “Kobolds,” he called to Yerril, “could they be any more irritating?”

    The elf was out on the road and strolling nonchalantly westward by the time the panting youth caught up with him.
    “What was that?” Yerril gasped, “Where did that come from? You never told me you could do…that!” Nim considered him coolly, a bedraggled, mop haired youth, lungs heaving from the short run to catch up.
    “Our meeting was brief, young one,” he replied, “and I felt it necessary to include only the important details. As for my skill with the blade, let us just say that a century and a quarter is a long time to practice.” Yerril merely gaped, his mouth hanging open. Nim winced, and rolled his eyes.
    “I see that my pet goldfish has become hungry,” he said, reaching for his pack, and passed the youth a leg of cold chicken. “Here, indulge your rumbling stomach, but pray, shut your yawning mouth!”
    Yerril grabbed the chicken gratefully, and the pair began to walk on. After a minute, Yerril spoke, his mouth full of food, spraying the elf with spit, causing another wince and roll of the eyes.
    “Tell, me, friend Elf, what is that blade you carry?” Yerril pointed to the crimson sword at the mysterious elf’s hip. Nim obligingly drew his curved blade, and examined it lovingly.
    “She…she is a katana.” Seeing Yerril’s baffled face, Nim added; “a sword from far off Calimshan. She will freeze the blood of all who offend her. She is temperamental, mind, none but the most dedicated swordsmen will she allow to wield her.”
    Yerril looked sceptical. “So…what is it you use her for, then?”
    Nim smiled. “She is the tool of my trade. Humans call it – although I detest such a blunt and ugly word – Assassination.”
    The horrified expression on the young man’s face told Nim that this, truly, was the one he sought.
    “Fear not, O noble one,” he explained, “my motives are pure. I would not dream of mercilessly ending life for the sake of gold. Indeed, such a mercenary attitude is abhorrent to me.” Yerril’s face betrayed his relief, and the elf continued.
    “My issues are with those who would seek to oppress, to restrict. It is my belief that all who walk under the sun should have freedom, and I make it my personal business to…dispose with any one who would impede this freedom. Slavery rings, heartless lords, all have fallen beneath my blade. She shares my love, and delights in the downfall of the tyrant.”
    “A just cause, Nim,” Yerril replied as the elf resheathed his katana, “but, do tell, why are you still here? Surely your “business” calls for you to travel to far and distant places in search of freedom. Why do you remain with me?”
    When the assassin replied, his face once again wore that infectious grin.
    “At this point in time, young one, your arrival at Marsember is more important than the downfall of a thousand dictators. That is why I remain.”

    OoC: Keep posting, or I can't continue!

    Edit: Marsember is west, not east!

    [This message has been edited by Sir Yerril of Morningmist (edited January 18, 2002).]
     
  10. Namuras Gems: 13/31
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    Well, well, well... This is a nice one! Do continue!
     
  11. zaknafein Guest

    excelent. keep it up
     
  12. They continued along the cobbled way for several days more, until the road started to widen, and the landscape started to acquire features. Yerril began to notice trees at more frequent intervals, and the ones he saw now had something more to them than the trees he had grown used to in Sembia. Perhaps it was the fact that they retained their leaves so late in the year, or perhaps it was the incredible colours they displayed; reds and golds to make an elfmaiden look bland, as Nim so tactfully put it. The young man also began to notice a change in the lay of the land. For the first time in over a week, the road was beginning to slope up and down. Yerril had never thought he would be so pleased to see a hill.
    As the road grew broader and broader, they were joined by merchant caravans from the small villages surrounding Daerlun, oftentimes a whole family temporarily migrating to the city to sell their goods. They all carried their wares in open carts: wool, grain and timber, and as the convoy gradually increased in size, the barren land Yerril had travelled through was slowly converted to a mobile town. Merchants held shouted conversations from opposite sides of the road, and children ran giggling and shouting between slowly rotating cart wheels and plodding horse hooves. Yerril found that the oddity of an elf travelling partner was more than enough to get a free ride on the back of a cart, providing that Nim told the children magnificent stories of his forest homeland.
    So it was that Yerril found himself in a grain cart full of children, listening intently to a particularly riotous tale of the downfall of an evil goblin king, courtesy of the extravagant Nim, and descending a steep hill to the gates of Daerlun.

    Gazing around, Yerril could see two or three other roads exactly the same as the one he was travelling on, coming from several different directions, all packed with convoys exactly the same as the one he was in.
    He turned his blue eyes to the city itself. Never in his life had he seen something so…large. Dusky grey buildings stood in long curves, the streets all flowing around the outside of the city to eventually meet at the centre. Flags on rooftops flapped in the wind, displaying proudly the emblem of the wealthy merchant family that lived beneath them. The buildings were dwarfed, however, by a huge spired building that lay towards the centre of the city. It flaunted enormous, colourful stained glass windows, with scenes of great beauty depicted with stunning skill. Yerril was surprised to see that, although it was a grey, overcast day outside, inside the gardens, summer remained. The flowers and trees bloomed, and the people wandering aimlessly through the grounds appeared not to notice the chill wind that whipped around the walls surrounding their haven.
    As Yerril gazed in wonder at this phenomenon, Nim’s voice startled him from behind.
    “The house of Firehair,” he breathed, “beautiful, is it not? The gardens are said to have been touched by lady Sune herself during the time of troubles, and since then they have remained a place of constant beauty. It is also said that, should the House fall out of Lady Firehair’s favour, the enchantment shall be reversed, and deepest winter shall fall on the gardens.”

    Nim strode through the marketplace with ease, manoeuvring around the fat traders who brandished their goods like swords, and ignoring the startled looks his ears often received. In fact, he sauntered ahead so lithely; that it was all Yerril could do to keep up with him. He constantly had to stop and assure various dealers, that he did not, in fact, want a silken rug, thankyou for asking, and the surrounding crowd was always jostling him. After much ducking under shouting men, stepping around crates of wool, and politely allowing ladies to go first, Yerril at last reached the other end of the marketplace, to be faced with a grinning Nim, one eyebrow raised in amusement.
    “Finally decided to join me, have you?” Nim asked, jokingly, before returning to a more serious note, “Come, we must hurry, our contact will not wait much longer.”
    The elf turned, and started down a thin, dark alley. The buildings here were very high, causing a shadow to be cast down the length of the alley, and giving it a mysterious look. There was no indication of life, no movement, save for the occasional rat, darting across the cobbles. Crates were stacked at irregular intervals, dusty after years out of use, making the alley only tighter, and giving a claustrophobic and muffled air to the whole scene. The air was murky, and thick with smoke from an unknown source. Drips of rain fell in puddles from rooftops high above, providing the only sound other than the wind, and their own soft steps. Graffiti was scrawled on the shadowy stone walls, including a patch that looked alarmingly like a spray of blood. Doors were set in niches, providing Yerril’s imagination hundreds of possibilities for muggers and murderers to leap out.
    Involuntarily, the youth swallowed loudly, and made himself jump. Eventually, after what seemed an hour of creeping down this sinister alley, Nim abruptly stopped, causing Yerril, who was glancing at a suspicious-looking crate, to bump into him from behind. The elf turned, slender finger to his lips, indicating a wooden door in a niche that looked exactly like all the others.
    “This is the place,” he whispered, “be absolutely silent.” The assassin knocked on the door, slowly and carefully, three times. Then he paused and spoke something softly to the air above him, and knocked once more. The door opened a crack, and a gruff voice spoke;
    “Halt, and who goes there?”
    “It is I,” replied Nim, “the Steel Princess, regent of Cormyr. Accompanying me is the royal magician Caladnei.”
    “Welcome, Alusair, have you a whale in your pocket?”
    “Not this day, my friend, but I do have a camel in my hair.”
    The door opened completely, revealing a grizzled, unshaven dwarf with a bald head.
    “Nim!” He cried out, “By Clangeddin’s left boot, but it is good to see ye again!”
    “And you, Eberk,” Nim smiled, clasping the dwarf’s thick hands warmly, “how fare things in this little corner of Toril?”
    “Why don’t ye come in, and find out! Oh, and bring yer little friend as well, I’ve heared all about the lad!”

    Yerril followed Nim and Eberk down a well-lit stone passage with a dirt floor, which sloped gradually downwards. The dwarf and the elf chatted softly, the dwarf often stopping to laugh uproariously at some joke that Yerril had no hope of understanding. In time, the trio reached another door, a warm glow emanating through the cracks, and the sound of voices talking and laughing drifting to their ears. Eberk stopped, his hand on the door, and spoke to Nim,
    “Aye, but the place has nay been the same without ye, elf.” With that he pushed, and the door swung open to reveal a room that Yerril assumed to be a tavern. There was a bar against the left wall, the heavy oak counter laden with many empty tankards, and about ten circular tables, each with a small oil lamp in the centre. The walls were lined with trinkets, old swords, shields, maces and the like, including the mounted head of an owlbear. Against one wall was a blazing fireplace, with three high-backed chairs around it, and against another was a stack of crates labelled “ale”. Dotted around the room were a few patrons, mostly drunk humans, save for a couple elves, and one halfling, who appeared to be hanging from a ceiling beam, foaming tankard still in his hand.
    As soon as Nim entered, the whole room erupted into cheers, and much ale was spilled. Beaming, the elf strode forward and took a bow. Eberk also stepped forward, and announced;
    “To celebrate the return of me good friend Nim, I’m giving ye all one free drink!” In answer to this there was another cheer, and a general migration to the vicinity of the bar.
    Nim beckoned to Yerril, and descended some shallow steps to the area of the fireplace. Yerril followed suit, and they both sat in one of the tall chairs. Nim seemed content to stare into the fire, so Yerril took the opportunity to study the tavern further. He watched the halfling disentangle himself from the ceiling beam, and flop ungraciously to the floor, but stand a second later, his ale in his hand, and a smile on his face. After a while, the youth became aware of the shadowy figure reclining in the third chair, and turned his attention there. Nim seemed to notice the figure also, and smiled. To Yerril’s horror, the elf drew a throwing knife from a sheath on his shoulder, and before he could stop him, hurled it at the shadowy figure. Lightning–quick, the stranger’s hand snapped up and caught the knife by the handle. Yerril could only gasp in amazement.
    The stranger stood, and the roaring flames at last highlighted his features. He stood at just over Nim’s height, with thick chestnut hair tied back behind his head. He wore brown leather, with a brown rangers’ cloak, and a curious looking grey longbow was strapped to his back. At his hip he wore an axe, that was much finer and more well suited to combat than the clumsy woodsman’s tool Yerril had left with the merchant caravan on arrival in Daerlun. But perhaps his most striking features were his ears. Not quite as characteristically pointed as Nim’s, they nevertheless had a distinctive ovular shape that identified him as a half-elf.
    He took two long strides up to Nim, and handing the assassin back his dagger, he spoke;
    “I believe this is yours, my brother.”
     
  13. Big B Gems: 27/31
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    [​IMG] This is truly some good stuff.
     
  14. Thorin Gems: 9/31
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    great work, cannot wait to see what happens next. the discriptive words remind me of Conrads Heart of Darkness. You must write some more. I think with all these great fighters around, Yerril should learn at least the basics of war craft. Nothin better then the main hero cutting off his foot in a battle.

    Just produce some more work, for Thorin sake
    at least
     
  15. OoC: Sorry for lack of posting everyone! I had the flu from Mon-Thu, and then I shredded my toe on my sister's scooter on Friday. A bad week.

    Thorin: Don't worry, Yerril will be fighting soon...

    The three patrons sat by the fireplace well into the night, long after even the drunken halfling had given up and fallen asleep under the table. Staring into the dancing fire, Nim related his relationship with his half-elf kin, and their long history together. Toama was his name, a ranger, unsuited to the commotion of the city, and more at home in the wilds than anywhere else. According to the wayward assassin, he could shoot a bow four times before you could blink, and in close combat was almost Nim’s equal. Not quite equal enough, it seemed however, to stop Nim recounting the number of times he had sent his brother’s axe spinning from his hand in a sparring session. To this, Toama could only set his jaw and look at the ceiling.
    Nim also pointed out that the ranger was not his true brother. He had been a young elf of eighty winters growing up in the Gulthmere forest of northern Turmish, when his family took on the half-elf as their own. Toama’s mother had taken her own life for the shame of giving birth to a half-breed, and the elders of the village had passed the newborn child into the capable hands of the Amakiir household. Thanks to Toama’s human background, he had reached adulthood by the time Nim was one hundred and twenty, and the two had taken combat tutoring together under the masterful hand of Guayrn Amakiir, a retired adventurer, and renowned rogue. It was here, in a forest glade west of the village, that the two had chosen their weapons of choice; Nim favouring the style and exotic appearance of the katana, and Toama opting for the ranged approach, with sturdy backup from a handaxe if that failed.
    Whereas the young half-elf had chosen the life of the wild, to learn of the trees, the sky and the earth, the full elf had chosen a life of stealth. He learned to use the shadows as a cloak, a shield from the prying eyes of the world, and when and how to cast them aside at just the right moment.
    After their tutor could teach them no more, the two went their separate ways. Nim went to live in a Gnomish colony to learn more of the arts of trickery and deception, and Toama joined a roaming band of druids. After several years of wandering, he accidentally came across the lair of a great gold wyrm. The dragon was keen for the half-elf to stay a while, scrying his pure intentions with her magics, and rewarded his noble spirit a bow of pure wind, shaped from the elemental plane of air. Toama gratefully accepted the gift, and it saw many battles, as he travelled across the realms seeking defilers of nature. Eventually, he met up with his half-brother back at the settlement, and they continued adventuring for many years. The assassin failed to mention how he came across Yerril, however, and no matter how hard the young human pressed the question, the elf continued to fence it aside. Eventually, when the last embers of the fire were glowing a dull orange, Toama and Yerril retired upstairs, leaving Nim in front of the fire, tranquillity on his face as he began his reverie, the deep rejuvenating meditation common of his people.
    So it was that the young forester’s son found himself on his back on a lumpy bed in a dark tavern in a town he new nothing about, miles from his razed home. He stared at the ceiling, and wished that his family were here with him. He wondered what they would think of his progress, whether they would approve of his actions thus far. He speculated as to where they were now, and whether they were still together. As he drifted off to sleep, he wondered what the elf with the grin had in store for him when they arrived in Marsember, and whether Nim even knew himself.

    The next morning, the trio said their farewells to Eberk, who was busily clearing up in preparation for the day’s business, waved to the halfling, who seemed to have recovered from his drunkenness enough to wave back, and departed back into the alley. Outside the door, Toama suddenly whistled, and held his arm out to the side.
    “Must you bring your little friend everywhere?” sighed Nim exasperatedly.
    “Tolerance, my brother,” replied the ranger, “at least I did not bring him inside!” As he finished, there was a cry; that of a hunting bird, from the distant sky, and a shape dropped from a roof high above at breakneck speed. Yerril was afraid the bird would hit the narrow cobbled street, but it spread tawny-brown wings a few feet before the ground, and swooped up to land on Toama’s outstretched arm.
    The hawk had deep black eyes with an edge of intelligence in them that made Yerril feel like his mind was being read.
    “Beautiful, is he not?” Toama asked, stroking the hawk’s tail feathers. Yerril swallowed.
    “W…what is his name?” he stammered, his eyes still meeting the hawk’s.
    “He has no name, nor any need for one. He is merely a hawk.” The bird gave Yerril a superior look and turned away.
    The trio were on the road out of Daerlun by highsun.
     
  16. Thorin Gems: 9/31
    Latest gem: Iol


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    Great work, I am loving the story, please continue
     
  17. The cleric assumed a haughty air as she strode about the swarming streets of Marsember. The crowd parted before her as though it were cloven by a sword-stroke. On the overflowing avenue, people faltered mid-trade, and turned to watch her pass, hushed silence hanging like a blanket over the throng. She merely smiled; a small, self-satisfied smile that nevertheless added more splendour to her already radiant image. She wore the rose and orange tinted robes of her order, the blazing dawn insignia of Lathander emblazoned across her chest. Her features were exquisite, slightly curled chestnut hair, chestnut eyes, pale, unblemished skin and high, elegant cheekbones. Behind her head a conjured, glowing yellow light floated, and the blue-white gleam that played around her fingertips granted her the respected gazes she so craved. In the filthy canal, skiffs were manoeuvred for a better view, and the noble populace threw open the shutters of their stone houses to watch.
    She never spoke a word, just kept strolling and smiling; strolling and smiling, giving the occasional polite wave to a vaguely recognizable figure. Behind her strode two more of her order, one was a male in full armour, helmet on, shield strapped to his back, and mighty warhammer peace-knotted at his hip. He wore a pious expression, never taking his eyes off a patch of air about two feet in front of his face. The other was a second woman, not a patch on the first, but beautiful nonetheless. She was dressed in purple robes, black hair drawn back tightly behind her head, and a golden sash adorned with golden suns draped around her shoulders. She carried a polished ebony staff with a glowing blue gem set into the end, and wore the same expression as the armoured man next to her.
    The air around them was thick this winter morn, the scent of the trading spices drowned out by the ever-present stench of the surrounding swamp, and the cleric wrinkled her dainty nose slightly in disgust. The people were getting almost unbearable now; they crowded onto the many narrow bridges above the sludge-filled canals to gape in awed silence. Rolling her eyes and sighing, she suddenly turned into an alley, and pressed herself against a wall. Her two followers quickly darted in after her, and the three stood, listening intently in a deserted boulevard. They were rewarded a few moments later, when the sound of general trading resumed, and the people returned to their daily routines. The woman in purple smiled nervously to the cleric and said;
    “My lady, I fear your presence may be overmuch for the simple folk of the city of spices. Perhaps a bit of prudence may be advisable when on show?” The smile was returned.
    “Perhaps so, Valanther, perhaps so. Perchance next time I shall disguise myself as a tavern wench, or something similar!” With this, the three set off down the narrow boulevard towards the docks.

    Several minutes later, they arrived in a rundown, dark section of the city’s expansive waterfront. The armoured man almost tripped over a scurrying rat, and whispered;
    “Lord Scoril really should have this place cleaned, it is a complete mess!” The robed cleric placed a placating hand upon his shoulder, and replied;
    “I’m sure Bledryn has plenty of things to worry about. Pirates and the like, you know?” The man sighed resignedly and satisfied himself by kicking at a rotting piece of wood on the sewage-stained floor.
    The three made their silent way down past several jetties to a dark, ominous-looking warehouse that jutted out into the water on poles sunk into the marsh. The timber structure looked as if it was about to collapse, and indeed, there were several planks missing from the roof. Down in the murky water, two small boats were tethered to a pole, directly underneath a trapdoor leading up into the dark recesses of the warehouse. Valanther indicated the scene with her staff, and silently mouthed; “that’s it”. The cleric nodded, and began to pull of her resplendent robes.
    Underneath she wore gleaming plate mail, and buckled to her waist was a flail, which she readied in her hand. She nodded to her companions, and they turned to the huge rotting wooden door. The armoured man took a deep breath and swung his warhammer, shattering the lock and swinging the doors open.

    Inside was a horrific scene. The warehouse was mostly on one floor, but there was a raised balcony around the perimeter, and about ten men in chainmail stood upon it. Several crates were scattered across the floor, but the trio’s attention was drawn to the centre of the building, where their entrance had disturbed most appalling events. A mage in red silk robes stood in a protective pentagram, his arms and voiced raised in the workings of a complex spell. Around him stood five awkwardly leaning figures that all three immediately recognized as zombies, but in a second pentagram stood their biggest problem. The mage had summoned a Bebilith, a huge spider-like demon with barbed claws and venom-coated fangs, and as the spellcaster’s incantation was interrupted, the shrieking thing broke free from its bonds, and started on its summoner.
    The mage screamed in rage, and shouted an incomprehensible word. The zombies immediately turned on the trio, but did nothing to stop the advancing demon. The Bebilith suddenly snapped forward, and one huge claw flew straight through the Red Wizard, and out the other side, like a flaming sword through cheese. The mage stood impaled, a weirdly surprised expression on his face. The demon made a loud, eerie chattering noise and jerked open its claw. The two halves of the mage flew in opposite directions across the floor, and several of the guards emptied their stomachs on the balcony above. The mage's power destroyed, the zombies collapsed on the floor, in a rotting heap.
    The mutated spider-thing wasted little time in exultation, instead turning its many gleaming red eyes upon the three intruders. Dawn priest Lamu of Morningmist choked back her bile, and prepared to battle.

    EDIT: Dumb Zomfies :D forgot to sort them out.

    [This message has been edited by Sir Yerril of Morningmist (edited February 04, 2002).]
     
  18. Big B Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


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    [​IMG] *Chokes back bile*

    Whoops, I'm getting too into the story ;) :p
     
  19. The Bebilith snapped out its claw to smash aside a crate, threw back its head, and let out an unearthly demonic screech. It flexed its claws, and thumped them simultaneously on the rotten wooden floor. On the impact, a stream of glowing blue strands poured from its howling mouth, and shot towards the trio. The strands circled around them, and stacked upwards, forming a circle of dancing blue flames. The armoured man took an almighty swing at the flames, but his hammer merely deflected off. He gave a despairing look to Lamu as the Bebilith advanced, but the priest was already in the throes of a prayer to her god. Following her lead, Valanther began to chant as well, and the armoured man shrugged and followed suit.
    Lamu finished her casting and straightened. White energy flowed from beneath her feet, and wherever it touched the flames, they appeared to melt away. She grinned, and leapt on to a crate to her right, just as a huge purple claw carved a hole in the floor where she had been standing a second ago. She rolled on her new vantage point, and jumped again, this time onto the back of the demon, catching on to a spike on its armour-plated hide. It shrieked, and bucked wildly, trying to throw off the cleric, but she now had a firm grip, and was battering away at the thing’s head with her flail. Whenever the spiked balls hit, they sent a spark of magical energy dancing along the plates on the Bebilith’s back, which resulted in yet another shriek.
    Finally, the creature gave up its mad dance, and to Lamu’s horror, swivelled its grotesque head round until it was facing her. It opened its mouth again, and out sprouted sticky strands of web, coating Lamu, and gluing her to the spot. Fortunately, it was at this point that the armoured man finished his casting, and a blue radiance flashed into being around the cleric, burning away the web with a violent hissing sound. Before she swung her flail full into the demon’s face, Lamu had a chance to cry out;
    “Tirik, I thank you!” Tirik merely grinned, and smashed his hammer into the foreleg of the Bebilith. Defying all logic, the leg was ripped off at the joint, and sent shooting through a wall. Next, Tirik braced himself and swung directly upwards. Lamu, sensing what was to come, sprang off the demon’s back, and the hammer connected solidly with its underside. The Bebilith could barely give out a startled choking sound before it was lifted fully twenty feet into the air, almost to the warehouse roof, and came crashing down, through the floorboards and into the murky waters beneath. It struggled to float for a while, but then Valanther completed her prayer. In the water, Lamu and Tirik witnessed the appearance of the blurred outline of what appeared to be a portal, directly beneath the demon’s thrashing legs. It shrieked one more time, and than was dragged underwater, and through the rippling red hole. There was a blinding flash, and demon and portal were gone.

    The three rose from the hole in the floor just as the guards descended the stairs. They looked decidedly pale, and uncertain. Many were shaking, and holding their weapons unsteadily. Tirik stepped forward.
    “Greetings, my good men. I am Tirik, a paladin of Lathander; these are my friends Lamu and Valanther, clerics both. I trust you had no dealings with our recently departed Red Wizard friend? I’m sure it was just an accident that you happened to be in this warehouse at the same time as his foul experiment?” As if to accentuate his point, he brought his boot down hard on a cockroach that was scuttling past, making all the guards jump.
    The mercenaries looked at each other, and as one man, broke and sprinted for the door. Lamu smiled.
    “A job well done,” she mused aloud, “although I must confess, I never thought I would see a spider fly!”


    OoC: Unsworth, when are you going to join SP? You could call yourself Demilich! Or, Gangleman!
     
  20. Big B Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


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    [​IMG] An interesting and detailed fight scene. Good job.
     
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