An elven prince by the name of Zirondillune once asked the great wyrm Sucurion where the humans had come from. His reply was given with booming laughter. “I do not know, young prince,” he had called him young, because to the dragons, even the elves were but children, “they sort of snuck up on me.”
Qinxor, Capital City
Neulos, High Noon
The hot summer sun was baking the cobblestone bridge outside of Moratone Keep. Two hooded figures cross the moat, heading towards the castle doors. They are halted by the guards for a moment, before one of the cloaked men raises a hand, and snaps his fingers. The guards, who are in a sudden haze do not seem to notice as they pass, without permission. They continue on into the hall of queens, which it has been named since the wisest of them, Nalessi Co’Ratu had reigned. The throne was now held by Queen Myrna Beauturn, and though she reigned over peaceful times, she was still seen as a strong and courageous leader, who gave little favour to the upper class, and worked on social reform, an abstract pattern of authority in these days. The room is magnificent, coloured glass illuminates the room with red and blue hues, shining in between marble columns. There are soldiers between each of these pillars; forty strong. They wear the yellow and black tabards of the royal family. The queen resides on a chair of ivory, probably amassed from the great elephants that live in the Lake of Green Blades. All eyes are on the two figures as they approach the steps of the throne, walking up the yellow and black carpet that divides the floor end to end, though the guards are as statues . They stop at the edge of the throne’s platform, at which point they discard their hoods. The two figures are Skoarn, which is enough for every guard in the room to shift their stances and ready their weapons. It wasn’t so much the fact that they were dragon kin, as much as they were both black scaled.
The queen bolted upright in her chair, “What is it that you’ve come here for? I don’t recall any meetings with the Skoarn today!” She demanded of them their purpose, though the edge of command was lost from her voice, at the awe of these two robed interlopers. There was something fearful about their presence, something amiss…
“I am Xerophiss Kaine. This is my apprentice, Jinx. We have come before your majesty with a proposal. It is one you cannot refuse.”
“You… ummm…” The queen began to say, before switching her gaze from the elder dragon Kaine, to his younger counterpart. His eyes were hypnotic, and she was suddenly drowned in them, lost in the lulling treachery of his gaze. “Lower your weapons.”
The guards placed their halbards back to their standard position, facing straight, shaft end to the floor, and they returned to their usual stiff positioning, though their faces were all troubled, and anxious.
“Excellent,” said Xerophiss, his grin peeling his lips back to reveal a most impressive maw. “Now, perhaps we could be alone. What we have to say is for your ears only.”
The queen nodded, though it looked like the kind of nod you accidentally fall into when on the verge of falling asleep, rather than one of agreement. “Yes. Of course… Leave us. All of you.” Her dreary voice spoke out.
“My Queen!” Protested the head of the guard, who stood at the closest pillar to her right. “We cannot allow you to remain unprotected with these… these creatures!
Whilst the elder of the two, Xerophiss, made a show of looking indignant, the other skoarn looked patiently at his fingers, as he tapped the two pointers together in what seemed boredom. It was the queen who replied with, “I said leave us! Do it now! I shall come of no harm from these dragons.”
Though the head guard hesitated at first, clenching his fist tightly enough to make his knuckles go white, he bowed to his monarch, and bid the other soldiers leave. Many of them seemed almost relieved to leave the room behind. Black scaled skoarn were almost always members of The Black Legion, a cult of evil dragon worshippers, that took on the task of fulfilling the balancing force of evil in the world, an evil that has been left dormant due to the loss of the chromatic dragons after the War of the Sorrows.
When the last guard had fled, Xerophiss spoke up once more, speaking to the queen as he walked up the steps toward her, “Now, we are interested in starting a little war,” when he reached her he paused momentarily, clutching her chin with his clawed fingers, and raising it so that her comatose eyes could focus on his face. She seemed a blank slate, one that could be written over as the author saw fit. But of course, Xerophiss knew this, he had brought his best enchanter for the job, young Jinx was well versed in the magic of the mind. “but no more of these goblin crusades. No, that simply won’t do. As a matter of fact my dear, on the morning of the next, you shall announce that your armies are going to war… against
(Attention Players, please do not post yet, I have not constructed your own specific introductions. This is more of a storyline running parallel with your game.)
Posted on 2008-04-05 at 14:53:33.
Edited on 2008-04-06 at 00:35:02 by Philosopher
Northern Qinxor, Province
South of the Dragon’s Lash
Securing the mountain pass. It was a dangerous task, and without regards to the occasional war, it was where the highest amount of casualties took form. The day’s bright star still shone into the world, making but it was past the shadow of the mountain, and so the sky was just a darkening red, as though the world was drenched in blood before the sun’s fall ushered in darkness. The mountain snow had been all but broiled away, and not but the caps were still white. It had left the mountain trails muddy, and exhausting to climb.
The Qinxoree army had always sent their bad apples here, in hopes of two possibilities. The first would be that this harsh duty would teach them some discipline, and respect for their overlords, and the other, if all else failed, was that they would die on these rocky passages. As cruel as it sounded, Grugg was perhaps crueller still. He had been sent to guard the mountains after he killed a man with a fork in the midst of a fight over lunch privileges. It had been deemed an accident, albeit a ridiculously preventable one, and he was slapped with demotions and sent away.
The massive orc walked almost effortlessly up the vertical slope, following behind his handler, another orc who had seen his fair share of combat, and carried a great falchion. There were two other orcs that trailed behind him, carrying orc axes, and a human sorcerer, who had been there for arcane support and suppression should the need arise.
When the team had reached a flat spot in the trail, the leader who Grugg knew as Rismarg, halted the party and ordered the tents be prepped for the evening. Grugg fairly snorted, looking to the sky. There was still light, and the orcs had no need for torches in the evening. He thought Rismarg was being foolish stopping so soon, when they had another two days of climbing. “We stop, but that stupid. We go higher be better!” He bellowed out in orcish. Rismarg looked back on Grugg, bearing his teeth at the subordinate.
“You do not command this team, Grugg. I needn’t explain this to you, in fact, I doubt that I could, with your feeble mind. Not all of us can see in the dark.”
Grugg realized now, that they were stopping for the night because the human could not see at night. He looked over at the frail being, thinking how he could snap the puny thing like a twig. “ We no need stupid dragon spit!”
Rismarg rushed over to Grugg, unsheathing his massive curved blade, and raising it to neck level. “If you don’t start setting up camp, I’ll cleave you ear to ear! Now go and…” the orc leader was interrupted, by the screaming of the young human sorcerer, he turned his face away from Grugg’s to look at the human, whose face had grown shock white, and was pointing at something higher upon the ridge. “What is it Molovo?” He questioned, but the human’s face only mouthed the words ‘ogre’, before it was too late.
Rismarg whipped his head towards where the human sorcerer had been pointing, but what he saw was hard earth rushing down towards him. One second Rismarg had Grugg by the shoulder, falchion still in air, and the next, a boulder as big as the orc leader came hurtling into him, flinging the falchion from his hand, and sending the huge orc crashing off the face of the mountain with the heavy boulder of stone. Grugg stood stupidly blinking, focused on the Falchion that had it’s blade thrusted into the soft mud of the track.
The first to react was the sorcerer, who sent two missiles of searing light unerringly towards the ogre on the ridge above. The giant grumbled in agony, and began hurtling down the hill. The two orcs in the regiment with the orc double axes rushed up to meet him. And grugg… well he…
(He did whatever you do Grugg, have fun!)
Eating man ugly anyway. Grugg rationalised as he walked up that mountain. Well rationalised probably wasn't the right word, "randomly shouted in his head for no reason" probably fit the bill more appropriately. Grugg wasn't even sure what he was thinking about, he for some reason was incapable of remembering things, but he knew that an "eating man" was resposible for why he had finally managed to get a job in this rocky area. Most people would object to an area as desolate and deadly, but Grugg was as giddy as a three-year old inside (ironically also his mental capacity). There would be room to jump here. Grugg loved to jump.
What Grugg did not love was orders. Rismarg loved orders. Grugg did not love Rismarg. Rismarg was one of those "brain orcs" who loved to think instead of smash. Grugg loved to smash instead of...everything. Grugg privately thought (again, a rarity) that Rismarg "loved" Grugg what with all those fancy names he kept calling him. Grugg did not love that either.
Rismarg was also dumb. Why sleep? Mountain big, Grugg big, night dark, Grugg see. Grugg did not see a problem. Rismarg did. Again, Grugg did not love Rismarg. Apparently being "brained" meant you saw more problems. Grugg saw no problems, only things to smash, and occasionally food. Their "pink-flesh dragon piss" could not see in the dark. Grugg did not love that either. He was weak. Eat him later.
It was of course ironic (well not ironic, but fun all the same) that Rismarg's love of Grugg got him killed. He grabbed Grugg good and strong and began saying those fancy words again that Grugg could only assume meant a confession of his "love". Seconds later, Rismarg was gone, turned into a boulder and rolling away. Grugg loved that. Grugg would like to turn into boulder. Grugg would roll good and hard.
As a pair of tiny lights from the "pink-flesh" sailed over his head Grugg realised Rismarg had not turned into a boulder but had been hit by one from a tall man on a hill. Damn shame, but Grugg still believed that if he tried, he could turn into a boulder someday. Now however, was Grugg's time to shine. He did not do good at many things. He only spoke orc, and even that was horrible, and thus he did not have many friends. He tried befriending a rat, but he ended up eating him. Fuzzy was good. What Grugg could do, was smash. Grugg had a club the size of a small tree strapped to his back -and although he didn't know "how" to use it- he was damn good at smashing things. It was sort of a gut instinct. Grugg was pretty sure (he never could remember) that he probably smashed his way out of his mother's stomach. May she rest in pieces.
Grabbing his club, Grugg went into instinct mode. He was taught tactics. Didn't learn good. He was taught to find the high ground. Didn't learn good. He was taught to take advantage of the enemy's weakness. Didn't learn good. He was not taught to smash. Learned DAMN good. Giving a happy roar (which apparently was frightening to people) Grugg rushed up the slope straight toward the angry thing and prepared to swing.
(OOC: Uh...I rage...and then I smash. INSANE DAMAGE BONUSES! TINY AC! TINIER BRAIN!)
Ioudum, the northern road
Frimfar outskirts, just south of the Paegos
Neulos, Minutes From Midnight
Four nights of despair had rested young Riina from her home with the dryad Xera, and onto the open road. Visions in her sleep showed a pair of older killoren huddling together in the sand. The female looked up at her with cerulean eyes that pleaded as much as they loved. “Help us, Riina. We need your help!” The male says nothing, and looks to be ill. The woman in the dream is coddling the man, as though he were a child. Riina had mixed emotions about the vision, but she was sure that the people within it were her parents. Finally, after the fourth day in a row, having the same images pass through her sleeping mind, she decided that she would head toward the only place she knew to be sandy like in those fearful thoughts. She would head to the Eye of the Dragon, and see if she could unravel the mystery that was these powerful premonitions, if that was what they really were.
Travelling north on the winding trail that borders the western edges of the Frimfar and Paegos forests, she travels by torchlight, which allows her to move swiftly. The sun had set many hours ago, and it was a moonless night, which was very rare indeed. Usually one of the two moons would be out after the sun had fallen behind the Dragon’s Lash. The darkest night of the year, the killoren called it firthernim, which loosely translated into black sky.
Alone with her thoughts and her worries, the young killoren was suddenly startled by a sound in the bushes. She waved her torch bearing arm towards the noise, raising it above her head to cast a glow towards the trees. It was the face of another killoren, whose green eyes glistened in the light of the flame, that greeted her. “Quickly!” he said, with an urgency in his voice, “You must douse the torch and follow me! These roads are not safe on this eve.”
Acantha had seen Riina’s torchlight twinkle in and out of the trees for some time, though he remained hidden in the forest walls watching her for some time. He was relieved to see that it was another killoren who had been travelling at night, and not another faction of goblin raiders. The grim events of the evening tolled heavily on his mind. From within the protection of the forest, he had witnessed a small group of elves surrounded by goblin marauders, most of which were promptly killed, with the exception of three, who were taken as prisoners. He had scouted the goblin camp from among the trees, and was sad to see the death of one prisoner, a silver haired elven man, who likely had lost too much blood. The goblins had not tended the wounds of the fallen elves.
When the killoren druid had seen that his cousin was heading right towards the goblin encampment, he moved to the outskirts of the woods, and called out to her. She was close enough to the goblins that they might have already seen the torchlight. This meant they would be sending a scouting party to investigate, and the goblins saw better in the dark than the fae did.
His loyal wolf Cheli stood beside him, his nose hard at work. He had obviously picked up the scent of several goblins in the vicinity, and his composure was somewhat on edge. The wolf’s natural instinct was to flee, but he had a pact with Acantha, who had been a good friend, and a better servant of nature.
Though Acantha loathed conflict, and would not fight if it were not willed by the great mother, he believed that the surviving elves must be rescued from the clutches of these malevolent goblins, who were hellbent on eradicating the remainder of Sucurion’s children. Nature would not condone the extinction of one of her most prized creation, and with but a handful of elves left alive, any loss was severe.
********* Goblin encampment
Just off Ioudum road
Inside the goblin camp, three elves lay, one was a corpse, the others soon to follow his example. Tianna had regained consciousness some time ago, and had been squirming gently so as not to be noticed. Yet to no avail, as the ropes that bound her were tied well. She looked over to the elven male who still breathed. He was not awake, the poor boy, couldn’t be old enough to fight, and yet, here he was. Tianna’s eyes took in the camp, noting the position of her equipment, which was piled up on the other side of the bonfire that raged close by.
If she were to survive this, she would need to get her weapons, but may not have time to don her armour before the goblins gave chase. And what of the boy? Could she save him without endangering herself in the process. If she could not escape with him, they would both die. Was such self sacrifice really worth it? If two lives were lost instead of one? No, she could fight while he fled… (Really the choice is yours Dragon Mistress and co. I still don’t whose the player behind the character lol. Of course, you still need to escape.)
(All right. This post is going out to Reralae, TRSG, and Brianna/Dragon Mistress. I’ve left it brief, because how you interact with each other depends on the following events. Does Riina listen to Acantha? Do they travel to the encampment to try and save the elves. As for Tianna, well, you can always try to escape the ropes, and present to me your state of mind when it comes to escape. Do you flee, with or without the boy, or do you stay and fight?)
Posted on 2008-04-07 at 02:42:27.
Edited on 2008-04-07 at 03:09:50 by Philosopher
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 142/12 2506 Posts
Riina had walked solemnly for several hours. Her eyes were clouded and distant as she walked, and she wasn't really paying attention; she never would have used a torch otherwise, or used the path for that matter. The dark sky above could've easily reflected the dreams Riina has had, and perhaps that was why she was so lost in thought. Did she really want to find her parents? They had left her when she was born, and she was already an adult. But still, maybe they intended to return... Suddenly she is jolted to reality by what seems to be another traveller.
"Quickly!" he said, with an urgency in his voice, "You must douse the torch and follow me! These roads are not safe on this eve."
The message quickly got her attention. Wordlessly she put the torch out, and disappeared into the foliage of the trees, to come up beside the traveler. Her bare feet hardly made a sound on the ground, and her presence seemed to even make the leaves stay still for her. Looking into a pair of eyes not unlike her own green ones, her gaze looks beyond the other killoren's eyes, and into their soul. Seeing trustworthiness, she averts her gaze, and then avoids eye contact. She hasn't even been around other killoren, in being raised by Xera, and so her shyness even showed here.
"What is it?" She asks, her gentle voice almost hidden by the night breeze.
Now that Riina is closer, you can see that she has long, roughly cut dark green hair, dark brown skin, and dark green eyes. If you weren't a killoren as well, you could've mistaken her for a dryad. Holding her hair out of the way of her eyes is a simple yet elegantly carved wooden circlet, and she wears a leaf green cloak. On her back is a backpack, a bow and quiver and a strangely carved quarterstaff. This quarterstaff has broad, flat ends that angle into points, with what could be a handle in the middle. In essence, it is a wooden two bladed sword. At her side is a simple sheath holding a longsword.
Posted on 2008-04-07 at 04:01:33.
Edited on 2008-04-07 at 04:02:34 by Reralae
It was earlier that day that Acantha had witnessed foul deeds by a goblin raiders, they had surrounded a band of elves and promptly killed all but three. If it had been humans he would of taken no action at all, but elves are children of nature much like himself and he feels bound to help them when they need it.
He decided to hide and pursue them. He had been following them all day before they stopped for the night. Whist he was watching one of the remaining elves had been left to bleed to death, a sin these creatures would pay for.
Acantha hadn't been watching long when the light of a torch caught his eye, he willed it not to be more goblins and he was relived to see it was one of his own. He made his was to the path and when he was close enough he quietly but urgently said “Quickly! You must douse the torch and follow me! These roads are not safe on this eve.”
The response he got was slightly less then he wanted but at least she had doused the flame. His own whispered response to this was "Goblins, they have captured some elves.”
As he spoke he drew his bow and an arrow and made careful not to point it at his new companion. ”One has already died and we must save the remaining two. Now, follow me into the bushes."
He was pleased to see that she was currently manifesting the aspect of the hunter, that would make it easier, and hoped that she would follow him through the bushes to his chosen ambush place, the hunt was almost concluded, and the glee of it showed in his eyes.
He would be glad of it if she followed him but did not intend to let the two elves die, when he had returned to his ambush spot he saw that one, maybe both of the elves were now conscious, a plan formed in his minds eye.
Posted on 2008-04-07 at 07:13:36.
Edited on 2008-04-07 at 07:23:36 by Loki
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 142/12 2506 Posts
Must is Such an Absolute Word
"Must?" Riina repeats softly, testing the foreign word.
It was a word she had seldom heard from Xera, but it seemed to be popular among the travellers she came across, especially ones involved in the war. It was so obvious if they were, since they'd sometimes work themselves up to increase their morale, using that word in many of their sentences. Still, goblins this close to the forest? Riina wonders, Hmm, I'll have to make sure they don't have any intentions to enter.
The other one mentioned captives, but Riina didn't seem to notice, thinking about the foreign word 'must'. He was quick to move off, and judging from his action of drawing a weapon, it was quite clear what he intended to do. Riina sighs, If he draws attention to the forest, and more goblins come and eventually overrun it, more than three, what was it? Elven? Well, more than that would be lost. She thought solemnly. She didn't have a duty to aid travellers, even if she was a wanderer herself, but she did have a bit of an obligation to the forest, to her guardian Xera. Shaking her head, she moves without a sound, seeming to follow the other one. Many hasty travellers, she noted, seemed to be quite stubborn as well, so she sighed again as she realized she likely wouldn't be able to sway the other one from stopping.
"I do hope that you intend to be thorough in what you intend to do." Riina's gentle voice carries in Sylvan, her preferred language, with a hint of disdain, "If you're not, I'll have to clean up after you, and if we're both not able to, even working together, I won't forgive you." She says simply, just barely hinting at the bigger picture as she draws her own bow.
Posted on 2008-04-08 at 00:40:17.
Edited on 2008-04-08 at 00:42:28 by Reralae
Back at his chosen ambush place you can see a wolf, no bigger or ferocious then normal. But still, a wolf could make a deadly opponent. As you approach it bares it's teeth at you and gives a low growl.
At that point 'the other one' asks it to stay quiet and addresses you. "Elves are the old guardians of the forest and the original children of the mother, we must do all we can to help them."
He turns back to the goblins, his features etched with loss, and says solemnly "Goblins brunt my home, I will not hunt them but neither will I show them mercy. The land will catch them then we can kill them."
Posted on 2008-04-08 at 10:48:22.
Edited on 2008-04-08 at 17:48:33 by Loki
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 142/12 2506 Posts
Riina doesn't respond, as though she was the one asked to stay quiet rather than the wolf. She just can't respond. She is too shocked; she cannot believe what she is hearing. You're of the same people, the same race, and yet, you couldn't be much more different...
Riina averts her eyes. She was taught that no race was worth more or superior in the world's sight. A life is a life; a bird, a goblin, a dryad, a killoren, it mattered not. All were equally blessed by the world, and all were connected in the plight for survival. It is a balance. Yet, it was easily threatened... As she thinks, her eyes flicker between blue, green, and black, finally settling on a dark green.
"Do what you will." Riina finally says simply in Sylvan, her voice gentle, but with a tone of resignation, "I will clean up after you."
The male killoren turned again and gave the best response he could whist anticipating the females thoughts as well as he could "I know what your thinking, about the balance. But I had a vision and I believe the balance is about to change, a life if a life but I value an elves life more then a goblins life."
He tuned his head quickly to survey the scene to check on the elves but continued his discussion. "I don't remember much but there were two black skoarn, and black skoarn are never good. I don't now what they plan but I am sure that it will not end well for us."
He uses 'us' in a much broader sense then himself and the female though, or even the killoren race, but it seems to encompass the whole of the wood.
This young killoren, so rapped up in the actions of men and goblins and elves. Anger has surly clouded his vision and lead him to such conclusions, a pitiful site to any killoren to see a second talk about killing so lightly. And then valuing a life, surly isn't that a more human thing.
Posted on 2008-04-08 at 23:57:41.
Edited on 2008-04-09 at 00:03:32 by Loki
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 142/12 2506 Posts
Riina says nothing, looking beyond to where the goblin camp was. She had given up on listening to the other one, and so set about counting goblins. Still, it bothered her. She knew she would be different, having not been raised in a killoren culture, but she didn't think it'd be this different. She shakes her head of the thought, and returns to goblin counting. If any one of them got away, there would be sure to be retaliation. Even if she managed to take out all the ones that escaped, there was still the threat of retaliation just from the lack of response their base would receive.
Then Riina looks over to where the two captives are. She looks them over swiftly, hardly stopping in her survey. She had trained herself for the case that she'd end up in a conflict with goblins, but she'd never have imagined this situation.
(OOC: Riina will try to get a count of all the goblins in the campsite, surveying thrice over in order to ensure an accurate count, and at the same time perhaps see if there is a way to get to the captives unseen, because it's one thing if prisoners just seem to get lucky and escape, and another if there is an offensive rescue attempt)
Posted on 2008-04-09 at 00:15:40.
Edited on 2008-04-09 at 00:24:13 by Reralae
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Tianna slowly regained consciousness. Her head throbbed as did various parts of her body. She opened her eyes briefly at random intervals to check on her surrounds. The boy was alive but unconscious still. Isiliglin was still, still and silent. Tianna could not hear his breath nor had he move one iota. Her heart was saddened by the knowledge that he had passed beyond this mortal coiled. The song o f passing must be sung and prayers made but. But she had no time for that now. Now she had to find a way to free herself and the boy.
Once she got a glimpse of her belongs across the fire from her. She was not sure she could get to them and get the boy away. Life was more important than things. His life more important certainly than anything she possessed. If she could just get into the woods with him she would have a chance of remaining free.
The ropes were strong but the knots were not well made. That was what she was seeking to defeat. Clumsy handed they tie the ropes tight but with bad knots Goblins rarely did things well like that. She tested her arms wrists and hands trying to free the rope, to loosen it just a bit so that she could possibly work it free. The trick was to do it so that the goblins did not notice she was awake else she suffer Isiliglin’s fate.
When she got free she might be able to lure a goblin closer and take its weapon then she would have a fighting chance. That and other possibilities crossed her mind. She discarded them for their unlikely possibilities of happening or being successful. Others were possible. And she kept those in mind. When she got free she would deal with the circumstances at the time. One of her plans hopefully would win them their freedom and their lives.
The male was suddenly still, he had noticed movement from one of the elves, it took him a short time to see what was happening but sure enough he saw it. The female elf was trying to untie herself, slowly testing the knots and her wrists. He whispered to the female killoren "We may not need to do much, the female elf, you see her, she's trying to escape. If she dose then we need not intervene, hopefully they will run and simply tell that the elves escaped."
He knew it a better plan, but for some reason he felt he must justify himself to the female. Regardless of what he said he still kept his bow ready to shoot any goblin that might threaten the elf as she wriggled free, he knew to ambush, it was part of the law of nature, not a plan.
This mind was eased but this action by the elf, if she died in her own attempt at escape it would not lay on his conscience. A life was a life and if lost through carelessness then so be it, that was also natures was.
(OOC: Making spot checks, +5, to locate threats to the elves.)
Posted on 2008-04-09 at 01:02:56.
Edited on 2008-04-09 at 01:15:57 by Loki
Ashlands, Slith Sagonissra
Spiregate, Palace of the Gold Dragon Spirelords
The sky is particularly black on the morning of Febre, there has been an increasing amount of volcanic activity in the Ashlands over the past few weeks, and the ominous tension in the air was what apocalyptic prophecies were made of. Not that Cyrus was keen on such doom saying, but the falling ash blanketed the crystalline towers of the Skoarn much like the first falls of snow in the glacial fields of his homeland. In that time of the year, the weather turned worse within an instant, and half and hour could mean the difference between life and death. He had travelled away from his home, and his family… his dear sister, in search of a higher calling. The Brynth line had always been blessed with the blood of the arcane. However, he wanted more than a few parlour tricks at his disposal. He was young and ambitious, and with the Skoarn becoming a new root of power within the culture of the land, he sought to expose himself to the realm of magic that they would usher in anew.
They were an interesting breed, these dragons. They squabbled like the elder ladies of the tribes who had survived perhaps too many winter’s in the Horn. He had found that their society, though well off, was also in constant turmoil. Their differing sects fought openly between one another in public, with citizens either carrying on about their business, or stopping to cheer on their allies. Shaman circles became little more than gangs who vied for control of territory within the great city of Slith Sagonissra (Sapphire City). Oftentimes there would be criers on the corners of each district, advising the denizens as to which areas were now controlled by which faction. This was quite necessary, as some of the radical chromatic shaman worshippers would kill the mistaken traveller without so much as a warning if found in the wrong area at the wrong time.
Still, as a manipulator of powerful magics, a sorcerer if you will, Cyrus was able to find lodgings in the central nexus of the city core. Feuding was strictly forbidden near the royalty of the city, and though Slith Sogonissra was watched over by a family of Gold Dragon Shamans, this control was not contested by the other dragon cults, for they understood the need for control in a city so anarchaic as it were.
Cyrus, was able to learn a great deal from the scholars in the central nexus, which had been coined Spiregate by other great human dragon bloods that had visited over the past few thousand years, though like the others, he was forced into labour for the Skoarn. It was only fair. His lodgings were paid for, and he was taught how to hone in on the presence of his draconic bloodline, and in return he was given errands to run for the elder sages of the mystical libraries within the towers of the great sapphire fortress that was Spiregate.
He had been awoken by a servant to the great Dragon Shaman Eskalios, who he had shared a small acquaintance with. Eskalios was an admired icon to the Gold Dragon shaman clan, The Light of Law. His pupils had been the defenders of the border between the Ashlands and the Sonron coast for many decades, though the western front had become peaceable after the establishment of treatise between the skoarn and the goblin kingdom of Min’mon.
The young sorcerer had been warned ahead of time that he would be heading out of the city limits before the end of the day, and knowing how little patience the fiery blooded dragon kin possessed, he assumed the worst and packed his things for a long journey. He could complain, even refuse to travel in the hostile Ashlands, but it would gain him little favour, and damage his otherwise promising reputation amongst the skoarn of Slith Sagonissra. New travelled fast when many in the population possessed wings.
Up the deep blue spire he scaled, to one of the most prominent towers in the whole of the city. There were no doors within the palace, and sound resonated well. Spies needn’t try hard to intercept conversations within the walls of Spiregate. It was perhaps why conflicts were so frequent. If ever the wrong words were spoken, your enemy would know before your friends… or so they said. Still, there was a student of Eskalios stationed at the entrance to his high abode. The thick scaled warrior hissed as Cyrus approached, which the Berodiman know knew meant that he was accepted, though under supervision. It was a common greeting for foreigners to this land. The dragons were very distrustful of outsiders, and for good reason. As before, dragonslayers had arisen again, to attempt one of two things, the first being that dragon scales, and blood sold high, for their magical applications, the second, more occult reasoning, was the abolishment of magic in Drakenhorde’s realm. Many, such as the Hyraxian Circle yearn for a revisiting of the Ten Centuries of Silence.
The cylindrical quarters were for the most part barren. Eskalios was a warrior that had little need for the aesthetic, or material comfort. There was the podium in which dragon’s sleep, and, a rather comfortable looking square carpet. Though he was curious as to it’s purpose in an otherwise sparse household, it was the sight of Eskalios, open armed in greeting, with an tall elven male beside him that took priority in his inquisitive study. He had not seen an elf before, though he had heard tales of their kind, and could tell what he was by the sharp ears, and almond shaped eyes. The emerald pools that bore back into him were powerful and uncontrived. He was a man of power by nature, not by being sculpted. Though, if he were a pupil of Eskalios’, he was indeed forged in the fires of righteous strength, and an unshakable courage and piety.
The elder dragon shaman seemed to read the man’s mind, “This,” he said, in a masterful draconic voice, “is my adopted son, Draygo’Solarr.”
Cyrus’ eyes flickered back and forth between the dragon and the elf for a moment, before the elf said in a language far more human, though somewhat accented, “Greetings, friend of the old world, today, we shall bring to light a coming darkness.”
Such crypticism… and yet he possessed a marvellously fluid voice. The accent was more soothing than complicating. The s’ seemed to slither like the forked tongue of a skoarn, but the articulation in his voice was profound. A mixture of sharpness, and softness. His t’s seemed to chirp like the fowl that predominated the summer season in the Dragon’s horn.
Eskalios nodded in silent agreement. “Yes… I have a dangerous assignment for you on this morning.” At the word morning, the dragon looked up. His ceiling, Cyrus realized for the first time, was made of clear crystal, and one could see the sky as though there were no roof to his personal tower. It was a beautiful sight to behold. “In the south are the tar lakes of Sudiglan. Recently there have been disturbing creatures coming from that abyss. What I require of you is this, accompany my son to the tar pits, and collect a sample of the lakes there. I must have it studied, to detect what impurities may be causing these horrid abominations.”
Posted on 2008-04-10 at 14:21:20.
Edited on 2008-04-10 at 14:22:11 by Philosopher
One Tangled Foot, A Tripping on Laces of Lizard Skinned Shoes.
Drydoc, The Eye of the Dragon
Febre, Mid day
Drydoc. The land of promise… if you were a halfling. It was one place that Tanglefoot Brambleburr found to be exclusively welcoming to his kind, with the exception of the manjithi camps of course. Even then, the humans of Manj knew to wary of the child sized tricksters. The morgithites, however, still seemed giddily unaware that halflings could do wrong. Many a pocket was picked in the absence of their guard. For Tanglefoot, it had made him a living. He was well acquainted with the sleight of hand. Social gatherings were his favourite, as there were far too many people bumping around each other to check who was robbing who. It was lucky that the market was booming, and the economy on a continuous incline. It was the trade centre of all the human lands. It was ironic too, for the city was built upon boards, high above any conventional means of transportation. His Strongheart brothers had cornered the market with their crag gas filled balloons.
Tanglefoot had been around, he was born and raised in the caravans that travelled through the countries of Manj and Qinxor, but had left his halfling home to explore and find work in the exciting human cities. Qinxor had been home to the young halfling for quite some time. He had recently migrated to Drydoc after things became heated amongst him and a local thieving guild by the name of Silverstrings. In Drydoc, he had found a reprieve from the complications of his old life, however he could not seem to steer clear of the life of a criminal as in previous years. If not for his nimble fingers he may have ended up a beggar on the street. He was talented, but had a knack for mischief that had always made his potential employers nervous.
Still, he had taken up the occasional job as mercenary, or even a ‘retrieval specialist’. Often, too often it seemed, nobles would fight over meaningless things, such as rights of marriage and the ownership of tiny plots of land which borders had been clumsily or hastily established. In a recent case, two families; the Brons and the Adamars, were negotiating a settlement of dowry between the young daughter of the Brons, and the eldest son, a soldier of some esteem, to the Adamars. The dowry had been settled upon with a ruby statuette of a dragon, an artifact that had been in the Brons line for over two thousand years, and was a monument to the lineage carried in their blood. They had agreed upon the price because they were desperate. Though they were a noble family, they had run short on funds, and were on the brink of becoming low middle class, with naught but their name, and their family jewel as a bartering tool, they would establish themselves in the world with a connection to a notoriously rich family, the Adamars.
Tanglefoot had been hired by the Brons to retrieve the statuette after the wedding, and return it to the rightful owners of such a jewel. He had been doing just that… then disaster suddenly struck.
He had keen senses mind, but even he could not watch from all angles in a crowded marketplace. He had the statuette hidden in a hempen sack, which he had slung over his back. Not generally worried about thieves, who preferred the pockets of rich men to likeminded halflings, he walked confidently, albeit swiftly, towards the housing district, where he could find his contact. Then, out of nowhere a rock slammed into his temple, knocking him silly, and making the world spin around in circles whilst he tried to regain his bearings. A violent tug suddenly had the sack wrenched from his hands and left him prone, staring upside down at the scaled feet of a kobold thief, dashing through the crowd with his loot!
“Oh boy,” Thought Tanglefoot, “You’ve really done it this time. If you go to the Brons empty handed, you may as well kiss your arse goodbye!” Flipping himself off the wooden floor of the marketplace, he struggled to his feet and tried to find some sort of composure. What to do! What to do?
Posted on 2008-04-10 at 15:02:21.
Edited on 2008-04-11 at 04:58:31 by Philosopher