Vaskar turned his head from the show on stage as a familiar voice approached his table.
"Well met Vaskar Steelsong, the ummm yes yes, 'the drangonslayer.' Oh how the tail grows, the crowd would not like to know that said dragon, was a wee tiny little lizard crossing the road, now would they?"
Vaskar turned, his eyes the hues of the crystalline glaciers of the north reflecting in the candle light upon his table. “Ah Jhaven, it has been some time has it not? Sit, pull up a chair and rest those weary feet, and troubled eyes.” Vaskar kicked out a chair from under the table for Jhaven to be seated. He picked up on the fact that his companion of old was donned ready for battle, an unfortunate but necessary precaution in these trying times. Vaskar of course wore his own suit of finely gold wrought chain under his fineries, both rare and treasured gifts from the elves of the Damaskari Woods when he and his fellow men had helped thwart a rather nasty advance of orcish and giant kind from uprooting the longtime home of many of the fairer kin.
“What brings you to Thayatis?” Jhaven had asked, stealing the moment of nostalgia from the Skald. “Memories my old friend.” Vaskar said was he lifted his single, already almost empty glass of wine to his lips. “Thayatis has always been home to the beginnings of many a fantastic adventure for me, and you as well if memory serves. I thought it time to perhaps pick up the trail of another, lest my name be lost amongst simple thespians or charlatans such as those so reverent before us.” Vaskar chuckled at that and rose.
“But come, there is ample time to compare techniques of those in similar professions to our own later, for now, there is need to reminisce, and share our stories over ale and meat, stout and pastry. And for that, there can be no other than Needlemires.”
~~ Cut to Needlemires allowing for backpost
Vaskar and Jhaven entered the establishment like two school boys who had just realized the value of women for more than throwing stones at. They chided and jested even as the door was flung wide in Vaskar’s zealous advance, and he laughed allowed as he finished the tale he had told while making his way there.
“..And so I says to the Queen, Your majesty, that WAS his third leg!” Vaskar bellowed all the louder at his own punchlines as he led Jhaven to the bar. Those his eyes darted around the room, taking in a general count of those surrounding him, he smiled as he slammed a large hand on the bartop startling the Barkeep, that is until he recognized Vaskar from his many visits over the years.
“Needlemire my good man, I am in fine spirits today, and soon too shall I be in even ‘finer spirits’ still! Fate has chanced an old friend uon me once more, and I feel like sharing the mirth. A round of your finest for everyone present! And get this man –he said patting Jhaven on the back—a room with a bath for when he’s done, the road sticks to him like filth to a beggar, and let there be no beggar’s here!” With that he flopped down upon the stool, adjusting his axes and spear shaft so as not to impale anyone-least of all himself—as he waited for the brew to start flowing, and good times to be had by all.
Sytanis Dwellings Darlthenia, Tristan, Panon, Asheera, Amiri, Velkyn, Khalessin, Ulfgar, Vaskar and Jhaven are those who are destined to save us all, and if only they knew what they would be challenging
The voice was that of an old man, and he had watched a disappearance and knew what they would be facing. Shaking his head slightly the old man sat in his chair reading the list of those who wished to partake. He began doing the math for how much food would be required for those bold enough to embark upon the mission. A war horse and pack horse, would be given to each the morn of their departure.
The man's servant entered the room in that moment and she curtsied the old man, a gentle smile upon her lips. A woman no older than 23 was the happy servant of the bitter old man. The man nodded to show his acknowledgment of her presence and the hawk that was always with her. Silently she walked with elegance towards the older man and she sat on the floor nearby running a soft hand along the bird's feathers. Hesitantly she spoke to her master.
Master Kia, I was wondering, if it would be too much to ask that I go meet those who have agreed to partake on this mission for you. I wish to offer them this hawk, in case they need anything on their journey. We both know how difficult it will be and that they may not return, it would please me if I could see them off, to ensure they left in great spirits.
The old man seemed to not have heard her, or he was taking his precious time to answer. Master Kia was too old to go after those who had captured a longtime friend of his, and so had decided upon a reward for the return of his friend, but would deliver a reward if the kidnaping ceased completely. After what seemed like an eternity to the Servant the Master bestowed upon her his blessing.
Lyra, child, I shall grant you permission to leave this night, so that you may send our adventurers off with hope in their heart. I'm surprised that with so much provided for them, they have not suspected that it may end up costing them their lives. Or perhaps they have and are just too stupid to care about how much of their life is still ahead of them. Yes Child, you have my blessings to go to them this night, but do not disturb them. You must wait outside Needlemire's Inn for the group to arrive. Once they have all arrived you must tell them why you are there. Wish them luck on their adventure and that what they are doing is greatly appreciated no matter the reasons for which each have agreed to go. Thank You Master Kia. I will not forget your generosity this night. I will return to you with notes of each person going. I will do my best to inform them as I see fit. I shall watch my tongue Master Kia as to keep close to me what we know might scare them off from this mission.
Silence weighed heavily in the room where the pair sat discussing matters about the mission they ensured would be taken by powerful or perhaps stupid adventurers wishing for funds or a title. Lyra bowed towards the old man and she left the room swiftly to grab what she needed and start on her passage to Neddlemire's Inn.
Darlthenia and Spider had thought each other an illusion until they spoke and then the reunion had begun. Two of the group knew each other. Then another pair walked in from the theater down the road from the Inn. Obviously Vaskar and Jhaven had known each other for some time as well. Panon and Asheera had stumbled in together, and seemed quite comfortable around each other, but did not bear the same aura with each other as Darlthenia and Tristan. Everyone who entered the Inn seemed to know Needlemire on a personal note. The rest of the group though, seemed to only now have been making small talk with each other.
As the sun disappeared over the horizon, the group had become acquaintances or perhaps even friends with each other, for they knew if they were friends, they could work together more easily than if they were at each others throats. It was in the moment when the Inn lights began to dim that Needlemire had approached the posse gathered around two tables. Clearing his throat he spoke to them, the only ones left in the inn who had not called it a night or left.
Alright Lads and Lassies, time to call it a night. I don't have enough rooms for everyone to have their own room. I only have 5 rooms left, so you'll have to find yerselves a partner for the night. Wouldn't be a bad idea either since you'll be stuck together, best partner up so ye can get to knows each other. Anyways, off to bed lads and lassies. I'm lockin up and you be needin your sleep to be up before sunrise. Sleep Well ye lot.
When Neddlemire left the group paired off and went to the rooms he had told were available. He went about locking the door, and cleaning up the tables and floors before calling it a night himself. The bartender called it a night once his tasks were complete. The party had gone upstairs having decided upon who was to share whose quarters. It was a long journey that lay before their feet, and they would need a good night's rest in order to be up before dawn to eat and make last minute purchases if they so desired it.
Outside Needlemire's Inn
Lyra waited patiently outside the building where she knew the party would spend the night. It had been a few hours since she sat outside the building with her hawk as company. Nessa sat quietly upon her mistresses arm, nearly asleep when suddenly the door of the Inn creaked open. The Hawk's gaze quickly found the culprit of who had awoken her. It was a party of ten who were leaving the building just as the sun started its ascent into the sky. Lyra quickly found her footing and bowed low before them, then extended her hand to each in turn to offer greetings.
Hello, I'm Lyra, I'm here to wish you luck on your adventures, and make sure you were all provided with proper rations for the journey, and mounts. I come here also to present the group with a gift during the time you are gone. (She extends her free hand to give the leather glove to one of the women of the group.) I warn you now that Nessa here, will obey women unless there are no women present, then she will obey the men. I entrust her safety to you all. She will deliver messages to anyone in Thyatis city, and perhaps even bring forth messages on our behalf. You need but whistle and she will join you as soon as she hears the whistle.
Posted on 2008-05-08 at 18:18:54.
Edited on 2008-05-08 at 18:21:38 by cdnflirt
Panon Panaw clapped Needlemire good naturedly on the shoulder, smiled another sparkling eyed smile at Asheera, then turned away from Needlemire and with his left arm coyly resting on Asheera's right shoulder; the Cleric began looking at no one in particular, yet at everyone in the room who was eating or drinking before announcing matter of factly, "So who has the time and inclination to join us on a quest to deliver the downtrodden?"
Asheera allows the hand there briefly and the bends over to pat Andaron and when she straightens she is a step away from the presumptuous man. Being among human society was going to be strange. Even the use of a short form of her name was different, as it was usually used only by family members. She had thought of making up an entirely different name, but that might be to confusing, and dangerous if she was not quick enough to recognize the made up name. At least her short name was easier to say than Asheera’rae’endilara and that was just her first name. Her mother must have been in a poetic mood when naming her. Her father, by contrast was a man who enjoyed simplicity, his name for her was much more brief, Ash and she liked it better that Asheera. She decided then and there to introduce herself as Ash.
Ash looked about the common room and noted certain people looking up with more than a casual interest in what Panon had announced, a number of those were Elves, which was strange indeed for what would interest Elves in the disappearance of the human flotsam and jetsam of the city. More, too, what would have caused the High Temple of Corellon to send her to deal with the problem. She had been utterly surprised when she was told that she was to go into the human lands. So it was that Asheera’rae’endilara Lore’en’isilmarion Aure’ en’dracar was given the duty of going to Thyatis City to the Temple of Khoronus.
It had been a long journey, fraught with dangers. It was not the forests or the wilds that posed problems, not the Ocrs, Goblins and monsters that were her constant opponents, but the lawless peoples of the human lands. How could humans live like this? Humans preying of humans, let alone all the others that suffered from human attacks.
Posted on 2008-05-08 at 18:29:05.
Edited on 2008-05-08 at 21:18:40 by Dragon Mistress
Ash greeted to others as a whole, but noted all their names.
"I am Ash, Paladin of Corellon and like him I have training as a Ranger and a Bard." If one listened carefully they might not the questioning in her voice, as if she wondered why an Elf was sent to deal in Human matters.
As Needlemire mentions rooming arrangements, Ash immediately look to the Elf who called herself Amiri. "I would be honored if you share a room with me," Ash says to Amiri, "If you do not mind sharing it with a slightly cumbersome cat."
Ash pets the Cath Shee's head and ruffles the long hair of his ears.
At Amiri acceptance they head off to the room for the night. Ash spends part of her evening in prayer, Puts her own sheets and blankets on the bed before changing out of her clothes and then sliding into bed naked. Andaron, to big and way to heavy slept on the floor, but put his head on the pillow that Ash had set at the edge of her bed for him.
Ash was up before dawn and quickly dressed and donned her armor.
She ate breakfast with Amiri, who was also an early riser. after gathering up all their equipment, ready to take off for the day.
(Action at breakfast.)
As they exited the inn they were approached by a young woman with a hawk. As she asked of a female to handle the hawk, Ash stepped forward. She had left her Eagle Owl at home, not thinking the falcon would be needed where she was going and what she thought she might be doing. Anyway is was breeding season and Sasha was ready to mate.
"I will take her." Ash reaches into a side pouch on her belt and pulls out a beautiful falconry gauntlet, the leather was a soft gray and highly decorated with colorful enbroidery. The back of the hand and the main wrist covering were of a heavier nature, enough to withstand the talons of a large bird of prey.
"What is her favorite food?" Ash goes on asking about the care of this particular bird, as all birds were different.
Posted on 2008-05-08 at 21:48:25.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Amiri enjoyed having a clean bed and comfortable surroundings for the night. She shared a room with Asheera, who promptly asked her to call her Ash. Her prayers said for the night she studied her spell books preparing for the coming day. Not know what it might brings she studied a variety of spells that might be useful some defensive some offensive and healing spells certainly those were always needed.
After study Amiri silently practiced with her sword. The slim lovely blade had been a gift from her mother when she was accepted into the Sisterhood of the sword.. Her mother took much pride in her accomplishments for that, but virtually none for her skill as a cleric and mage.
Amiri sighed, her mother was what she was, a dedicated Sister of the Sword. Now Amiri was too. She finished cleaning the fine mithral leaf-bladed longsword and slipping it back into its sheath. She had sworn to keep that skill as good as her first love, which was being a cleric and mage. She had missed a lot while she devoted herself to mastering the sword.
Amiri quietly wondered how far she would have been along her own chosen path if her eldest sister had not died. Stripping down she climbed into the bed with nothing more that a fine half shift on. She didn't like the feel for rough sheets that that these were but she also did not want to be waken suddenly and have nothing on as she sprang into action. Amiri laid her sword next to her; her hand on the scabbard. Sleep came and with it dreams. Nothing bad but many things played out in the night that touched on thoughts she had put aside during the day. Vague shadows drifted in and out, beggars kept disappearing before her eyes. Something darker and more ominous lingered hidden yet but always there just out of perception.
With the sun rise Amiri rose and gave thanks for the new day and new opportunities. The big question on her mind was who had assemble this group and when could they find out about when they were going to start on it.
Gradually during breakfast various other who had evidenced an interest is doing something about the problem entered the common room . AMiri would make eye contact with them as they came down woping they would join Ash and herself. Amiri and Ash set off outside to see what there was to see.
To the others, Amiri says. "I hope today we will find out more about what we have signed up for."
After breakfast Amiri is ready to head out nd it seems so are the others. So she joins the flow out the front door. Off to the side a young woman steps forth. Amiri listens to what she has to say and make genrous offers of horses, pack animals and supplies for them all. Someone was financing this venture but the young woman said nothing about whom.
"I would certainly like t know who has gathered us together, what qualifications they are seeking, and what do they know about this venture beside the rumors and tales?"
Posted on 2008-05-14 at 05:12:58.
Edited on 2008-06-03 at 23:49:55 by Brianna
Panon Panaw was relieved that Ash had found another lady to speak with and share a room. He was more accustomed to working alone and had felt a bit of a strain and pressure to entertain his lady guest as she got acclimated to her surroundings at Needlemire's.
The time flow had ebbed and change was in the air as the Flame Finger introduced himself and invited Panon Panaw to share a room.
Panon really had no choice in the matter and the Flame Finger was not only an interesting person, but the convergence of time made it evident that this one would soon prove to be a valuable friend and ally before the journey to deliver the oppressed had been fulfilled.
The Flame Finger was as talkative as Panon was quiet and as the Flame Finger studied his spell book, the Mercenary Cleric readied himself for a good night's sleep.
He was courteous in listening to the talkative one, but when pressed for an answer to the disappearance of the beggars, Panon Panaw merely replied:
"Time Will Tell ... my friend ... Time Will Tell ..."
Posted on 2008-05-14 at 20:25:26.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 462/28 8497 Posts
The Troupe Assembles (backpost)
As the afternoon stretched into evening so, too, did the group gathered around that particular table in Needlemire’s Inn grow. The first of the new additions were a Cleric of Khoronus (obvious from the symbols stitched, painted, or otherwise displayed on the half-elf’s vestments and gear) who, quite mirthfully, introduced himself as Panon Panaw and, in the cleric’s company (as if the priest were serving as her escort) also came an elven woman whom, by bearing and demeanor, was unmistakable as a Paladin of Corellon. The entrance of this pair, despite their noble bearing, seemed almost comical to Spider as he watched them. “It would seem that the gods have quite an interest in the disappearance of society’s dregs, as well,” he chuckled softly, lifting a fresh tankard of ale to his lips.
“A priest of Father Time and a sword mistress of the First of the Elves,” he mused, swallowing that mouthful of ale and turning his golden eyes back to Darli and the rest, “Both useful and, at the same time, curious…” Panaw, he figured, given the ‘timely nature’ of Khoronus’ clerics, had simply been in the right place at the right time to have heard of the expedition but what interest could Corellon possibly have in the vanishing of beggars in a largely human city? Spider had lost his faith in any gods long ago and, now, put it into little more than his skills and his blade so, aside from fighting prowess and access to healing magics, it was hard for him to fathom what might have drawn these two in.
As he lost himself in Darli’s smile, again, he let his wonder at the purposes of this pair slip from his mind. He greeted Ash (as the paladin preferred to be called) and Panon as they reached the table and, as was always wise when setting out with new folk, listened with interest as they spoke. He, of course, answered when spoken to but, as had been his way for as long as mattered, Spider kept any personal details and any hint of his affiliation with the Shadowblades very closely guarded.
It was not long thereafter, as daylight drew even nearer to dusk, that the last of the troupe arrived at Needlemire’s in the form of a pair of bards. One of these he recognized as “something Steelsong;“ a Skald, if Spider recalled the term correctly, from the human warrior clans of the North. Spider has seen this one perform before (though he couldn’t recall precisely where) and knew a little about the man and his reputation for having slain a dragon. The other in Steelsong’s company, though, he didn’t recognize clearly. Jahven’s name, when it was offered, struck some chord of familiarity but Spider couldn’t decide if he had before heard the name whispered in the shadows of the underworld or if perhaps, like Steelsong, it had been heard in relation to a performance the Shadowblade had once witnessed in some other place. Regardless, like most folks of their ilk, Spider was sure that the bards had decided to join this expedition with their foremost thoughts being the songs and tales that might be woven from the threads of the adventure to come and, had the truth of it been known, he was looking forward to hearing bits of both men’s repertoires over the course of this thing.
So it was that the evening went on and, as the sun dipped below the horizon and the sun had dipped below the horizon, only those around this table remained at Needlemire’s. All the other patrons had scurried off to make it to their homes before night claimed the streets or, if they weren’t locals, had been directed by Needlemire himself to other establishments that might offer accommodations for the night as all of the rooms in his place were currently occupied. Like all of them, Spider had spent those hours getting to know his new companions and even had begun to truly like some of them well enough. So it was that Tristan offered up a somewhat disappointed sigh when the Innkeeper began to shut down the tavern and advised them of the arrangements that would need to be made for their own rooms.
“If you’ll not mind the memories of it, Darli-luv,” he grinned after Needlemire had suggested it, “I’d be happy to share a room with you. We’ve got lost time to recapture, after all.”
((OOC: Assuming, of course that Darlthenia agrees…))
His smile widened and, as Darli slid gracefully from his lap, Spider downed the remains of his tankard before rising from the seat himself. “The night keep you well, my friends,” he beamed, nodding to each member of the party before taking Darli’s hand and happily strolling off to a room Needlemire had set aside, “It’s possible that this will be the last night in some time that we all enjoy a true bed.”
((OOC2: And, here ends the backpost… Tristan and Darli off to play ‘catch up’ and ready themselves for the coming morrow. DA- if you want to play any of this out, let me know (I imagine there is quite a bit that these tow will have to tell each other and, given the length of time they’ve been apart, there may even be some “shocking revelations” brought to light). Everyone else – I imagined our characters all learned a bit about one another over the course of gathering together, if anyone wants to offer up info that might’ve ‘slipped’ about your characters (or even might want to know what they might’ve learned about Spider) in that time just shoot me a PM or something… Still working on the ‘next day’ but hope to have it ready to go soon, too.))
Those elves don't seem like too bad of a thing right now...
Once he heard that the group was going to stay in the inn for the night, he instantly walked over to the two female elves conversing in the inn. Which to choose... Which to choose, he thought to himself, Hell, why not both?! Man, maybe it was a good idea to have all these elves around! About to put his arms around both of the elves and say his proposal for the night, the two suddenly up and left. Damn elves. Never there when you need 'em. Sure to not embarrass himself, he changed that action into a yawn. Grabbing the next closest person next to him, which happened to be Panon Panaw, he decided it would be him who he would room with for the night.
"So friend, I guess it'll be you and me for the night." He yawned again, unconvincingly. "I'm off for the night! I'll meet you up there or something," he clasped the cleric on the shoulder again, "friend."
The mage then headed toward the rooms, stretching his arms once more. He opened the room door and threw himself on his bed, setting his belongings at the side of his bed. Flipping himself over, he grabbed his spellbook, that spellbook he never would have thought he would use for anything of purpose, and began to study it.
Panon Panaw, entered the room and began to gather his things. Looking over at the shiny armour, Ulfgar asked, "So. You're a Cleric huh? What's that like?" Silence. He flipped a few pages of his book. "So what made you choose that path? A dying loved one? Quest to help to meek?" Again, silence, save the clanking of metal. "You and I, I think we'll have a good relationship this journey you know?" He leaned his head back and watched his fingers engulf in flames, "So what do you think took all these beggars?"
"Time Will Tell ... my friend ... Time Will Tell ..."
Well, at least he's not an elf, he thought. The cleric then took off his helmet, and the mage let out a small groan.
Posted on 2008-05-15 at 17:46:09.
Edited on 2008-05-15 at 17:49:31 by Brodeur30
Khalessin was generally a bit on the quiet side. He sat back and listened as the group got to know each other. As the evening wore on he joined in the conversation as he decided that the group was likely to be a good one to a part of. Even those likely to have slippery fingers seemed to be well worth getting to know.
Khalessin slept easily that night in Needlemire's Inn. He didn't mind a bedroll and the stars, but had long ago learned to enjoy a bed, even a hard one, when he could find one. So he slept well and enjoyed the opportunity while it lasted.
In the morning he went downstairs, chatted with those who were there, and went outside when the group did. When the young woman informed the group that their messages would be relayed to Thyatis City by the bird, he felt the need to ask, "And who in the city will be receiving our messages?"
"We are all interested in this mission, but know little of what is required. When and where might we expect to hear more about this mission?"
Lyra was beautiful, there was no doubt about that, she even looked like a fighter of sorts who may be capable of joining the cause. The young lady's voice could be compared to the singing of angels. Each word flew flawlessly from her mouth and seemed selected with perfect care. Only three people chose to speak at that time. The first from the woman who decided on taking the hawk. The woman inquired about how to take care of the talented bird, yet it was obvious that she expected this question for she had answered it before the others even though of anything to say.
"What is her favorite food?" Ash goes on asking about the care of this particular bird, as all birds were different. "she can fend for herself when it comes to surviving. When she comes to us to let us know what is needed from the town, I will gather it personally and have her deliver your reply and send forth means for the items to reach you. Nessa here is a wonderful pet, you need but call her and she will be there. Sometimes she will perch on your arm, but for the most part she will fly overhead and keep watch for you.
Lyra was careful with the words she chose to use towards the party. A smile on her lips as she kissed the falcon softly and after chirping something to the bird, it crawled over onto Ash's arm to perch. The hawk was beautiful beyond doubt and it was known that this bird was very rare in these parts of the world. The young lady smiled to the member of the group as they stood in front of her chatting with each other, whispering or talking under their breath for only themselves to hear.
"I would certainly like t know who has gathered us together. What qualifications they are seeking, and what do they know about this venture beside the rumors and tales?" The only thing I can tell you that might help you is that the man who has gathered you is an old man whose friend was taken a few nights prior to the signs being posted. He hopes that everyone here is going to be ready to face whatever it is that is stealing our homeless people from us. There isn't much known to anyone about what lies beyond the city. We fear that they may have taken them to those mountains yonder.
Lyra pointed to the faint image of the mountains over the horizon and shook her head. The sight was a beautiful one to behold, but she feared what might roam outside the city limits. Since the first disappearances, there were whispers that creatures began flooding the empty spaces outside the city.
"And who in the city will be receiving our messages?"
"We are all interested in this mission, but know little of what is required. When and where might we expect to hear more about this mission?"
Turning to the sound of the voice she nodded slightly and to show she understood the questions and concerns being voices. The woman had to be careful answering his questions, for she gave her word she wouldn't reveal anything else to them. Without hesitation however she answered the questions. "Your messages will be coming to me so I can gather the supplies you need and send them to you as I see fit. I would accompany you but I must take care of somebody that is close to me, their health is failing them. Nobody knows anything more than that the beggars have been disappearing and that we need to find them. Homeless or not, they are still an important part of our community. Fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it and we can promise you at least one has disappeared from the streets since this ordeal has happened. I will personally ensure you have food and shelter for this trip. I don't know how long it will take to figure out what has happened and send the news to us, or you may deliver it personally if it doesn't take too long to figure out what has happened, and perhaps bring them back, if they are not dead."
Lyra pulled out a scroll case, parchment paper, ink and a quill from her pack. She handed them to Ash so they could write the supplies they needed on the parchment and send it into town for her to pick up. The woman turned to watch as the red circle was almost completely in the sky, and she spoke "time is crucial. The longer we wait, the more go missing. If there are no questions, please carry on. I have other things to do before I return to my ailing father. Falling silent she waited to find out if there were more questions to be answered or if they would finally leave on their journey.
Posted on 2008-05-19 at 13:02:07.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 462/28 8497 Posts
Dawn broke and with it the realization that last night hadn’t been a dream. When Tristan woke, Darli was still curled in his arms, the jasmine scent of her hair subtle yet intoxicating. He sighed happily and, for a long moment, was content to simply lie there, holding her and recalling their long conversation from the night before… For hours and hours after retiring to their room, the pair of thieves had huddled together in a single bed and took turns recounting the events of the past decade and for the entirety of the talking, neither could look away from the other until sleep, at last, over took them and they drifted off in one another’s arms… Smiling, Tristan delicately lifted a spill of her curling, ebon locks from where it lay across his chest and tucked it behind her ear. “The sun is up, Darli,” he whispered, letting his fingertips feather across her cheek as he kissed tenderly on the top of the head, “and so should we be. The others may likely leave without us.”
Begrudging, now, of the fact that there was a job to be done, Tristan slipped silently from the bed, pausing to plant another tender kiss on her cheek before turning to his pack. Spider’s working gear, of course, was at the ready at the top of this particular saddle-bag and, before Darli was fully awake, he had already slipped into his dark-hued breeches and boots of soft leather and was just shy of slipping into his shadow-chain (as he called the silenced shirt of elfin mail) when Darli opened her eyes and smiled at him. The soft brilliance of that expression warmed him to his core and, again, made him wish that there was at least another day and night before the job was to begin. He knew, of course, that there wasn’t to be any more time for just the two of them alone in this room, though, so he took some solace in the fact that, however long this new adventure might last, Darli would be close and, when it was all over, he swore to himself at that moment, never again would he lose her the way he had all those years ago. Something in him prevented Tristan from voicing those thoughts, though – be it superstition, apprehensiveness towards testing fate, or, perhaps, simple fear that speaking the words might end this dream he had found himself in – instead, he smiled brightly at her, welcoming her to the new day, and continued dressing.
After he had pulled the deep purple tunic over the shirt of mail and set about snugging himself up in his housebreaker’s rig, though, Tristan couldn’t help but pause and gather Darli in his arms even as she tried to get herself geared up. “I’m more rested this morning,” he whispered as his arms slid around her and his lips pressed to her neck, “than I can ever recall. I’m glad I’ve found you again.”
They had joined the others for breakfast in the tavern, of course, and engaged in the banter that was typical of the beginnings of such a task as was set before them.
"I hope today we will find out more about what we have signed up for," Amiri said at one point.
“More vagaries and speculations than truth, I’d wager,” Spider snickered in reply, “We’ll likely not find any trace of that until we’re long into the task.”
Spider couldn’t help but grin as he looked from one to the next… Quite the motley crew we’ve gathered together, isn’t it, he chuckled inwardly, Fighters, hunters, healers, singers, and thieves… for naught more than the vanishing of some ‘beggars’… heh… right, the beggars are the concern and I’m the Warlord of Altan Tepe.
There is more to this than any of us could imagine, I’m sure of it. Regardless whom it might have been that directed each of us here to begin with, he mused as he finished his breakfast and rechecked his gear, I doubt that any of us know who we truly are working for.
So it was, with thoughts such as those in his mind, that Spider wasn’t quite surprised to encounter Lyra outside of the Inn. Nor was he surprised much by what she had to say. She was an ‘emissary’ of whomever it was that had truly backed this expedition and, as he would have expected, didn’t volunteer anything more than the ‘gifts’ of provisions and the like, along with a falcon named Nessa that, she said, would carry communications back and forth between the party and their benefactors. He watched the lovely lass carefully and acknowledged her without words when it was required but, as he had learned long ago that listening was usually more beneficial than talking, said little in her presence.
"I would certainly like to know who has gathered us together,” Amiri stated following Ash’s acceptance of the falcon, “What qualifications they are seeking, and what do they know about this venture beside the rumors and tales?"
Vagaries and speculations, Spider grinned, when Lyra responded. He flicked a wink at Amiri as if to say; See? We’ll know precious little else until were near done.
"And who in the city will be receiving our messages," Khalessian pressed. The fighter, too, it seemed wasn’t easily swayed from the line of questioning. "We are all interested in this mission, but know little of what is required. When and where might we expect to hear more about this mission?"
"Your messages will be coming to me so I can gather the supplies you need and send them to you as I see fit.” Lyra answered cryptically, “I would accompany you but I must take care of somebody that is close to me, their health is failing them. Nobody knows anything more than that the beggars have been disappearing and that we need to find them.”
Spider arched a brow at that and may have actually cast a disbelieving look in Lyra’s direction… True concern for the downtrodden, then, is it? From someone with the funds to finance an expedition such as this? Curiouser and curiouser…… his mind tunred back, remembering the briefing he’d received from Seramin just weeks ago, and instantly started sorting through the threads that tied that information together with those provided by this lovely girl.
“Homeless or not,” Lyra said, “they are still an important part of our community. Fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it and we can promise you at least one has disappeared from the streets since this ordeal has happened. I will personally ensure you have food and shelter for this trip. I don't know how long it will take to figure out what has happened and send the news to us, or you may deliver it personally if it doesn't take too long to figure out what has happened, and perhaps bring them back, if they are not dead.
Time is crucial,” Lyra stressed, her own eyes turning towards the rapidly rising sun, “The longer we wait, the more go missing. If there are no questions, please carry on. I have other things to do before I return to my ailing father.”
It was sure to be an intricate web when it was completed, Spider thought, finally letting his eyes drift free of the girl and over the faces of his new companions, but, as with any web, it would never be completed if the first thread didn’t get anchored. “Sounds to me like an invitation to leave the city, my friends,” he quipped, moving towards the stables to claim his horse…
They had all gathered and made pleasantries the night prior, all gathered from across the lands and unified for this one goal, though to each their motivations remained their own. As they left the inn in the morning, they were greeted by Lyra once more, who gifted a paladin named Ash with a magnificent bird, to serve as eyes and ears afar, and a means to carry communications back and forth between them and the woman known as Lyra. While her explanations of the multitude of questions were often cryptic and left much more to be desired as far as information was concerned, it was apparent they would pry no more from her.
“Not the easiest task at hand before us, but the challenge breathes new life into these lungs of mine.” Vaskar took a deep breath of the fresh morning air, laced with humidity from the dew which cloaked the grass and earth like a shimmering veil in the early morning sunlight. As Lyra wrapped up, and everyone turned to each other debating on preparation and the urgency of the situation, as Spider quipped in about an invitation to leave the city in haste.
Vaskar, being provided for with supplies and mount, simply moved to claim his aforementioned horse, moved to the gate of the city that would lead them closest to the mountains, their destination. He was the first one there, and so he wrapped his head around the lyrics of a little ballad in wait. As the other’s tricked in, he leaned against the gate and brought life to his song, chanting it out across the road to his companions to be with a smile.
From yonder paths of life and fate do players fill the field;
Pawns to destiny are played what actions do they yield?
And all the while an unseen hand in shadow moves concealed…
Our band of heroes gathers now their minds and hearts are steeled;
Two lovers of the past are chanced to find each other once more
While friends reunited at long last both from a distant shore
And strangers still gifted with flight of falcon which shall soar…
Our band of heroes gathers now ready to settle the score,
From city gate to distant spire of rock and earth we go
In search of those taken at night from alley row by row
What mysteries await us there does anybody know…
Our band of heroes gathers now as ebb of time dost flow,
And we carry on upon the stage of life once more to give the gods a show…
Posted on 2008-05-22 at 18:36:45.
Edited on 2008-05-22 at 19:03:19 by Kaelyn
Khalessin listened to the woman describe their adventure and answer the questions posed. As usual with this sort of thing, there were very few answers. Or, at least, there were few answers being given - that did not mean the answers were unknown.
Before heading off to get his animals, he dropped one more question in the direction of their supposed employer. "The mountains you say? Mountains tend to be big things, is there anywhere in particular within those mountains that you might suggest we start? Or anything to look for? Something must be pointing you, and thus us, in that direction."
Once the young woman had finished evading another question (a bad assumption?) Khalessin will get his own animals. He already has a warhorse and packhorse and thus will not need the offered animals. However, he is more than happy to load up with food, ropes, packs and any other equipment that seems useful. Khalessin also has a falcon of his own, but expects no problem with the gifted bird.
Khalessin stops and listens to the bards tune. When it is completed he nods to the bard and says, "such clever and well sung tunes shall help pass the time on this trip until the excitement starts. You are a welcome companion." Khalessin waits for the others while standing next to the bard.
As the group conversed, Darlthenia simply listened, while absentmindedly sliding her fingers through Tristan’s hair, and softly raking her nails down the back of his neck. She didn’t have much to say about the situation or why she was taking part in the effort to find out what was going on with the disappearances.
Still sitting in Tristan’s lap, she heard his words, “It would seem that the gods have quite an interest in the disappearance of society’s dregs, as well,” and, “A priest of Father Time and a sword mistress of the First of the Elves,”
Darlthenia glanced over at the couple he spoke of, raising an eyebrow at what she saw. Then Tristan looked back at her and her breath caught in her chest, and she simply smiled, looking into his eyes even as he glanced at the rest of the group and said, “Both useful and, at the same time, curious…” “Yes, most curious indeed.” Darlthenia agreed.
And so the night went on, bringing with it two more curious members to the group of would-be “heroes”. Two bards. “Interesting. This should make for some good entertainment while out and about.”
As the night wound down, Needlemire closed down the inn, and it was time for all to head to bed. “If you’ll not mind the memories of it, Darli-luv,” she noted the grin on her beloved’s face after Needlemire had suggested the group pair up in the provided rooms, “I’d be happy to share a room with you. We’ve got lost time to recapture, after all.”
Darlthenia could not help but to give Tristan her most dazzling smile as she nodded. She leaned close to him, whispering in his ear, “Just try and stop me.” She laughed softly as she slid off his lap and held out her hand for his, before turning and with a wave goodnight to the Innkeeper, she made her way towards the stairs with Tristan.
“It’s possible that this will be the last night in some time that we all enjoy a true bed.”
She laughed and turned to face him as she took a few steps backwards, “Well then, let’s make the most of it while we can.” With that she winked at him, and turned back around and quickened the pace.
Darlthenia slowly floated back down to consciousness, drifting out of the first good dream she’d had in close to 10 years. She could feel the gentle touch on her hair, and the tender caress across her cheek as Tristan’s oh so longed for voice filtered into her ears. “The sun is up, Darli,” she smiled softly as she felt his lips press against her forhead, “and so should we be. The others may likely leave without us.”
Darlthenia opened her green eyes and looked up into the golden orbs that had haunted her dreams for so long. She caressed his beloved face, and then leaned up and pressed her lips to his tenderly. Then she smiled, “Good morning.”
She lay in the bed, watching him dress for a moment, before she reluctantly rose from the bed herself and got ready to face the day, humming softly to herself as she did so.
After breakfast the group headed outside where they encountered the woman, Lyra, who gave them a bird and evasive answers to the questions asked. Darlthenia was skeptical. She didn’t believe this woman knew as little as she claimed. She kept her thoughts to herself, however, and made her way to the stables to get her own horse ready to go.
Once mounted and ready, Darlthenia moved with the group out towards the mountains, where she came upon Vaskar singing a tune. She smiled and looked over at Tristan at the bard’s words of two lovers having found each other.
She didn’t know exactly what lay ahead, or what obstacles they would have to overcome to fulfill this “mission”, but she knew one thing for certain. She had her Tristan back, and together they would get through this, and would never be separated again.
Posted on 2008-05-23 at 14:14:02.
Edited on 2008-05-23 at 17:22:01 by DarkAutumn
Like usual, Ulfgar slept in a little today. He woke up in a start, sitting up and looking around the empty room. It seemed as though Panon had already left. He picked up his bag and his staff and began stumbling downstairs. Yawning heavily, he noticed even he was late for breakfast; the last of the group was heading outside, following a woman. Hopefully not an elf. He walked outside, and became more concerned with the bright light of the sun than what the woman was talking about.
However, he did notice she suggested they travel to the mountains. Using his great insight, the wizard thought, Why would we be going to the mountains, if we're searching for beggars? There must be something more than meets the eye. He began to have a few doubts, but his human curiosity began to kick in. What the hell. Let's just do it.
Nearing the group, he went over to the elf he thought was called "Ash". A large falcon was perched on her hand. He asked, "So what's for breakfast?"