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WhomstHasSummonedTom
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"They got us this far, but I don't think I'll be able to hide again should we assist them", Legion pondered, looking down at the scalemail attached to his body.



Posted on 2023-02-08 at 11:40:57.

Nomad D2
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Intentionally Overheard

Azax looked at his companions and quickly made up his mind.  He chose his tone carefully - loud enough to be overheard by their secret follower but hopefully not loud enough to be heard by the feasting wyverling or terrified orcs.  "Let the beast have the orcs.  They won't lead us to their fortres if they know we are here.  The only way they help us if they are unaware of us.  And if they die - they have the sword.  That isn't our goal but having it in orc hands can't be a good thing.  And if it is a dragon-riders sword, well, where is the rider?  These are dark days.  A return of the dragon riders would be most welcome.  Perhaps one needs its sword returned to it?"  Here he paused and glanced back at the battle in front of them.  "Lets duck down and hide and see how things play out."  He looked at Legion.  "we'll keep that armor hidden for now, yes?  We can clean things up afterwards."

If the others agree with his decision Azax will slink back a little further into the woods - hiding as well as he can while retaining a view of the overall fight.  He also keeps his ears pealed for any sign of movement behind them from their shadow.  



Posted on 2023-02-27 at 16:31:43.

WhomstHasSummonedTom
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"If these orcs have indeed killed the rider to get this sword I wouldn't even mind watching them get eaten", Legion's normally monotone voice almost had a snicker to it this time.



Posted on 2023-03-05 at 09:41:32.
Edited on 2023-03-05 at 09:41:47 by WhomstHasSummonedTom

dragon-soul92
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An Old Order Resurfaces

The wyverling continued its bloody feast, its prey attempting in vain to flee from the beast as it gorged on their companions. Three orcs escaped into the trees-wether through skill or sheer luck, it was impossible to tell. Those less fortunate were quickly devoured by the monster as it unleashed a roar of satisfaction and triumph.
'The wyverling has almost finished his repast,' Erundak whispered. 'Whatever we are deciding to do, we must do it swiftly before it sees us and decides to have desert.'

Azax replied in a loudish whisper: 'Let the beasts have the orcs. They won't lead us to their fortress if they know we are here. The only way they help us is if they are unaware of us. And if they die-they have the sword. That isn't our goal, but having it in orc hands can't be a good thing. And if this is a dragon rider's sword, where is the rider? These are dark days. A return of the dragon riders would be most welcome. Perhaps one needs its sword returned to it?'

Legion agreed.
'They got us this far,' the warforged nodded, 'I don't think I'll be able to hide again if we assist them.' He contemplated his gleaming armour before adding, 'if the orcs have indeed killed the rider to get this sword, I wouldn't even mind watching them get eaten.' The automiton's useually robotic voice had a hint of amusement to it.

Azax, Legion and Erundak slowly crept to a more secure location where the trees and undergrowth were more dense and so decreased their chances of being spotted by the wyverling's watchful gaze as it searched for yet more prey, its hunger not yet sated. The party hoped that the scent of the sparse flowers that had managed to bloom in the meagre light would help to mask their scent. The beast slowly, almost lazily, crawled down the rough, gnarled trunk of the ancient pine, then paused upon reaching the ground, its serpent-like head swinging from side to side, still searching for more victims to fill its already bulging belly, chops covered with gore. Upon finding nothing, it growled in dissatisfaction then proceeded into the trees, stripping them of their bark as its large bulk scraped past them. Soon, all that could be seen was the tip of its spiked tail, then that too slithered out of sight like a large snake.

The party exhaled a sigh of relief that they had successfully eluded the monster, but the events in the area were not yet at an end. Once again, the foliage behind them rustled as a figure disturbed it. The party turned sharply in the direction of the sound, but still the figure was draped in deep shadow from the thick canopy of the trees. All they beheld was the sillhouette of slim framed body, which paused as though hesitant to reveal itself, before slowly, gingerly, emerging into the more lighted area near the party. Erundak muttered a spell and the pixie dust in the lantern increased its glow. He held it higher and they finally discerned who-and what-had been following them.

The woman was of a tall and slender build, lithe as a hunting cat, her feline-like eyes were the hue of ice: white, but with hints of a softer blue. They darted to each member of the party, scruitinizing you, trying to decide wether you were friend or foe. Her white-blonde hair, which used to flow like a mane of silk, was now matted with blood, though the party had no way of knowing if it was hers or her assailants'. Her slender fingers were clutching her left side where a large patch of blood stained the fabric of her tunic, the red in stark contrast to the snow white of the garment. Gold thread, glinting in the light from Erundak's lantern, lined the edges of the collar with intricate designs, the flowing skirts of her tunic fluttering slightly in a gentle breeze. When she turned her head, a lock of hair fell across her face, revealing a sharply tapered ear. She was an elf. The party held still. Even wounded as she was, she could still prove to be a formiddable enemy if provoked and if she was indeed what they suspected her to be-one of the Golden Order, a dragon rider-then who knows what powers she may possess?

The elf swallowed before saying in a voice that was merely above a whisper, soft as leaves rustling in the breeze:

'I mean you no harm, travellers. I am Alyrëa Tharlul. I hail from the ancient forest of the south. Forgive my pursuit of you, but I was watching you to see if you would be able to assist me. Honourable Owlin,' she turned to Azax, 'you spoke of a sword that was in the possession of the orc thieves. You said you wished to retrieve it if you can. That, too, is my task for the blade belongs to me. I was ambushed in the easternmost reaches of Spireridge Valley. I was gravely wounded and my precious blade taken from me. I should have been able to sense the fiends' presence from afar, but somehow they eluded me. I fear they were cloaked in some dark magic that concealed them from me. I was a fool. I had insisted that Tyrune and I should split up to search the valley more quickly. Tyrune is my closest companion, a golden metallic dragon. We have known each other since the day he hatched. He knows not of my current fate. I must retrieve my blade and reunite with him, but alas my wound saps my strength. I fear if I attempt this task alone, I may fail.' Her eyes settled on Legion. 'A warforged,' she mused. 'From your appearance, am I safe in assuming you were built by my kin, the surface elves, to aid in the great war against the drow? If so, then I implore you to help me. Please. And if you, sir Owlin and sir Lizardfolk, would assist me as well, I would be most grateful.'

((OOC: If you agree to help the elf, Erundak will use his healing magic to heal her wound. Well, at least partially, anyway. Then you'll travel together to the orc stronghold.))


Posted on 2023-03-08 at 08:25:24.

Nomad D2
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A blast from the past

(Legion - my response is based on the idea that our previous discussions implied that we would help the dragon rider - if for some reason you disagree, speak up.)

Azax watched carefully as the strange figure emerged from the woods.  That he had already suspected the truth didn't really dull his astonishment at the reality of a dragon rider being alive (if barely) in front of him.  He spoke quickly to the others.  "Legion, several orcs ecaped the beast, we need to be careful that they do not circle back looking for their cargo.  But if they do, we might still have a guide to the keep.  Although a prisoner this time."  Looking back to the newcomer he continued, "Well met Alyrea Thalrul.  I am Azax of Clan Strix.  These are my companions, Legion the warforged and Erundak.  I am hopeful that Erundak will be willing to offer you some healing.  We have a quest of our own that is imperative, but if we can simultaneously aid you in yours we would do so.  We did see the orc caravan in possession of what we believe to be your sword.  Once you are healed we can go and retrieve it."

(Assuming she is healed and they move forward to search the wreckage of the orc caravan.)

"Be careful - remember, three of the orcs escaped."  He also continued his discussion with the dragon-rider.  "I am curious what brings one such as yourself searching into this region?  I had believed your kind lost to the world many years ago."  (Correct?)  "We seek the keep of the orcs in the mountains in front of us.  They hold a medicine the king's daughter needs.  But the orcs seems strangely active and aggressive.  And they speak of a "HIM" as if a great dark were coming.  Do you know of this - is your quest related to it?"  



Posted on 2023-03-12 at 16:11:51.

WhomstHasSummonedTom
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The warforged took his arm onto his chest and nodded before speaking: "I was indeed, and after the war I spent a long time in a dormant state before awakening for an unknown reason. Since there was no use for me among the elves at that time, I headed out in search for a new purpose, however fleeting - which currently is assisting in the aforementioned potion retrieval.

"That being said, if the orcs took your sword it may be in their stronghold. And yet even if they didn't, perhaps due to my origin I would like to avenge what they did to you should you wish for that. They may not be drow, but an enemy to the Order is also my enemy."



Posted on 2023-03-17 at 14:48:05.
Edited on 2023-03-17 at 14:48:17 by WhomstHasSummonedTom

dragon-soul92
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A Great Ally and an Ancient Order

'Come, honourable Dragon Rider, let me tend to your wound,' Erundak said softly, his reptillian eyes flicking from side to side cautious that the surviving orcs may return at any moment. 'We must hurry,' he added as he gently placed a clawed hand on the elf's bleeding shoulder, a soft emerald light emanating from underneath his hand as his healing magic took affect. The wound slowly began to close, the bloodflow almost ceasing-but not quite. The gash was deep and Erundak's magic was not very strong at present (OOC: yep, he needs to do some levelling up lol). 'I'm afraid this is the best I can do,' he told the elf, lips pulled into an apologetic smile. The lizardfolk went to his horse and retrieved a long strip of cloth from one of his saddlebags, which he then proceeded to tie around the elf's shoulder. Once the wound was tightly bound, he rose and he and the rest of the party made their way to the splintered wreckage of the orc's caravan. Already, the pungent odour of orc remains cloyed the air and the party winced at the foulness of it as they searched the area for the precious blade. But though they scoured the remains thoroughly, the blade was nowhere to be found.

Alyrëa's smooth brow furrowed in disappointment as she straightened, wincing slightly in discomfort of her shoulder. 'Alas,' she sighed, 'I should have known it would not be that easy. My blade, Verunsdak, Gold Fang in the common tongue after my golden dragon, is a very precious prize to the Orcs. Thus, they would not part with it so quickly.' Her blue-white eyes, reminiscent of the hue of a glacier, rose to a distant peak to which she gave a curt nod. 'It is there we must venture,' she informed the party. That peak, known as Beartooth to the humans, forms part of a ring of peaks that surround a rocky mound. The orc stronghold is perched upon that mound. A strategic position for many scouts are patroling upon the surrounding mountains, giving them a great vantage point from where they can spot invaders from a great distance. Getting into the hold will not be easy.' The elf pointed to a narrow path meandering off into the gloomy undergrowth. 'That gametrail will lead us to the hold.' She paused, then turned to the party. 'Erundak, I thank you for alleviating (OOC: yep, probably spelled that totally wrong haha) the gash to my shoulder. The pain has dulled significanty.' She gave a grateful nod. 'Legion,' she continued, turning to him, 'I am glad to have met a loyal servent of the Golden Order and your assistance will be most welcome in the trials ahead. While I was not present at your forging, I have met other Warforged of the Order so I am aware of how skilled an ally your kind are.' Turning to Azax, 'you ask many thoughtful questions, master Owlin and I shall do my utmost to answer them with the best of my knowledge.' She paused to gather her thoughts before continuing.

'My Order was not lost, but our numbers were severely depleted after our terrible war with the drow and the Crimson Claw in the Age of Shadow,' she began. 'While we, along with our elven, human and dwarven allies-as well as other races such as your Owlin bretheren and the lizardfolk-successful in defeating our age-old foe, the long clashes had resulted in many of the Order sadly losing our lives along with some great, noble and heroic Metallic Dragons. We retreated into seclusion in a secret place until the day we regained our strength to set forth once again to eradicate the remainder of the foul drow and to defend this fair land of ours from whatever darkness shadows the realm in future. Alas,' she sighed again, 'it seems that future is now upon us as the darkness has spread its ebony wings over much of the kingdom, including a vast swath of the ancient elven forest in the South. My kind, as you may know, are much more sensitive about the subtle changes in the balance of nature due to our very close connection to magic. Thus, we are able to detect any imbalances that may threaten to throw the land into chaos. We felt once such imbalance and the great elders of the Order knew the time had come once more for us to venture forth to defend the realm and its creatures. However, we do not know as of yet exactly what this new threat is, only that it involves old foes. The Order successfully detained a drow who had been prowling around the southern forest. No doubt a spy sent to gather what intelligence he could to carry back to his clan. We attempted to glean what information we could, but we only managed to obtain a few scant details before the nameless drow uttered a dark spell which ended his own life. From what we gathered, there is a great power rising past the Barren Wastes in the range of volcanic peaks called (OOC: can't think of a name yet haha. I'll just call them the Fire Mountains for now as a placeholder name). That is the very same place the evil originated the last time in the Age of Shadow. I came to Spireridge Valley on a rumour about a precious artefact being held in the orc stronghold, much to elders chagrin. They insisted that we do not have the time to go chasing after every tall tale that reaches our ear. But I thought that ingnoring anything that might give our enemies power-even if it did turn out to be nothing more than heresay-would be folly. So Tyrune and I flew on swift winds to this kingdom where we-foolishly, I admit-split up to search for the mysterious artefact. And that is how I came to be in your presence. And how I recieved this token of my foolishness,' she added with a frown, lightly touching her shoulder again. 'But it seems fate has smiled upon me,' she continued more brightly, 'for it has gifted me with three brave and honourable allies,' she smiled at the party. Now, we have lingered here for too long,' she said in a low voice. We must hurry on in case those loathsome orcs return. I do hope that Tyrune has had more fortune than I of staying out of danger.'

The party mounted their steeds once again, with Alyrëa sitting behind Azax on his dappled mare and ventured on down the winding gametrail the elf had indicated earlier. About half an hour had elapsed before they heard a faint rustling in the bushes nearby, causing the party to jerk their heads as one towards the disturbance, minds instantly thinking of the orcs. But after a few, brief moments, the plants settled again and became still and nothing more occured on their trek until, after a few hours, a booming fiercesome roar sounded up ahead, followed immediately by another which was more reminiscent of the high pitched screech of a blade being drawn over metal. The party instantly recognised the sound: a wyverling. Only this time, instead of the beast sounding content and triumphant, it sounded agitated as though it were in great pain.

'The first roar,' Alyrëa breathed, 'I know it anywhere. It is my dear friend Tyrune. We must assist him!'

Paying no heed of her own wellbeing, the dragon rider vaulted off the mare and sprinted lithe as a hart through the undergrowth, drawing her elegantly carved bow as she went, nocking a swan fletched arrow to the string.

Cursing the elf for her recklessness, Azax and the others urged their steeds after her but the horses only went a few paces before locking their legs and jolting their riders as they came to an abrupt halt, refusing to go another step towards the terrifying cacaphony of roars and screeches up ahead as the two draconic beasts fought in mortal combat. The horses reared, the whites of their eyes seeming to glow slightly in the gloom that pervailed as they were overcome with fear. The party had no choice but to dismount, tie their mounts to the gnarled branches of the trees, then continue the rest of the way on foot, keeping to the shadows where they could, with a little luck, assess the situation without being spotted by the enraged beasts before the party decides what they should do.

It didn't take you long to reach the clearing. The overhanging canopy was thinner here, allowing more moonlight to bathe the scene below, illuminating it enough for even Legion and Erundak-who didn't have nightvision-to see quite clearly. Both creatures had succeeded in wounding the other, hot draconic blood hissing in pools on the ground as it burned through to the soil below. Alyrëa was swiftly nocking another arrow and, taking careful aim, managed to hit the wyverling in its right flank, causing it to growl angrily and turn its attention briefly to the elf, giving the dragon all the destraction he needed to clamp his jaws around the narrow, serpentine neck of his foe and, with a forceful bite, snap it with a resounding sharp crack. The wyverling's now still, limp body fell lifelessly to the Metallic Dragon's feet as he opened his maw to emit a victorious roar-but he appeared to think the better of it and gave a low, contented growl instead as he eyed the body of his foe. No need to attract more attention than they already had with yet more roars. The entire woods had probably heard the desperate conflict.

Even with fine gashes criss-crossing his hide, the Golden Metallic Dragon was a glorious beast. The moonlight glinted on his polished scales, making him appear as though he were wearing a coat of shining golden mail. Spikes jutted up from his spine, the longest on his back five feet in height, while those on his tail shrank to little more than two feet. Lethal looking spikes adorned the tip of his tail. One good swing could pierce the flank of a wyverling, or even another dragon. He half furled his giant wings, the membranes of which were torn in places, and lowered his great ridged head to his rider.

'My friend,' he said in a deep bass rumble, 'it is good to see you again.' He sniffed, nostrils flaring slightly. 'You are wounded,' he said, concerned, gently nuzzling her injured shoulder.'

'No more than you, my friend,' the elf replied softly, hand reaching for the ridge above his right eye, which she rubbed playfully. 'We will survive. We always do,' she grinned.'

'Aye,' Tyrune gave a wolfish smile in return, then sniffed the air again. 'I detect the presence of unkown beings. Their scent drifts from over in that direction.' The dragon swung his horned head in the direction of the party who were still crouched behind a cluster of bushes at the edge of the clearing, relieved that the battle was over and that they had avoided having to get involved themselves. They needed to be as fresh as they could to face the difficulties of infiltrating the orcs' stronghold. Nor was time on their side, so neither could they waste it on unecessary battles. Alyrëa turned her head in the same direction as her dragon's, a smile stretching her thin lips. 'Those are my new allies and companions,' she informed Tyrune. 'Please,' she called to the party, 'come out. He will not bite,' she added with a soft chuckle.


Posted on 2023-04-07 at 07:43:09.
Edited on 2023-04-07 at 09:18:22 by dragon-soul92

Nomad D2
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Swords and Dragons

Azax watched the dragon and wyverling battle as he quickly drew an arrow to contribute to the fight.  But he never needed to shoot as the great golden beast destroyed the wyverling.  The nasty beast collapsed and their new elven ally moved forward to speak to her friend.

When she called the group forward Azax stepped forward after first making sure that his arrow was safely back in his quiver.  "Greeetings Tyrune.  Alyrea has been telling us of you.  It is great to find your kind still around."  At this point he allowed the elf to speak a bit on their behalf.  As he listened he pondered where the sword could have gone.  The only possibility was that one of those orcs that fled had taken it with him.  But he hadn't seen it happen.  It bothered him that it had disappeared. 

Eventually, after introductions were complete, he turned again to the subject of the fortress.  "It is great if this path leads us towards the orcs keep, but if the orcs guard the high passes as you say, how will we slip past them unnoticed?  Perhaps an animal path is not as heavily watched as the route the orcs would have taken, but is there a plan to avoid prying eyes?  And, with all due respect to Tyurune here, he seems hard to hide behind a few trees.  Yet everything we seek at the moment - a sword, an artifact and some medicine - is likely there."



Posted on 2023-04-09 at 15:24:51.

WhomstHasSummonedTom
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The sight of the dragon caused ages old memories to rush through Legion's mind - fire, ice and other elements pouring from the sky, blood filling every indent in the enviroment, sometimes waist deep, and the earth-shaking cacophony of roars as several dragons cried out simultaneously, and wether those cries arose hope or desperation being entirely dependent of their colors - as he stood up and tilted his head to a small bow. "Great Golden One, its is a pleasure to see one of you after centuries. I am Legion, of surface elven make."

 

As the topic of getting into the fortress came up the warforged looked at Azax and indeed his voice almost carried an amused tone: "It seems we have a dragon on our side now. Believe me, unless those orcs have one too, I don't think it matters much if we're seen."



Posted on 2023-04-11 at 09:49:46.

   
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