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Old 07-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #251
Byrd Man
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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The noise and the sudden action from two sides surprised Aithne. The crashing down of the dragon had caused her to jump and put up a shield of water around herself. The battle between the three blonde men raged on as the Docktore dispatched the Dragon.

Aithne remained quiet during the closing discussions, her eyes taking in the injuries. She'd never seen such savage ones and she shivered thinking of how she might help heal them. However the cool one seemed to have some medical training as well, perhaps he'd know what to do.

"With all our warriors hurt and wounded, I believe it is up to the three of us to protect them as we journey to my wagon. Are you up to the task?"

She looked at him, his voice pulling her out of her thoughts, images of the human body in her mind. She smiled shyly, a bit ashamed she did so little to contribute to the fighting.

"We need to get them treated quickly." She surveyed Rothgar and Kelvamin again. Rothgar's injuries were extensive, and Kelvamin's seemed about as bad, if not worse; an impact like that on the brain was not good.
They needed to be fixed up quickly. Walking over to Rothgar she put her hands over him and focused. The blood was flowing out quickly, the gashes were large and brutal they didn't allow time for the blood to conceal around the wounds. She closed her eyes and focused, threads danced along the inside of her eyelid and she slowly worked her way through them, finding the one that was slender and indicated the blood in his body. It was harder to work her skills within the human body, because despite that the body was mostly made up of water, there were other variables she couldn't see or feel like she could the liquid. She felt the faintness of his blood stream as it lost pressure and quickly pulled away from the body, summoning water to her hand and pressing it against his wounds. Thin sheets of water they placed pressure on the gashes and held the blood in. She would have to focus to keep them there for the trip, but they were small constructs and easy to do.

"I doubt I will be able to treat them extensively on my own." she said to the Docktore. Her training had only taught her simple defensive and offensive skills and minute constructs used mainly for decoration, pleasure or healing. She knew she'd have to practice more on larger constructs and more offensive ones as well. She looked at Kelvamin and noticed his eyes blurring, he probably suffered from a concussion she turned to him and repeated the process she'd done with Rothgar, catching the water in the blood stream she traced it, biting her lips as she focused. Hmm...there wasn't anything she could do for him now. It would take time. Time that they didn't have for Rothgar, and time they could use to better benefit them both.

"I'm ready."
The party's trip back to the Docktore's wagon was uneventful and, save for the dying people, almost boring.

Now, the Docktore stood inside the covered wagon with Watts. He grabs a handful of medicine and herbs as his assistant follows him out the back.

"Here you go." He says as he hands some supplies to Aithne.

"I know for certain I can fix broken bones and wounds, but I am not sure what good I can do for Kelvamin's head injury."

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Old 07-07-2009, 03:06 PM   #252
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

Kelvamin cracked a weak smile at the alchemist and the Irish girl.

"Don't worry about me," he muttered, gripping the edge of the cart. His vision blurred and he staggered dizzily, before spinning around and vomiting into the undergrowth to the side of the road. He took a second, heaving, before picking himself back up and looking at the healers sheepishly.

"Honestly," he murmured "We should head North into Bulgaria. I'm sure that we'll reach a town by nightfall, and if not we can make camp by the side of the road,"

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Old 07-07-2009, 03:10 PM   #253
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The party's trip back to the Docktore's wagon was uneventful and, save for the dying people, almost boring.

Now, the Docktore stood inside the covered wagon with Watts. He grabs a handful of medicine and herbs as his assistant follows him out the back.

"Here you go." He says as he hands some supplies to Aithne.

"I know for certain I can fix broken bones and wounds, but I am not sure what good I can do for Kelvamin's head injury."
Aithne looked at the medicine and herbs in her hands, turning over the plants. She was unfamiliar with these particular herbs and she blushed pink, suddenly feeling useless again. Placing them back in his hands she said,
"I shall work on Kelvamin, he has some brain swelling and I'm sure I could bring it down a bit." She glanced over at Rothgar,
"Let me know when to release the water bandages I have on him. They're currently keeping pressure on the wounds."

She moved to where Watts had helped Kelvamin sit and studied him for a moment, before asking something that she knew he'd think was stupid.
" How do you feel?"

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Old 07-07-2009, 03:33 PM   #254
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"How do you feel?"

Kelvamin held up his hands in protest.

"Really, I feel fine," he gasped. Then his head started to swim again and he stood up, moving around to throw up again. His legs wobbled underneath him and he grabbed onto Aithne's upper arm. He blinked his eyes sleepily, then sat back down heavily.

"My head's swimming, my eyes are blurring, I feel dizzy and I keep throwing up. I'm also feeling sleepy and I can't focus on anything to keep me awake," Kelvamin said through gritted teeth, not quite meeting the Irish girl's eyes.

"I apologise for the trouble Aithne," the swordsmith muttered.

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:48 PM   #255
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They had been in the wild Underdark for six days now, Cy-Spar, his older sister, Jadzia, and a cadre of drow warriors. Other than a run in with a cave fisher, the trip to the Illithid city of Thra'kt'tr was uneventful.

After setting up camp for the sixth night in a small cave chamber, Cy-Spar took one of the soldiers and scouted the area.

Any time he spent away from his sister was good time for Cy-Spar. The vile ***** had done nothing but verbally abuse him the entire time. Speaking to him as though he was a lower life form. No better than the soldier standing next to him as they scouted the tunnels.

Entering a large cavern, Cy-Spar scanned the area. A small stream flowed through the cavern's center, disappearing under the rock on the far side.
Large stalactites hung from the ceiling, creating a sort of forest above them.
The ground was barren but was anything but level, dipping and rising awkwardly in spots.

Suddenly, Cy-Spar froze.

Wait, Cy-Spar signaled to his backup in the drow's unique sign language, used to communicate and coordinate silently.

Footsteps, he signed before signaling for the soldier to follow him.

Using the power of his House's medallion, Cy-Spar levitated up to the ceiling, the soldier following right behind him.

Clinging tightly to a stalactite, his piwafwi hiding him from view, Cy-Spar waited. A minute passed by as they hide in the cavern's ceiling, and the six drow silently entered the room.
Four were wielding leather armor and were equipped with short swords. One had to be a mage, and the female protected in the group's center was a priestess of the Spider Queen.

Take out the mage, Cy-Spar signaled as he and the soldier took out their hand crossbows and loaded them.

Taking aim, Cy-Spar starred down at the priestess, the dart tipped with the sleeping poison waiting to fly.

Then he fired, and the soldier fired almost an instant behind him.

The priestess and the mage stumbled as the darts struck them in the necks and reached up to tear them out. Looking at the darts, they suddenly turned to the defensive.

Two more darts flew, striking two of the soldiers with deadly accuracy.

A wave of exhaustion fell over the mage and priestess, and both suddenly lurched. Their legs grew weak and seconds later they hit the hard stone floor, fast asleep.

As the two guards suddenly began to waver with dizziness, Cy-Spar and the soldier descended on the remaining guards with a fury.
Cutting off the enchantment halfway down, Cy-Spar fell on top of one of the drow, his blade digging deep into his enemy's chest. The soldier that accompanied him had already engaged the remaining drow as Cy-Spar quickly made his way between the sleeping drow, cleaning slashing their throats.

As he finished killing the priestess, and muttering a curse under his breath, he rose in time to see the remaining drow lop the head off of his soldier.

"Excellent", Cy-Spar smiled, "saves me the trouble of killing the only witness once I cut you down."

"You can try, Tuin'Tarl dog", sneered the drow.
"House Faerbuk will send you all to the Abyss!"

The drow rushed in, his sword back for a killing strike.
Cy-Spar shook his head as he ducked under the slice, turned his blade over in his hand, and shot up with an uppercut that sliced the drow from crotch up through the top of his head.

The two halves split apart and fell, and Cy-Spar casually walked over to the dead mage and cleaned his blade off on his cloak.

Cy-Spar began to search the bodies. The priestess held a scroll, a treaty of alliance for the Illithids, and a intricately carved staff. He left the staff alone, and moved on to the wizard. A plain gold ring adorned his finger that Cy-Spar quickly relieved him of.

Cy-Spar studied it carefully, then took a deep breath and put it on his finger.

Nothing.

Cy-Spar sighed as moved on to search the dead Faerbuk soldiers, finding nothing of value on their body save for extra poison darts.

Surveying the cavern one last time, Cy-Spar quickly turned and silently ran back towards the camp.

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Old 07-08-2009, 10:35 AM   #256
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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Aithne looked at the medicine and herbs in her hands, turning over the plants. She was unfamiliar with these particular herbs and she blushed pink, suddenly feeling useless again. Placing them back in his hands she said,
"I shall work on Kelvamin, he has some brain swelling and I'm sure I could bring it down a bit." She glanced over at Rothgar,
"Let me know when to release the water bandages I have on him. They're currently keeping pressure on the wounds."
"Alrighty." The Docktore says as he pulls two pieces of glass out of his pocket. The two pieces of glass were hled together by banded metal.

"Handy little invention, these things. Helps me see things up close." He says as he slips the glasses on.

Below him, Rothgar lay unconscious. He bends down to look the viking over.

"The shoulder wound looks almost like a deep flesh wound...but it's the side wound that bothers me."

He crushes up the herbs in his hand and spreads the contents on the bandages. He turns to Aithne as he finishes.

"Ready when you are, dear lady."

The water bandages disappeared and the Docktore begins to furiously wrap the shoulder wound.

"And...there we...are!" He says with a bit of triumph as the wound was fully covered.

"Those herbs should help stop the bleeding. They clot the blood and create a scab within hours. Powerful stuff."

Feeling along Rothgar's mid-section, he shakes his head at the broken ribs.

"This will be difficult." Me mutters as he prepares another bandage with herbs.

He nods again to Aithne as the water bandages disappear.

Wrapping the bandages around the waste, he pulls tight to pull the ribs close together.

POP!

The loud crack echoes through the traveller's small camp. Rothgar moans in his sleep as the ribs go back into place.

"He'll have some trouble breathing for the first few days, but he'll be right as rain." He mutters to nobody in particular as he dresses and wraps Rothgar's other minor wounds.

Standing up, he smiles and peers over his glasses.

"Anyone else in need of medical attention?"

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Old 07-08-2009, 02:26 PM   #257
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Rothgar climbed higher and higher up the massive tree. His muscles ached and his sweat-drenched tunic clung uncomfortably to his skin. He wanted nothing more than to give up. To surrender to the sweet comfort of oblivion...but the warrior shook the thoughts from his mind.

Do not stop now, Rothgar...


Just a bit further...

The end is almost upon you...

Rothgar strained with every movement, but, after what seemed like an eternity, he reached the top of the massive tree. Rolling himself over and onto the edge, Rothgar lay on his back for many minutes as he rested, gathering up his energy once again.

Finally rising to his feet, Rothgar looked on in horrible wonder at his surroundings.

He stood on a large, flat tree branch that had been scorched by a fire. No leaves adorned the branch as all had been burned off. Smoke still rose in many places, gathering into black clouds above. Lightning danced across the sky frequently, followed by loud cracks of thunder.

But Rothgar's sight was transfixed on what lay before him. Like sick monuments jutting from the bark, Large pikes rose out from the charred flesh of the tree. Adorning them were the bodies of fallen warriors.

"It cannot be..."

Oh, but it is...

Brave Rothgar do...


You now see what it is you face?


Rothgar slowly made his way through the forest of the dead, and he suddenly stopped in his tracks as he noticed the body of a rather large man. Dressed in fine armor and wielding a large warhammer, Rothgar instantly recognized the dead warrior.

"Odin's beard...Thor?"


Looking around now, Rothgar noticed other gods as well...Tyr, Freya, Baldr...all dead.

Yes, all dead...

The fate of all the worlds...

Should you fail to stop the growing darkness...

Rothgar spun around in shock. The bodies, all the hundreds of them, were gone. Vanished in the blink of an eye right under his nose.

"What is this? Who are you?"


We are...

The weavers...

Of fate...

He now noticed a stone well standing right in front of him. How it got there, he could not tell. But Rothgar cautiously moved over and looked down into it.

Blackness.

Suddenly an image appeared...towns burning, hordes of undead and demons ravaging the lands from Europe to Asia, even strange places with dark-skinned people in headdresses battling monsters on top of weird pyramids...

But they all were slaughtered or enslaved. The entire world turned into Hell.

Then the gates of Celestia appeared, and the infinite horde of horrors broke through them like water through a dam and the Heavenly mountain, home to all the goodly deities and primal powers, suddenly turned black as ash.

Rothgar stepped back from the well as the Mounting Heavens of Celestia came crashing down.

"What is this? What are you showing me?"


A trio of robed women, almost as large as giants, faded into view like wraiths.

It is what will come to be...

Should Charaun win...

His war.

"The Norns", Rothgar whispered as he recognized the sisters, masters of the fates of all beings...even gods.

Correct, warrior...


You are special, Rothgar...

All your valiant band are...

Only by...

Your hands will...

The lich fall...

His vision suddenly became blurry, he began to hear voices. Familiar voices of those he once fought alongside long ago. Was it long ago? It had felt like ages, but the more he thought about it, the more he questioned the flow of time here.

Do not fail...

Rothgar. The fate of all creation lies...

In your hands...

The Norns disappeared as suddenly as they had arrived, and the well with them.

"Wait! Tell me! How do we beat the lich?"

He received no reply and he suddenly felt a tug on his very being, as though some unseen force was trying to pull him off of the tree.

"Please! How do we stop this evil menace from spreading!?"

Rothgar let out a yell as the unseen force yanked him off his feet and sent him tumbling over the edge of the tree. Rothgar fell, the cold wind biting his face as the bottom rushed up to greet him...

--------------------

Rothgar gasped as his eyes snapped open. He shot up to a sitting position, wincing hard as he reached down to his injured ribs, feeling a bandage that now dressed the wound.

It all came back to him in an instant. The trip to Athens, meeting the other adventurers, battling the dragon and the undead swordmaster...

Looking around, Rothgar saw he was now on the back of the Docktore's wagon, laying on a make-shift stretcher. Just past their camp loomed the ruins of Athens.
They were now outside the city.

"Uggh", Rothgar moaned as he shakily tried to rise.
"How long...was I out?"

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Old 07-08-2009, 03:11 PM   #258
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"How do you feel?"

Kelvamin held up his hands in protest.

"Really, I feel fine," he gasped. Then his head started to swim again and he stood up, moving around to throw up again. His legs wobbled underneath him and he grabbed onto Aithne's upper arm. He blinked his eyes sleepily, then sat back down heavily.

"My head's swimming, my eyes are blurring, I feel dizzy and I keep throwing up. I'm also feeling sleepy and I can't focus on anything to keep me awake," Kelvamin said through gritted teeth, not quite meeting the Irish girl's eyes.

"I apologise for the trouble Aithne," the swordsmith muttered.
Aithne listened and watched him talk. Often times just that would reveal what was wrong. She watched his eyes closely as well, often for head injuries that's where it showed. As he talked she'd held her hand in her lap, water spinning into a ball over it, slowly accumulating.

She followed the Docktore's orders and dispersed the bandages as he asked as well. Tiny water management, it was easy enough multi-tasking and helped to soothe her.

"It's alright." She answered the celt before she laid him down, kneeling next to him and placing his head on her lap.

"Try to stay awake." closing her eyes she focused. Her teacher had called it 'the inner water', with a laugh, when she'd first taught Aithne how to diagnose injuries. It was a silly term, but it was the best at explaining what she did. If it was a surface injury it was much easier, but the ones inside... took much more focus. She slowly worked her way through the threads she saw, ignoring the larger ones, indications of water in the air, and focused on the thin ones, slowly grasping them until they formed a skeletal like map in her mind of his blood vessels. Her teacher had been able to work quickly and efficiently, however she was still slow to catch them. Amazingly enough no internal injuries rest wouldn't fix, however... the jolt to the brain... she felt too much liquid. It was hard to move body fluids within the body, they had water which allowed her to sense them, but it was so small an amount and mixed with other variables she couldn't move. She also had to be careful where and how she moved it. Slowly working the fluid away from his brain she bit her lip absently, there was an accumulation of blood between two 'sheets'. It seemed like forever, and in reality she didn't know how long it took but she worked enough stuff away to make her happy before leaning back. She kept her eyes closed for a moment as she slowly released the thin and slender stings, letting go of them as she grabbed the thicker ones, easing herself back.

She blinked her eyes open before motioning to the other medical man to come check Kelvamin.

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Old 07-08-2009, 11:59 PM   #259
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Some people would call me a scholar, but I just choose wisely with my words. Others would call me a man of god, a preacher. I have my beliefs, and fear the Almighty for his presence is indeed here, but I do not praise him. Many would go to call me a prophet, believing that my stories fortell possible future events, but I merely re-tell tales of the past, no trickery in this.

I am none of these. So who am I? That matters not. I am untamable, bearing ties to no one. My alliegance lies not with the elves, nor the dwarves, nor even the humans. My heritage, bears little, next to no importance in why I am here. I have been away from home, for so long, after I have told my tale, you too will have forgotten me, for I will not be here afterwards. I am a recluse. I am a hermit. I am a nomad. I am an outcast. But you may call me Caed.

***

Caed walks to one of the large windows of the room, checking for anymore undead minions that may be on the way. To his surprise and pleasure, there seem to be none at all. He straps his guitar back on his back, and holsters his crossbow on his waist belt. As he the others talk amongst themselves, the Doktore speaks out to both Caed and the young girl.


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Originally Posted by Byrd Man View Post

"With all our warriors hurt and wounded, I believe it is up to the three of us to protect them as we journey to my wagon. Are you up to the task?"
"If there's one thing I'm still good at...it's being able to perform such a task as that. Rest assured, my new band of brothers and sister...I will cast away every cretin with song and arrow."

As the woman and the Doktore starts to tend to the others' wounds, Caed watches closely. He had secluded himself for so long from Society, that he marvels at some of the modern day medicine and rememdies before him.

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Looking around, Rothgar saw he was now on the back of the Docktore's wagon, laying on a make-shift stretcher. Just past their camp loomed the ruins of Athens.
They were now outside the city.

"Uggh", Rothgar moaned as he shakily tried to rise.
"How long...was I out?"

"Only for but a few moments, Master Swordsman. Might I suggest you lay down once more? You took quite the blow from that undead warrior."


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Aquaman can only be whole when he loses that hand again and reclaims the super-awesome water hand. It's one of comics' great paradoxes.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:15 AM   #260
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"Only for but a few moments, Master Swordsman. Might I suggest you lay down once more? You took quite the blow from that undead warrior."

[/LEFT]
[/CENTER]
"Nonsense", Rothgar protested as he got off the wagon and onto his feet.

"I am perfectly", he started before quickly falling to the ground due to his shaky legs.

"Fine", Rothgar finished as he pushed himself up to a sitting position, spitting out some dirt.

Rothgar sat up on the ground, dusted himself off, and looked on at his companions.

"We must move on as soon as possible", he said, his expression turning suddenly grave.

"I...had a vision while I was out. This lich...if we don't stop him, all is lost. Every second we delay means more will die."

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Old 07-09-2009, 12:49 AM   #261
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"..wha...wha...What! Where?!"

"Calm yourself, my friend. We are not far from your church."

"Xxymryx?"

"Do you remember, or are you just asking?"

"It is you. Who else would be so cynical." I smile. Pyrist rubs his face. "How long has it been?"

"You slept through the night and day. I have made camp and tended to you." I stir the small fire with a long stick, then stand and pour hot brew from the pot hanging near the flames. I hand Pyrist a cup. "Drink. Slowly. It may not taste special, but it's rejuvenating."

Pyrist gladly takes the offered cup and draws a long sip from it. "You're right about the taste. But it is good to have something in my stomach. Thank you, old friend."

I sit down across from him, absently stoking the flames with the stick. "What happened, Pyrist? How can vampires walk on holy ground?"

Pyrist looks to the ground, sadness and anger crossing his face. "I do not know. Only the very strongest of vampires can even attempt such a feat. And even then, success is not certain. Somehow the grounds were unconsecrated. It is the only explanation."

"I have never heard of such a thing."

"It is possible...but the power...the evil required to do so..."

"Would that explain your dreams?"

Pyrist looks at me in shock. "What do you know of my dreams?!"

I take a sip from my canteen of water. "You mumbled while sleeping. Sometimes loudly. About evil, and a group..."

"...Yes...a group..." Pyrist looks into the flames, as if the answers reside there. "Great evil has arisen in the world. In one of the southern lands."

"There is always great evil in the world."

He shakes his head. "Not like this. Something...different...is coming. Something not felt for many ages of man."

"And the group...?"

His gaze travels into the distance again. "...a group...brought together. Strangers, yet friends. A source of good, surrounded by the growing evil."

"That...doesn't really help me much."

"It is all I can remember."

I nod. "Dreams are fleeting like that." I grab the pouch sitting next to me and stand. "Seems like I need to ask someone else what's going on."

Pyrist looks at me quizzically, and with suspicion. "That doesn't sound good. What are you planning, Xxymryx?"

"I'm going to call up some help."

Pyrist thinks in confusion for a moment, then his eyes grow with surprise. "Wait. Where are we?"

"A short trip north of the church."

"...At the crossroads?!"

I smirk. "You know me too well."

"You can't call-"

"I was hoping I wouldn't have to. But your vision isn't clear yet, and I have the feeling we have not the time to wait. Drink your brew. I'll be back. Trust me."

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Old 07-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #262
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"We must move on as soon as possible", he said, his expression turning suddenly grave.

"I...had a vision while I was out. This lich...if we don't stop him, all is lost. Every second we delay means more will die."
"I'm afraid he is right. In my travels, I have heard of what a Lich-King is capable of, and a Lich-King with an army of the undead and dragons at his command is nigh unstoppable."

I turn to look at the party.

"Who among us, besides Watts and myself, has adequate transportation? I can carry the majority of us in my wagon if the need be."

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Old 07-09-2009, 10:07 PM   #263
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"I got here by my own two feet, and, until I find a mystic to heal me fully, it will be some time before I am able to walk."

Rothgar frowned a bit at the last part. It wasn't the first time he'd be badly injured, far from it. But it still frustrated him every time. He did not like being handicapped at all.

Slowly making his way back to the cart, Rothgar grimaced as he hoisted himself up.

"So I'll definitely take you up on the free ride", he smiled, doing his best to lighten the somber mood.

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Old 07-09-2009, 11:27 PM   #264
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It's a warm night, other than the chill breeze in the air. I stand in the middle of the crossroads a short trip north from Pyrist's church. At one corner is the flat stump, all that remains of a large felled tree. At another corner, the remains of a small guard tower, evidence that this used to be an important road. But those are the only signs of civilization I can see. The woods surround me in darkness and nighttime noises. Where ever the vampires are now, why ever they attacked, they are no longer around here. Otherwise, I'd be fighting them at the moment.

Instead of risking my soul.

I pull the pouch from my belt and inspect the contents one last time, making sure everything is there. Petals from a night-bloomer. Dirt from a graveyard. A bone from a black cat. A gold coin (unfortunately it has to be a real gold coin, transmuted coins are worthless). And, finally, a scrap of paper with my name written in my own blood.

I seal the pouch back up, walk to the center of the crossroads, and bury it. Then I walk off, sit on the stump, and wait.


***

Even though I have no way of keeping time, I know it's midnight when all the woodland noises suddenly cease. I stand, the hairs on my neck standing up. I look around me, but see no one.

"Hello."

I nearly jump out of my skin as I spin around. Standing before me is a lovely vision of a woman. Although I know she's anything but a true woman.

"You summoned me."

I nod, trying to force my body to inhale. I hate it when they do that. "I did."

Her smile is a combination of smugness, seduction, eagerness, and a smattering of distrust. "I know who you are. The reputation of the Thrice-Damned Elf-Man proceeds you."

I mock bow. "I'm honored."

"You wish to make a deal?"

"Sell my soul for my heart's greatest desires?"

The smugness in her smile grows. "No...I didn't think so. I'll not let you waste my time." She starts to walk off.

I quickly step in front of her. "Now, now. Wait one moment. Don't dismiss me so quickly." She raises an eyebrow in suspicion. "You may have heard that a friend of mine was attacked recently."

"I hear a great many things. Know a great many things."

I nod and start slowly walking as I talk. The woman follows me. "And that's why I summoned you. Strange things are happening in the world. And I knew that if anyone could tell me what was going on..."

She stops, suspicion, and a smattering of anger, filling her face. "You summoned me for information?"

"Well...honestly...yes."

"You'd sell your soul for what I know?"

"Please, give me some credit." I start walking again, ducking my head as I walk under the guard tower. "I just figured I'd trick you for it."

She laughs as she follows me under the tower. "Now that is funny. How would you suppose to do-" She suddenly stops. She tries to move forward, but finds that she can't. She struggles again, but remains immobilized. I smile and point up. She looks up and finally notices the symbols I've drawn on the underside of the guard tower.

"A devil's trap?!"

I shrug. "The perfect thing to contain demons. Even crossroads demons. Although, I admit I usually use it when dealing with possessions, it does come in handy quite often."

"You bastard!!!" She tries to grab for me, but is locked in place. Her eyes turn black with anger and she seethes hatred at me.

"For someone who knows so much, you're incredibly easy to fool. I don't know why you'd trust someone like me."

"I'll KILL you."

"Ah. No, I don't think so. You see, if you don't tell me what I want to know, I'll just leave you here. Forever. Well, at least until the tower falls. That means no deals...no souls...no going back home to the pit when it gets cold and wet outside."

"...Damn you...When I get out of here, I'll tell every demon what you've done to me."

"Again, I don't think so. Unless you want every demon to know how I tricked and trapped you. And how you betrayed them and answered my questions." She grinds her teeth. "So...we have a deal then? You tell me what I want to know, and let me leave unmolested, and I free you."

She grinds her teeth. "Fine."

I smile. "Excellent. First question..."

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Old 07-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #265
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Aithne checked Kelvamin, he was stable now, but it the strain on the rest of his body from the fall would keep him sore for the next few days.

At the Docktore's suggestion on transportation she stood up, letting out a whistle and watched the western horizon patiently.

"If your wagon has enough room, I think Kelvamin should also ride with you." She spoke to him.

Brion's form soon appeared, and within moments was in front of her. Shaking his head he let out a snort, as she slid the halter on him.

"What good is finding the Lich King if we are to die from our wounds the moment we find him?" she asked.
"I don't think we should push ourselves anymore than we can handle." She pulled herself up onto the horse's bare back, and clenched his mane.

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Old 07-10-2009, 01:38 PM   #266
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"I agree", nodded Rothgar.
"First order of business, we need to head to a town. Find ourselves a healer that can mend both myself and Kelvamin's wounds, and get us back to fighting shape."

"Greece is not a land that is familiar to me though"
, Rothgar frowned.
"So I am not sure where the nearest village is."

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Old 07-10-2009, 05:17 PM   #267
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"Head north I'd say," Kelvamin said weakly, as he clambered up onto the cart with Rothgar.

"I have no idea where the nearest village is, but North is closer to where we think the Lich was headed. If it comes to it, I'm sure Rothgar and I could last a night or two in the wilderness,"

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Old 07-10-2009, 08:42 PM   #268
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Some people would call me a scholar, but I just choose wisely with my words. Others would call me a man of god, a preacher. I have my beliefs, and fear the Almighty for his presence is indeed here, but I do not praise him. Many would go to call me a prophet, believing that my stories fortell possible future events, but I merely re-tell tales of the past, no trickery in this.

I am none of these. So who am I? That matters not. I am untamable, bearing ties to no one. My alliegance lies not with the elves, nor the dwarves, nor even the humans. My heritage, bears little, next to no importance in why I am here. I have been away from home, for so long, after I have told my tale, you too will have forgotten me, for I will not be here afterwards. I am a recluse. I am a hermit. I am a nomad. I am an outcast. But you may call me Caed.

***

Caed walks up to the warrior known as Gunnar the Tame.

"Hold these for a second, would you?"


Un-strapping his crossbow, quiver, and guitar, Caed leaves them with Gunnar. He then walks over to one of the large, nearly decayed trees that managed to somewhat survive the scourge of Athens and climbs. Takes him a while, but he is quite agile on the climb up. The others continue to talk amongst each other as to where they should head next while Caed looks from atop the tree.

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"Head north I'd say," Kelvamin said weakly, as he clambered up onto the cart with Rothgar.

"I have no idea where the nearest village is, but North is closer to where we think the Lich was headed. If it comes to it, I'm sure Rothgar and I could last a night or two in the wilderness,"
Caed calls out to the group below as he stares into the distance.

"If it's Bulgaria you wish to travel to, might I suggest heading towards Thebes on the way? We have many medicines, herbs, and remedies but if it is a town you seek to re-supply at I'd recommend Thebes."


Climbing down the tree, at what some would say a dangerous and quick pace, Caed eventually makes it back down. He walks over to Gunnar, nodding him in thanks for holding his effects and starts to re-equip himself.

"Looks like the Lich-King's forces have yet to strike Thebes. If we are lucky, we can make it there in time to warn them. We never know where the Lich-King's campaign could be going next, but Thebes is clearly the closest civilization to Athens. We run the risk of running into dark forces once more...but it's also our only true hope of getting re-supplied for the journey to Bulgaria."

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Old 07-12-2009, 07:47 PM   #269
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"Then what are we waiting for", asked Rothgar as he leaned back against the side of the wagon, getting comfortable.

"Let's load up and get moving to Thebes."

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Old 07-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #270
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As the group started moving down the road towards Thebes, Kelvamin shifted to make himself more comfortable on the cart. He rested his head on a sack that had been filled with something soft, and closed his tired eyes.

*****
There was blood on his robes.

The village was on fire. He could hear screams of women and children, the laughter of men and the trample of horse hooves on stone. Kelvamin blinked through bleary eyes, groaning at the pain in his chest as the cart rattled over the cobbles of the street. He sat up, pulling his hand away from his chest to find it tacky with blood. His head felt cold, but he could feel sweat stinging his eyes. He coughed, and a black sludge came out onto his hands. He tried to remember what was happening, where he was, but his head hurt. Suddenly a hand was on his cheek, and he could feel how hot he was now.

"Hendrick!" a voice called out.

Kelvamin looked to the person who had shouted. A woman was knelt down next to him, holding a wet cloth to his head. She had long golden hair that fell down her from her head in locks, meeting a sword and a shield that were strapped across her back with leather thonging. He looked up at the piercing blue eyes and knew her name, though he did not know her face.

"Anna," he said, and his voice was surprisingly harsh.

The blue eyes widened in shock and she turned, shouting again. There was an odd noise and then a man with a long grey beard, but no hair on the top of his head appeared. He looked vaguely angry and held a great oak staff in one hand and a broadsword in the other. Kelvamin smiled at the wizard, for he knew him from somewhere past.

"Be quick girl, I daren't leave the fool driving the cart for long lest we end up in the ocean," the man said in a regal but busy tone.

"Kelvamin," she whispered "He sees me, and yet he does not know me,"

"Anna," Kelvamin rasped again, reaching up for the girl with a frail hand. The sorrow in those blue eyes made the swordsman's heart swell.

"I should have known this would be hardest on you, girl," the wizard said, not unkindly "The poison eats away at him and soon he will forget us all,"

"Will he live, Hendrick?" Anna asked, unshed tears forming in her eyes. The old man looked at the girl with a pained expression.

"I cannot remove the shard of the blade, but I have cast my best magics. He will not die today," he reassured her.

"But the poison will kill him eventually," she finished quietly. The wizard nodded.

"Thirteen months from today exactly," he said solemnly "There is nought that any man can do,"

"Will he remember us? Me? Will he remember me?"

"If he does, it will be brief. He will likely think it a dream, or idle fancy. But there is a chance..."

"Yes?" she asked hopefully.

"When he dies. There is a chance that he will remember then. A mere chance,"

Anna sniffed, and returned to dabbing Kelvamin's forehead with the wet cloth as he continued to breath raspingly. Hendrick put his arm on the woman's shoulder, as though steeling her for what he was about to say next.

"You know now what we must do. The ship is waiting for him at the docks. We must hold them here. We cannot go with him,"

"So far," she whispered, the tears falling freely now "We have come so far,"

"I know, but we have borne him as far as we can. He must undertake the next part of this journey without us. Maybe he shall find friends along the road he walks, as well as enemies," the wizard said stiffly, his voice filling with an emotion he refused to yield to.

"Anna," Kelvamin muttered.

The cart swerved erraticly and came to a stop. The sound of horses was getting louder now, and feverish though he was, Kelvamin could see the first black mare thundering towards them. The wizard lowered Anna onto the ground and carefully deposited Kelvamin so that he had an arm wrapped around her neck.

"We shall distract them while we can," Hendrick announced to the girl, and Kelvamin saw a fat man dressed in blacksmith's robes, holding a great hammer run forth into the horsemen. He slew the first, breaking the great beast's front legs, then dismounted the rider from another with a fell sweep. Then a spear was launched into his gut, and a short axe hit his chest with a 'thunk' sound. Once again the swordsman had a sense of knowing someone that did not exist.

"Balan!" he cried out as the girl led him away, and for a second he saw the man's face lit up by a triumphant grin. The wizard gave a cry and a ball of fire erupted from his hand to engulf the fighters. He launched himself from the cart at the survivors with a great cry. And then Kelvamin's focus changed, and he concentrated on putting one step in front of the other.

The woman, Anna he reminded himself, was making sobbing sounds as they hobbled across the wooden planks that made up the dock. He could see a small ship at the end, with a single sail and loaded up with supplies. When she saw it, Anna began to cry even louder. He thought to comfort her.

"Fine," he whispered "It's fine, we're almost there,"

There was the thud of hooves in the distance.

"I wish it didn't end this way," she whispered, her tears wetting Kelvamin's cheek "I wish that some day you could live with me on a farm in the country, with children and animals, and I wish you could hang that damned sword over the fire and forget about these days. I wish you could remember,"

They had reached the boat by now, and it was a tiny thing. Barely fit for fishing, definately not fit to sail a sick man across the seas to Athens alone. She guided him in, and he lay down on the soaked wood.

"It wasn't meant to end this way Kelvamin my love," she murmured, even as she sliced through the rope that bound the boat to the quay.

The hooves were louder now.

"Remember me," Anna said simply, putting her foot on the boat and kicking it away.

And suddenly, for one brief shining moment, he remembered her. The day he had met, when she had served him ale in an inn and he had broken the arm of the rogue that had tried to make an advance on her. The days when it was just he, Hendrick and her, casting shy glances over the cart full of supplies. That wet autumn night when he had taught her to weild a sword, and Balan had made one uniquely balanced for her. That day of golden sunshine when he had finally told her how he felt.

"Anna!" he cried, and such was the joy on her tearful face that he thought that she knew he recognised her. But by then the horses were there and Anna, brave, sweet, shy Anna, managed to slay one, parry, another parry, another slain and then she was run through. The spear spitted her, entering her breast and exiting from the small of her back. The horsemen pulled it out again and Anna slumped into the water like a rag doll. And then Kelvamin forgot.
*****
There was blood on his robes.

Kelvamin awoke, his head groggy. It was nightfall, and the master swordsman doubted he would be able to sleep. He felt unrestful. He had had the most unsettling dream.

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Old 07-13-2009, 10:20 PM   #271
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Aithne rode in silence beside the wagon, it's wheels clattered against the road. A din that to cut through the otherwise quiet air. Brion's feet glided noiselessly over the ground, the pace was slow and he balked at it. Walking sideways, back and forth and tossing his head. She was tempted to release him and just walk, however her body told her she was close to sleep. Glancing around her she took in the sights and practiced summoning water to her. Aad had her practicing every day they traveled together. She bowed her head and let her hair slide over it as she bit back tears. Where was he now? Was he dead? Was she without her parents and Aad?

She dispersed the tears that came from her eyes, leaving her face unmarked by them.
Brion flicked his tail and slowed his pace allowing her to release her tight grip on his mane. She leaned forward and rested her head on his neck. His black hair soft against her cheek. The scenery passed around them and she watched it absently, Brion's steady steps keeping her balanced enough for her eyes to slowly fall by themselves, until she was in a half-asleep haze.

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Old 07-14-2009, 08:56 AM   #272
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Gunnar had been sitting in silence since the group had left Athens.

His body was aching, his muscles tired and his mind weary. Whatever rest there was to be had was the last thing on the Viking's mind as the wheels of the wagon clattered on the road.

The Lich King had taken Gunnar's brother away from him. Taken a soul of such righteousness, beauty and kindness from this world, and corrupted it. Turned it into something perverse, heinous, hideous and vile. His brother's memory was forever tarnished, and for that, Gunnar mourned.

Dark skies hung suspended high above, off in the distance, threatening to make the path ahead difficult to tread. And Gunnar knew, things were only going to get worse.

"Rothgar.." Gunnar spoke for the first time since the group left the Dead City. "I....thank you, my friend."

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Old 07-14-2009, 01:05 PM   #273
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Rothgar leaned lazily against the inside of the wagon as it bounced along the dirt path. The vision he had still played in his head, the severity of the Norn's message striking a cord in the goodhearted Norseman.

He shifted a bit and winced as a sharp pain flared in his side.

It didn't matter how they did it, but the lich had to be stopped. And quickly too, before the world was lost.

"Rothgar.." Gunnar spoke for the first time since the group left the Dead City. "I....thank you, my friend."

Rothgar shifted his eyes from the countryside around them towards his countryman sitting across from him in the wagon.

"It was nothing, Gunnar", Rothgar replied.
"But there is no need to thank me. You would've done the same in my place, of that I have no doubt."

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Old 07-14-2009, 01:46 PM   #274
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"Athens...gone."

"Not gone. Just...taken."

"By a Lich-King?!" Pyrist can't believe the news, and I don't blame. "I cannot even recall the last time one walked this world."

"Not nearly long enough," I say.

We sit in silence for a few moments. "So...what do we do?"

Pyrist leans back against his rock. "Tell me more about this band of travelers."

"Not just travelers. Warriors as well. At least according to the demon."

"Only you would trust the word of a demon."

I shrug. "You just need to know what buttons to push. It's all about making a good deal."

"Until that deal comes back to bite you."

I say nothing, sipping from my canteen instead. I'm always well aware of that fact in the life I lead. Having to stay one step ahead of the things I hunt. "The question now is...what do we do about it?"

Pyrist looks at me as if I just asked the strangest question of all time. "I don't understand. We must stop the lich."

I choke on my water, trying to laugh. "Surely you are joking. What can the two of us do against a lich's army, not to mention the lich himself?"

"We have no other choice. You would sit idly by while the world burned?"

"No. I'd find a good place to hide myself, preferably with large quantities of alcohol, while the real battle waged on."

My old friend sighs. "I knew you would say something like that. Even though you spend your life fighting in a string of endless battles."

"I pick battles I can win."

"And yet you still plan to wage war against your people."

"They are not my people!" I shout in anger. "But...if the lich were to wipe them all out..."

"And wipe out everything else in his path...?"

I breath out slowly. I can't believe I'm thinking this. "And just how would we...go about fighting the lich-king?"

Pyrist smiles, although he does a good job keeping the smugness out of it. "The travelers."

"How did I know. I'm not even sure where they are. All the demon said was they were moving north, away from Athens." Pyrist just gives me a knowing look.

"Fine." I stand and walk to my wagon.

"Are you serious about this," my companion whispers.

"Yes. Why, you want to run too?"

"No. I'm actually a little proud of you...for a change."

I smirk. "Very funny." I gather what I need and return to Pyrist.

I unroll the map and lay it out in front of us. I pull out the weighted line and dip it holy water, then in the ash of burnt magewood. Concentrating, I hold the line over the center of the map and give it a spin, whispers the incantation over and over. The line starts moving in wider and wider circles, faster and faster. Then suddenly drops down onto the map.

Pyrist reaches down and lifts the weight.

"Well?"

"We must go to Thebes..."

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Old 07-14-2009, 02:15 PM   #275
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The sun had well and truly set by the time the group decided that the horses needed rest. They moved a little off the road and set up a rough camp using the tents that the alchemist had in the back of his cart. Luckily there was enough spare wood in the back to build up a small fire, and Kelvamin sat nearby, wrapped in a cloak to prevent against the cold.

"It shall not be far until the road leads us to Thebes," he muttered to the person sitting next to him.

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