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Old 09-09-2007, 08:28 PM   #51
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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Slieken's temper boiled over at hearing the lycanthrope call him a thief of his own birthright.

He drew an arrow back in his bow, and gauged the light breeze blowing around him in the tree.

"I am not hiding, wolf. I'm laying a trap. One that you have foolishly stepped right into."

Slieken spoke so that his voice bounced off the mountains, making it impossible to pinpoint the source.

As the werewolf scanned the area, the elf let the arrow fly. As the arrow sank into the flesh of his chest, Alak snarled in rage and turned to the direction the arrow flew from.
His hand reached up and grabbed the arrow's shaft, and with a single tug the projectile was ripped out of his flesh. The blood that poured from the wound quickly stopped it's flow as the wound quickly healed over.

Alak darted into the treeline towards the left, disappearing into the night.

The werewolf knew these woods just as well as the wild elves who called this place home. He had hunted here and lived under these trees for many decades, with his keen senses and the general direction of the attack, he knew where the elf was hiding.

Silently moving in the foliage, Alak finally saw his prey. His feral eyes narrowed, and a snarl came to his canine lips.
With speed greater than any man could muster, Alak lept from his bushy barrier at the elf, slashing wide for his head...

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Old 09-10-2007, 12:40 PM   #52
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread




Kamahl had secured passage for a few days, his journey would be a long and arduous one. He’d have to find something to slay on the way, just to keep his reflexes sharp, if his target was what he believed, it would be like nothing he could imagine.

The cart’s owner stopped and looked back towards Kamahl. Approaching soldiers were questioning all those who went past.

“Get out.”

It was common practice to avoid having to explain a stranger’s presence to any form of soldier, even if that meant dropping off your part of your payload in the form a mysterious bald dragon slayer.

“Hello sir, we’re looking for a man, he’s wanted for stealing an artefact of great importance from Uborg chapel.”

Kamahl’s ears burned with anticipation as he heard this. He knew they were after him, he’d most clearly been screwed over by his contractor. Whilst he had felled many dragons, people were by no means his ideal prey.

Noticing the bald man hiding behind the cart, the soldiers moved in to question him.

“Sir………”

A lack of response was enough to give the man concern and he drew his weapon, social skills and persuasion were not something he had needed for tearing winged beasts from the sky.

Glinting in the sun, the blade headed towards his heart, Dragon scale mail was enough to easily deflect the blade. Revealing Fangblade, the soldier’s eyes dropped with the realisation of taking on more than they could chew.

“It’s carved from a bloody dragon fang, he’s a….”

The warrior’s warning couldn’t be finished as the weapon ripped through his throat and let his veins paint an abstract mural of blood across the road.

“Leave with your lives, or join your comrade.”

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Old 09-12-2007, 08:49 PM   #53
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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.

***
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballad of Saints ~ Verse VI
...The clanking of metal and the recoiled force as Kelvin struck down hard on the anvil as he worked in the Blacksmithing shop was almost music to his ears. It was here he spent most of his day. The life of a Blacksmith is tiring, for he must devote himself to his art. Any falter, any error on his part on a piece of weapon and armor, and that's one more life that could be lost in battle resting upon his shoulders. Same can be said for the apprentice of a blacksmith; for that is what Kelvin was.

The Elves used different methods to craft their armor and weaponry, while humans over the years kept to their more traditional and old styles of doing so. The methods of the Elves I speak of, of course, involves their skills in magic. Kelvin didn't know this about the Elves, and would constantly overtime whine about blacksmithing to Elwin, his caretaker, and each time Elwin would smirk and sometimes even laugh; for the irony was that Kelvin himself was an elf.

Their relationship was that of any son and father, although Kelvin could obviously tell that Elwin was not his father. And memories such as this, when Kelvin would make such a remark, would become a memory that Elwin would soon find that he would cherish, for it would not last for much longer. But of course, he didn't know this.

***

Drake almost acts aloof, as if he is merely strolling into town for just a walk. A shadow of embarrasment comes over him as he finds himself getting closer and closer to Elwin's shop, because the people around him are ever watchful. It isn't because of the young dragon the flies just above his shoulder, for the Keltoren Dragon Riders are well respected in the Kingdom. It was the fact that because of this, they saw him heading into Elwin's shop; where all knew the young Kelvin dwelled. Should the young elf startle even the tiniest of dragons, surely Drake's young pet would go wild, becoming a danger to the towns people who live nearby. His knock is almost ghostly it is so quiet and bearly audible.

"Yes?"

Elwin answers the door, and crosses his arms, for Drake is quiet for a few moments.

"Can I help you, young man? Ah, I see. You must be one of the new trainees for the Dragon Riders."

"I believe the proper title for one in such a position as I, is firefly, old Blacksmith."

"Ah! So that's what they call them nowadays is it? So what service can I offer you, young firefly?"

Elwin opens the door more, allowing Drake into the shop. Before Drake does so, he reaches into a pouch on his belt, and begins to pull out a rope to.

"You won't be needing to do that, lad."

"But my dragon, he--"

"Bah! Nonsense! If you wish to believe all that blasphemy about Kelvin and the dragons, so be it! And if I am wrong, then you need not worry! The only thing you're little puffer is going to be able to burn and heat up is all my crude metal! If anything, the little puffer will be helping me! Now come! Come!"

***

And like a humble guest, Elwin leaded Drake into his shop. Drake marveled at the craftsmanship he saw before him. What he witnessed were armor pieces that must've been designed for Gods they were so carefully designed to be beautiful yet strong.

"Now, what is it exactly you need, my boy? A new sword? Two?"

"Uh, no. But how did you--"

"You think the eye of a Blacksmith couldn't recognize you? Why, you always did run around with those two wooden swords, did you not? Who do you think carved them for you? You're brother?"

"Actually...I did."

"Ha! He paid me to do it for ya, lad. A good brother he is. Great Dragon rider too."

Drake spots Kelvin as he walks over to lay down some hot metal which looks like it had been shaped to be the frame of a breastplate. Elwin signals Kelvin to come over to them, and immediately Drake places both of his hands on his two swords. Elwin doesn't notice this, but Kelvin does. He quickly stops walking towards them, and his expression turns from a joyful one, to a more serious blank one. He kind of takes another step, only to turn away walking the other direction.

"...That was odd, now wasn't it?"

Drake slowly takes his hands away from his two holsters. He cannot believe what he just did. His brother wanted him to get to know Kelvin, yet by mere instinct he felt compelled to draw swords.

"Yes, most odd."

The two sit down, and Elwin starts to pull out some scrolls. Each one has schematics and drawings of different sets of armor for Drake to see. And as Drake listens to the Elwin with deaf ears, Kelvin silently continues to work on the piece of armor he was working on before...

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Old 09-22-2007, 06:37 PM   #54
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The sun, now sinking over the sleepy horizon cast it’s beams across the near conflict. The soldiers blades glinting in the light soon withdrew into thick leather and steel scabbards, the soldiers themselves leaving with a sense of purpose and haste.

Kamahl sheathed his weapon and re-approached the cart’s driver, much as he expected, the owner merely lashed the reigns at his horses and continued his journey, minus one dragon slaying companion. The distance would be impossible to cover by foot, yet this was how he must set out for the time being.

Leaving the caravan of traders and merchants behind, the bald headed man made tracks for his destination. His younger years with the tribe taught him respectable tracking and journeyman skills, but no amount of training could quell the fact of the sheer distance between him and his intended destination.

As the pale moon found it’s place in the sky, Kamahl received the urge to rest from his aching legs. Only a few peripheral supplies had he access to, but with a solid knowledge of nature, he was able to construct a make-shift camp for the night, a vial of fresh dragon blood acting as more than sufficient nourishment.

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:05 AM   #55
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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His hand reached up and grabbed the arrow's shaft, and with a single tug the projectile was ripped out of his flesh. The blood that poured from the wound quickly stopped it's flow as the wound quickly healed over.

Alak darted into the treeline towards the left, disappearing into the night.

The werewolf knew these woods just as well as the wild elves who called this place home. He had hunted here and lived under these trees for many decades, with his keen senses and the general direction of the attack, he knew where the elf was hiding.

Silently moving in the foliage, Alak finally saw his prey. His feral eyes narrowed, and a snarl came to his canine lips.
With speed greater than any man could muster, Alak lept from his bushy barrier at the elf, slashing wide for his head...
Slieken anticipated the movements of the lycanthrope, having fought wolves in the forests of his homeland for years. He rolled to his side and pulled his dagger from his boot. As the beast's glistening teeth ripped a piece of the elf's leather armor, Slieken shoved the dagger deep into the side of the wolfman, and then slammed it even further in, until not even the pommel could be seen beneath the fur. While the werewolf howled in pain, Slieken planted both feet on his chest and used all of his leg strength to propel his enemy from him. The elf sprang to his feet and in an instant, his sword was bare, sparkling in the moonlight, right in his hand. This was the sword of kings.

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Old 09-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #56
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A day of solitary travel was near it’s end, surprisingly without incident. Kamahl knew his run in with the soldiers from yesterday would not go without reprisal. The usual response would involve the infamous Griffin riders of Balador, renowned for their speed and deadly accuracy, commanding their beasts to eviscerate their target with razor sharp talons. However these were something Sky-cutter did not fear, for the hired mercenary wizards that they often employed were far deadlier to the dragon slayer.

The sky and lands below now filling with the pale illumination of a full moon, progress in his journey would need to slow, as the woods he was passing through were known all to well as a place to avoid, filled with various hostilities and creatures beyond normal explanation.

Howling and distant barking served as an eerie welcome to this place that Kamahl would have to call home for the night, furious activity and animalistic hunting lay off in the distance, packs of rabid wolves prowled the dense woodland, stalking any for of life stupid enough to walk beneath the forests canopy.

This Kamahl thought, would be a most fitting leg of his quest.

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Old 10-01-2007, 06:25 PM   #57
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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Slieken anticipated the movements of the lycanthrope, having fought wolves in the forests of his homeland for years. He rolled to his side and pulled his dagger from his boot. As the beast's glistening teeth ripped a piece of the elf's leather armor, Slieken shoved the dagger deep into the side of the wolfman, and then slammed it even further in, until not even the pommel could be seen beneath the fur. While the werewolf howled in pain, Slieken planted both feet on his chest and used all of his leg strength to propel his enemy from him. The elf sprang to his feet and in an instant, his sword was bare, sparkling in the moonlight, right in his hand. This was the sword of kings.
Alak growled in defiance as he calmly wrapped his clawed hand around the dagger's pommel and pulled. As the blade fell to the earth below, the wound soon closed. Within seconds, if it weren't for the blood-stained fur, it appeared as if there had been no wound at all.

With a snarl, Alak darted forward towards his prey. With inhuman grace and agility, the werewolf feigned his approach to the elf's right and quickly cut back the other way.
Ducking and rolling, Alak avoiding the cross-cutting swipe of the purloined blade and slashed at the elf, his razor-sharp claws digging deep into his leg just above the right knee...

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Old 10-08-2007, 11:11 PM   #58
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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.

***
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballad of Saints ~ Verse VII
...Elwin went rambling on and on about the scrolls laid out before Drake. Drake tried very hard not to be rude, but his eyes seemed to drift to the side towards Kelvin ever so often.

"I really do think that for your initiation ceremony, this design with the classic Dragon Rider crest would look most dashing. Although, I am a bit unsure as to how large to have your proud crest be. Small and in the upper left corner of your chest? Or large, grande, and centered, for all to clearly see?"

"Uh, my intiation ceremony? But I have only begun to train my dragon. That will not be for quite some time."

"It is always best to plan ahead, am I right? Besides, I think you are forgetting the amount of time it takes to craft such a beauty! Even a blacksmith as skilled as I must have the appropriate amount of time."

Drake nods, and eventually points to one of the scrolls for the chestplate he desired. After making that decision, Elwin pulled out a few scrolls of concept drawings and sketches he made for the rest of the suit of armor; basically different designs he had come up with to go with that chestplate. However, as before, Drake found himself much more curious about Kelvin.

"These are all just...great, Elwin. Any Dragon Rider would be proud to even be given the choice to have their armor crafted by your hands and hammer."

"Why thank you."

Drake this time turns to the side, making it quite noticeable that he is looking at Kelvin and continues to speak.

"Although, I must say I am curious at the piece of armor your young apprentice is working on now. Is it for commision? Or just practice?"

"Why don't we go over and have a look, eh? I'm not so quite sure myself. If my memory does serve me right, that's something he has been working on and off with for quite some time."

***

Elwin stands up, walking in front of Drake as he and his pet dragon go over to Kelvin. Kelvin notices their arrival, but he somewhat feels uncomfortable for what happened earlier, and acts as if he doesn't notice. The loud clangs of the steel against his hammer create quite the excuse.

"Kelvin! Kelvin!"

However, Kelvin's excuse isn't exactly full proof. It is not as if he can just choose to ignore Elwin for too long; although he does try. Elwin grows confused, laughs a bit, and grabs Kelvin's arm back as he is about to strike down against the armor once more.

"Ha! So much intune with what you are doing, that you do not hear me? I must say, you must be crafting a true piece of work! Let's take a look at it, shall we?"

Kelvin slowly shifts his head towards Elwin and Drake, and lowers his arm down. He tries to hide behind his long hair, for it is in quite a mess, and his bangs provide some cover from looking directly at Drake.

"Forgive me..."

But as Kelvin was to speak his next sentence, he makes sure to look Drake right in the eye so he can see.

"...how rude of me."

Drake's facial expression shifts to a shocked one, but he quickly tries to hide it, and clears his throat. He walks over to Kelvin and Kelvin titls the armor laying in the fire and coal just enough for Drake to see.

"It truly is a most magnificent piece of armor. Is this part of a set? Elwin never showed me any chestplate design that went along with such a set."

"It's of my own design actually."

"Oh really?"

Elwin leans in now as well, and Kelvin grows a bit uncomfortable from the crowdedness. He also shifts back a bit as Drake's pet dragon rises up, appearently to see the piece of armor as well. For a brief second, Kelvin and the pet dragon's eyes meet, and Kelvin grows worried for what is to occur next. But he finds himself surprised when the dragon does nothing, just looks over at the armor.

"Wow...hey, that's a peculiar dragon you have molded in there, isn't it?"

Elwin chuckles at the little dragon's comment, but Drake is the one who responds back to Dragg.

"That's because that is no dragon. Or at least, not a dragon I've ever seen before. Wait a second...that crest."

***

Drake quickly turns towards Kelvin, his blood beginning to boil in anger, and walks around Elwin and Dragg approaching Kelvin face to face. If it were not for Elwin's presence, he perhaps would've attacked Kelvin with his sword or knocked him back.

"That's the crest of Caldoria! How dare you place upon its crest in our land! Is that whom you side with, elf? I should strike you right now for--"

"You'll do no such thing, Drake."

Elwin steps between the two, facing Drake, and Kelvin frowns and turns his head to the side.

"So it is true, isn't it Elwin? This...elf is exactly what everyone claims him to be! And you! You...you have clearly chosen to defend him. I demand you state your allegiance, blacksmith. Or I shall have my brother and the rest of the Dragon Riders burn this place down themselves."

Elwin is silent. He does not respond to the emotional and irrational thinking of the young Dragon Rider in training. He just looks at Drake, as if expecting an apology. He does not receive one though. Drake does however almost become ashamed of himself, but he does not show it for he quickly gives Elwin an angry look and storms out of the forgery. When Dragg doesn't quickly follow, Drake yells at him an order and the young dragon obeys. Elwin turns to Kelvin and lifts up the piece of armor with one of his tools and looks at it.

"I didn't know that was the crest of Caldoria, Elwin. I just--"

"I know, Kelvin...I know. Although, the irony that you would come up with such a design to place upon that armor, will not look good amongst the rest of the townspeople. Heck, the entire kingdom..."

"Do you think he is really going to go and--"

"No. Fear not. He is just angry and...he wasn't thinking clearly."

Outside the forgery, Drake walks a short distance and stops just outside one of the pubs. He takes a seat on the bench, and tries to cool down. He looks over at his pet dragon, and he sees he is giving him a most odd and confused look.

"What?"

"Nothing...what happened, Drake?"

"How do--you cannot tell? That damned elf he--nevermind."

"...I kinda liked him."

Drake looks at his pet dragon surprised, and the dragon lays down and looks ahead. Drake continues to look at Dragg a few seconds longer, and finds some time to think. No dragon before has ever been able to stand the presence of Kelvin, and yet...his pet dragon, barely older than a hatchling...rather enjoys his company...

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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 10-11-2007, 12:08 AM   #59
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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Alak growled in defiance as he calmly wrapped his clawed hand around the dagger's pommel and pulled. As the blade fell to the earth below, the wound soon closed. Within seconds, if it weren't for the blood-stained fur, it appeared as if there had been no wound at all.

With a snarl, Alak darted forward towards his prey. With inhuman grace and agility, the werewolf feigned his approach to the elf's right and quickly cut back the other way.
Ducking and rolling, Alak avoiding the cross-cutting swipe of the purloined blade and slashed at the elf, his razor-sharp claws digging deep into his leg just above the right knee...
Instinctively, the elf twirled the blade back around to parry the wolf's strike. There was a loud crack against the ringing of the steel blade as the wolf's claws shattered on the tempered metal. The beast howled in pain as blood trickled from his nails.

"Stupid thief! You'll die for this!"

"Thief? For reclaiming that which is mine by birthright? I shall silence your tongue for you, you prideful damnation."

Slieken swung the blade in a wide arc, and as the wolf dodged to avoid the blow, he quickly reversed directions of the sword's path, bringing it full circle around to the other side of the wolf's neck, almost to quickly to perceive with the naked eye. There was the sound of a loud thuck, followed by the humming of a naked blade in crisp autumn air. Blood erupted from the wound as the lycanthrope's head fell from it's shoulders.

Taking a moment to breath, Slieken realized that more creatures were probably hunting him.

No time to rest. I must continue my travel, to get as far from this accursed place as possible.

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Old 10-16-2007, 09:26 PM   #60
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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.

***
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballad of Saints ~ Verse VIII
...One thing was common in Kelvin and Elwin's relationship all the years Elwin watched over him; their bond. You could not find a father who was more loving, nor could you find a son who was more loyal. And yet, these two were not even father and son by blood. But there was an awkward silence...a vibe, if you will, between Elwin and Kelvin later that night while they were eating dinner.

Kelvin was silent, but he always is. Being judged and nearly hated by majority of the people didn't exactly make him very social. But Elwin on the other hand was a different story. He was always the jolly blacksmith; outgoing and kind to all. But tonight, as his wife laid out dinner before them, there were no words that emitted from his lips. It was one of their first silence dinners.

"So--So, how was everything today, dear?"

Elwin looked over at his wife and he saw her nod her head towards Kelvin; Kelvin never noticed a thing. It was as if he was trying to remain invisible from them, staying quiet and looking down at his bowl. Elwin eventually nods back to his wife, and tries to start a conversation.

"Well, today was a special day today, wasn't it my boy?"

"I...I guess."

"What do you mean, you guess? Why, Gwen, today we had a visit from one of our valiant Dragon Riders! One of the new trainees actually!"

"I believe nowadays they call them fireflies, my love."

"Ah, yes! Fireflies! Spunky lad, he was. He came to my shop to check out some of my scrolls to get started on a suit of armor for him when he becomes a true Dragon Rider matter a fact."

"Really? Well, isn't that splendid? Perhaps this one will let you ride his dragon for a chance?"

"Hahaha. No, not this one. His little puffer isn't big enough yet for riding."

"That's a shame..."

Again, Elwin's wife Gwen gives Elwin an odd look, nudging her head towards Kelvin. Elwin looks over to Elwin, and he looks the same; depressed and quiet. She doesn't make a sound, but she moves her lips as if saying something to Elwin across the table. Elwin makes the words out, and she is telling him to try to cheer Kelvin up. Normally, such a thing was simple. But tonight? Elwin himself didn't know what to do.

***

Drake was in his brother's chamber at the great Dragon Den where all of the Dragon Riders and their companion behemoths stay. Incase of an emergency order from the King, or the threat of invaders, the Dragon Riders are on the watch every hour of the day. Some scour the skies and watch from above, while others remain at the Den. To make it more simple, they take shifts.

"So, what did you find out today, brother? Do we have reason to watch The Elf more closely? Did he pose as a threat to you?"

Drake is silent, just as Kelvin was with his family. The similarities at this moment were astonishing, but unlike Kelvin, Drake could not keep up his silence. He was obligated to answer his brother, simply because he was his superior.

"I...I didn't notice anything strange, brother. Not at all."

"And your dragon? Did he whiplash and almost fall into a rage by merely being in that...things presence?"

While words do not form from his lips, his mind is full of them. He failed to mention to his brother that he saw Kelvin actually carve in the crest of Caldoria, but he does not still know why. There is something about Kelvin that does indeed make him wonder, but not like his brother or the rest of the Dragon Riders. And then of course, there was his pet dragon. Dragg actually told Drake earlier that day that he rather enjoyed his company; no dragon has ever stood calm in Kelvin's presence. Another reason for Drake to not want to tell his brother about it. He must find out more.

"I had to tie the little guy outside. I could've sworn he would've burned down half of the houses on that street if I didn't, brother."

"I see...even the youngest of our wise, gargantuan, companions have this unexplainable fear of The Elf. I'm telling you, brother...I fear for Keltor's future."

"I shall continue to learn more about the Elf, Daygon. If Keltor's future depends upon it, then I must."

His brother smirks and nods at him, and Drake takes a bow. As Drake is about to exit his chamber, Daygon speaks out.

"You'll grow to be a fine Dragon Rider, Drake."

What would normally cause Drake to swell with pride, only did the exact opposite. But, he does not show this. He merely forces a smirk back at his brother, and takes a quick bow once more and departs...

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Old 11-09-2007, 11:36 PM   #61
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The torchlight flickered, casting skeletal shadows across the stone pillars and walls. Charaun, the lich-king and lord of Warlock's Rest, stood in the forefront of a six dozen skeletal soldiers, a handful of demonic entities, and a pair of female humans. One dressed in priestly robes, the other in a tight garment of black silk and armor.

The battalion stood in front of a large stone archway, it's surface showing many runes and ancient sigils.

Charaun walked up to the ebony arch and ran his bony fingers across it's polished surface.
The lich then began to chant.

Soon the runes in the archway began to glow a deep gold in color. And, as Charaun finished his casting, a wall of silver light appeared inside the arch.

"There", stated the lich simply.
This was it. Soon he would be at the very location he had spent many hundreds of years searching for.

If Charaun still had lips on his dead face, one would be able to see his smile.

"Go", commanded the lich, and the dozens of skeletal soldiers and demonic shock troops filed through the portal, leaving the castle behind for what awaited on the other side.

After the final demon flew through, the two women slowly made their way through the portal.

Charaun moved towards the silvery, magical doorway and paused. A slight laugh of satisfaction escaped from closed teeth, and his crimson eyes flared a bright red.

And the lich walked through, the silver portal closing behind him and casting the room dim torchlight once more.

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Old 12-03-2007, 02:06 AM   #62
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Instinctively, the elf twirled the blade back around to parry the wolf's strike. There was a loud crack against the ringing of the steel blade as the wolf's claws shattered on the tempered metal. The beast howled in pain as blood trickled from his nails.

"Stupid thief! You'll die for this!"

"Thief? For reclaiming that which is mine by birthright? I shall silence your tongue for you, you prideful damnation."

Slieken swung the blade in a wide arc, and as the wolf dodged to avoid the blow, he quickly reversed directions of the sword's path, bringing it full circle around to the other side of the wolf's neck, almost to quickly to perceive with the naked eye. There was the sound of a loud thuck, followed by the humming of a naked blade in crisp autumn air. Blood erupted from the wound as the lycanthrope's head fell from it's shoulders.

Taking a moment to breath, Slieken realized that more creatures were probably hunting him.

No time to rest. I must continue my travel, to get as far from this accursed place as possible.
Another day and a half of travel with no rest, and Slieken made it back to a port, and slamming a fist full of gold on a counter, he collapsed of exhaustion on the dirt floor of an inn. A full day later, and he woke up to find himself in a plush feather bed. There was an elderly man standing over him.

"Wh.. where am I? Who are you?"

"This is the inn of The Empty Chalice in Bremerhaven. I am Herald, I am proprietor of this establishment. You had grave wounds and were very worn out when you arrived. Take your time, rest up. Whatever you run from, I protect you."

"Thank you, but I will only stay for a few days, I must move on. That which stalks me is a very dangerous evil."

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Old 12-23-2007, 08:44 PM   #63
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A week has past since the cold evil of undeath appeared in cave system. And while the desert winds raged above their heads, the skeletons meandered about the Underdark of ancient Babylon oblivious to it all. Only one thought filled their simple thoughts: find the artifact the Master sought.

Charaun glided silently across the old stone walkway carved into the rock. The ancient lich had spent centuries searching for it, and he had finally discovered the secret laboratory of the arch-mage, Myrkul. By itself it would be a major magical find as is, given all of the tomes, spellbooks, and magical artifacts still left intact. But it was here were his prize rested.

The fabled Crown of Horns.

And it was calling to him.

Charaun made his way down a small stairwell and eventually entered a small open room with a stone door at it's end. Carved into the door was a large rune of ancient design. Cautiously, Charaun made his way towards the ruin and inspected it.

"It's a symbol...a magical trap", Charaun spoke to his two female companions who stood at the ready behind him.

"Can you disarm it", asked Kallisto, the diminutive, raven-haired vampiress as she gripped her sword tightly.

Charaun cast his gaze over her, the crimson pin-points of light that occupied his eternally dark eye sockets glaring at her.
Sensing his displeasure at her questioning his abilities, Kallisto responded.
"I apologize, Lord Charaun", Kallisto stated with a slight bow of respect, "I did not mean to doubt you."

"Get out of the room", Charaun spoke as he turned his attention back to the symbol. As he began to chant under his breath, the lich held his hand up to the symbol. An aura of blackness seemed to appear around his hand, and the aura seemingly transferred to the rune. The symbol began to pulse with an eerie purple light, and suddenly it flashed bright. A burst of energy filled the room, causing Charaun to stagger backwards a few steps. But soon the lich was well once more and stood tall once again.

"You may enter", Charaun bade, "the trap is disarmed."

"What happened", asked Anastasia, her priestly garments dragging across the mold-covered stone floor.

"A vicious little trap that would've destroyed the soul of those tampering with it. A good thing that I have no soul to destroy."

"Kallisto, go."

The rogue calmly strode towards the door and began inspecting it and all that surrounded it. Her eyes, sharp as an eagle's, poured over every inch of the door's surface, searching...searching...

"Here", she spoke finally as she pressed her hand gently against the wall to the door's left. As her hand pushed forward, the wall went in with it. And as the hidden panel was activated, the door began to slide open.

A breeze of stagnant air rushed from the room.

Kallisto took a deep breath through her nose, closed her eyes and smiled.

"Can you not smell the death on the air? It is a divine fragrance."

"Yes, but there is something else...", replied Anastasia as the pair followed Charaun into the room.

"You're right", spoke Kallisto as she sniffed the air as if a hound finding a scent.

"...sulfur."

No sooner did the words leave her lips when the room burst bright with flame, illuminating everything within the huge room. The large flame, centered in an open area in the room's center, was surrounded by six ornate pillars and old lab stations, treasure chests, desks, and book shelves littered the room with many contents scattered over the floor.

"Anastasia...Kallisto", shouted Charaun loudly before he began to chant a spell. As if knowing his unspoken command, both undead warriors sprang into action. Kallisto dashed to the left, unsheathing her sword as she ducked behind a pillar. As the flame began to take a humanoid shape, Anastasia began to chant a divine spell of her own. Before she could finish though, the creature had fully materialized before them.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:


The pit fiend did not waste time with words. It's job was to defend the lair at all costs. As soon as it appeared, it exploded into action, it's flaming sword coming down at Charaun's head...

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Old 01-07-2008, 07:48 PM   #64
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The flaming sword of the pit fiend came crashing down towards Charaun, but stopped explosively when it slammed into Anastasia's invisible shield. It did it's job and stopped the blow from connecting, but the force of the fiend's attack shattered the shield completely.

Kallisto charged into action from behind the pillar. With the agility and grace of a hunting cat, the vampire assassin flipped into the air and brought her black blade, which had began to glow with a dark red aura, down on the demon's right wrist, slicing into it deeply. The fiend howled in pain as it lashed out at her with it's whip-like tail, but the nimble little huntress avoided the attack.
The fiend summoned a wall of flame around him as Kallisto moved in for a second attack. Already committed to the act, Kallisto tried to stop herself, but was unable to avoid the inferno. She cried out as the warm fire ate at her silken dead flesh, and the pit fiend snarled with glee at his now prone target.

But then with unnatural power, Charaun's voice rang out over the din of the flame and of combat.

"DIE."

The demon lurched suddenly as if hit by some unknown and powerful force. The hell beast groaned and swayed, and the wall of flame separating Kallisto from her companions was snuffed out. Anastasia immediately moved to Kallisto's side.

"Are you all right?"

"I'll live", replied Kallisto with a toothy smile and a chuckle.

"Then rise and finish the beast", stated Anastasia as got to her feet and pulled out a small mace with it's head carved with the visage of Orcus.

"Stand back", commanded Charaun as he strode towards the downed creature as it slowly began to rise. The power word he had cast on it had injured the demon severely, but it was still not done. The monster still stirred, and Charaun planned to end it's life on this plane quickly.

A purple haze began to slowly creep out from Charaun's being as he walked towards the beast. As his two vampire servants made sure to stand away from their master, Charaun came to a stop a few feet in front of the beast.
The purple field enveloped the downed demon, and the pit fiend howled again. A scream of both pain and anger as it's life force was being drained by the leech field. Charaun's crimson eyes flared as the demon's life energy was sapped from it and poured into him.

As the demon faded away in a cloud of sulfury smoke, being banished back to the Nine Hells, it cursed at the lich in it's demonic tongue.

"Hahahaha...I highly doubt that, creature", chuckled Charaun.

Soon the demon was gone, and Charaun disbanded the leech field.

Kallisto and Anastasia both moved up to stand beside their master, their weapons once more holstered.

"What now, my Lord", asked Anastasia.

Charaun spoke no words to his companions, he had no time for words. Being a lich, Charaun's patience was practically without limit. But today, this minute, it was as short as a mortal's. He could feel the presence of the Crown. It's undead energy wafting towards him like the smell of a fresh baked apple pie on a breeze. It was his greatest quest, and it was soon to be fulfilled.

If Charaun could smile with the anticipation he felt, he would.

The lich stepped forwards and walked with haste towards the small darkened doorway on the other side of the room...

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Old 02-04-2008, 02:51 PM   #65
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Another day and a half of travel with no rest, and Slieken made it back to a port, and slamming a fist full of gold on a counter, he collapsed of exhaustion on the dirt floor of an inn. A full day later, and he woke up to find himself in a plush feather bed. There was an elderly man standing over him.

"Wh.. where am I? Who are you?"

"This is the inn of The Empty Chalice in Bremerhaven. I am Herald, I am proprietor of this establishment. You had grave wounds and were very worn out when you arrived. Take your time, rest up. Whatever you run from, I protect you."

"Thank you, but I will only stay for a few days, I must move on. That which stalks me is a very dangerous evil."
Another two days stay, and Slieken slipped out under the cover of night. Herald wouldn't let him check out during the day, he'd grown friendly with the elf. As Slieken left a bag of gold on the bed, he found himself thinking of the old man. In truth, under different circumstances Bremerhaven would be a good place to settle down. But right now, Slieken had to keep moving. More minions of evil were sure to be on his tail. The sword he had reclaimed was key to also reclaiming his birthright.

Slieken climbed out the window, and ducked into the shadows, avoiding the rippling light of the nearly full moon. Slieken traveled north, off the worn path of the roads, sticking near the forests. During the days, he slept. The nights he continued on his way back to the coast. He knew that the things that would come, would come during the night. He would take food from the crops of the farms along the way to keep sustained.

After a week of straight travel, he had arrived at a small village that he had bedded at before. He walked up to run down building, a sign hanging above the heavy dark oak doors was swinging in the cold wind. Slieken read the words on the sign and a small smile graced his face.

As Slieken pushed open the wood doors, he was met with the stares of the patrons of the 'Massacred Bow'. Aramen, the bartender grunted in recognition of the elf. The gruff old man smiled and nodded at the ranger. "Good to see ya, I appreciate the servant ya sent me, Slieken. He was a bit worse for the wear by the time 'e made though. Took him a few days to recover. He's an excellent dish washer now."

The man pointed to the back, and Slieken noticed the highwayman he had been accosted by. A plate shattered, as the man had dropped one when he caught sight of the elf.

Slieken smiled again. "Good to hear it, Aramen. Now how about a mug of ale, and a room for the night?"

Slieken slapped three gold pieces down on the bar.

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Old 02-13-2008, 09:35 PM   #66
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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.

***
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballad of Saints ~ Verse IX
...Drake was in the dueling chamber of the Dragon Riders within the Dragon Den practically all day. He had not passed by Elwin's Forgery for quite a few days, although because of pressure from his older brother to keep an eye on Kelvin, would soon have to pay the blacksmith and his young apprentice a visit sometime soon. Little did he know, is that he would be getting a visit from Elwin himself.

A chamber maid comes through the door, and Drake places his dual blades back into their sheaths. She walks up to him, and bows for he is a Dragon Rider. A firefly to be more exact, but a Dragon Rider in training no doubt. They are regarded as some of the most respected individuals in all of Keltore.

"Yes?"

"Sir Drake, there is a man to see you. The town blacksmith, Elwin. He says he has a surprise for you, milord."

"My armor? Could he really be done with it already? But, it had only been--you can tell him I am ready to see him. He can come in."

The chambermaid walks out the door, and for a few seconds, and after a few seconds of conversing with Elwin, Drake finally sees the door re-open. Out walks Elwin, with something in his hands. Something covered with a sheet, a large one at that. It could not be his armor, for it would be much too large and heavy for Elwin to hold it as so. Until Elwin finally meets eye to eye with Drake, what is underneath the cloth constantly races through Drake's mind.

"Elwin, your visit was most unexpected."

"Perhaps it was best that it was. Our last meeting...did not turn out so pleasant."

"I--I wish to apologize for my behavior. I did not mean to disgrace you so. You have been one of Keltor's finest, if not the finest, in the art of metal making for more years than I have lived. I hope what you think of me does not go tainted because of it."

"You need not worry about what I think of you, boy. Although, you may want to re-consider apologizing to Kelvin and not me. He's the one you may have hurt. Although, I cannot tell for sure because he does not speak. But perhaps his actions speak louder than his unsaid words."

Elwin starts to unwrap the cloth in his hands as he gently rests the item on his elbow, holding the end with his other hand. As he unwraps more and more of the cloth, the shape becomes that much more visible of what it is. When he is done, Drake rests his eyes upon the most beautiful set of dual swords he has ever seen.

"My goodness, they...they--"

"Are gorgeous. I know. Puts a blacksmith like myself to shame that I had nothing to do with its intricate design. The boy--Kelvin--did it all himself."

Drake puts aside everything at the mere sight of the sword.

"May I?"

"But of course. They are yours."

Drake takes one of the dual swords, and holds it high in the air. He moves it around as Elwin takes a few steps back, putting it to the test. The mobility, it is so light, the strength of the blade, it is so thin...he cannot quite understand it.

"That boy is the future of blacksmithing, I tell you. He found a new way to heat the metal, making it ligther and easier to work with. But it
still retains its strength, if not stronger than most swords nowadays. Go on, test it."

Drake walks over to one of his dual swords, and picks it up. Already he notices how much heavier his are compared to Kelvins.

"If him making those two swords particularily for you doesn't mean anything, I don't know what does. He takes no disgust in your outburst. Somehow the boy always manages to find he good in people's hearts. And if it makes you feel any better, he's word far worse remarks."

Drake frowns at the thought of what he had done those few days ago. Then he walks over to two pieces of wood, and places them both on a stone bench. He slashes down with first his sword, noticing how much more strength it took to exert his attack. And when he uses Kelvin's sword, he is amazed at how much more simpler and how much more quiet the slice is as he cuts through the wood. He turns his head over to Elwin.

"...then I wish to speak with him. I owe him an apology."

Elwin nods, and Drake hands him back the sword. As Drake gathers his things, Elwin waits by the door as they get ready to head back to his Forgery...

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Old 02-15-2008, 10:46 AM   #67
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Rothgar pulled the animal skins tighter around him as the chilling breeze wafted through the trees and bite at his face.
He had been traveling for ten days with this small group of merchants traveling south through the forest trails of Germany. They were on a trade mission for their company, The Golden Throne, and had set about to establish trade routes throughout the province.
Rothgar had been needing some work of late, and so it was easy for a man of his reputation to get hired on as a guard. His guard partner, a particularly young dwarf named Torik, spent most of his time drunk on mead to be of any real assistance.
The fact that they had made it this far without incedent brought a sigh of relief to Rothgar, as none of his companions could carry themselves well in a fight, save maybe the drunken dwarf.

But Rothgar's thoughts soon disappeared as he stopped his horse, which marched a few dozen meters ahead of the merchant cart, and looked around the surrounding foliage.
His eyes carefully scanned the scene as his instincts told him something was not right.



"Take cover", he shouted as he spun around to face the six merchants and Torik. But it was too late.
A dozen arrows shot out from the foliage, six finding their targets and taking down three of the merchants instantly. One struck the shoulder of Rothgar, and would've caused a serious injury had it not been for his elven chain mail.

Torik gave a drunken yell as he jumped off of his pony, his great waraxe in hand.
As he did so, a dozen creatures came rushing out of the treeline, their battle cries promising nothing more than a quick death.



Hobgoblins, Rothgar thought as he unsheethed his sword and charged the nearest one, lopping off it's head in mid-gallop.

"I hate hobgoblins."

The fight only raged for a handful of seconds before each and every one of the merchants lay dead thanks to hobgoblin steel. Now there was only Torik and Rothgar left to fend off the attackers.
And there were many attackers.

The dwarf fought ferociously, killing many of the vile creatures with each swing of his mighty axe.
But he fought carelessly, much to Rothgar's dismay.

"No", shouted the now dismounted Rothgar as Torik charged off after a running hobgoblin.
"He's trying to seperate us from the cover of the wagon!"

But Rothgar's warning was not heeded, and soon the dwarf was surrounded and overwhelmed by the goblinoids. To his credit, Torik slayed nearly a dozen of the creatures, but, in the end, he was cut down.

Excellent, thought Rothgar as he put his back to the wagon as a dozen hobgoblins stalked in towards him, sensing the kill.

"A dozen to one, eh", smiled Rothgar as he looked out on his advancing attackers.

"I like those odds", he continued as his sword, Banahogg, exploded in a fiery wreath causing the goblinoids to pause their advance.

With a laugh of joyous barbarity, Rothgar charged the nearest hobgoblin, slicing him in two at the waist...

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Old 02-17-2008, 10:23 PM   #68
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The eerie crimson pinpoints of light in Charaun's black, empty eye-sockets flared brightly as he gazed ahead.

The room he was in was small, especially compared to the chamber in which he had just battled the demon in minutes ago. The stone floor was littered with bones of all manner of beings, and large bundles of cobwebs clung to the walls and ceiling wafting in a ghostly breeze.

But it was the object that sat on an ornately carved pedestal that caught the lich's eye.

Resting on a small pillar carved from what appeared to be the rib of a great wyrm was the object that drove Charaun's madness these past centuries.

The Crown of Horns.

Anastasia and Kallisto stood just outside the doorway to the small chamber as they were instructed before Charaun slowly made his way towards the Crown.

He could feel the raw necromantic energy pouring off of the crown crashing against him.
Despite all his power, Charaun felt as though he was a lowly mortal caught helpless swift tides of the sea as the energy washed over and around him.

Even Anastasia and Kallisto could feel the Crown's dark power from their position, and feel it clearly.

But Charaun had come to far to let himself be defeated now. The lich called upon his indomitable will and waded forward, the power of the Crown flowing into him the closer he got to it.

Soon Charaun was right up next to the fabled relic. All it would take was for him to simply reach out and the Crown of Horns would be his.

But Charaun stood there staring at the object as if it was staring right back at him. Into his very being.

Many moments passed that seemed like an eternity for Anastasia and Kallisto as the watched their master seemingly caught in a mental duel with the artifact.

The silence was suddenly broken as Charaun began to chuckle.

Reaching out, his bony fingers caressed the Crown's intricate design work. As he made physical contact with it, the Crown seemed to radiate a pale purple light.

With the care of centuries of planning, Charaun grabbed the Crown of Horns in his cold hands and slowly brought it up to his head.
With great ease, the lich placed the Crown on his person and immediately shook as a wave of dark power rushed out from the Crown of Horns and into his being.
The wave of power was so forceful that it shattered the bones to dust and blew Anastasia and Kallisto off there feet. The stone walls cracked and the ceiling moaned loudly as though it were a dead thing begging for release. The ghostly wind picked up and the bone dust rose into a cyclone, spinning around the room chaotically.

The wail of the ghostly wind and the moaning was deafening for the two vampires. But through it all, Anastasia and Kallisto could hear the laughter of their dark master.

His entire being radiating dark purple energy, Charaun stood resilient amid the supernatural maelstrom, his gleeful laughter cutting through the din of it all.

And as soon as it started, the unnatural hurricane stopped, and everything went silent again.

Charaun stood in the center of the room, his back to the vampires, the dust of the bones and tattered cobwebs covering the floor around him.
To Anastasia and Kallisto he seemed grander, more ominous than normal.

"My Lord", asked Anastasia with a bit of concern.

"Do not fret, my dear Anastasia", spoke Charaun, catching the hint of concern in her voice.
"I am perfectly fine."

Charaun spun around to face them, and both Anastasia and Kallisto were visibly surprised to see that the tell-tale crimson pin-points of light that mark the eyes of all liches was gone.
Now the black empty eye sockets of Charaun seemed to radiate dark purple energy. As he moved towards them, the energy wafted from his eye sockets like a fine mist and trailed briefly in the air before dissipating.

"It is time we return to Warlock's Rest", stated the lich as he came to stand before his two servants.

"We have much work to do, and time is of the essence."

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Old 02-18-2008, 10:09 PM   #69
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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.

***
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballad of Saints ~ Verse X
...When Drake and Elwin made it back to the Forgery, they found Kelvin, working on a few pieces of metal by the furnace. Drake's steps are small, slow, and quiet, whereas Elwin's are the exact opposite. He notices this, and stops and turns back to Drake as he continues to enter the Forgery entrance.

"Well? Come on, lad. You aren't going to get very far if you barely move with each step!"

Drake nods, and takes a deep breath. As he now walks past Elwin and towards Kelvin, the clanking and bashing as Kelvin strikes downward with his hammer become incredibly loud. So loud, that Drake raises his voice, to make sure Kelvin hears him.

"Kelvin! I--I wanted to thank you for the swords you made!"

Drake waits for a a response from Kelvin, but he simply dumps a piece of metal to cool in water, and starts to work on another piece. Drake tries again.

"There...there is one thing I wish to know, however, Kelvin! Can...can you stop for a second, please?!"

Kelvin strikes down with his hammer once more, and looks up at Drake. He sighs, and picks up the piece of metal he was working with, and puts it back into the fire. He takes his gloves off, and walks back over to where Drake stands, beside the table. Drake takes a seat on the wooden bench as Kelvin finally joins him, granting him his attention.

"Yes? What is it? Cannot exactly leave the metal for too long in the fire..."

"Why did you do it?"

"Hmmm?"

"The swords...why? What were they for? I do not understand."

"What is there to comprehend? You swing them about in battle. Now, are we done?"

Kelvin rolls his eyes, and walks back over to his work station. He puts his gloves back on, and takes the piece of metal out of the fire. Elwin crosses his arms, and ***** his eyebrow as he looks upon Kelvin, witnessing his behavior. This isn't how he was brought up; not at all.

"Oi, Kelvin! Do not be so rude to your company! He came to thank you for that--will you stop the damn clanking!!"

Kelvin stops as he is surprised in the raising of Elwin's voice. Never before had he ever had to raise his voice to Kelvin. All his life, Kelvin has been nothing but obedient and loyal to Elwin.

"He just wished to thank you for them, Kelvin."

Kelvin turns to Drake, and bows to him, like any other citizen would to a Dragon Rider. However, Kelvin does not wish to do so in a matter of respect, and Drake knows that exactly. He folds his arms as Kelvin makes his gesture, insulted.

"Your welcome. Are we done, now?"

"No we sure as heck are not done! You listen here, now, boy. Come. You and I are going to have a talk about manners."

Kelvin obeys, and yet again places the piece of metal back into the fire, takes off his gloves, and walks over to Elwin. He takes his seat at the table on the bench, and sighs deeply, and turns to Drake.

"Listen, I didn't mean to--"

*BOOM*

One of the walls of the Forgery turns to rubble, and the three are taken aback, as they fall off the bench from the impact. All three of them can hear screaming, as well as the yelling of soldiers, soldiers clearly responsible for the attack, and all three of them act in response. Drake is the first to exit through the destroyed wall, with Elwin to follow as he gathers his axe and hammers from the Forgery. Kelvin, however with great urgency, walks back over to the fire, and puts his gloves back on. He strikes away at the metal, as fast as he can...


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Old 02-19-2008, 01:25 AM   #70
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

The cat rubbed against her leg, it’s stark white mark on it’s chest in contrast to the jet black of it’s body. Aithne absently bent over and pet her as she walked through the door. Cait had been around since well before she’d been born, a companion to her father he’d brought back from one of his trips to Wales.

“There you are!” Earlene exclaimed as she chopped herbs on the large wooden block. Aithne smiled, breathing in the earthy aroma. “Hmm…goat?” She asked snagging a small cut of garlic and placing it on her tongue. Earlene smiled and nodded, “If only your talent with cooking was as good as your smell.” Aithne rolled her eyes and removed her cloak, hanging it near the inside fire. Aad was in the cook house, a small round hut made of stone, the cooking pit in the middle with a hole in the thatched roofing to allow the smoke to escape through. “How’s mother today?” Aithne asked pulling out plates, she loathed leaving the warmth of the kitchen. The old woman sighed and gathered the herbs up in her hand, placing them in the middle of a cheese cloth the tying it in a small ball.

“She managed to finish that cloth she was working on, tis the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen her do. I think she means to make a blanket out of it.” Aithne nodded, “Perhaps, Gormlaith’s child is due any day now.” Earlene passed by her and paused, she snagged a bit of twig from Aithne’s hair. “You’ve been out with Isleen in the field again.” She said scoldingly. Aithne smiled mischievously, “She’s young and until she’s sent to Druid Kevyn she has no one to guide her.” She said referring to the young druidling the council had been searching for a teacher for.

“It’s so far away to send a child.” Earlena said in regards to sending Isleen away to a nearby town with an Elder Druid.
“But it must be done.” Aithne turned at the sound of her father’s voice. He ducked under the low doorframe and stood to his full length as he pulled off his cloak. Earlene nodded, “Of course, of course.” She said plopping the cheesecloth bundles into the large cauldron on the fire. Caeoimhin placed his hand on his daughters shoulder. “Go clean yourself, I’ll help with setting for dinner before I go to your mother.” Aithne nodded and slipped down the corridor to her room, grabbing her soap, towel and clean dress she exited outside though the small common room to the back porch. A large strawberry tree grew at the end, within which was the shower, built of four wooden sides and a door, the water pump stood within it. Aithne opened the door, hanging her towel and clothes up on the wooden hook behind it before stripping down, her bare feet on the cobbled stone floor, she pumped the water into the bronze caldron, out of which rose a large hollowed piece of wood, attached to a foot bellow it pushed water through the holes in the top of it, allowing for a shower. Having filled the water she focused on it, bringing it to a warm temperature, while the shower pump was for the ones in the family not adept at water magic she was able to form her own. Forming the water into a column she bent it over her, allowing it to form into a large orb, stepping under it she willed the water to slowly sprinkle down on her, she pulled her hair pin out, setting it on her clothes, and shook her hair out. Leaning her head back she ran her fingers through her hair as the water washed over it. She smiled as the water flowed over her hair and face, enjoying the harmony she received from it.

“Aithne! Aithne!”
Her head shot up, at the sound of Earlene’s voice at the door. The water, carefully formed behind her plummeted into the cauldron with a splash as she grabbed her towel and began to dry off.
“What is it?” She could hear Earlene on the other side gasping for breathe from the run from he kitchen outside. “It’s Mr. Mac Lohran, he’s dying and they’ve sighted Sluagh.” Aithne took a breath, “Earlene, get my cloak.” she pulled her dress on over her head and grabbed her hairpin, twisting her hair up as she ran into the house she slipped her shoes on inside the door and raced to the kitchen, Earlene met her with her cloak. “Your hair!” She exclaimed grabbing one of Aad’s hat’s on the peg and shoving it over her hair. Aithne smiled, catching sight of her mother at the table. Dervil smiled at her daughter, the seemingly ever present glow that seemed to emit from her brightened with her smile. “Be careful Aithne.” She said. “Your father is already on his way over.” Aithne nodded and opened the door, the twilight of the evening casting a hazy red and green glow over the land.
“I will, Dagda willing.”

Aithne hurried along the street towards the Mac Lohran’s house, a tiny hut near the edge of town. She could see her fathers form, striding there ahead of her his long legs covering more ground than three of her steps. She glanced towards the west watching for the large, dark figures of Sluagh. She reached the house as her Elder did.
“Oh, good Aithne, you’re here.” She said as she paused by the door. Aithne gave a small bow of greeting and respect to Elder Mrytha, her long brown hair streaked with gray, tied up in a loose bun coupled with slight wrinkles around her eyes and near the corners of her mouth were the only things to belay her age which was greater than Aithne’s own parents. Mrytha had trained Aithne in her magic since her gift had been discovered.
“Yes, Earlene told me.” She said allowing her Elder to enter before her. Both of them greeted the only other two elementals in the village Elder Dan’mac and his student Linala, both possessing the power of fire.

“He’s passing quickly, we’re going to take up station outside.” Dan’mac said, standing up and leaning heavily on his finally polished wooden cane, his hair almost stark white. Linala, a childhood friend of Aithne, held her arm out for her teacher and nodded to Aithne.
“I doubt you’ll have much to do.” She said coolly as they went outside.
“I’ll go ease the pain.” Mrytha said as she entered the back room joining the Mac Lohran family around their patriarch. Aithne glanced outside as her father and several of the men from the Council took places behind Dan’mac as he and Linala set up to the west of the house. “There they are!” A call came. Aithne looked out the window sighting the large, whispy, Slaugh in the distance. Studying their frames she shuddered, though they were a normal sight at all deaths that didn’t mean she was ever used to them. She noted there was more than usual, before closing and latching the shutters on the west facing windows in the main part of the house, before squeezing herself into the small bedroom. Mrs. Mac Lohran shooed her children out of the room, leaving only her and her husband with his father as Elder Mrytha leaned over him, her eyes closed as she concentrated on the delicate business of easing his last few minutes.

Minutes ticked by, and Aithne knew what was happening outside without even looking, the Slaugh, unrested spirits hovered not to far from the house waiting for a newly departed soul to snatch. Mrytha let out a sigh and leaned back, as the new head of the family took his departed fathers hand, the spirit slipping invisibly through the air to the otherwirl. At the sound of a shout from outside Aithne peeked through the shutters as Linala threw up a shield of fire in front of her as Elder Dan’mac working the intricate task of weaving a stronger barrier behind her. The teacher and student in perfect harmony from years of training.
Everything seemed to be proceeding normally, until she heard Linala let out a shout as her fiery barrier broke, into a million embers. Dan’mac started at his students call, his own barrier breaking, shattering across the sky. Aithne backed up from the shutters, plugging the hole with a nearby rag. It was the eastern room and still they came. Why? Mrytha looked up startled as the sound of breaking wood cracked through the air. “DOWN!” She yelled casting a mist into the air. Aithne glanced around the room hurriedly spying a pitcher of water, grabbing it she tossed the contents into the air. Water flew from her hair, collecting around her arm, drying her brown locks it in an instant. Her left arm up and right arm on her forearm she formed a shield, pushed the wispy form back through the window. Through the shimmering she could see her father racing for the window, his sword drawn, before he sliced the form, who let out an ear piercing shriek before dispersing into the air in a poof. Aithne threw the shutters shut as Mrytha fortified them with blocks of water, as the forms threw themselves against the house battering it to get in. Thuds against the windows echoed through the house as shouts issued from outside as the men and women scrambled to recuperate.

“The main room!” Mrytha shouted. Aithne nodded and glanced at the owners, as they stood ready over the bed with clubs. Opening the bedroom door she was already calling water sources from around the room to draw themselves as barriers against the windows and doors. The shutters splintered into the water as the ghosts battered against them, a ball of fire hit one, causing her shield to go up in steam as a sword cut through another. Aithne took a breath as Dan’mac threw up a shield of fire across the west side of the house, and within moments it was all over. She glanced into the other room where Mrytha was gasping for breathe. Aithne peeked outside the house as her father came around the side of it. ‘What happened?” She asked, confused as to the unusual fierceness of the Slaugh. He shook his head, a sign of silence for now amongst the outcrying of the people.
Aithne nodded, and refocused on the small children of the family, one of which was one of her students. Gathering them up she wiped their tears at the shock of death and the scare of Slaugh. Their Irish blood soon rejuvenated within them and they swore revenge on the Slaugh. Gathering water from drinkable sources she presented them each with a ball of water which they took into their hands and quietly drank from.

Hours later she walked home next to her father, glancing up at the now darkened sky of the evening, the stars twinkling in the night. A soft cool breeze blew in off the coast and rippled across the grass. She smiled before glancing at her Father’s tall form next to her. ‘What do you think made them so violent?” she asked as she enjoyed the ocean smell which rode the wind from the beach. He kept his stride, and didn’t look at her, yet she saw the thoughtful furrow of his brow. “I don’t know, perhaps your mother will.” He commented on Dervil’s talent for knowledge on the Fair Folk and their kind. Aithne let the subject drop as they approached the house, spying a pale figure in the backyard she detoured there, her father entering the house before her.
“Mother.” she said softly as the woman turned to her and smiled, her face almost glowing in the light of the newly risen moon. “Are you okay?” Dervil asked in her normal gentle fashion. Aithne nodded, she’d given up a long time ago on discovering how her mother seemed to know everything that went on concerning her, and chalked it up to motherly knowledge. “I don’t know what made them that violent and it didn’t seem to ease the Mac Lohran’s loss.” Her mother smiled and turned her face back towards the night sky, the starlight seemingly reflecting off of her. Aithne watched with childlike wonder as she had every night since she was born. Aithne knew her father had met her mother on one of his travels, she’d never learned where she was from but every night, it was her mother habit to come out at sundown and faced west, her face uplifted to the sky as she watched the stars come out.
“Hmmm…we’ll discuss this in the morning, for now go clean up and rest. I don’t feel this is the end of the matter. Earlene left for home, but she left some food out for you and your father.” Aithne nodded and left her mother to her own thoughts.

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Old 02-21-2008, 04:16 PM   #71
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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.

***
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Originally Posted by Ballad of Saints ~ Verse XI
...As Elwin and Drake came through the front door of the Forgery, what they had their sights on was something near unthinkable. Warriors of the enemy Kingdom Caldoria were attacking the small town in Keltor. The war was a never ending one, but this was most certainly new. Sure, the battles waged had taken place in fields and plains of Keltor and Caldoria, but never at the heart of either Kingdom's people; never in a town.

With swift movement Elwin and Drake engage in combat, doing their best to protect the civilians and nearby citizens of Keltor. A few other townspeople run into their houses, only to come back to the streets with weapons of their own. While not heavily skilled, and not the sharpest of swords or daggers, or the mightiest of hammers, the townspeople nonetheless make effort to defend their homes. However, the warriors of Caldoria that have laid seiged to the town are of The Majestic class in Caldoria. Among them, are some of Caldoria's finest magic-users.

In front of The Majestics, clad in Caldorian armor, wielding all sorts of lances, swords, battle axes, and shields, are the Armored Elite. These are not your ordinary foot soldiers, mind you. As are these specific magic users unique, so are the Armored Elite. They rank very high amongst the Caldorian Kingdom's army.

And who leads them? The proclaimed Kingdom of Caldoria himself: Magus. Little does Kelvin know, but his uncle is just outside, watching from the back, guiding his small group of magic-users through the streets of the town.

"Ugh, our swords...our weapons...they do nothing! They so easily deflect our efforts, and just continue to burn everything and lay waste to the town with their magic!"

"We must get word to the Dragon Den! We need the Dragon Riders?"

"Right."

Had Drake brought his young dragon down to the Forgery, he'd easily give him the task of getting word to his older brother and the other experienced Dragon Riders. But Draggy is in his quarters within the stables of the Den, in the Dragon's Nest, sleeping harmlessly like a baby. Drake finds a young boy, foolishly trying to fend off two Caldorian sorcerors. They merely play tricks with the boy, knowing his efforts are small. The boy has courage though. Courage, and valor. Drake dashes at the two sorcerors who remain distracted, and strikes down one of them. His scream as Drake digs one of his swords into his shoulder booms through the town it seems it is so loud. After beheading him with his other sword--a sight he wish the boy not been audience too, but he had no choice--the other Sorceror runs. Drake turns to the young boy.

"Put down your sword, lad. You did your job, and you did it well."

Drake pats the young boy on the head and the boy smirks, nodding his head.

"You know, I think you might even be a Dragon Rider someday."

"Me? A Dragon Rider?"

"Yup. But, I need you to do something for me, okay? Something very important. So important...I know you will be able to help me. I need you to run as fast as you can, and climb the tower. Do you know which tower I mean?"

"Uh, yea. I think I do."

"When you get up there, light the beacon, and blow the horn. As loud as you can. Understood?"

The kid smiles again, nods, and gives Drake his wooden sword. As the kid runs off to do what Drake had asked of him, he watches him, thinking of how much the kid reminds him of himself. He shakes it off, forgetting that he is in the heat of battle, and returns to it.

***

Kelvin's clanking against the metal laying on top of the anvil, is at fast of a pace as he can work at. He continues to strike down with all his might, hoping to finish the job quickly. Ironic that the town would be attacked now of all days. He would've much preferred it be when this was ready...but now he simply must finish it. He is no good with just a hammer and axe. For blacksmithing? Sure. But in a fight? He doesn't know the proper strokes for it. He'd likely injure someone around him were he to use an axe. But a sword? Ah! A sword is another story. And so, Kelvin continues to shape and work on the long sword before him.

***

"The peasants seem to be giving us quite the trouble, my liege."

"Surely you must be joking. They are peasants."

"Yes, but two of them that are among them...surely are skilled. One even wears the mark of a Dragon Rider."

Magus looks ahead of him, trying to pinpoint the one known as Drake, and spots a young man, with spiky hair, wielding two swords. And to his side, he an elder man, holding an incredibly large axe, and a hammer in his hands.

"I see. Well, this simply will not do. Send in the howlers, before the rest of those damned Dragon Riders get signal of our siege. If the damned things are loud enough, perhaps we can muffle any possible signals they may attempt to use. This victory of the destruction of this small town will mark a new day in this war. The day the war as come to their homes. None will be safe from the Caldorian Empire."

"Aye, my liege."

The soldier runs over to a caravan wagon, where two Caldorian armor-clad warriors guard the large cage full of howlers.

"King Magus wishes we free the howlers now. Let them run wild and rampid through these people's lands."

The two soldiers nod in agreement, and from each side of the cage door, they insert a key, and turn the lock. With one swift push and pull from each of them, the cage door is open. Instantly, the first chance they get, the howlers run and scurry out of the cage. The screams they create by their numbers, plague the very whisper of the wind. All the town can hear a most horrifying sound throughout their streets. And they are all struck with panic and fear. When the Caldorian forces hear them, they quickly negate the sound by clogging their ears. The siege goes on.

***

Meanwhile, the little boy--whom Drake spoke with before--runs with all his might. He heads for the tower as instructed, and to his small size, and young age, is able to endure the trip further into the town. When he finally reaches the tower, he runs over to the side, and takes the entrance to the spiraling stairs leading above...

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Old 02-22-2008, 12:52 PM   #72
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

Edited.

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Old 02-22-2008, 03:05 PM   #73
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Slieken had nearly reached the borders of Germany as he had stopped to rest. His body was weary, and he was ready for the confrontation that lay at the end of this journey. Off slightly in the distance he could hear sounds of a battle. Had he been too slow? Had his pursuers caught up with him? He slowly climbed a tree and crossed the forest toward the noise through the treetops. From his vantage point he saw several hobgoblins surrounding what appeared to be a Norse warrior.

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"A dozen to one, eh", smiled Rothgar as he looked out on his advancing attackers.

"I like those odds", he continued as his sword, Banahogg, exploded in a fiery wreath causing the goblinoids to pause their advance.

With a laugh of joyous barbarity, Rothgar charged the nearest hobgoblin, slicing him in two at the waist...
Slieken knocked an arrow, and drew back the twine of his bowstring. He released and the arrow found itself embedded between the eyes of a charging hobgoblin, knocking him to the ground.

"I'd say it appears to be two against ten now. That is if you will accept my help."

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Old 02-23-2008, 12:58 PM   #74
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Slieken had nearly reached the borders of Germany as he had stopped to rest. His body was weary, and he was ready for the confrontation that lay at the end of this journey. Off slightly in the distance he could hear sounds of a battle. Had he been too slow? Had his pursuers caught up with him? He slowly climbed a tree and crossed the forest toward the noise through the treetops. From his vantage point he saw several hobgoblins surrounding what appeared to be a Norse warrior.



Slieken knocked an arrow, and drew back the twine of his bowstring. He released and the arrow found itself embedded between the eyes of a charging hobgoblin, knocking him to the ground.

"I'd say it appears to be two against ten now. That is if you will accept my help."

"Help yourself, friend", laughed Rothgar as he ducked under the swinging blade of a hobgoblin and ran his fiery sword, Banahogg, through the monster's belly.

"There's plenty to go around!"

Rothgar ripped the sword free from the beast's gut, the dying creature tumbling about furiously as it's hairy body went up in flames.
Rothgar quickly ducked and rolled forward to avoid strikes from a pair of hobgoblins.
Using his forward momentum, Rothgar shot up to his feet and brought mighty Banahogg sweeping downward, cleaving one of the hobgoblin's arm off just before the shoulder joint.
The creature screamed in agony as the flames roasted it's tender flesh.

The other goblinoid, sensing an advantage, waded in to strike at the seemingly prone opponent. But Rothgar swung Banahogg around with such force, the burning blade cut cleanly through the hobgoblin's short sword and continued it's cut, lopping off the surprised beast's head...

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Old 03-04-2008, 10:56 PM   #75
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Default Re: Gods & Men: The Ancient Myths: Chapter 1 IC Thread

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"Help yourself, friend", laughed Rothgar as he ducked under the swinging blade of a hobgoblin and ran his fiery sword, Banahogg, through the monster's belly.

"There's plenty to go around!"

Rothgar ripped the sword free from the beast's gut, the dying creature tumbling about furiously as it's hairy body went up in flames.
Rothgar quickly ducked and rolled forward to avoid strikes from a pair of hobgoblins.
Using his forward momentum, Rothgar shot up to his feet and brought mighty Banahogg sweeping downward, cleaving one of the hobgoblin's arm off just before the shoulder joint.
The creature screamed in agony as the flames roasted it's tender flesh.

The other goblinoid, sensing an advantage, waded in to strike at the seemingly prone opponent. But Rothgar swung Banahogg around with such force, the burning blade cut cleanly through the hobgoblin's short sword and continued it's cut, lopping off the surprised beast's head...
Slieken drops to the ground from his perch, letting his bow fall from his hands, as he pulls Urndagnir from its scabbard. The blade felt right in his hand, and Slieken smiled as he brought it up to parry the blow of a hobgoblin's knife. The metals of the blades clanged and with a flick of his wrist, Slieken disarmed his foe. The beast snarled and bit at him, but Slieken kicked it in the knees and watched it buckle to the soft mud. The elf quickly drove his blade into the back of the wretched monster and turned to his comrade.

"You appear to be of my home country, what brings thou to Deutschlande?"

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