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Road's End - Begin


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#141 Koenig

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:48 AM

The Northman watched as the rest of his party stepped out of the forest, then turned his attention back to the group they had come across. An interesting party, sizable, yet too small and varied to be a warband of any sort. Not surprisingly, Finn and the rest received no warm greeting. He watched as one of them, the leader perhaps, began to point his sword threateningly toward Tyrrik. "Lower your weapons," The Northman demanded of the offending man and his party. "Else your friend may not live to see the sun rise." He motioned towards the bitten one, though not in an offensive way. "You need to come with us to see Sandor."

 

Once satisfied with the results, "Pack up anything you've got, we'll move out as soon as you've got your stuff together." He said. As he stood waiting, Finn couldn't help but notice a man, probably a fellow Northerner by the looks of him, making something over a fire. Finn walked over to him. "A fellow Northman I take it?


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#142 Horatius

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:48 AM

Karrel nodded to Cradoc. He then looked up as a third Northman, this one from the band they had encountered, approached them.

 

"A fellow Northman I take it?  Karrel drew his dirk and stepped in close, only an arm's reach from the new man. He glared at the warrior. "State your purpose before you seek idle chatter. You came across us when we were vulnerable and now lead us to see this "Sandor". Who is he and why are you here?" He said coldly.


Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate:

"To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his gods."

 


#143 Klaykid

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:05 PM

"Stay your tongue, Finn," growled Tyrrik. "These bandits are in no position to make threats or demand answers."

 

The Imperial stepped forwards and pushed the Northerner with the drawn weapon away from Finn. How irresponsible it is to make idle chat with these bandits of the woods. And now these men demand to know about Sandor?

 

Tyrrik used his thumb to slide the tarwar a few centimetres from the sheath revealing a portion of the blade.

 

"A drawn weapon demands blood," said Tyrrik with a glare. "Don't dishonour yourself any further. Sheath your weapon."


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#144 Horatius

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:07 PM

"A drawn weapon demands blood," said Tyrrik with a glare. "Don't dishonour yourself any further. Sheath your weapon."

 

"Demanding blood was my intent," Karrel snarled. He sheathed his dirk, only to level his longaxe at Tyrrik. "You ambush us, you lead us to an unknown man on vague promises, and you dare to call us bandits? I will not lower my weapon until I have reason to believe you don't mean to cut our throats. I follow you to this "Sandor" because my commander ordered me, and to save the life of one of my companions. I will not lower my guard to a group of armed travelers I do not know."

 

Karrel backed away until both Finn and Tyrrik were in his sight.


Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate:

"To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his gods."

 


#145 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

Kragnar remained silent during the first appearance of the armed strangers, even when they demanded them to follow. Though the dwarf certainly felt uncomfortable with the entire ordeal, he would not be the one to cause trouble. He allowed his axe to remain at his side, glancing over all the newcomers as they led them off to... wherever they were going.

 

On the other hand, the tall elf surveying the travelers with a distinct air of superiority kept a hand closed tight about the hilt of his deepsilver blade. Serond glided alongside the wanderers, watching them like a hawk.

 

Neither Kragnar nor Serond missed the apparent quarrel happening between the various Northmen. Kragnar eyed the elf - though more due to the craftsmanship of his sword than anything else - and saw him prepare to move in to the arguing Northerners. Before Serond could step in, Kragnar decided it would be best if he intervened instead of the armed, pointy-eared stranger.

 

Kragnar strode up to Karrel, who had backed away from the Northerner and Imperial clad in unusual armor and weapons. The dwarf walked alongside the Northman, glancing up at him.

 

"I don't mean to be tellin' ye what to do, laddie," said Kragnar, "but I don't think bein' hostile to these folk before we even know their intent is gonna get us very far." He glanced over to the Northerner who had spoken to Karrel a moment ago. "He doesn't seem a bad sort. An' fer all we know, they might make good allies further down the way."

 

Then, the dwarf paused, looking instead to the Imperial. "That man, though... not sure 'bout him. His armor 'n' weapons are like nothin' I've ever seen. I don't trust anyone wearin' craftsmanship I don't know," he muttered under his breath.

 

While speaking to Karrel, Kragnar had scarcely noticed Serond wander up by his other side, looking between the two of them. "I advise you listen to your dwarf friend, Northman," Serond added, his tone placid yet somehow decidedly condescending, as if he tried to calm some lesser being, like an animal.

 

"We mean you no harm," he went on. "Your reaction is understandable, but unnecessary. Depending upon the circumstances, we may unknowingly share similar goals, given how few willingly travel these woods."

 

Kragnar quietly bristled at the manner in which the elf addressed them. "If ye'll pardon me, elf," Kragnar replied, clearing his throat, "but I believe that's pretty much what I jus' said, 'cept worded a little less..." he frowned for a moment, "wordily."

 

For a long moment, Serond said nothing. He and Kragnar exchanged uneasy glances, though Kragnar forced as friendly a smile as he could muster. Serond, on the other hand, evenly met this attempt to be amicable with a cold, hard stare before returning his gaze elsewhere.


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#146 Sareth

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 12:27 AM

"If ye'll pardon me, elf, but I believe that's pretty much what I jus' said, 'cept worded a little more... wordily."

 

 

Lynaia could see Kragnar bristling at the ljosalfar's tone, and decided that she should probably try and diffuse things before the two came to blows. Not that she wouldn't love to see the light elf taken down a couple of pegs, the few she had met previously had been unbearably arrogant and condescending, and this one seemed no exception, but it probably wasn't best to start a fight at least until they knew what this 'Sandor' wanted.

 

She gave Kragnar a friendly tap on the shoulder as she walked up beside him. "Just ignore him Kragnar, you'll never get the last word in with this one. I think it's against light-elven law" she said, laughingly.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#147 Horatius

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 12:48 AM

"I don't mean to be tellin' ye what to do, laddie," said Kragnar, "but I don't think bein' hostile to these folk before we even know their intent is gonna get us very far." He glanced over to the Northerner who had spoken to Karrel a moment ago. "He doesn't seem a bad sort. An' fer all we know, they might make good allies further down the way. Then, the dwarf paused, looking instead to the Imperial. "That man, though... not sure 'bout him. His armor 'n' weapons are like nothin' I've ever seen. I don't trust anyone wearin' craftsmanship I don't know," he muttered under his breath.

 

"I advise you listen to your dwarf friend, Northman. We mean you no harm," he went on. Your reaction is understandable, but unnecessary. Depending upon the circumstances, we may unknowingly share similar goals, given how few willingly travel these woods."

 

Karrel nodded to the dwarf. In his limited experience with them, they were generally honest creatures and loyal friends. It might do him well to heed the dwarf's advice. "So be it. I do not trust them, but I will not be the one to start a fight." The Northman glared at the imperial who had shoved him, but made no aggressive move.

 

Instead he turned to the high elf. Karrel disliked the elf's tone, but decided he could use him nonetheless. If the elf wanted peace and talking, the Northman would comply. "My name is Karrel, elf. I have traveled with this weapon for years in search of its origins. Do you recognize it?"

 

With that, Karrel drew the finely carved Elven shortsword and presented it to Serond.


Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate:

"To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his gods."

 


#148 Surtur

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:20 AM

Aos Si remained silent. He could feel himself growing worse and worse, though he held no intention to get closer to any of those that accompanied Kurtz on this journey. It just wasn't what he learned to do - he'd been alone all his life, why change now? He was only accompanying Kurtz to assist the man in his search, and befriending was not in the contract. If the group wanted to save him, so be it. He wasn't about to thank anyone or accept help any further than that.

His condition was getting worse, however, as the slender, amber-haired Imperial made her way over to him as her group confronted Kurtz and his own. The woman was slightly taller than most her gender, and had dazzling green eyes. One could swear she was Gifted because of her eyes, though she remained magic-less. Rather, as Finn commented, her abilities were more sneaky. After explaining to the leader of the other group the consequences of leaving the masked man unattended, he gave in. Waiting for the other leader, who named himself as 'Kurtz', to command his group to begin marching, Anna made her way to the wounded man.

"Well hey there, looks like you're gonna have a chance at surviving, stranger!" Her voice was lighthearted and energetic - as if she was excited about something. Truth was, she was ready to start adventuring, and now she met a whole group of people already. Finn was a large Northerner who could be relied on, Tyrrik appeared to be a very skilled swordsman, Serond was a light-elf looking fella which meant he must've been knowledgeable, and then there was San, the 'leader'. While she had her doubts about each, for now, she was happy to have found such a group.

"...and who said i wanted to survive, foolish woman?" The masked man asked, grabbing Anna by the leather collar of her armor. Bringing her face close to his, the mask stared deep into her soul. It was frightening, especially up close. As she struggled to get the iron grip of the man to subside, he continued. "You think you belong out here but you don't, noble fool."

Anna's eyes opened wide with fear now. She hoped nobody heard that, as if a guy as law-abiding as Tyrrik found out she was a runaway noble, he'd return her to her parents immediately - that meant being locked away in Lord Ellington's manor until the end of time, a thought she just couldn't bare to think.

"Death will smile his bare-faced smile, initiating your final anguish. It is not before my arrival that you will be lead to feel the natural serenity of leaving this world, but at the hands of fate will you all soon perish." Aos Si threw the woman back, who fell to the dirt ground. Scrambling to her feet, she couldn't believe what just happened. She was a kind hearted, fun-loving soul. She'd never dealt with people like Aos Si back at the manor in Caltha...

Stumbling away, she found herself tumbling into the chest of a Northman from Kurtz's group. Cradoc didn't move an inch as the lightweight woman pummeled into him. Looking her emerald eyes up, she tried to get her wits about her, frantically apologizing. "Oh! I... I'm sorry! I didn't mean to, so sorry!" She brushed off his chest before dancing around him to quickly make her way to Tyrrik and Finn. She felt more safe around these two, and now that Aos Si scared her half to death, she wasn't about to let these two out of her sight.

Just as she was about to sigh in relief, tensions heated up as Finn and another Northerner began to bother one another. When would this end? She came for adventure, not hardship. Of course those would come with it, she just hoped the fun would come soon too. While she didn't feel homesick, she certainly didn't like the mysterious woodsman hexing her like an old witch. As they all began to draw their blades and axes, Anna did what she did best and stealthily snuck her way between the warriors as the dwarf and elf tried to talk them down. Placing a hand on Finn's chest as the other man backed off to talk to Serond, she managed to push him back a few inches. Not enough to stagger him, but still impressive for a woman of her stature.

"Alright, you've poked your fun at 'em, but we have, ah, other things to worry about..." Anna said, looking over to where the masked man was last seen. "Besides, if we don't get these here people over to San, he's gonna get real mad."

Edited by Surtur, 19 June 2013 - 02:24 AM.


#149 Klaykid

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:43 AM

Though he put away that dagger now the Northerner had his axe out, of all things. Annoyed, Tyrrik let out a heavy sigh and pressed the tarwar back into the sheath. Both his kukri and tarwar are strapped to the small of his back allowing for a quick reach should the time arise. The kukri with the handle pointed towards the left, the tarwar on the right. But Tyrrik suspected this man is more bark than bite. There is no need for further actions other than to guide the group through the woods. But he would never let his guard down. Dogs bark plenty, but when they actually bite they go for the throat.

 

Aside from that, there wasn't anyone else to worry about. The dwarf is rather mouthy but he held his ground firm, typical of his kind. There would most likely be no way to win over any hearts soon, and perhaps it would be best if everyone kept their distance. Should Sandor order for their heads, then there would be no question. The only thing a man has is his word, and it is the duty of every man to follow the law, serve his nation, and keep his word.

 

Meanwhile, Ms. Ellington was bouncing around the group like a mosquito in summer. What she was doing Tyrrik could never guess. But the masked fellow, he must have said something to her, something to cause Ms. Ellington to lose that head of hers. Tyrrik slammed his left hand against a tree to see if it would loosen up, but the appendage refused all outside stimuli. The rock hard bandaged limb made a heavy sound as it collided into the bark frustrating Tyrrik. Should the need arise, Sadaka would make for a good weapon against this masked fellow. But he couldn't risk infecting his 'human' arm.

 

"We're wasting time," spoke Tyrrik sternly. "Let's move."

 

He began his way back through the path Ms. Ellington made.

 

While he retraced the groups steps, his mind wandered back to his own situation and how he met Sandor. It was the same as this group. Traveling through the woods in order to accomplish his goal. Destroy Sadaka at any cost. Just five or so days ago Tyrrik was making camp when Sandor approached him. The Ranger of the Woods stood firm with the few questions he asked. It was in his eyes you could see that the man deserved respect, but his mouth did not call for it. Instead, his actions and the way he carried himself did. Tyrrik was reluctant, but his orders are orders. The evil blade must be destroyed.

 

Funny enough, it was through a game of chess that Tyrrik truly caught wind of Sandor's personality. You can see it in the way each move was cast, the calculation running through one's head, the sound of the piece as it collides into the game board. There's a lot you can gather from just one move. It was then Tyrrik gained a true admiration for the fellow. A bit misguided, but admiration that exists whole heartily. Now under the hospitality of Sandor, it is Tyrrik's duty to be a good guest. His honour depended on it.


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#150 Bobafettmaniac

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:14 AM

Cradoc sat near the embers of the fire, as the others argued. Cradoc was suspicious of the new comers, but sensed that the North-man could perhaps be won over to his side. Standing up from the log that he had been seated upon, Cradoc turned with his woad paint now applied to his face in a celtic, warlike design. It was in the form of flames that licked from his eye sockets, out around his face. This face-paint marked his status as a warrior, and as an acolyte of a druid. He turned towards the other two. The man with the eye patch would fall to a deep slumber with Crom Cruach if he dared betray the group leading them to this "Sandor". 

He walked up to the easterner, with his hand on his sword and shield close at hand. "Forgive us if we are less than trusting. We have come across trolls, been ambushed by spiders, and now you appear telling us that we must meet this Sandor fellow. Frankly, I am not interested in meeting this "Sandor". So, you can follow us, and be peaceable, carry on by yourself, or continue pestering us, and we will send you to sleep with Odin." Turning to the North-man, he motioned for the man to follow him as Cradoc stepped away from the group. "We are simply cautious. Who is this Sandor fellow, and what can he do for our friend. I want to help the wounded man, but I am not going to lead my fellow warriors into a trap. As a fellow North-man, I assume that you would understand."


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#151 Koenig

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:14 AM

Well, that escalated quickly. Finn thought. Tyrrik had stepped in to break up his attempted introduction. Another person (probably another Northman, too) stepped in looking like he was about to break up more than a conversation. Then a dwarf, who seemed to be a nice enough fellow, moved over to start giving out advice; followed by Serond who attempted to do the same. They were in-turn followed by someone who seemed to have no high-opinion about elves. Then the other Northman (the one who looked like he wanted to break-up something other than a conversation) declared he wouldn't be starting a fight. Then Anna stumbled into a Northman (the one with the plants), looking quite uneasy about something other than just having stumbled into someone, before placing herself beside Finn, and Tyrrik; who promptly declared that they were wasting time and began to walk off. And then, the Northman (the one with the plants that now covered his face in a fashion Finn was quite familiar with) pulled him aside to talk.

 

At least they weren't all killing each-other... yet...

 

Finn listened to what the man had to say. "Yes... Yes, I understand your caution." Finn said. "Though, if we wanted to kill you, we probably would have done that a long time ago. So, as for Sandor and what he can do for your friend; Sandor is a, the, ranger of Warm Wood Forest. He aids travelers on their way to the Jagged Edge, but few pass through his forest without meeting his approval first. My friends and I have been staying with him the past few days. He may have something that can get your friend back on his feet." Finn paused for a moment before continuing. "You have my word, as a Northman and as a warrior, that I have spoken truly and that we mean you no harm."


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#152 Halcyon

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

"These bandits are in no position to make threats or demand answers."

 

Turbati Somnia bristled at that comment, but remained silent.  He crossed his arms stubbornly, keeping his hands a fair distance from any weapons he wore.  He was not about to reveal so quickly that his deadliest weapons was his own body, trained by sensei, instructors, and seedy back alleys.

 

They easily outnumbered the four strangers, but there could be more in hiding, and they had access to the care that Aos Si needed.  Whatever kind of a man he was, he didn't deserve to end up like Jaysen.  The thought of his drained corpse, gaunt face locked in a ghoulish howl, was enough to send shivers down his spine.

 

In the end, there was only one obvious answer.  But they would have to reach it as a group.

 

"I don't trust anyone who introduces themselves with threats, but for Aos Si's sake we don't have any choice.  But would you mind telling us what this is all about?  Or is that too good for us 'bandits?'" he relented, spitting out the last word with a grain of sarcastic salt.



#153 Surtur

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:10 AM

"I don't trust anyone who introduces themselves with threats, but for Aos Si's sake we don't have any choice. But would you mind telling us what this is all about? Or is that too good for us 'bandits?'" Turbati relented, spitting out the last word with a grain of sarcastic salt.

Shaking off her recent scare from Aos Si, Anna perked up to the comment. She put her hands on her hips in a playful manner to jokingly show that she took offense to it. Being young and spunky was definitely uncommon among adventurers such as Kurtz's group, but she couldn't help it. She still hadn't even seen a person die before her eyes yet - she was still a soul untainted by the harsh reality of the cruel realm. Being raised as a minor noble tended to have that affect.

"Hey now, there ain't anything wrong with being a bandit!" She pointed her thumb at herself, smiling proudly as if she were a pro at it. Walking over to Tyrrik, she threw an arm around his shoulder, to accompany the following comment she was about to make. "Ain't that right, big guy?"

After meeting the Easterner a few days back when encountering Sandor, Anna got to know a little about each of her current group. Each were very different from one another, and the key feature about Tyrrik was his serious, law-abiding demeanor. Ever since they met she poked fun at him, claiming she was a master rogue but that he would never find any evidence to bring her in. Of course she was kidding, as evident by her huge smile and laughter, but she couldn't resist.

"But yeah, to answer your question stranger, we are heading for the self-proclaimed ranger of Warmwood Forest. Nobody gets in or out without his approval, so we're taking you to him. No ambushes, no lies, no deceit." Anna explained, walking over to the man. "Rogue's honor," she promised with a bow and a wink.

#154 Sir_Muffonious

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:38 AM

Now the tables were turned, and it was Kurtz who was hesitant to initiate hostilities. "All of you, lower your weapons and act with a bit of civility, would you?" His own blade was sheathed, though his hand rested ready on the pommel. "This group may be suspect, but they're still men like us." Their leader lifted his gaze and stared out into the forest, as if wary of being watched from beyond the trees. "Which is more than I can say for the typical company one finds in these woods."

 

"Besides," he continued, leering at Tyrrik with a smirk on his face, "there are four of them, and far more of us. Even if they lead us into an ambush, surely we can handle a few brutish bandits." He stroked the hilt of Aliser Holt's sword. "I'm sure the trolls would attest to that."

 

From the point on the threatening ceased, though the bickering didn't. The northmen were getting along well enough by that point, though the imperials remained suspicious and bitter over the earlier disagreement. Everyone anticipated an ambush, even Sandor's men, but an ambush rarely comes when one expects it.

 

The forest was getting warmer as they went deeper in. Sandor's men led the company along the edge of the stream, occasionally crossing through the water and bidding the others to follow, emerging further downstream. "Harder to track," Anna explained, with grim implications.

 

At the end of the stream there was a pond with a dam of branches and sticks at the mouth, the water thick with reeds and lilies. In the middle of the pond was a large mound of timber with an opening in the front. From within, a beaver watched the arriving men and women with cautious curiosity. On the pond's opposite shore was a small wooden cabin, with a man working in the yard.

 

Finn led the group around the edge of the pond, and as they drew nearer they could tell that the man in beside the cabin was digging a hole in the dirt. When they were standing just a few feet away from him, they saw that his yard was littered with mounds of stone and wooden boards that jutted from the ground - burial cairns and grave markers. The man was digging a fresh grave.

 

"Who are you burying?" Kurtz demanded of the man, before any of their guides could speak. "I see no body."

 

The man turned. He was balding and his brown hair turning grey. He wore a white cloth shirt with the sleeves removed, his body glistening with sweat and his arms large and muscled. "No one yet, but someone soon." He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. "There is no shortage of bodies tumbling down the mountain these days, and dead men come wandering out of the woods every day." He stared coldly at Aos Si, as if knowing...

 

"We found these men and brought them for you, San," Anna explained. She motioned to Aos Si. "This one - "

 

"Is dying," Sandor finished. "He will be dead soon, unless we hurry." He turned towards his cabin, climbing up the front steps and throwing the door open. "I have antidotes and salves inside." Somehow it was clear that the others weren't invited. They waited awkwardly outside as the mysterious man followed Sandor into the cabin.

 

As they stood idle, some patrolling the edge of the pond while others walked through the graveyard with morbid curiosity, a great lumbering beast emerged from the forest. When the black bear approached the group, Kurtz's men panicked and readied their weapons, standing their ground. Sandor reemerged before they could act further.

 

"If you poke my Monty with your sticks and twigs, you might be disappointed by the results," he warned. "You'll live to regret it, but not for long." The ranger greeted the bear with a hand on its muzzle, stroking gently. "He does no harm to those who mean none."

 

"What of our companion?" Kurtz asked, regarding the massive animal with scorn.

 

"He froze up and collapsed on my bed." Sandor sounded more annoyed than concerned. "The spiders got him good, but he will recover. Luckily for him, he was strong. Most don't resist the toxin for long." The ranger sat on the step in front of his cabin, his eyes shifting from one man to the next. "My name is Sandor, I'm sure you've been told. I watch these woods, though they are no more my own than they are Monty's, or Bertha's, or great winged Grenda." The ranger made no move to elaborate on who these people were. "I watch the forest for travelers, try to convince them to turn back, and watch as they march off into the Jagged Edge on their adventurer's folly." He nodded towards the graveyard. "And when they're thrown back down the mountain, I return them to the earth."

 

He looked at each of the party in turn, his piercing gaze settling on Kurtz. Their captain returned the glare.

 

"I don't want to hear your story, want nothing of your noble quest." Sandor spat the last few words like venom from his lips. "All I want is to warn you. You've reached the end of the road. Turn back. This is no place for men."


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#155 Klaykid

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:05 AM

"Ain't that right, big guy?"

 

Tyrrik raised a brow. Ms. Ellington enjoyed her little games and wordplay often teasing him about his personal code of honour. So be it. She prided herself on being a skillful thief much to Tyrrik's annoyance. He believed every word that came from her mouth. There is no doubt that Ms. Ellington is a member of the criminal world. But it isn't in him to bring justice to someone without proper evidence. One must always have proper evidence and then a proper trial. For now, Tyrrik would have to put up with Ms. Ellington's constant teasing and pranks.

 

Though he couldn't prove it, he suspected Ms. Ellington of placing random objects in his left pockets while he slept. Having a completely stiff left arm, it makes it nearly impossible to grab things from his left side. Or when something of his mysteriously gets untied. Another thing that gives him grief is trying to tie knots with one hand.

 

There was certainly a "holier than thou" air which whirled around the Imperial like a bad odor. But it is something that cannot be helped. When you follow your own personal code or your nation's code, it is logical for others to not understand the devotion and commitment one puts into it. Should the bandits try and cleave their heads off, of course Tyrrik would fight to the death. Despite being outnumbered, one does not walk away from a fight. Even if the enemy has superior numbers, even if the battle is going poorly, one must stay and fight. A man only has his honour and dignity.

 

Sandor extended his hospitality to accommodate the new arrivals, then there will be no objection. Tyrrik glanced over to the graveyard and he couldn't help but think his own body will become a permanent resident some day. And the thought of it worried him to great lengths. It wasn't about whether or not he had left his mark in the world, that is a trivial matter. It is mostly about getting rid of the demonic blade. Who knows what terror could be brought onto the world if it fell into the wrong hands? By Tyrrik's personal code of honour, such a wicked and defiling weapon should not be allowed to exist.

 

The Imperial sat on a stump and picked up a rather large rock. Trying to get death and failure out of his mind, he continually slammed the rock against his bandaged left arm in order to get some response from the cursed appendage. He did it so casually one would think the man to be insane. He focused on moving his little finger. The sound akin to snapping branches softly erupted from the finger as Tyrrik was able to move it slightly. A grin appeared on his usually sullen face.

 

"Excellent," he thought. Progress is slow but increasing exponentially. Soon he should be able to move the rest of his fingers, and if he's lucky, his entire hand. No more having to eat one handed, getting dressed is a pain in the rear end, and don't get him started on getting objects from his left side.


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#156 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 02:55 PM

"My name is Karrel, elf. I have traveled with this weapon for years in search of its origins. Do you recognize it?"
 
Serond arched a brow in interest as he saw Karrel draw a fine Elven blade and present it to him. "I am Serond," he answered simply just before taking the blade and handling it with care, examining it with respect. By his side, Kragnar snorted quietly at the sight of an elf-made weapon, as if amused by the idea.
 
"I do indeed recognize it," said the elf, turning the short sword over once in his hands before turning back to Karrel and placing a finger near an Elven inscription written on the blade itself. "In the tongue of the ljosalfar, this reads 'Order to balance Chaos.'"
 
"An' what's that supposed to mean?" Kragnar abruptly asked. Serond gave him a quite clearly annoyed look, but Kragnar merely shot a glance at Karrel as if to say, 'well I'm sure that's what you were going to ask, anyway.'
 
"It means the blade belongs to a small, nameless group of like-minded elves who believe that battling the Chaos races will slow the coming of Ragnarök," said Serond, his attention directed pointedly at Karrel rather than the dwarf. "I believe some Men refer to them as the Divine Scales, as a reference to maintaining the balance of order and chaos."
 
Kragnar shrugged, noticing he wasn't wanted in this conversation and politely turning his gaze elsewhere - for the time being.
 
Serond then returned the blade to Karrel with as much respect as he had taken it. "Those elves are among the most noble of our people. You should be honored to hold one of their weapons."
 
After a moment, Kragnar said nonchalantly, "Divine Scales sounds pretty silly, if ya ask me. Could jus' as easily mean they're a bunch o' fish scales who were touched by the gods or somethin'."
 
"I believe I mentioned that the elves themselves did not construct this name," replied Serond, not so much as giving Kragnar a downward glance. Kragnar just gave a laugh.
 
Neither of them spoke as they reached Sandor's cabin. Kragnar stayed close to Serond in spite of himself, as he derived some odd amusement from the elf's ridiculous attitude. Even as Sandor remained far from welcoming, Kragnar maintained as pleasant an air as he could - Serond, meanwhile, merely stood by impassively, watching as Kurtz and the others spoke with the ranger.
 
Then, a great bear shambled from the woods. Kragnar instantly let out a surprised noise that was not quite a yell and went for his axe. Serond took no physical or even verbal action to restrain the dwarf, instead calmly taking a few steps away from him just in case the small humanoid brandishing his axe and teeth managed to rile up Monty. Now it was Serond's turn to chuckle at Kragnar's actions.
 
When Sandor explained in his own frank way, Kragnar frowned up and hastily put away his weapons, feeling foolish. Serond couldn't resist a smile.
 
"I don't want to hear your story, want nothing of your noble quest." Sandor spat the last few words like venom from his lips. "All I want is to warn you. You've reached the end of the road. Turn back. This is no place for men."

 

"Aye, but not all o' us are Men," Kragnar replied with an overconfident grin. "An' those o' us who are men are no common fortune hunters. Yer warnin's are appreciated, master ranger, but - an' I dunno about all these others - I got no intention o' turnin' away. I know the risks."

 

"I don't believe that you do," Serond murmured as he leaned his back against a nearby tree, though his eyes were upon Tyrrik, who was occupying himself by bashing on his own arm. "However, your reaction is quite typical of a dwarf. I have met few of your kind, but so far, you're holding quite well to my expectations."

 

"Same to you, elf," Kragnar replied with a large, wry smile. Then, he followed Serond's gaze over to Tyrrik and grimaced at the sight. Meandering over - while Serond merely rolled his eyes and silently thought over more typical Dwarven personality attributes - Kragnar stopped near Tyrrik and blinked in surprise as the Imperial continued pounding a rock on his own arm.

 

"Uh, I don't mean to interrupt or intrude or nothin', lad," Kragnar said hesitantly, "but if you'll pardon my askin', why're ye doin' that to yer own arm? Could I maybe help ye somehow...?" His tone was, as usual, nothing more than friendly and concerned.


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#157 Klaykid

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:43 PM

"Uh, I don't mean to interrupt or intrude or nothin', lad, but if you'll pardon my askin', why're ye doin' that to yer own arm? Could I maybe help ye somehow...?"

 

Quite the change of heart from when their two groups first encountered one another. Well, one should always treat their peers with respect, and since they were all in these woods together, Tyrrik decided to amend his perception of the people around him. He dropped the rock and held up his bandaged arm. Slowly, with one hand, he struggled to untie the knot from the cotton strips. Eventually, with a bit of teeth work, he unraveled the long length of cloth revealing his cursed appendage.

 

Skin the texture of bark with the hardness of stone. At the elbow it appeared that the deep roots were flowing from the cursed flesh to the unaffected area, like the roots of an old tree. The roots spiraled and circled around his flesh until they dug themselves deep into his skin, most likely connected with his blood vessels and muscle fibres. Though Tyrrik never bothered to get the arm checked out by the apothecary... they would most likely refer him to the priest anyways.

 

"I can't get it to move," he said.

 

Now that he realized it, this is the first time someone asked about his arm. But he was sure no one is interested in such details. Then an idea appeared in that lawful mind of his. Dwarves are known to be excellent smiths, craftsmen of fine weapons.

 

"Do you have a hammer?" asked Tyrrik.


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#158 Sareth

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:16 PM

"Uh, I don't mean to interrupt or intrude or nothin', lad, but if you'll pardon my askin', why're ye doin' that to yer own arm? Could I maybe help ye somehow...?"

 

"I can't get it to move.... Do you have a hammer?"

 

Lynaia had been examining the clearing when she heard Kragnar's words, and turned to see him talking to the eyepatch-wearing easterner. Curious, she approached, and saw that the skin of the man's left arm had a bark-like appearance. She realized that he likely meant to try and break the stuff off by physical force.

 

"Before you start smashing your own appendages," she spoke dryly to the easterner. "Would you mind me taking a look at it first? I am a healer, there might be something I can do," she continued in a softer, more concerned, tone.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#159 Klaykid

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:26 PM

"Before you start smashing your own appendages, would you mind me taking a look at it first? I am a healer, there might be something I can do."

 

Tyrrik nodded his head in a "no" fashion.

 

"You should not worry about me," he spoke nonchalantly. "There is no alchemic cure for curses."

 

And that's how life is, and what the rest of his life is going to be. He will travel, seek to destroy the blade, then he will die. If he succeeds then he will die a contempt man. If not, there is always this particular choice set of real estate. Buried with the cursed blade, forever guarding it from the world of mortals.


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#160 Burger Warrior

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:41 PM

Helga hadn’t done much since the group was ambushed, other than pull her armor on and follow the rest of the group rather drowsily. It had been a long day, and she would happily take these strangers on once she got some rest. For now, Durnen simply focused on getting her limbs to move, dragging her hammer along behind her. After some time, they reached some rangers cabin who took their friend and supposedly healed him. In the meantime, Helga Durnen settled down for a bit of rest...

 

...when a rather large bear appeared.

 

After facing a troll down with only Kragnar, Helga was sure they could take this thing down, even exhausted as the group was. Hefting her hammer, the ex-Gauntlet Enforcer rose to her feet, only to be warned by the ranger.

 

"If you poke my Monty with your sticks and twigs, you might be disappointed by the results," he warned. "You'll live to regret it, but not for long." The ranger greeted the bear with a hand on its muzzle, stroking gently. "He does no harm to those who mean none."

 

After telling them that their friend would live, he finished with a final warning.

 

"I don't want to hear your story, want nothing of your noble quest." Sandor spat the last few words like venom from his lips. "All I want is to warn you. You've reached the end of the road. Turn back. This is no place for men."

 

“Well it’s a good thing I’m a dwarf, then,” Helga spoke up from where she sat, “And a woman to boot.”

 

In the meantime, the two groups were beginning to mingle, and Kragnar began to talk with that uppity human with the weird gear who seemed to think they were outlaws or something. Concerning his stiff arm, the human finally asked a rather funny question.

 

"Do you have a hammer?" Asked Tyrrik.

”Oh I got a nice big hammer right here,” Helga chimed in, patting her warhammer and laughing, ”‘Have you got a hammer’, indeed.” She chuckled to herself.


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