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ZONE - Endibraut Hall


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#61 Ambad

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 08:45 PM

"Your life won't be the same again, but that doesn't mean there's nothing left for you in this world" Ærik finished explaining.

 

"Aye, that's something ta look forward to, isn't it?" Nulgus chimed, backing up Ærik's words with positivity, "Ya can protect yer people in a way they cannae do themselves."

 

It then occurred to him to offer Gunnarr some of the dried apples he'd been munching on earlier. After all, it could maybe help the man retain control if the bestial urge of hunger were sated.

 

"Say, ya got a sweet tooth?" Nulgus asked, pulling the bag from before out of his pack, "Got some spiced apples all the way from Appledale, if yer interested."

 

He chanced a glance at Mirkov, hoping the varg would understand and agree that feeding the unstable verrbjorn might be a good idea. Taking a lesson from before, though, he poured the dried rings out on a large leaf as a makeshift plate, rather than on his shield. He wasn't sure if voidiron would effect Gunnarr, what with him being a berserkergang and all magically transformed, and would rather not chance a violent reaction.


*insert meaningless song lyrics and/or hilarious gif here*

#62 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 04:26 PM

"Besides, you're talking, being rational. That kills this whole idea that you're a monster right out of the gate, now doesn't it?"

 

Gunnarr listened to Katherine and frowned in thought. “Orcs can speak,” he muttered, halfway to himself. “But they aren’t rational.”

 

"We're here because Grimhild sent us" said Ærik. "She wanted us to bring you back alive if possible —she said there are still people who care about you, despite what's happened. She said you could still have a role to play in fighting the forces of Chaos.... Your life won't be the same again, but that doesn't mean there's nothing left for you in this world"

 

"Aye, that's something ta look forward to, isn't it?" Nulgus chimed, backing up Ærik's words with positivity, "Ya can protect yer people in a way they cannae do themselves."

 

The berserker’s ears pricked up again, and he gave a huff. But he sounded interested.

 

Then, Nulgus suddenly asked as he produced a bag, "Say, ya got a sweet tooth? Got some spiced apples all the way from Appledale, if yer interested."

 

“Spiced apples?” Gunnarr echoed, sounding even more interested in food than his fate. He sniffed the moment Nulgus pulled out the bag, his eyes seeming to light up a little.

 

The bear-man finally got up again, moseying over to the leaf upon which Nulgus had put his fine-smelling food. Picking one up with his clawed fingers, he sniffed it again as if in caution before he ate it. He grunted in approval before he started devouring more.

 

Gunnarr was apparently so distracted by his hunger that he didn’t feel the need to address any of them until he’d finished every bite and licked his fingers clean. Then he finally seemed to realize what he had been doing. He licked his lips and his nose and cleared his throat, his ears briefly lying flat in embarrassment.

 

“I’ve heard tales… more like legends,” he said at length, “of warriors of Odin who change but keep fighting. Only some berserkers speak of them. They say they’re led by a shape-changer who was once a man clad in wolf-skin.” Gunnarr crossed his arms, his gaze wandering. “Perhaps Grimhild knows more than she told me.”

 

Gunnarr then got to his feet again, towering over all of them as he stretched his massive arms. “I apologize for my… everything,” he said with a sigh. His eyes briefly darted to Mirkov and Ridgeback as he added, “though I never would have expected vargs to come to my aid.”

 

He looked around at Nulgus and the others. “Whenever you’re ready, I will follow you back to Grimhild and meet my fate, whatever it may be.”


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#63 Sareth

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:39 PM

"Say, ya got a sweet tooth? Got some spiced apples all the way from Appledale, if yer interested."

 

“Spiced apples?”

 

Ærik casually covered his mouth to hide his grin, unable to help but be amused at the sight of such a large and formerly-ferocious bear-man chomping down on apple rings with such relish.

 

“I apologize for my… everything.”

 

"There's no need" he said in reply. "What happened to you... It would throw anyone for a loop."

 

“Whenever you’re ready, I will follow you back to Grimhild and meet my fate, whatever it may be.”

 

"Right. She's back at Endibraut" he replied. "Uh..." he continued after a moment, trying to think of the most tactful way to put it. "When we get there, you should probably stay out of sight while I go in and get her. She wants you alive, but some of the other patrons might not be so understanding."


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

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#64 Burger Warrior

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:48 PM

"We're here because Grimhild sent us" Ærik replied to the verrbjorn's - and, indirectly, Mirkov’s - question. "She wanted us to bring you back alive if possible —she said there are still people who care about you, despite what's happened. She said you could still have a role to play in fighting the forces of Chaos.... Your life won't be the same again, but that doesn't mean there's nothing left for you in this world."

 

The varg relaxed upon hearing that, smiling at that. There were many ways in which the more beast-like races of the north could fight the forces of Chaos, that he knew, but it was good to know that northmen acknowledged their neighbors willingness to fight a common enemy. Mirkov sighed with some slight relief as things continued to cool down thanks to Nulgus’ intervention.

 

"Aye, that's something ta look forward to, isn't it?" Nulgus chimed, backing up Ærik's words with positivity, "Ya can protect yer people in a way they cannae do themselves."

 

"Say, ya got a sweet tooth?" Nulgus asked, after a moment of thought, pulling the bag from before out of his pack, "Got some spiced apples all the way from Appledale, if yer interested."

 

Before the dwarf followed up on his offer, though he actually glanced at Mirkov for affirmation. The varg, a little touched by that, chuckled and just nodded, watching the verrbjorn cautiously approach the leaf covered in apples. Slowly but surely, Gunnarr exponentially devoured more and more apples, until they were all gone. When he glanced back at the others, realizing how he acted, he looked extremely sheepish.

 

“I’ve heard tales… more like legends,” he said at length, “of warriors of Odin who change but keep fighting. Only some berserkers speak of them. They say they’re led by a shape-changer who was once a man clad in wolf-skin.” Gunnarr crossed his arms, his gaze wandering. “Perhaps Grimhild knows more than she told me.”

 

Gunnarr then got to his feet again, towering over all of them as he stretched his massive arms. “I apologize for my… everything,” he said with a sigh. His eyes briefly darted to Mirkov and Ridgeback as he added, “though I never would have expected vargs to come to my aid.”

 

Mirkov just bowed his head, slightly, getting to his feet as well. “We’re all brothers and sisters serving under Odin.” He said, glancing around at everyone gathered. The dwarf was an uncertainty, but the varg was pretty sure he was at least on decent terms with his prime deity if he was staying in the north.

 

Meanwhile, the verrbjorn looked around at Nulgus and the others. “Whenever you’re ready, I will follow you back to Grimhild and meet my fate, whatever it may be.”

 

Ærik spoke up, then. "Right. She's back at Endibraut," he replied to Gunnarr. "Uh..." he continued after a moment, thinking. "When we get there, you should probably stay out of sight while I go in and get her. She wants you alive, but some of the other patrons might not be so understanding."

 

The varg nodded in agreement, stepping over to join the northman. “Ridgeback and I are in a similar predicament. We’ll keep you company while that happens, Gunnarr.” He added, bowing his head, slightly.


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#65 Ambad

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:59 PM

Once again struggling to keep up as the group moved, now back to Endibraut, Nulgus nonetheless puffed along determinedly. He wasn't going to have them slowing their pace just to make him more comfortable, and he'd be damned if he'd ask one of the wargs or the Gunnarr for a ride.

"Glad ya liked them apples," he breathed jovially, "Maybe next time Ah venture south Ah'll bring a whole lot more back with meh, makin' sure Ah've got extra fer ya."

He smiled and patted the verrbjorn on the side in a friendly manner, before ambling faster to catch up to the humans of the group.

"Ah dunno about all ya," he wheezed from exertion, "but Ah've got damn near half the muck in this swamp up mah britches by now. There gonna be time ta hit the springs fer a bath when we get back?"
*insert meaningless song lyrics and/or hilarious gif here*

#66 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 10:56 AM

Mirkov just bowed his head, slightly, getting to his feet as well. “We’re all brothers and sisters serving under Odin.”

 

Gunnarr nodded thoughtfully. “Perhaps that’s what surprises me,” he said. “I did not know any vargs served Odin… Today is full of surprises, it seems.”

 

“Indeed,” Ridgeback said, but that was all.

 

"Right. She's back at Endibraut" Ærik replied. "Uh... When we get there, you should probably stay out of sight while I go in and get her. She wants you alive, but some of the other patrons might not be so understanding."

 

“Ridgeback and I are in a similar predicament. We’ll keep you company while that happens, Gunnarr.” He added, bowing his head, slightly.

 

“Very well,” said the berserker. “I shall wait with the vargs.” He glanced at them and added sincerely, “I’d be honored to.”

 

The group then set back in the direction of Endibraut, with the assorted would-be monsters in tow.

 

"Glad ya liked them apples," Nulgus breathed jovially to Gunnarr as they went. "Maybe next time Ah venture south Ah'll bring a whole lot more back with meh, makin' sure Ah've got extra fer ya."

 

Gunnarr offered him a toothy smile and replied, “They were very good. Perhaps I underestimated the Empire’s cooking. Thank you, master dwarf.”

 

The group soon returned to Endibraut, but they left Gunnarr waiting with Mirkov and Ridgeback a ways away from the gates, out of sight of the guards. When they returned to the hall itself, they found it full of life and music. Joergen still sat in his throne, surrounded by men listening to his tales and women halfway listening while staring at his muscles.

 

The only person not enjoying herself was Grimhild. She sat in a corner, dark and brooding, the fanged cowl of her wolf cloak shadowing her face. When Ærik, Nulgus, and the others reentered the hall, however, she got to her feet and strode over to them, her hands devoid of any sign of a tankard and her face devoid of any sign of drinking or revelry.

 

“Did you find him?” she asked tersely.

 

Ærik, Nulgus, and Katherine led her back outside the hall. Along the way, they saw other Northmen wearing various animal skins break off from what they were doing to join them. None of them said a word.

 

They soon rejoined Mirkov, Ridgeback, and Gunnarr. The assembled handful of berserkers, led by Grimhild, stopped and watched him in silence. Gunnarr did not balk under their gazes, getting to his feet and silently enduring their judgment.

 

Only there was no judging. Not a single one of the berserkers regarded him with hatred or disgust.

 

“Gunnarr,” said Grimhild, and for once they saw her smile.

 

Gunnarr smiled as well. “Grimhild,” he said.

 

“You were a great warrior, my friend, and so you shall be again. Odin does not forsake his followers, even those who lose themselves. Tell me, do you still want to fight in his name?”

 

“As I always have.”

 

The berserkers parted as another man made his way through their ranks. He wore no animal skin – wolf, bear, raven, ram, or anything else – and he had a dark line of deep green paint across his eyes.

 

Of all the berserkers, even as impressive as they were, this man topped them all. Tall, broad-shouldered, his body rippling with large and well-toned muscles, this man carried himself with an enigmatic kind of humility. He had shoulder-length, golden blonde hair and a matching beard, thick but well-trimmed close his face. A pair of green eyes peered out from his chiseled and handsome face, and he was clad in a suit of form-fitting, sleeveless leather, his strong body painted here and there. He carried an axe on his belt and a round shield on his back – the shield rim riddled with teeth marks.

 

The man offered a smile as he stood alongside Grimhild, and Grimhild said, “Tell me, Gunnarr, what do you know of the Accursed?”

 

Gunnarr blinked in surprise. “I heard they were a myth,” he said simply. “Things that berserkers sometimes whispered to each other to make themselves feel better.”

 

The blonde, bearded man gave a hearty laugh. “They are not, my friend,” he said in a powerful voice. He stepped forward and offered a strong hand to the verrbjorn. “I am Nick Wolfe, former berserker and now pack leader of the Accursed. Grimhild sent a raven to me to tell me that someone needed my help… and now I see why.”

 

Gunnarr quickly took Nick’s hand and shook it. Everyone could tell the bear-man’s grip was probably crushing, yet Nick didn’t even flinch.

 

“Pack leader? Are you a lycanthrope?”

 

Nick didn’t even balk. “I am,” he replied. “I was once like you, but the rage took the best of me. Now only the gods know what I’ve truly become, but I follow Odin’s will, and he has yet to lead me astray.”

 

Nick Wolfe then turned his attention to Ærik, Katherine, Mirkov, Nulgus, and the others. “I thank you all for what you’ve done here today. Few would’ve seen fit to spare Gunnarr’s life, particularly given his form.” His gaze lingered on the pair of vargs, and Nick inclined his head briefly in respect. “I’m honored to be in your presence, Wolves of Odin.”

 

Ridgeback, surprisingly, inclined his head as well. “Likewise,” he said, but again, that was all.

 

Nick went on, “Since I see not all of you would be accepted at Endibraut for the night, I have an offer. You clearly aren’t too alarmed by Gunnarr’s form, and you’re willing to work with vargs… my pack and I have an encampment not far from here, on the edge of the Warm Wood, near some hot-springs. You’re all very welcome to stay there until you gather your bearings and decide where your next destination lies.” He gave a shrug. “We don’t ask for gold, simply that you don’t judge anyone by their appearance… and you’ll find a variety of appearances indeed among the Accursed. We are what most Men would consider ‘monsters,’ but none of us are monsters at heart. And I can assure you that the werewolves, including myself, will not harm you. You’ll find only hospitality, good food, and good music in or company. What say you?”


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#67 Burger Warrior

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 12:17 PM

“Perhaps that’s what surprises me,” Gunnarr said. “I did not know any vargs served Odin… Today is full of surprises, it seems.”

 

Mirkov chuckled, while Ridgeback just offered one of his usual, stoic replies. “We do our best to stay out of sight and mind… but we exist.” He glanced around at the gathered northerners to judge their responses to that.

 

That sorted, the verrbjorn replied to Mirkov’s earlier offer about accompanying them. “Very well,” said the berserker. “I shall wait with the vargs.” He glanced at them and added sincerely, “I’d be honored to.”

 

The Gifted varg nodded. “Likewise, berserker.”

 

-----

 

Again, as they headed back, Mirkov did his best to help Nulgus along; essentially everything short of offering the dwarf a ride. Not only was that a particular humiliating prospect - he had great respect for the dwarf, now, but not that much respect - but he also wondered if the dwarf could ride him very easily or safely. After all, the varg was nearly the size of a horse, and he’d heard dwarves only rode on ponies.

 

Either way, they returned to Endibraut hall without incident, Ridgeback and Mirkov staying with Gunnarr out of sight. The varg just looked fairly cheerful all around, sitting patiently and idly sniffing the air. He was still rather hungry, and there were plenty of delicious scents drifting out of the hall and from its surroundings. He wondered if the others were going to bring something edible back… besides this ‘Grimhild’ they mentioned. Mirkov sighed at that thought, just lying down and waiting…

 

He and Ridgeback didn’t have long to wait, though, and seen the varg’s ears honed in on the sounds of footsteps. Far more than those that had left them. Mirkov frowned, glancing at the fallen berserker and Ridgeback in concern, and rising to his paws. He could smell the familiar scents of the others… and a lot of berserkers, as well, judging by all the faint smells of animal skins. The varg watched as, in total silence, a handful of berserkers approached along with the handful of northmen and Nulgus. The silence stretched as Gunnarr got to his feet, clearly ashamed.

 

A female berserker addressed Gunnar by name, and was tersely introduced as the enigmatic Grimhild. Mirkov couldn’t help but agreeing with the accuracy of her name; even when she smiled, he could tell she wasn’t used to such an action. At any rate, after a few phrases were passed back and forth, another man joined the party. One whom Mirkov felt he ought to know…

 

“Tell me, Gunnarr, what do you know of the Accursed?”

 

Ah.

 

“I am Nick Wolfe, former berserker and now pack leader of the Accursed. Grimhild sent a raven to me to tell me that someone needed my help… and now I see why.”

 

“Now only the gods know what I’ve truly become, but I follow Odin’s will, and he has yet to lead me astray.”

 

Well, that explained many things. Mirkov relaxed, sitting down. Gunnarr was in good hands. Very good, occasionally clawed hands.

 

“I thank you all for what you’ve done here today. Few would’ve seen fit to spare Gunnarr’s life, particularly given his form.” His gaze lingered on the pair of vargs, and Nick inclined his head briefly in respect. “I’m honored to be in your presence, Wolves of Odin.”

 

Mirkov inclined his head… and much to his surprise, Ridgeback echoed the motion, even with a ‘likewise’ tossed in. The varg couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows, though his attention soon returned to Nick Wolfe.

 

“Since I see not all of you would be accepted at Endibraut for the night, I have an offer. You clearly aren’t too alarmed by Gunnarr’s form, and you’re willing to work with vargs… my pack and I have an encampment not far from here, on the edge of the Warm Wood, near some hot-springs. You’re all very welcome to stay there until you gather your bearings and decide where your next destination lies.” He gave a shrug. “We don’t ask for gold, simply that you don’t judge anyone by their appearance… and you’ll find a variety of appearances indeed among the Accursed. We are what most Men would consider ‘monsters,’ but none of us are monsters at heart. And I can assure you that the werewolves, including myself, will not harm you. You’ll find only hospitality, good food, and good music in our company. What say you?”

 

Mirkov chuckled, glancing at Nulgus. “Would you mind if the hot springs waited a little longer?” He asked the dwarf, quietly. “I for one, am not about to turn down this offer… and if you come with us, I’ll make certain no harm comes to you.” He added, earnestly. The dwarf had essentially saved his own skin, already. It was only fair that the varg do the same, in his own way.


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#68 Ambad

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 01:47 PM

Nulgus had been nervous the whole time about how things would go down, but everything went so much better than he could have hoped for. And the leader of the Accursed had invited them all back for essentially a celebratory party. In the course of an afternoon, Nulgus had gone from a point when he would have graciously declined such an offer and hurried away in a fright, to being genuinely excited to accept, and meet even more new beings to add to his ever-growing list of acquaintances and friends.

 

"Would you mind if the hot springs waited a little longer?" Mirkov asked, quietly. "I for one, am not about to turn down this offer… and if you come with us, I’ll make certain no harm comes to you."

 

"Hah! Ah dinnae mind at all, friend!" he replied gleefully, "A lil more walkin' ain't gonna bring meh any harm. And do Ah look ta ya like a dwarf that'd turn down free food'n'drink?"

 

He punctuated that statement with a firm pat of his own belly. He wasn't a rotund dwarf by any means, but there was definitely some padding on his muscle.

 

"And Ah don't think ya need ta worry too much about mah safety," he continued, "after all, Nick Wolfe himself invited us, and if the rest of 'em are anythin' like him 'n' Gunnarr, Ah'm probably just as good a fit there as in Endibraut Hall."

 

Without any further thought, the dwarf approached the man in question, greeting him with a friendly nod, and a hand extended for shaking.

 

"Ah'm Nulgus Gruffaxe," he introduced himself, "And it is a pleasure ta meet ya, Mr. Wolfe! Ah would be tremendously delighted ta take ya up on yer offer!"


*insert meaningless song lyrics and/or hilarious gif here*

#69 Sareth

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:37 PM

Ærik watched the proceedings with silent interest, as Gunnarr was met by Grimhild and a group of other berserkers. And then a man named Nick Wolfe introduced himself —the name sounded vaguely familiar to him, but he couldn't remember where he might have heard it... maybe one of the berserkers he'd fought alongside before?

 

Anyway, it seemed, as Grimhild had said, that Gunnarr did have a place —he was glad that the ex-berserker wouldn't have to face what had happened to him alone.

 

“Since I see not all of you would be accepted at Endibraut for the night, I have an offer. You clearly aren’t too alarmed by Gunnarr’s form, and you’re willing to work with vargs… my pack and I have an encampment not far from here, on the edge of the Warm Wood, near some hot-springs. You’re all very welcome to stay there until you gather your bearings and decide where your next destination lies.” He gave a shrug. “We don’t ask for gold, simply that you don’t judge anyone by their appearance… and you’ll find a variety of appearances indeed among the Accursed. We are what most Men would consider ‘monsters,’ but none of us are monsters at heart. And I can assure you that the werewolves, including myself, will not harm you. You’ll find only hospitality, good food, and good music in or company. What say you?”

 

Ærik's first instinct was wariness —being among that many beastfolk and werewolves... But, he quickly brushed the concern aside; Grimhild seemed honorable, and she clearly trusted Wolfe —who appeared to be an honorable man too, and didn't seem like any of the things he had heard about werewolves. Besides, the vargs should be able to keep things from getting out of hand if something went wrong, he reasoned.

 

"Good food, good music, hospitality?" he repeated. "After a long day, what more can a man ask for?" he replied with a grin. "I'd be happy to join you."


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

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#70 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 08:05 AM

"Ah'm Nulgus Gruffaxe. And it is a pleasure ta meet ya, Mr. Wolfe! Ah would be tremendously delighted ta take ya up on yer offer!"

 

Nick smiled back at Nulgus and took his hand, giving it a firm shake. "I'm pleased to hear it, Nulgus," said the Northman. "The pleasure's all mine."
 

Once they had all expressed their agreement, Wolfe gave a satisfied nod and gestured back toward the fen. "It's not long of a walk," he said. "We can skirt along the edges of the swamp. We made camp near the shadows of the Jagged Edge. As you can imagine, not everyone takes kindly to our presence, but only the Chaos races ever feel our wrath."

 

With that, Nick turned and motioned for them to follow him to the camp of the Accursed.


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