1. Oh hai Guest!

    Welcome to the RPF!

Fantasy A Tide of Flames: a d20 Dungeons & Dragons adventure

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Saintheart, Feb 20, 2008.

Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza
  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Skadi nodded, hiding a smile at Ragnar's sudden passion. "And if it is to fight, it must use all of its assets, of which the wall is the greatest. Even three centuries old, it levels a ten-to-one disadvantage. One sword on that wall could kill more than the Red Knight herself in a charge on an open field of the kind you suggest." And every man lost from the wall has ten attackers who must be dealt with by another, she added silently.
    "Well said, saer!" Captain Ulverth rapped his knuckles on the table in front of him.
    Jarmaath sighed, palms on the table, looking down at the maps for a long moment. "And the rest of you?"
    "Stay on the wall," said Lady Kaal, leaning back in her chair. "They make a penetrating case. I have fought no siege before, but their plan has sense."
    "Agreed," said a female voice - but not Sellyria or Soranna. Rather, Tredora, whose anguished expression remained, be it muted. "You...make a convincing argument. Dennovar will not come. Or else it will gain us nothing to be there - particularly if the city's children are within those walls, as it seems intended. I will vote in favour of staying; and in favour of holding the wall." Sellyria added a nod.
    "Norro?" Jarmaath looked across at the Speaker of Drellin's Ferry.
    "I've no vote here," said the older man. "But I'd trust this Company with my life, my lord. Of course, it's easy for me. I already did, and I'm still here - as are my people."
    "Your people are here because they have a wise and good Speaker," said Jarmaath with a grim smile. He tousled his hair as he straightened. "All right, then. We hold the wall, and keep the cavalry in reserve. We'll find some other uses for them."

    "Which brings me to the next subject," said Sellyria. The council turned to the ancient elf, who was looking at them evenly, hands in her lap. "What you plan to do if your defence of the wall fails."
    Captain Ulverth folded his arms. "The wall will hold, Speaker. Especially if your archers are standing atop it. We've enough pitch and other horrors to keep them from scaling via ladder. If I didn't think it would, I'd not be asking us to stand atop it."
    "Walls are made of clay and stone," replied Sellyria. "Given time and tools, both will break. And saer Elandinai rightly points out that a wall around a city is hard to hold with strength at all its length. You cannot be certain there will be no breach."
    The Captain's face darkened. "It is ill fortune to speak of a wall's breach while you stand within it, Speaker."
    "Is it so amongst you?" The Speaker's ancient face creased in a smile. "Then most great fortresses of my people in every corner of the Realms have much to fear. And Elias Kharmantle, I seem to remember, had much to say on the subject of walls."
    "This is not Rhestilor, and that is Elias Kharmantle's armour, not the man himself," said Verassa Kaal, nodding at Skadi.
    "No, but we face an enemy far more dangerous than he ever had to deal with," countered Tredora, sitting forward and looking at the two armoured men down the table from her. "The Speaker's point is well made. You have spent three days discussing every issue regarding this horde of monsters except for this most pressing one -- what we are to do if the wall does fall."
    "What?" Skadi forgot herself for a moment, casting an astonished look at Jarmaath. "You do not have a plan for how to defend the city should the wall be breached?"
    "In our defence," said Jarmaath, though he was looking a little shamefaced, "we have not had good information on the horde's strengths and weaknesses -- information that you can now provide. And we do not know exactly where the wall would be breached, so how may we plan for it?"
    "All the more reason to have a plan in mind," said Skadi, looking back at her companions. Clearly we have arrived at precisely the right time.

    TAG: All
  2. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    "It is to be hoped that they never get that far," Mazarun said quietly, looking around at the others. "And there are many ways to dissuade them before such a thing might be reached. You have reach, on your walls; catapults there will fling objects farther than they would for our foes on their lower ground - small rocks and the like work well there."

    He tilted his head, looking thoughtful. "And to slow them down before they reach the walls? There are ways. Grounds turned muddy with the aid of magic slow a marching pace, leaving an army a readier target. Caltrops are simple, yet force an enemy to rue every step they take." The disguised drow glanced over at William. "But William here is of Waterdeep; he has worked within its walls, and will likely have some thought on ways to handle fighting within a city if the walls are breached." He smiled faintly, asking the wizard, "Don't you?"

    From what he knew of Waterdeep, it likely had plans on how to handle such things; there had been fighting there before, he seemed to recall, and so they must have some strategies by now. Admittedly, Menzoberranzan also had strategies, but Mazarun didn't think 'by the way, expect a fair proportion of your fighters to want to knife each other during the chaos' would be particularly helpful advice under the circumstances.

    TAG: Cassie, all
    Last edited by Rilwen_Shadowflame, Oct 30, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  3. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall and Maeghen

    Though slightly surprised by the focus returning to him, the wizard didn't argue. He merely inclined his head and smiled slightly. "I do have a fair amount of knowledge regarding dealing with such things," he replied. "The history of Waterdeep has not been peaceful; over the centuries armies have besieged it several times, and I have studied the records of such battles. I also have experienced a siege personally before, though not on quite such a scale."

    Maeghen pecked him lightly on the ear. {Get on with it. This isn't a history lesson.}

    "To begin with the practicalities, then. Forgive me, but I think better on my feet." He stood up and began to pace, looking to Jarmaath. "Your reinforcement of the walls and gates is a good start. I would recommend, if you're going to take the bridges down, to salvage as much of the stone from them as you can; it will be an extremely valuable addition to the resources currently in the city. If we have any spellcasters who can cast the stoneshape spell, that may come in useful there as well - one solid piece is harder to dislodge than a lot of small ones - but if not, we can manage without. And as for outside the walls... well, Silver has outlined what seems like an admirable strategy to me."

    Giving the disguised drow an appreciative smile, William paused for a few moments to collect his thoughts before moving on. This next bit would be vital. He took a deep breath and faced Captain Ulverth with the level gaze of a man who was determined not to be out-argued by superstitions.

    "Ill fortune it may be, in your eyes," he said, "but we must, as Sa'adi said, give serious thought to the event of a breach in the wall. There is no perfect option if it comes to that, but the best solution I've heard of is to barricade off lesser streets and force the enemy to make use of the major roads. We can engage them more directly, on our own ground, and they will have less chance to set up their own posts within city buildings that we'll then struggle to get them back out of."

    He came around to the pile of papers, and picked out a map of the city and a stick of charcoal. Far more animated now than he had been during the initial pleasantries, he began lightly sketching out an idea of what he meant, pointing out and explaining to the city leaders as he worked. "Block off all these side streets, these blocks of houses, here - barricade them all off, push the horde to move along the Dawn Way and into the marketplace if we can, even if that means shoving them around the inside of the city wall. They will have the wall at their backs and barricades ahead except where we permit them to go - making them far easier targets. We can meet them head-on, we can force them to pay for every foot they try to take and cut their numbers down. I'm thinking that these open spaces, here -" he indicated the grassy areas "- will make good points for us to prepare troops - staging areas, if you will, to send out along the lines we'll be trying to drive the horde down."

    A wide sweep of the charcoal delineated the top of the hill, including the keep, the cathedral and the grounds around the Kaal and Haskinar holdings. "If nothing else, we must protect this area as heavily as we can. The high ground is an advantage we can't afford to give up. And I know that in any battle, a centre of healing is of massive importance." Raking his perpetually untidy mop of hair back with one hand and leaving a smudge of charcooal on his face in the process, he gave Tredora a slightly apologetic look. "I know that this may be asking a lot, but I think it would be best to set up the cathedral as that healing centre. Place the clerics behind as many defences as possible, and keep them protected. I know -" he held up his hand to forestall any queries -" the keep sounds like a better place if we're looking for defence, but the cathedral has the kind of space that would be required, and it would be far more beneficial than putting clerics in the midst of the troops where they can fall victim to whatever the Red Hand throws at us. No disrespect to your colleagues, Lady Goldenbrow," he added, "but their healing skills may well prove vital, and I doubt they are trained for combat as well as the soldiers."

    He took a long look at the map. "I think that covers the major points for fighting in the city. I don't know exactly what resources you have, but perhaps we can leave some traps behind the barricades as well - enspelled traps especially are always useful for dealing with forces trying to sneak up behind you. It rather puts them off." A slightly lopsided grin made it clear he was speaking from experience. "In any case, I've offered my thoughts - decide for yourselves if it's made any sense at all."

    TAG: All
    OOC: Here we are - the map of Brindol as annotated by William. The red lines are the basic lines of barricades he's suggesting be put up to funnel the Red Hand around the city, the blue indicates the secondary line of defence around the especially important areas. (I was working with Paint and I do not have super Paint skillz especially in a rush, apologies for the roughness of the lines. :p )
    [IMG]
    Saintheart likes this.
  4. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Captain Ulverth frowned as William finished speaking. The big guardsman was leaning over the map, glancing over the streets--"This'll require demolitions, all across the city. That's an awful lot of buildings to knock down for the sake of a few barricades."
    Jarmaath, though, had his hand up to his chin, absently rubbing at the stubble there. "You were the one just telling us we should risk more damage to the city's buildings under bombardment in exchange for holding the wall."
    "I did say that, didn't I?" Ulverth grinned. "Still, we can't go knocking too many houses down. We don't want the whole city to have no homes to go back into once they return." He looked over the map again, silent for a long moment. "We could break down some of the warehouses in the Storehouse District -- and the Caravas district'll not have much in the way of visitors for a while, I'm guessing. I suppose we don't have to fill up every street saer Marshall's identified with rubble -- we just need to block the junctions off where we want to fight them. They can't move an entire column between a pair of buildings -- they'll need those streets. If they get in."
    "If they get in," echoed Jarmaath. He glanced up at William. "I like the idea of using the open squares as staging areas. Although I'd suggest Cathedral Square - it's next to where you want to put the Lady's clerics. Marketplace's too far from Brindol Keep and the Cathedral - too easy to get cut off. Way you've set it out, assuming the horde breaks through the west gate, Cathedral Square's uphill and through at least three sets of barricades before the horde reaches there. And, of course, it's closer to the cathedral."
    "Yes, the cathedral," said Lady Kaal, suddenly. Her hands were folded once more. "Now, much as I appreciate your zeal for your lov--the Lady's clerics being protected and safe, are you so certain staging all of the clerics there is a good idea? If they're all in one location, they'll not be as able to respond to emergencies."
    "If they're spread out they're no better placed," replied Ulverth, glancing at Jarmaath's rapidly-reddening face. "As it is, I agree with saer Marshall on that. I'd rather a single field hospital than risk them piecemeal in battle like that. Unless all of them are trained as the Tyrrans train their clerics," he added, nodding at Skadi.
    "We are given some limited instruction," said Skadi. Proctor Martell's training had been limited, but coming from a man who'd killed enough monsters to half-fill Eliminster's Ecologies, it was likely superior to anything taught to Captain Ulverth.
    "I will be frank," said Tredora, "While some of my people are hardened for war, most are not. The Cathedral has given lives in service of the Vale, and we are ready to do so again, but peacetime dulls the sword."
    "Dulls the wits, too," muttered Verassa Kaal, though likely only Mazarun and Evelios heard her say so.
    Jarmaath cleared his throat. "Well, it seems to me the suggestion of a field hospital is a good one, as is the plan for the barricading. I propose to take that course. Any further comment?"
    Lady Kaal bit her lip, but said nothing. Ulverth cleared his throat. "I'll get to surveys and see what buildings will also hold as solid sniper positions as well, based on these barricade placements."
    "Well, then." Jarmaath sighed, ruffling a hand through his hair. "I think all of us need new drinks. Anyone have a comment on that?"

    TAG: All
  5. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Ariel Elandinai
    Great Hall, Brindol - Nine bells

    Ariel did listen carefully as the other chimed in. William had some great ideas on the defense of the city. Ariel listened carefully, trying not to stare too much skywards. At home, their buildings were built differently. Defending grounders structures was quite different. Of course, she could understand the problem they faced. They had not faced an army in years. Nothing of this size before. It was a quite an undertaking. And even though they were faced with a horde, it seemed not all agreed with what was planned..as Ariel noticed the look on Verassa Kaals face. But it did seem that the others were paying attention.

    Ariel didnt quite like the idea of having the clerics all grouped together, but she could think of nothing better at the moment. She just hoped the buildings were well fortified. As they stood out, they would be subject to direct attacks. At least she would think so. Hopefully, they would not have to find out. But right now, she felt they could really use some updated information on the Horde. They might have found out about their losses...and possibly trying to come up with something new, to use against the city. And it did sound as if the party was making plans to harass them horde, every step of the way to the city. That could prove useful as well. Ariel looked up as, Jarmaath cleared his throat. "Well, it seems to me the suggestion of a field hospital is a good one, as is the plan for the barricading. I propose to take that course. Any further comment?"

    Lady Kaal bit her lip, but said nothing. Ulverth cleared his throat. "I'll get to surveys and see what buildings will also hold as solid sniper positions as well, based on these barricade placements."

    "Well, then." Jarmaath sighed, ruffling a hand through his hair. "I think all of us need new drinks. Anyone have a comment on that?"

    Ariel flapped her wings slowly. "That sounds agreeable." she stated, with a slight grin. She was sure more than a few could use it. She would prefer breakfast as well, but right now, she could understand Jarmaath's comment. She looked towards Jarmaath and Ulverth, as she slowly walked back towards the table, folding her wings behind her once more. "I would ask, also, that you let your troops know of my presence, so that I might fly...without having to worry about arrows suddenly being launched my way." Ariel spoke in a gentle voice, giving a slight smile. She would not be hiding her wings anymore. Not without a good reason, at least. With a nod, she moved to stand behind on of the chairs that had been sitting there. Yes, there was still much to be done, but it would not all be done this morning. They had things to access, and find out what was available to them. Much of such things the townspeople would do themselves. The Company could suggest several things, but in truth, their expertise was not in dealing with the safety of an entire town or city. No, their own special brand of work, would most likely come up soon enough.



    TAG: All
    Saintheart likes this.
  6. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Zanaek Grahorn

    Brindol Keep

    The cleric politely declined the offer for more drink with a gesture. "Although I am certain the others would find that most agreeable, I however must decline. I am not one for drink." Which was true. Of the few times his companions had seen him drink over the last year or so, it had only been mostly wine and as sparingly as the help Brindol would be able to find in time. He had only drank something stronger when Durin had offered his own flask to him and telling him it would grow hair on his chin. He had done it simply out of politeness though he had to admit, it did seem to make his grizzled beard grow a bit faster.

    Subconsciously the cleric scratched at the prickly hairs on his chin. He should shave the next chance he got.

    "I think over the course of the next few days that I should make an attempt to scry on the Horde to see what we may be facing besides what we already have learned." They already knew that every goblinoid of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains were descending upon the vale, along with a red dragon, trolls and giants. What they didn't know is what else they might have and what they may have lost to the forest giants led by Warklegnaw, Avarthel, and the woodsman Jorr.

    He wondered how they were fairing.

    TAG: ALL
    Saintheart likes this.
  7. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    Mazarun had been deep in thought, frowning down at the table. At last, he looked up, taking a deep breath. The actual discussion of strategy had wound down, judging by Jarmaath's offer of drinks. And then, of course, there was Ariel's request that her presence be noted, so that no overenthusiastic archers would turn her into a pincushion. An unlikely notion, that, he rather thought.

    It did however remind him of the thought that had been nagging at him.

    Secrets, at times, were a matter of life and death, and he'd learned often enough to keep his own counsel and hide much of himself for his own protection. And he'd known well enough how the ordinary folk on the surface were likely to react to him...

    But he was, apparently, going to stay here and help defend a city against attackers. It would be chaotic, difficult, and the risks would be to more than just his health. A bit of mischance could ruin everything. Unless he steeled himself now, and did what so many hard-learned instincts urged him not to do.

    He cast a covert eye toward certain figures in the room, to make sure he was far enough away to dodge any sudden outbursts. And then he began, slowly and carefully. "My ladies, my lords, since so much has now been settled, I feel I must make clear one point that had not previously been raised."

    Mazarun sighed. "I have committed myself to aiding your city. I have fought already beside these folk of the Company, as seemed most helpful to me at the time. That much is known, and true. But this face I wear is not my own. I have worn it for the good of all concerned, not wishing to cause a panic or create disturbances. But stray chance has a way of exposing that which is hidden, and those from whom secrets are kept may feel betrayed by it. So I tell you, for the sake of honest disclosure, the secret with which I have protected myself. The face you see is a disguise. To make it plain, then: I am a dark elf. But one who would far rather fight beside you than against you."

    He dismissed the disguise, putting the proof to his words; a necessary step, perhaps, lest he be simply thought delusional. After all, Evelios had already proven that a tight grasp upon complete sanity was not a mandatory quality for members of the Company.

    Over his shoulder, his kitten had stirred from its nap in his hood, and now surveyed the assembled folk as though guessing who might be most likey to supply food.

    TAG: Saint, all
    Saintheart likes this.
  8. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall and Maeghen

    He can't seriously be going to -

    William turned with very real concern in his eyes as Mazarun spoke, but held his silence. If the drow had decided now was the time to reveal himself, then it was not for him to prevent it... but he was well aware that the reactions of the council could well be detrimental to all the efforts the Company had made, not to mention their health.

    But he had promised.

    He stepped around to Mazarun's side as silence fell once more, meeting the eyes of each of the Council members with all the presence he could muster. "What our companion has said is nothing but the truth," he said firmly, laying the faintest stress on our as Maeghen fluttered to the table in front of Mazarun, giving everyone a rather stern look. "He has been in the Vale for some time - long enough to defend the refugees fleeing to this city - and since joining us he has been a courageous and loyal companion, giving all his strength in our battles. And more than that, my lords and ladies, I know him from years ago; he saved my life once, in a city of the Underdark. Respect for his wishes to avert premature trouble is the only reason we did not tell you before." His eyes came to rest on Sellyria. "I will swear to you before the gods themselves that you have nothing to fear from him."

    One hand rested on Mazarun's chair back; it was the nearest William was going to get to putting one hand on the drow's shoulder unexpectedly. He definitely didn't want to startle him now.

    "We have trusted him; your own civilians have been protected by him. Neither has led to harm of those who have extended trust."

    TAG: Everyone
    Last edited by cassie5squared, Nov 17, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Skadi pushed back from the table as William spoke. Her chair fell onto its back with a woody clatter. She registered the mage's words, but her focus was the symphony of steel as the guards around the hall cleared leather. They began to crab forward on their positions, crouched, and she heard familar words of coordination as they called to one another. The noise came close to drowning out William's explanation, though the mage did raise his voice above the noise.

    The cleric took a long step across in front of Mazarun, hand to Winterfall's hilt but undrawn as yet. The guardsmen were not the real threat. One gestalten flicker had established them as standing in inferior positions, and three of them at least would be down in under a second if Ragnar joined the fight. No, she had stepped not so much in front of Mazarun as simply between the drow and the most immediate threat in the room. That threat had made no sound of steel, had shouted no cry of coordination in the previous few seconds: the two tattooed elves standing over by Sellyria Starsinger's chair with bows drawn, arrows nocked as if conjured there. The ancient Speaker of the Tiri Kitor was on her feet, too.

    "Dhaeraow!" one of the Tiri Kitor called. His voice was tight with anger. "Mortithil e huithinar Seldarin!" Elven, which Skadi had not learned; but the sentiments were clear enough--
    "Sheathe those blades!" The order was crisp; rolled into the air with almost the force of a blow. From a throat that was accustomed to command. And the order was followed in a second -- by the guardsmen, who stepped back, shields still raised, uncertainty in their eyes.
    The man who'd shouted the order turned towards Sellyria. "Have your men stand down, Speaker," said Captain Ulverth. The man was on his feet, fists closed.
    "Lower your bows, Sellyria," said Jarmaath. He was standing, but with arms casually folded, looking at the Company. "If a drow was intending to kill us he doubtless would have done so long before now."
    "Hadril. Fefethil." said the Speaker. When they hesitated, she laid an ancient hand on each of their shoulders. Thetwo elves glanced at her, then slowly unbent their bows, stowing them once more. The hostility there was clear, but not, surprisingly, on Sellyria's features. Her features, rather, were directed between Ariel Elandinai and Mazarun.
    "More trickery," said Tredora Goldenbrow. The cleric of Lathander lowered her hands from their half-raised position; the anger on her face was clear. "First you bring a hobgoblin captive under my roof, and now your own Company is revealed to contain a drow."
    "Oh, spare us, Tredora," said Lady Kaal. She hadn't risen at all from her seat during the ruckus of the previous few seconds. "Are you really that dense to think the colour of the skin determines what lies underneath?" The auburn-haired woman reached out to pluck a date from the bowl before her.
    "Every elf and man knows the reputation of--"
    Verassa Kaal swallowed the date. "If you want to go and find a drow to fight, or Crinti at least, then you don't need to do it here. Dambrath's about a month's ride or so east. Never bothered us, never bothered Luiren or anybody else."
    "Aye," rumbled Ulverth. "We've had trade caravans from there at least once a year. I've met some of the Dambrathi myself. Never struck me as being any more worried about taking over the world than any nation of humans was."
    "They--"
    "Perhaps you can ask my lord Jarmaath between the sheets about it sometime?" asked Lady Kaal with an innocent smile. "He was an adventurer, after all. I do believe one of his companions was Crinti in the Laughing Owlbears, am I right Kerden?"
    "Verassa, you go too far," said Lord Jarmaath darkly.
    "So does your lover. Me, I'd rather we had every second man on the walls a dark elf," shot back Verassa. "They're feted as some of the finest warriors above or below the face of the Realms."
    Tredora slumped back into her chair, shaking her head.
    Jarmaath glanced ruefully at the cleric for a moment, then turned to Norro Wiston, who'd sat silent through the whole affair. "Speaker - you say this dark elf was with you from Drellin's Ferry?"
    "Yes indeed," said Norro, standing up. His face was grim. "And frankly, that's good enough for me. Any man who'd defend helpless women and children is a man I'd stand with. That should be enough answer for you. For all of you," he amplified with an irritated glance at Tredora.
    "Saer," said Jarmaath, addressing Mazarun for the first time, "for myself, what Lady Kaal says is true - I fought alongside a half-drow in a company once. And a half-giant in the one before that. If that wasn't enough to teach me that the blood does not make the man, nothing would be. For my part, you've a number of good people to vouch for you and for your deeds - and that's enough for me as well. Still, I'd be circumspect about revealing your face in the open, at least until we've evacuated the city. Captain--?"
    "Aye, m'lord." The Captain turned to glare at the guardsmen and servants scattered around the room. "You're all sworn to secrecy. I hear a breath out of anyone in the street that a drow's joined us before I give the word otherwise, I'll personally decorate this chamber with all your eyes. Clear?"
    Mumbles of assent answered him.
    Jarmaath looked back at the dark elf. "As the Captain said, we've had some trade with Dambrath in the past, so likely you'd not receive quite the same hostility of welcome that you might elsewhere in the Realms, but that aside we've still some ... superstitious folk, you might say. With me and the council, you've certainly no need to put on artifice, but in the city streets I'd be, shall we say, somewhat less bold -- at least until the city's evacuated. After that, I'm fairly certain Captain Ulverth could keep sufficient discipline in his men to make sure you come to no harm--"
    "M'lord jests!" rumbled Ulverth.
    "--and I'm fairly certain there'll be more here glad of a drow blade next to them than against them. Is that acceptable to you--my pardons. I doubt your real name's Silver, sir. Might I have the honour of being introduced once more to you?"

    TAG: All

    Anyone who can speak Elven (open)
    The Tiri Kitor scout basically said "Traitor, you will die for the honour of the Seldarine", and Sellyria just called the two elves by name.
  10. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr

    His first reaction had been stunned, blank incomprehension. Not at the drawn blades that greeted his revelation; those had been predictable enough. No, his shock had been at the fact that Skadi had seen fit to place herself between him and the elven archers. It wasn't even as though this was a battle at present, in which his survival would have an immediate and practical benefit.

    Did she truly think him that useful? He was grateful to William for speaking up for him, but there was already some understanding there, and William still owed him a debt from earlier times. Skadi? He'd thought it far more likely that he was little more than a nuisance to her, tolerated only because he'd not yet outlived his usefulness. To be shielded thus almost beggared belief. He'd have to think on this later, he knew, and he wasn't entirely sure where that path of thought might lead.

    At last, Mazarun gave Jarmaath a rueful little smile. "Mazarun Zothyrr. And I'd not have thrown quite such a surprise onto the table, save that accidents happen, and explaining before people see, seems to work better than after. My apologies, and my thanks, to all of you."

    He looked over to Sellyria, speaking with careful courtesy. "Lady, I've also something to give back to you, when you wish it. From the place of the lich I took what are likely the remains of one of your own folk." The drow gave a tiny shudder. "That was no place for the dead to rest easily. It is yours, though, to take and to farewell in whatever fashion seems best to you. One who dared to fight so deadly an enemy deserves this much at least, I think."

    TAG: Saint, all
    Saintheart likes this.
  11. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    The two younger elves had less of the circumspection of their leader, so their looks of surprise were obvious (to other elves, at the very least). The hostility in their faces seemed to dim; one of them glanced inquiringly at Sellyria, though she did not return the gaze.
    Rather, a ripple of grief crossed her face - and then a searching look of Mazarun's features, a look not examining for truthfulness as ... something else.
    A long moment of silence, and then the Speaker opened her hands. "One who dared fight so deadly an enemy as he that was once named...Urikel Zarl...in service of elesir'ae channariya, deserves honour and thanks. Whether he fought three hundred summers gone or yesterday alike. Whether he was of the Tiri Kitor or of -- another clan. We thank you for the burden you have carried, Massarhoon of Sothiir." The ancient lips had some difficulty pronouncing the drow dialect. "I ask you to bear it a little longer and a little further -- from here, to the Keepwood, the stand of trees on this hill, where my people are encamped. Come to the Keepwood with your burden once we are finished here, and you will have the Tiri Kitor's thanks."
    "And will he have the Tiri Kitor's arrows - as well as their thanks?" asked Lady Kaal, examining a fingernail.
    Sellyria turned her head slowly, eyes narrowing. "Unlike your people, I speak for all of mine. And upon my word as the Speaker of the Tiri Kitor, and in the presence of a aehilasa faeriya, no harm will come to you from the Tiri Kitor, nor while you stand in the Keepwood," she said, turning back to Mazarun. Then, switching to elven, the archaic dialect which, oddly enough, Mazarun could actually understand better than contemporary elven--"I'llnomis Tiri Kitor e Illythiiri nai seldorii, yoin thaliso. Sa iano Tiri Kitor e Illythiiri alfthan. I'lo ai e eo. Uem harth holl."
    The Speaker rose, turning to Lord Jarmaath. "If there is nothing more to discuss, my lord, I must return to my people. Advise us further what role you would have the Tiri Kitor fill in the defence of this city. We will be in the wood."
    Jarmaath inclined his head politely; and the three elves had left the room, gliding on graceful feet once more.

    TAG: All

    For those who speak elven
    Your people and mine have spilled each other's blood for eternities, young cousin, but your people and my people will not be in the Keepwood. It will be you and I only. We must speak.
    Last edited by Saintheart, Nov 18, 2012
  12. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Ariel Elandinai
    Great Hall, Brindol - Nine bells

    Ariel was still standing behind a chair when Mazarun looked around the room and began to speak. When he started speaking, she at first thought that he might be making another point about the defense of the city. But it became very apparent that he had other things in mind. When he mentioned that the face that they saw was a disguise, Ariel kept a straight face, but looked towards the city members. 'This should be interesting.' she thought to herself. As she

    Ariel noted how quickly William moved to stand with Mazarun. Which in all was most probably a good thing, as the reactions of the room were quite interesting to Ariel. Skadi moved, her hand already to her sword, but not drawn as the table erupted in chaos. As the dark ones really had no history with her people, the reaction was curious. The Tiri Kitor really seemed to take exception the most, one of them calling him "Dhaeraow!" Okay. It was the next sentence that was interesting. They called him a traitor. Ariel glanced over the table. She had not moved, but just simply watched the reactions of the others. Sellyria's guards were very quick. Ariel noticed that the woman looked at both Mazarun, and her, but she did not seem angry. Not like the guards had been. She coaxed her guards to lower their bows.

    The human's response was also interesting. The guards had drawn their blades, but when Captain Ulverth called out the order to sheath their swords, it was done quickly. But then the annoying voice of the cleric from earlier began to drone. "More trickery," said Tredora Goldenbrow. Ariel was beginning to wonder if all the cleric of Lathander were ... like this one. If the woman was angry before, she was furious now. "First you bring a hobgoblin captive under my roof, and now your own Company is revealed to contain a drow." It was what happened next that amused Ariel. The other humans at the table, quieted her. They seemed to have no problem at all with Mazarun being a dark one. Tredora's tried to argue her point.. "Every elf and man knows the reputation of--" Ariel raised and eyebrow. Every Elf? It never seemed to amaze Ariel how Humans happily assumed what was known within other race. And then the other woman flat out spoke of the affair between Lord Jarmaath and the Lathander cleric.. But at least it did not seem to sway Lord Jarmaath in any way. And then to hear the Speaker from Drellin's Ferry speak up for Mazarun seemed to lay the question to rest. They seemed to except the fact. Ariel flapped her wings slowly. It was a refreshing thing to see. The moment seemed to pass, and Lord Jarmaath seemed excepting of it all. More than likely, because his town needed all the help it could get, and simply pushing away a hand who was willing to help them would not be prudent. Still, it was nice to see.

    Then Mazarun called up another subject, stating he had something to give Sellyria. Some remains. The looks of the faces of Sellyria's guards was pure surprise. It was almost comical. They did not know what to make of Mazarun's statement. But Sellyria was gracious, and spoke to Mazarun kindly, offering him her thanks, and asking him to bear the remains to the Keepwood. Ah, so that was the name they called the woods nearby. She also used a term, that sounded elven, but something Ariel had not heard spoken before. But Ariel's thoughts were interrupted when another spoke. The one who had chided between the affair between Lord Jarmaath and the Cleric. "Will he also have the Tiri Kitor's arrows - as well as their thanks?" asked Lady Kaal. Ariel's wings stopped moving, as she watched the encounter. Lady Kaal had just insulted the woman. The leader of her people. Grounders! Truly NOT the best of ideas. But the Elven speaker stayed calm. The woman turned her head slowly, eyes narrowing. "Unlike your people, I speak for all of mine. And upon my word as the Speaker of the Tiri Kitor, and in the presence of a aehilasa faeriya, no harm will come to you from the Tiri Kitor, nor while you stand in the Keepwood," she said, turning back to Mazarun.Then she did something interesting. The Speaker spoke in the archaic dialect of elven. And spoke to Mazarun directly. Her words were interesting. So it seemed that there was some history between the dark race and the other elves. Interesting. Ariel then watched as the speaker excused herself, and left.

    With a soft snort, Ariel moved from where she had been standing, and moved to look out a nearby window. She was hungry now, and these proceedings had taken far too long. But she had learned some interesting tidbits along the way. She wanted to fly now. Listening to the different group of beings talk was - exhausting. The little snipes at each other. The complaining. Though they had an army about to breathe down their necks, they still had time for such. But Ariel did note not all were involved. She needed to be careful, to not group all grounders, as being the same, or she would be just as guilt as they were. She sighed softly. Crossing her arms over her chest, Ariel waited to see if there was anything else of importance to come from the meeting. But she did give a nod towards Mazarun. Obviously, he knew of others reactions of him, so it did take some fortitude to do what he just did. And obviously, the Speaker though so as well. Indeed, it gave something for Ariel to think upon, as she leaned against the wall.




    TAG: All, Saint
    Last edited by Ktala, Nov 19, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  13. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Corrath Marktos

    Well! That had been exciting. Certainly more exciting than Corrath'd expected when she'd settled in on the balcony and realized they were going to discuss what to do about the Red Hand, in a committee, because they were idiots who cared more about politicking than sense. Still, the others had eventually convinced them of the threat -

    And then Mazarun had gone and revealed himself, and things had very nearly gone badly. If not for William and Skadi's defence - and Kaal's; Corrath's mind filed that, and her studied disinterest, away for future reference - he could have ended up with two arrows to the throat. (Corrath also noted, with growing incredulity, that Ariel actually seemed disappointed at the way things had turned out. Did she seriously hate Mazarun that much, all for an ancient racial feud?)

    In either case, this seemed like her cue to leave. She'd heard enough - enough to realize that, if this meeting was any indication, they would take far too long to mobilize their people. If Brindol was to survive, they needed to engage leaders who actually knew how to get things done fast.

    Perhaps the Thieves' Guild would be amenable to another chat.

    Now ... how to leave? The way she came in, Corrath decided. Brazen it out, and assume that the guards were more interested in keeping people out than in ... yes, that might work. And if she was questioned, she'd just say she was part of the Company and was in the meeting and left early, like the elves. Easy.

    Quietly, Corrath backed out of the balcony. Once back out in the lit corridor, she adopted the brisk, relaxed poise of someone who knew exactly where she was going and what she was doing, and that was sunnily convinced she had every right to be here ... and walked out.

    Tag: Saint
    Saintheart likes this.
  14. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr
    Brindol Keep, Nine bells

    With the situation once more in some measure of calm, Mazarun settled back in his seat. He'd been fortunate, he knew that much; the outcome of his revelation had been more positive than he'd had any particular right to expect.

    (He wasn't counting Tredora's reaction, since he'd already predicted she'd blow her top at the news. There was a very good reason why he'd checked how far away she was sitting before he started talking.)

    That he'd been invited to speak with Sellyria later had been far more unexpected. It could be a trap, his thoughts warned; a way for her to dispose of him out of sight of witnesses. True, she'd given her word, but how much was the word of a stranger truly worth?

    But... he supposed he'd probably go, anyway; his curiosity would only nag at him if he didn't, and he was confident enough in his skills to believe any possible ambushers would regret it if they tried such a thing.

    He folded his hands together, looking at the table with his most attentive expression, his demeanour conveying a readiness to move on and deal with matters far more important than little incidentals like his heritage. Idly, he wondered where Corrath had got to; it wasn't like her to miss out on this sort of thing.

    As for those who were here... Mazarun glanced briefly toward Lady Kaal. There was something about her sharp replies that was extremely entertaining; watching her discomfit the others was a delight to behold. Admittedly, it wouldn't have been so delightful to him if she'd turned that sharp tongue his way, but as matters stood just now, it did have a certain appeal.

    TAG: Saint, all



    Outside the Keepwood, dusk

    He had discarded his disguise once more, after leaving the city walls behind him, though he wore his hood pulled up as a compromise of sorts. He would not go in false face to this meeting, for any number of reasons.

    The shrouded form in his arms did not shift with his steps, or sag beneath its own weight; a touch of levitation applied to it saw to that, for this last part of the journey. It was, he thought, a little more dignified that way. If the elves wished for the weapons that might have been those of this one, they were easy enough to take from his bag, but the bones themselves, no matter how far they'd been carried in the bag, needed to be in the open for this.

    He was sure of that, with some strange instinct he couldn't explain even to himself.

    Mazarun breathed in slowly, gathering calm about him like a cloak, and took his first steps between the trees.

    TAG: Saint
    Last edited by Rilwen_Shadowflame, Nov 19, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  15. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Zanaek Grahorn

    Brindol Keep

    If there had been a moment where everything they had thus fought for could have been ruined in a matter of seconds, it was this moment. He didn't know what inspired the drow to reveal himself but Zanaek thanked Torm that some of those present had sensible heads and talked down any urges to end Mazarun permanently.

    "I have always believed that evil is a learned trait," he said softly as he stood from the table. "That we are born inheritingly good and through our experiences we become evil by necessity or by choice. That it can be unlearned if the individual so desires. Mazarun and the hobgoblin prove that belief. You all have proven it with your choice to stand by his deeds and accept him."

    The cleric looked to Tredora, his dislike for her narrow-mindedness hidden as he spoke. "Evil comes in all sizes and ways, from a Horde of Tiamat fanatics to simple words of hate for an individual that wishes nothing more than to know peace. To overcome our evil is the greatest task that which the Gods can set before us. It is a path toward enlightenment and a step closer to becoming one with our Gods."

    He knew he was guilty of straying from that belief himself from time to time. But he understood he was human and mortal and that meant he was fallible. He strived to correct his wrongs no matter how trying things could be. Zanaek's gaze briefly flickered to Skadi, remembering his scathing and arrogant words from days ago in Rhest. Had he ever apologized to her for them? He couldn't remember, so much had happened since then.

    "These are desperate times and in such times we are likely to find friends in unlikely people. If we are to survive, old hatreds and prejudice beliefs must be set aside for the sake of all and not just for ourselves. We will fall if we succumb to them."

    He let that settle for a moment before he looked to Jarmaath. "If there is nothing more to discuss, my Lord, I suggest we begin the preparations discussed today post haste."


    Tag: All


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Saintheart likes this.
  16. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party (except Corrath)
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    "Agreed," said Lord Jarmaath. "As to quarters, I have a good eight rooms available on the north side of the keep available for you to stay, if you wish it. The local inns will be closing ahead of the evacuation soon in any event, so it might save you a move to step in now. There's also a chapel to the Triad in that wing, too."
    A chapel to Torm, Tyr, and Ilmater? Skadi frowned. Lathander had been the god of choice around here, it seemed, and if she remembered right there'd been no missionaries of Tyr out this way. Zanaek, too, had been surprised by the statue of Torm that had cropped up back at that ruined manor, where Celbrandir--she nodded in thanks.
    "And there's also a small meditation chamber," he added, turning to William. "It's a little disused, but the keep was built to house a mage as well. You're welcome to use it. I'll have my men take you over there now if you wish."
    "As for the rest of us," said Captain Ulverth, "I agree - we'd best get about our duties, and fast. We've got a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, best we get on with it now."

    TAG: All (bar Xan)



    Corrath Marktos

    Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    As it turned out, it was just as easy as she thought to leave the keep. Look like you were going somewhere, and people didn't bother you at all. She simply walked casually right out the front door and right past the two guards at the bottom of the drawbridge. The city was open to her.

    TAG: Xan



    Mazarun Zothyrr

    The Keepwood, Brindol
    Eighth Hour, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Dusk
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    Mazarun was unopposed as he stepped into the wood. The sentries did not bother concealing themselves, or at least took no measures beyond what he had been trained to expect from surface elves. What might have been dismissed by a human as a shadow against a tree, a spindly-looking plant, was seen for what it was: Tiri Kitor warriors, looking evenly at him but with no open hostility. Apparently Sellyria's word had been passed around. Their wild magic seemed nascent here; the trees gathered and spun amethyst twilight; silks of concealment, hanging in the branches. But visible as so many glamours and illusions to one who had walked in darkness most of his life. Even so, the fleeting impression struck him: in these shadows, lithe figures, the Tiri Kitor somehow looked little different to a watchful camp of drow.

    They did not bar his passage as he moved further in. Every warrior stayed a good thirty feet from him, though no weapon was drawn and the only bow he could see was being thoughtfully leaned on by its owner. Ahead, he could sense the Speaker coming to meet him; a certain emerald radiance on the air, perhaps, alerted him to her presence. And there were others with her; four, perhaps. One of them was dressed in a white robe, tied with a simple hemp rope. As they finally met in a small glade, one not fully shrouded in the amethyst twilight, he recognised the symbol on the elf's chest: a silver bow shape, the sigil of Corellion Larethian. This would be that Illian Snowmantle the others had mentioned, the cleric of the Tiri Kitor. If there was anyone he might expect to be hostile, it surely would have been him. But no - the same thoughtful expression as he'd seen from the other Tiri Kitor.

    He turned his attention to the Speaker. Evening stars rested around her neck, highlighting the dark green of her robes, and here she appeared even more ancient than she'd been in the Great Hall. Few drow priestesses survived long enough for their skin to become the wispy parchment that was Sellyria Starsinger's. But, as with all drow priestesses he'd met, there was resident a keen, searching intellect in her age-old eyes. Another fleeting impression: none of the other members of his Company had seen her with this expression. She appeared vital in some way he was intuitively certain would have been mentioned to him before now.

    "You have come, young cousin," she said. Elven; the old dialect, the one he understood best. "You have nothing to fear in our presence. Who do you bring home?"

    TAG: Rilwen
    Last edited by Saintheart, Nov 19, 2012
  17. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr
    Brindol Keep, Nine bells

    Rising, Mazarun resumed his disguise, light and dark of skin and hair reversing themselves in an instant. Those in the room now knew, but it would be prudent to play the moon elf around others a while longer, even as they had pointed out.

    He made a mental note to find the meditation chamber that had been suggested for William, later. Mazarun had little power in magic, but a room set aside specifically for it would probably help. He was more accustomed to furtively slipping away to study in whatever quiet corner he could find. It was a rough-and-ready sort of wizardry, but it had always been enough thus far, for one who was a warrior first and foremost.

    (He could have been a true wizard, he knew that, with the right training, but his path had been selected for him long ago. And it did at least mean that his brother Nadraenas had treated him better, since they were not in direct competition. The tradeoff came out acceptably enough there.)

    More links in this chain of thought came one by one - those who chose their paths; Ulwai, who'd chosen such an unusual one; Tredora, whose anger had been directed at both Ulwai and Mazarun as though their existence was a personal insult... and then, some kind of understanding. He was looking at Tredora, and smiling, as though he had solved some vital puzzle regarding her nature.

    If he found some chance later, perhaps he would ask her his question. Or perhaps not; what mattered, to him, was the question itself. The answer was incidental.

    TAG: Saint, all


    The Keepwood, Dusk

    To say that there was nothing he needed to fear in the presence of the Tiri Kitor was wrong, though not in a way he thought they could have understood. It seemed more likely, now, that they would not seek to kill him, but their existence, and this very meeting, were dangerous for him.

    They seemed to move through the world connected to it and each other, part of a people who would always be linked together.

    And he was not.

    He couldn't afford even to want to be. To want that, to even think it too long, might mean that he had gone too far, and that there was no place left for him in Menzoberranzan. There was pain there, and rage, and helplessness, but there were also rules he understood, rules that did not bewilder him as did the rules of the surface. And there was a promise, too. He had to go back.

    One day. Not today.

    Today, he was here, and here was... different. You've seldom held back before from being what was required of you, he reminded himself. And he had made that mental division before, to protect himself from worse things than mere confusion. Surely he could let his outer self take part in this, and choose in time whether to let it go, or to find some part of this that could rest safely in the core of who he was.

    Mazarun breathed out slowly, and set the shrouded form down gently upon the ground. "I do not know who I bring to you," he answered at last. "But we found this, elsewhere in that place." He drew from his bag the elven blade they'd found, and extended it carefully for Sellyria to see.

    TAG: Saint
    Last edited by Rilwen_Shadowflame, Nov 20, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  18. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Evelios D'Rtan Does Not Get Updated As Much As I Would Ideally Be Updating Him, and Poe the Raven
    "We're on a spiral, on a spiral goin' down." - Pansy Division

    <<We're not talking.>>

    <<What exactly do you mean 'We're not talking'?>>

    <<Exactly what you think I mean,>> replied Evelios to the other Evelios. They were situated around a campfire, which was not a real campfire but merely the campfire of the mind. Most folks are unaware that they have a campfire in their minds, but it's there - primarily situated above the cerebral cortex, but then slightly to the left and straight on 'til morning. Several other Evelioses had chosen to join them. <<All communications with the rest of the body have basically cut off.>>

    <<Most disturbing,>> commented a third Evelios, smoking a pipe. This was notable mostly for being a thing Evelioses did not do, unless they did it. Hence it was not notable. But we have still wasted a paragraph on it.

    Such is life.

    <<But what could cause a full cognitive shutdown of this magnitude?>>

    <<Our best theory is that the author stopped posting about us.>>

    <<... What do you mean, stopped?>>

    <<He stopped.>>

    <<... Because?!>>

    <<Prevailing theory is he's a ****er.>>

    <<Or busy with school.>>

    <<Same thing, really.>>

    <<So because of that?>>

    <<Bunch of pent up ideas that he can't even write because the spark is gone. He's thinking of killing us off at the first available opportunity.>>

    <<That will not do at all.>>

    <<Quite,>> replied the third Evelios, taking a puff on his pipe. <<We simply cannot afford to pass away at this time. Too many things to do, people to see, songs to write, tenuous connections to Tempest of Fears to make.>>

    <<Speak not of Tempest, I didn't even get to do anything. OOC post. Lazy ->>

    <<Get out of here, Zaid, nobody likes you.>>

    Zaid left.

    "I'll certainly be taking you up on the room offer," Evelios offered. "I seem to be getting into a nasty streak of getting into fights everywhere I go. It'd be nice to try and break that."

    "You've been awfully quiet," Poe remarked, and he meant it.

    "I've been thinking."

    "Since when do you do that?"

    "My intelligence is a 16, Poe. 16. That's a +3."

    "Never mind, forget I asked."

    <<See, there we just did something. We're relevant! We matter!>>

    <<Sir I exist!>>

    <<Stephen Crane reference?>>

    <<Stephen Crane reference.>>

    <<Nice.>>

    TAG: All

    OOC: Not much substance, but by god it's a post.
    Saintheart likes this.
  19. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party (except Corrath)
    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)

    "Yes, I'd forgotten," said Jarmaath, casting a glance at Ulverth, "There's the matter of this accusation that you're supposedly a Harper doing the rounds. And that's before we get to talking about the small matter of Reinard Haskinar's son. Now, the latter point I can probably defer or stave off mainly because of the circumstances, but I'm afraid I do have to ask you about the former. So might I ask you -- are you in fact a Harper, as the rumours suggest?"

    TAG: Ramza :p




    Mazarun Zothyrr

    The Keepwood, Brindol
    Eighth Hour, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Dusk
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)


    No murmurs from the elves around them, but Mazarun could apprehend the significant looks that passed from one elven eye to the other. Illian Snowmantle bowed his head, casting his hood up over his hair. Sellyria reached out slowly for the lightblade. She traced a wrinkled finger along the fine, cutting edge, along the patterns swirling at its crossguard. A single tear fell from her face. She gestured; and Snowmantle helped her kneel, trembling, before the shrouded form that now lay on the ground. A circle of darkened cloth appeared as though conjured, and then another, as she carefully undid the fabric and unwrapped the top of the shroud.

    A hush, for an age.

    The Speaker was motionless. Only superb drow senses picked out the slow rise and fall of her aged breast, like dirt on a grave. Twilight fell gently on her robes, like snow.
    "Illian," she said, though it was nearly a whisper. "My husband has returned. See him to a place to rest."
    Mazarun didn't see any signal, but four Tiri Kitor warriors were suddenly in the clearing, and in the silence that only elves can know, they slowly bore the body Mazarun had brought to their shoulders, Illian Snowmantle leading them like a fading star, deeper into the wood, north. The dark elf did not see it, but Mazarun suddenly realised he was alone with the Speaker; the other Tiri Kitor had drawn off out of earshot, or at least were distant enough that he could not perceive their presence.

    Sellyria was awkwardly moving from her kneeling position, hissing with effort, to seat herself on the ground of the clearing. The elf's lightblade she lay across her folded legs with a sigh. Twilight did not hide the lines of tears down the ancient cheeks, or the trembling lower lip. She looked unaccountably young.
    "Please, come -- sit awhile," she said to him at length, gesturing at an open spot of ground opposite her. "You must let me offer you thanks again. And there is more we must speak of."

    Without waiting for him to sit, she reached to a small pouch on her belt, dipping two fingers of her right hand in and producing a deep blue powder on the tips. Unhesitating, she put the two fingers to her left eye, trailing the lines of her tears down to her jaw. The powder liquefied on contact with the moisture of her tears, leaving a long, dark blue streak down that cheek. Then she repeated it with the other cheek.
    Mourning ritual, a part of Mazarun said to himself. Zanaek had mentioned something about this with the Tiri Kitor when he'd first joined the party; the warrior they'd interred with Celbrandir Silverwind had a bardess relative who'd had those marks. Now it seemed he knew how the face paint was done.

    TAG: Rilwen
  20. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Evelios D'Rtan is in a Spot, and Poe the Raven
    Still on that Spiral.

    <<Did he just ask>>

    <<what I think>>

    <<he asked?>>

    <<MAYDAY. MAYDAY. ABANDON SHIP. ABANDON SHIP. WOMEN, CHILDREN, ASTRONAUTS, NATIVE AMERICANS, AND SORT OF STYLIZED IDEALISTIC DEPICTIONS OF THE COMPLETE RENAISSANCE MAN FIRST. I REPEAT->>

    <<Everybody shut up. I have a plan - a plan so cunning that an extremely cunning fox with a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Cunning would consider using it as part of his latest peer-reviewed submission to the Journal of the Association for Very Cunning Sciences in the hopes of creating a well-establish buffer of agreed upon credible sources.>>

    <<That's fairly cunning.>>

    <<Quite. So I put to you simply this:>>

    He whispered. Cunningly.

    <<Say, I just noticed something. We keep using the word cunning.>>

    <<Yes, and?>>

    <<Do you suppose that's because of the fact that it sounds li->>

    <<BRILLIANT! A tremendous stratagem. Fantastic. Praiseworthy.>>

    "I see I spoke too soon," Evelios muttered, scratching at his beard. "It's a complicated question, my good sir, with complicated answers. You see, me da was a Harper, I'll cop to that, and consequently he had lots of Harper friends, some of whom may or may not have contracted me to recover a magical item on their behalf. But there's also been a steady, underlying suggestion that said contracter never existed in the first place, owing mostly to controversies related to his power relative to his decision to send me to act. There was some minor behind the scenes consternation over the fact."

    He produced his lapel pin. "Now, my old man gave me this pin before he set off, ominously to be never seen again, unless I did see him again, it was like a dream except also a vision quest? Magic may have been involved. Anyway, my dad sets off and has wacky adventures with three companions and their talking dog, and they ride around in a horseless buggy solving mysteries related to supernatural phenomenon."

    The bard paused for a moment. "Wait a tic. Strike that from the record, it might get me sued. So like I was saying, my old man sets off for good and gives me this pin. Now, as you can tell from my accent, I'm from up north, and up north, this kind of pin, serendipitously flashed at the right moment, can be a lifesaver. But apparently that isn't the case down here, so when I flashed said pin in an attempt to win some folks over, or something, it was years ago and there was an unexplained five month downtime except it was really less than a week? Anyway they didn't take kindly to it. Then I get in a bar and they accuse me of Harping, and I go to another bar later and get accused of Harping again, so then I'm all 'Yeah, and I'd Harp again. Hell, I'd Harp your mother. Harp everything up. I don't give a Harp.' And they're like 'Consternation! Uproar! General disapproval!' and they start to swarm me. So then I'm yelling some Harper credo because I want them to get the memo that I'm not actually the enemy and won't fight back, but then this shady guy shows up and he's all:"

    At this point Evelios put his hands on his hips. "'Bwahaha! I am a very sinister sort of fellow who apparently owns a seedy bar. Also I am bald. So bald. Can't even hold all of this bald.' And I'm like 'Oh, thank you for saving me to further your own nebulous and sinister agenda, Captain Bald. I realize it would be easier for you to simply be jealous of my fantastically out of control hair, and for that you are truly commendable.' Then he's all 'Get out.' And I'm all

    And then I'm all 'Quickly Ragnar' - that's my big pal over there, incidentally - 'Quickly Ragnar, we must attend to our compatriots,' and then we go meet up with them and get brought to you folks, and everyone's all 'Blah blah blah eminent invasion and pernicious distrust blah blah gift horse in the mouth blah blah' and I'm all 'I can't respond because the guy who decides my actions is swamped with math homework and lack of creative energy' and Poe's all 'I AM A BIRD.' And then you're all 'Hey devastatingly handsome bard, are you a Harper?' And I'm like '"I see I spoke too soon," Evelios muttered, scratching at his beard. "It's a complicated question, my good sir, with complicated answers. You see, me da was a Harper, I'll cop to that, and consequently he had lots of Harper friends, some of whom may or may not have contracted me to recover a magical item on their behalf. But there's also been a steady, underlying suggestion that said contracter never existed in the first place, owing mostly to controversies related to his power relative to his decision to send me to act. There was some minor behind the scenes consternation over the fact." He produced his lapel pin. "Now, my old man gave me this pin before he set off, ominously to be never seen again, unless I did see him again, it was like a dream except also a vision quest? Magic may have been involved. Anyway, my dad sets off and has wacky adventures with three companions and their talking dog, and they ride around...' Wait, I lost myself, where was I?"

    Poe slapped him in the back of the head.

    "Oh right, the cows. So anyway the cows go moo and so can you! You just get down on all fours, pretend to eat grass, defecate infrequently, and say mooooo. Only the actual sound is closer to a mwuuuarrrrrr but that's much harder to write, y'see, so they came up with"

    Poe slapped him in the back of the head.

    "I see I spoke too soon," Evelios muttered, scratching at his beard. "It's a complicated question, my good sir, with complicated answers. You see, me da was a Harper, I'll cop to that, and consequently he had lots of Harper friends, some of whom may or may not have contracted me to recover a magical item on th"

    Poe slapped him in the back of the head.

    "Livin on the road my friend, is gonna keep you free and clean
    Now you wear your skin like iron
    Your breath as hard as kerosene
    You weren't your momma's only boy, but her favorite one it seems
    She began to cry when you said goodbye
    And sank into your dreams
    Pancho was a bandit boy, his horse was fast as polished steel
    He wore his gun outside his pants
    For all the honest world to feel
    Pancho met his match you know on the deserts down in Mexico
    Nobody heard his dyin words, ah but that's the way it goes
    All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
    They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose
    Lefty he can't sing the blues all night long like he used to
    The dust that Pancho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth
    The day they laid poor Pancho low, Lefty split for Ohio
    Where he got the bread to go, there ain't nobody knows
    All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
    They only let him slip away out of kindness I suppose
    The boys tell how old Pancho fell, and Lefty's livin in cheap hotels
    The desert's quiet, Cleveland's cold
    And so the story ends we're told
    Pancho needs your prayers it's true, but save a few for Lefty too
    He only did what he had to do, and now he's growing old
    All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
    They only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose
    A few gray Federales say, they could've had him any day
    They only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose
    ."

    Poe slapped him in the back of the head.

    "Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the waves! Britons ne'e'e'e'er shall be"

    Poe slapped him in the back of the head.

    "OH FLOWER O' SCOTLAND, WHEN WILL WE SEE, YOUR LIKE AGAIN, THAT FOUGHT AND DIED FOR, YOUR WEE BIT"

    Poe slapped him in the back of the head.

    "Yes and no. I have been sent by a personal request to recover an object on behalf of One Who Harps, but I am not of Those Who Harp. The object has been recovered, and I mean to see it brought to this family friend no matter the cost. But know this - I am mad, and I am utterly convinced of my ideals, and I am somehow Scottish despite being from a campaign setting where Scotland does not exist."

    Evelios' composure shifted to one of legitimate seriousness. "And I am going to protect this land from the advancing horde, and the hell if I am going to let anyone stop me because of political disagreements."

    <<What in the name of Milil's Triumphant Trumpet Trio just happened?>>

    The other Evelioses just shrugged.

    TAG: Saint

    OOC: I'm not sure either.
    Saintheart likes this.
  21. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr
    Brindol Keep, nine bells

    In truth, he'd been wondering a little when the issue of Carandis Haskinar would come up again; it did not however seem to be a primary concern just now, which was something, at least. But Jarmaath had wanted to know if Evelios was a Harper, which cheered Mazarun in a somewhat perverse sort of way; it had the threefold benefits of making his own admission stand out less by virtue of not being the only one with some awkward facts, making Mazarun himself possibly look a little better in comparison, and inflicting the bard at his most Evelios-ish upon Tredora Goldenbrow, who thoroughly deserved a bit of confusion.

    "He gets like this," Mazarun noted. "Useful in a fight, but I don't ask him many questions unless I have an hour or two to spare."

    TAG: Saint, all


    The Keepwood, dusk

    Three hundred years. Had it truly been that long? Had Sellyria waited that long, without any chance of finding those remains to farewell her husband? She wept, now, but Mazarun suspected that Sellyria must have grieved a little every day, unable to ever completely move on while she waited. It shook him, a little, to imagine that kind of pain, unceasing for so many years.

    He sat in the place she'd indicated, with the grace of one long-trained to do such things in a way that would please a watcher. Mazarun bit his lip a moment, recalling the directions that had taken them to Zarl. Sellyria would doubtless care less about this than about her husband, but the one in the tale had been one of her people, still, and by the way the scholar hadn't even known of the owls there wouldn't likely have been anyone to tell her this before; perhaps she would wish to know. "To face the lich we followed the words of one who is gone; a scholar in Brindol had the story in a book. One of your wingriders, from that time past. I do not know if they ever had contact enough to tell you they'd found her, but she was found. The men who found her cared for her as well as they could; she was not alone. I do not know what happened at the stone lion, but I do know that." He offered the words almost apologetically.

    He couldn't say for sure how her husband had died, but at least he could give her knowledge of one lost wingrider, who had not died alone.

    TAG: Saint
    Saintheart likes this.
  22. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Corrath Marktos

    Only when Corrath was well out of sight of the Keep did she allow herself a small smirk of triumph.

    Really, that had been ... simple. Child's play, literally; the first jaunt Barsillus had taken her on had been a similar one into a minor lord's keep, and while getting in had involved a good less flashy spellcasting, once inside they'd strutted around as if they belonged and nobody had questioned them.

    (It was, Barsillus had said later, a trick that only worked on bored, unsuspecting guards. Or guards that were deliberately kept so by the local Guild. Which were these, Corrath wondered? How far did Kaal's influence stretch?)

    Something to ponder another time.

    Now ... how best to contact Cragg? Or rather, how best to indicate she'd like to make contact? The last trick wouldn't work - news spread fast amongst street kids - and loitering in an inn hoping a guildmember would take notice was a little bit too slow for her liking.

    Perhaps she'd stake out a central spot on the Thieves' Highway. Like ... hm. Corrath ambled north through the streets until the fancy manors in the Noble Quarter gave way to the bright colours and signs of the Marketplace. Then, like she'd done a few times over now, she scaled a convenient drainpipe up to the Thieves' Highway and settled in in a spot overlooking the central square.

    If this didn't work ... she pulled out her tiny hourglass she'd filched from the Tiri Kitor and set it down at her feet, near the roof edge ... she'd discovered its time was roughly a quarter of a bell, so she'd wait two turns of the glass and then try something else.

    But someone should make contact eventually, if only out of sheer curiosity. She hoped.

    Tag: Saint
    Saintheart likes this.
  23. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The party (except Corrath)

    Great Hall, Brindol Keep, Brindol
    Nine Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)


    “Ray of Stupidity,” observed Lars Ulverth, knowledgeably. “Seen it before. Always seems to have this effect. M’lady Goldenbrow, you’d have surely some scrolls or clerics who could assist him?”
    “Either way, Jarmaath, you have plausible deniability,” interjected Lady Kaal, leaning back in her chair. “If you are asked, you can honestly say you have not let a Harper into Brindol’s walls. And let us be frank, if the good bard is determined to wander our walls I would imagine there it would be far less efficient to resist him than to permit him.”
    “Yes,” said Jarmaath absently; Skadi had a fair notion he was still trying to process exactly what Evelios had just said. “Yes,” he added, more firmly. “Well. Master D’Rtan, I might simply ask that you not broadcast it widely around town – and frankly, I’d not walk around town alone, were I you. At least until battle’s joined, anyway.”
    “And the matter of the bar brawl?” asked Skadi.
    “Ah, yes – Carandis Haskinar. I’m well aware of the enmity he held for your companion, William Marshall. And you’ve certainly upheld your undertaking to bring your companions back here to be attended to for this matter, m’lady of the Balance. Having said that – as Castellan of Brindol I hold supreme judicial power in his matter. Deliberations and judgment in this matter are therefore suspended due to the current crisis, pending the outcome of battle. Until then, the alleged perpetrators of this crime are in your custody, m’lady. Continuation of any blood feuding from House Haskinar will be met by the city’s garrison, on my authority, until then. Please try not to lose track of them.”
    “My utmost efforts are given to that,” said Skadi, nodding.

    TAG: All bar Xan




    Mazarun Zothyrr

    The Keepwood, Brindol
    Eighth Hour, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Dusk
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)


    Sellyria listened intently to Mazarun’s account, nodding. “That was most likely Saemyra, my kinswoman. She was the only one Kasovilar would suffer at his right arm. It was known she perished in battle, but not the detail you describe. You bring me both grief and joy, cousin. Perhaps once the battle is done, you might give me the scholar’s name, that my people may find her and bring her home.”

    The Speaker seemed to hesitate a moment more. Then, as if resigning herself, she sighed, setting the lightblade down beside her, folding her hands in her lap. She looked at Mazarun again, a long, searching look like those she had already given him. Then, as if coming to some decision, she spoke. “We have a proverb among my people. Before you would speak another’s secret, you must speak one of your own. No doubt your companions will have told the story as I told them – that the creature you fought was once my student, that a darkness came into his heart.”

    She glanced up to the arc of dawning starlight above, as if surfacing for breath. “That was true. But I did not tell them where that darkness came from. You see, my husband once came here, to this wood. You bring back his bones, but his spirit is all around me, here, in this wood. I can feel him in the trees’ memory, like his breath on my hair. He came here with Elias, the first human king of these lands. He came here with an angered heart. He came south because I had betrayed his vows. I had betrayed his love. I had broken the vows we took before Corellion Larethian to be true to one another. Broken them with the man who became that which you fought.”

    ”Sellyria.” Though the broken whisper had been uttered by the skeletal monstrosity expiring at Skadi’s feet, Mazarun had heard the Ghostlord’s last word as well.

    “I was young; impetuous. And I told your companions true that he was filled with fire, as all humans are. Filled with the fire that will surely overtake us one day, young cousin – even your people know that, deep in their hearts, just as we you left on the surface know it but will not face the truth of it. I thought it a taste of Arvandor here in the Realms to be in his arms. But I would not go with him; I would not confirm my dishonour. So he fled, filled with rage. And my husband followed, to avenge his dishonour. To avenge the dishonour I brought upon my people.”

    She inhaled; exhaled heavily. “And now you alone know all of it, young cousin. Of my generation, I am the last. Some in my people suspect; perhaps Illian Snowmantle has sought the truth from the Seldarine and therefore knows, but you know the whole story now. What you do with this secret is for you, as is our tradition. I trust you will use the information wisely. Because now I must reveal a secret of yours.”

    TAG: Rilwen




    Corrath Marktos

    Thieves Highway, The Marketplace, Brindol
    Ten Bells, Twenty-third of Mirtul, Morning
    Year of Scattered Lanterns (1378 DR)


    “Nice piece.”
    The hourglass was into its second turn by the time the words were uttered. From behind her, as she’d expected; no sound, either, which was also as expected – at least, until he trod on a rooftile and made it creak in what was probably a deliberate move.

    Cragg looked even more, well, craggy by morning light. But the same steady gaze was on her, and the same dark eyes were coolly assessing her, arms folded, no weapon in evidence. “So. You boiling an invisible egg, or just sightseeing?”
    TAG: Xan
  24. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Corrath Marktos

    "Bit of this, bit of that." Corrath said easily. She rose, resisting the urge to stretch as muscles cramped at the sudden movement, and nodded in the direction of the walls - invisible at this distance and elevation. "It's like a kicked anthill over there on the walls, isn't it?"

    Inwardly, she was glad to see Cragg - she'd been contemplating alternatives to this stakeout plan of hers when he'd shown up. But she wasn't about to up and say it. That wasn't how the game was played.

    Tag: Saint
    Last edited by DarthXan318, Nov 22, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  25. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: William Marshall

    The tension which had filled William at the first mention of the Haskinars now slipped away, and he gave the tired lord of Brindol a grateful nod. "Your forbearance in this matter is appreciated," he said, "as is your generosity in granting the use of a place of meditation. I will make good use of it, I am sure. And if you need my assistance in any other matter, what command of the Art I have is at your service."

    In truth, the Haskinars had been on his mind even more than the Ghostlord; from the day Carandis had died William had not been able to get rid of the nagging concern of possible revenge. Nobles, as he knew well, could be spectacularly persistent in their desires to kill someone whom they thought had wronged them, and the death of a brother would be far more legitimate reason than a public embarrassment.

    Knowing that they would not be allowed any retaliation was some weight off his shoulders, even if it wasn't much considering there were enough criminals in Brindol to make two rival gangs. Still - staying close to Skadi whilst out on the streets would probably make up for it. He couldn't help but feel pre-emptively sorry for any of them who were foolish enough to tempt her wrath.

    TAG: All
    Saintheart likes this.
  26. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Mazarun Zothyrr
    Brindol Keep, nine bells

    With the Haskinar matter resolved for now, William seemed to be looking less tense; little wonder, since he'd been the target of the fight that had ended in Carandis Haskinar's rather messy demise. Mazarun shifted over beside the wizard and murmured, sounding somewhat amused, "So, a place to meditate. I trust you'll share your new chamber if I ask nicely enough?"

    TAG: Cassie, any


    The Keepwood, dusk

    Sellyria's tale was strange, to Mazarun. Part of that strangeness, admittedly, lay in the notion of a broken vow; in the drow way of things Sellyria would have been completely within her rights to keep a consort or husband, and still openly take another lover.

    The other part of that strangeness, however, came from his reaction to hearing it. Something in him understood quite clearly that Sellyria must have felt guilty that her actions had encouraged a war in which her husband had been killed. The other casualties, too - every death must have stung her yet again. And she had been carrying that mixture of guilt and grief for three centuries, alone, feeling unable to confide in anyone, holding her secret and its pain for all that time.

    Hearing, and understanding this, there was a tightness in his throat and a sick hollow feeling in his belly. It was not his pain, yet for some reason it hurt to imagine hers. The sheer depth of it struck him deeply, and he found himself extending a hand a little without even knowing what he was offering. He didn't know her, didn't know why her sorrow would leave such an impression. And yet it did, and he found himself hoping that being able to speak of it at last would help her.

    This confusion vanished in a jolt as sharp as a splash of icy water as Sellyria told him she would speak now of one of his secrets. What could she know? How? He tensed, and long-trained instincts measured the distance to where she sat, calculated her strength, spun estimates of how quickly he could flee the Keepwood afterwards if action became necessary.

    Mazarun pushed the thought away, with some effort. He was not at home, where a secret unveiled might be far more dangerous. He could listen, and wait, and find out what she meant. Like as not, she'd simply made some guess about him while watching him, and wasn't going to tell him anything significant anyway. He relaxed, just a little, and asked as casually as he could, "What secret might that be?"

    TAG: Saint
    Saintheart likes this.
Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza