Visit the Ironworks Gaming Website Email the Webmaster Graphics Library Rules and Regulations Help Support Ironworks Forum with a Donation to Keep us Online - We rely totally on Donations from members Donation goal Meter

Ironworks Gaming Radio

Ironworks Gaming Forum

Go Back   Ironworks Gaming Forum > Ironworks Gaming Roleplaying > Ironworks Online Roleplaying

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-16-2009, 04:03 PM   #1
dplax
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
Age: 34
Posts: 5,577
Default Rivulets

For the moment this is a "closed" thread, so invitation only. If you'd still like to join and think you have something to add, send me a PM.

Current participants are Calaethis and myself. This is more a co-written story than a roleplay.
dplax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2009, 04:04 PM   #2
dplax
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
Age: 34
Posts: 5,577
Default Re: Rivulets

The rain flowed in rivulets, a deluge washing away the signs of the recent carnage. The battle had been hard-fought with neither side willing to cede any advantage until inevitably one of them had crumbled, folding back, leaving dead, wounded and equipment behind. The small village of Heathdale had been left mostly in ruins, derelict houses companions to the corpses stashed against their walls.

It had never been Heathdale's war, the village and its inhabitants were simply passing casualties of the strategic position their pitiful collection of hovels occupied. Their women carried off as trophies by both sides and those men who refused to enlist slaughtered for sport, Heathdale's population consisted entirely of old men, women and children.

The recent bout of fighting had been brutal, leaving hundreds of bodies covering the ground. Discarded armour and blunted weapons lay next to mutilated body parts. A bleak landscape and the rain could only play a part in cleaning up. The figure standing on the bridge outside the village knew that come the long-awaited spring, all signs of battle would have disappeared, leaving a village that once-again thrived. Having the only deep-water port on the Gerry river this side of the mountains made it too important to simply abandon.

Hood pulled down deep into his face against the wind-driven rain and leaning heavily for support on a staff, the man lifted his pack from where it had fallen to the cobblestones of the bridge. He had collapsed a few minutes ago, falling in a heap to the ground. It might actually have been an hour, or several, there was no way to tell the time of day by the sun's position, hidden as it was behind the thick cover of clouds. Deep thunder rumbled in the distance, announcing that the skies still had more of their blessing to discharge. A blessing that could easily turn to a curse if the Gerry continued rising as it did.

Taking care not to step on any of the already rotting corpses, the traveler made his way to the single remaining structure of Heathdale. Through some miracle, or an intervention of the gods, the village tavern had remained standing, its employees the only villagers between twenty and fifty not to have been forced to leave. It would be stuffed with soldiers, with not an empty room to find, but even the warmth and dryness of the common room would be welcome.

A crow pecked at the eye of a corpse, oblivious to the rain, content to simply feast. The crows had multiplied in swarms and gotten fat off the spoils of war more than any warlord commanding the opposing armies. In a war like this, death was the only winner.

The first picket lines were a hundred feet from the tavern, the soldiers battle-hardened veterans one-and-all. They simply waved him past, not deeming a single traveler worthy of inspection.

The common room was indeed packed, but not as busy as he had expected. Soldiers sat in small groups, talking quietly amongst themselves, or throwing the dice. Veterans indeed, for being able to exert such self-control so soon after a battle. As the weary traveler sat down, one of them, a man well over fifty by his looks cleared his throat. He stood next to the bar, heavily leaning on it with one hand, his other arm in a makeshift sling. All talk ceased and the other soldiers all turned to listen.

"Let us remember fallen comrades," he said softly, in a voice that carried through the room. Gently at first, then slowly rising, he started singing a dirge to remember the dead.
dplax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 12:09 PM   #3
Calaethis Dragonsbane
Legion Symbol
 

Join Date: May 29, 2002
Location: Somewhere in between
Age: 35
Posts: 7,029
Arrow Re: Rivulets

Downstream, another sighed. Past his prime, he had once been called a ‘prince among men’, but nothing could have prevented this. The Gerry had been dammed by the sheer weight of the bodies; now, only the dead drifted down, and the fish – what remained – gnawed on them. A terrible fate. The guild of fisheries would collapse under this latest setback. It would cripple the docks entirely. Sadly shaking his head, he steered his barge away and thought upon his daughter…

Elsewhere, a young red haired woman jostled and ducked within the crowded cobblestone street. Snatching a purse as she did, her deft fingers revealed its contents: a bare few coppers and a single silver. Practically nothing. It wasn’t even worth having; it took more to dye her hair red. Muttering under her breath, she hollered a cry, “Excuse me – sir, sir, I think you dropped this.” Pressing the leather purse – worth more than its contents – into the startled man’s hands, she ducked away as he swore an oath at his stupidity and thanked her. Shaking her head, she disappeared into the crowd. Glancing up at the bastille upon the hill, she decided that Queen Meliesse and the Prince Regent would get them through this. No matter how tense the atmosphere in streets were, they had weathered worse. After all, this was the capital of the region, and unlike the last few towns that burned, the city walls here were made of stouter stuff then mere wood and brick. No, they were safe here, for now. Only a madman would march on the city. Gerrifordale had never fallen in a hundred and fifty years.
She wondered how her father was doing, stuck out on that pathetic barge, and saw the frightened people rabbiting about. At least the trade routes hadn’t closed yet. As long as the Three Roads remained open, all would be well. It would have to be. Ducking under a set of cellar stairs, she disappeared into the familiar tavern – as much home as she had.

Even further elsewhere, Queen Meliesse stood behind a long window, staring out at her city. “How bad is it?” she asked quietly.
“Bad, majesty. That’s the seventh band of refugees to enter within the week.”
“Have we the supplies?”
“Not to hold for a prolonged siege. If the Roads and Waterway close, the people will riot.”
“Then let us hope they do not. Increase stockpiling at once.”
“My lady… the prices at market have already tripled; if we begin to buy up what’s left of the grain, that will cause a riot as surely as if we were besieged.”
“We have to do something, chancellor. Have the grain imports arrived yet?”
“No, my lady. I have sent out scouts, but I suspect the worse. War has come to Gerriford, even before a single enemy soldier has been sighted.”
“I know old friend… I know.” Sighing, she turned away and strode back to her high-backed throne, “Where is the Prince?”
“Out with the cavalry. He insists on leading them.”
“At least that will give the people some hope. Unfurl the banners, m’lord. It’s time the people saw that their Queen is in residence. And fetch me the River Admiral; we need to see to our defences. I fear we must embank the docks and place a chokehold on free trade.” She rubbed her brow tiredly, “Why now? Why did this have to happen now?”
“I do not know, majesty, but your orders shall be carried out. We are loyal to the crown.”
“I know… I know, and I appreciate it. But now, I need to see to the preparations – while we still have time. Ready the eighth battalion and throw open the draft; we’ll need every man, and boy of fifteen to learn how to bear arms. If all else fails, perhaps a city militia will stall the invasion, even if the army fails. The people will fight to defend their homes; they have a right to. It is only just I enable them. I know I risk empowering riots, but what else can I do? We must rely on the people, as we always have. I prayed this day would never come.”
“Aye ma’am… all of us did.”
“Thank you. Now go.”

Last edited by Calaethis Dragonsbane; 09-17-2009 at 12:16 PM.
Calaethis Dragonsbane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
dplax
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
Age: 34
Posts: 5,577
Default Re: Rivulets

The inn door slammed open halfway through the dirge. The wind threw sheets of rain in through the open door, almost drowning the words of the soldier.
"Riders crossing the bridge!" and with that he was gone, sword already in his hand, rushing to defensive positions. Weapons laid to rest for the night were quickly gathered up, bits and pieces of armour hastily strapped on. Within a minute the inn was almost empty. The faint clash of steel drifted over the sounds of the ever growing storm.
The traveler went to stand at the door, half-finished mug of sweet wine in his right hand. The drink had helped return some of his strength, but he still held on to the door frame with his other hand.
Sporadic flashes of lightning lighted the lower village. The figures on horseback, no more than a dozen were riding hard towards the picket lines, their steeds clearly close to exhaustion. Barely discernible in the distance, still on the far side of the bridge, footsoldiers could be made out.
The lead rider, almost forty paces ahead of his comrades reached the picket lines first. He jumped from his horse, and both hands raised high made his way across to the defenders. Words were exchanged, and the man was welcomed with open arms.
A massive bolt of lightning hit the old oak tree on the far side of the bridge, bathing the area in incandescent light. The Gerry river was covered in corpses, more than when the traveler had crossed the river just a few hours ago. And on the far side of the river a battle raged. The line of footsoldiers was retreating in an orderly manner from an enemy that outnumbered them at least ten to one, their numbers stretching farther than the eye could see.
Heathdale's current defenders were slowly drifting forth from their picket lines, reinforcing the failing front line covering the retreat.



Polt was one the few survivors of the long flight from the siege of Three Hills. The ancient fortress, built by a long forgotten civilization centuries past had been an impregnable defensive position for as long as memory went back, but severely undermanned and outnumbered the defenders had stood no chance. Less than one in twenty had made it out alive of the flaming ruins. Pursued league upon league and week after week they had made their way south, following the meandering course of the Gerry river.
The enemy had never been far behind. They had fought dozens of skirmishes and many pitched battles, leaving scores of dead after each engagement. The main body of pursuers had caught up with them half a day's walk from Heathdale. Less than five score had made it out alive of the battle. It had been a fighting retreat ever since.
They did not know who held Heathdale. The ownership of the small village had changed so often in the past months...
Finding their own their had been a relief and yet...So many more would die. The enemy numbered thousands and they were just over three hundred. They had no chance.
Polt wiped the rain water from his eyes, blinking hard in the sudden light of the burning oak tree. His arm ached. He had swung his sword so many times he felt he couldn't even lift it again. But when his life depended on it, he managed a weak parry and made another step backwards. Just a few hundred more left to the other side of the bridge.
And then? Then they could make the enemy pay dearly for passage. The bridge was long and narrow, an almost perfect defensive position. But failure was inevitable. He swung again, felt the blade connect with flesh and get snagged in the chain mail covering that flesh. The sword was torn from his grasp.
He felt a hand on his shoulder, signalling the arrival of one of Heathdale's defenders just as the spear tore into his gut, burying itself deep. Everything went black.



Fincar swore. The line looked close to crumbling. They were so close to this side of the river. There was only one thing left that he could do, but with all those men on the bridge...
"Fincar!" the commander called from behind him. The man was barely recognisable with all the mud covering him, the sling on his arm giving away who he was. "Don't leave it late."
Commander Kerip Dawn rushed forth, his good arm holding a curved scimitar.


The traveler took another sip of wine. Dozens had already died on the bridge, yet soldiers of the other side kept coming. And then, without warning, all hell broke loose.
Sections of the bridge seemed to lift dozens of feet in the air, the bodies of soldiers flying in all directions. Suddenly undammed, the mass of bodies beyond the bridge started drifting down, only to have broken sections of the bridge smash into them as they fell back in the river. The sickening sound of tearing stone only reached the inn as the first chunks of stone rained down.
dplax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
Calaethis Dragonsbane
Legion Symbol
 

Join Date: May 29, 2002
Location: Somewhere in between
Age: 35
Posts: 7,029
Arrow Re: Rivulets

Word had reached them. Another village - some pitiful hamlet had fallen. So be it. Unimpressed and impassive past the point of disdainful, Kul Gildun cared less for the village than he did for the bug he had just crushed beneath his boots. The flies were rampant here. At the very edge of the realm, on the border, he and his horde watched with ever-growing anticipation as the news the Queendom along the Gerry was falling. His horsemen were born from the stuff of legend, and they would take this land by storm. But he was patient. He would wait as the armies of this realm battled it out amongst themselves, and while they were weakened, in chaos, then the storm would truly arrive. He was its herald. Behind him, the nomads began to chant, cheering him. Their dark banners held high in their hands, only a raven pierced by a spear could be made out, against a lightbolt lit field of black.
The first riders would be sent out soon. This land was ripe for picking. Only the slaves, in their camp, twenty miles behind, and their booty, were testament to the lands that came before. Slaves from all different lands. And he, Kul Gildun, was Kul of the entire Stormflyer nation. That is what they were, after all: Children of the Storm. All would learn to fear and despise their name. Behind him, the five hundred thousand strong host would follow. Fifty were with him; the rest would come. Every stone would be levelled, every road razed.

Turning his steed, he held up his palm. They would not be assaulting the realm this day. Five hundred horse turned and wheeled as one, retreating back into the mountains.

Above them, the storm clouds began to gather.

Last edited by Calaethis Dragonsbane; 09-17-2009 at 01:28 PM.
Calaethis Dragonsbane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2009, 03:59 PM   #6
dplax
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
Age: 34
Posts: 5,577
Default Re: Rivulets

Filth was twelve and had acquired his name from the conditions he had lived in most of his short life. He had been born the son of a whore. His father could have been anyone. He had been more a nuisance to his mother than joy, after all which hooker wanted to have a burden that reduced their rates

The horse riders had disappeared on the other side of the pass thousands of heartbeats ago, yet Filth still lay under the overhang, not yet daring to move. He was still shaking with fear. Had the lead rider come but a dozen paces closer, he would have been silhouetted against the setting sun. But Lady Luck had smiled on him.
He waited until night stole across the skies, bringing with it a veil of stars. Out here, far from the great cities along the Gerry river thousands upon thousands of starts could be seen on a cloudless night. Luckily for Filth, this particular night was cloudy and he was able to leave his hiding spot at a crawl, then a low run.
He had found paying work about a year ago, enlisting with the Satal Trade Guild. Initially hailing from the harbour of Satal and then moving their headquarters to Gerridale after the sack of Satal forty years ago, the guild had started out as nothing more than a band of mercenaries. Over the decades they had expanded and were nowadays considered as a guild which dabbled in nearly everything. Whatever desire you have, we can get it for you - so went their slogan.
And everyone desired something. The guild could get it, if the price was right. Civil war had seen prices of everything skyrocket. If the smugglers and the black markets could not deliver certain goods, people went to see the Satal Trade Guild. The only reason the authorities still tolerated the growing power of the guild was that without its services they would have already been hard pressed during this war.
Of course the guild did not choose sides in this civil war, they did not choose the crown or one of the many warlords. They did business with everyone. No deal was too small, no deal was too big. If they were unable to fulfill a request they would just set a price that no sane man would be willing to pay.

Filth was a messenger for the Satal Trade Guild. A rich merchant had wanted a message to be taken to a town far across the mountains and had paid handsomely. Now the guild knew why. If the hordes were gathering, it would impact much more than this simple message. Filth knew he had to return the way he had come and deliver the news about the horsemen to his masters. It would make them lose money on the current contract, but the long term gains were desireable indeed.
His pouch was still heavy with coin in preparation for the long journey. He would have to buy a horse and make all haste back east. Three Hills was probably closer than Gerridale, he would make his way there. The local guildmaster would then know what to do.
dplax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
Calaethis Dragonsbane
Legion Symbol
 

Join Date: May 29, 2002
Location: Somewhere in between
Age: 35
Posts: 7,029
Arrow Re: Rivulets

Rivet smirked to himself. Today was turning out to be a good day. The bounty had been less plentiful than the last, but he had acquired something far more valuable then mere silver. Perhaps not as valuable as gold, but definitely worth the cost of silver - silver he would have spent on whoring or wine anyway.
The potter's daughter shied back; he smiled. He liked that. Not the most buxom of wenches, but she was young. Not so young she couldn't be considered a woman, but she had been inexperienced. Was inexperienced. Her old man shrank back into the corner after steel had been drawn, after he had burst into their house, and faced with the offer of losing his life, his home and his daughter, or simply his daughter... her pleas to spare her father's life won over any fatherly attention. After all, the old man could do little anyway. And so, he had stayed, hidden away, while the rest of the village burned - those that resisted, at least, and he, Rivet, had his first woman of the war. She would remain with him until he tired of her, or someone else took him. No one was likely to mess with him; he had a mean reputation after all. She was a pretty enough thing; dark hair, dark eyes... slight. She'd been too scared even to scream. He might have liked a little resistance, but submission held its own allure. He might even spare her old man for it. Licking his maws, he turned back to his prize.
Pulling the woollen blanket to her chin, she pressed back against the stone hut. The hunger in his eyes only increased as he reached for her. As he raised his hand, the scream died before it could begin. His smile widened, and he seized her.


Outside, the lieutenant shook his head. What a wasteful day. They had lost more men than they should have, and had only inflicted near equal damage. They would win, eventually, but his squad had taken serious causalities and claimed few heads for their own. Still, they obeyed, and as long as they did, they were spared the Commander's wrath. No one in their right mind would challenge him, or his elite guard. He had the most vicious, brutal thugs in the entire army. Worse than even the mercenaries he had been forced to associate with. Still, at least the men were loyal... until the fear, gold or plunder ran out. At least now they had women. He might have pitied the villagers, once. Once. That was before he himself had seen war reach his own town. After being recruited, everything changed. The strong ruled the weak. That was the way of the world. Wheeling his steed, he nudged it across the broken cobblestones of the square towards the tavern. His men would be have their fun, and he was expected to join them - or join the other officers. There would be time for both. He heard that the men had saved a comely wench for him. If he didn't like her, or grew tired of her, he would hand them over to them - as they hoped. He had taught them it was best to tithe the cream of the spoils. After all, that was his due - and his men knew to appease him. As long as he was happy, he would ensure they were happy. A mirthless smile touched his lips. Despite the recent setbacks, the war was going well. The men had not grown fat on the spoils yet - and as long as he kept their appetite wet, they would not.
His horse neighed its agreement. It too, desired only the best. Tonight, it would have oats. Oats and barley mead alike. He would drink wine. Absently, he wondered if the mayor's daughter was the beauty the men claimed. If she was, he may just keep her; trophies always inspired his followers. Trophies and glory. He would add this town's banner to their collection. Huzzah for the Commander.
Calaethis Dragonsbane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 06:15 AM   #8
dplax
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
Age: 34
Posts: 5,577
Default Re: Rivulets

The last few survivors who trickled in had that blank look in their eyes. The rain had washed most of the blood and gore from armour and clothing, but there were things that even such a torrential deluge could not wash away. Only fourteen survivors from Three Hills had made it, and of those fourteen only two were fit enough to stand.
The common room of the inn had been transformed into a makeshift infirmary with blood making the floor slick and slippery. Of the two dozen wounded, only six would live to see the morning. Fincar was one of them. A flying cobblestone from the conflagration at the bridge hat struck his head, taking an eye with it. He did not remember much since then, except waiting to die. But death's sweet embrace had not come to relieve the pain. He remembered the hands of that mysterious traveller, healing hands. They could not give his eye back, but they had stopped the bleeding. And now the man was gone, as suddenly as he had arrived.
His commander was dead, and now everyone expected Fincar to lead them. He did not know whether he was capable of doing so...

The shaft of a broken spear now served as a makeshift walking stick, taking most of the weight off his injured leg as he slowly made his way south along the river. The night that he had stayed at the inn had helped recover some of the strength that he had lost, but he feared that he had lost too much time. He had to reach his order's headquarters in Gerrifordale before the army that would no doubt lay waste to the city.
"Damn this leg," he repeated for what seemed like the hundredth time. His horse had died a fortnight ago, many leagues to the north. A faithful companion, pushed one too many times too hard.
He had spent most of the night doing what he had been trained to do, healing wounds. His god had not been generous, granting him only fractions of healing power. There had been so many that he could not save...

The small scouting party had crossed the river a league under Heathdale, leaving heavy armour behind and swimming across. Surprisingly none of them had drowned.
At first Dein had hated this war. A peasant boy, conscripted three years ago at the age of thirteen, he had riled against the life he had been thrust into. His first battle had changed him. His first kill, a youth about his own age had brought a moment of perverse extasy, as his knife plunged again and again into the blonde-haired youth's chest. Many more had followed. While still only a youth, most in his company feared Dein and the look which came in his eyes when he killed. The youth had developed quite a talent with his twin knives and enjoyed inflicting pain before delivering the killing blow.
They had been tracking the solitary figure for half an hour and from his expression Dein seemed to have decided that it was enough. Besides, the commander had told them not to leave any witnesses to their passage...
dplax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #9
Calaethis Dragonsbane
Legion Symbol
 

Join Date: May 29, 2002
Location: Somewhere in between
Age: 35
Posts: 7,029
Arrow Re: Rivulets

Rylvira paced. Hands balled into fists, the reflection from the mirror was as grim as her thoughts. Her long dress trailed behind her, its train sliding noiselessly across the castle’s flagstones. She had just received news; her father and brother dead, an ambush. The serpent she was due to wed had not even waited until they said vows. As soon as he had acquired her, lulling his ‘long time ally’ with assurances of new prosperity, he had shown his true nature. His guile sickened her; she always knew he wasn’t to be trusted, this minor lord of this wretched fief. She had expected poison, but no – ‘raiders’; borderland bandits. On the way here, to her wedding. A wedding she did not even want, a wedding arranged by her father to this – this …there were no words harsh enough.
There was no one left now – except perhaps a distant young cousin, one whom this bastard could manipulate. Her father, her brother – gone. Her mother dead – eight years to the next moon, and now? Now this – this vile snake would inherit her family’s lands, adding to his estates her father’s soldiers, his people and doubling his realm. She had seen the ‘peasants’ of this fief, seen the cruelty and oppression. She would not stand for it.

But what could she do? She was trapped in here, locked away in these wretched chambers; he wished to ‘civilise’ her, to ‘educate’ and ‘train’ her; she wasn’t a dog, a mere hound! She was the daughter of a chieftain! Her brother should have ruled after her father, her young, strong proud Rylen. He would have been a master of the horse, had he five more years. With seven, he would have been as formidable as her father’s most loyal swordbearers. And now? Now he was dead.

She shrieked and cursed. She would have cut his throat, poisoned his wine and drank from the same cup on their wedding night, had she not a duty to her forebears. They would want her to be strong, proud; not to take the coward’s way out. Her kinsmans’ shed blood called out to her own, and fire stirred within. She would have vengeance.

But how? How to get away from here… how to smuggle a message. She would have to be willing to fight, to be a warrior like her brother and father. To cast off this ‘civilised’ dress, to invoke the ancient blood rites. She was a maiden, dedicated to the man her father had chosen for her. Obedience for her father meant she would suffer so their line could continue. Now – she would have to use all the tools at her disposal. No longer would she be above using her body. It was her greatest weapon, along with her wits. This fief would burn in blood and fire. But with guile she must move, wearing subterfuge as a cloak, becoming as sly and as cunning as the serpent she was to wed. She could not be caught; adultery would be punished severely. The snake might choose any number of ways, from depriving her of light, food and water, or flogging, or by burning. She could be tied to a stake and left exposed to the elements. No, she did not fear death, but she was the last; she must preserve the bloodline, not contaminate and taint it with his seed, but what good were hollow promises if she was dead? She had to move; there was little time. The wedding would take place in two days. Any number of ‘hunting accidents’ would be suffered before, during or after the feasting; she was sure of it. But who to trust? All the maids here were in his service; she was permitted none of her own. She was a ‘barbarian’ after all.

She would teach them why barbarians were feared; she would raze all of this, stone by stone. Nothing would be left unscorched. Death would reign in fire and blood; vengeance would be hers.

Her reflection nodded back at her, silent in its grim agreement. Something had to be done. Perhaps… the soothsayer? A barbarian custom, but time honoured; to prepare her for her wedding night, to see if the omens were fit for child. Perhaps a potion to disguise herself? With bindings, rags and her face washed of the paints she was forced to wear, paints not of her own. Yes; that might work. If she could not take poison, perhaps she could be smuggled back to her people. It galled her to be a ‘hostage’, no better than a slave, to live or die at his whim.

The snake would regret ever crossing the Ilrenci.
Calaethis Dragonsbane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 04:12 AM   #10
dplax
Jack Burton
 

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
Age: 34
Posts: 5,577
Default Re: Rivulets

The squirrel gently hopped down the length of the branch, high in the canopy of the oak tree. It had found a gorgeous nut just a few minutes ago and now rushed to its favourite hiding place to add it to all the other gorgeous nuts. It was getting close to winter and food would soon become scarce. But the squirrel knew nothing about seasons, it was generations-old instincts that urged it to stockpile and not to consume everything as soon as it was found.
A few dozen feet from its goal it suddenly stopped, ears pricked up as if listening to a distant sound. Something had perturbed the otherwise calm animal and it looked around like a frightened beast. Crossing the last stretch of canopy in a rush the squirrel jumped into the hole in the trunk of the tree, a nest made by some bird years past and trembling hid in there.

Forty feet below the horse stopped right under the tree, steam rising from its nostrils in the cold morning air. It was a majestic steed, taller than most horses, yet still graceful in its posture. If not the size of the horse then the fact that it carried a man in full armour would have betrayed that this was no simple destrier. It was a horse bred and used for war.
In a clink of metal plates shifting against each other the rider dismounted, crouching down in the mud as the full weight of his armour settled on his shoulders after the jump from the horse. The rain had stopped sometime during the night, finally allowing the drenched soil time to suck down the water into its depths.
A gentle hand on the mane of the horse calmed it from the fear that was slowly starting to rise at the sight of the dead body barely a dozen paces away.
The back of the figure was a criss-crossing tattoo of bloody wounds, barely a strip of skin left untouched. The clothes hung in tatters. Armoured glove was removed and an almost pitch black skinned hand pressed against the mangled throat to confirm the worst.
Two hands turned over the body and then an audible gasp came from the knight. Whether the gasp was directed at the mutilated features or the small leather pouch which rolled from the clenched fist of one hand of the dead man, no one could guess.

Fuorlan had taken to talking to his steed in his long journey. It served more to organise his own thoughts than to actually communicate with the beast. "So a priest of Sellor gets killed in a forest more than ten leagues distant of any monastery of Sellor. Strange thing that in itself. What could the priest have been doing out in this god-forsaken forest? And what the hell was he doing with the most important relic of the goddess clutched among his fingers as he died?" The power emanating from the brown leather pouch, even buried well beneath the contents of his pack, made Fuorlan uneasy. Such relics were not meant for him. Then again, if not him, then who would have been the next figure to happen onto it?
dplax is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
©2019 Ironworks Gaming TM & The Great Escape Studios - All Rights Reserved