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Old 06-05-2007, 05:00 PM   #251
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Join Date: May 29, 2002
Location: Somewhere in between
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Kuankreid (& Ainyra)

“You’re more than welcome to stay. Any help would be appreciated.” Kuan ventured a smile, much to his familiar’s approval, as per her nod.

“Weird animals or not, I guess everyone needs a collection of something Ainyra commented. “I suppose this means he’s pretty powerful. It’s quite interesting, in some way.” She cocked her head to one side and looked at the abominations again, “I don’t see any beauty in it, beyond it being its own creation. I wonder what he was trying to achieve…?”

“Why don’t you ask him?” Kuan shook his head, opening his mouth to speak more.

“Could do.” Ainyra cut him off. “Or you could.”

“You want to know. Anyway, no apologises are necessary Gillain; please, join us. As I was saying, I was looking at constructing a golem…”

“And a walking suit of metal armour, and enlargement spells and–”

“All right, all right. I think he gets the idea. Golem construct for now. The rest can wait.” Kuan paused deliberately and looked up, giving Gillain a change to speak. He also put one hand over Ainyra’s mouth until she got the idea to hush up for a bit. She did – and scowled at her master for it, pouting and mock sulking as she resettled herself and continued to leaf through the Codex Magicus.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:05 PM   #252
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For team Ettin-Slayer

Xaver, Sever and Pandaros searched about the cavern where the ettin had made its filthy home, but found nothing of value. It seemed that there was nothing at all to be recovered from this adventure but for the promised reward from the Lockes. However, as Xaver knew, there was at least one location that had not been searched yet, and in fact he had been the only one to see it when they passed it because Pandaros and Sever would have been unable to, being human.
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:39 PM   #253
Cyril Darkcloud
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Join Date: February 7, 2002
Location: New York
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For Plaxica

Her movement along the jagged stones of the cliff face is swift and untroubled, having more about it of the dance than of climbing. Her face is flushed with the vigor of her movement but her breathing is relaxed and unhurried. She smiles. And she laughs in the sheer delight she takes in the act of movement upon stones so high and beneath a Sky so clear. She cares not what ears may hear her nor what eyes might see her, for few would be the eyes or the ears that might be in so isolated a place as this, and fewer still those that would be a threat, and delight is a thing that demands expression regardless of the presence of threat – be it real or merely the phantoms of one’s imagination. She carries little and her clothing is light, too light one might well think to provide much in the way of either comfort or protection in so harsh an environment as this, but she is not one to trouble herself much with either the comfortable or the safe.

Somewhere along the steep trails below is that one whom she seeks, that one whose exhaled words touched the winds with an outsider accent, and yet touched them all the same. Truly, there would seem to be no limit to the surprises of these strange lands where even so clumsy a tongue might master something of the speech of those that move about within the free and living air.

Her eyes settle upon a solitary tree, small but alive with a curiously defiant strength atop a windswept series of ledges. She claps her hands at this reminder of the distant peaks of her home and her movement quickens as she hastens to it. The tree is far too slender and far too small to provide either shelter or shade to any but the smallest of birds and even these would be better off seeking both shelter and shade within the clefts of the jagged stones. Still the small tree is for her a companionable presence and she sits contently with her back against its slender trunk. “Let us see,” she says quietly, “whether the ears of this outsider are as attuned to the wind as his voice.” And closing her eyes, she gathers her breath and begins to sing one of the songs of her distant home, a song of subtle tone and complex rhythm that settles within the seams of the wind and drifts gracefully outward along the steeply climbing hills below her.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:18 PM   #254
Cyril Darkcloud
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Join Date: February 7, 2002
Location: New York
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Locke Manor – The Guest Wing


The anticipation, some would say, is the best part of a moment like this, a moment when one sits before what may well be a genuine treasure present, yet hidden, beneath its wrappings. But anticipation only gets a guy so far and if the best that one has is to be found in the anticipating, well, then all one’s been doing is chasing after an illusion – and he’s a guy what knows all about things like anticipations and illusions. Discovery. That’s the best part, and that anticipation is only good which guides one toward a thing that’s worth discovering. That’s why he knows better than to be quick about unwrapping the kid’s cloak from around the book – the wrong kind of anticipation with a thing like this can get a guy in trouble without him even realizing it.

He has carefully laid out those few things he might need in his initial study of the book and he has been equally careful in not placing any of them on the table. The book is on the table, however – or, to be more precise, the cloak which holds the book is on the table and the book is still wrapped within the folds of the cloak. He is unsure whether or not the book is upside down, but the cloak has been positioned on the table in such a way that once he pulls aside its tangled folds the book will remain in the cloak and make no contact even with the table on which it rests. An hour just studying the folds – a job like this requires patience – and another thirty minutes spent assuring himself he could peel the folds away without directly touching the book himself – lots of patience. All this work on the hunch that the kid just might have laid his hands on something worth reading…… He laughs a moment at the thought that he feels a bit like a kid again himself. But that silliness will pass soon enough, once the real work with the book begins.

“Right on cue,” he says quietly at the sound of a soft rapping on the door to his room. He rises and moves to the door, pleased that the natural and easy gracefulness is returning to his limbs now that his exhaustion has largely passed. “What indeed would I do without you?” He smiles at Jeanette as she stands holding a tray with the steaming drink he had asked her to make from herbs he had given her earlier in the day. He takes a deep breath, savoring the scent that rises with the steam from the kettle. “And perfectly made, I would assume,” his smile brightens for a moment and he places his own hands on the tray, careful to place his fingers very close to hers without actually touching them. “Allow me,” he says in a voice of gentle good manners, “you’ve worked far too hard on my behalf and I could at the very least save you this little amount of labor.” For a moment the two of them hold the tray together as she smiles her awkward thanks to him. “I will likely be up reading through the night,” he says simply, “and would greatly appreciate it if you would see that I am not disturbed too early in the coming morning.”

Embarrassment flashes red across her face as she realizes she is still holding on to the tray and looking upward at him – so unusual a visitor and so pleasant a man. She steps back, leaving him holding the tray and trying her best to be as polite as he always seems to be wishes him a good night and assures him that none will call upon him before mid-morning at the very earliest. He watches her quietly as she turns to resume her other duties, lingering a moment in the hallway before returning to his room and closing the door.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:58 PM   #255
Jack Burton

Join Date: July 19, 2003
Location: an expat living in France
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"Daniel! Let's go!" Plaxica shouted to his son, playing yet again among the rocks.

A day had passed as they sheltered beneath a rocky overhang from a storm, which lasted almost from dusk till midday. The peaking of the sun on its path brought welcome warmness and surprisingly hot food. While chasing a lizard among the rocks, Daniel had stumbled upon a rabbit in a hole among the rocks. The animal, terrified from fear of the four year old was unable to escape. Ramella had produced a small pot from her pack and with some water from a stream nearby, and a few herbs Plaxica had with him, the rabbit became a most excellent stew.

"Coming!" Daniel shouted back, and soon his running footsteps could be heard approaching. His hands and face were covered in brown dirt and his clothes were dusty, at which Ramella was about to intervene, but Plaxica spoke first. "Well, well! Look at you! Seems like you’ve been digging in the ground. Find anything interesting?" Daniel shyly looked at his mother before replying. "Only a few beetles and a nice green stone," he said, opening the palm of his left hand and revealing the aforementioned stone. Plaxica gently took it from his son and examined it. It did not look like any precious stone he had seen during his travels nor did not look dangerous, so Plaxica handed it back to Daniel. "Now, go ahead and wash yourself a bit in the stream over there," he said pointing to where the gurgling noises of water were coming from behind a rock, "You know your mother doesn’t like it when you’re hands are dirty."

As the three of them ascended higher and higher along the northern slopes of the mountain, storm clouds started gathering along the eastern horizon. The peaking sun’s glow wasn’t enough to lessen their greyness and it was clear that soon a strong storm was to arrive. Plaxica hoped that the three of them would be at least close to the summit when the storm struck. Somehow he had a feeling that those clouds and the storm they brought would make it easier for him to contact the Windbringer.

The winds bearing yet another storm reached them half an hour before the storm itself and at several occasions threatened to blow Daniel, and even Ramella, off the mountainside. Multiple times it was only Plaxica’s vigilance that saved them from the gale force winds.

Several hours passed, yet the winds did not relent.

"Can you hear that?" Plaxica asked suddenly, during a lull in the storm. "Hear what?" Daniel asked, before Ramella could voice the same question. Plaxica's answer was drowned out by the renewed wind.

Yet even above the howling of the wind, above the sound of it whipping against the rocks and sparse vegetation at this height, Plaxica's keen hearing, sharpened by the curse flowing through his veins could pick up a voice carried by the wind. He could not make out the words being spoken or sung, but the tone of the voice left no doubt to its gender. Could the Windbringer be a female? Plaxica did not pause to think, he turned towards the source of the voice, and gazed into the murky distance, closer to the ominous, grey clouds than he had been planning on approaching.

Ramella put a hand on Plaxica's shoulder and inquired about the sudden change of direction.

"Can you still not hear it?" Plaxica asked. "Stay close. My call has been answered."

Any signs of vegetation and animals disappeared as they ascended the steep slope towards what appeared to be ledges. Plaxica had to carry Daniel on his shoulders.

As the slope smoothened, Plaxica spotted the slender tree. The voice was omnipresent here, whirling around them, and Plaxica could clearly make out that it was singing.

Plaxica set Daniel down and turned to face the tree.

"You have a beautiful voice," he said. "Do you bring the wind, or does the wind bring you?"

[ 06-09-2007, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: dplax ]
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Old 06-09-2007, 02:10 PM   #256
Jack Burton

Join Date: July 19, 2003
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Vindson glanced curiously at his old friend.

"This method of yours. If it truly works..." The possibility of his leg not troubling him any more left the old smith momentarily speechless. "How much pain does this process actually involve?"
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:44 PM   #257
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"Alright, let's get out then. Like Sever said, *some* of us have a stroy to share with the other two, and this interrogation, er.. "swapping of stories", would be better done by a campfire outside, than this place here."

As they turned to leave, Xaver remembered something. "You know, we never actually bothered to check the body of the ettin itself... And... I think I remember seeing a samll opening in the cave wall around the same place where we fought the monster. I considered for a moment hiding there for a surprise attack on the ettin, but then the battle started and I completely forgot about it. We might check it out too. The creature might have just hidden something there."
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:51 PM   #258
Cyril Darkcloud
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Join Date: February 7, 2002
Location: New York
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For Plaxica

The words of the outsider drift upward to her, awkward within the air but discernible all the same. There is sunlight about the tree and she savors its harsh and beautiful brightness. The outsider has not arrived alone – such a curious people, the folk of these lands, who crowd one another and seem to require a group for everything they do – but the woman following him and the child he carries are even more uncomfortable in this place than he is. Her singing stops for a moment as she considers them – a family it would seem. Mother and father and child. Once, years ago, she knew what it was to move as a child in the company of mother and father. Now she has but her father. Her eyes narrow and her vision changes. Color and detail fall away and all she sees is movement, the movement of the father as he carries his child. His movements are stiff and crude as is the way with the outsiders, but there is concern and affection within them. Her glance then turns to the woman who follows behind and she wonders about this following, a moving together yet a movement made with a certain separation. And she wonders then about this man whose voice has traced its awkward path within the winds, this man who moves seeking after something and whose movement carries mother and child along in its wake but does not fully include them. Such a man is a danger – not to her, of course, for there is nothing threatening about him. But to his family…..

She laughs in answer to his question, and her voice has a note of bright freedom about it. “Not wind,” she says, “but sun. I chose this spot because of sun.” She is young, having witnessed but seventeen winters, but she knows well the laws of hospitality even if she does not understand the ways of the outsiders. “Come,” her voice is heavily accented. “There is food ..... and drink. Sit.” Her command of the rude tongue of the outsiders is limited and she is uncertain as to their tastes in either food or drink, but her curiosity regarding these strangers and their unusual mannerisms is greater than her uncertainty. And so it is with a smile that is genuine and eyes that are studious and alert that she greets them and indicates the simply prepared refreshments she has set aside. She had prepared, of course, for a single visitor, and idly wonders if she has provided enough for three.

[ 06-11-2007, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: Cyril Darkcloud ]
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:51 PM   #259
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"If you want to go sticking your hands in an ettin's dark places, go right ahead. I'll go take a look in that passage you mentioned."

The scout held his torch high as he searched for the opening, intent on investigating the final mystery in the cavern. He didn't expect to find much given his earlier discoveries of straw and a dead cat, but he figured why the hell not.

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Old 06-12-2007, 11:23 PM   #260
Cyril Darkcloud
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For Pandaros, Xaver and Sever

The seam in the cavern wall upon closer inspection is rather well-concealed, but not so well as to be the work of a dwarf. It is far too narrow for the ettin to have made use of and it is likely the creature itself never even noticed it. A bit of patient exploration reveals that slots have been cut in the wall of the narrow opening as if in preparation for the hanging of a door of some kind. The tunnel remains narrow for about twenty feet beyond the opening and then bends sharply.
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