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Author Topic: The Rod of Lordly Might  (Read 46552 times)

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Offline Nobody

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« Reply #125 on: June 03, 2005, 07:49:57 AM »
no he is alive, but he won't wake till morning
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Dream

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« Reply #126 on: June 03, 2005, 09:52:15 PM »
Braandu watched Andimia look over the weapons and select a bow.  He didn't care.  He didn't use weapons, and never learned how to use a bow.  Father never asked him to kill anyone.  Life was precious to Braandu, particularly because of his... his condition.  He didn't even like squashing bugs under his feet, although that couldn't be avoided.  They were alive, and he wasn't.  Or was he?  Father said he was.  

The voices said he wasn't.

He didn't need to kill to eat, since he didn't eat.  Or drink.  He couldn't put anything in his mouth if he wanted to, since he had no stomach.  He was semi-solid.  Not liquid, not solid.  His life essence was in his Cersi.  The heat he needed came from his center, his core.  Father told him to protect his center.  Father said the heat would last and last forever, until he was healed and back where he belonged.  

The voices said he would never be healed.

He had the appearance of a nose and a mouth once, years ago, but they were stupid.  The effort of keeping them was stupid since they didn't really do anything, and he stopped holding their shape.  Father seemed disappointed at that, and encouraged Braandu to concentrate on his appearance.  Father made wonderful soaps from the fundiments, and taught Braandu how to as well.  However, Braandu no longer cared if his tunic was soiled.  Being clean was stupid, too.  Father nagged at times, and seemed sad at others.  Then he would usually teach Braandu something or make him show that he had learned his lessons.  Boring.  Sometimes Braandu wished Father would go away so he could just be alone.

But now here was this elf-lady, or was she a human?, coming with them.  That would be new!  She was so energetic and full of life.  She moved like a panther.  Her eyes were so alive and beautiful as they looked around and showed her emotions.  He could see hurt-marks on her in places as he watched her.  He wished he could have hurt-marks again.  He wished he could be full of life.  He wanted her to like him, and talk to him, but he couldn't talk.  No lungs, no air column, no vocal cords.  He felt stupid.  Maybe he would get a chance to write a message to her with the point of his shovel in the dirt.  Then she would know he was in there; that he wasn't stupid.  Then she would play with him!  Like his big sister used to.

The voices said, ["She is afraid of you.  You are big and dirty and ugly.  You scare everyone.  If you play with her you will hurt her."]

Braandu thought bitterly, "Why, Father, did you make me so big???"
.
.
.
The trail down the hill toward Uncle Brendalo's house stretched before them, over the rocks that would leave none of his footprints.  They should be able to walk for several miles down into the valley before having to worry about danger that night.  The cave door would close behind them and their home would be safe until they returned.  He hoped.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Andimia

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« Reply #127 on: June 04, 2005, 04:42:17 PM »
After choosing the hunting bow and slinging it over her pack, Andimia took some of the arrow points and put them into a leather pouch so she could make some arrows later. She then went to where the daggers were kept and pulled out the two daggers that were sheathed horizontally across her lower back, replacing them with new ones. She proceeded to remove the old, notched daggers from sheaths on her right thigh, right calf, left hip, over her left shoulder blade, and one in a hidden sheath in each boot and replace them with the moleman's finely crafted daggers. She then grabbed up the shortsword and its scabbard and secured it around her waist as she walked out of the cave to join the others, Grinning when Klaatu jests about their light packing.
"Alright, let's head out."
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Offline Dream

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« Reply #128 on: June 04, 2005, 05:31:05 PM »
They hiked until dawn.  Braandu kept up a challenging pace at somewhat above walking speed.  It was challenging in that it never changed -- whether going down an easy trail into the valley, crunching over broken rocks, over (or crashing through) branches or even small trees, or across a fairly sizeable stream.  His great form was apparently tireless, despite his load.  His father had to remind him at times to slow down so he wouldn't get knocked off from his perch, or so Andimia could keep up.  Not that she wasn't able, observed Klaatu.  She was trim and fit, and seemed able to jog endlessly, although he had taken to holding her bow and pack sometimes so she could better keep balance on rough ground or swim.  

Often, Klaatu would order his strange mount to pause, and ask the half-elf to look from certain higher vantage points for campfire lights ahead, or examine tracks they came across.  He would illuminate the latter with his staff briefly for her to have a look, whenever he or Braandu sensed something was or had been near.  It was obvious the mole man did not want to be observed, but the steady "clumping" made by his incredibly heavy son did not lend itself well to purposes of stealth.

Once, when Klaatu had stopped the party and clambered down to "stretch my legs and offload some slag" as he put it, Braandu was left alone for a few minutes with Andimia nearby on guard, peering out into the darkness before dawn.  The boy-man "looked" at her for a minute, then started scratching in the dirt under his feet with the point of his shovel.  There was a bit of light appearing in the eastern sky when Klaatu returned, and he climbed up and they began again.

The scratchings said, in Common, "YOU BE MY FREND?"

Braandu did not know if she saw it or not as they started down towards the place where Klaatu said they could camp and rest.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Alexia

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« Reply #129 on: June 05, 2005, 09:40:57 AM »
OOC: Sorry...thought I kept posting.

IC:
As dawn seemed to break way, Alexia had seemingly dozed off from the cold rain and then cool night, causing her to become ill in due time. To give off warmth, she gave Tethon her cape, laying his head in her lap. As the son’s rays started to glisten towards the forest floor, Alexia could feel some of the warmth and lean towards it.

At first she felt a relaxing ease, and then she remembered what had happened, and sighed with a heavy heart. Yet, hunger gurgled through her stomach in loud, obnoxious waves. Standing up crossing her arms to recieve some warmth she headed towards some of the homes for food and came with nothing in hand.

Footsteps were herd at least two miles away, giving her time to send her horse off until needed and hide in one of the burnt trees. She checked Tethon to see if any improvements were made and slowly his color came back. Dragging him off, tucking him in a base of a tree and then proceeding down where he was, Alexia could hear the echo of her stomach. Grabbing a wet leaf, she chewed on it to keep her stomach at ease. With a bitter taste in her mouth she sat near the royal guard and shivered.
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Offline Dream

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« Reply #130 on: June 05, 2005, 06:37:36 PM »
Dawn was breaking as if with some effort, as the night's drizzle had subsided and the sun was having to struggle to lift the edge of the black clouds.  From his vantage point on top of his mount, Klaatu said to the other two, "One more stream, one more to cross and then up the rocks to the safe-cave.  We should hurry, hurry."  

He instructed Andimia as to where to find the cave, and gave her the bow and her pack in case they became separated.  "Braandu and I will enter the stream, THERE" (he pointed) "and we will emerge 8.22 furlongs upstream THERE at those rocks, those rocks so he leaves no footprints to the cave, in case, in case someone is tracking us.  I am sure that one of your skills, your skills will be able to get to that point without leaving a trail, so let us separate and meet at the top of the talus, that talus in about an hour.  The cave entrance is above that, above that, and behind a flat rock."

The giant turned and clumped down to the fast-moving water, avoiding soft ground.  Disappearing into the stream, Braandu walked right to the center of the current and turned upstream, walking against it with no particular effort.  Klaatu took these moments to stash his staff, hyperventilate rapidly; then he slowed his breathing and heartbeat to a crawl once again.  "I hate water!" he muttered in his home tongue.  

The boy's helmet submerged, followed by the trunk-top, then Klaatu under the water, over two fathoms deep.  They disappeared from view.  The mole-man's blood, rich and scarlet red with hemoglobin, evolved from millenia spent in anerobic underground environments, carried an abundant supply of oxygen -- which was being used almost not at all at this point.  He flapped limply behind Braandu like seaweed stuck to the tail of an eel.  His hand, so often used as a shovel, was now clamped like a vise around the leather strap.  He was using virtually no other energy in his body.  

The minutes ticked by.  5... 10... 15... then a ripple, then a wake appeared.  Suddenly, the soggy mole man burst from the surface of the water with a loud "Gasp!" and some splashing.  Then the trunk appeared, with him on top, then his son's head.  As if the mile-long submarine trek had been nothing more than a refreshing spring shower, Braandu emerged onto the rocky beach and started up the talus slope.  Birds were starting to wake up and sing.  The cave was in view... and none too soon for the nervous fundimentalist.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Nobody

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« Reply #131 on: June 05, 2005, 10:10:53 PM »
Tethon's back arched upwards as he reached for his ears in silent, agonizing pain, and then, it was gone. He lay on the ground still shuddering from it all as thought and memory pushed their way through his mind. His heart was racing, pounding in his chest, and only now did it dawn on him exactly where he was, or more accurately, where he wasn't. Now he took in Alexia and stood abruptly, checking the surrounding forests for anything that might endanger them.

"Where are we?"
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Alexia

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« Reply #132 on: June 05, 2005, 10:16:43 PM »
Alexia shivered from her position and put her finger towards her mouth. Two men from the north side had started checking for any survivors. She craned her neck out towards the outside and felt a lump in her throat when he asked where were they. Clenching her jaw she managed to keep the lump down to a mere swallow.

“This place should be familiar.� She managed to say, holding back what little tears were left.
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Offline Andimia

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« Reply #133 on: June 06, 2005, 01:18:51 AM »
Andimia waited until the others were in the water. She made sure that her pack and bow were on tightly and pulled a thin leather strip out to tie her brown curls back into a tail. The half-elf then dove into the water, swimming with the current. By the time she made it to the other side she was about a half mile downriver from where she had entered the water. Climbing up onto a rock, Andimia wrung out her hair and untied it as she sat with her bare feet dangling above the water. She pulled her pack off of her shoulders, setting it onto the rock and got her dry boots out of the sheep stomach bag. She shook the water from her toes and slipped the soft boots on. Getting up, Andimia softly picked her way along the river, careful not to leave noticeable tracks, as she headed for the cave that the Klaatu had described.
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Offline Nobody

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« Reply #134 on: June 06, 2005, 03:16:36 PM »
Recognition seemed to dawn on Tethons face. He looked around again, and looked down, his gaze at the ground held for a few moments.

"Come, we should be gone from here. I do not recognize those two, but even if they are with us, the enemy could return at any time. You must survive to retake the throne, but that day is not yet. I will help you hawever I can, but I truly know nothing of such things, so you will have to decide our course. For now however let us move, we have no time to waste."
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Alexia

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« Reply #135 on: June 06, 2005, 03:46:25 PM »
She wanted to argue and say he was wrong but there was nothing wrong about his words. Stepping out from her ‘hiding’ place, Alexia looked out with another sigh and whistled for her horse who came out of the trees. She had a burden on her shoulders and so did Tethon. “What survivors are left? They’ve decapitated them all and there is no royalty; just a naive girl.� She thought, getting on the horse and waiting for Tethon.
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Offline Dream

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« Reply #136 on: June 07, 2005, 04:59:45 AM »
Klaatu's robe, dripping wet, was already starting to dry.  He was on foot, moving over the mine tailings.  He sniffed the traces of the sharp, acrid signature-smell of tungsten that he had mined out of this location in the past, and used to make arrow-points, and as an alloy for some of his best steels.

Smiling, he thought to himself, "Ahhh, the good stuff.  Hard to find!  19.60 times denser than fresh water.  Twice as dense as my best steel.  Nearly the densist metal I've been able to get".  But then, alarmed, he smelled something else.  A trace of a foul stench.  A familiar stench.

"ORCS!"  He squeaked quietly to Braandu.  "There have been orcs here!  We must be careful.  They might have heard us approach."  The huge armoured boy backed off a bit down the slope, confused, and afraid.

Perhaps with good reason.  A volley of bolts flew out of the cave.  Two struck Klaatu in the chest and one bounced off Braandu's leg.  The mole-man fell back onto the rocks and rolled down the slope.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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« Reply #137 on: June 09, 2005, 08:29:47 PM »
Klaatu rolled down a short distance, then laid flat on his back behind a large rock.  He checked where the two bolts had penetrated the cloth of his robe, but had been stopped by his Erskillite chain mail.  It represented his finest workmanship of a lifetime; made of the most exquisitely tiny composite-metal rings interlocked and individually welded with hardly a trace of a line in the rings.  Only a needle could penetrate the tiny gaps, but the entire article weighed only a few pounds.  The mail was woven inside his robe, in two layers of metallic cloth.

He pulled up his hood over his head and down to his eyes.  It too had chain mail in the cloth.

Crude, hoarse laughter and primitive curses could be heard from inside the cave.  Reflexively, he checked the crossbow bolts.  He threw them away.  

"Crude, ordinary iron points on the bolts.  Bah.  Scarcely better than stone age.  Effective, though.  That one will leave a bruise.  Thank ooloo they didn't hit my face!" he thought.  "I am an idiot!  Too much of a hurry... just had to get into that cave."

"Braandu!"  he squeaked to the figure up the slope.  "Come here!  Bring the chest!  I need my helmet!"  He felt his son's emotions rising.  "Don't be afraid!  The orcs cannot hurt you this time!"

The mole-man waited, peering out from behind the cover, about 100 feet from the cave entrance.  Braandu approached and set down the chest, then cowered back, nervous.  His mind raced back to the last time he had been attacked by orcs.  It was hideous... He tried not to think about it, but the voices were whirling back in there, in his mind, quietly screaming out fear and threats of death.  Again.

Klaatu looked down at the river.  "Where is that lady?" he thought.  "I could use her eyesight.  And I don't want her to walk into a trap!"
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Andimia

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« Reply #138 on: June 09, 2005, 11:54:51 PM »
Andimia continued up towards the cave, nearly dry by now. She thought back to earlier, Had Braandu written something on the ground? She remembered seeing him scratching something into the dirt but didn't pay much attention to it at the time. Suddenly Andi heard rustling in the foliage ahead of her and the click of three crossbows. Snapping out of her thoughts she dodged to her right, two of the bolts wizzed by and the third embedded itself painfully into her left thigh as she rolled into the brush. Cursing she pulled out a dagger and waited silently for her attackers to come for her. Her leg throbbed as blood seeped out from the sides of the wound. She didn't want to risk pulling the bolt out now, she had no time to worry about blood loss and it was rooted past the barb. She cursed at herself for not paying better attention, she could have easily dodged all three bolts if she hadn't been off in thought. She inhaled sharply as the pain flamed up her leg. Stabbing the dagger into the dirt she painfully got into a crouching position and drew the thin sword that Klaatu had given her and picked up the dagger with her left hand.  
I can take care of the first one without a problem, he won't even know what hit him.
Andimia shifted her weight to her right leg as she listened to the Orcs thrash closer. She tensed to strike.....
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Offline Andimia

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« Reply #139 on: June 10, 2005, 12:52:11 PM »
Andi watched through the thick branches as an orc with a heavy sword was slashing through the brush near her. With one forward swipe the orc nearly hits her, and on the backswing to cut more foliage she deflects his blade with the dagger and lunges up on her right leg, easily thrusting the thin blade into the ork. Face to face with the hideous creature she saw the surprise on its appalling mug as she felt the brute's hot blood upon her hand. An orc not too far off was carrying a crossbow, as the creature turned to fire Andi twisted the sword in the dying orc's gut and grabbed the collar of its fetid armor. The creature's knees began to buckle and she guided its falling body with the blade that was wedged in its torso towards the direction of the oncoming bolt; allowing it to catch the barbarian in the back before she let the beast fall lifelessly to the ground; her sword jutting skyward from the corpse. She pulled a dagger from her right thigh and flipped it into the air, catching the flat of the tip between her thumb and two fingers she whipped it at the second ork as he drew his ragged sword. Unable to follow through with the throw due to the pain bubbling in her left leg she was slightly off target and caught the orc, luckily, in the neck. The creature crumpled to its knees, blood gushing from the wound.

Grunting, the orc got back to its feet, determined to take this elf-woman down with his last breath, but the third orc came charging past him, finally aware of the situation.

The pain in Andi's leg began to subside as adrenaline coursed through her veins. Wrenching her blade from the body at her feet Andimia stepped over it and readied herself. The orc ran at her, bringing down its sword with crushing force. She parried with both blades, but the power of the blow knocked her off of her feet; Andi's head painfully struck the ground. As she scrambled back to her feet, all of the color drained from her face. She glanced at the second orc, he had fallen back to his knees and was breathing heavily as blood continued to pool around him. The third orc charged again, this time Andimia dodged under his sword and spun around, stabbing him in the side with her sword and in the back with her dagger.  He bellowed in pain as he reared back, knocking her off her feet once more. They both crumpled to the ground like rag dolls, but Andi was the only one still breathing.

Andimia slowly got up. The bolt had pushed in further, tearing itself sideways during the fight and was now rubbing against bone. She fell painfully back to her knees, her head and leg throbbing. She crawled over and retrieved her sword and dagger from the last ork. Not even bothering to wipe them off she stuck them in their sheaths. Then she crawled over to the orc with the dagger in its throat. He was still kneeling, his hands in the dirt as he growled. With a shaky hand he wrenched the dagger from his throat and with one last burst of energy he lunged at the girl. Startled, Andi rolled out of the way as the dagger struck the ground, buried to the hilt, next to her head. Blood shot from the orc’s wound with each beat of his heart, and as he took his last gasp of air he cursed.

Andi sat up, her legs stretched in front of her. She had crawled behind a bush in case more orcs would come past. Pulling out a clean dagger and biting down on a scrap of leather she dug the bolt out of her leg. She didn’t have time to clean and dress the wound; she needed to find Klaatu and Braandu. Andi took out the thin strip of leather that she normally used to pull her hair back, and tied it tightly around her upper thigh. She unrolled her cloak and cut a strip off of the bottom to wrap around the wound. She made sure that she had all of her things packed up. She quickly made one crude arrow and headed back towards the river, bow in hand. She would find where the moleman and his son got out of the water and walk towards the cave. It was her best bet for finding them.
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Offline Dream

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« Reply #140 on: June 10, 2005, 08:54:19 PM »
Reflexes were strong.  Braandu cowered behind the trunk which stood on its end.  It was a useless gesture, since the trunk was less than half his height.  He stuck out.  To emphasize the point, another volley of a half-dozen bolts shot out from the cave mouth.  Three orcs could be seen in the opening.  One moved outside and ran to one side of the opening and hid behind a large rock as he began to reload the crossbow he carried.

Two arrows bounced off the armoured boy, and two stuck into the trunk.  Klaatu got the trunk open with some difficulty, and pulled out his helmet and slipped it on.  Light and strong, it was formed of tempered alloy steel, with a high-carbon, lava-heated, oil-quenched hardened surface.  Ordinary steel weapons and all lesser blades or points would glance off it as a rule.  The thick padding, eschewed by most men or elves as being unsightly or making their heads look fat, would generally protect his head from heavy weapons such as maces or axes.  He had tested many helmet designs over the years and observed the battlefield effects on those worn by others in severe combat conditions.  This design was his best.  It was superior to any he had seen.  It was practically perfect!

He hated it.  It interfered with his acute hearing and his nose was protected inside instead of being out where it belonged, where it could press into his favorite protective material -- the friendly, cool, moist earth.

Klaatu stood up and peered as well as he could through the thin eye slits.  He shouted to Braandu through the perforated grid over his mouth, "Brandu!  I told you Don't Be Afraid!  We'll take care of them!"

He pulled a vial out of the trunk, and another from under his robe in a practiced manner.  Quickly.  Precisely.  There they were... Atomized carbon dust, liquid nitrogen condensed from the atmosphere, simple potassium chloride.  There was a freeze from the sudden exposure to low atmospheric pressure...  Counteract and control that.  He mixed the materials in the flasks, then held it for a moment.  Energy flowed from his essence, through his hands, into the flasks in a flash!  The flasks glowed with sudden heat, and surplus salts precipitated in a second.  

Done.  

Two flasks of white powder with swirling white gases.  Potassium Cyanide.  Sometimes used with care by alchemists to extract gold from base materials; on living, breathing organisms the effect would be straightforward:

Deadly.

He squeaked/yelled:  "Braandu!  Move up the hill!  When they come out of the cave, HIT THEM!!"
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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« Reply #141 on: June 10, 2005, 10:13:03 PM »
Klaatu had to move fast, before more of the enemy realized they faced only two opponents, and emerged from the cave.  The gas would work best in a confined area.

Braandu's mind still swirled with fears, memories, and voices.  But he looked at his father, and trusted as only a child can...  "Father saved me from the Orcs and the Horrible Troll, and kept me alive" he thought.

So he put his shovel blade instinctively in front of his face and moved purposefully toward the cave entrance.  

Klaatu walked behind the massive figure.  A third crossbow volley shot out.  Three bolts bounced off Braandu and one stuck into his boot, but he and his father moved forward and upwards like an irresistable force.

The alchemist poked out from the side of the much larger figure he was using as cover... and threw the first flask into the cave.  At first, nothing happened.  He threw the second into the dark crack.

There were orc curses, and coughing.  More coughing.  Then, three of the foul orcs burst from the cave opening grasping their throats and choking violently.  Still grasping short iron swords they fell onto the ground and retched, as they writhed and squirmed, their lungs burning.

This was exactly what Braandu was waiting for.  For Years...  And Years!  He strode forward with inexorable determination.  He raised his shovel over his head, and brought the massive metal blade down Flat with primal satisfaction...  

Smash.

Smash.  

Smash.  

The orc standing outside the cave fired a bolt at point-blank range into Braandu's figure and turned to flee.  The rude iron projectile penetrated the steel chain mail into the boy's neck.  Braandu grabbed it and yanked it out with distain and fury.  Tossing it away, he raised his enormous digging tool overhead and swung it down with a force that made it ring against the helmet of the attacker.  The orc was crushed like a rotten egg.  He fell to the ground; his head and most of his chest sprayed out in an unrecognizable, bloody mess.

Holding his breath, Klaatu looked into the cave.  The last two orcs were twitching on the floor, choking in their final throes of death.  He moved back to comfort his son, who was covered with blood and gore.  Braandu's shoulders heaved mighty, dry, soundless sobs of soul-crushing emotion.  The mental force of it flowed outwards to his father like hurricane waves smashing on an unprotected island beach.

"There, there," intoned his father.  "You did what you had to do.  You saved both our lives.   These creatures were Bad and deserved to die.  You are a good boy, Braandu, A Good Boy".
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Nobody

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« Reply #142 on: June 13, 2005, 12:52:02 PM »
OOC: Sorry that I haven't posted for a while, i have been having some real life things that have taken up a lot of time. I'm still short on time so this will have to be a short post. sorry guys.

Tethon quickly followed, getting quickly on the horse and wrapping his arms around Alexia who now sat in front of him. "Where to my Lady"
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Dream

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« Reply #143 on: June 13, 2005, 05:40:24 PM »
Klaatu looked around at the carnage, with disgust.  Disgust, mostly at himself.  He had protected his son from being faced with death for 42 years, before feeling forced out into the real world again.  "Real World"  he thought.  "How can this be real?  This is a nightmare."  What would be the effect on Braandu?  His development stunted for 42 years; locked in that form.  Klaatu could only hope the killing of the orcs would be somehow cathartic, and relieve some of his son's gnawing frustration and unguided anger.  He doubted it.

Braandu was in emotional shock.  The aftermath of the battle seemed to pass in a haze.  Father asked him to follow him to look for Andimia, and he went, clumping along behind, dragging his shovel.  It scraped behind and occasionally caught on and ploughed up large rocks and small trees.  Whatever.

Klaatu put his nose in the ground and sensed for the half-elf from time to time.  <"We are close to her.  Other orcs were about, but are not any more.">  he squeaked to his son.  <"She has been hurt and is leaking energy.  Let us find her quickly!  Braandu... are you listening?">

Whatever.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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« Reply #144 on: June 14, 2005, 04:34:15 PM »
<"There she is!  Down at the water">  Klaatu squeaked to his son.  He scrambled down to the half-elf.  Andimia looked like she had been trampled by a herd of wild animals.  And she clearly favored one leg.

In Common, he cried, "Hello!  Are you all right, all right?  We had some, some trouble."  He waddled over to her.  "That is an ugly wound, ugly.  Let us go to the cave and I can help you.  I have several excellent cleaners and infection-stoppers.  That is one reason I am 320 years old, years old."

He noted her looking around carefully.  "I already sensed, sensed for more orcs.  There are none nearby, unless they are in the trees, the trees."

He turned up toward his son, who stood there looking slumped and sullen.  Not to mention being caked from head to foot with blackening dollups of blood drying on his metallic form.  Klaatu looked down at himself.  His appearance wasn't much better off, thanks to his son's exuberance, and his ribs were starting to ache where the bolt had hit him squarely in the chest.  They all could use some rehabilitation.

He said, "Why not let Braandu, Braandu carry your pack?"  But Klaatu was thinking, "She fought that hard, and then came looking for us.  Perhaps this is a mercenary with a code of honor.  I hope so."
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Andimia

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« Reply #145 on: June 15, 2005, 10:36:58 AM »
Andimia was happy to see the Moleman and his son. The half-elf knew if she ran into more of them on her own that she was surely dead. She flashed a weak smile.
"It looks like we have a bit of company." Andi grinned "but it seems you've already met with them." She packed up the arrow and tied the bow to her pack and handed it to Braandu with a smile. "Thank you. It'll make things a bit easier on my leg."
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Offline Alexia

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« Reply #146 on: June 16, 2005, 11:06:02 AM »
OOC: It’s alright, as you can see I haven’t either! J Work is killing me overtime and getting up two hours early to come in everyday!

IC:
Alexia didn’t say much. She wasn’t in the mood for any type of conversation. “We have some catching up to do.� It was flat and emotionless. Looking out towards the forest she could get nothing by sight but the burning smell of sulfur rang through her nostrils.
I wear that yellow ribbon.

Offline Dream

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« Reply #147 on: June 16, 2005, 04:31:41 PM »
Klaatu led the way to the cave.  He chattered to Andimia.  "How many orcs, orcs did you encounter?  Three?  And you killed them all, them all?  You are quite a remarkable young lady.  Your leg... that's from a bolt?  A bolt?  I can help.  Did you use my sword, my sword?  Yes?  How did you like it?"  He was plainly nervous.

The reason became clear.  They came up to the cave entrance, and the carnage was evident.  Mostly dealt by an 8-year old, albeit one that was a bit larger and heavier than usual.

"Uh, I mean, we had some trouble.  They were in our cave, our cave.  The brutes attacked us.  Without provocation, no provocation.  I was injured, only a bit, no problem, no problem.  And Braandu hates orcs, hates them."  He looked up at Andimia with those glassy eyes.  They showed nothing, but if facial expressions could be read on that furry face they would indicate a turmoil of emotion.  "As do I.  I'll tell you the story, the story later.  You need to know some things about me, I suppose."

He stuck his head in the cave and took a sniff cautiously.  The air was clear enough.  Then he bent down to the two prostrate orcs within.  One still breathed; ever so faintly.  Klaatu placed a hand on his neck.

"So, my vicious friend."  he muttered.  "You are doomed but not yet dead."  The mole man quietly reached into his robe, into his vest, next to the warmth of his own body, and took out a stone.  It looked like yellow quartz.  He placed it onto the orc's neck, just above the heavy leather armour that covered its chest, and placed his hand over it.  

The orc breathed a final breath.  The faint smell of burnt almonds was present in the air.  Klaatu secretly palmed the stone, which now glowed with a pale green light, and slipped it back into his vest.  He whispered to himself and to the stone in his own tongue, <"perhaps something good shall come of you.">
Then he stood up.  "Braandu!  If you would, son, please bury the dead.  Then we shall eat and rest!"  His attitude seemed to have changed dramatically.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Andimia

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« Reply #148 on: June 16, 2005, 11:00:52 PM »
"The sword worked well, very light and quick. The daggers were nice too." Andimia limped along side the moleman as they chatted, but she kept a dagger in her hand as they walked. She wasn't going to be caught off her guard again today. Her ears perked at the slightest sound. When they approached the cave Andimia cringed slightly at the massacre. She looked around trying to discern how many bodies lay strewn about.  
 
Shifting all her weight to her right leg she glanced into the cave and thought that she saw Klaatu take something off of the orc. She scanned the bodies close to her but they were in pretty bad shape and whatever belongings they had were not worth reaching into the gore. She looked up at Braandu, the obvious artist of this bloody picture. She couldn't quite tell how or if all of it affected him. She looked back towards the moleman and wondered why she was still wandering with them. The risks were outweighing any potential profit and they would probably never catch up to the girl and her guard. She gritted her teeth as she gingerly touched the blood-soaked bandages. Looking up she furrowed her brow at the carnage, it reminded her of her village...
 
The door crashed open below her, she had been reading in the rafters again. The orcs surrounding her mother who shot them defiance and they took her down with a heavy club to the head. The blood pooled around her mother's crumpled body as lifeless eyes stared up at Andimia. The screams of her little sister. The flames. Andimia had to jump out of the window. The bodies in the street. Her father had tried to protect his village with the rest of the people. Their bodies littered the street. The orcs only took the cattle....
 
Andimia examined her wound again. She had come a long way from the little brat she was 48 years ago.
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Offline Dream

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« Reply #149 on: June 18, 2005, 08:21:27 PM »
Braandu dug a pit nearby.  His enormous shovel stuck into the ground over and over again with a "shiiick".  Each time, his long arms pressed down on the iron handle, and levered out another bushel of dirt, which was tossed to one side into an ever-growing pile.  Occasionally, he had to step on the blade to crack through a rock with inhuman force.  He didn't tire, and didn't show anything out of the ordinary.

Soon the hole was over half as deep as himself, wider, and longer than he was tall.  It was another hole, one of thousands dug at his father's command.  But this was different.  The others had been dug in search of the minerals and fundimentals the mole man had been prospecting for.  Dad could sniff them out, from deep within the earth.  But this hole would hold the bodies of sentient creatures.  Horrible ones, like the ones that made him this way.  But they had been intelligent in their way, not like animal carcasses he had disposed of in the past.  And he had killed them.  It had been so easy.

He tried not to think about that.  He could not feel anything when he picked up each body and dragged it to the hole and tossed it it.  Sometimes he had to scoop up some stray body parts and shovel them in, too.  Father stood over the hole and intoned some religious phrases that seemed completely inappropriate.  Braandu thought he would feel satisfied by all this.  But he felt empty.  Even the voices were silent.

The last one in.  Shovel the dirt back over them.  Tamp it down with huge flat-bottomed boots.  Back to father.  Get the soap.  Clump down to the river.  Go in.  Scrub, & scrub, & scrub.

Finally.  A feeling!  This felt good.  He pulled his helmet off and rinsed it in the river, then put it on again over his featureless face that no one was allowed to see.  The flowing current ran red.

The scrubbing was taking off the mess from his tunic, as well as past dirt.  Under the water, the emblem of king Telemanxis was becoming apparent again.  Why would such an ordinary task as washing feel good?  He did not know, and would not think about that, either; but he let himself feel it.  The current ran pink.

He recited his chart of fundimentals to himself, went over lessons of energies, and the thousands of interactions he was expected to learn as a fundimentalist.  He tried to purge his mind as well as his body.

The current gradually cleared.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker