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Author Topic: Coldforged - Shadows of War: Chapter 1 - Ûr-Keldon  (Read 20007 times)

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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2005, 01:19:53 PM »
"Well, gentlemen - we might actually want to catch up with our dear employer, and ask him a few questions, well-supported by hefty arguments" I eyed their blades "and learn a bit about why he dragged us here. I seriously doubt that he, Mr. Spolit-to-the-Bone, is in these mountains for vacation. There is something he wants."

Smiling, I added: "Except for the pleasure of denying him exactly that - as a little thanks for getting us into this mess, we might also find that thing of use, and also catch up with the rest, if any, of our troops. I seriously doubt that they can tie their shoelaces without us."
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Alec_Shadowkin

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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2005, 01:24:06 PM »
Flare smiled and nodded. "I agree, Sharee. Marcus isn't going to get the satisfaction of finding whatever he's after. I'd love to help prevent him from getting it." He shrugged his shoulders and adjusted his coat, then walked to where he's woken up and picked up his spear. "I'm ready to go whenever anyone else is." While waiting for the others, Flare dug into his pack and pulled out some smoked meat to chew on.
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« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2005, 04:44:05 PM »
Domunsoka's fleshy new throat twitched disturbingly, and a long black tongue dropped out of it's maw like a stream of blood.
Taking a tentative step, it hissed and snarled, gesturing with it's wooden arm in a direction as if suggesting that they travel that way.

It's wood-and-flesh face roamed eyeless over the band, as if searching for someone.
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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2005, 06:02:32 PM »
Hans struggled to make sense of Domunsoka's gestures and concluded the construct wanted them to move in that particular direction. "Noted" he said and nodded. "Well, I am also in favour of moving towards the Captain and our employer. If Hunthar and... mercenary recruit Solstara wish to travel in the same direction as Domunsoka, we'll have to flip silver" Hans smiled and looked at the two mercs.

Thank the powers that be for Sharee and her persuasive arguements. That was a piece of brutal logic the woman cannot ignore and, probably, will not try out.

Hans Sternflucht had long since learnt that sometimes he lent Sharee's threats a far more menacing and effective ring. While Sharee had the brains and the oratory skills required, she had none of his authority. Sternflucht was, after all, the one people knew was in power.
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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2005, 02:58:43 AM »
A stony expression on her face that betrayed nothing,Solstra gave a stiff,ironic little curtsey in Han's direction.
 
 ''It will be as my Lord Hans wills. Your wish is my command',she said flatly.  Hans's threath had shaken her nerves pretty badly;even a cosseted pleasure slave like her knew what mercenaries were capable of,but she'd be d**ned if she would allow herself to cringe in fear before that vagabond's get,Sharee. No,that vicious hag would get nothing from her.
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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2005, 07:11:37 PM »
Laughing lightly, Hunthar grinned and bowed to Hans, then to Domunsoka as he replied. "In the sake of fairness and democracy, as well as not getting my face torn off by our lovely hybrid here, I cast my vote in Domunsoka's direction. I guess that leaves the vote to...whom?"

With his eyes twinkling, the blacksmith turned mercenary bent over, his chainlink mail clinking against itself as he grabbed more of his stale field rations and began eating once again.
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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2005, 02:42:32 AM »
"So, I think, after considering all relevant opinions, that mister Marcus is in for a visit. They will be blind to our passing..."

"Gather your luggage, or you might be unable to find it. Don't get lost - I wont be running around searching for you."

With these words, I lifted my stave above my head, rammig it with full force into the ground.
Then, I traced the Serra-Taree, the sun-arrows, away from that point, my finger followed by tracesw of fiery sparks.
From the moist forest soil, soaked by the heavy rain, water fled, as a dense vapor, a veil shrouding the surroundings.

"Spirits of the void, of oblivion, of muted fear, be our guardians, o Forgotten, aid us in return for remembrance, o you who art Hollow, carry the mists, for a chance to feel again. O ye Fearful, ward away harm, in exchange for company!"

And they flocked to my call, a swarm of minute spirits, becoming one with the mists - they would sheild us from preying eyes, and carry along the foggy shroud.
Around me, they gathered, merging with my cloak, a deeper shadow, my shroud, my veil of privacy, the opalescent black of their forms a second garment. I felt ... safe ... when fear walked wit me.

A single death spirit settled in my palm, and thus I spoke: "Guide us, lead us to the life-fire of Marcus, the warlock, Marcus the betrayer, the foul, he who led us into peril, he who hath forced his lusts upon Solstara, and you shall feast on his vigor. Now... "
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2005, 07:37:22 AM »
Guided by a spirit and shielded by the spell mists of Sharee, the mercenaries left the forest on a journey that would prove to be more arduous than expected. After only ten minutes they met another merc: Roack, from Sergeant Hollmann’s squad. His wonder at the parting of the mist was only surpassed by the horror written on his face as he noticed the mutilation of his friends and fellow mercs. Later, when he had calmed down, he told them that he had been sent down the mountain by the captain, Craeth, who was anxious for reinforcements. Roack stated that the mercs had split up and only 20 men remained with Captain Craeth Calwydden in his base camp, which lay one days climb below the ruins near the summit. The rest had deserted and joined Marcus el-Keddath while the others slept. The trackers claimed that the traitors had ascended further up the mountain, towards the ruins. This had perplexed the Captain, which wondered why they would desert when there was no other way to come down from the peak.

Thus it happened that they left the forest at noon and marched up the winding mountain path, even carrying on well into the night. Early in the march there had been signs of a failed charge by the barbarians, as their arrow studded corpses littered the ground, their wounds somewhat bruised and a small number of flies present around their cuts. Roack had urged them to take the furs from the barbarian corpses littering the mountain path, for higher up the mountain snow covered everything, and the mercs followed his sound advice. The mercenaries marched on, veiled in a mystic mist of Sharee’s design, and eventually they entered the snow covered areas, the last of vegetation left far below, save for a few bushes, stoically surviving even here.

They followed in the footsteps of the company that had passed days before, and it came to be that they discovered a cave from which emanated strange sounds, a moaning whistle like the breath of some fell beast, or perhaps the sound of the wind playing one of its many strange tricks. Roack had told them then that the Captain had grown pale at the sound and had commanded his men to hurriedly march past the cave and not to look back, even if it felt as if someone stared them in the neck, for, he claimed, their very soul depended on it. So Hans had commanded them onwards, and half an hour later they approached the base camp.

It had been snowing lightly, and the loose, powdery snow had settled on the ground. The night sky was unbelievably clear with a myriad stars gracing the celestial sphere. The stellar constellation known as the Master of Leaves was dominant, which was generally considered an omen of approaching autumn. In Arbad, a town in Southern Ardamien, the fortune tellers often dramatized the importance of the Master of Leaves, telling their customers that the constellation was a sign of change, struggle and of fading glory.

Hans walked in the forefront of the squad, cautiously peering up toward the tents of the base camp dimly lit by a small bonfire that cast shadows which danced wildly against the face of the mountain. The wind came in gusts that carried along the powdery snow, which lashed against their faces, and more than once they had silently thanked Roack for reminding them to bring furs.

“Hello the Camp, we come in peace! This is Sternflucht and his squad, along with Roack and Hunthar. May we enter the camp?” Hans uttered loudly.

But no answer was forthcoming, and the only sign of life was the shadows cast by the bonfire, and the exhausted, tired mercenaries faced each other, puzzlement and caution evident on their faces.
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Offline Roack

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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2005, 09:45:43 AM »
Roack wrapped the lice-infested fur tighter around himself, feeling one of the pitiful creatures crawl around and nestle on his chest. He drew his rapier, and gazed at it, almost lovingly, before bringing his attention fully on the seemingly abondoned fire in front of him. He felt a cold that no coat could shelter him from. He lingered on the thought of running, leaving the mutilated beings Captain Craeth had called "comrades." His own self-preservation interested him more than his horror at the moment, and he inched closer to the fire, gesturing the mercs, whore and doll in tote, to follow.

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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2005, 05:12:45 PM »
The wind buffeted in his face, its frosty bite making the moisture on the inside of his nostrils freeze as he breathed, so Hans clamped a corner of the fur cloak over his mouth and nose. The snow, the moon and the fireplace illuminated the area somewhat giving the mercenaries a relatively good view of their surroundings. Roack walked cautiously past him, his rapier already drawn, and Hans followed, stretching his neck trying to gaze what was within the uphill camp. Right now all they could spy was the tents and the glow of the fireplace. As they followed the path, Hans looked to both sides of the ledge they were traversing. On their left was a sheer drop perhaps twenty meters down to a scree partially covered with powdery snow. On their right was a small, icicle covered mountain wall which rose about eight meters, and on the top heaps of snow had gathered. Hans drew his blade and nodded to those behind him; a signal for them to do likewise.
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« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2005, 01:47:20 AM »
The ominous sight of the mercs drawing their blades was enough to cause Solstra's hackles to rise. First the eerily quiet camp seemingly devoid of life,and now this. Hans had clearly been spooked by something. This situation did not bode well for her.
 
 
 ''Hans'',she whispered,careful to keep her voice from being heard by unseen ears that may have been lurking in silence,waiting for the chance to inflict some dire purpose on their little group. ''This is no place for me,an un-armed woman with nary a dagger to defend herself. With you permission,I would like to retreat someway back where I won't get in the way of you and your men''.
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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2005, 08:38:30 AM »
Hans frowned as he faced the skittish young ex-slave. "Do you remember the ambush, Solstra? Do you remember how they suddenly came out of nowhere and attacked us? You are not safe on your own!" he nodded to Hunthar "You protect the girl, Hunthar. Come with us, fight with us, but try as best you can to protect her"
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« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2005, 09:00:50 AM »
Looking out the corners of his eyes, Flare uneasily examined the apparently abandoned camp. He held a bottled fire in one hand and his spear shaft tightly in the other, his coat tightly closed around him, some of the looted furs covering his shoulders. His chest ached, the d**ned tattoos feeling itchy and uncomfortable, though he knew it was just in his head because of his uneasiness.

He glanced at the slave when she spoke, her brow furrowed. This place felt wrong and breaking its silence was not something he intended to do. He shivered in his coat, and he didn't think it had anything to do with the temperature.
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« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2005, 02:13:37 PM »
Flare, Roack and Hans inched closer to the tents and caught a glimpse of a huge man, tremendously overweight, who had collapsed into the fireplace; his fur coat was smouldering in the embers, emitting the foul stench of burnt fur. The mercs slowly made their way into camp, cautious, alert and battle-ready, looking for signs of an ambush or other dangers.They immediately recognized the corpse as the boisterous Irath, Marcus's Master Chef, a Conquered Lands native and, according to his own, endless boasting, a most renowned and celebrated individual. The southern born cook had, from the look of things, died from a wound inflicted by the arrow which was now deeply lodged between his shoulder blades. Nearby a large, black iron kettle, one the mercs used to prepare their hot meals in, had been overturned and the surrounding snow was soaked with yellow-green pea soup. Irath’s jewellery adorned podgy fingers, stiff with rigor mortis, were clamped firmly around his blood stained cleaver, but there was no meat nearby and no traces of blood on the ground.

Silence had settled on the camp, and only the breathing of the men, the shuffling of steps through powdery snow and the buffeting sounds of the wind could be heard. Footprints were evident where the snow had become packed hard, the traces primarily leading further uphill. Judging by the distance between the individual steps leading out of camp it seemed likely that the mercs had left in a hurry. They had left behind five tents, no doubt full of blankets and travelling equipment, and this, combined with the presence of the dead chef in the fireplace; it was probable that the Captain and his men had left camp in pursuit of some unseen assassin or perhaps fleeing.
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« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2005, 02:29:09 PM »
Roack walked closer to the chef's corpse, bending down to unceremoniously  remove one of the bloated corpse's fingers, pausing to examine the equally large gemstones on them, all the while keeping his eyes on the tents.
He wiped the blood off his rapier almost regretting soiling it with the man's blood, Almost. "Search for supplies, food in particular."
He got up, kicking idly at the snow around Irath, searching for more clues, before he walked up to the nearest of the five tents, opening the flap and disappearing inside.

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« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2005, 04:47:43 PM »
Hunthar blinked as he was singled out to protect the nigh-useless pleasure girl travelling with them, but took it without comment, nodding is acceptance to Hans, then gesturing to Solstara to stay close as he followed a small ways behind the group of three, switching his gaze back and forth between both females in the group. He wasn't worried so much for Sharee's safety; she could handle herself just fine, thank you very much. Instead he wanted to make sure he wouldn't be caught between two warring women.

Satisfied that nothing was amiss between the two, or at least it was surpressed in this chilling environment, he pulled his cloak closer to him, trying to protect himself from the freezing cold as he kept watch over the party. They wouldn't be caught off guard by an ambush again, and the hand on the hilt of his still-sheathed blade laid testament to how far he was willing to go to keep his adoptive family safe.

Angels help the poor soul that might try to hinder this mercenary band.
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« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2005, 09:52:46 AM »
Abandoned, left in a haste. Porky tossed into the fire, all coming to waste.

What had befallen my comrades, all of a sudden,
was it sword or flames of hell?
Was it a demon, foul and fell?
What was their destiny, so blooden?

Marks of violence, switly traced, the tracks still fresh, barely erased...
It is the time.
No longer dazed.
It's about time
our foe we faced.

Like a raven's wings my hands oustretched, the chill air I breathed in
carrying the trace, of life, so sparse, borne on it, though it was thin.
Like flames to me life-fire'd be, each mind a flickerin'
So spirits see, whisper to me, o! Who hath done such sin?
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2005, 10:19:47 AM »
Domunsoka's jaws lolled open as he paced through the wreckage of the silent camp. He crouched in the shadows by an open tent, the steam of his breath making him appear like some sort of draconic monster leering from the darkness.

He pawed the snow with his flesh-hand, and stood, staring downslope towards the corpse of Irath, the bloated and egotistical cook, and muttered a word vaguely, "cold".
It was cold, even cold for the ghost doll, who was nearly insensible to extreme cold, even in his new state. Patches of tattooed flesh shivered disturbingly against wood.
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« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2005, 09:17:56 PM »
Solstra cast a nervous glance at her chaperon,the ever irate Hunthar.

''Hunthar. What has happened here? Is there any chance that those responsible for this might still be around? It seems to me that if there was a chance that that they might be still lingering around,no matter how slight,we should leave before they see us. Or at least that's what self preservation would suggest''.
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« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2005, 02:31:10 PM »
The bitter cold slithered it's way beneath the many layers of Hunthar's protection, chilling him to the bone. And yet, it also seemed to be natural, as if this was where he should be, how he should feel, every moment of every day. Shivering in an attempt to ignore the frigid weather, he almost missed Solstra's inquiry.

"Truly I know not what caused this heap of mayhem and destruction Solstra, however, I'd advise you to stay close to me if you wish to have even an attempt at survival here. The world isn't a nice place beyond the cities of men, and neither are the creatures who live in it; as to why we are still here, we follow wherever Hans leads us, and he has yet to lead us astray. We should be fine though. Whatever did this seems to be long gone."
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« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2005, 09:30:40 PM »
With another wary look around the now deserted camp,Solstra pulled her furs closer to her in a futile effort to keep the keen edge of the chill from cutting at the bones of her slender frame. The she turned towards Hunthar again.

''Oh,don't you worry about me wandering off on my own. I truly have no desire to end up as the meal of some wild beast. Thus,in the interest of keeping myself alive,I fully intend to stick to you like a leech. There's no telling what else might decide to pay this spot a visit. So fret not,for it looks like you'll be stuck with me for a very long time. You won't find that prospect too unpleasant I hope?''.
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« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2005, 09:16:14 AM »
Flare scuffed his boots through the snow while peering into a few of the tents. Seeing nothing, he turned back to the group. He sighed in exasperation when the pleasure-slave opened her mouth again. What he wouldn't give to shut her up, even for a little while.

His tattoos itched. They were driving him mad, but it was too cold to take off his shirt and take care of them, plus, with the temperature so low, his healing creams and substances would be too stiff to use properly anyhow. A hot bath, a warm bed and a chance to deal with these tattoos, all Flare could possibly want right now.
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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2005, 06:28:33 PM »
The mercenaries rummaged through the camp, searching for clues and scanning their surroundings. Meanwhile Sharee stood alone by the slowly dying bonfire, her arms outstretched. She recited a short rhyme and then began chanting the incantations necessary for her communion with the spirits. The wind chilled her face, stung her cheeks, and the powdery snow dusted her furs and robes with a thin layer of white. Midnight had long since passed and the moonlight illuminated the mountains. Roack sat hacking with his rapier, using its blade to cut the fingers off the rigid corpse of the fat cook. Hunthar and Solstra stood close together and Sharee could hear the slave whine for every step she took. A bit further away Flare looked upon the slave, a frown upon his face, a sentiment Sharee could relate to. Then there was Domunsoka. The wooden man had changed much lately and now he stood apart from the others, his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and then... he spoke… "Cold" He was cold... Well so was everyone else.

Focusing upon her spell, Sharee blocked out all disturbances and began whispering. They were foreign words, known only to the dead and those who had studied them; her seduction of the dead had begun.  

After a while, Sharee noticed movement in the corner of her eye and turned about. Up against the wall of the mountain stood the ghostly shape of an immense man, his chest pierced by an arrow. He was screaming and crying, spectral tears running down his cheek, his right index finger pointed at Roack as he mutilated the corpse. “Stop, NO! Don’t! NO!” the spirit screamed. “This CAN’T BE! Oh, no… Why me? I thought I was your friend!” There was something odd about the spirit, something… wrong… But Sharee couldn’t quite determine what it was. Then the spirit noticed Sharee. “You… you can see me!" It said. "You can see me!"

Flare was chilled to the bone and held his arms tight to his chest in a vain attempt to keep his warmth. He studied Sharee as she whispered something indecipherable, her eyes rolled back into her head, only the whites showing. Her cheeks were red from frostbite, something which had to be uncomfortable. Still she carried on, in her crucifix pose, and then, with a sudden, jerking motion, she snapped her head towards the mountain wall, her eyes rolling back in position and fixating upon something unseen to anyone but her.

Time passed and Hunthar watched as Hans entered one of the tents in search for provisions. Solstra whined about the dangers that be, but he ignored her, for from far away he heard other sounds; in the distance men was screaming in outrage and pain.
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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2005, 03:05:08 PM »
I beckoned to the shadow, my voice so low that it made the snowflakes flicker.
"Speak, and let us have part - in who or what pierced your heart.
Speak of the captain, where he went, with all the mercenaries' might,
This fateful night, so full of fright, why did he leave his tent?

Come closer, and speak, yet your manners mind
rest you will find if you truth do leak
but threaten, and I'll lock you behind
the Abyssal gates, where all's deaf and blind."

Snow slowly settled on my questioning features, catching the crimson light of the torches, appearing as frozen flame.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Chapter 1: Ûr-Keldon [ON HOLD]
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2005, 08:06:49 PM »
Frigid ice, cold, biting, nipping at his skin; and yet, it felt good, almost natural, as if this were the way things were to be, now and always.

Hunthar watched the others of the mercenary band rumage and loot the camp of the dead with merely half an eye, the other one and a half devoted to Solstra, who for the love of the gods couldn't seem to realize when to shut up. He sighed and put his head into his hands, rubbing his eyes. The tattoos on his body hurt, providing a wonderful distraction from the incessant voice of the pleasure slave. In fact, so distracting was it that he almost didn't hear the screams.

His head snapped up, and he growled a quick "Silence!" to Solstra, listening closer. Yes, there it was again! The sounds of screaming, of torture and fighting and killing. He knew such sounds, they had been his life for the past two years. Gone were the easy, happy days of the forge; now the world was the forge, and he the steel being molded and bent to the will of the blacksmith. Who that blacksmith was, he didn't know, and right now he was too concerned with the sounds cascading his ears to care.

"Captain! Listen! Over there, the sounds of fighting!"
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STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

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