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Offline Wogden

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« Reply #125 on: September 19, 2005, 01:15:36 PM »
The sound of ravenous eating - coupled with a sudden unpleasant, bittersweet smell - caused Smeed to look up from his card-gathering. A new figure was squatting by the boar, engorging itself with wild abandon. Smeed couldn't remember seeing a fellow like this before. Hopefully he was harmless and just hungry. He cleared his throat tentatively, hoping to get the man's attention.

Nothing happened. It was clear that the boar was far too engaging to allow this man's attention to be diverted so easily. Somewhat daunted, Smeed ventured a welcome.

"Good day, sir!" he began, in what he hoped was a friendly and non-violent tone. "I see you are hungry... hungry indeed -" Smeed trailed off when still no reply was forthcoming. It was almost obscene, how this man ate. And the new, foul smell was definitely wafting from his person. "Hungry. Yes. Er, but that boar is going to need to be shared amongst a good many people..."
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline POG

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« Reply #126 on: September 19, 2005, 02:10:45 PM »
Baldwin’s brow creased as he digested Holly’s words.  To his side Rory chewed on a slice of roast boar, slowly savoring its juicy taste.  Several of the children frolicked behind Rory, drawn to him like moths to flame.  

d**n, Baldwin thought, we can’t leave the children but we don’t have horses for all of them.  The pondered the situation, knowing that the solution was probably right under his nose.  He warily eyed Odat, who was enjoying some of the boar.  The man was a drunkard to be sure, but Baldwin felt there was more to him than apparent on the surface, nothing though that could be useful at this time, without him knowing more about the man.

He looked at Holly, Rory would see a pretty girl who was a capable fighter, Baldwin saw a capable fighter who just happened to be a pretty girl.  She could be depended on in a tight spot.

Grumple.  Baldwin still didn’t know what to make of the mini-troll.  He could bear the evil spear without it really controlling him.  This was a valuable thing.  Grumple needed supervision though and Brother Tantus, although he had been keeping to himself of late, could handle that.  Tantus was also a gifted healer and although he refused to participate in battle because of his vows the sight of a seven foot bugbear among their ranks was bound to cause a bit of consternation in their enemies Baldwin thought with a smile.

Then there was Smeed, a man who, by Baldwin’s estimation, had sold himself short on his own estimation of his usefulness.  Although not a fighter, he had shown himself to be calm under pressure as well as well versed in matters arcane and mundane.  I’ll have to ask him about that spear.

Baldwin’s musings were interrupted by his brother speaking around a mouthful of roasted pork.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Win, the way I see it we have to move pretty quickly.â€?

“Right…â€?  Baldwin replied.

“But there’s the matter of these children.â€?  Baldwin nodded; this concern echoed his own sentiments.  He looked at Yas who was testing the pull of a goblin bow she had retrieved from one of the bodies; it was about right for her.

“I think we should split up.�

Baldwin hadn’t thought of that.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Why?â€?

“The soldiers will be back.  Now I don’t know if they can track that spear of if they are tracking the horses, but either way they’ll be back.  We got these kids to think about.â€?  Rory took a swallow of wine.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“I think that two of us should take the horses down the road and the rest should take the kids through the woods.â€?

“Breaking trail?  Come on Rory.  A two year old could track a group this large thru these woods.

“Not if I use magik to cover the trail.  That way, our only visible trail, to those not versed in magik, will be the hoof prints on the road.â€?

“Sounds like you’ve thought this through.�

Rory’s answer was a wide grin.

“Holly and Smeed what do you think of the plan?  Oh and Smeed what can you tell me about that spear?  I’ve have a mind to leave it here but the fact that those murdering dogs want it is probably reason enough to keep them from getting it.â€?…
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Wogden

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« Reply #127 on: September 19, 2005, 03:35:10 PM »
Wrinkling his nose at the smell - now almost a solid form hanging in the air - Smeed gave up on the new man. Let the fellow enjoy his meal. He wasn't one to pick fights over meals - though he hadn't had any of that boar yet himself...
 
Rory's words drifted over to where Smeed stood. Splitting up? The group with the children might find it hard going through the woods, especially if care had to be taken to erase their tracks, further slowing them down - yet if the horse ploy was played well enough, it just might work.
 
Pondering this by himself, Smeed sat down to think - only to give a start a moment later, hearing his own name. Good lord! They thought highly enough of him to ask his advice? Brightening considerably, he stammered out a reply.
 
"Er, clever! Yes, clever indeed... I had no idea you could work that sort of magik, good sir!" Smeed's mind was on the spear, not the plan. He had had a sinking feeling the matter would come up at some point, and having experienced the weapon's power firsthand, he hardly needed a second prompting.
 
"That vile thing seems to me to be enchanted in some fashion... some way that lets it influence the mind of its bearer, and change their nature to suit its whims." He coughed, not wanting to say the rest. But it had to be done if the actual nature of the weapon was to be discovered. "Much as I loathe the thing, I would have to study it... perhaps consult the cards... perhaps run a few tests..." He realized that none of them would have any idea of what he was taking about. It was time for some explanation. He cleared his throat and began talking hastily.
 
"Before I was a fortune-teller - a very long time before - I studied magik for a while under my uncle's teaching. But... well, I turned out a failure -" his cheeks reddened and he looked at the ground "- and I needed something else to fall back on. So I started telling fortunes - it takes much less magikal skill, you see."
 
Giving a sigh, Smeed sat down again. His secret was out - now they could all laugh at him, like his uncle's oh-so-talented son had. "I can read the cards - any fool can - and do a few minor tests for magik in objects, but anything more complex is beyond me, failure that I am."
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline POG

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« Reply #128 on: September 19, 2005, 04:15:54 PM »
Rory’s eyes softened a bit at hearing the treatment Smeed had received when trying to learn magik.  Baldwin let out a sharp laugh.

Smeed had to think that Baldwin was laughing at him.

Baldwin laughed again but not unkindly, “Mr. Smeed you’re Rory grown up.â€?  Rory shot his brother a hard look.

“Mr. Smeed what my oaf of a brother is tryin to say is that when I was younger I too was apprenticed to learn ‘formal’ magik.â€?  Rory placed a reassuring hand on Smeed’s shoulder, “I too failed miserably.  My mind just doesn’t work that way and I suspect that yours doesn’t either.  We’re similar in that we’re good for more than swinging swords and shooting things with arrows.â€?  He shot another look at Baldwin who hid a smile by turning away.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“We’re wilders and in a way that’s better than being formal magicians.  Components and funny hand gestures, magik wands and scrolls, they need those crutches as a bridge to real magik.  Wilders don’t need that.  If you can really read fortunes you can see real magik the way it really is.  All that’s left is for you to teach yourself to touch it.  True divination is no small thing.  Don’t take the fact that you can so it accurately lightly.â€?  He gave Smeed’s shoulder a pat before grabbing another two pieces of boar, passing one to the older man.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“I’ll bet you’re really good at magik.  You just haven’t found the wild path yet.  It’s never too late to learn.  I’ll tell you what. If you teach me how to tell fortunes I’ll try to teach you some things about Wilder Magik.  What do you say?â€?

Baldwin turned to Holly, “Grumple needs to come with the horses so he can bring the spear.  We can’t chance that the soldiers can track it.  I’ll be leading the horses down the road.  I think brother Tantus needs to go with the children,  Rory, and Smeed also.  Will you come with me down the road?â€?…
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Wogden

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« Reply #129 on: September 19, 2005, 05:44:31 PM »
Smeed took the piece of boar mechanically, his mind racing - half with confusion, half with hope. Wilder Magik? Rory was a failed apprentice like him? What manner of coincidence was this? And if such a thing was true - did this mean he had wasted half his life for nothing?

Regrets aside, the prospect beckoned to the old man. It seemed that a curtain had been drawn back from the horizon, and all sorts of sparkling vistas were calling his name... Perhaps he could be something, after all... He bit into the boar without thinking, and the taste brought him back to the present. He found himself stammering agreement.

"Er... yes, of course! That is, yes, I'd be glad - elated - to teach you to tell fortunes - it's nothing, really - would you honestly help an old fellow like me learn  this... Wilder Magik?" Without waiting for an answer, Smeed fumbled with this pack, starting to draw out the cards he had just put away. Common sense had its share to say, though - they should get moving, he could show Rory the art of clairvoyance once they were safely away. "But I suppose we should get to safety first... Can't teach you much with the army knocking on our doorstep..." He gave a chuckle. For the first time in a good while, Smeed Wenderferns was actually happy.
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #130 on: September 19, 2005, 07:28:21 PM »
Holly nodded her agreement, "yes i will come with you and the horses, it seem's an excellent idea to me" She smiled at Baldwin, she stood up straightened her cloths out and flicked back her hair letting one part drop in front of her eye, "the soldiers will more than likely follow the spear rather than the children, but when should we meet with the others, i believe that we should all meet at Halbad, that way we have an arrangement for place, and we can not lose contact with the others, i have a friend who can send messages for me when i need it, and i could always call on him if needs be, to make sure that everything is going smoothly" Holly stopped for a break making sure that they were taking in each word that she said, "Rory i do believe that you will do the job well and proper, i believe that you are stronger than you believe" Holly giggled casting a sly eye over at Rory and winking.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

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« Reply #131 on: September 19, 2005, 08:30:13 PM »
Grumple came back to the group, and looked at everyone talking.  Sounded important, whatever it was!  Grumple stood there looking as agreeable as possible, turning his head quickly back and forth and from face to face as they spoke until he was dizzy.

Then Grumple noticed the newcomer staring crosseyed at His Spear.  That did not make Grumple feel quite so agreeable.  Then the brothers were looking at it.  Then the little old man!  Grumple grabbed the spear and held it standing upright, gripping it tightly.  Now Grumple felt a bit more agreeable again.

Nodding his lumpy head up and down, Grumple was ready to go.  Why not?  The boar was ruined and they had eaten it anyway.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

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« Reply #132 on: September 19, 2005, 09:05:55 PM »
Rory grinned and held Holly by the shoulders kissing her on both cheeks.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Keep my brother from having too much fun without me.â€?  The children were already packing what little supplies they had, and filling the firepit with dirt.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“As far as meeting in Halbad, remember Baldwin and I have family there so it’ll be easy to have a focal point.  Won’t it Win?â€?

Baldwin looked at Rory with that look that close brothers have when thinking about the same thing.  He shook his head, “Yeah, I hope we won’t be too busy dealing with that situation.â€?  The brothers clasped forearms and hugged briefly.

“Hey Win I’ll see you.â€?  He tapped the center of his forehead.  

“Walk good.� Winn countered.

Before Rory started to the other side of the clearing with the children and  Smeed he looked at his brother then at Yas who was standing halfway between the two groups.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“You should probably handle that.â€?  He said almost apologetically, with a small shrug.

Yas didn’t understand what she was feeling.  Her bond to Baldwin formed instantly, infatuation at first sight.  Part of it was, and this part she would not admit, a teenagers crush, Baldwin was strong, and very attractive.  The other part though was how the man dominated the environment around him without even trying.  His presence, his skills at arms, his courage in battle and fearless leadership was something that she aspired to.  She wanted to be like him far more than she was attracted to him.  He was an island of security in a chaotic world gone mad.  She had lost her father years ago, and her mother just days ago.  She didn’t want to leave him; that much she knew.  Her wide eyes shone with unshed tears.  She had added the goblin short bow and quiver of arrows to the equipment she carried and stood looking at him.  For her the entire world had fallen away,  except for him.

“Yas,â€?  Baldwin began, somewhat unsure of where to begin.  Rory was far better at this sort of thing.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“While I’m gone…I…I would like you to look after my brother for me.  It’s a very important job…and…and I’ll understand if you don’t want to do it, he can be a handful at times.â€?

Yas’ eyes widened, a single tear slowly falling down her face, “You’d entrust me to do such an important thing?�

“Well if you don’t think you’re capable…�Baldwin began.

“No! I mean yes.  I mean I’ll do it.â€?  She couldn’t believe her ears.  She wouldn’t let him down.  She’d make sure Rory was protected by all means.  

“Now in order to do this…um you’ll have to be properly equipped.  So…â€?  He removed a long knife from his belt.  It was almost the length of the short sword she carried but was made of far stronger steel, masterful workmanship and was keen enough to slice a hair lengthwise.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“This is my dagger but I’m lending it to you.â€?  He placed his hand over hers on the handle, “When we meet again and have time…I’ll teach you how to use it properly.â€?

Yas’ smile was bright enough to read by on a dark night as she accepted the dagger with two hands.  Baldwin tousled her hair.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Now go make me proud.  And remember, you are still the leader of the children.â€?

“I remember.â€?  She sniffed back tears of joy, “I wont let you down.â€?

Rory mouthed a ‘well done’ as melted into the woods with the children in tow.  Baldwin went along with Holly to the road, hoping Grumple would come along.  They had to hustle if they were going to gain distance on the soldiers…
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #133 on: September 20, 2005, 05:10:42 PM »
Holly walked up to the horse she had ridden in on and hoisted herself onto the saddle, she looked behind and watched as Grumple came waddling along behind them, she bent low grabbed him and put him on the horse in front of her, "you may ride with me" the horse made a small whinny and backed off a few steps from where it was standing, Holly leant forward whispered some encouraging words into it's ear and it straightened up, looking like a true warrior horse, Holly kicked it forward and it lifted it's feet with pride, she pulled up level with Baldwin and nodded "this will work won't it? we will see the others again won't we?" she smiled and blinked a small tear rolled down her cheek, she had not long meet these people but she had become attached to them quite abit ecspecially Rory, she turned and watched as she saw the last of the other group disappearing into the tree's, she looked at Baldwin and smiled "we should move, it could be anytime that the soldiers come back, she pushed her horse forward along the path at a slow walk.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

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« Reply #134 on: September 20, 2005, 06:08:56 PM »
Grumple wasn't expecting that.  When the skinny woman scooped him up, the spear almost snagged first the horse's jaw, then the woman's ear!  It seemed to have a "mind" of its own, and its mind clearly was set upon injury.  Grumple gripped it tightly with both hands until it settled down and stopped wavering around.  Then Grumple continued to watch it as the horse moved off down the trail.

Not that that was guaranteed, either.  Only Holly's excellent horsemanship kept the beast from rearing or bucking; particularly with one of her hands holding Grumple while Grumple held the spear.  There are few horses indeed that will suffer a troll gladly.  This steed was no exception, sensing perhaps Grumple's appreciation for a good horse.  (Yep!... Right down to the bone!)

So off they went, with Grumple thinking, "Horse trots now.  Grumple can run that fast.  Wish woman put Grumple down."
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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« Reply #135 on: September 20, 2005, 06:31:02 PM »
Realen Fox practically stumbled, once again, into Palaten at dawn on horseback.  He had no energy to appreciate the beautiful scenery this time; even less for the miserable state of the captive population.  Morever, it did nothing to raise his level of enthusiam when Captain Kraggis' first words were, "Is the Troll dead?  Did you get my spear?"

"Yes, sir!  No, sir!"  Fox spat out.  (Maybe it wasn't best to report the troll actually dead, but there was quite a bit of gore.  And he had to report something positive.)

Kraggis glared at him, half angry, and half impressed with the Corporal's tenacity, "Status?!" he barked.  

Fox replied crisply and professionally, "No enemy found for certain, alive or dead.  There were only signs of a few warriors.  A small number of spent arrows.  No sign of wounded.  Fifteen Blackhand dead, some by unknown means.  At least a half-dozen horses stolen by some armed civilians, found with numerous children a short distance from the battle area.  I did not see the spear, but I was discovered and had to run.  One more thing...  Signs of a baby troll.  Sir!"

Kraggis looked him in the eye for a moment.  So that was it.  

"Brief Lieutenant Millerson, then get yourself some sleep, boy.  Join up with the Penkwe when you can.  I'm leading 50 calvary and 5 ballista teams out of here in 20 minutes.  Dismissed!"
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Wogden

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« Reply #136 on: September 20, 2005, 09:22:12 PM »
His mind abuzz, Smeed shouldered his pack and ushered the last of the children into the forest's eaves, before taking one last look around the campsite and heading off himself to catch up with Rory. He found himself almost skipping - something he'd not done for a very long time indeed. If he really could learn magik...
 
Falling in step with the taller, younger man, Smeed pondered his appearance silently. From the outside, Rory was nothing special - thin, wiry and hardly imposing. Yet he had an air about him that suggested much more than the eye could discern. Including this strange, wild talent he had spoken of, apparently.
 
Smeed broke the silence with a short cough. "So, your brother Baldwin, does he not have this... Wilder Magik? Does it run in families, as ordinary magikal talent does?" If so, he might be lucky. Several of his family members had been adept at the arcane arts... "Or does it pick minds at random?"
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline POG

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« Reply #137 on: September 21, 2005, 03:29:36 AM »
Baldwin spurred his horse to a gallop.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Hurry,â€?   He yelled back at Holly.  We need to gain distance on those soldiers.  He charged forward down the road as the sky brightened with the coming dawn.  His mind unbidden returned to Yas.  She was quite a girl.  She reminded him of himself at her age.  Baldwin looked at Holly holding the troll.  Grumple looked far from happy.  He couldn’t help but crack a smile as he put his head down and urged his mount to put more distance between them and the pursuit.

**********************************


Rory looked thoughtful as he considered Smeed’s question.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“I believe it runs in families but my family couldn’t be bothered with magik.  It’s not valued.â€?  He didn’t look bitter as he said this, “My parents apprenticed me to a Mage of great renown and when it didn’t work out they felt vindicated.â€?  He popped a pumpkin seed into his mouth.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“The only one who ever thought it was worth anything was Baldwin.â€?

The group was traveling down a twisting narrow forest trail, most probably used by animals.  Although the sun was nearly up the shadows were a tangible presence under the cover of the forest canopy.  The children traveled in silence, the trials of the last week teaching them the value of stealthy travel.  Yas kept one eye on the children and the other on Rory.  She was remembering her promise not to let Baldwin down.

Rory looked at Smeed.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“There’s no time like the present for your first lesson.  We’ll start off easy.  I’m sure you’ve heard of auras.  They surround everything the force that gives us life the force in plants, animals, even things like rocks and dirt to a lesser extent has its own aura.  I think that if you concentrate you can see them by unfocusing your eyes a little.  Divination is merely being able to read the interplay of these forces.  Clairvoyance is the ability to see things beyond the ability of your two eyes.  It’s just a step above looking at auras.  All wilder magik is is a manipulation of these forces.  Not with your hands though but with your mind.  It takes concentration at first but then it becomes easier.  Seeing non magikal things requires a more subtle touch.  When you become good it’s possible to track someone using magik alone or erase your own trail.  I don’t know anyone who’s better at tracking than Baldwin but if I use magik he can’t find me in the woods.  If I use magik to track him it’s as easy as rain finding the ground.â€?

Rory pulled out a small dark brown leather pouch and tied it to the sling on his staff.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“I want you to practice seeing auras with your eyes open and closed, focused and unfocused.  I want you to tell me which one of these kids has the strongest aura.  That should be easy.  Then, I want you to tell me what’s in the pouch.â€?  Rory winked at the older man.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Take your time, and remember this is a lesson not a test.â€?…
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Nobody

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« Reply #138 on: September 21, 2005, 07:56:51 AM »
Odat was now walking again. He had just followed the larger crowd. Even if that crowd was filled with a lot of children. He had a large birth around him as the children were staying away from him. With good reason too. He looked about to fall over all the time, and nobody wanted to be underneath him when that happened.

Overhearing the conversation, and not grasping the fact that they may have wished for privacy, he decided to join in.

"Nod, errythinzz done withhh mazzik you knoww." he said in a slurr of words that were barely comprehensible. "furr azample, the godddzz arrrr thoughd to yuuuzze somethinnnng elzz i thingggg(k). Nevver nodice howww divvvine spillsss cannn ollly bee trazed bag to the spelllcassssster, bud the cassster dunnt knoww a lick uff magick? Thaz cuzz id stars off azz somethinggg else bud chanzes when id reagis the spu, spa, spo, urrr the perzzon."
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #139 on: September 21, 2005, 11:40:45 AM »
holly smiled she was born to ride and she leant down spoke into the horses ear, and it whined, instantly galloping forward weaving round branches and tree's in the way, she soon caught up with Baldwin, and called over the horses pounding feet, "come on race you to the end of the trail see what we find" she grinned and spurred the horse on abit faster, the horses hooves intertwined with Holly's heartbeats, the mane flowing back in the wind, he was a fine horse, and knew how to run, she earged him on a bit more this was great, she called out a huge smile across her face.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #140 on: September 21, 2005, 04:51:55 PM »
Several of the children continually gave Odat glances that the man seemed not to notice. They whispered among themselves, and some were unsettled by his presence. Tantus couldn't help but notice himself, such men were problems, too hooked on whatever juice filled their flasks to notice the world around them. They were either wretched creatures whoi filled their meager lives with wanton amounts of liquor, whores, and debauchery to hide the fact that they were morally bankrupt. Others were those who were eaten by secrets. Traitors, betrayors, mutineers and kinslayers, those were hard drinking men who forgot themselves and their crimes in a haze of drunkeness.

Whoever he was, his smell rivaled the stumpy troll's. Grumple might think that a fun game, to see which of the two could stink worse. Unfortunately that would be an unfair contest, a drunk was a drunk, and a troll could eat things that would make death vomit. He had seen an adult troll eat a tree stump out of the ground, toadstools and all, he had also seen them eat grown men, and he had found their remains...after they had been eaten. Thankfully there was little left but what was left was horrific in the extreme.

"Pardon me, brother." Tantus said, moving close to the staggering man. "Perhaps you would be willing to allow me a drink of your flask?"


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

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Offline Wogden

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« Reply #141 on: September 21, 2005, 06:55:17 PM »
Auras. Smeed remembered a little of his uncle's lesson concerning auras, but Rory had put it far more bluntly. Old Uncle Provis had blustered on about transvoyancy, spectrum vibrations, relative aura emission frequency significance - the words had soared right over his juvenile head. It might have helped if his absent-minded, stuffy tutor had remembered he was supposed to be teaching the subject, not just reciting it. Try as he might, Smeed had never really been able to see anything in that dusty tower room - yet everything was worth a second try, wasn't it?

Smeed shut his eyes and held his breath. He didn't know why he was holding his breath, but it seemed like something one might do when doing magik. He concentrated on seeing these auras Rory had described... but, try as he might, nothing seemed forthcoming. Perhaps he wasn't cut out for Wilder Magik after all...

Letting out his breath in a disappointed sigh, Smeed opened his eyes to explain his failure to Rory - and the words died on his lips. For a split second as his old, sharp eyes drifted out of focus, something had changed. Exactly what, he couldn't say, but he eagerly tried again, letting his eyes slowly lose focus...

The effect hit Smeed like a glance into straight sunlight - he was momentarily shocked, and lost it again. But there had been a definite glow - like everything was suffused with its own radiance... he tried again, this time steeling himself for the shock.

"Dear Lord," Smeed breathed, entranced. There they were - dancing flickers of light, encasing everything inside their glow... Each child, each tree, each blade of grass lining the rough trail... It was simply wondrous.

He remembered Rory's challenge. Which child's aura was strongest... Smeed ran his newfound gaze over the group of tired youths - and rested it on two at the head of the pack - Yas, and another boy whose name he didn't know, being half-supported by another, less radiant child. The hobbling boy's aura seemed to glow nd crackle, sending off sparks that entwined with Yas's, and Smeed suddenly found he knew two things: this boy was Yas's brother, and he had just as much magik potential as Rory himself.

Amazed by what he saw, Smeed managed to stammer out an answer to Rory's quizzical grin. "The... The boy up there, with the bad leg... He has the strongest aura... Nearly as strong as yours!" He could hardly believe he was actually performing Magik...

"But... the pouch," he went on, "Surely I won't be able to look through lather with this sight?" As far as he could see, inanimate objects had barely any aura... How could he sense something as dim as that?
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Dream

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« Reply #142 on: September 21, 2005, 08:17:28 PM »
OCC:  By the gods (and demons?), Scrasamax!  You made me laugh until I cried!  

"...and a troll could eat things that would make death vomit. He had seen an adult troll eat a tree stump out of the ground, toadstools and all,..."  Indeed.

And you all seems to outdo yourselves again and again.  Callista, our beautiful and romantic action queen.  Wogden with the perfect touch of observation and introspection.  POG, whom I've raved about before.  Nobody, I know all too well... well, nobody writes like Nobody!  (I'm waiting for Odat to cut loose.)  Thank you so much, everybody!  


IC:  The first rays of sunrise glinted over the assembled Penkwe.  Nearly 100 men, including 50 calvary, 25 archers on the wagons with the ballistas, and assorted support and logistics teams stood in formation on the courtyard just inside the main gates.  Astride an enormous black charger with full chain mail, Captain Kraggis moved up and down dramatically before the troops, inspecting.  They were ready.

But a slender figure clothed in a hooded gray cloak shuffled over to Captain Kraggis as his horse pranced sideways.  Kraggis immediately took notice.  The mysterious character said to Kraggis in almost a whisper: "Belzar is here, and orders you to come."

The captain paled, then recovered.  "Lieutenant Millerson!  Take the Penkwe to the forest!  I shall bring up the rear!!"

The calvary thundered out the gates led by the Lieutenant.  Five Dekms.  Excellent horsemen, all.  Dust boiled up and mixed with the fog, shining red in the morning sun.

Kraggis watched them pour out through the gate, then respectfully dismounted and followed the hooded Kras-minion to the Keep, where Lord Belzar awaited.  In the cool of the morning, the Captain was starting to sweat.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Nobody

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« Reply #143 on: September 21, 2005, 08:18:02 PM »
"Errr, surrr, hhhavve somee. Yer look like yerrr could uzzzze id"

He handed off his half emptied flask to the large Bugbear after taking one final swig of the potent drink." Yer mighhd wanta mix a liddle wader'n thaad flasg. Izz preddy strong righd now."
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline POG

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« Reply #144 on: September 21, 2005, 09:14:40 PM »
Baldwin spurred his mount onward caught up in the race.  He was impressed, Holly could ride.  He lost himself in the joy of riding as the wind blew through his hair.  He bent low over his horse’s neck speaking to him, urging the stallion to gallop forward with all it had.  Large clods of mud flew as the horses raced down the road.  The other horses in the pack stretching their long legs to keep up, tied as they were to the lead horses the entire group sped around a bend in the road at breakneck speed as the sun rose, dispelling the clinging nighttime mist.

**********************************

Rory glanced at Odat, what the man said intrigued him.  He’d have to have a talk with him about divine spells if he ever sobered up.  Or, thought Rory mischiveiously he could get drunk enough to get on Odat’s level.  Even if he couldn’t it’d be fun to try,  especially if Holly was around.

He smiled at Smeed’s success.  The man had the Wilder in him for sure.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Excellent!â€? he said.  He glanced up at the pouch, then back at Smeed with a quizzical expression.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Take your time.â€?….
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #145 on: September 22, 2005, 11:34:00 AM »
Holly laughed as the sun shone on the top of her head making her hair shine even brighter then it did usually, they were neck-in-neck as the road began to wind to the right then to the left, making all of the others behind have to weave and dodge there way through, Holly's horse and baldwins seemed to the strongest of the lot, as they powered there way through, there was an opening just ahead and Holly began to urge the horse on faster and faster, the opening was coming up wider and wider until it filled the whole of the path with sunlight, there it was a huge green field stretching out in front of them, reaching for miles and miles around, the grass waved in each direction as the cool breeze blew around them, Holly stopped as suddenly as she had started, the horses hooves skidding a tiny bit on the small bit's of stone on the trail, it was beautiful the sun shone on the grass picking out tiny bits of dew on the blades, Holly pushed the horse forward, it walked into the grass, Holly took a deep breathe smelling the fresh air around them and the smell of early morning dew on the floor, twinkling in the sunlight, Holly dismounted and walked forward holding onto the horses reins.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #146 on: September 22, 2005, 04:03:37 PM »
"It is said that Sister Catherine of Alberta was among the most adamant of the faith in the rejection of any and all spirits. She tried to have even the sacred wine replaced with unfermented grape juice." Tantus said, quoting from his teachings. "She said that strong drink poisoned the mind, and the body and lead to the inescapable taint of the soul." Tantus mimed taking a drink from the flask, raising it to his lips but not letting drop into his mouth. He could smell the soul alcoholic vapor that came from it, and knew it to be potent. Even with his larger size and metabolism, a drink of this potency could render him giddy and drunk.

He handed the flask back to Odat, wiping at his mouth in a satisfied manner. Young Rory and the not so young Smeed would have seen a flare of light, a perceptible brightening of Tantus' aura as he wove the orison, or small prayer, into Odat's flask. Invoking Catherine of Alberta was all that was required, and the contents of the vessel recieving her blessing would be altered. Rather than finding strong drink, the drinker would find each drink worse than the last, going from slighly poor in taste to being more foul than the excretment of the Stump-eating troll.

"That is a potent potable, sir." Tantus said. "I would take care to not drink too much of it."


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

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Offline Dream

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« Reply #147 on: September 22, 2005, 05:43:45 PM »
Grumple tumbled off the horse when Holly brought it to the sudden stop.  At least the troll had the presence of mind to hurl the spear away as he fell.  Even so, it swerved back and nearly stuck Grumple in the foot -- but speared an innocent box turtle instead.  

That was fine with Grumple, who casually pulled out the spear, scooped up the turtle, and popped it into his mouth.  The perfect snack.  Extra Crunchy!  Grumple rubbed his belly...  Still a bit unsettled, down there.  Eyeing a small tree stump nearby studded with mushrooms the hapless turtle had been eating, Grumple rubbed his head and wondered if maybe a bit of roughage would help?  "Hmmmmm."

---------------------

The inner keep was dark.  There were no windows in this most defensible part of the castle, and only one torch was lit.  The Captain had to bend his formidable figure considerably to stoop under the low stone door lintel, then pass between the "murderholes" on either side.  His own forces manned those positions, however, and they drew back fearfully when they saw Kraggis.  However, Kraggis gave them not even a glance.  He was nervously trying to pierce the darkness within, looking in every corner of the keep's central room.   Instant death could be in any dark corner, or above him, or beneath.  Kraggis' mind was a whirl.  "Belzar, here?  How did he enter the city without passing through any gate?"

Ahead, on the dais in the gloom, a dark figure sat on the throne.  It said softly, "Hold."  Kraggis dropped to one knee.  "Your servant, M'lord!"  He continued to look around cautiously.

Lord Belzar spoke in a rasp, "You send your men to chase after shadows.  You had not orders to leave Palaten.  You were next to prepare to strike Halbad."

The Captain tried not to allow his voice to waver, "M'lord, there are roving armed forces that threaten us!  I..."

Belzar cut him off.  "Silence.  We will use your disobedience.  The Strand is aware.  You are ignorant, but you will learn.  Know this:  there are untamed magic wielders among the enemies you face.  They are hard for us to focus upon from here for they follow no true discipline, but their presence is known.  They must be brought before me, to be... discipled."

"I send Voramis with you."  (The slender cloaked figure standing in the shadow by the door nodded slightly).  "He will reach out to The Strand and reveal the untamed ones you face, and their weakness.  Go now."

With the crackle of heavy leather and the clanking of armour, Captain Kraggis strode from the room as quickly as he could.  Kras-minion Voramis followed, but in utter silence.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Wogden

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« Reply #148 on: September 23, 2005, 12:22:42 AM »
"Take your time..." So no explanation was forthcoming. Smeed bit back a retort: much as he knew Rory was trying to help him, the man could be vexing sometimes. But he would have to do it on his own - he knew that. No sense getting frustrated about it.

He focused on the leather pouch, swinging gently from the end of the sling-staff, and willed himself to see its aura. Unfocusing his eyes worked to a point - the glow was there, but far too faint to work properly. Harder concentration was needed. Smeed bit his lip and shut his eyes tight again, like he had the first time.

He held his breath: nothing happened. No surprise, thought Smeed, and one eye opened tentatively. Something was different again... This time, the children's auras were faint - and those of the rocks, dirt - even Rory's staff - were clear as day. Smeed grinned in pleasure: three glowing cube-shaped auras penetrated faintly through the leather bag.

"There are three small cubes in that pouch," he said, grinning from ear to ear. "And judging by your hobbies, my friend, I would hazard a guess that they are dice."
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Nobody

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« Reply #149 on: September 23, 2005, 02:50:46 PM »
"Dice" Odat said the word quite clearly without the usual slurring, almost as if he had practiced saying it before. "Sommmburdy heeere playyys dice?"he said taking a drink from the flask, not even noticing the taste more foul

If he had been sober, the spell cast upon the flask, mixed with its potency, would have made it vile indeed, but Odat was too drunk to be aware of the fact. At this point the drink would have tasted only as bad as the mold on bread.

"Carrrre furrr a rrounnd er Dice? Yurrr sett [of dice] urr mine?" came his slurred speech, followed by another swig of the potent liquid.

 This time the taste was like a combination of spoiled milk, and meat two weeks gone. Odat reacted in curiosity, scrunching up his face and looking inside the flask as if to inspect the alchohol inside. It was only random passes of his unsteady hand that ever allowed him a look inside the flask, and it was a wonder that not a single drop was spilled as the flask changed directions again and again.

It would have been quite amusing to watch as Odat tried to line up the hole in his flask with his eye, while stumbling around worse than ever, in an extreme (even for him) case of unbalance. It was so amusing in fact that several of the children laughed at Odat's improptu performance.

Odat was a little more cautious this time as he tested the flask's contents. He took a small sip, swished it around in his mouth a bit, and then right then, as if just registering the taste on his tongue, the contents of his mouth sprayed out over the forest floor.

Odat immediately went into a frenzy, clawing at his tongue as the full effect of the taste was realized. Dropping the flask on the ground, he pulled up his soil covered trench coat and shoved it into his mouth.

At this point there was only but a few children not laughing histerically at the show.

Still, it wasn't enough to wash the taste from his mouth. He dropped the trench coat from his mouth, and quickly fumbled in his pocket for something. It was a flint striker. A device that would create sparks without the standard skill required of flint and steel. In a moment he breathed in deeply, and bringing the striker to an inch from his mouth, produced a jet of flame, a yard in length and three seconds in duration, from his mouth.

"wow"s and "whoa"s were heard from the children as they watched the brilliant display, and immediately children were surrounding him asking him how he had done that, and could he show them how to do it.

If he had been sober, it might have been a very gratifying moment, but all Odat was really concerned with at that moment was examining the burnt taste in his mouth. After about a second, he seemed satisfied, and finally realized, with a start, that there were children all around him.

Three seconds passed without so much as stepping on a child, and he took a swig of his phantom flask. And, for the second time since leaving Palaten, he realized that he held no flask in his hand at all. Again he inspected his hand to make sure that it was not, in fact, playing a trick on him, and again, he reached inside his trench coat, and pulled out yet another flask.

 Unscrewing his cap he lifted the flask to his mouth, and hesitating for just one moment as if almost remembering some distant, unpleasant memory, he took a drink...
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster