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Author Topic: The Catalyst  (Read 36023 times)

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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2006, 11:47:55 PM »
"Of course not. I've nothing to hide." Tinnius replied. Although he did have secrets, his time with the Order of the Staag and Master Deliquous had taught him enough to know that the cards could reveal only glimpses of truth, like pieces to an incomplete puzzle. Rarely was there enough information to garner more than a broad estimate of future or current events.

Definitely nothing specific would come of it. Of that much he was sure. Besides, he thought, there was a possibility this woman could fill in some holes to the story. Holes he needed filled.

Haya was wrong about the Grey, of course, there was no doubt, in his mind, that their intentions were to kill him. They had been diligent enough in their attempts, even brazen enough to attack the order, a true sign of their desperation. A desperation that cost them nearly all of they had sent.

Their near success was a testament to their planning, as much as their fighting and fanaticism. While they had to know they could never survive a trespass into the legendary monks domain, they had cunningly drove Tinnius from their sanctuary and protection.

Without Logan, he would have never escaped the perimeter.

He was brought back to the present with the sound of shuffling cards.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2006, 02:50:14 AM by Catalyst »
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2006, 10:12:28 PM »
"First she'll read you the cards, then she'll read you the riot act.  Anyway you'd best sit down, this'll either take a long while, or no time at all.  Cobb, I'll be outside, my ears still hurt from last time she yelled at me."

The cards, it's always the cards with her.  Course, if I'd listened to her last time I might not have been in this mess.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2006, 01:31:25 AM »
The need for subterfuge over, the twenty youths involved in the fictitious fight stealthily crept towards the doorway.  They were secreted in the alleyway at both ends with half their number in striking distance of the door as Haya emerged.  They were part of the Silver foxes, an up an coming guild.  They had no quarrel with Haya or Cobb, but...

The Twisted man was persuasive.

The order was to capture not kill.  Three stout clubs whistled toward Haya's head, wielded by powerful young arms.

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

Dalia's eye's flashed in the light of the candles.  The shuffling of the cards caused a faint flutter of sound that was mesmerising.

She gazed into Tinnius' eyes.  The contact was intimate, in that scant second he felt as if his very soul was bared and exposed.  A cold wave of fear splashed down his spine.  It was banished when she laid her small warm hand atop his.

"Cut the deck."  Her voice, bereft of he previous anger, was music.  Tinnius did as she bade, with hands that nearly shook.  With ominous slowness Dalia's delicate hands flipped the cards.

The cards were but a pretense.  Dalia's talent went far deeper than simple fortune telling.  The link had been established when she touched Tinnius' hand.  Already the edges of her vision grew fuzzy and the vision came unbidden to her mind.  She saw the city from above being overrun by rats.  Tinnius struggled to escape them and was being suffocated and overwhelmed by their mass.  They clawed and bit, drawing blood as he strove to escape.  His attempts were in vain.  Just as he was about to be pulled under the crushing tide, his bloody body was lifted skyward, snatched up in the the talons of an impossibly large bird of prey.  Into the azure sky it bore him and consumed him in one gulp.

There was a disorienting moment as time and space shifted and blurred.  Tinnius stood in the middle of a forest glade at dawn.  The morning mists parted to reveal a magnificent white stag.  At the other side of the clearing stoodan impossibly beautiful woman with raven locks that reached the ground.  She beckoned to Tinnius with eyes and body.  Tinnius faltered glancing to each of the figures, unsure of which to go to.  He took a step towards the stag.

The woman's eyes flashed with anger and she raised a finger towards the stag.  The sky grew dark with ominous clouds and rumblings of thunder.  There was a sudden flash of lightning and the stag fell over...

dead.

Dalia's scream surprised her as much as the fact that Tinnius was yelling with her.  It was then that she realized that he had been with her during the vision and had seen everything that she had.  During all her "readings" that had never happened.  There was more to this Tinnius than met the eye.

Her thoughts were disrupted by the splintering of wood as the front door was ripped off the hinges and hurled inward.  Haya could be seen in the alley way, surrounded by figures wielding clubs.  Several more club wielding youths ran into the room...
"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."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2006, 09:25:14 PM »
Tinnius heard himself yell from a distance, trapped in a place deep inside him. His consciousness racing back to him, he realized he had his shillelagh in hand, already standing.

He raised the staff just in time to deflect a head shot from his left.  Hand in the middle of the staff; he used the momentum of the blow to whip the bottom of the staff into the side of the assailant’s neck as he took a step back.

Tinnius stepped wide to his left, swinging the shillelagh in a semi-circle over his head. He drove the tip down and back up again, entangling the leg of a would-be assailant, upending the man, his feet in the air. A hollow gourd sounded as his head hit the ground with a sickening thud. An ever widening pool of blood slowly grew underneath his head.

A club wielder moved to flank Tinnius while a cohort approached him from the right side. With his knee high, Tinnius put his foot onto Dalia’s table. Pushing off, he leapt into the air, evading the flanker’s intended blow, simultaneously pushing the table into the path of the cohort.

He used the brief reprieve to trade his staff for his sword. No need to take chances.

Tinnius could hear Dalia shouting something as he parried and thrusted, spinning and dodging. A slice and an upward thrust counter delivery, as he stepped forward into a wide swing. 

Tinnius slipped on the red slickness. It gave him an idea….
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2006, 12:39:17 AM »
Dalia was yelling words fit to make a sailor blush.  Cobb felt the familiar tingle in his stomach when Dalia channeled. The candles in the room winked out simultaneously, plunging the room into darkness.  Malice sang out in the darkness.  There was the sounds of bodies falling and furniture smashing.  Men hurled oaths as clubs swung and missed their marks.  Cobb found Dalia and put his back to hers.  The sound of heavy breathing and rustling cloth told of their attackers coming.  Three more men fell with mortal wounds.  Cobb liked the dark.  He and Dalia fought well.  They had done this before...
"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."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2006, 01:15:51 AM »
Tinnius saw the room close in on him as the lights went out. He dropped to the floor. An errant blow was delivered above him on an unintended target.

Tinnius withdrew inside himself, seeing his targets with his mind.

The throng that surrounded him was closing in.

Perfect.

The method was old, used by the order to fight on ice and other slick surfaces. Rarely employed, it was used most often as part of combinations, intermingled with other disciplines.

He felt someone kick out at him. He hooked his left foot around the outside of the ankle and kicked hard with his right, higher, at the knee, snapping bone and cartilage.  The man, unable to see his assailant swung wildly with a club, the stroke ending with a sickening thud.

As the man fell, Tinnius rolled to his stomach and withdrew two serpentine bladed daggers, one up and one down in each perspective grip.

Rather than be repulsed by the sticky gore, he used it to transcend, completely letting go. Vicious surgeon like slashes appeared in the calves, tendons and knees of adversaries. Strategic kicks were used to topple men who were yet to recognize their inability to stand, the momentum gliding Tinnius towards the next target. He twisted and slashed and contorted his body through the unfortunate Silver Foxes.

Once grounded, Tinnius contorted his way onto them, wickedly using his feet and blades with equal effectiveness.

The immediate area cleared, Tinnius redirected his momentum, unscrewing himself from the floor, into a standing position. His formerly green cloak was newly sanguine, as was his visage, his teeth the only deviance.

He surveyed the room. Chaos still emanated....
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2006, 02:41:24 PM »
Tinnius was mowing through the ranks of the Silver Foxes but there were too many.  Cobb knew they wouldn't be able to defeat them all.  He strained to sense what was going on with his cousin in the alley but all he could hear was the sound of heavy footfalls and shouts.  Haya could take care of himself.  He'd have to rejoin him later.  Cobb pushed Dalia toward the pantry with its trap door.  He thought twice before saying "Tinnius, to me."

Then the three were moving thru the darkness, swinging their weapons and dodging both clubs and blades thrown with malicious intent.  Many of the foxes, far from being a disciplined group decided to respond with blades of their own after fumbling over the results of Tinnius and Cobb's blade work in the dark.  Dalia was under the table and thru the door in an instant.  The floor swallowed her up.  Cobb motioned for Tinnius to follow and then dropped down behind them pulling the door closed.  The passageway they were in was narrow and dank with the brackish sent of the nearby ocean water an everpresent reminder of how close they were to the harbor.  When Cobb closed the door the darkness was absolute.  The only sounds were their heavy breathing and the scuttle of small clawed feet in the distance.  The next thing Tinnius saw was the green glow of a small gem Cobb uncovered.  The smaller man's face shone eerily in the wan cast of light as he said, "This is the Underground.  They'll not follow us down here."

"Not their territory."  Dalia added as she pressed a bit of red wax on the door until it was flat.  She scratched a symbol into it with her fingernail and Cobb's stomach tingled.  "...but just in case."  She didn't seem affected by the lack of light at all.  Cobb began to travel away from the door, brow wrinkled in thought.  The green gem shed a small circle of light that provided just enough sight to see the dim outlines of the passageway, nothing more.

Dalia strolled along as if on a walk across a summer meadow.  Cobb dared ask, "I wonder how Haya's faring?"
"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

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2006, 03:13:40 PM »
ooc: Sorry I haven't been posting...  Classes are finishing up and I've had some big essays to do.

Back in the alley...  Haya stood watching the stars, and listening to the unending sounds of revelry.  Then from behind a blow to his back, no his kidney.  Haya was down on one knee for a second, more than enough time for five thugs, just kids, to surround him.  The rest of them, just under a score bashed in the door and were in.

Haya stood up and said to his attackers, "What'd you think you're doing.  Ya either bloody well kill someone, or ya knock them out.  'Specially seeing how caged animals fight all the harder."  And at that he leapt at the nearest youth, knocking him down and smashing the back of his head into the cobbles with a sickening crack.  He rolled off of the kid and rose up into a crouch, his claws out and growled at the rest of them, "Finish it."

Three of them charged at him, clubs swinging wildly.  Haya stepped into the path of one and grabbed him, throwing him into his nearest buddy.  The third managed to get through, and Haya took another blow to his gut.  Keeling over he managed to avoid a blow to his head, from the forth kid.  Turning quickly he caught the kid in his gut, tearig muscle and flesh out onto the streets.  Mihnamo Tiger-Eyes give me strength and I will gorge you on the blood of my enemies.

With his back to the wall Haya waited, and saw the lights inside go out.  Between him and his family the three remaining thugs spread out.  The one in front charged, and then to two on the sides.  Twisting to avoid the first blow Haya hooked his claws into the back of the first one's neck, rending tendon and nerve, chucking him into the one coming from his left.  Ducking the blow from the right Haya slashed across his attacker's thigh, bringing arterial blood gushing out.  Haya walked over to the last kid and laid his foot on his neck.  "And this I do for you, for bringing me through the blows of my enemies unscathed." And he put his full wieght on the kid's neck and crushed the windpipe, a tribute to a god.

Leaving the five corpses where they lay Haya walked inside, into the mayhem left behind by Cobb, Dalia, and Tinnius.  And as he walked in he felt one of Dalia's wards go off.  "The tunnel Dalia?"  Turning he ran out of the house and to where they should come out.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2006, 10:48:17 PM »
Tinnius was uneasy with the situation he had placed his newfound allies in. He first considered apologizing, but decided against it. He couldn't be certain as to whom that last attack was designed to target, but the implications were obvious.

Yet, naggingly, the question remained. How could forces be aligning against him so quickly? First the watch, now this gang of boys. What dark forces were in play? Who was engineering these efforts? Too much was happening too fast for circumstance.

Tinnius paused at a shallow pool and splashed water on his face. Dalia and Cobb were talking, but he was lost in thought. It seemed to be happening a lot lately.

He had the mark, but didn't believe the prophecy. To far fetched, he always thought, but he trained hard, just in case.

The prophecy spoke of a man disfigured or contorted. Some said twisted. The words were old and the exact translation was still heatedly debated.

Too many things to consider...
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2006, 12:35:31 AM »
The Underground bazzar sprawled below the city of Radd.  It was teeming with life and movement.  Lit by lamps and numerous torches it was in a huge cavern with a ceiling that soared hundreds of feet above the floor covered by colorful tents and stalls.  It was almost too bright after the darkness of the tunnel.  Vendors here sold all manner of mechandise and contraband.  Fine weapons, salves for healing, jewels, items cast with magikal dweomers, even slaves could be brought for the right price.  The authorities up above had rules about taxes and regulations governing illicit substances such as the Black. 

Of course the right palms had been greased and so the Bazzar existed while those in charge, the government figureheads, turned a blind eye to the underground economy that was the stable of life in Radd. 

Information was for sale here too.  Cobb knew people who could shed some light on their situation.  They were headed to a drinking spot to talk to such a person.  It was nearly the hour of the rat but the streets in the bazzar were full.  The trio ignored the vendors who were clamoring to sell their wares and made their way to a tent that looked a bit dusty and threadworn two braizers stood mute sentry outside the flap of a door.  The three made their way inside.

Tinnius jumped in alarm.  They had stepped into a brightly lit tavern with dark wood panels on the walls and floor.  There was a roaring fire with a spit filled with dripping meat turning above it.  Serving girls in brightly colored garb flitted from table to table with foaming flagons of ale, elvish wine, and succulent platters of steaming food.  The barkeep wiped down a bar that was already spotless with a rag that showed no signs of ever having been dirty.

The dimensions of the tavern were far larger than the tent outside.  A feat not capable without the use of magik.  Cobb was a regular here.   With a nod to the barkeep he held up three fingers and motioned to the meat on the spits.  He guided the group to a corner table where he sat down.

Raynold, the barkeep, served them personally, bringing them strong ale and three heaping platters of food.  Cobb winked at him and smiled showing off his gold tooth.  Raynold was discreet, necessary in the bazzar, an added boon to Cobb who was a bit more friendly with one of the serving wenches than he wanted Dalia to know.

As he settled in to eat the delicious food he said, "Now we wait, for Gnorn."  He took a mouthful of food.  "Haya, will show up eventually.  He knows this place."...
"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."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2006, 12:22:51 AM »
Tinnius excused himself from the table, under a suspicious gaze from Cobb. He spoke briefly to the barkeep, flipped him a coin and went to a back room to clean up.

To anxious to bathe, Tinnius cleaned himself off with a washcloth. He used the tub to wash his cloak. Most were soaking wet from the elements, so a wet cloak was less conspicuous than a bloody one.

Tinnius withdrew a salve from one of his pouches. He winced applying it to the many cuts and bruises he had acquired. No miracle cure, the salve deadened the pain and prevented infection. Some said it decreased the amount of time necessary to heal, but that was debatable in Tinnius’s experience.

Cobb nodded approvingly when Tinnius returned to the table a short while later. Still no sign of Haya…..
 
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2006, 04:09:33 PM »
Justice walked easily among the stalls of the bazzar, blending in with the throngs of shoppers, thrillseekers, thieves and cutthroats.  Destiny was at his side appearing harmless, as usual.  Consequence was nearby and would make his presence known only when necessary.  The Twisted man would rue the day he crossed the Order.

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

Gnorn was nervous.  In his profession a healthy dose of paranoia was necessary for survival but if he had hair it would be standing up as he crossed the threshold of the Golden Griffon.  It was from more than the magikal properties of the place he was sure.  He saw Cobb and Dalia at their familiar table.  With them sat a third person.  He had never seen this person before but he looked familiar.

 Dreams are real and reality is a dream so all could be as it was but...

The future is here...


Gnorn sat easily at the table, brown gloved hands and hooded cloak hidding his true features.  Cold eyes regarded Tinnius.  He glanced at Cobb and Dalia reproachfully before returning his stare to Tinnius with the words, "Who are you?  The truth plain or I dissapear, or worse."  Gnorn's left hand was hidden beneath the table.  He had not been successful in a profession as dangerous as his by taking chances.  Dalia and Cobb watched in silence...
"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."
 
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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2006, 08:26:52 PM »
Haya hurried down the streets to his room in the 'Shott Place.'  The landlady, Arabella Shott was a real dictator when it came to keeping the place clean, but beyond that and the money didn't ask for anything from her guests.  Haya thought about this "Tinnius" person, obviously wanted by someone in power.  The price on his head must be massive, but no.  Cobb's taken a liking, of sorts, to this guy and I'm not going to betray the only relative that hasn't betrayed me over the years.

Stopping at a mid-sized house and looked at his clothes.  Blood everywhere, and with the rain that's started up it's practically dripping off of me.  Dammit.  "BELLA!!!  OPEN UP!  I'M UP TO MY BLOODY EYEBALLS IN TROUBLE AGAIN." pausing, then as an afterthought, "AND IT'S NOT MY FAULT THIS TIME."

After a few minutes an old lady, bent with age, came to the door and looked out at Haya, looking everything like a wet housecat.  Looking him over she seemed to think aboutgoing back to her tea, or knitting, or whatever had been occuping her time before Haya showed up screaming at her stoop.  "Listen Bella, I gotta go help Cobb.  He's gotten mixed up worse than normal, and he's dragging me down with him.  And all I need is to get me some clothes."

Still looking unconvinced she finally mutters "Fine."  And unlocks the door, "But if you drip over the floor you're cleaming it up when you change."

Running up stairs Haya changed out of his bloodied clothes and into a new pair.  Then barely taking the time to leace the wench a note Haya dropped out of the window and ran to the Bazaar's entrance.   Cobb'd probably head over to that place with the serving girl he liked.  Mmm.  Maybe I'll ask around about this 'Tinnius' before I head over there.  If I know how much he's worth I might get a clue to how many different people'll be after his hide.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2006, 12:40:34 PM »
His eyes narrowing, Tinnius evaluated the man, noticing the hidden hand.

"Tinnius," he replied, coiling his muscles, ready to spring. There was no outward sign of change.

Ignoring the man's shadowed face, he began pinpointing weakness and taking note of the best places to strike.

His mind racing, anticipating as many moves and counter moves as possible, Tinnius waited to see what this man was about. There was familiarity with the man and his associates. Of that much seemed certain…
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2006, 11:37:27 PM »
The flow would continue, this one would be swept up and crushed in its currents...

"This one would threaten us."  He said to Cobb, "He looks for ways to kill us."  He rose slowly from the table with a slight bow to Dalia.  "We will leave."  He turned and walked towards the door of the tavern, keeping an eye on Tinnius over his shoulder...
"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."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2006, 12:50:20 AM »
Tinnius watched curiously. He had shown the mysterious man no signs of attacking. He seemed to have some ability to read more than by physical appearance alone. However, he was far from perfect in his reads, incorrectly assuming Tinnius had intended any course but defense.

"Clearly you have misread my intentions. Please join us for a drink."
« Last Edit: May 02, 2006, 12:56:25 AM by Catalyst »
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2006, 03:39:53 PM »
"No, Tinnius."  Gnorn said, still standing,  "I bade you tell us who you were.  You responded by readying yourself for battle.  I have never lied to Cobb or the mistress."  He paused to nod in their direction.  "I bade you tell of yourself ere we continue.  You have refused and in the manner of an ill behaved child you invite me for a drink."  Gnorn's chuckle was a hiss, his words a menacing rasp.  "The truth plain or I dissapear or worse, this was stated plain.  I have never lied to Cobb or the mistress, or to you, Tinnius."  He mulled over Tinnius' name as if tasting the word, savoring the flavor of it in his mouth.  "The truth plain was not rendered to us thus we am gone.  I leave you with this, trust not those closest to you.  Your safety lies with scoundrels. Of further counsel you have proven yourself unworthy.  We will suffer for it.  Leave Radd while you yet draw breath."  Gnorn turned and was gone.

"Bloggen eh!"  Cobb swore, looking at Tinnius as if you were daft.  Dalia shook her head as on cue, ten Grey cloaks entered the tavern and sat at tables by the entrance.  Cobb swore again at the sight of them, and the sound cut through the suddenly silent air in the tavern like a keen blade.

The Greycloaks were followed in by a female wearing a white cloak.  He skin was nearly as white as the cloak she wore and her hair was the color of flame.  She possesed a presence that exceeded her small frame.  She walked slowly to the the table the trio were sitting at and sat down slowly in the chair Gnorn had been occupying seconds earlier.  She was stunningly beautiful, her green eyes magnitizing, but Cobb and Tinnius were not so taken in that they failed to notice the silver glint of fine chainmail at her throat or the slender sword at her hip.

She opened her mouth to speak, "Hello Tinnius."  and it was if the spell that kept the tavern in thrall was broken.  People began to move again.  Conversations resumed, but at a softer level, and none to few wary looks at the Grey cloaks.  "I am called Eva.  Mind if I join you?"  Before he could respond she ordered dwarven spirits, an vintage that would bring the heartiest drinker to their knees...
"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 Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2006, 01:37:41 AM »
Tinnius looked from the Grey Cloaks to her as she spoke.

"Hello Tinnius," she said in a voice so sultry, his knees may have weakened, had he not been sitting. The fact that she knew and spoke his name almost made him lose his breath, instead of setting off the alarm bells it should have.

Afraid that his speech might betray him, Tinnius gestured to the empty seat with a shrug....
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2006, 12:57:09 AM »
Eva tossed her drink back with a passionate disdain for its potency.  She closed her eyes and moaned softly, a flush spreading across her face.  Dalia kicked Cobb whose jaw had nearly dropped to the table as he looked at Eva with undisguised lust.

"I'm sure you're wondering why I'm here."  She began, "I have often been misunderstood.  Perhaps it is my companions."  Eva motioned behind her to where the Greycloaks sat.  "These men who are with me are from Kyr as am I.  We are not a rich kingdom but we are prosperous enough.  Prosperous enough that the neighboring kingdom of Cellis became jealous and began to war with us.  Not for good reason but for conquest pure and simple.  This war has been waged for a score of years with grevious loss to both sides.  To save the children, to save the future of both kingdoms a group from both sides have joined forces to find a way to stop the war.  That, Tinnius, is where you come in."

She trapped him with her gaze as a spider would its next meal.  Her voice dropped to a silky whisper.  "There is a ritual, only you can perform.  It has to do with your parentage.  My mother explained it to me but such things are beyond me."  She pouted prettily. 

"I know you don't know me."  She reached out and brushed her hand against Tinnius'.  "I know you don't know the men with me, but they really mean you no harm.  These are desperate times in our lands and their goal has always been peace thru any means.  They may have been...overzealous in their attempts to contact you."

She paused to order a second drink.  "Our land is far and the journey is long.  I would not ask if there were any other way.  Will you come?"

She blushed, "I'm sorry, I'm sure you have questions you will want answered before you make your decision...
"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 Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2006, 06:49:12 PM »
Tinnius indeed had questions. A flood of them came to his lips.

"What ritual? And if your intentions are as you suggest, why would you not seek me out peaceably? How are you affiliated with the Twisted Man?”

Tinnius, forced to bide time, waited for a miracle. He had no intention of going with them, but seemed to have very little options.

Yet there was a certain compelling urge to just concede. How bad could a long trip with her be anyway? Certainly it would do him well to be in the good graces of someone such as this.

He held his hand in front of him, dipped his head down slightly, and took and took a deep, calming breath. "Why do you believe I am the one?" he asked, looking back up at her as he spoke.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 06:57:00 PM by Catalyst »
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Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2006, 12:37:21 AM »
"The Twisted man," a small smile flickered across Eva's pefect features.  "A tool, nothing more.  I don't know what the ritual is about really but my mother does."

The man who entered the tavern was bent, stooped over with age and huddled in robes that were little more than rags on his bony frame several packs and pouches hung from his torso.  A large pack was perched on his back and numerous pots and pans swung and clinked together as he came across the floor to the bar with short steps.  He clambered up onto a stool that seemed impossibly high for him.  He placed a piece of gold on the bar and spoke to Raynold in soft tones.  Raynold turned and placed a flagon of foaming ale in front of the small man.  Justice peered over the rim of the flagon, caught Tinnius' eye and winked...
"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 Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2006, 04:46:11 PM »
He knew he had made a mistake in asking too many questions. Those hiding truths often chose the least offensive question to answer, redirecting you away from the other questions by inspiring new questions within the given answer.

Tinnius saw an odd stranger wink at him from the bar. He felt some of his hopelessness subside.

Feeling a bit bolstered and a little less enamored with Eva, he asked again more pointedly, "Why do you believe I am the one?"
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 05:02:38 PM by Catalyst »
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2006, 09:36:14 PM »
Haya, after finding nothing about Tinnius, decided that it's about time to find the others.  Wandering through the stalls he stopped before the entrance of the tavern to let an old man, bent nearly double with age and the weight of his pack, go clanging into the tavern.  Hmmm, the place didn't smell of blood, so there hadn't been any fighting, but it was quieter than normal.

Walking in Haya saw Cobb, Dalia, Tinnius, and some bueatiful lady sitting at a table.  Tinnius looked like he was talking to her.  Near the entrance the Grey Cloaks watched Haya walk over to the bar and order a beer.  Haya waited for anything to happen, and tried the best he could to listen to Tinnius's questions.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2006, 11:50:46 PM »
Logan sat at the corner of the bar. Had it not been for the reading he may have never intercepted Tinnius.

It had been a long lonely journey after escaping the clutches of the Twisted Man's minions. Lascertain the Skiver was quite adept with the tool of his namesake.

Logan struggled, at times, since his escape, to hold together his sanity. He struggled with it at this very moment, the stress of the situation begging him to let loose his control.

He no longer debated the Twisted Man's existence or his purpose in this war.
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2006, 02:14:05 AM »
Eva paused, as if her mind was far, far away.  She looked about, uncertainty flickering briefly across her face.  "You have the mark upon you.  It's a mark you've had since birth."  She placed her hand upon Tinnius' chest.  Her touch alone sent chills through him.

The old man appeared at her elbow.  "Excuse me miss, I understand you have the gift of prophecy."  Eva's features twisted, "What..."  The old man's eyes sparkled but were filmed over with age.  He appeared to be blind.  He spoke not to Eva, but to Dalia.  "Please humor an old man."  He pulled another seat up to the table, in between Tinnius and Eva.  Eva scowled at Justice who promptly knocked over her drink into her lap,  "Sorry..."  She jumped up, the Greycloaks followed suit, hands on hilts.  The tavern grew very silent.

Justice looked at Dalia with milky eyes, ignoring Eva.  "Mistress, I've some cards if you've lost yours."  He fished into a grimy sack and pulled out a deck of round cards.  He placed them heavily on the table.  There was a loud crack that echoed off the walls of the tavern.  The table split down the middle and collapsed.  Eva rolled backwards gracefully and came up with her sword out.  She leapt at Justice and swung so quickly the blade blurred.  The old man appeared to stumble.  The sword sliced the air over his head leaving a green trail.  Justice shot his palm out and it stopped a foot short of her chest.  She howled in pain as she flew backwards as if launched from a catapult.  She crashed into three of the Greycloaks bowling them over.  Her momentum was great and carried her into the front wall of the tavern.  There was a horrible crackling sound as she penetrated the magikal barrier.  An explosion of terrible white light bathed all within the tavern.  The Greycloaks were black silhouettes as they hurled their bodies at Justice, blades drawn.

Justice hurled his pack straight up, then stomped on the floorboards.  They splintered under his foot and Greycloaks flew towards the ceiling, crashing into it as if they had fallen from a great height.  Before their broken bodies could fall to the floor the old man pointed at two tables and motioned toward the remaining Greycloaks.  The tables flew through the air and smashed into the men.  Two avoided the tables and threw daggers at the old man.  Justice caught his pack in front of him as it fell, one dagger clanged off a pot hanging from it.  The other bounced off the old leather.

Cobb felt a tug on his sleeve.  He looked down to see a young girl.  She looked to be a scullion girl who couldn't be more than twelve.  She walked toward the back of the tavern and motioned for Cobb to follow, she pointed to Dalia and Tinnius and motioned for them to follow as well...
"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