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Author Topic: The Orb of Shadows  (Read 26705 times)

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Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #75 on: June 02, 2006, 11:15:52 AM »
Harpers brow furrowed as she listened to the priest and the other's talk about this 'Orb of Shadows'. She dropped into the seat offered to her and held her injured arm in her other hand. She looked at Piper as he spoke about knowing stuff about the person who stole it and where they might of gone or something like that. Harper yawned as the last few nights of no sleep caught up with her. It was hard to concentrate but she tried her best. The heat made her feel drowsy and soon enough she was breathing lightly in the seat, her head lulling sidewards and her chest rising up and down slowly.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 11:17:51 AM by Callista Miala Moonshade »
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Offline DragonRhapsody

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #76 on: June 02, 2006, 04:06:07 PM »
Eri listened to the priest and when she sat down, she attempted to pay close attention, but the heat was very relaxing, and after a full day of traveling, and a mild fight of which she didn't really participate in, she was starting to loose some of her energy.

"So we're going to track down this Shadowy Orb, huh?" Eri muttered under her breath, she had both her elbows on the table, chin in hands and eyes half-closed. The other lady, Harper, was already lulled into sleep, and Eri was getting close. Knowing that it would be rude to actually fall asleep, she kept herself awake.

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Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #77 on: June 03, 2006, 12:00:25 AM »
The high priest could see that he was drawing two distinct emotions from the strangers; silent anger and weariness.  Neither emotion was what he wanted, and Aelstan could see that.  Aelstan also knew that Father Keane was going to be asking for their help in retrieving the Orb of Shadows, but didn't want to interrupt.  Piper seemed to have some knowledge of who may have taken the Orb, but the ranger assumed he was probably thinking of the stranger that entered the Lusty Maiden and died carrying it.

"Piper, my guess is that the man we saw earlier with the Orb was not the original thief," said Aelstan in a balanced tone.  "After all, the demons came after him and were on a warpath to retrieve it.  Besides, remember the man's dying words?"

Father Keane cleared his throat and interrupted before the Ikarani could answer.  "Uh, yes, I'm afraid I can help explain that.  You see, the man you speak of was a hired agent, paid by the church, to retrieve the Orb."

The cleric looked a bit nervous, as if he was revealing information that he was reticent to part with.  He glanced over at Sir Theodric, but the young nobleman looked eager to hear more.

"Eager to retrieve the orb, we hired a bounty hunter of sorts.  This man was supposed to be an excellent thie.... retrieval expert.  His asking price was high, but his reputation was well-known.  His name was Eryllion, and while he seems to have succeeded in recovering the Orb, he died in the process, as you well know.  We suspect he fell victim to a powerful curse the item carries with it..."
« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 12:02:54 AM by Nap »

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #78 on: June 03, 2006, 12:47:51 AM »
Piper shook his head.  "I was speaking of another, but no matter.  What is this of a curse?"  Somehow, he still managed to make himself audible, even though he had yet to speak in a tone above a hoarse, broken whisper. 
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #79 on: June 03, 2006, 10:57:58 PM »
"We've never been entirely sure of the nature of the curse," continued Father Keane.  "We just know that it has been part of our sworn instruction to never handle the orb personally, for apparently it has a very negative effect upon the mind and health of those with good hearts."

Aelstan could hold his tongue no longer.  He wanted more answers, and wanted them fast. 

"Excuse me, Father," the ranger interrupted, glancing toward Lord Theodric for approval.  The young lord gave an encouraging nod, and Aelstan continued.  "But why wasn't the Orb destroyed in the first place?  Surely your clerical order must have known that there would come a time when evil hands would find their way into your vaults for such a purpose?"

The cleric seemed to have anticipated someone asking this question, for his answer came succinctly.  "A good question, my fellow, a good one indeed.  But I'm afraid that destoying the Orb would not only be quite costly, but would only serve the purpose of evildoers, for if the Orb of Shadows is destroyed, then another one may be created to replace it."

The cleric stopped for a moment to let the information sink in.  A young acolyte with a shaved head and sleepy eyes entered the room, carrying a tray complete with wine decanter and several copper goblets.  After setting the tray down, the young man immediately poured Lord Theodric a cup.  He then offered some to Father Keane, but the high priest dismissed him with a polite wave of his hand, eager to continue.

"So as you can see, as long as the Orb remained hidden in our vaults, it could not be used to summon these creatures.  Had we destroyed it years ago, it would have created more opportunities for Evil to wreak havoc upon the land.  What we need to do is find a way to recover the missing Orb before someone has the opportunity to summon more of these foul beasts...."

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #80 on: June 04, 2006, 06:34:33 AM »
"How do we track it and what are the demon's weakness?" Seabrum asked bluntly.

Clerics had moved into the room, now, and had started their healing magics on those with injury.

As Seabrum waited for the answers, he could feel the warm tickle of his wounds mending.
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Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #81 on: June 04, 2006, 07:05:59 AM »
Harper jolted awake as a warm tingle ran through her arm. She shook her head and rubbed her eyes she looked around the room at the people there and then rubbed her eye's again "I'm so sorry i never meant to fall asleep" She looked to the floor and then shook her head again. Harper looked at Father keane and blurted out "There can't be that many of these demons surely, and where do they come from?" Harper put her hand to her mouth and sighed she had always had a problem with being to blunt about what she thought. Harper flicked her hair out of her face and waited for the cleric to answer.
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Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #82 on: June 04, 2006, 03:18:48 PM »
"It's very late, and I sympathize with your weariness, young lady," said Father Keane, acknowledging her falling asleep.  "While our acolytes attend to your wounds, we are making arrangements for each of you to stay within the safety of the church for the remainder of the evening.  In the morning, we will set about a plan of action for the orb's retrieval."

Aesltan started to suggest that they leave now, in the middle of the night, to prevent the demons from getting further away, but Lord Theodric stood up suddenly and addressed the group.

"My friends, I realize that some of you may have little reason to get involved with these matters, and I wouldn't blame you if you passed on the opportunity.  But for what it's worth, my family is prepared to offer substantial financial compensation to anyone who can return the orb, intact."

Lord Theodric reached and pulled out a small pouch that had been buried behind his thick red cape.  He spilled its contents onto the table in front of everyone, and Aelstan estimated that there must be at least 100 gold crowns scattered about. 

"This is to help you get whatever equipment you need to get started," continued Lord Theodric.  "In the morning, the demons will be gone, yes, but they will most likely not be too far, for I don't think they will travel in the daylight.  You will each need your rest, and to possibly stock up on supplies.  Father Keane will provide each of you with a small amount of healing devices."

Aelstan lifted a finger, as if asking permission to speak, and the young lord stopped and allowed the ranger to interject. 

"Excuse me, m'lord," said Aelstan in a frustrated but assertive manner.  "But once we have these supplies, where exactly are we supposed to go?  I mean, we know the Jandoshan have the Orb, and that they are probably taking it back to their summoner - the thief who stole the Orb of Shadows in the first place.  But surely you can't expect us to have any real knowledge of it's whereabouts."

Father Keane looked very uncomfortable, and slowly stepped back to allow Lord Theodric to move to the front of the room and continue.

"I appreciate the help you are giving us, but my friends and I have no idea where to go, or where these demons were summoned," continued Aelstan, looking even more aggravated.  The ranger could tell that the young nobleman had anticipated this question and was prepared to answer.  "So exactly where is it you want us to go in the morning?"

After a short pause, possibly for emphasis, possibly out of hesitation, Lord Theodric finally answered.

"Just outside of the city of Falmouth is the Baron's... my father's.. castle.  I believe that you will find the answers to your questions there..."

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #83 on: June 04, 2006, 03:41:01 PM »
Piper allowed the healers to do their work.  It helped, a little.  The wounds stopped aching and bleeding, at least.  He'd always have the scars, but that didn't matter.  More for his collection, and at least this time he'd done worse to them.  As they moved away, he whispered, "And what of this curse?  Once we find your orb and kill the thief, what then?  How do we bring it back to you with out falling to this curse ourselves?"
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline DragonRhapsody

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #84 on: June 06, 2006, 01:05:07 PM »
Eri shuddered at the thought of loosing her sanity and health. She was listening intently, and the incentive of money was always a good reason to get involved in a crazy quest. Eri smiled lightly listening to the discussion being made.

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Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #85 on: June 06, 2006, 02:59:22 PM »
Harper grimaced at the money now spread over the table. It had only bought her bad luck ever since she had stolen that stupid warlocks stupid gold coin. Harper shook her head 'how was i supposed to know he had cursed it' thought harper to herself "I don't do things for money. Well not any more i don't." Harper had been through a lot and now this. She swore she had a curse on her. Harper was usally in some kind of trouble but she always managed to pull herself out of it, but Harper also had the bad problem of not saying no. It was always yes this and yes that which got Harper into trouble.
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Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #86 on: June 06, 2006, 10:50:37 PM »
Aelstan was surprised to hear that Lord Theodric was implicating his own father, Baron Grath, behind the theft of the Orb.  Presumably this was why the young nobleman seemed so distraught.  He must have known that his father had something to do with this.

"Lord Theodric, we appreciate your generos offer for supplies, and we appreciate the Church's protection for the night, but I'm not sure what it is you want us to do when we arrive at your father's castle in Falmouth," said Aelstan.  As a traveling ranger, he was used to keeping late hours and sleeping in the wild, but under the present circumstances, he wasn't sure he'd be able to get much rest tonight.  The looks on his companions' faces told him that they probably wouldn't have as much trouble getting some sleep...

"I am not sure myself," replied Lord Theodric.  "But then again, since you will be doing the traveling tomorrow, I suggest that you each retire for the evening while Father Keane and I prepare a plan to share with you in the morning.  Should you choose not to assist us in recovering the Orb, we will understand and let you be on your way."

And with that, the nobleman politely but quickly excused himself and left the room.  Father Keane looked a bit baffled as to what to do next, so he call for the acolytes to come escort the guests to the visitor quarters.

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #87 on: June 07, 2006, 01:19:29 AM »
Piper let the acolytes lead him to the guest quarters, suddenly realizing how exhausted he was.  Fighting the Jandoshan took a lot out of him.  Fortunately, he'd picked up a warrior's way of sleeping: dozing off and resting when and wherever the opportunity presented itself, always ready to defend himself at a moment's notice.  Upon being shown to the chamber he was to use, he sat down on the floor, leaning against the wall and completely ignoring the bed.  He hadn't slept in a bed for so long he doubted he could anymore.  He simply pulled his cloak further around him and closed his eyes.  Underneath the cloak, one hand rested on a sword hilt, and the other on his crossbow.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #88 on: June 07, 2006, 07:36:17 AM »
Harper smiled and walked into the small room, she looked once at the bed and then walked over to the window which overlooked the small town. Harper rested her head on her hands and her elbows on the window seal. "I shouldn't go with them i know i shouldn't" Harper said into the quietness of the room. a small whistle and click answered her words. A small fluff ball rolled out of one of her pockets and landed with a plop on the floor. "What do you think Momo, should i go? but if i go i know i will just ruin everything i always do" a series of clicks and whistles emitted from the puff ball, Harper looked shocked as Momo started to jump up and down on the floor. She looked out the window and watched as people flitted in and out of houses and shops. "I never thought of it that way" Said Harper quickly "What if this is my time to change everything around!" Momo squeked loudly, Harper turned and picked the little fluff ball up and placed it on her shoulder where it sat playing with it's tiny feet which poked out the bottom of it's fur. it had short arm's with long slender fingers on the end, it was a light blue colour and looked more like a bit of cotton wool than anything. Harper smiled and flung herself onto the bed. if any of the others heard her talking they would probably wonder who she was talking to, but they wouldn't hear the small squeks and whistles.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline DragonRhapsody

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #89 on: June 07, 2006, 09:03:24 PM »
Eri was eternally grateful with the alcolytes came in and showed them all to their rooms. Happily accepting the chance for a bath and sleep, she quickly unpacked her saddle bag and grabbed some supplies. Smiling she went over to the fireplace, where a large tub sat, filled with scented water. The fire had warmed it up significantly, so she promptly stripped and jumped in.

Relaxing in the frothy tub, she concidered her circumstances. She just came from a two day, little sleep trek from the mountains, after a hired-job for some Prince - if that's what he really was - and had little to no sleep or rest the entire way here. She had encountered a few creatures of the night, that had set her journey along duing the dead of night. And some daylight hunters that surprised her even more. It was almost like the animals were getting more and more desperate. It frightened her a little. She wondered if it was from the 'Shadowy Orb' or whatever they called it.

That artifact gave her the chills too. Something that could be re-created after it was destroyed was creepy enough, but the fact that it held the essense of evil, that was petrifying.

Maybe this isn't a good idea? She thought, running her hands through her mousy-brown hair. No, it's the right thing to do. Something that horrible shouldn't get in the hands of othe evil people. The church is a good place to keep it.

Finally decided, she climbed out of her tub and dried off, jumping into her smallclothes, she slipping into the nice bed, the first one she had in weeks. And promptly fell asleep.

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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #90 on: June 07, 2006, 09:35:13 PM »
Seabrum, alone in the darkness of his room, did not contemplate whether or not he was going to continue after the Orb. In his mind there was no other option.

His thoughts were otherwise occupied with the rage of loss.

Sleep escaped him as he writhed in agony, rolling around the bed, trying to force the images out. Years at the forge had taught Seabrum meticulous patience and self control. All of it he used to keep himself from being lost in the grief.

Eager to leave the solitude, Seabrum left his room early that morning and went to await the others and hear of their next course of action.
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #91 on: June 08, 2006, 12:39:48 AM »
As a veteran member of the Blackthorn Brigade back west, Aelstan had spent the vast majority of his nights in the wilderness.  He was always at ease in the wild, in the essence of nature, surrounded by the creatures and forms of life that he understood and were within his control.  Though the church was offering a very comfortable room by normal travelers' standards, Aelstan could never be completely relaxed in this man-made environment.

The mattress was too soft, probably full of the feathers of a hundred wild birds.  The window in his room was not large enough to allow much of a breeze inside.  The wood in the fireplace had been treated so as to give off little scent and smoke inside the building, and therefore it did not smell natural.  There were dozens of other complaints that Aelstan could list if he had the inclination, but he decided to put it out of his mind and force himself to sleep.

As a young boy growing up in the Warrenwood, Aelstan's father served in the local militia.  While he never became powerful or influential, his father did earn an honest reputation for being fair and seeking out justice.  One night, young Aelstan awoke to find his father standing over him, reciting a quick prayer of some sort and touching him on the forehead.

"Papa, what are you doing?  Are you okay?" the boy asked, rubbing his eyes.

"Relax, my son.  I am fine, and I am giving you my blessing.  You must sleep, and do not worry, for I won't be gone long," replied his father, nothing more than a dark silhouette framed by the afterglow of the evening's fire in the hearth.

And with that, the father turned and left his son and his family to do his good deed.  Perhaps it was to bring a villain to justice in the middle of the night.  Perhaps it was to serve the lord of the Warrenwood on a secret mission.  Or perhaps his father heeded a call to pull him away forever, and abandon his family. 
 

Aelstan never knew what happened to his father, as did no one.  He had always been told that his father would never turn down an opportunity to make things right, even if it would mean risking his own life.  And while the ranger never knew what became of his father that night, he loved his father for whatever it was that drove him to do what he felt was right.

As Aelstan climbed into the soft bed and allowed his head to hit the pillow full of bird feathers, he couldn't help but feel that his father would be proud of him for choosing to help out the people of Livien.  With a smile slowly forming on his weather-beaten face, Aelstan drifted off to sleep...

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #92 on: June 08, 2006, 02:02:35 AM »
Piper dozed off quickly.  He didn't usually dream, but apparently, things were different tonight.

"Congratulations, Sienn!"  "Yah, Mara is the prettiest girl in the village!"  "Actually, I'm a little stunned...  I always thought she'd go for Kieshan.  What with him being the Warmaster.  I'm just a firedancer."  "Oh, come on, Sienn!  You say that like you're not the youngest Dancemaster in forever, not to mention one of the only eight men to hold the position!"  "Oh, leave him alone.  You know how shy he is, and you also know he's never going to believe Mara has been chasing after him for years.  When's the ceremony going to be, Sienn?"  "Three days time.  The princess herself is going to perform it."  "I still can't believe you're getting handfasted, Sienn..."

The dream shifted.

Fire, everywhere.  The Traitor's hateful face.  "Kill the children!  You may do as you like with the women, but make sure the warriors are taken alive!  I want them to see the end!  And I have something special in store for the princess, so no man is to touch her!"  "What about their priests?"  "The battlepriests are accounted for, and the firedancers are harmless, crippled by thier own inane vows.  Have fun."  Pain.  Heat and light.  A woman's scream.  Blinding rage.  The sound of men and monsters dying.  And the overwhelming knowledge that the goddess had not answered the frantic prayers...


Piper awoke, sweating.  Old wounds, emotional and physical, ached.  Why did he have to remember?  Why, of the memories that were originally his, did he have to keep those?  They were long dead, and he had sent them back to the goddess himself, the first of many times he had performed the now-meaningless gesture.  Piper got up.  Sleeping any more was out of the question, and it was nearly dawn anyway.  He got up and silently found his way out to the grounds.  Might as well patrol a bit while he waited for the others.  He was wise enough to know that he couldn't recover the orb and kill the thief by himself.  But he had sworn on the ashes of his brother that Lomarin would die in deep water, and Piper always kept his oaths.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #93 on: June 08, 2006, 09:24:47 PM »
Daylight came early, much too early for Aelstan.  It had taken him a while to fall asleep, but now that he was comfortable he didn't want to get up.  Unfortunately, the acolytes in the church were not inclined to let visitors while away the hours in bed, so the bells rang and rang and rang.  Aelstan never could have been a cleric; too much structure and discipline, not enough of the outdoors and hard labor.

The ranger lumbered over to a pan of clear water that had been placed in his room the night before and scooped up what he could with both hands, and splashed it on his rough face.  Though there was no mirror in the room, Aelstan could tell that he had several days' worth of black stubble that had built up on his face, and his curly dark hair was in need of a wash, considering he was in a civilized area and discussing matters with a lord and high priest.  He would need a few minutes to get cleaned up...

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #94 on: June 08, 2006, 09:43:02 PM »
Piper came back inside when he heard the bells ringing.  He knew quite well that he probably didn't look quite presentable; his cloak was dusty and still had blood on it from the fights last night, and his scarf wasn't much better.  He hadn't mending the new holes in his clothes yet, either.  Frankly, he didn't much care.  If the young lord and the high priest couldn't handle his apprearance, then they'd just have to deal with it.  He went to the guest quarters to wait for the others.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #95 on: June 09, 2006, 08:30:37 AM »
Harper rose quickly ut of bed and ran to the fresh water in her room she splashed it on her face and then leant in backwards and wet her hair. She wringed out her hair and let the glossy black locks fall about her face. She had stayed in her clothes the night before and she was still dressed when she got up. Momo was preening herself on the windowsill making her fluffy hair more and more fluffy "Momo come on girl let's go" Momo jumped from the windowsill and landed in Harper's held open pocket. She walked slowly to the door then turned and looked back out of the window, she sighed slightly and opened the door and walked out. Harper walked slowly towards the guest quarters turning every now and then to check that she wasn't being followed she did this most of the time no matter where she was. Harper turned a corner and there was Piper sat there waiting. Harper walked into the room and leant lazily against the wall.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2006, 10:29:41 AM »
Seabrum was startled awake by the clanging of the bells. Exhaustion had finally taken him while he sat in an uncomfortable chair in the room they had previously met Father Keane.

Gathering his thoughts, he awaited everyones arrival, mentally preparing for the grim events the day promised.
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline Nap

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #97 on: June 09, 2006, 10:46:08 AM »
Aelstan knew that Father Keane would most likely be waiting for him and the others, so the ranger didn't take much time to spruce up, choosing just to clean his face and straighten up his clothes.  He didn't have a real change of clothes with him, since he was used to traveling light in the outdoors.  He knew he would need to get something else to wear when presenting himself in Falmouth at the Baron's castle.

The bed was difficult to make up for Aelstan.  He didn't have the years of practice that most people have, and when he was in town he usually stayed at an inn where that sort of thing was taken care of by default.  He tried to remember how his mother had taught him to make his bed when he was a young boy, but that was so long ago...

Stepping out of his room, the Warrenwood ranger could hear voices coming from near the front of the church.  He walked down the hall a ways, passing a couple of acolytes who were intently reading scriptures and not even bothering to look up.  Up ahead, he could see the rest of the group was waiting.  After a perfunctory head count, Aelstan realized they were still waiting on one more, the young archer woman who had a horse, Eri.

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #98 on: June 12, 2006, 09:03:38 AM »
Impatient to vindicate his rage, Seabrum addressed those assembled.

"I offer repairs or replacement to any damaged armor or weapons. That and any supplies that can be gathered from my shop." After this day, he knew, the shop would be abandoned, along with all that remained inside it.

"Obviously, only minor repairs can be made, if time permits any at all," he continued.

Anxious to be on with it, he waited to hear the preposed course of action.
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Orb of Shadows
« Reply #99 on: June 12, 2006, 03:25:48 PM »
"Let us get more information before we start making plans," Piper whispered.  Although, keeping them waiting like this... Piper was not impressed by the apparent lack of concern.  If this mission was as vital as they had made out, the young lord and the priest would be doing everything possible to hurry them on their way.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko