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Author Topic: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan  (Read 4014 times)

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The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« on: July 17, 2006, 11:07:14 PM »
23rd day of Faelos, 427th Year of the Kingdom.

I expect this will be my final entry.  I sit in this cell, in a land thousands of leagues from my own, awaiting death at the hands of foreign soldiers.  They have accused me of many crimes: treason, murder, heresey, espionage.  Are these true?  Perhaps.  I shall present my story, and leave it for you and the gods to judge.

It has been a long journey here, and a strange one at that.  How shall I begin?  Perhaps it is best to start from the beginning.  It all began one fateful day in the Kingdom of Solania, when I met man who called himself Karathos...

[OOC: I got this idea from the Continuous Plot sub.  The idea is everyone takes turns continuing the journal entry of Tiago Ahrgan, until the plot eventually resolves itself to the end.  Sort of a round robin approach.  No rules, just post.]

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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2006, 11:28:13 PM »
He asked me if I was up for an adventure, a silver goblet in hand and enough jewels in his rings to buy a mercenary army. Men with such wealth seldom send others off on fruitless chases after ghosts in the wind, or forgotten old maps. Karathos said he was going on a great adventure, that there would be gambling and games of life and death, magic and sorceresses. There would most obviously be wine and women to be had along with gold and jewels. It seemed obvious that he already had a good number of these.

But then he said he wanted to be remembered in the scrolls of the sages, and in the songs of the bards, and to have children argue over who would play as Karathos in their imaginative games. Glory, glory forever, he whispered and took a long drink from his cup.

He confided that he needed good men with him, men who could not be bought away, or seduced against him. He needed men who had desires greater than meager coin. Somehow, he knew people that knew me, and it seemed that my reputation had procedded me...


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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2006, 06:49:01 PM »
For you see, I had not always been the lowlife I was at that point. Many years ago, I was celebrated amongst the kings army as their finest general whereas now, I was a mercenary, struggling to make a few coin doing odd-jobs. But what happened to me is a story for another time! Back to the tale at hand:

Power unimaginable.
This is what Karathos said to me. To seek out the Key of the Gods.
In spite of Karathos's obvious fortune and sure-footedness, I let out a guffaw. Everyone had heard the tale of the Key of the Gods; the Children's tale, that is.
 The tale began somewhere in the realm of the gods where the evil god Goli - comparitavely weak in terms of a god and tired of bieng looked down upon by his associates - decided he would show them all that he could have as much sway over humankind as any of the rest of them. So, without the other god's knowledge, Goli made a key and placed it aside in a hidden place on the earth. He then sent a rumour circling the globe of absolute power to whichever human could find this key and "Unlock their hearts". Now, the other gods eventually learned of Goli's key, and they saw that if a human were to find it, that person would become powerful enough to rival them all. And so, many adventurers tried to seek out this key, but whenever they decided in their hearts that they would search for it, they were stricken with terrible luck. A curse of all the gods made creatures of legend attracted to those who looked for this key; to seek out and destroy them.

As I said, children's tales. I asked Karathos that even were the stories true, how could any man find it - legends say Goli hid this key in the most hidden of all places.
Karathos smiled in an irritatingly slow manner at me before speaking, "Because, Blood General Tiago, I know where this key is."
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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2006, 02:27:28 PM »
I scoffed at the man.  Who wouldn't have?  To claim knowledge of the Key of the Gods was like saying one could turn lead to gold, or had walked across the Great Sea.  What proof have you? I asked.  I would not let a trickster on some snipe hunt fool me; I needed gold, but even I had standards.

Karathos smiled.  "Ah, a skeptic.  Rightfully so, I imagine."  With that, he reached into his purse and flicked a coin at me.  I caught it and examined it under the hearth light.  The coin was stamped with an intricate insignia, encircled by text of an alien script.  The coin's material was strange, too, not gold or silver or even platinum, but some strange iridescent metal with shifting colors.  I asked him what it was.

Karathos beamed.  "That, good General Ahrgan, is a coin from the Royual Treasury of Iskari Dänuré."  I looked incredulously at him.  Iskari Dänuré?  That could mean only one thing...

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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2006, 02:06:21 PM »
...that the coin was a relic from ages past.  I appraised Karathos as if he was mad.  Iskari Danure was a lost kingdom lost in the midst of the last cataclysm, plunged beneath the Voralas Sea when the magikal energies released by the Arch-Magi ripped the lands apart and swirled the oceans about like tea in an upended cup.

It was a tale that all children knew.  Iskari Danure had sat at the seat of magikal power.  But it also sat at the bottom of the sea, so the legends said.  The Arch-Magi sought to rival the power of the Gods and so were punished.

Karathos' smile was still in place, "I'm sure you are wondering," he began, "how I came to gain this knowledge, and how we will reach Iskari Danure."  His expression was smug, "Let me explain...
"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 Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2006, 11:26:02 AM »
"...I've been researching these ancient tales for many years. Of course, at first I thought they were just fairytales like you do, and merely looked for their ancestry, how old the story was and where it had originated. But I managed to uncover several old documents that suggested that the stories were actually true, and that Iskari Danure once ruled the whole world. This coin comes from one of their outposts on this very continent, an outpost that I found the ruins of. Think! This coin is from a kingdom that existed in primodial times, when mankind was still learning to use fire and carved crude marks on cave walls! The people of Iskari Danure were not human, but... elves!"

I scoffed once more. He was coming with one preposterous tale after another. The Key of the Gods, Iskari Danure, and now he tried to tell me that elves actually existed? The coin in his hand did look genuine, though, like nothing I had ever seen. And let me tell you, as a mercenary I've seen many strange coins. However, I remained sceptical and wary, for there was something odd about this man who called himself Karathos.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 11:29:01 AM by Redwick »
"Some people says that a dwarf never loses his way. The truth is that they never lose their map."
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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2006, 10:27:14 AM »
We spoke for hours, each of Karathos' claims becoming more and more outlandish yet plausible.  I will not enscribe our entire conversation here, dear reader, but suffice to say I was not entirely convinced.  Who was this Karathos, and why did he seek me out?  Perhaps he was a liar, or a madman.  And yet something stirred within me.  Greed?  Insatiable curiosity?  Perhaps the beckoning of the Fates to my destiny?  Whatever the reason, I finally assented.  Yes, I will go with you to find the elves of Iskari Danure.

The large man gave a triumphant shout and slapped his hand on the bar.  "Excellent!  You will not regret this, my good man.  Fortune favors the bold, and you will be richly rewarded."  Ah, how right and so wrong his words would be proved!

Karathos paid for my room at the inn, and in the morning we set out on his wagon for the port city of Cheros.  He had a brig prepared there, he explained, and in a week's time we would be off.  I pestered him for more information, but he refused, assuring me that his plan was sound.

As we two and his bodyguard Jaerol travelled through the Therus Wood, an incident occured of importance that I did not understand until much later...

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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2006, 10:47:48 AM »
The Therus Wood was usually pretty peacefull, it didn't have any wolves or bears or any other dangerous beast, just the occasional squirrel and bird. But suddenly, the singing from the birds stopped, and soon thereafter, sheer luck was the only thing that saved me from an arrow. I looked around, but saw nobody who could have shot it. I drew my sword and moved closer to the forest edge, trying to spy any hiding bandit. Jaerol did likewise.

Suddenly, before I could react, I felt a blow to my head, and blacked out. When I awoke, Karathos was cursing loudly. I asked him what had happened. He explained that somebody had come out of the forest, pushed him onto the ground and went through his pockets. I asked him what they stole from him.

"Only the coin. The coin from Iskari Dänuré, I mean."

I found this rather curious. Why would a bandit steal a single coin? I asked Karathos what the thief looked like.

"I... I didn't see clearly. He... was wearing a hood. I couldn't see his face."

The tone of his voice seemed suspicous. Was he lying? Why would he withold facts about the thief? But I shrugged it off, attributed it to my imagination. Oh, if only I hadn't! But it's too late for regret now, and I don't want to get ahead of myself.

So, we continued through the Therus Wood, along the plains of Garalav. Oh, those plains of green grass and spring flowers, how I miss them!
"Some people says that a dwarf never loses his way. The truth is that they never lose their map."
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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2006, 03:17:49 PM »
...We saw the wagons from a far distance.  They rumbled towards us, festooned with gaily colored flags and painted with bright colors.  Their occupants were as garishly outfitted if not more so with clothes that were a profusion of color.  The clanging of pots and pans hanging from various places on the wagons served as counterpoint to the tinkling of bells on the study horses bridles.

There were twenty wagons in all and they, apparently, had spied our group as well because they rumbled towards us with unerring certainty.  I had heard of such Nomads before, and by all accounts they were thieves and scoundrels, not to be trusted in the least.  I told Karathos as much.  He nodded his head and told me he knew the stories.

"Let me do the talking."  He said as he stepped forward to speak to the leader of the group, a tall man with dark features.  His head was bound with a bright blue headscarf.  Although a saw no weapons I was sure voluminous sleeves of his bright red silk shirt concealed sharp blades.  He vaulted from the high seat of the wagon, his tall leather boots making no sound as he landed.

He bowed with the skill of a royal courtier, "I am called Andrei, well met fellow travellers."

Karathos stepped forward...
"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 Redwick

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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2006, 03:48:23 PM »
"Greetings, sir Andrei, I am Karathos and this..."

He waved at me.

"...is Tiago."

Andrei laughed, a friendly, warm laugh. It wouldn't be the last time I heard it, and it always made anyone around him feel better about themselves.

"Hah, you flatter me, old man! Calling me sir, treating me like a nobleman. I'm just a humble caravan-master, and you two are obviously of higher standing than I can ever hope to be. Where are you headed?"

"To Cheros, sir Andrei."

Andrei nodded. He looked a bit more serious now.

"Well, you'll have trouble getting there if you take the main road. The bridge over Garalav river has been destroyed once more, it seems. Your best bet is to move northwards along the river 'till you get to the ferryman. It'll probably cost you to cross. Hah, if I didn't know better, I'd say the ferryman destroyed the bridge to get more profit!"

He laughed again. Then he went leaped back onto the seat of the wagon again (how he could jump!) and thus the caravan set off once more, apparently heading for the city we had left.

"Farwell, travellers! May the gods help you in your pursuits!"

I would meet that friendly man again in the future, but I did not know it at the time. So we went on our way, and sure enough, when we arrived at the bridge, it was obviously broken. Garlav river is way too broad and deep to wade across, so we moved north instead, as Andrei had suggested.
"Some people says that a dwarf never loses his way. The truth is that they never lose their map."
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Re: The Journal of Tiago Ahrgan
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2007, 10:46:24 PM »
It was a long four more hours before we reached the signpost declaring the ferryman's crossing ahead.  By then it was dark, and Karathos had nodded off in the carriage.  As the caravan pulled to a halt, I stood to stretch my legs and have a look about.  It must be some ferryman, I thought, to keep up business this far off the road.

Outside, Jaerol stood speaking to one of the drivers in a foreign tongue.  He nodded on seeing me.  "Evening, General," he greeted.  "It seems we are out of fortune's favor today: the ferryman is away."  I scowled, peering into the dark river, judging the flow of water, asking whether we could ford it or not.

As we debated, I looked again down the river and spotted strange light floating above it.  I pointed it out to Jaerol, who peered into the darkness with me, his trained eyes having more lively skill than mine.  "A boat," he declared, "a large skiff.  Perhaps the ferryman?"  As it drew closer, Jaerol signaled with his lantern; the light in the water signaled in return.  Finally, I thought, perhaps a stroke of luck.

When the ferry drew close, a figure leapt skillfully off onto the dock and tied the boat.  He lit a torch nearby, and stepped to meet us.  His appearance, dear reader, I am not ashamed to say was a bit shocking, even for an old warrior's eyes.  The man's flesh was a deep bronze, as though having spent years at sea or in the desert.  Along the sides of his face and neck, iridescent azure scales marked his face, glittering in the torchlight.  A cigarette dangled from his mouth, and shoulder-length tawny hair hung from his long face.  He wore a long dark coat, and two scabbards hung from his swordbelt.  He had the appearance of a pirate or a widely-traveled venturer.  Such an odd being, reader, in such an odd place, at such an odd time - It was surreal as any dream.

He took a long draw from his cigarette, the smell of tobacco drifting into the air.  A gruff sound escaped his throat.  "You folks need a ferry?"

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