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Author Topic: Where the wind blows (Chap III)  (Read 15921 times)

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Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« on: December 16, 2006, 09:46:09 PM »
   It was a cold day when Tristan left Ganse to continue his travels. The sky was overcast, and snow covered the ground in a pattern that, like all of Trigu’s creations, was unique. The road was long, and chances were such that a hollow dug from a snow drift would be the Triguian’s home for the night, but the priest didn’t let a bit of worry dampen his bright smile. Trigu would provide, just as He always did. Onward he walked, adjusting his pack when it became uncomfortable.

   Soon after leaving the small town to travel south, Tristan spotted a small wagon heading the same way as he, towards the opulent city of Ssembra. Whether or not it were headed to the city itself was unimportant; it were headed in that direction, which meant he would have a traveling companion after all. “Hello kind sir!” he yelled to the wagon driver. “How’re you this fine day?”
   The wagon slowed almost to a stop, so that the cleric was able to catch up to it and its wizened pilot. “G’day to you priest, need a lift? This path can’t rightly be considered a road, but riding ‘tis still better than walking on it, aye?”
   “Truly it is so, my good man. I thank you kindly for the ride.” Once Tristan was aboard the covered wagon, the driver clucked at his beasts and they began their slow plod once again.
   “So, what’s with the bandages? Did you get robbed or attacked by brigands? I’ve heard of some priests being flogged in the streets of Ssembra, so perhaps you’d be better off going north. Less brigands and pre-jew-dish-al city guards to stick a sword in your side for petty cash up there.”
   “No, no thieves attacked me, though I was injured in a scuffle. Some weird creature went after some of my former party, and I happened to be in the room when a mage decided to throw his talents around: I got caught in the backlash. These bandages are covering my skin as it heals.”
   “Really? That sure sounds int’resting. Did yer god return the favor?”
   “Nay, Trigu wouldn’t do such a thing, and I wouldn’t desire such recompense for the man in question. He’s a rather decent fellow, he just happened to sling around the wrong spell at the wrong time. That’s why followers of Trigu tend to avoid magic use. It has the potential for too many problems.”
   “Ah. Ye be a much kinder lad than I. ‘twere it me, I’d’ve called down a curse from the highest ‘evens on ‘im.” The pair proceeded on, silence falling like a blanket after the old farmer’s last comment, giving Tristan more than enough time to think about the events a few days prior.



   He had just been washed a sea of sparks, blistering his skin and reducing him to a lump on the floor. Pain filled every nerve ending in his body, and back in some small corner of his brain not filled with overwhelming agony, he knew that such injuries would not be conducive to travel. Some liquid was poured down his throat, and as it went down, he began to feel better, but he was still in no way ready for anything but a few days recovery.
   Yet as soon as the mage had poured the healing draught into his mouth, all of the room’s inhabitants had rushed downstairs, leaving the priest all by his lonesome. He was fine with it, as he had told them to go after the doppelganger, but as the rest of the night unfolded, not a one took the time to check on him, to see how he was faring, or even whether he would go with them as they traveled north. As it turned out, he had decided against journeying with them. While as a whole they could use a moral compass of some sort or another, he could feel himself being pulled in another direction, in the opposite direction as the others. Trigu would give them someone to water the seeds he had planted within each of their hearts; he had no need to stay with them when his purpose was clearly elsewhere.



He had said his goodbyes five days earlier, and so as the Triguian priest traveled farther and farther from his former companions, Tristan prayed a final prayer for their safety and eventual salvation.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 08:31:58 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 01:07:29 PM »
Several days later, Tristan the Triguian parted ways with the wagon travelling peasant, and proceeded on foot, still south, arriving one night, at an out of the way village, forgotten by the Empire long ago.

Bayle's Root, it was called, a thorp, with fifty or sixty souls in total.

As Tristan entered the village, the expected sights and sounds greeted him. A mangy, three-legged dog ran out from some shanty and barked at the slow walking priest, announcing the stranger's presence.

An old woman eyed him brazenly, staring him up and down, the way a fowl-monger would a wayward chicken.

Tristan proceeded to the center of the village. His erstwhile companion, the wagon driver, had told Tristan that Bayle's Root, was home to the last Triguian chapel, on the long road to the southern coast and Ssembra.

Last chance to pray, Tristan thought, as he neared the humble chapel, which if not for Trigu's undeniable red-painted symbol adorning the door, could easily have been mistaken for an outdoor larder-house, or even simple residential hovel.


Stepping inside, Tristan saw only a single old man, kneeling on the sawdust floor, his hands clenched tightly in prayer.

Upon hearing the door creak open, the wizened fellow looked up at Tristan, and his eyes bulged briefly.

"Good Ser! A true priest! We have not seen a Triguian priest in five years! Have you forgotten us? Has Trigu forsaken us?"

The man seemed quite animated, perhaps a bit disturbed even, clutching at Tristan's red robe, and kissing its hem.

"Will you give me HIS blessing? will you?" he stared into Tristan's eyes.
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2007, 09:19:19 AM »
The mans actions disturbed Tristan slightly, definitely making him more than a bit uncomfortable. He kneeled down and gently lifted the man to his feet. "Stand my brother, worship me not. I am merely a fellow servant of our Master. Worship the Master, and He will give you His Blessing. I can do nothing but through Him." The beginning of the old man's phrase then hit him. "Wait a moment, you said that you've had no Triguian priest for five years? What then of the normal priesthood? A wandering priest such as myself isn't tasked with upholding the small villages. Each town and village of Trigu should have its own resident priest. Where is yours?

"For that matter, where are the other worshippers? Normally there would be at least two or three others here, some leaving, some going. Why are you here in such a lonely vigil?" The Triguian priest looked around the interior of the church as he spoke, examining what might be his last place of worship before the long road and task ahead of him.

(OOC: Checking the interior of the church for state of disrepair, etc.)
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2007, 07:38:04 PM »
Bayle's Root

The chapel was indeed in disrepair. The wood was damp and warped, with layers of sawdust the only thing keeping the moist earth from expunging its many smells through the floor. The shrine itself was vandalized with markings and scratches. A few obscene symbols were etched into the wood of the altar.

The old man suddenly interrupted Tristan’s examination.

“The Triguian priests left father, aye, five years ago now. ‘Needed elsewhere’ most urgently, they claimed! They left a junior abbot, aye, but he died of a virulent fever not six months hence. Been unattended ever since, father, aye, and the thorp folk, well, aye, you can guess, father, they be don’t takin’ to gods that be forsaken’.”

The old man, paused, swallowing spittle, and went on, “But not Ole’ Svenit, no father, I stayed true, I did! Have you come to Bayle’s Root to be out priest, aye?”

“Miluzel’s Mice! If it isn’t Tristan the Younger!” spoke a sharp female voice, as the moldy doors of the humble chapel opened again, sending rays of sun into its dank depths. She had used Tristan’s proper appellation, the young priest thought surprised, his father was Tristan the Older.

Tristan turned in time to see his second cousin Tyssel, enter the ramshackle building. She looked the same as Tristan had remembered her, all smiles and ginger flowing locks, cascading chaotically over her porcelain features. She was dressed in a plain burlap robe, and carried a staff carved from laurel. Tyssel had been a wanderer, as long as Tristan had known her, and what brought the woman to these distant parts of the Empire, Tristan could only guess.

“Just passing through, dear cousin, on my way south to the annual Ssembran Symposium. And you, what brings you to this backwoods? Came to spread the faith, eh?”

She grinned, which as usual, going even back to their childhood, irritated Tristan to no end. The two distant cousins, who were reared together as brother and sister, never got along.
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2007, 09:07:14 PM »
...Tristan.... The priest shook his head, shoving both the subvocalized voice and bad memories summoned by the entrance of his cousin into the back of his head. The past was dead, no more to bother him.

"As always cousin, the Faith is my primary concern here. I had forgotten about the Symposium, though, thank you for reminding me. Parchance we'll see each other while in Ssembra." The tone of the priests voice left little doubt as to whether he truly wished the possibility to occur. More favorable was an encounter with a pack of wolverines. At least those could be cooked and eaten without fear of repercussions. Unfortunately, the shared destination made a reuniting of the siblings almost inevitable. Trigu willing... With a mental shrug of acceptance, he turned back to the faithful old man.

"Alas old one, I was merely passing through this little village for a night or two, no more. However...Worship Day is tomorrow, yes? I'll stay for a few days, healing and teaching to whomever may come. We'll work on this building as well. Do you have anything left in the tithe coffers which can be used to fix this structure? Trigu cares not for appearances, but with the way those walls and that ceiling look, this place is a hazard to all but the Great Master Himself."
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2007, 11:23:11 PM »
Bayle's Root

Hrrmpph, we shall see cousin, we shall see” Tyssel offered, and as quickly as she had come the woman spun on her heel, and strolled out of the shadowy chapel.


“Coins in the coffer? Aheheeee-heh-ho”, the old man chortled, holding back tobacco drenched spittle, and rubbing his grizzled chin.

“No, not a coin Ol’ Svenit knows about anyway. Rancis, the priest of Dalharad, He of the Ever-Growing Roots, he took the coin father, for his new church after the Triguians had gone. But that was five years ago father, aye? old news. It’s the new shrine, over by Haker’s Field. All the folk go there now. It is the way of things now.”

The old man finished blubbering mysteriously, and pointed a gnarled finger through a grimy window of the chapel, supposedly in the direction of this, so called, Haker’s Field.

Meanwhile, lightning struck outside, illuminating and heralding the night in one fell flash. A horse reared, neighing loudly, as Tristan and Ol’ Snevit went to the window to look.

It was Tyssel. Apparently she now owned a horse, Tristan noted, as he ran outside into the suddenly pouring rain.

The lightning had spooked the mount, and it had obviously thrown Tyssel as it reared. Unfortunately it sent her plummeting against a stone railing, leading up to Triguian chapel, and she had cracked her skull, blood spilling down the stone in the strengthening rain.

Tristan rushed over, but it was too late, he thought, as he stared in shock. Tyssel’s brain was already spilling out of her head.

That night he had buried the woman, his own blood, no matter how distant, and gave her the proper ceremony, while Ol' Svenit helped him dig the hole and find the right headstone.

Tristan slept for less than two hours that night and awoke in a foul mood indeed, an hour before dawn. The shocking, sudden, and most of all, needless and inane, death of Tyssel, had awakened certain demons in the young priest's mind, and as he tossed and turned, they frolicked, choreographing the repeating and unrelenting nightmare of his life.

It began as always, he was alone, on the thatched roof of the abbey. It was the seventeenth summer of his life, he was an initiate in the Triguian Order, but had a secret he could not hope to keep silent long. From the tender age of thirteen, Tristan had been an addict, his particular narcotic of choice being Akasa Flakes, the lime-green extract of the Akasa Fern, a common, but highly  mind-altering substance, often used by the extremely poor and destitute, beneath the Empire's yolk. Placing the treated flakes for any amount of time against the gums, brought on feelings of complete amnesia and euphoria, which later turned to mild, and then eventually, rabid, paranoia. The drug was virulently addictive, and was known to cause both goiter and shingles in long term users, not to mention slowly ravaging the mind of its memories.

And so Tristan had been, poor and unfortunate that is, until the Order took him in...along with his barely controllable addiction.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 08:33:17 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2007, 07:59:05 PM »
The past wasn't dead, despite what Tristan did to force it to the back of his mind. It was very much alive, and the actions of his youth haunted him daily, despite the knowledge that even the worst of his ska were already forgiven. A guilty mind can never forget its actions.

He sat up in his bed, exhausted from his very much sleepless night. Looking around the rent room he was inhabiting, the cleric arose and began to search through his Triguian. The holy book was stark and un-illustrated. A traveller's copy did not need fancy illumination to catch the reader's attention; the fact that the book was carried at all said that attention was already paid to the tome. The priest passed many familiar stories from the past: Heza and the Giant, Baran's Flood, and even Trigu speaking to Tok through a burning tree. Just a bit farther, right at the beginning of the tale of Arahan (later renamed Arahandimus) was the passage that Tristan sought.

Arahan was a young soul, kind and compassionate to all that he met, yet his family was cruel to him. When he came of age, he was sold into slavery to the neighboring Alren, where the backbreaking work quickly led him to the use of the Akasa plant, an herb with seeds that were mildly narcotic, allowing someone in Arahan's position to ignore most small pains and continue working the long hours his harsh master required. Tristan sighed at this; his was much the same of a tale. He knew the rest of the story, and could probably recite it from heart with how many times he had read through it. Arahan endured his condition, and he was eventually freed both from his slavery and his addiction. Of course, the tale neglected to mention the horrifying pain of withdrawal, but there was likely a reason for its absence. Everything had a purpose in life, he had learned. Even something as awful as the death of his sibling the night prior.

He was still tearing at himself for not treating Tyssel the way he should have treated a lady, even one as annoying as she, when the sun rose on a bleak and overcast sky the next morn.
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 03:28:31 PM »
<OOC> GM POST FOR CHAOS AND SIREN GOES HERE THIS SATURDAY</OOC>
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Re: Where the wind blows...
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2007, 08:19:11 PM »
And outside somewhere, that same bleak sunrise came to another, a man who knelt in silent prayer. Each word of the prayer weighed carefully, as he spoke it clearly and loudly, each declaration was carefully considered, and accepted before speaking. "I believe..." And so his prayer was sent forth, into the cold and bleary dawn, until the man at last arose, to place his face into the light of the sun once more.

Tall, and lean, with a squarely muscled frame, the man was handsome, even beautiful, in the classical sense, though a few light scars danced upon his face, lending him a dreadful gravitas. Here, then, by the set of his jaw and the squaring of his shoulders, here was a man whom would be reckoned with, whose desires would not be denied. This could be no commoner, but instead, must be nobility, despite the lack of obvious wealth about him. Only a single piece of jewelery could be seen about him, the six-pointed star in strange blue-black metal, the color of tarnished silver, which dangled from a leather cord tied around his throat, standing out against the travel-stained white linen of his tunic.

And he closed his eyes, holding his hands in the way of prayer for a second more, as he continued, "I believe, and I obey, my Lord." And for a moment, he hoped, and he prayed, that his lord would aid him when his ska returned to him. For he had heard tales of the retribution worked upon those who bore his new name. And he dreaded it. "I am Adan Kinslayer, my Lord, and I will obey with perfection."

And his morning ritual done, he beckoned to his destrier, taking the heaviest of the saddle-packs from it, and began to don his armor. Perhaps it would give him the fortitude he did not feel within.

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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2007, 09:32:46 PM »
Bayle's Root

Rancis, priest of Dalharad, He-of-the-Ever-Growing-Roots, smiled as he briefly re-opened his eyes, and gazed upon the pathetic throng of commoners encircling the Seed of Hope. The villagers of Bayle's Root were now sheep in his flock, Rancis mused, and almost allowed himself a smile. It took less than a year, the druid thought, but ever since he and his 'Harvesters', his disciples, had found this backward thorp, Dalharad had indeed blessed them, the preacher concluded. But a single abandoned shrine to some new-age god named Trigu, stood in the village of barely a hundred souls. Rancis had never heard of Trigu before coming here, but he held no more reverance for this faceless god, than he did his own god...Dalharad. The only important thing now, was that Rancis and his druids had impressive control over the majority of the populace, the villagers having bought the 'hope' Dalharad provided hook, line, and sinker, in absence of the guidance of the missing priests of Trigu, the former patron deity of this lonely community. It did not take much preaching and only a few 'tricks', to convince the locals, that worship of Dalharad, the Rootlord, was in their best interest.

Rancis smiled, closed his eyes again, cleared his throat...and prayed aloud, leading his dull-eyed congregation in praise of Dalharad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"There, There, good priest. Haker's Field", Ol' Svenit, half-whispered, and pointed a single gnarled finger toward a wide, circular field of burnt grass and weeds. Tristan's gaze followed the old man's finger, and soon the young priest was looking across the main, muddy thoroughfare of Bayle's Root, upon a flat meadow just outside the village, where the folk of the thorp obviously held all their festivals, gatherings and prayers.

"There", Ol Svenit said once more, "There is the new god, good ser, the folk have abandoned Trigu, but do ye blame them? The high priest makes roots grow where none once were, and promises a harvest unlike any Bayle's Root has ever seen! And the holy men of Trigu, they left, left us alone, Rancis has brought hope to Bayle's Root once more. But not Ol' Svenit, good ser! I am not swayed by gods of the earth! I stayed true. I am your man." The oldtimer bowed his head for a moment, than brought Tristan closer to Haker's Field.

As the duo neared, sloshing through a mix of late winter snows and early spring mud, Tristan could make out a large group of people, thirty, perhaps forty people, young and old, gathered in a circle around a lithe, naked man, with the longest, blackest hair Tristan had ever seen on another human being, and a snow-white, drooping mustache. The man held aloft a great book, and when his eyes were not closed in silent reverance, he read from its yellowed pages. Near this naked man stood a handful of others, naked as well, and particularly hirsute. These men stood mostly with their arms crossed, eyes open, inspecting the worshippers, like watchdogs for their master.

Most of the common folk were kneeling in prayer, their eyes durifully closed, occasionally reciting muted prayer, highlighted by the mention of Dalharad...He-of-the-Ever-Growing-Roots.

"The Seed of Hope has been planted, and the harvest will be strong! Dalharad's roots will grow and envelop, warm and protect, nurture and nourish! From in the very heart of the earth, the Roots of Dalharad grow! Pray to him now! Give thanks to Dalharad!" Rancis now nearly screamed. "Your old god has abandoned you, but Dalharad will wind his roots through your soul! He will not forsake you!"

"Bring the horse", Rancis mysteriously concluded his sermon, and two of the naked men ran off, only to quickly return holding the reigns of a particularly haggard, fully domesticated mare. They walked the poor beast right up to their leader, and it was then Rancis picked up a scythe, which had lain on the ground, and raised it over his head.

"Blood for the Root Lord, Blood for the Earth! Blood for blood, life for life, a beast's red blood, shall water the Earth! And the Roots of Salvation will rise! For then the Seed of Hope will grow!"

Rancis concluded his now feverish diatribe, and his scythe ever higher, poised to strike down on the neck and throat of the decrepit horse standing before him.


Tristan stared agape at the scene. Ol' Svenit shook his head slowly. The pair stood well away from the circular throng, fifty yards still from Harker's Field, yet bile began to rise in Tristan's throat. Why had Trigu abandined this lost village. Why did the priests leave? And who were these blasphemous and revolting holy men?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Adan of Trigu slowly rode his destrier into Bayle's Root. Nay, not a town, a village at best, and a poor one at that, the holy warrior thought as he rode. The streets, if these mud lanes could even be called streets, were nearly empty, and as Adan continued on, he realized the reason. Seemingly half or more of the locals were knelt in prayer in a large, but otherwise barren field, being led in some twisted prayer by naked druids. The paladin hesitated, and furrowed his brow, as he watched a bony horse being led to the center of the field, where an obvious alpha type was raising a scythe over his shoulder, and chanting repulsive odes (repulsive to Adan's ears anyway) to some Earth Deity.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 09:49:18 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 11:45:30 PM »
"Quis Vaecordia est?" the stunned priest uttered in shock. What madness is this?

A growl at the abomination taking place before him rumbled deep in Tristan's chest. If Trigu had indeed abandoned the village of Bayle's Root, this travesty was the cause. And the true Lord of the land had brought his servant here to reclaim it. By the downfall of this pagan druid would the name of Trigu be lifted up, and the censers would soon  send wisps of incense to the heavens as the faithful worshiped in the downfallen church once again. He strode forward, intent on stopping this foolish sacrilege before the villagers and druids d**ned themselves further.

He addressed those gathered there in a booming voice, "What nonsense is this?"
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2007, 06:23:52 AM »
The nonsense of the weak, lead by the opportune. That would appear to be what this is. A nudge, a guide, to trot his destrier up to the flank, of the shouting priest, a clear sign of guardianship of the man from Adan. An easy motion, to place his great stave vertical, held much like a lance,  and a simple look at the gathered crowd.

A brief glance to the priest, and the paladin looked out once more, his gaze searching, looking for those who started in surprise, looking for those who started in guilt. Turning the crowd would be the key to uprooting this... foulness, of that much, he was certain. "Brothers! Children of the true God! RISE! All of ye, rise and and attend the words of His servant!" Firm, and strong, neither boom nor scream, the voice of Adan was command, so very simple to follow.

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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2007, 06:26:52 PM »
At the words spoken by two different men, from two different directions, a few people looked up, and began to whisper excitedly. Men of Trigu were fairly easy to recognize, and both Adan and Tristan wore their symbols proudly.

Rancis, for his part, lowered his scythe, temporarily sparing the horses' life, and motioned to his men. At once, six naked druids, flanked the "high-priest" adopting a defensive posture, and though seemingly weaponless, looked intimidating enough, if not to Adan and Tristan, then to at least the gathered flock.

Rancis spoke..."Step forward and be heard, visitors to our humble thorp. Why do you deride the One, He of the Evergrowing Roots? Are thee dogs of Trigu then? The false god who abandoned his flock in time of need? Nay, these folk have found the true path, step forth and be heard, or begone interlopers!"

Rancis was angry, yet did not move from his position. With a wave of his hand, he threw back his jet-black mane of hair from his face. His snow-white mustache drooped down to his nipples. With large, liquid eyes, he looked from Adan to Tristan in turn, as if unsure of what was happening here.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 10:10:21 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2007, 10:23:15 PM »
Tristan continued forward, his eyes narrowing as he focused on Rancis and his surrounding guards, and his voice lowered to a dangerous intensity. "I have no quarrel with you if you leave this village now, but continue to insult the Lord of Creation in such a manner and you'll never get the chance to repent." Turning to those assembled, his voice returned to its normal bright and cheery tone as he addressed the crowd.

"Brothers and sisters, you have been led astray! Return unto your Lord and Master and repent, and you shall find a peace that this pagan god cannot give! I will lead you back to the path of righteousness, that you may return to your proper spiritual walk. Repent and return!"
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 06:45:42 AM »
A single look, Adan spared this druid, a single look, even as he set the set the shield of the sword and sun symbol opposite the iron stave. But not a word would he give him, his attention focused instead upon the crowd. A nod to Tristan, the briefest of communications, and the paladin spoke in his turn, the tones of his voice strong and powerful, a counterpoint to the cheer of the priest.

"Brothers! Sisters! See! In the time of your direst need, the All-Creator has sent you His shepard and His hound. You are NOT forgotten, and our arrival is the proof! This one would feed you to his impotent plant-godling like the dirt of a pot, until your souls are parched and dead! He promises to tend them, but what field is tended by those who go as wild animals? Do you trust the untamed beast to pull your plow? To safeguard your children? Never! Rise up, brothers! Stand, and cast the roots of this weed from thy heart, and burn its seed, so that your fields might drink of the love of the Father!"


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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2007, 03:34:18 PM »
random voices in the crowd...

"sister, see there! The Triguains return!"

"ha, too late for those crusading preachers! Where were they when the blight hit Bayle's Root?"

"they leave and now return again. Do they think us children?"

"as for me, I will bow to Dalharad, Rancis has revived the dying crop, the Root Lord is more than a match for the uncaring Trigu!"

"Look!  Rancis grows angry at the newcomers blatant intrusion. Perhaps we shall now see which god is greater, Dalharad or Trigu"

"Fools! Rancis is a cult leader, and we are as sheep! Trigu's priests may have left us before, but they always said they would return, and now they have!"

Meanwhile, Rancis eyed the brazen paladin with slitted eyes. Seething, breathing heavily, the druid leader raised his arms suddenly, and addressed the newcomers. Simultaneously, Rancis'naked accomplices, slowly advanced on the rider, approaching Adan nervously, but determined. Weaponless, their purpose could not yet be guessed.

"Where was Trigu when Bayle's Root suffered? Yelled Rancis, "We, the men of Dalharad came and saved the children from certain death! Look around you, heathens! Do you see the crop? Yes, now you see the fruits of our love! Trigu abandoned this hamlet, we saved it! Begone!!! Begone, or show us your god's power! And let us see if it can match the Ever-Growing Power of the Root Lord!"


a general commotion broke out now among the  gathered villagers. Confusion reigned. The naked, bearded druids neared Adan's mount. The horse snorted as if in dsgust. Rancis began to suddenly peer into his giant tome, as if for guidance.
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2007, 08:14:52 PM »
"Brothers! Sisters! Calm yourselves! All your questions shall be answered in time!" The Triguian turned to Rancis, vaguely noticing as his followers came closer and closer to the paladin. Yet he was not afraid of them, nor what they could do. Trigu had created this fallen rhin 'Dalharad' that they worshiped, and thus His power overshadowed any false god.

"Perhaps you did save these children of Trigu from death. Or perhaps you did not, and the crops around us were merely late in their coming. Regardless, you have led these people astray, and you will receive your due when your life has ended. Unless you wish to meet your judgment here, tempt not the Lord of Creation. Leave. Now. Your Root-Lord will not save you from His wrath."
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2007, 09:33:42 PM »
"Brother, I fear the situation here is far worse than that. How simple it would be for a rhin set over plants to have them fail and come back once his price had been met." Drawing himself up, and pointing the horse, the Paladin continued, his tone strong and carrying, though seemingly given to one alone, to Tristan. "Though, one must wonder what kind of priest this follower of things lower than dirt is, that he cannot even remember the most basic rituals, nosing around in his book for them. I fear we have nothing holy, here, barely even a thing of rhin." A look here and there, a touch of the horse, to point it. Should he be assaulted, he would be ready to charge the druid, stave held as a lance. A glare to the naked things trying to surround him, a razor's look that would fell many a man, but which here, failed to give them even pause, even as the destrier whickered, taking a half a backward's step.

"People of Bayle, Hear Me, And Know! You have been tricked, felled low by a curse brought upon you by this man's witchcraft! A plague, crafted to lure you away from Trigu, to become slaves to this man's god, and even this man. I am Adan, a Hound of Trigu, Captain in the Emperor's Armies. By Law Divine and Mortal, I command thee, priestling, to surrender yourself for trial, in accordance with His Law, against the charges of witchcraft... and murder, of any who died of your plague. Surrender, and your trial will be fair, your punishment just. Do not force my hand."

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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2007, 09:05:44 AM »
Surrender? To a Hound? Would ye follow a dog then, good folk?!” Rancis roared as he looked up from his book. Clearing a swaithe of his long, ebon hair from his eyes, the druid leader dropped his tome suddenly, and raised his scythe once more, waving the weapon high over his head, and suddenly dropping its blade, upon the exposed neck of the pathetic nag, which still stood subserviently in front of the mad cultist.

A fountain of blood erupted from the wretched creature, and the animal dropped, thrashing and making pitiful sounds. The equine’s rich, red blood, stained the grass, and seeped into the earth…

Blood for the Root-Lord, Blood for Dalharad! Your words are for naught, Triguian! Two priests of injustice are no matches for the Ever-Growing Roots!”

But it was too late…and his words were not for naught. Adan’s oratorical rebuke had seemed to awaken the villagers from some strange stupor. Many rose from their knees in supplication to the Root Lord, and gestured excitedly toward the mounted paladin. A few even took up a cheer, while a handful remained silent and confused. Others ran from Harker’s Filed back to their cottages, expecting the worst. Whatever else was about to happen, at the very least, Adan’s Rebuke and Tristan's shouted warnings had reached the minds of the citizens of Bayle’s Root. The 'spell' of Dalharad had broken.

Blessed Tristan”, Svenit’s reedy voice petitioned the priest, “Who is the newcomer? A brother-priest? Is it true then, Trigu has returned?” The old man spat phlegm excitedly and began to hoot and holler at the naked, hirsute druids.

Meanwhile, Rancis’ preaching continued, as the druid grew angrier at the brazen intrusion.

Begone, begone! Lest Dalharad swallow this village back into his warm, moist bossom!”

The more Rancis ranted, the more Tristan grew confused at the so-called druid’s bizarre proclamations. Was this some opportunistic cult, a sham, or a true ancient cabal of druids? Tristan could not be sure.

At the same time, four naked druids approached Adan undeterred. Nearing his mount, and spreading out to surround him, the fearsome wild-men began a low, deep chant, in an unrecognizable language. Naked and weaponless, they still managed to look dangerous.

Their surrender was apparently not in the cards.

Chaos reigned in humble Harker’s Field.
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2007, 07:27:15 PM »
Adan's face grew hard then, as he said, simply, "So be it." Setting spurs to the destrier, he swung the great staff into place, much like a lance, taking care to swing it through the intervening nudruist's locus of position. With a tremendous creaking sound, the staff impacted across the man's torso, bending fiercely before snapping straight, briefly granting the poor man Trigu's blessing of flight with irrevocable landing. A grim expression set upon his face, the man with the tarnished star upon his chest bore down upon the rancid druid Rancis, roaring a terrible, wordless cry.

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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2007, 08:44:20 PM »
As one of his longhaired, naked henchmen went flying from the force of the intruder’s lance, Rancis reacted quickly, as the strange rider’s deadly serious intent, quickly became apparent to the cult leader. Not only had this holy man felled one of his own ‘druids’, but now, the Pale Rider was charging directly toward him, and shouting a battle cry! The man had not even paused after downing Theksor, before turning his eye toward me, the black-haired cultist thought.

Not bothering to chant anymore, Rancis turned, and fled from the scene as quickly as his long but gangly legs could carry him, running across Harker’s Field for all to see. His bloody scythe still in hand, Rancis was a vision of Father Death in Flight, as one the famous paintings of the artist, Teomaggi, whose works hung in museums in Jantir, was called.

Looking back briefly at the oncoming rider, Rancis managed to flail the scythe over his head in meager threat, while still running steadily. As the rider neared, Rancis, who was obviously losing the race, began to side-step and turn periodically, in order to avoid the straight-line lance and mount. For a moment, Rancis wished he had mounted that nag, instead of bludgeoning the poor beast, but it was now too late for that…

Tristan’s wrathful and prudent words meanwhile…and by no small means, Adan’s actions as well…had managed to turn the villagers against the pagan Lord of Roots. Cries of “Dalharad” still rang out to be sure here and there, but those cries were nearly drowned by the fervent shout of “Trigu!” It seemed the folk of Bayle’s Root had few compulsions, when it came to switching deities.

As Adan bore down on the erstwhile Root-Caller, the paladin’s eyes temporarily seemed to deceive him. One second the naked druid was running only twenty feet ahead, the next second he was gone! It took Adan another half-second to realize that the druid had either fallen or purposely jumped down into some cavity. Surely enough, as Adan neared the spot, he could make out a deep hole, in the flat, brown grassy earth, merely five feet across, but certainly deep enough for a man to disappear into.

The other three cultists, having witnessed their fellow ‘druid’ expire, and their leader chased down like an animal, silently made their way in the opposite direction, away from Harker’s Field, and away from Bayle’s Root, hoping to avoid the other priest’s (Tristan) glare, while the first was still busy killing Rancis.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 10:07:24 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2007, 05:03:05 PM »
Grimacing terribly, Adan pulled in the reigns on the destrier, spitting into the hole beneath, after the barest of glances down into it. A hide-tunnel, and only a fool would chase a servant of an earth rhin into a hole. But there was a limit to where it could come out - It would either have no second end, a near by second end, or a far away second end. 

For a long moment, the fallen knight cast his eyes about, seeking a long, leafy branch or the like. He'd learned how to smoke a fox out of its den long ago, after all, in the 'wasted' days before he'd found his purpose. He would have to pray that the priest knew how to pull together a scattered flock.

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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2007, 09:57:45 PM »
"Svenit. Go to the villagers. Tell them to gather in the church and pray until we return. Demons and fallen rhin are a business best attended to with divine help." Knowing the villagers would be kept at the least occupied and gathered together for a short while, he turned his attention to those druids who were trying to escape from the scene of blasphemy. Thin silk covered the steel in his voice.

"You three. Halt. Now."
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2007, 10:11:15 PM »
Halting was of course the last thing on their minds, and the three 'root-callers' in fact broke into a run, as they heard the young priest's reproach. Surprisingly fast, or perhaps not so surprisingly, they made for a copse of elm, which passed for a forest...here on the edge of the pitiful village of Bayle's Root.

Meanwhile a hundred feet away in the field, thick, roiling smoke issued forth from the druid's hidey hole. Rancis choked, coughed hysterically, and finally climbed out of the dank cavity, mud-covered, and blackened with soot.

It took a good few minutes, but finally Adan had managed to light the branch and position it just right inside the hole, to maximize the smoke. Now, the earth had given up its quarry. The cult leader still held his scythe aloft, as he glared at Adan from beneath charred brows, but he was now using it as a crutch rather than a weapon. Apparently, besides inhaling a good deal of smoke, Rancis has broken his ankle in his initial plunge to safety.

Rancis said nothing...merely stared and struggled for breath.
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Re: Where the wind blows (Chap III)
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2007, 06:28:49 PM »
Taking only the time to fish a set of manacles from his sack, as well as a single, long stocking, Adan slid from his saddle, a nobly elegant dismounting of the destrier Romulus. Concealing them behind his shield, he would approach the druid, fully meaning to restrain and gag him, wrestling him to the ground to do so if he must.

"Trigu is the Lord of Mercy, Druid, and even you will be shown it, but the judgement for leading the children of Trigu into apostasy must be rendered."

Fully intending to bind, gag, and blindfold the druid and drag him, or even carry him if must be, back to the town, there to render judgement, a thought began to form in the mind of the man. "I will not kill you, priestling, but you will not be permitted to continue your preaching. I am sorry."

Next, to see what the priest was up to...
« Last Edit: May 19, 2007, 09:11:10 PM by Siren no Orakio »