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Author Topic: Convergence (Chap IV)  (Read 41343 times)

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Offline the Wanderer

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #225 on: January 13, 2008, 12:31:34 PM »
With a deep bow, Taran smiled. “The Lady is right, we can argue the finer points of lack of forethought later...” he raised his head slightly, looking directly at Talia.
Wisdom and beauty are a rare combination” he whispered as he rose up, a mischievous grin playing across his lips.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do with the eggs, short of a large morningfeast treat...it would be a pity to waste them” he almost laughed at his words.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #226 on: January 13, 2008, 07:39:27 PM »
It was an exercise in discipline for Adan to remain for the final pleasantries, through the answer to Kasin's final question, his mind a-churn. But there was naught he could do here but gather his own forces, meager as they would be. No. This must not be permitted to go to slaughter.

Making his exquisitely polite thanks to the magi, however, he turned, and having left the room, frowned to his companions. "I will return to our inn, and gather our companions for what I must tell them. Come if you will." And with that, he began his stride towards the inn, his face arisen and purposeful once more. Lord, I shall do as I must, and I thank you for the opportunity to save the blood of my kin from being spilled. Though I am unworthy to serve you, say the word, and I shall be healed.

Ah, and there. There was the correct door.

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #227 on: January 13, 2008, 08:28:33 PM »
Talia just raised an eyebrow at Taran's comment about beauty and wisdom.  Then she shook her head and muttered something that sounded like "Oh, gods, not another one."  Turning to Aerex, she asked, "You know this city.  Is there a way to get rid of this thing without bringing more trouble than we make for ourselves?  Or someone we can trust to do something responsible with it?"
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #228 on: January 14, 2008, 09:28:08 PM »
Aerex bit his tongue.  Did she say she had a "certain sympathy" for the con man that knowingly allowed them to carry his potentially deadly prize?  Why the misplaced empathetic feelings?  It bothered him.  "The zoo's supposed to be opening soon," he said sullenly.  "Someone there might know what to do with it."  Aerex made a point to take several paces away from Taran Silverhand as he waved down the barkeeper, who was mixing a beverage behind the bar.  "Barkeep, what do you know about the new zoo?  When's it open and where is it?"

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Offline the Wanderer

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #229 on: January 15, 2008, 09:22:43 PM »
Taran just smiled. I assume Aerex and I are not bound to be friends just yet...

He had overheard many interesting things about this city, mostly in passing among the locals in the inn and at the fish market. This city was definitely a busy place...

He turned to Talia and Voro. “And what say you? To cage a...” he lowered his voice to just above a whisper “dragon within the city itself seems no less foolish than selling it to me.” He chuckled, his normal jovial mood returning slowly.

I suggest finding some of the “doomsayers” that have come to town. There’s bound to be some information gleaned from them...” He took a moment to reconsider, knowing full well what to say to riel Aerex again.
Or perhaps a boat ride...I hear there is quite a sailing competition here soon. And I do so miss the sea...
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #230 on: January 19, 2008, 10:27:17 AM »
(OOC: Not the best timing or way, but since Muro is pushing me... :p)

Taking a deep breath at the verge of the inn, Adan pushed the door open, his face a study in determination as he crossed the common rooms towards Matare and his companions. For some moments, he gathered the sense of their conversation, before he lifted his head, placing the hand bearing his signet ring on the table before him.

"I fear, my companions, that I too have tasks that must be accomplished. We have traveled together, broken bread together, and broken skulls together. This should make us allies, but I have been.. less than forthcoming with information that you should know. That ends now, though I wish it could be in a better way.

You have heard, by now, the rumors, that the von Hellion and the von Hellschwert clans have taken up arms against each other. I cannot permit this to continue, for though I be banished for my crimes against Hellschwert, I remain the youngest son of that duke, and I have seen enough of my brother's blood shed. I must break my banishment, and bring a true justice to the murderer of Hellion, so that the truces might once more hold. This will require skills that I do not have, but you have shown.

Yet, the Hellions and my banishment are not my only concern, as I venture back to my ancestral lands. I have committed a great wrong in the eyes of Lord Trigu, and He has permitted that wrong to hunt me. By now, it stalks that country, searching for me, wearing a copy of my skin, a dark reflection of myself as I was before I fell from the Lord's favor.  I must confront it, and in that confrontation, either it or I shall die. Though I would prefer it otherwise, this too, I will need aid in facing.

Once these things are done, my sword will be yours to use."

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #231 on: January 19, 2008, 11:06:37 AM »
"The von Hellens it was, good sir" Kyrian corrected him absent-mindedly. "What do you have there, hidden away? Eggs I smell, and hunger!" he had to ask the others. Kyrian's stomach was very demanding, as many an "All You Can Eat" buffet had learned.

Laying his hand on Adan's shoulder he addressed him again: "Tomorrow we go. There is no sense in rushing, yet none in sloth as well. As soon as the sun kisses the horizon, the road will have us."

To the rest of their band he turned, smiling: "This morning we set out to find but pale tracks, and instead, discovered an opportunity for wrongs to be righted, heroism be done, redemption be sought and felons hung like fruits in the trees! What say you, band? Young Adan needs aid, and the Silver Lady help me, I just want to know how his face looks when smiling. Are you with us?"
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #232 on: January 20, 2008, 12:29:00 PM »
Kyrian

After presenting the companions with an offer of daring-do and adventure, Kyrian did not await a reply, leaving grim Adan to explain the details and answer any questions, Talia, Vorodon, Aerex, and Mirinar may have had.

With a dramatic flare, the knight bowed and exited the inn.

Several hours later, while dining on plump, Jantirian oysters and drinking the heady gooseberry wine of the hill countries, Shallaya updated Kyrian on the last three years of her life, as well as on the general news of Jantir. Nothing fascinating nor overly memorable caught Kyrian’s ear, though he listened enraptured. Apparently Shallaya only two weeks ago, finally gave in to a marriage proposal from some ever-so-minor noble, one apparently who would overlook her unsavory profession and low birth, for her beauty and particular talents. Her wedding was to take place in two weeks time, though she hinted in no uncertain terms, that if some random elven, feline knight would ride in like a hurricane, “kidnap” her, tie her to his snow-white mount, and whisk her away to a life of hot-blooded adventure and debauchery, she would not complain strongly.
   
In the midst of Shallaya’s long-winded speech, Kyrian was for no rhyme or reason, reminded of the words of the desiccated fortune-teller back in the gypsy camp.

“Ye will find what ye seek, and what ye seek, shall in turn, seek to slay thee.” or something to such effect.

Later, as honey cakes, grapes, and fresh persimmons arrived for dessert, Shallaya spoke of rumors and tidings. Apparently, several knights of the Dew-Marked Rose had recently traveled to meet with the Dynast, Larnassa, at the self-styled Queen’s  request, and in fact, it seemed lately that every knight, mercenary, hero, and adventurer-for-hire, was coming into Jantir, more so than usual, and gossip about town, spoke of the “need for heroes”, though the no could guess as to the reasons.

Still later, Old Lathon from the Once-Proud Goose stopped by the establishment, where Kyrian and Shallaya were dining, and exchanged pleasantries with the pair.

Lathon admitted to Kyrian that his own search for Kyrian’s mysterious maiden, amidst the streets of Jantir proved unsuccessful, and added that if the paladin was indeed traveling north, perhaps a small favor for Old Lathon was possible as well. Apparently, Lathon’s older brother, one Munsk the Cutler, owned a small stead several days north of the city, and had recently sent a letter to his brother in Jantir.

In this letter, Munsk tells of a druid who appeared on his doorstep only several weeks ago, and while drunk on Munsk’s mead, told the humble cutler about a particular copse of poplar, somewhere in the nearby forest-swamp, beside which grew a huge patch of something called [Beast Weed]. His curiosity aroused by his brother’s tale, Old Lathon visited some of Jantir’s sages and learned of the Beast Weed’s properties.

“And since ye be going in that direction, I thought, maybe, ye can visit my brother, who would happily provide ye lodging, and maybe, ye can find this insidious weed. Not a knight-worthy quest, I grant thee” Old Lathon went on smiling, honey dripping down his chin, “But think of how much coin we can sell it for, Kyrian!” he concluded.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 12:36:00 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #233 on: January 28, 2008, 12:49:40 PM »
The strange northern knight impressed Vorodon with his tale of fair maidens and strange monsters.  He didn’t understand some of Kyrian’s words, and Adan seemed to be holding back more than he revealed, but the idea of righting wrongs and tracking down a murderous liar intrigued him.  Vorodon wondered if they could visit the “zoo” before they had to leave.  He’d never seen such a place, and the opportunity to eat strange foreign creatures sounded interesting. 

He hadn’t paid much attention to the argument between his friends and his new travel-friend, the strange man that called himself Kassim, but who said his name was something else now, “Terran Silverham” or something like that.  Vorodon liked the name Kassim better.  In the pidgin tongue of the hill county, it sounded a lot like “Khashim”, the feeling you had after a large meal:  It was a pleasant thought, especially since the food here in Jantir was spiced all wrong; it made Vorodon’s stomach hurt.  Others here seemed to disapprove of the mighty belches their cuisine inspired in him, clearly jealous of the Half-Ogre’s penetrating volume and rich timbre.

Their new travel-friend certainly made the Insector angry, Vorodon reflected.  He didn’t see what the problem was:  He’d seen dragon-kin before, in parts of the hill country.  While they were nasty creatures, with their poisonous stingers and vicious disposition, a city like this should have the ability to restrain them safely.  The rustic warrior was curious how Aerax got his ideas about dragons burning down villages, though.  Everyone in Cottar’s Bale knew that such beasts lived only in children’s tales.

“Insector, Kasin not for seem to want badnesses.  May sell egg to ‘zoo’?  Zoo masters keep dragon for then.”
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 11:30:49 AM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #234 on: January 28, 2008, 08:22:48 PM »
Aerex sighed.  The entire situation with the eggs still weighed on him.  It seemed there was little opportunity for success: putting the egg on a yacht bound for the regatta would mean waiting and hoping the fetal dragons would find a home, as Aerex doubted they would have time to sail themselves.  And Dynast only knew what the zoo would do with them.  For an odd reason, Matare felt an attachment to the eggs.  It's that blasted druid carin, he thought ruefully, wishing for the moment at least that he did not bear the burden of rangerhood.

"I dunno, Voro," he replied.  "Those eggs are... important, I think.  We have to be careful who we give them to."  He bit his lip.  "But we've got other things to worry about too."  He turned toward Talia.  "You were asking about the harbormaster.  You think he knows something about your father?"

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #235 on: January 29, 2008, 12:43:57 AM »
Talia frowned at her drink.  "I'm not sure.  It's more of a feeling that I should talk to him."  She wondered how much she should say, then decided the reason didn't matter.  "I was thinking that maybe my father might be a sailor working on one of his ships, or that he'd at least know where I might look next."  She didn't think she trusted a man she'd never met enough to ask him about the dragon eggs.  "Surely, a gypsy working a ship would be uncommon enough he'd remember the man, if only vaguely.  Of course, I haven't the slightest idea how I'd arrange a meeting to ask him."
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #236 on: January 29, 2008, 08:28:04 PM »
Aerex nodded slowly.  "I know two or three people who might be able to arrange it.  A couple of them owe me favors.  Hopefully, it's just a matter of asking the right people the right questions."  He sipped his drink, a nice local ale.  It tasted like home, like old memories.  He sighed, remembering again that his father - distant as he was in his youth - was gone forever.  "That reminds me," he said in a lower voice.  "I need to meet someone tonight.  He might know about my own father's death."  He frowned slightly and looked at Talia.  "I don't want to put finding your father second.  The living before the dead, I always say.  But I need to find out what happened to him."

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #237 on: January 30, 2008, 06:42:45 AM »
She smiled at him.  "Do what you must do, I'm a big girl.  In the unlikely event we can get a meeting arranged for today or tonight, I'm sure I can handle myself."  She was touched by the fact that he was going to help her, but she also understood what he meant.  "Don't forget, Aerex, I'm a gypsy.  And to us, nothing is more important than family bonds."  She grinned slightly, then leaned over and whispered to him.  "I wouldn't have you if you were willing to push your father's death aside that easily."  Then she straightened up and continued in her normal tone, "And if you find that you need to avenge your father, I'll help you if you need the help."
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #238 on: February 01, 2008, 08:01:59 PM »
Aerex Matare

Later that night, Aerex made his way along the promenade until he came upon the famous terraced bridge. His thoughts jumbled and distracting, it took him some time to find his old friend and confidante. Another two hours later, and Aerex was wandering back towards the inn, his hands in his pockets, his eyes downcast, more thoughts swirling.

It did not take Matare long to realize that Thyran was losing (or had already lost) his mental faculties. Meeting Aerex in cloak-in-dagger fashion, the old man, and a few of his equally delusional comrades, old men, tinkerers, and beggars all, first swore Aerex to secrecy, then related their master plans. This rag-tag bunch (there were four of them plus Thyran), were plotting to overthrow the Dynast and plunge the empire into its death throes.

Aerex had to ask Thyran to repeat himself several times, not believing what he was hearing, but sadly, he had understood Thyran correctly. The man was senile, or worse, mad, and as he listened to the doddering band’ plans, which involved daring castle raids, dramatic assassinations, and even poisoning the city wells along other nonsensical schemes, Aerex smiled wanly, and began thinking of other things, even as he nodded, feigning interest in the old friend’s words. He left Thyran’s revolutionary group meeting promising that he would keep the revolutionary plans secret, and promising further that he would indeed consider joining them in their ridiculous and suicidal mission.

There was only one thing which Thyran was lucid about unfortunately. Aerex father was indeed dead. But as it turned out in Thyran’s revised story, the old man had died of loniless, his heart giving out in his sleep. Nothing sordid or nefarious, and thus, even more tragic somehow.

Aerex walked slowly, fighting back tears and ignoring his beloved city. Then, remembering Talia, a light in the otherwise  hazy, gray tunnel of his life, Aerex quickened his pace. It was late now, close to midnight, and for a few moments Matare realized that the air was breathable, the coolness and moisture of night, doing away somewhat with the foul smells of day.

Merchant shops were mostly closed, and there seemed to be more people now packed into Jantir’s many inns, rather than cavorting outside in its streets.

Aerex paused as he noticed a lone figure suddenly staring at him from the street lamp-cast shadows of a perpendicular alleyway. A robed woman, shaven bald, with no markings or signs upon her clothes or body that would identify her persuasion or nature in any way. Streetwalker, Aerex thought? No, he said to himself quickly. Streetwalkers don’t stare down marks quite like this he decided.

“I would speak with you, Aerex Matare. I can fill the hole in your soul”, she said evenly, and without the slightest hint of emotion.  “I am Draziel. I am of the [Tagma Drakontis]”. Seeing Aerex’ brief hesitation, she continued, “I speak bluntly, because I do not like to waste words. We have seen you, and know of you.”
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 08:13:46 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #239 on: February 01, 2008, 09:07:44 PM »
T, V, T, T, A

Talia, Vorodon, and Taran debated what to do with the eggs, and generally got to know the man who would be forever remembered, dangling, skewed upon a verbeeg spear, a little better. Taran it seemed was a jack of all trades, a bard’s bard, and it was difficult to dislike him for long, though Aerex, who had left the inn a few hours ago, would probably take more convincing.

Aerex and Tristan sat alone in a shadowy corner of the taproom, awaiting the decision of the Adventurers-Upon-Return, and discussing various topics. For his part, Tristan was anxious for the following morning, when he would attend the Symposium, while Adan predictably brooded, while thinking of his familial return. At least he was sure of one thing. Tristan would accompany the Hellschwert, as would the Knight of the Dew-Marked Rose (as soon as he returned form his dalliance anyway). If the others refused, so be it. On the very next evening the trio would leave, after Tristan’s moment of honor, and travel north.

Talia

Some time later, Talia found herself chatting with a man who both admired her looks, which wasn’t surprising, and who also seemed to have some information she found interesting, which was surprising.

Appeasing the fellow, a sailor by the looks of him, she allowed him to buy her a drink, as he answered some of her questions. The Harbormaster’s wedding it seemed was to be held upon the completion of the Great Regatta, greeting the winning sailing vessels, upon his island in the bay, which would already be full of guests, revelers, and well-wishers. A great celebration would be held, even Larnassa the Split-Lipped Queen would be in attendance.

When questioned by Talia further, the sailor explained that Jantir’s Harbormaster was both a practical title as well as an ancient one. No common official this was, but a man of great hereditary power, a unique position in the sea-side empire’s heirarchy, second only, and some even said, above(!) The current Dynast in behind-the-scenes power, though on the surface, a subordinate of the Queen.

The Harbormaster, who apparently went by no other name was officially responsible for enforcing the regulations of Jantir’s gigantic harbor and port in order to ensure the safety of navigation, the security of the surrounding sea and the correct operation of all port facilities and unions.

He lived upon a small, but heavily fortified island, only several square miles around. The island was far from Jantir’s docks, jutting from the cusp, where the Bay of Screaming Eagles met the wide open sea. 

Lastly, when asked by Talia about the ship in the docks which shared her name, the sailor frowned and scratched his head. One of the Harbormaster’s own ships(!) he finally remembered. Known for bringing only the finest goods into the city proper (“taxes” from innocent, hard-working merchants and seamen no doubt! he added bitterly). Talia the ship, usually arrived from the Harbormaster’s Isle with goods, and returned to its own tiny harbor ladden with coin. Of course its common knowledge, my dear! he said when Talia raised an eyebrow. No one in their right mind would try to rob the Harbormaster.

Gypsies? Hmm, don’t know many of them. Why do you ask?  He considered for a moment then added, come to think of it, the Harbormaster is rumored, only rumors mind you, of having some of the ol’ gypsy blood in him, or that he at the very least traveled with some gypsies in his younger days, one of those two, I don’t remember which.

Having finished his drink and his tale, the sailor unsurprisingly propositioned Talia to join him in his upstairs quarters, where he promised to show her his scrimshaw collection.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 11:35:18 AM by Murometz »
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #240 on: February 01, 2008, 10:11:05 PM »
"Tagma Drakontis," Aerex repeatedly slowly, tasting the words in his mouth.  Oddly, the encounter with this woman seemed planned, expected on both their parts.  Like it was supposed to happen this way.  "I've heard of you.  The dragon-worshipping cult."  He looked her in the eye, a strange gaze.  "And what would a dragon cultist want with a Jantiri inspector?"

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #241 on: February 02, 2008, 01:19:56 AM »
Talia was too preoccupied to do more than politely turn the sailor down, even if he hadn't been too alcohol-soaked for her tastes.  The only person who could give her any substantial information, it seemed, was the Harbormaster, but it was probably going to be hard to arrange a meeting with the man.  Probably the best chance she'd have would be at this Regatta, but how she was going to manage to ask him such a question...  That rumor, about the Harbormaster traveling with gypsies in his younger days, that seemed to lend weight to an idea so ridiculous she didn't even know why she was entertaining it, but she couldn't put it out of her mind.  It was impossible.  Focus on finding a way to meet with him, two minutes of his time wasn't so much to ask.

She sighed, and decided she would wait for Aerex to return.  He could help her.
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Offline the Wanderer

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #242 on: February 02, 2008, 01:31:23 PM »
Taran listened to the conversations quietly, not wanting or willing to interject.
I seem to have caused enough trouble...better to remain silent and be thought a fool, Reithe used to say...

Something weighed heavily on his mind now. It seemed that, along with everything else that had gone awry in recent days, the group seemed to be going their separate ways. Although normally this would be easily remedied he was still at odds with himself.

Voro was sticking up for him...again. A good man, that one is.
The cleric, Adan, was saying something about being someone of importance. At least that is what Taran understood. Better slow down my drinking...
As his somewhat diluted memory served him, this was the man who saved him from dying in a puddle of mud. Perhaps next time my aim should be better...
His remaining egg hung in the satchel by his side. d**n thing was more trouble than he thought. But then again, he had a bad habit of finding trouble...or trouble finding him.

For a moment his mind wandered back to old friends... Reithe, Jal, Ginnamen, and his beloved Tander. His heart sank. He had lost so much, and now was lost himself...

He knew he had to make a decision, and soon. One path or the other, it was a simple as that. But he had no idea which to choose. Perhaps biding my time will prove useful on this occasion...

He returned to his drink, a look of sorrow plainly on his face. He finished his drink, lifted up his yarting and began to play...

"You soon will be out facing danger and strife,
You soon will be fighting and risking your life.
I know there is use for my saber and knife;
Alas, I will not be along.
We all have my limits, and I'm nearing mine;
And so, with your pardon, I'll have to decline,
For I've an appointment with women and wine,
And gaming and music and song.
It's been far too long since I've gambled and drank,
Too long in that dungeon, disgusting and dank,
Too long amidst refuse, repulsive and rank,
Too long without love and romance.
Before I embark on some hazardous quest,
Before once again I am put to the test,
If I don't take time to recover and rest,
My sanity hasn't a chance.
It's not that your company isn't a thrill,
I'm truly impressed with your courage and skill,
And happy to journey beside you; but still,
I need to be free for a time.
When we meet again, we'll have stories to share,
So 'Vaya Con Dios'; good luck, and take care.
May travel be pleasant, and fortune be fair,
And may you find meter and rhyme...
"
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
~Henry L Mencken

Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #243 on: February 21, 2008, 12:33:12 PM »
Vorodon listened to the various conversations, but honestly found them a bit confusing.  His friends seemed intent on their own troubles, withdrawn into inner realms of pain and loss.

Aerax had seemed down since he returned from his mysterious rendezvous.  The little man had tried to conceal his inner sadness, but the hill warrior couldn't be fooled.  The way that the Insector's knuckles flashed white around his tankard's handle, the way that he avoided eye contact with strangers:  All spoke of something wrong.

Talia seemed similarly ill-at-ease.  The bladedancer hid it better, but there was something behind her expressive eyes… something she wanted and yet feared. 

Finally, he could stand it no more.  Standing up and banging his head against the room’s low beams, he declared, “Come for with Vorodon!  Vorodon find hellos and goodbyes for with friends!  Then all friends go kill liar monsters in North!”
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
- Buckaroo Banzai

Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #244 on: February 21, 2008, 08:27:38 PM »
(OOC: Mr. GM!  Can Convergence get some lovin'?  :cry: The conversation between Aerex and Draziel is getting awkward after weeks of staring.)

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #245 on: February 21, 2008, 08:35:59 PM »
(OOC: Aye! I honestly thought folks were losing interest or taking a break. With the weekend coming, I'll definitely post! Me'promises, precious!! Thanks for the revival, Wulf!  :up:)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 08:52:23 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #246 on: February 29, 2008, 10:11:44 PM »
Crossroads

Some time later, Aerex found himself sitting across from the mysterious woman and sipping watered-down wine as she spoke. Occasionally, Draziel would pause and study Aerex’ face, while the inspector would ask a question or two of the cultist. Then Draziel would continue, and Aerex would proceed to listen, until finally, Draziel rose unceremoniously and bid him good eve, and turned to go, pausing only to say, “Vermillion Wind. That is the ship’s name, son of Dammael.”

Aerex sat lost in thought for several minutes then rose to leave as well, making his way back to the inn where his companions cavorted. It was early morning now. Aerex’ nightly wanderings and unexpected meetings had lasted the night.

As he neared the inn, he could see Vorodon was grinning widely, patting both Kyrian and Adan on their shoulders, as the trio stood outside. Kyrian was filling the half-ogre in as best he could on the complexities of the accepted task. Adan, as per usual, brooded, wiping some stain of seagull droppings, from his forearm.

Tristan stepped boldly forward from the inn, and greeted the others. For a moment, he shared some words with Adan, then proceeded on foot toward the Temple District, where thousands of priests, monks, and prophets would gather one last time inside the great amphitheater, and debate  dogma and creed, as well as the very nature of divinity itself. Tristan had earlier secured a seat at this rare and prestigious event and was now planning what he would say when his turn came to speak. It was the last day of the Great Symposium.

Taran, meanwhile, mysterious as ever, nodded quick good mornings in the direction of the gathered companions and strode off in his own direction, heading to docks once more. Though the man seemingly agreed to accompany Adan and Kyrian north, he insisted he had some quick business to take care of first, and further insisted that they not wait for him, and that he would catch up to them outside of the city soon.

Tristan had agreed to catch up with the knight and priest as well, at a predetermined location less than a half day out of town, near Syree’s Well, a tiny suburban hamlet on the outskirts of Jantir. Formerly, lands belonging to the Hellschwert’s, Syree’s Well was now a no-man’s land, neither part of the city truly, nor fully independant, nor noble’s land. At Syree’s Wall would Adan and Kyrian await the Triguan priest and Taran.

Aerex nodded, exhausted, as he came upon the group.

The streets of Jantir were beginning to buzz with early morning activity. Talk of the symposium, the zoo and the Regatta dominated conversation on the city streets, as it had for many days now.


The morning light hit Talia’s features just so, as she emerged from the inn, now, catching Aerex’ attention. Gods, she was beautiful he thought for the hundredth time, and suddenly imagined her standing next to him, co-Dynast, atop the Eagle’s Aerie, Jantir’s tallest tower, looking out upon the sapphire waters of the Great Bay. The unbidden mental image fled his mind as quickly as it had materialized.

Someone shouted, “Fried eels for sale!”
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 10:08:51 AM by Murometz »
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #247 on: March 02, 2008, 10:34:14 PM »
Laconic, perhaps, and lost in thought, but there was something new about the warrior who wore the tarnished holy sigil, as he did his best to explain the labrynthine relationship between the Hellschwert and their ancient rivals, doing his best to impress the need for evidence and trial over simply killing the root of the problem. "Even the most vile of political schemes, you see, cannot bear the light of the sun, and melt onces revealed in daylight."

It was time, Adan had decided. Time to set aside the pity he had held himself in, and to do his duty to his family and his God, and with that decision, a hint of the iron will that once drove him had returned. There was a thing more important than himself once more.

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #248 on: March 05, 2008, 12:39:20 PM »
Flashback, Part I (earlier that night)

“…That which you desire most”

“Oh? And what, pray tell, do you people think I desire most?”

“Jantir”

“Come again?”

Instead, Draziel just smiled without mirth.

“Jantir and Talia”

Now it was Aerex turn to say nothing. He started to speak, but stopped himself. Draziel went on.

“Four there were. Three have proved uncooperative or are now dead. You are the last, what say ye?”

“How were these four selected?”

“The Prophecy of—-I have already told you, Son of Damiel”

“Yes, but—“

Aerex and Draziel both paused again as a bar-wench brought more wine.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 02:23:48 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #249 on: March 05, 2008, 10:00:55 PM »
Flashback, Part II

Aerex rubbed his sleep-deprived eyes.  It was technically morning now, the sun just below the horizon.  He was tired, exhausted from this woman's talk.  It all sounded insane, yet purposeful.  He opened his eyes, blinking away the blurry darkness.  The weird visage of the woman returned to his sight.  He scowled.  "I don't like you looking at me like that," he scolded.  Normally, he wouldn't speak so brusquely to practical strangers, but he felt an odd sort of familiarity after their long conversation and lack of rest.

Her head tilted.  "Forgive me.  It is still a shock for me to see with my own eyes the fourth one of the Prophesy."

"Whatever you say I am, staring at me like some I'm heroic idol won't get you far," he said sharply.  "By the Dynast, is this how people will look at me if what you say is true?"

She smiled.  "'By the Dynast' indeed, Aerex Matare.  It is true, and yes, you will have followers.  That is the nature of monarchy."

Aerex shook his head in disbelief again, as he had a thousand times before that night.  "This is like a bad dream.  You offer me immense power, all I desire.  But what is the cost?"

"All we ask, Aerex Matare," she said, bringing her cup of wine to her lips, "is that you do as we ask.  We will guide you as you need, and our needs will be met as well."

He leaned back.  "So my 'destiny' is to be the pawn of your order?"

She drank deeply of the wine, slowly bringing the cup down.  She swallowed audibly.  "We are all of us pawns, if that's the word you wish to use," she said measuredly.  "Who is not under the influence of another?  No man is an island.  We will guide you, yes, perhaps even shape your reign.  That is what you seem to be failing to grasp: your reign."

The thought hadn't missed Matare's grasp; indeed, it struck him hardest.  If he were Dynast, the corruption would cease in Jantir.  The old order would be swept away, reforms would be made, the poor would get their share of justice, peace would be returned to the troubled Empire.  That still, small voice struck him again: "But at what cost?"

He sighed.  "I'm not committing to anything here," he said.  "Anything at all.  But, if I were to... to answer this prophesy of yours, what would I do next?"

Draziel leaned forward.  "Do you know of the Regatta?"

Aerex blinked.  "What, the yacht race?  What about it?"

"There is a vessel entering that tournament, the Vermillion.  On it you must serve and run in the race."

"Wait, to become Dynast, I have to go ride a boat in some closed nobility race?"  He sighed, almost groaned.  "What's the sense in that, huh?  Ain't there somethin' more important than this?"

The monk shook her head.  "This world we live in, Son of Damiel, is a strange place indeed, were strange things occur.  The smallest deed can have the greatest impact on the other side of the world.  Things we do not think ever intersect are in fact interwoven into our destinies.  The great dragon Dyraln'glaam once said - "

Aerex waved his hand defeatedly and dismissively.  "No!  No, no, no.  Enough with dragons."  He gulped his drink and slammed the glass down.  "This's gone on long enough.  I'm going home."  He stood, grabbing his cloak and preparing to leave.

Draziel was standing before he even rose from his seat.  "Will you let us serve you, Aerex Matare?  Will you succeed the Prophesy?"  Her voice bordered on fervency.

Aerex sighed.  "Like I said, I'm not committing to anything.  This still sounds crazy as hell."  The ranger pulled his hat over his head.  "I need to go back and think.  Sort all of... this out.

She inhaled sharply.  "Very well.  I should have known that this would not be easy, nor quick.  We will be watching you, Son of Damiel."

"Right."  With barely a nod, Aerex marched swiftly out of the bar door.  His head swam with cheap wine and deep thought.

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