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Author Topic: Convergence (Chap IV)  (Read 48564 times)

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Offline Murometz

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Convergence (Chap IV)
« on: September 19, 2007, 12:03:48 AM »
Less than a Week Later, a bit south and east of Ganse.

Jehanna first saw Vorodon’s head emerge above the hilltop and nearly feinted. Not that she had any idea who (or what) she was seeing, but she knew it too big and ugly of a head to be human…and that couldn’t be good. The girl let out a limp ‘eeck’, then called more loudly to her brother.

Yandry dropped his pile of sticks and rushed to help his sister. The two had been picking dry wood for the fire, and must have wandered a bit too far. Rushing back to the camp, Jehanna in tow, Yandry dared one more glance back and spied the most bizarre group of ‘people’ he had ever laid eyes on, and that was saying something…Yandry had spent his entire twelve years of existence, living among the carnies and gypsies of the Caravans.

Climbing up and over the hill came an ogre; it had to be an ogre, Yandry thought, what else could it be? The huge humanoid was carrying what looked like metal stick, in one beefy paw, and seemed to be honing the spike as he strode. Next came a shining knight, the kind Yandry had seen in his picture books, walking his destrier lovingly along the rocky path, armor still gleaming, despite the light of the setting sun. Thirty yards to the left, descending the same hill via a different path, a small man came, wide-brimmed hat, swaying in the breeze, eyes darting along the paths seen and unseen. Following soon after came an intimidating human woman with a stark-white mane of hair, emanating in waves from her head, in the moist evening air. She had a look of steel-eyed intent, yet seemed lost in thought. It was a unique look, one few people could pull off, Yandry found himself thinking, as he ran shepherding his sister.

If he had not seen the white-haired woman, Yandry may have let out a shout of warning toward the camp, but he had seen that hair before, and the woman in fact as well, and though he wouldn’t admit it even to himself now as he ran, he had even thought of her on many a past night, when it was dark, and he was alone in his bed.

Instead of a shout of warning, he yelled, “Aunt Loiha! Your friend is coming!”

Loiha wasn’t exactly sure whom the young Yandry was referring to as she heard his shout, while busy skinning herrings for the pot of roiling water. After all, Loiha had many friends, and the gypsies had scattered from Ganse recently in all directions, hitching themselves to various caravans. One of the few towns in existence, she mused, which people ran away from not to, and into the wilds, even with the late winter slush, sometimes ankle-deep in the gullies and leg-breaking terrain outside Ganse.

The foursome had been traveling for two days now, south and southeast, having left Ganse, a better place than they had found it. The city guard was rid of its miscreants (or most of them anyway) and the capable, if gruff, Doglord, was now city guard captain. Vorodon had gained his revenge on the erstwhile ‘lieutenant’, Aerex saw justice done, Kyrian, likewise, and Talia, merely did what was needed t be done. Her thoughts were elsewhere, on her father, and strangely, more and more lately, on that willful man, Vorodon called ‘The Insecter’. These latter thoughts slightly annoyed her, and the fact that Matare was stealing looks at her, whenever he thought she wasn’t watching him, only aggravated the situation.

Aerex for his part was indeed stealing glances at the hoary beauty as the group traveled, but found himself thinking of Jantir, and the life he had left behind. It would be good to heal old wounds, he pondered…or would it? Aerex further thought of his chosen new path, and what it would mean for both his immediate and long-term future. He felt a pull in three directions. The City, the Wilds, and the Woman.

Kyrian thought of his lady, the one he had vowed to find. Sworn to himself, if no other, and that was most important to the knight. He thought as well, that this group was able, and even more impressively, had accepted him into their ranks almost instantaneously. This he found peculiar. Not the fact that anyone would NOT be impressed with his perfect form and prowess. That would be believable, Kyrian continued thinking. Indeed, he had spied the so-called Adventurers-Upon-Return eyeing him with what must have been awe, when had nearly sliced that corrupt guard in twain, back in the barracks. They were impressed and he knew it. No, what he found peculiar was their strange unity despite their differences, and his own strange compulsion to travel with this band. He often acted alone, he preferred it that way, but there was something…something about this mismatched trio, which Kyrian found appealing. Perhaps, they, like him, were meant for greatness? He questioned no one, but glanced at Vorodon.

The half-ogre had nearly tripped over a split boulder, at that very moment, trying to catch and stab a rock-hopping squirrel, which had darted into a crevice. Shaking his meaty fist at the hidden creature, and uttering phrases of contempt in its direction, in that barely understandable, hill-ogre, gargled-throat, sing-song of his, he looked up to see Kyrian watching him and offered a toothy grin, which could not have been mistaken for the Smiling-Goddess-in-Respite, a painting, Kyrian had remembered studying in his youth.

Vorodon had found himself thinking of dinner most of that afternoon, and when he smelled fish and potatoes cooking beyond the hillock, the giant sped up the pace, allowing the rock-hopping squirrel to live another day.

It wasn’t long before the foursome spied Loiha, her husband, and other gypsies, Maegla the Blind among them, firmly encamped, cooking a meal and sitting around a roaring bonfire. There were probably twenty to thirty gypsies in all, and several wagons. They were on the move, Talia knew, but did not seem in any hurry this night. Dinner would be warm tonight. She had almost forgotten the city guardsman she had left behind in the barracks, the one which begged her to accompany the companions to Jantir. She didnt believe the youth's tale about her potential father, and had no interest in sharing the road with the prickly and pushy little man. Neither had the others.

As the foursome neared the gypsies, Talia noticed Loiha, and the old woman noticed the Bladedancer. Talia smiled for the first time in a while, but was surprised at the first words out of Loiha’s mouth.

Look what my little nephew Yandry found”, the friendly woman exclaimed, with a wide smile, as she held up a large oval object cradled in a burlap half-sack, and wrapped in cloth.

The object could only be described as what it was, an egg, but a huge egg, the size of a small shield in circumference and diameter, off-white, with a veined bluish tinge.

Loiha held it up proudly and continued smiling.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 12:36:40 AM by Murometz »
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 12:55:22 AM »
Talia eyed the egg critically.  "I've never seen anything like that before.  What is it, a stone?  Looks like something some fancy lord would have in his study.  It's pretty."  She smiled at Yardly.  "Quite a find, for one so small.  Quite a find for any one."  Something tweaked the back of her memory, something she had heard recently, but when she tried to think of it, it faded away.

She and the others spent the rest of the afternoon with the caravan.  Gypsies were insular folk, and tended not to like outsiders, but since Talia was with the group, they were much friendlier than they would have ordinarily been.  They insisted on giving them dinner and letting them stay the night.  It was a little surreal to Talia.  She hadn't done this since the attack on her caravan.  She'd missed it, at first, but had quickly stopped thinking about it.  Too much stuff going on. 

When the sun started going down, Loiha said that she would find a place for everyone to sleep.  Talia shook her head.  "Not for me, thank you.  I have something to do.  The men would be glad of it, I'm sure."



Some said the gypsies were heartless, that they didn't mourn their dead properly.  Maybe it seemed that way to outsiders, but that was only because the gypsies seldom let tola see something that private.

The sun still peeked over the horizon, but only just.  On the other side of the sky, the full moon hung low.  Talia had gathered up just about every candle she could lay hands on, and it was barely enough.  So many people had died since the last time she had done this.  She'd found a secluded area a fair distance from the encampment, and now the candles were arranged all around her, flickering.  It had taken almost an hour to light them all.  Over a hundred, and each had a different name inscribed into it.

She knelt motionless in the middle of the candles, watching the sun.  For the first time in a long time, she was wearing her silver silks in addition to her regular black clothes.  One was tied around her right wrist, one around her left elbow, one around her waist, and the last around her neck.  She'd also put the blue figured silk cases over her fans, making them look more like something a noble lady would have at court rather than exotic weapons.

She held her breath as the sun finally slipped below the horizon.  Twilight was the time when the mortal world and the spirit world overlapped.  She rose fluidly to her feet and extended her open fans, assuming a basic stance.  The orange glow from the sunset faded quickly.  As soon as the sky was lit only by the moon and the stars, she started moving.

Funeral traditions varied a little from caravan to caravan, but they were all substantially similar.  Usually, someone recited a poem or a song about the one they were honoring- Illos had sung her grandfather's funeral.  But it was the dance that was important, and Talia was a dancer.

Her slow movements were all carefully thought out and graceful.  One fan skimmed a candle.  The flame whipped out, leaving only the smoke curling up.  Glordren.  The other fan whipped out another.  Aeth.  She kept dancing, her silver scarves flowing along with her.

Garreto.  Jarel.  Xyn.  Tor.  Asari.  Talia lost track of how long she danced, devoting her whole concentration to the old ritual.  One by one, she extinguished each candle.  Master Konos.  Illos.

The last candle when out and she dropped into the final stance, kneeling on the ground with her fans resting on the ground beside her.  She didn't move until the cloud of smoke from the candles had completely dissipated, taking the souls of the dead to the ancestors with it. 

She stood and closed her fans, and bowed in the direction of the moon.  She had no caravan master or elder or even any other mourners to bow to.  Then she walked to the edge of the candles she'd placed, sitting down on the ground looking at them.  She'd stay there until dawn.  Then, and only then, would she clean up and get some sleep.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2007, 09:53:51 PM »
Aerex sat quietly near one of the camp's fires, eating the simple but substantial meal the Gypsies had prepared.  He was grateful for their unusual display of hospitality - due primarily, of course, to Talia's presence - but he still felt deeply uncomfortable, unsettled.  It was probably less about the Gypsies, he decided, than it was about Jantir.

Jantir.  It was - home.  Or once was.  A grimace set over Aerex's face as he remembered his last time in the Great City: disgraced and betrayed, he fled from the impossible injustice that he had uncovered.  So much had changed since then, at least for Matare.  Had the city changed, too?  Did the Marble Steps of the central district still shine?  Did the market still cast its intoxicating aroma of exotic spices and goods, drawing both aristocrats and street urchins alike?  Did the light of the setting sun still turn the slums into a gilded city, glittering like a cathedral on a feast day?

Yes, yes it surely still did.  Jantir was still home, even if its heart was wounded with the decay of corruption.  The rapier felt heavy at Aerex's belt.  Constable or no, the burden of justice was still with him.  He would find it.  Somehow.

Things had changed for Aerex as well.  In a few scant months, he helped to save a town, toppled a crime gang, removed a corrupt captain of the guard, purified a monastery, and became a ranger by a mystical stone.  He'd seen failure, too: the deaths of Aethelstan and Glorden still weighed heavily when his guard was down.  He'd practically gained a brother in Vorodon, and apparently a new ally in Kyrian, even if he still had to prove his worth.

And then there was Talia.

Aerex gazed over the camp and beyond, where Talia had walked to.  She hadn't said much when she left, and he didn't dare pry: he knew well enough not to intrude on Gypsy ceremonies, even if he desparately wanted to go with her.  Why Aerex found her attractive, he still didn't know.  Perhaps it was her freedom, so easily sloughing off the strict laws of civilization he had been tied to.  Or her ferocity, like a burning flame.  Or even the way she first looked at him, with the perfect balance of judgment, caution, disinterest, and perhaps even pity.  It was as though she drew him toward herself, consciously or not.  "Who are you, Talia Bladedancer?" he murmured to himself.  A log broke in the fire, sending up a shower of embers to answer him.

Aerex shook his head.  Get it together, Matare, he ordered himself.  They couldn't stay in the camp for too long.
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 03:34:18 AM »
"So many people in silence - just all too hesitant I break its sanctity" Kyrian added to the assembled company, and to Aerex especially, seeing his brooding mood seeping from every pore. "Glorious Jantir awaits, streets of adventure and exotic delight! I especially recommend the Bellarosa tavern - finer bardic contests the world has never seen... or perhaps the Veiled Pearl, sir Aerex - the young ladies of the nobility venture there to sway to music most delightful, and display robes that would be a peacock's envy, and the cause of heart failure for many a man and their fathers alike...."

The knight sighed, remembering the times when he was a drifter in Jantir, and a gladiator before - perhaps he would even cross paths with young Astarte vanHellen again, a young damsel whose father was so generous as to offer him a squire's post, albeit a two month's voyage from glorious Jantir?

He chewed on a bone to clean his fangs, and briefly the silence returned.

As expected, it did not last long, defeated by another helping of enthusiastic words:
"And, Vorodon, for your cooking, I suggest you stock up on spices - some of them might manage to make even  a rock akin to ambrosia, a stick more appealing than a silken neck...
We might all wish to visit Chradrorn's place, as well - a finer smith was there ever seen.
Likewise, some of our hosts - perhaps you, lady Loiha? - could to take the stone you found to sell. A few Royals it may earn, and wealth has sure its delights.
Thank you for precious sustenance, I will not forget your kindness... but will you kindly excuse my absence for a moment brief?"

Meticulously picking a few leaves from his tail, the clatter of his armor so foreign in the savage lands, and strolled over to a hill, as to be closer to the stars. 'You are my witness, Shar-Sanya, lady of the full moon. I will prove myself - to you and all who might question, so that your gift may blossom fully in me.' The stars shone and sparkled, each one a distant mistress that teases with her flickering light. The skies were ablaze with their radiance, black velvet in stark contrast to their vital flare.

Only then, amongst so many lights did he notice an earthen constellation, a forest of candles, Talia in their midst. Her dark form accentuated and finely outlined by candlelight, she danced in the star-pierced darkness, the silvery mane catching the red fires on earth and white blaze of the skies.

On the hill's crest he sat, chin leaned against hand, until the bladedancer finished her ritual. Veiled in cloak, as for his armor's shine not go give his presence away he rose, as to return to the camp before her.

He would stand watch - his elven blood, coupled with the compelling presence of the moon's full form would not allow him to sleep a lot anyway.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 03:48:38 AM by EchoMirage »
"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 Wulfhere

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2007, 12:01:11 PM »
From the moment that Vorodon had spotted the Gypsy folks’ brightly-painted wagons, the things that needed doing had preyed on him.  He had put off thinking about his responsibilities, but they would be denied no longer.

Maegla sat near the gypsies’ campfire, listening to the sing-song voice of one of the older men as he related what seemed a well-embroidered tale of travels in distant lands.  She seemed content, her hand unconsciously touching her belly, as if the growing life inside could already feel her caress.  She looked content, but she did not realize that Vorodon had returned:  Returned without her husband, Bross.

”No for to worry.  Vorodon go for find Bross.”

Not an empty promise when it was made, yet the words became lies in the basement of a distant monastery, when Vorodon found his comrade’s shattered axe and knew that he had failed.  Bross had bled to death, trapped in a storeroom with an arrogant, self-centered “Immfereel dignittery”.  Vorodon hadn’t been there in time to help the simple warrior.   

Vorodon’s heavy tread made Maegla turn from the elder’s anecdote.  Her clear voice called out softly, “Who’s there?”

“Vorodon is come here,” the hill warrior answered sadly.

The blind woman’s breath caught, then she realized the implications of Vorodon’s return.  “Bross… Where’s Bross?  Did you…”

Vorodon paused to clear his throat before answering.  “Bross… Vorodon too late for to helf.  Bross sleef gone of to Hall of Andur.”  He hoped that, somehow, the god Andur would take care of the Volgottir warrior that had fallen defending his monastery. 

The blind woman, suddenly pale, covered her face with her hands. Standing up, she turned suddenly, stumbling over the portable stool she had been seated upon.  Falling into Vorodon, her fists began lashing out, slamming weakly against the battered iron bands of his armor.  “d**n it all!  d**n you!  What am I going to do?  I did what I was supposed to; Bross was supposed to come home!”  She fell to the ground, crying out, “Why?!  Why?!”

Vorodon reached out to help the distraught woman up, but she shrugged off his grip on her arm.  His rumbling voice was faint as he tried to explain what had happened in his broken Common.  “Bad man wizard had giant of for stones:  Bross fight for before Vorodon arrive. 

“Vorodon lates too.  All lates too.  Friends kill bad man wizard, kill giant.  Vorodon go kill Leftenant and bad mans in Ganse.”

Maegla remained on the ground, barely moving.  Her voice was almost inaudible as she muttered, “Never.  I never should have…” over and over.

In the badlands of the Hill People, where Vorodon had been raised, when a warrior’s brother was killed, it was the surviving brother’s duty to care for his family.  Perhaps Maegla could come to Cottar’s Bale, the tiny cluster of cottages where he had been raised.  His mother’s family there might be able to help Maegla.  A blind woman couldn’t live on the road, with everything around her new each day; she needed a place that was stable, where she would be safe.  Since they first threw in their lot with the ferocious Volgottir warrior Gorye, few places in the hills were safer.  Due to the village’s relative poverty and ferocious defenders, few bandits would choose to disturb its inhabitants.

“Maegla, come for to Cottar’s Bale, place for Vorodon growed.  Vorodon sure make Maegla carered.  Vorodon family to carer to for Maegla, and maybe find Bross family.”

Maegla didn’t move, she just seemed to stiffen up, as if she had been turned to stone, so the half-breed continued.  “Vorodon come for little while back.  You decide then.”

He turned and quickly walked away, heading straight for Loiha’s nephew Yandry.   The child was showing off his new treasure, the blue-veined egg.  Vorodon's voice took on an even grimmer tone.  “Yandry-boy!  Yandry-boy tooked egg!  Nedd show for Vorodon place where egg from go!  Egg not give Yandry-boy, Yandry-boy tooked!   For egg-mother worry, come angry for to hurt Gypsies!  We bring egg back!”
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 12:06:07 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 02:02:54 PM »
Recently returned to find others still chatting beside the fire, Kyrian leaned against a tree, watching Vorodon chastise the blushing Yandry, a pair both endearing and comical to behold.
Flashing a wide grin, he interrupted in a carefree tone: "Ah, a young hunter-gatherer at work! Go easy on him, righteous Vorodon, for nature knows only its own laws - and those tell that a yolk-shell unwatched is a prize to be taken. The egg may bestow  much needed sustenance upon these people, or precious gold upon their pockets empty. Tell, youngster, what sort of nest you took it from? If it is not a dragon or other beast fell, I see little danger in keeping it. It already bears the fragrance of man, I honestly doubt returning it would lead to its acceptance, rather, I see ruin and decay in its fate if this course of action is followed."
Rubbing his chin, the knight added, eyeing the two from below his eyebrows: "Or, if you feel charitable, warm it and hatch it - the beast within might be of great use and power. Or just eat it - you need to get big and strong just like Voro over here, your voice thundering and aroma mighty!"
With that, Kyrian lighted a scented smokestick and let the spicy smell fill his nostrils.
"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 #6 on: September 22, 2007, 12:05:41 AM »
Vorodon, the Egg, and the son of Bross.

Yandry quickly went from smiling at Talia’s attention, to frowning at Vorodon’s incomprehensible rebuke. Yandry could not understand a word the half-ogre had garbled, but somehow understood what he had meant. As Vorodon spoke, a few of the gypsies looked up in the direction of the confrontation, for a moment fearful for young Yandry’s life, but after a moment went back to what they were doing, leaving the boy to his own devices.

Vorodon was visibly agitated. The meeting with Maegla weighed on the big lug’s heart. The woman’s reaction was understandable; yet, he still felt certain sadness and remorse, almost a misplaced sense of guilt, and of course, anger. He was taking his frustrations out on Yandry.

For his part the boy quickly handed the egg to the behemoth, and muttered something about finding it in the mud of a riverbank, exposed by incessant rain, a day’s walk south of the campsite. The youth offered to show the giant the exact location in the morning. Interestingly enough, Vorodon recognized the place even from Yandry's vague description. It was the Brownflow, wide stream more than river, as the ogres of Cottar's Bale called it, and it was the very marker Vorodon had used when he first left the village on his soujourn north.

The Brownflow led to the Ogre Hills, and then flowed further, sepia-colored and shallow, across the Ethddos Gorge.

~~

Not a single gypsy even blinked when the half-ogre was bequeathed the egg by the boy. No one seemed to want it, despite even Kyrian's sensible suggestion that the gypsy folk should sell the egg for considerable coin.

As Yandry slinked off to his tent for the night, Vorodon stood alone some distance from the fire, cradling the egg, in one meaty hand. The fire’s glow illuminated the face of the half-ogre and egg alike.

Maegla for her part was inside the confines of her tent now, mourning, and thinking of her future, as well as the future of Bross, son of Bross.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 12:39:53 AM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2007, 12:23:02 AM »
Love and Augury  (elsewhere and some time later)


At first, there was no sign of movement. Kyrian might have even mistaken the wizened figure for some kind of happy, senile idiot, grinning vacantly from his perch. But then there was the merest flick of a desiccated finger, and Halka the gypsy, bent over the seer, placing her ear close to the man’s toothless mouth. After a moment she straightened up and said to Kyrian,

“You will find what you seek, he says” Halka murmured to the knight, “and what you find will try to kill you. If you die you will live, if you live, you will die, that is what he says” Halka concluded translating the words of the old gypsy seer, and shrugged at Kyrian.

Kyrian raised an eyebrow. He had made love to Halka over and over again inside her tent beneath the fullest moon. It was now near morning, yet still the exuberant pair could not sleep, and so had wondered on the young maiden’s suggestion to the tent of the One Who Never Sleeps, the caravan’s suthcundman, who was reputedly able to see anyone’s future merely by being in their company.

Truth be told, Kyrian wanted to make love to Talia that night, after standing vigil, and watching her supple, graceful dance of death, just out of range of her sight.

He spied Aerex and as well, and smirked, but then saw Halka, her honey-blossom curls cascading over her ample curves, her eyes big pools of cerulean blue. A comely lass, the elf had thought upon seeing an easier alternative to the beautiful but harsh Talia, and it was not long after, that the young pair found themselves glistening with lover’s sweat.

Now, it was nearly dawn, the camp would soon wake, perhaps even Halka’s cantankerous brother, and here stood Kyrian, barely dressed, inside a smoke-filled tent, listening to some toothless seer speaking in riddles.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 12:39:13 AM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2007, 04:17:49 AM »
Luckily, the augury was short - political speeches and the litanies of religious folk had an inherent sleep-inducing tendency in them. At least the ominous quality did a bit to offset this. Grateful was he to the Moon Lady that her worship consisted of song and dance, deeds done in her name and love sancified by her silv'ry vessel!
With a polite bow, Kyrian thanked the seer. "Surely, I will keep your words in mind, kind elder. I am not too keen on the 'dying' part though. Good health and fortune I wish to you, so that your kin may long benefit from your wisdom."

Outside, the air was chill, the air tense with anticipation of the morning sun, moningbirds lazily rising from their sleep, still weary and uncertain whether to already raise their voice.
Kyrian embraced Halka's lithe form, his warm breath caresing her neck. "Verily, you are a temple, illuminated by the fire of your soul - through you and in you, a man can witness the divine..."
Deep into the pools of her eyes did his gaze dive then, warming himself by the fire within for the voyage ahead, the heat on his chest in stark contrast with the morn's chill.
"My journey leads me away - but if the Fates are gracious, they will bestow another meeting upon us."
Into her tent he carried the girl, resting her upon the furs that were their bedroll yon night, and covered her with a blanket thick.
"Let none say that I leave everything in a mess" he flashed her a grin, and, upon recieving a weary smile in return, fished a triangular silver coin from his garments. "Let the old man have this for his augury."

Clad in padded undergarments and boots, Kyrian rose and took his plates outside, not wishing to disturb Halka's sleep. A sole challenge remained: to find someone to help him don the thing.
"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 Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2007, 11:23:20 PM »
Aerex watched the brief hubbub of Vorodon and the gypsy egg.  It pained him a bit to see Voro reacting to the fact of Maegla's pitiful existance, but what could be done?  Justice had been served, as best as it could be with Bross dead.  Besides, there were other things weighing on the ranger's mind.

Aerex stood and walked away from the fire.  He had seen where Kyrian went, and knew what he observed.  An odd feeling of jealousy twinged in his head, as though the elfin paladin posed some threat to Aerex's status - for a moment, he missed even Keykold's old tricks.  Instead of his usual righteous anger, though, Matare chose the course of action over reaction.  Under the veil of night, he followed Talia's path into the meadow where she held her vigil.  The smell of burnt wax still lingered in the air as he approached.

He didn't bother announcing himself: she would already know he was coming with her odd gypsy sixth sense.  He stood some distance behind her as she sat silently, staring at the silvery sliver of moon.  "You've given some rest to their souls," Aerex said quietly.  He shook his head.  "At least, I hope you have.  I'm no theologian."  A pregnant silence lingered along with the sorrowful smoke of the burnt candles.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2007, 03:41:09 AM »
Talia had been sitting there, thinking.  Thinking about the past, and what had happened; thinking about the future and what she would do.  When Aerex spoke, she nodded.  "That's the idea, anyway.  They're in the care of the ancestors now; I can't do anything else for them."  She shifted her position slightly.  "To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do now.  I mean, I'd like to find my father, but I don't know where to start.  it's not even certain he's in Jantir.  My grandfather seldom spoke of him, and never to me.  But it's a small matter.  I still don't know what I'm going to do when I find him and after."  She was silent for a moment.  It was rare for her to talk so freely about personal matters, but for some reason, she felt like she could talk to Aerex.  "What about you?  What are you going to do?"
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2007, 09:48:43 PM »
Aerex sighed.  "I'm not sure either," he said, sitting down beside her.  "I - I miss home.  But I don't know if I can look at it the same way, knowing the corruption that's behind it all."  He paused, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye.  Her silver hair seemed to glow the same color as the moonlight.  "If that man in Jantir is your father, maybe he could help bring about some change."  The thought crossed his mind, however briefly, that Talia's father was himself a corrupt member of the courts, but the thought passed: the progenitor of such a beautiful creature couldn't be so corrupted.

Matare looked at her again, this time more deliberately.  His nature was to be far more genteel and - frankly - cowardly, but something stirred within him.  "Look, Talia, whether you go to Jantir to look for your father or not, I want to go with you.  And if he's not there, and you want to keep searching, I'll still go with you."  Awkwardly but confidently, Aerex placed a hand on Talia's back.  "Wherever you go, I will follow."
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2007, 09:17:20 PM »
Talia stared at him for a moment.  She wondered if he knew how close his statement was to a semi-common sentiment in Romani.  "You say that now," she said gently.  "I wonder if you've thought about it.  I've never followed any law but one, and it's not your law.  I know it means a lot to you."  She was quiet.  "Gypsy law isn't the same as city-law; that's part of why we and the city folk don't tend to get along.  I won't promise that I'll always behave in what you might think is the 'right' manner.  In fact, it's fairly certain I won't.  And I don't see changing that any time soon.  Do you still say you want to come with me?" 

It would, she thought, be all right with her if he did.  But it just wasn't in her nature to change the way she was to suit someone else.  Better to have that out front, before he got too invested in her.  Or the other way round.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2007, 10:04:36 PM »
Aerex nodded slowly.  It was one of the few things besides her that he had given thought to.  "That law that I used to follow has failed both me and my home.  It failed Ganse, and Bross, and Maegla.  That human law is broken.  I only obey natural law now."  He bit his lip.  "I don't know if it's just me, what happened in Jantir, that druidic cairn, you, or something else - but I've changed the way I see things."  He examined her dusky complexion, as though reading it for some kind of answer or instruction.  "Besides, I know better than to ask you to change who you are," he said softly.  "For one" - he smirked ever so slightly, despite himself - "I know it wouldn't work.  And, I couldn't ask you to be something you aren't.  You're Talia Bladedancer, Gypsy and warrior.  I wouldn't change that for all the Dynast's lands."
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 09:08:58 PM »
Talia nodded as he spoke.  "Whatever it was, I think you might like it better.  City-law doesn't always make sense, but the natural law is far wiser."  She was still for a moment as he made his last statement.  Then she grinned, reached forward and grabbed Aerex's shirt.  She yanked him close, kissing him full on the mouth.  When she finally let go, she leaned back, smirking.  "Then we'll travel together for a time.  Until one of us decides to leave."
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2007, 03:18:31 PM »
Aerex blinked, dumbfounded for a moment.  Even his ranger's instinct didn't leave him ready for that.  He began to open his mouth as if to stay something, but quickly shut it again.  He had wanted to say that no, he will never leave, that he'd follow her to hell and back, that he'd strangle a thousand xaren before he left her.  But that was him, not her, and he was not about to dare risking what they had just forged.

Matare sat back for a moment, his hand on hers, staring back at the Man in the Moon, the pale beams of light softly outlining their faces.  "Should we say anything to the others?" he asked after a while.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2007, 10:39:27 PM »
"Say anything about what?"  For a moment, Talia sounded confused.  "Oh.  You can, if you wish.  I see no reason to conceal the fact.  Of course, I see no reason to wave it out in the open, either.   While I don't deny any affairs I might have," she smiled at him as she said it, "They are my affairs and my business."  She sighed.  "I suppose there might inevitably be some confusion between us.  Different customs and such.  I'm okay with that, though."  She sqeezed his hand.  "It'll all work out."
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2007, 05:34:00 AM »
Far less lofty pursuits in mind, Kyrian exercised, already dressed in metal finery. One has to learn to optimise movement in heavy armor, and it is a skill that fades with disuse. He even considered getting himself a squire to aid him in donning his working garb. When you had to rely on strangers on such a vital task, you were never sure if their untrained hands did not tie a knot wrong, or leash a belt loosely.

The sun was drawing a blazing line across the horizon as it rose from its resting place to resume its glorious voyage. Kyrian greeted it a slight bow, and proceded to inspect his armor, test whether it impaired him or not, and found it to be to his liking. Never work without appropriate garb - a furred vest, heavy boots and study gloves for the lumberjack, lofty translucent silks for the courtesan, and shining steel with cross and rose for him.

A whistle later, trusty Herald approached, ready for his morning oats and carrot. Kyrian brushed a few leaves from his steed§s mane, and proceeded to brush its fur to a glossy sheen, and suffusing it with a potion against fleas and malady. The hooves had to be checked as well, and saddle and bridle donned.

A good while later, he brushed his cheek against the stallion§s muzzle, and asked cheerfully: "So, buddy, are we ready for the world? Or rather, is the world ready for 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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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2007, 11:16:47 AM »
Vorodon withdrew to the edge of the encampment, unable to sleep and unsure what to do.  He couldn't protect Maegla, not the way that she needed, but she needed someone to keep her safe.  The hulking fighter had tried to speak further with her, but she had retreated to one of the gypsy wagons and apparently gone to sleep.

Frustrating hours passed as Vorodon sat at the edge of the firelight, thinking and mending his equipment.  Everything seemed to have gone so wrong.  Bross was dead, but vengeance had left Vorodon empty.  He had followed the gypsies to find Maegla, but she seemed to blame him for her husband's death.  He wanted to talk with the Insector, but the little man seemed to have retreated with Talia.

As the reddish tones of the rising sun colored the world, Vorodon hoped that the previous night's ghosts would not haunt the new day.  He needed to find out where that egg had come from.  They were close to the hill country of his childhood; perhaps he could find some peace there.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2007, 10:25:38 PM »
As the camp woke to the rays of the morning sun, Vorodon was already standing beside the melting ice of the Brownflow, some hours from camp, poking and prodding along the muddy bank of the swollen river. Young Yandry was with him, yawning incessantly, and silently cursing his own luck.

Kyrian meanwhile, had dressed and donned his mail, which was now glistening beneath the stark sun. His woman of the previous night had brought the knight his steed, and Kyrian mounted the magnificent creature, as the horse reared on its hind legs, brayed loudly, and kicked its front hooves defiantly into the air, much to the enjoyment of the gypsies who were packing their caravans. A few whistled, and some even clapped in approval of the beautiful equine, and its mail-clad rider.

It was this whimsical display which allowed Talia and Aerex to reemerge in the camp unseen. Each wore a peculiar expression, Talia’s unreadable, while Aerex’ one of guarded serenity.

At this time, Maegla had emerged from her tent, and having recognized the Bladedancer and the diminutive ranger, from the sound of their steps and their smell, approached demurely, her head bowed.

“Talia, Aerex, I am afraid I have angered and upset dear Vorodon. Have you seen him? I wish to speak with him...thank him properly and make amends”

Having been assured by both Talia and Aerex that they indeed had not recently seen the half-ogre, she continued, “I wish to go with him, to his village, the village of my unborn son’s father. If you see him, please..please, tell him so.” Maegla paused, then walked away again back toward her tent, to pack her meager belongings. Lil’ Bross must approve of my decision, she thought and smiled as she touched her swollen belly. The half-ogre was kicking.

As Talia and Aerex watched Maegla go, Kyrian rode up behind them.

“I would speak with you both”, the elven knight said in his measured, but mellifluous tone.

<OOC> Didn’t move things too far along, as at least two PCs expressed their wish to discuss travel plans IC, or so I read.</OOC>
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 10:28:39 PM by Murometz »
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2007, 02:37:57 AM »
"So - what is the fastest path to glorious Jantir, if I may ask?" Kyrian inquired from the recently arrived Aerex. "And where is our petite Vorodon? We have wasted time long enough, and I would hate to leave without him, as much as he would loathe the loss of our company."

The hulking warrior was nowhere to be seen. "Nothing has befallen him, I hope? Shall we search for him?"
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 02:06:16 AM by EchoMirage »
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2007, 07:42:32 AM »
"Maegla was asking the same thing," Aerex said.  "We should find him before we decide where to go next."  He gazed down the rocky path out of the encampment.  "It's a ways to Jantir by on foot, though it's the most direct path, and we cut into Volgottoi territory.  If Vorodon is taking Maegla there, we should head that way.  Or, we could look for a town on the river and hop a boat to Jantir."  Aerex's brow furrowed for a moment.  "Hey, whatever happened to that egg?"  He wasn't sure what had reminded him: speaking of Voro, or his own hunger.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2007, 08:08:12 PM »
Talia looked around.  "Well, it shouldn't be too hard to find him, Voro's hard to miss."  After checking with some of the other gypsies, she ascertained that Voro had headed toward the river with Yandry and the egg.  "Don't know what he's up to, but it should be easy to catch up to him."  She was already heading in the indicated direction.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2007, 02:12:33 AM »
"Ah well - I guess my duties extend to young damsel Maegla here." Addressing the young lass, he spoke: "Let me help you to ascend Herald - if danger ensues, he will carry you to safety. Truly, his mind and senses are keener than those of most people. Please, tak my hand, and set a foot in the stirrup. We will find Vorodon and deliver you to the illustrious citadels of the Volgottoi in no time."

Maegla seated, he took Herald's reins and headed after his companions.

Vorodon's tracks, and those of a pair of small feet, were plainly visible in the mud and sand on the riverside, and they proceeded with utmost haste.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2007, 11:44:54 AM »
Vorodon hadn't travelled far.  Trying to get a better idea of how the land was laid out, he had climbed the tallest hill in the area, scanning the distance in the morning light.  The land ahead lay spread out before him like a rumpled blanket; from the lofty summit, the massive warrior was able to make out which path he hoped to follow.  This land might be rough, but it was still nothing compared to the rugged hills and shadowed valleys ahead.

The half-ogre headed back toward camp.  Hopefully, he could get the others to come to the hills with him.
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