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Author Topic: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam  (Read 10492 times)

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Offline Kassil

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[Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« on: December 20, 2009, 10:55:03 AM »
Sengril, the mightiest city-state on the Hollow Continent; built of polished stone and gleaming metal, it rises in the near distance to seemingly absurd heights as the caravan, at long last, rolls over the last few miles holding it at bay. Already, the delicate trails of steam cooled to mist can be seen threading amid the needle-like towers, and a faint breeze blows by, heavy with the exotic stink of the city. A sensitive nose can unravel the scent of things being scorched, the cool damp of the condensing steam, and a thousand smells of life - beasts of burden, oils, and spices mingling into a blend half-repulsive and half-enticing.

The trip has been long for even those newest to the caravan train; the nearest city considered worthy of attention is nearly a month's travel away, skirting the edges of the Blightwood and even, daringly, taking a shortcut across the Amber Wastes. Luck had been on the caravan's side, as none of the wagons or travelers had been lost to the strange petrification of the Wastes, and the attack of a pair of trolls along the Blightwood had been successfully fended off with blade and magic, leaving ashes in their wake. Now, at last, the travel is over, and new opportunities beckon ahead.

Everyone in the caravan has been forced to make alliances and friendships to some degree. Even the halfling and the orc have some form of tentative peace, a thing nearly unheard-of. There is time for a few last discussions and offers, yet, before the caravan passes through the gates and disembarks.
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 05:04:10 AM »
As the orc looked over the city, from his place along the side of the caravan, he scowled, his scarred and tattooed purple face looking even more dyspeptic than usual. Even out here, he could feel the writhing oppressive mass of the city, and for a split second, he remembered why he had once forsworn them. But no. There were things that cried out for him to do, even here.

Still, Rages-Inward shook his head, and turned his attention back to the flask that he had been observing since leaving the Blightwood. Made of glass, he had bartered for it from an elf in exchange for a dose of simple soporific from his herbal kit, before filling it partly with the ash of the trolls, calcining it in the open flask until he had been satisfied that the ash was thoroughly dead.  At last he shrugged, and slipped it in among the other elixirs and leaves that filled the herbalist's kit. Though he had barely stuck his spears in the trolls, leaving his contributions to the battle more subtly, that same herbalist's kit had proved invaluable in stitching up the injuries the trolls had left, gaining him some small measure of popularity through the caravan.

Yet, with the city so close, yet so far, his eyes could not help but return to it, as he said, simply, to any who cared to listen, "In a place so large, even the Small Gods must jostle each other for elbow room."

Offline Throx

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 12:20:39 PM »
Jolly lounged comfortably in the cart in the little halfling-shaped den he'd made for himself as he watched the city grow larger and larger in front of the caravan.  A broad friendly smile crossed his lips as he daydreamed about returning home one day to exact vengeance on his entire tribe and family for their unforgivable betrayal.  They would burn... slowly.

His warm grin was noticed and returned by one of the caravanners as he passed to tend something-or-other that was beneath Jolly's notice.  These people were even better than he'd hoped, so simple and trusting.  Help them stick a few blades into a couple of trolls and you were their friend for life.  It was refreshing and disconcerting that no one had tried to force his meager possessions from him yet - something he was used to defending several times a day at home.  He guessed they were just to afraid of him to try, but the nagging doubt that he didn't have anything worth stealing crossed his mind from time to time.

The city was his hope, and the support he could garner from some of the others in the caravan were central to his forming plans of revenge.  That daydream was his bright spot, and smiling at another passing caravanner, he nursed his revenge.  He'd need time, but he would have it and they'd all pay.  Every last one of them.

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 04:16:34 PM »
Being a good shot earned Bergenord a position atop one of the armored wagons; though he felt uneasy with the haphazard human contraption under his feet, it was still more secure than trudging along the ground. A man had to weigh his risks, otherwise he might not be around to spend his gains.
He puffed from his cigar to the rhythm of the tank's engine, and looked towards the city. His marks were there, and once they were goners, a whole lot of Reiksmarks would be rolling his way, yellow like little suns to brighten his day and shine on his road to a better tomorrow.

With the city in sight, he relaxed a little, and ceased his watch. Nothing would ambush them so close to the town. He had some time to page through some materials about the mercenary guilds in town; it would not hurt to find employ until he knew enough about the von Gaarders to make his move.

From what he gathered, only three others from the caravan would be staying in town, an odd assortment of merry misfits, as it seemed. Still, it would not hurt to keep tabs on them, just in case; also, they seemed to be a rather amusing company for a drink, and easy to motivate towards violence, which might come in handy in case he needed someone beside him in a fight.

He put on his jovial-and-always-drunk-dwarf mien, yelled a toast in their general direction and emptied the cup.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline Kassil

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 08:07:26 PM »
After a few more hours winding down along the rough roadway, the grassy dirt and gravel gives way to stonework, and the caravan slowly rolled through the massive arches that marked a passage through the city's lightning wall, flanked by massive gates of steel, stone, and copper. Almost instantly, the character of the surroundings transform; on one side of the scorched and glassy line was the loose patchwork of farmland that served to feed the city, while on the other were bulky structures of crimson and black stone, decorated with abstract patterns in homage to the city's patron deities. The smell, too, is a nearly instant transformation as the caravan passes between the structures, the previously faint scents becoming cloying, and tendrils of misty vapor visibly reaching out from the alleyways and the city's depths with an almost eager appearance. Rattling and ticking sounds come from all directions, along with the sound of numerous inhabitants bent on their daily routines.

Finally, the caravan rolls into the West Market, a large square surrounded by looming warehouses and shops, the space filled with caravan wagons, colorful stalls, and a low thunder of sapients conducting business. The caravan itself draws into a circle, presenting large windows to the outside for the inhabitants to conduct business from while ensnaring a neatly controlled circle of space for personal use.

It is here that the caravan master and his guard captain beckon those who are departing at this time, drawing them close. The hulking emerald-scaled lizardman and the kobold gunmage both offer to shake hands with each passenger, the captain adding a gracious nod. "It wass a mosst ssuccessful trip here, thankss in no ssmall part to the actionss of you all. The trollss were an unexpected trial, but readily handled. I would not mind having you along the resst of the way to our desstination, but I undersstand you all have bussiness here. Sstill, if you reconssider, we will be here for the next week and a half. Perhapss if you come back, Wesscran here will hire you to be guardss for the next leg." A sardonic grin full of sharp, curved teeth flashes briefly, and the lizardman's tail strikes the ground in what passes for a laugh among his kind. "He payss hiss employeess well enough, to be ssure."

The kobold, for his part, simply ignores the captain's banter, acting only to confirm the offer with a nod of his red-scaled head, the bright yellow and turquoise paint slashed in war stripes over his facial features flashing in the sunlight.

With that, the city itself beckons, the clamor of thousands of voices both mortal and otherwise ringing in the air, and the lure of riches in coin, magic, and glory almost palpable.
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline Throx

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 08:26:33 AM »
Jolly took in the new and fantastic sights of the city as the caravans slowly wound their way to the market.  He'd never seen so many people in such a small place before and it made him both edgy and excited.  The leader of this place must be strong indeed so it would be a little way off before he could think about that sort of challenge.  He still needed to garner support from the others and had little time to do it before they all disappeared on their separate ways.

Wanting to make the best impression by showing ALL his teeth, Jolly flashed his biggest smile at the captain as he came to shake his hand then, as the captain was busy with the others, quickly went to pack up his belongings and anything else nearby that might be useful in the immediate future.  With the sights, smells and ridiculous amounts of unsecured sparkly things in the market begging for his attention he loudly announced his intention to go shopping and that he certainly wasn't adverse to company (after all, having helpful people nearby was a great way to get out of trouble when it inevitably happened).

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 06:39:28 AM »
"I will join you there in a while, perchance in the Prancing Basilisk tavern I see over there, but first things first, dwarves need to settle and fortify!" Merrily, he strolled off, to the pension of one Missis Rabensteiner, an upstanding widow running a serene boarding house for single gentlemen, in a silent and peaceful corner of the city; the lady thought him a traveling craftsman, and he made sure to bring her a tiny present every time he came by.
On his way back to the market, he'd hit up his contacts and let them know he was in the city, to let the data flow.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 03:49:58 PM »
His hand shaken, the stout orc Rages-Inward can do little but smile faintly, even toothily as the offer is made. "There is every chance, sir, that the Gods themselves will want me out of town in a ten-day. Perhaps I shall be willing to sign on as a guard, perhaps as cargo." He'd been told before, after all, that he hid well in a pile of beets, despite his complex, ritual scarring.

Turning away, his meager possessions already pouched and packed around his body, he draws a deep breath, daring to let his eyes turn a silvery color as he does so. "Prancing Basilisk. Hope they have a drink worthy of the name."

The Orc hated these places. Choking with the great numbers until the spirits themselves screamed and went mad from the lack of space. Still, there must be an enclave of his kind to take refuge among, at least for the few days he would be stuck in this pool. The market, he supposed, would be a good place to start, even if it meant following the steps of the accursed halfling for a moment longer.

Offline Kassil

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 09:19:14 PM »
---Jolly and Rages-Inward---

The marketplace is quite busy, once one leaves the shelter of the caravan's wagon ring. Every sense is assaulted heavily - a thick layer of damp air redolent with spices, the scent of cooking, countless unwashed bodies, and the creeping stink of decay. Garish colors flash from every angle, front painted stalls, colorful cloths serving as clothing and makeshift roofing, and a bewildering array of personal adornment, from the garish hues of the clothing on a cluster of froglike humanoids hawking their pottery and jewelry to the vivid paint slashes adorning the kobolds roaming amid the stalls. The air is likewise full of the babble of countless voices, snippets of numerous conversations woven into a cacophony, interlaced with a dozen competing strains of music as minstrels and other entertainers strive to make a profit from the crowds.

To the halfling, all of these sensory assaults are half-maddening and half-exciting, to the point that it is difficult to focus to any great degree for more than a moment. Here is a shop belonging to a dwarven smith, a compact forge fed with alchemical fuels sending a wash of searing heat out into the open row as he hammers a wickedly-serrated blade into shape for the Braun sweating profusely in front of the counter. There is what passes for a deli, cuts of exotic meat dangling in the other air and a kobold painted in bloody hues extols the virtues of the flesh of such strange creatures as the kraken, the landsquid, and the dream moth. Further still is a froglike humanoid, his skin more brilliantly colored than anything else in sight, offering curious lanterns - some which glow without fire, and others which seem to have a curious shadow clinging about them.

To Rages-Inward, the city is much more... Vibrant, in a way. As the orc's eyes shimmer silver, his eyesight slipping into the spirit realm, the entire world becomes a swirling chaos for several seconds, until his mind begins to filter what he is seeing. So dense is the concentration of spiritual energy in the city, between the inhabitants themselves, the thaumic miasma of runes and arcane technology, and the presence of countless lesser spirits - nascent and fully born alike. Over it all lies the unmistakable presence of the Gods of the city - billowing plumes of raw spiritual energy rising above the city, a sense of profound awareness radiating from them. To the orc's eyes, he can clearly identify each of the six - from the graceful twists of the Artisan Steamgod to the disturbingly organic plume of the Lord of Biocraft. Here and there shimmer other sparks of energy, and through the miasma his eyes can make out the kind of cluster that often results from an orcish sanctuary in such cities, where lesser gods go to feed on the willing worship of any orc in sight.

Both can make out the Prancing Basilisk, a low building artisically carven with images of the serpentine creatures cavorting on the walls. Jolly's keen nose can detect a most pleasant aroma from it - raw meat heavily infused with burning-hot spices - while Rages-Inward's curious eyes can see several small, distinct motes of spirit-life skittering within the walls.

---Bergenord---

The dwarf, meanwhile, moves with a steady stride through the streets , easily pushing through the market crowds and out into the city's streets - much less crowded, but also much more open. Here and there, those who recognize the dwarf, often unwillingly, grudgingly giving up what they know of his marks; one of the targets, in particular, seemed to have developed a strong case of piety toward Ssessil, the Lord of Biocraft, often attending worship services three or four times a week. The other marks, much less is known, although all of his contacts promise to find out what they can for him within a few days.

Missis Rabensteiner, for her part, is delighted to see the 'craftsman' once again, bestowing a beaming smile upon him - a proper Lady, she doesn't descend to physical contact, but instead coos in delight over the trinket he bears. "By the cogs, it's been simply /ages/ since you were here last, my dear! Do tell me, how do you do these days? Any lovely young dwarf girls catch your fancy since you were here last?" For all that she's an upstanding widow, she can't help but latch onto any kind of social gossip - so bland is her life that such trivial details are the height of excitement. "Any apprentices yet? I do so appreciate these trinkets, and I'd hate to see your craft and skill lost, as much as you travel out there in the beastly wilderness."
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2010, 11:59:28 PM »
As the purple orc pushes through the crowd, his eyes slide back to their merciful natural color, Rages-Inward blinking several times as he does so. There are Greater Powers here, here where this many men can feed them well, and this disturbed him. With a glance towards the Prancing Basilisk, he parts with Jolly, swarming into the crowd. 

As he moves through the crowd, Rages-Inwards swirls past the stalls in the rough direction of the orcish enclave. There are supplies to purchase, herbs to buy and sell, people to meet. But still, he ends his path at the edge of his cousin's territory. The initial pleasantries he exchanges with the tribesmen, to learn their name and where he might find the local spirit speaker and chieftans, before heading in that general direction. There would certainly be tasks to be done among them, but there were, after all, proprieties to honor, the rituals of arrival. 

Offline Throx

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2010, 03:35:24 AM »
So much activity!  So many people!  So many things!  Jolly wanders slowly around the marketplace in a daze, his eyes leaping from stall to stall.  This was certainly beyond anything he could have imagined.

While the draw of the dark-lamps is certainly strong, Jolly is drawn towards the strange aromas sweeping out from the stall of the blood-hued kobold.  The cuts of meat hanging there are strange and new to him, but they look decidedly inviting.  Appraising one of the larger cuts in the stall with a particularly strong odor, he draws his dagger and cuts a small piece to sample the unfamiliar flesh.

Offline Pariah

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 06:22:42 PM »
Tal has stood here for quite some time, he's sure of it, though he doesn't really know just how long.  He remembered seeing the obnoxious halfling wander off followed by the multicolored orc, and hearing mention of a tavern; which at this point is just what he needs, alcohol to drown out the voices in his head screaming for blood.  The scents of the city assail him, a refuge where every vice known to man, and many that aren't, can be found.  Shaking is head to try and clear out the thoughts assailing him, Tal shambles to the tavern to try and drown his thirsts.
One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.  Orwell

(13:23:49) (Chinchillas): See? You can write like an 4$$h013 when you're not writing like a pompous 4$$h013.

Offline Kassil

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 06:25:47 PM »
-----Rages-Inward-----
The local orcs, it seems, bear the tribal name of the Steam-born; one elder confides, a bit sadly, that they were once the Twelve Shadows tribe, but when they were among those to witness the rise of the Steamgods, the decision was made to venerate these new deities fully. Perhaps more disturbingly to the purple-hued outsider, a great many of the tribe seem to bear thaumatechnological grafts and augmentations, things whose transformation of spiritual energy is intense enough to glow faintly in his skewed vision whether or not he looks into the spirit realm.

He does, however, learn that even with the myriad lesser spirits and gods he can plainly sense, the only deities openly venerated in the city are the mighty powers of the Six; other shrines are outlawed by authorities and held to be blasphemous by the local clergy. The orcs, of course, have numerous small shrines tucked away in the depths of their enclave, where no non-orc is ever permitted to set foot, but they are the exception. Most oddly, the orc's eyes trace out, hidden in the depths of the restricted area, a distinct pattern to the placement of the other shrines - tracing out a peculiar sigil that seems to whisper of a Power, even though there is no thundering emanation to match the Six resident in the city.

-----Jolly-----
At the display of the knife, the blood-hued kobold whirls, leaping with astonishing dexterity to land just out of slashing range of the halfling. "Hold that blade! What in the same of the Crafter of Flesh do you think you're doing, feral blade-tongue?" Jolly's eye might happen to catch on the impressively large cleaver the kobold has in easy reach of his left hand, as the sanguine-hued reptilian glares at him.

-----Tal-----
The Prancing Basilisk is relatively busy, well-lit by glowing orbs of glass; tables are loosely arranged around the room, subtly suggesting an open space in the middle which might easily be cleared if a brawl were to break out. Roughly two-thirds of the tables are occupied, with a bewildering variety of races, identifiable and otherwise. Tal easily finds a vacant table with a bit of space around him, allowing him to slump into a chair as a barmaid - at least he thinks it might be a barmaid - come sauntering over to him; the sheer amount of metal gleaming on the lizardfolk makes determining a gender impossible, and indeed only the tail swaying behind it gives away the species until it talks. "Ssomething to drink, ssir? Ssome food, perhapss? We've a lovely roasst grackle today, and the bread iss quite fressh. Perhapss ssome Perilian cheesse and bread, and an Amber Wasstess Sstout? I'm told it'ss jusst the thing to take the edge off a hard day."
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 02:42:46 AM »
It was no wonder that Giordi von Gaarder would join the Biocrafters, given that he was a disfigured wretch, stunted and bloated from over-indulgence; many would do far more to change their bodies for better. Most likely, the picture and description he had would no longer be good. There was nothing to worry, though, he'd fid him soon enough.

With lady Rabensteiner, he engaged in smalltalk, exchanging bits of gossip from outside for gossip from the city. "You wouldn't believe the state of the roads! Fully six roadside keeps were unmanned, with no sign of their crews anywhere... but that's nothing compared to the city of Vassliya - they have a new dictator there, the primarch; she lets herself be carried along the streets in a sedan, by girls clad in feathers no less. Nothing like proper women, all skin and bone. When I will find myself one? Well, they don't come cheap these days! Heavens no, no buying price, the dowry!"

It was refreshing, indeed.
In a far better mood, he headed downtown again, pushing through the crowds. "Back off, yer kneecaps are at me mercy!"

Once there, he'd look for his acquaintances and keep the eyes and ears open.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline Throx

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2010, 04:52:52 AM »
Giving the kobold a quizzical look, Jolly cleans his knife and returns it to his belt while tasting the small sample he took from the cut of meat.  With fresh juice running down his chin, he savors the new and exotic taste and turns his attention to the livid shopkeeper.

"Don't pick a fight you don't want, friend.", Jolly warns through a smirk.  "You can hardly expect to sell me your meat if I don't know the quality, can you?  You're lucky though - I like this one."  Taking a few random coins gained from his work with the caravan from his pouch, the halfling held his hand out to the merchant, "How much can I get for this, and what beast did it come from?"

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2010, 07:09:00 PM »
To the Elder, Rages-Inward can only smile faintly. "Powers as great as the seven that dwell here must be acknowledged, Elder,  especially those who have power enough to command the attention of the other races. And I see that you yet give our brothers in spirit their due. For this, I cannot fault you." Drawing himself straighter, he yet loosens his body, in the manner of a Speaker delivering the message for the spirits.  "Indeed, I bring you word of other Small Gods. It is the Lord Perrin that asks me now to speak of you, for he feels that he may be needed in this place. It is Perrin who wears down the iron of the chains when we strive against them, and who blesses those who remain free of soul with freedom of body."

Asking of the others to bring him several of the things he would need, the orcish spirit speaker finds his way towards the hidden grove of the spirits, taking, as is customary, the walk of introduction through the shrines to the various Small Gods. Aroi, the Shaper of the Self. Holmas, the Seeker of Justice. Serieth, the Boring Speaker. Eritol, the Tinmeizer. To all of these, and others besides, Rages-Inward was taken. And when they had reached the appropriate place, and the materials brought to him, he stepped up to the empty space. With practiced ease, he made the icon of Perrin's face, and set it down. Beginning a low chant of empty syllables, Rages-Inward began to tie the feathers of the Aver to the manacles,  before reverentially placing them upon the stone beneath. "Lord Perrin! With this, I consecrate this shrine to you! Do with it what thou wilt!" The long rod, he set within the barrel of the lock, before bringing the hammer down to shatter it. For a moment, the faint feel of a divinity entering the area was upon him, and the laughter of an amused Man was there as well.

"Repeat this from time to time. Maybe some dancing girls too. Let them be free of their clothing." With that pronouncement, the orc jabs his finger in the general direction of the icon he just consecrated, with a broad smirk. At least it will be less boring to be there, eh, Perrin?

"I would commune with the others now, cousins." Letting his Vision return to the spirit world in full, he turned then, approaching the shrine of Aroi. Taking a deep breath, he considered that noble shrine, spending a moment in calm reflection and meditation, before falling not to his knees in the dirt before the icon, but rather entirely prone. As he stares into the eye of Aroi's icon, he states, "I have neglected many things, among them my body. Aroi, If thou wilt, aid me as I attend to the things I have neglected." With that, he places his palms down on the ground, and presses, his solid body rigid, only his arms flexing as he pushes himself to their full extension. "One." And down. And up. "Two." And down, and up. "Three." Ten push ups later, he rolls, and flexes now at the waist, simple sit ups, again ten.  And then he sits, slipping his hands into a pouch, only to cast his dice, and scribe the numbers there in the dirt, before adding, subtracting, and multiplying them.

Offline Kassil

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2010, 06:43:10 AM »
---Bergenord---
The crowd readily moves away from the dwarf, wary of one threatening their legs, although a few Aver flying overhead stick their tongues out and make rude gestures in his direction before darting away. The marketplace is still a veritable riot, although it is surprisingly easy that he spots the halfling, apparently managing to avoid picking a fight with a kobold. As to the orc, and the demented elf, there is as yet no sign.

The tavern beckons beyond the halfling, and with it, the promise of some cool drink and warm food, a welcome change from the travel fare of the caravan.

---Jolly---
The kobold eyes the halfling suspiciously, and plucks the coins from his hand with a deft gesture, examining them for a moment. "This... I'll cut you a quarter of the joint off. But, as a word of advice, friend," and the kobold puts a rather familiar stress on the word, one that Jolly recognizes from the way the stronger ones of his tribe spoke to threaten each other if they slipped up, "Ask a merchant before you try to sample the wares. It keeps you from being brought to the attention of the Templars."

"As for the meat... It's wyrm meat. They're the lesser cousins to the Dragons, according to some. Huge snake-things in the deep wilds." The kobold steps back, not taking his eyes off the halfling as he hefts the cleaver and cleaves a large chunk off the meat - Jolly notices that the blade cuts as smoothly through the bone in the middle as through the meat itself - and holds it out to him. "Here."

---Rages-Inward---
The Elder smiles, slightly at the purple orc's comment about seven great powers, and helps the younger orc in collecting the materials he needs for the new shrine, watching carefully as Rages-Inward performs his ritual. Finally, he claps the younger orc on the shoulder. "We thank you for bringing Lord Perrin to us, cousin. We will give this Man of the Free his due, as you say." His broad, wrinkly face splits into a grin. "And perhaps dancing girls will be a welcome change to some of these dusty shrines and the small gods who dwell within them."

The actions before the shrine stir a curious attention from the spirit within it, although little more than that - the orc gets the sense that there is another, mightier presence stirring slightly, directing the tiniest mote of attention his way, and that the lesser spirit does not wish to interfere with this mightier power. Perhaps later, he can try again with his communion...
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2010, 07:17:58 PM »
Feeling the attention of the greater presence, Rages-Inward climbs to his feet once more, setting his feet upon the start of the pattern now, with a word of parting to the elder. Beginning at the temple of the Seeker of Justice, he begins to walk the path that meanders between them, every step infused with the purpose of communion as Rages-Inward focuses strongly upon that tiny mote of attention, chanting the ritual cant of blessing to the greater spirits.

As he reaches the end of the pattern, he turns his mind entirely to the greater spirit, filtered as it is by the pattern he had just walked. "Great One! I hear your call, and I respond! I am Rages-Inward, who seeks to temper the strength of the soul. Let us speak, oh Great Spirit, and see if our strengths can aid one another."

Offline Throx

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Re: [Kuramen] Chapter I: City of Steam
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2010, 05:15:10 AM »
Jolly simpered a mumbled thanks at the kobold and slinked out of the store.  Cutting a small strip of meat from the wyrmflesh, he stashed the bulk of the joint in his pack for later.  "D**n", he cursed inwardly.  He'd left the tribe to start over with himself on top instead of being subservient to everyone and everything and the first hour out in the city he's been bested by a kobold.  It was time to stop and take stock of things and think through his next move.

The pub caught his eye and interrupted his chain of thought.  Jolly really had never been one for long and deep thought, and he brightly remembered some of the others from the caravan talking about going for some well-earned liquid refreshment.  Maybe there he could find the trigger he needed to start building the future he deserved.  Humming a short tune (an old halfling ditty about disembowelment and bloodsport) he made his way through the stalls, smiling and baring his teeth at the ungrateful people in the crowd when they jostled him.

Throwing open the door of the pub, Jolly paused to look around while absentmindedly chewing on the strip of wyrmflesh...
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 05:27:38 AM by Throx »