Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:54 am

"For a Walk" Responded the dwarf irritably.

"And good bloody timing on that, But I'd not worry too much. Firstly, they returned Merric, Like him herself is worth more in one piece. That said, She was somewhat brusque when she left. I think we could all use some counselling, but better on the open road than this market. To be honest, she wasn't revealed to my knowing at the Ball either, And isn't registered with us neither." Thorgrim was starting to Rant now, turning to Meric he continued it "And tho I've faith in us to pull a mighty Tally on the undead, Not a Damned Copper of it will go to those Thugs. I'd Rather gamble it away at Kreet's Den!"

The Warrior seemed to simmer for a moment. Then reached over and grabbed the ear "This! This is a deceleration of War. Nothing more, Nothing Less." He resisted the Urge to scrunch the fleshy cloth wrapped appendage "It's not our Dadî.. Err, what's the word.. jurisdiction. We take all we know to the Town Guard. Its a group aligned to to those the City is at war with, With identifiable Tattoo's, Wanted for the attempt on the Lord. Manna's not the only Terrorist in the City, Let us give the Guards a group they can hunt down with impunity!"

Thorgrim Exhaled heavily, seeming to calm a bit. "Who's is it? I've Just Visited the Embassy and Dorn and no ones Missing. It's Human so that rules out a lot of people. The Key wasn't at his usual hideout, Tho they caught him once there before... Still, There was no sign of Struggle this time. We'd Best also warn our Kin to be on Guard none the less."

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:57 am

"So, back to repaying our so called debt one arrow at a time then?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:06 am

"Ohh aye!" Thorgrim growled menacingly. "I Don't care for how these Genreans handle such things, But us Dwarves have not patience for extortionists. Even those fast Holdyden money grubbers, It's much of what makes them so effective against your human economy. We don't Pay. It just encourages the cockroaches. Better chance just to fight em all and take back what they took. Any guarantee they had of honesty was broken when they didn't leave well enough alone and came back. They had their chance to walk free..."

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:22 am

"Agreed, but we'll be away for a time and they may get impatient, best they don't have reason to go after the edan's families. You're astald... brave? stoic, enough to face the threat and i'm not concerned for the time being, but our allies need to be focused, seere en' nowe quel buyien." *ahem* "Peace of mind is worth buying."
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:05 pm

Eadwine's ire rose as Thorgrim spoke. Who was he to judge Eadwine and Merrick's reaction? It was their families in danger, not his...
As soon as the thought formed Eadwine realised that the dwarf's family was in danger---that was the reason for his haste to get to the North Watch. Eadwine's wrath melted away, replaced by clarity.

"Thorgrim, if the Lord 'suddenly' catches on that there are Faceless in Van'Tese and moves in force to root them out I have no doubt that the Faceless will realise that we were behind it. We need to appear cooperative if we're going to crush them. And I should be here to help the guards when the time comes... if possible."


Last edited by Mifurey on Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:38 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Punctuation and clarity.)
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:12 am

"There is no suddenly about it, Eadwine," Merick argued. "The Lord knows about the Faceless. They tried to assassinate him for god's sake. If the black elf in the East Bastion hadn't rocked up, I'm sure that the Faceless would've already been run out of town but they've just spread out and blended in with everyone so now it's going to be hard to catch them."

Merick eyed the dwarf warily before loosing his tongue. "I'm sure you're feeling cosy with all of your relatives Thorgrim. Picking a fight with a dwarf is fool's work and The Jailer doesn't sound like a fool. That's not going to help Eadwine and me with our families." He knelt down and scooped up the bloody cloth with its severed ear before holding it out to the group. "Look at it. This is a human ear, Thorgrim. They know where I come from and I'm damn sure that they know about Mister Popular." Merick jerked his thumb at Eadwine. "They're going to go after the easy ones first and that means they're going to Auskell. Even Faceless aren't stupid enough to pick a fight with dwarves if they don't have to."

Merick carefully bundled the ear with the cloth and stowed it in the case on his belt. When he next spoke, his voice rang out with grim acceptance. "I want to gut the cowardly bastards more than anything but that's not going to work. I mean, I've never even seen The Jailer in person so finding where he is will be damn hard. Even if we charge in their front door, some of them will always get away. Paying them off is our best bet to get this fixed."
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:35 pm

"There is a suddenly Merrick," Eadwine responded, a little more belligerently than intended. "No moves have been made against the Faceless yet, apart from us."

He took a deep breath and visibly tried to calm himself down.

"I do agree with you though. Thorgrim, I can't see any way out of this that doesn't involve us paying off the Faceless, at least partially. There's no way we can destroy them in the next day, we can't take it to the guards without endangering our families, and there's no way Merrick and I can get to Auskell before them without abandoning you and the others at North Watch. That's something I can't countenance, even if it is my family in danger.

"Your clan is in danger too, and I owe you the help." A half-smile, half-grimace split Eadwine's face above his red beard. He seemed to owe a lot of people recently...

Still, he warmed to the dwarf again---easily---and felt a new-found kinship with Merrick. Maybe he wasn't such a roustabout.


Last edited by Mifurey on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarity.)
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:22 am

"So, we pool some coin and buy some time."

Looking to Thorgrim "I don't like the idea of paying them anything, I don't think anyone here does, and I definitely don't like the idea of funding their endeavours, but we need to leave soon and we'll need everyone as focused as they can be."
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:16 pm

"Some coin probably won't work Torvus," Merick looked at the elf and rubbed his thumb and forefinger together, "I've heard that it's either all or nothing with The Jailer. If you owe even one copper to him, he'll keeping cutting and carving until he's satisfied."

The situation kept rumbling and tumbling in his head as Merick tried to figure things out. How long had it taken him to get to Van'tese from Auskell? One week? Or was it two? He couldn't remember exactly but the snow would certainly slow down the Faceless if they hadn't left yet. His family was safe for a little while yet, or so he hoped. They had some time to play with.

Merick slammed his fist into his left palm as he felt that he had a plan. "Right. We go to North Watch as we promised and there are no arguments from me on that one. We stop those undead from killing more people and creating problems for the dwarves and everyone else. I reckon if we high-tailed it to Auskell from North Watch once we're done, we can track down my family and Eadwine's family and get them out of harm's way. If the Faceless have no leverage against us, we don't have to pay them anything at all. How's that sound?" He looked around at the people that had become his friends over the last few days and weeks. Despite the bruise on his face and the altogether terrible misfortune that had recently waylaid him, Merick grinned at the prospect of fixing things. He had hope that everything would work out alright.

"That should work, right?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:43 pm

Thorgrim had been about to interject when Merric responded in a way that gave the dwarf a measure of the rouges true worth. Thorgrim felt justified in working to keep his errant companion around.

The way the Auskellions spoke of the jailer gave Thorgrim a measure of the criminals worth, and he had no doubt the Faceless would prove a dangerous foe. But still, he could tell the jailor used fear as a weapon, which was fair enough to Thorgrim for it was a mighty blade to have, and caused the boys to fear the man into something greater.

"Aye, and a good plan it sounds, tho ill need to add a brief pass by my Rochford at some point, well before the next full moon apparently. I've no wish to see your family's in danger and pledge my full support to their security when able. That said, As a dwarf I must stand apposed to any payments to these scum. I don't expect you to understand, and ill not hold against you what you do with your own coin. For now, I suggest we make a swift visit to Lord William, or Rosette. They must be informed of the enemy in their city, for the good of many other family's lives."

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:56 pm

Thorgrim stroked his beard as his contemplated how this new development fitted into their time schedule. "Bah! Naff it. We head from hear to Rochford. Push the horses, and hope with Adrysses help they survive the trip, and we will have better roads and a way we know to work with. With luck we can change horses there, then Gunn it to Northwatch. From there to Auskell. We probably won't be back in time for the next quarter moon, or even the one after that unless we get lucky. Torvus, what thinks you? We may need to do this thing on the road..."

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:38 pm

Thinking back to the promise made to his mentor Torvus replied "I'm sure we could, but I promised I wouldn't. The more I learn of this the more I think I'm going to need help, and Wil's mother made me promise not to try it without her present. Besides, I hardly think Dante will be in trouble, of course whether he wil be trouble is another thing, but we have plenty of that to worry about."

Returning to stowing the goods on the wagon Torvus selected a few furs and handed them out as he continued "Merick, I like your plan. If paying something won't slow the blood then why pay anything if you can't pay it all? We head to the Dwarves, destroy the undead, race to rescue your families, hopefully find a safe place to hide them, maybe Rochford?, I imagine the Dwarves will feel somewhat greatful, and somewhere in all this, retrieve a witches finger, summon a demon, empower an atrifact and likely destroy the cursed tree." Stopping to wrap a fur around himself Torvus felt momentarilly dizzy "To think, a month ago and my biggest concern was whether I wanted to hunt deer or boar."
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:33 pm

Thorgrim nodded wit grim eagerness. "For what its worth, the undead army stands between us and Auskell. Fair chance its in the crosshairs, which is as good a reason as any to go there. Should slow up any faceless to boot."

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:24 pm

"At worst we can part ways after dealing with the undead at North Watch," Eadwine mused, though he did not really want to leave his newfound companions. "We have competing time restraints."
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:16 pm

Merick accepted the fur that Torvus had offered him and he unclasped his new cloak before wrapping the fur around his shoulders. As he fitted everything in place and swung his cloak back on, he felt a little overdressed. His filthy undershirt kept his hide armour off his chest so that he didn't get itchy and now all of that was covered by the thick animal fur to keep him warm. The light brown cloak on top would help against the icy winds but it was mostly just extra padding at this point. I feel like I'm in one of those stories where someone gets rolled up in a rug, Merick thought.

His hand brushed the blue sash at his neck while he readjusted his cloak and listened to everyone else yammer on. He was certainly warm now, that was for certain. The sun continued to shine and turn the formerly wet sludge in the marketplace into firm earth. At least that meant they wouldn't get stuck before they even left Van'tese. Let's hope our luck keeps coming good from now on.

"Speaking of time," Merick chimed in after Eadwine, "I reckon it's almost noon. Anyone know how much longer Adrysse is going to be?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:44 am

"Who knows," responded Eadwine, accepting a cloak from Torvus with a grateful nod. As the elf moved to stow the supplies he'd bought Eadwine sighed and turned to Merrick. "Whilst we're stuck in the markets though, I'd like to pick up some alchemy supplies."

He pulled his blue hood back from his short red hair and ran a had through the latter with a sigh.

"Can we make a small detour on the way to the north gate too? I've some unfinished business with Milburga, especially since the Faceless will likely have an interest in her now... she needs warning."

"Maybe we can leave a letter with the Lord too Throgrim, explaining the Faceless situation. That should help out the Key, and leave us enough time to face the undead without distraction."

Eager to make amends for his earlier irritability, Eadwine stood awaiting the dwarf's permission.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Fabulous on Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:27 am

Adrysse had certainly lost time talking to Wylliam.

Exiting the room in which the two had talked, she certainly felt more at ease about the previous events. They would certainly haunt her for awhile yet, and she couldn't predict when it would no longer affect her, but it wasn't as oppressing as it was when she had walked in. She was also very much exhausted; the lack of sleep, exertion to walk from the cart to Tudor Towers, and the mental and emotional strain that she had endured had taken a toll on the young priestess.

Running a hand across her forehead, she thought she would sit outside and wait a little bit before the walk back to the cart. Adrysse was certain her companions had a lot of questions for her and would be interrogated immediately and continuously for a few minutes at least. Just thinking about it made the priestess sigh heavily; she would certainly need to take time to herself during the next week to introspect, meditate and return her mental fortitude back to its previous state, especially for the battle ahead and the rituals she was expected to perform.

"Cervus non cervus. Be good and be brave."


The words surprised the priestess; she had never used her family mottos towards herself before. She felt very weak and so exhausted she felt like giving up, but those words gave her strength from somewhere she didn't know existed; whether it was imagined or not, it still empowered Adrysse.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:47 pm

Thorgrim stroked his beard thoughtfully as he spoke “Id much prefer not to trust any message to be sent other than directly.” He lowered his voice so only those in the cart could here it, simple enough in the loading ally surrounded by the loud markets. “The Warlock was working with them last time, If this Jailor has gotten in league with him than they can well cover their tracks and ensure any letter is discarded and forgotten.” The Dwarfs bushy eyebrows rose in earnest for a moment “To be truthful, a Part of me hopes the Warlock is a Man of Van’Tiese at heart, And that was why he helped us as he did. I canne’ see what he had to gain otherwise.. He is shrewd, But he is also local and this is his turf.” The Dwarfs more sombre tone returned “None the less, let us not risk to chance. We should tell Sir William in person, I trust his mind to be safest, after what i saw at the Cathedral. I don't wish to lay more at his feet but he can see the right people look into this”

Thorgrim piped up a bit, tho if it was for anything but appearances was unclear “We can make a trip by the University for ye Lad, a right’n’Wize idea that, just after we get permission and an Official letter from the Drake to help ensure things go smoothly at Northwatch.”

Thorgrim quickly scribbled down a note while the last few items were stowed and the horses readied by Torvus. He waddled over to the stable boy who minded the loading alley they had perquired for their shopping, and paid the modest due. “And twenty copper in a Tip with Ten more if you can Hand off this letter to the Lass we came in here with, Should she be looking for us, Now there's a good lad!” The little kids eyes lit up at what was a massive payday for him “Je vous remercie, Misure Dwarf” The boy said in a thick Genrean accent. Thorgrim simply nodded and smiled his paternal grin as if he understood what the boy had just said, and chose to assume it wasn't some sort of lowbrow insult.

The message for Adrysse to meet them here an hour later left, Thorgrim impatiently jumped back in the cart. There had been too many delays, and the Dwarf was seriously fretting they would never make their deadline. He felt he could not afford to just wait for the priest, but had unstinting faith she would be okay, Despite what the party had just learned.


Last edited by Comander.c on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:22 pm

"What're you standin' like that for lad?" Thorgrim asked, cocking a quizzical eyebrow at Eadwine.

"Ummm...."
Eadwine scratched behind an exposed ear, then realised what he was doing and lowered his hand quickly. " I need supplies."
"Right, an' we're stopping by ye university."
"Ah. Of course." The young scholar dropped his gaze to hide the flush of embarrassment (the mask covered most of it anyway). He might have brilliant recall, but rememering *when* to remember specific things was often difficult. Eadwine's moments of apparent idiocy always amused his sister.

"Well, I'd best finish a letter in the meantime," he said, jumping back up to where his notepad and inkwell sat.

What to say to Charlotte..?

Whilst he was thinking he reached over to the flowery announcement he'd written for Milburga and crossed out the words 'a child of Auskell'; no sense in giving the Faceless that information so easily.

He glanced over as Merrick took a seat nearby. In response, the student angled the notepad so that Merrick would not be able to read it. It occurred to Eadwine that the scoundrel might not even know how to read, which for some reason amused him. Giving a small chuckle, Eadwine tried to quit procrastinating and get his thoughts on paper quickly.

He barely noticed when Torvus and Thorgrim set the cart in motion again: too busy thinking.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:37 pm

Loaded to go, the Group made good time to the Towers Gatehouse just a few blocks away from the markets. Thorgrim’s mind was racing, and it was clear to his companions that a fire was burning in his heart, pushing him forwards with powerful conviction. It took a great deal of effort for Thorgrim to ensure the he was not selfish in his plans, For these few people had fought by his side, And that had meaning for a Dwarf. But the meaningfulness of the skirmishes they had faced so far paled in comparison for what was to come. True battle, in a Real War. Those that fought side by side in such a furnace would be forged into true family, Brothers and Sisters in Blood and Iron. That they had all committed, Despite each having their reservations, and rightly so, was heartening to the Dwarf, especially since they were not of his Kind.

Thorgrim had Faith in these few, And it would be proven in small when Adrysse was to be found in the foyer of Tudor Towers.

“Priestess!” Thorgrim boomed gleefully, and approached the young Ghenrean.

“Did you get bored enough to try and find me, or just decided you couldn't leave without me?” she responded with her usual Sass.

“Never without you young lass” replied thorgrim, a note of humorous reproach in his voice. “We’ve come to talk to Billy boy” the dwarf said, using Merric’s moniker for the Drake. “We could use a proper letter of introduction and North Watch, if we want them to help set us up to put the beasty down. Seen him round?” the dwarf said almost knowingly

“Yea, Just saw him in the Great Library. Other than being slightly annoyed he seems alright.” she said casually.

The group followed the Priestess to find William surrounded by piles of obscure manuscript looking somewhat frustrated at such a manual method of inquiry.

Introductions were terse and informal, And Thorgrim wasted no time explaining the current situation. He started with the problem with the faceless, and how a night in jail encouraged the band to follow proper legal procedure in the matter, and give the information to the Lords men until invited otherwise. This was all new to Adrysse also, who Thorgrim took moments to explain the Band’s decision on the matter, and how it came about.

“I don't expect you to take this on top of your other matters, But trust no one else to see the right people do. Of course we are more than happy to take a contract on the matter when we return” Thorgrim concluded. “I intend to Warn Dorn again on the way out, and If you will be so kind Adrysse, could ye heal the worst of his wounds? If the Faceless think to come for him while he’s bedridden id prefer it to be a trap when they find him fighting fit” Thorgrim had a mean grin as he asked the priestesses help.

“I’ve left a book and a name with Dorn too, Master William. It has a name and a place which Master Roth, who claims to have lived in the days of the old Cestradin empire, claims relates to our Necromancer.” Thorgrim handed William and Note with the name and location written. “And lastly, I'd like an official letter of introduction to show to North Watch. I don't wish to intrude on the authority of the Lord there, but will need his Cooperation to be able to employ the ritual. A Letter of introduction might help get him to listen to us.”


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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Sun May 01, 2016 1:29 pm

Letter from Eadwine to Charlotte.

My dear Charlotte,
Indeed I have heard of your liberation. I am glad that you have not been jailed.
Your words were indeed brave, though I do not agree that it was the time or place to voice them. I offered no support because I needed, and continue to need, the support of the Lord Brightlen. He's working to the same ends as us now, I am sure.
Be sure that I searched for you. I did not have time to devote further, because Mannah Roth decided to invade Van"Tese and I had to sort out some mess which arose from his followers.
If this letter reaches you then you have probably Auskell and returned again. I never expected you to head to Auskell without me. I hope for your safety, but trust to your resolve.
My companions and I are headed for Auskell also, in a round-about fashion. Hopefully we might meet again.
Know that I go to fight those who threaten our Kingdom---and its people.
Know too that I go with thoughts of you. You drive me mad, but I do love you.
Please bear with me, for I am only trying to do what is right.
Truly,
Eadwine
PS: thank you for keeping the ring


Last edited by Mifurey on Sun May 01, 2016 1:56 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling & punctuation)
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Mon May 02, 2016 1:18 pm

Rocheford never seemed to sleep as the season drew ever closer to winter's climax. The Van'tese army was almost entirely deployed across the north west front against the Ogroid invaders. The few unfortunate enough not to be facing the barbaric mountain tides however, were sent to the under manned fortress North Watch in hopes that any defense could at least buy Rocheford time to defeat the Ogroids and redeploy their defenses.

The snow fall ceased in earlier days, enough to give the land and its people some reprieve from the frosts. By the time it had begun to fall once more with renewed vigor, Thorgrim's warband had made it to the precarious refuge of Rocheford. Much like the city Van'tese, Rocheford was busy, some three thousand soldiers maned the fortress town, supported by at least that number again in laborers, craftsmen and intellectuals. In addition to the thousands posted in Rocheford, there were hundreds coming and going from the Fortress daily. Escorted supply caravans, hospice carts optimistically bearing the many hundreds of wounded, military patrols leaving or returning from missions to ensure strategic locations were protected and secured, and scouting parties returning from daring missions behind enemy lines.

In weeks past, for many the war could have been ignored. There was no real evidence of its violence beyond the Ogroid raids the Ghenraen people had come to expect in this lands during winter. Though, as the few had feared this time was different. From the front lines mere hours ride from the Fortress, echoes of war cascaded down from the foothills. indiscernible but unmistakable, the distant rumble of looming destruction served as a foreboding reminder to all in the fortress that the end, weather it meant victory or defeat was on the horizon.

Cups of Courage, was a make shift alfresco tavern entrenched under a marquee attached to one of the many craftsmen gazebos. In the late days of autumn when Daphine Elrinn initially established herself in Rocheford, she was able to sell her food and drink for coin. However as the looming conflict swelled, First Lieutenant Marquise saw it necessary to regulate the consumption of alcohol by all in service. This was done through the distribution of a tavern tickets which would be exchanged for beverages. Daphine was not impressed by this imposition but negotiated a reduction in the rent fees of her space for the trouble. Cups of Courage was simple in appearance. Under its unremarkable marquee was a collection of non matching tables and chairs, surrounded by sandbags and barrels serving as a the tavern's walls. Beneath the Craftsmen's gazebo was Daphine's bar serving little more than beer and what ever ration stocks she could get her hands on. Close by was her hired security, and ogre and a human. These mercenaries often had their work cut out for them fending off disgruntled soldiers looking to expel their emotional tribulations or to test the integrity of the Alcohol regulations.

It was here in the Cups of Courage tavern that Thorgrim's Warband consolidated. Each of the companions' minds were weighted with troubles. If nothing else it seemed their luck had abandoned them far to often in the week past. Even with a fist full of gold, a reward for their most recent efforts, their victory was too often tainted by the stain of misfortune. There was much to prepare for, and if the crow masters were right, they at least had more time than they had anticipated. Though this was time the enemy was using, and each of the warband's members were concerned they would not be able to use the time to the same effect.

This Episodes Song:

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 pm

The last few days had seen the first winds of winter gust down from the mountains and Merick still shivered underneath his various cloaks and furs. The dock front of Auskell was positively pleasant compared to the icy winds that seemed to coincide with the Orcs swarming down the mountains. He shivered to think of how cold the mountain tops must be if even the Orcs couldn't stand it.

As they made their way into Rocheford, they bumped into an associate of Beird who happened to appreciate the liberation of the sawmill. Merick wasn't entirely sure that the reward was worth the trouble but it was something. Perhaps next time the rest of Thorgrim's Warband would listen to him and just let sleeping dogs lie. Well, let rampaging Orcs be but the idea was the same. Being a hero was not good for one's health.

The group split up after reaching the fortress of Rocheford; Thorgrim, Torvus and Adrysse crossed the drawbridge into the castle to speak with the commander while he and Eadwine headed to the docks. To say things were a little bit tense between him and everyone else was a bit of an understatement but Merick hoped that his efforts in recovering what he could helped to soothe things a bit. He could still feel the embers of Thorgrim's fiery Dwarven anger but he pushed it out of his mind.

There was a palpable sense of desperation in the air as the duo passed through the town. Merick could see the walls that surrounded the main town and he saw the flurry of activity as people hauled supplies into the storehouses close to the defences. The incessant hammering of smiths rang out above the constant noise as the craftsmen worked to have as many weapons and shields as was possible. People were scared of the Orcs. Heck, Merick was scared too. He was almost thankful that he wouldn't have to deal with the Orcs when they attacked but he wasn't entirely sure the undead would be any easier. Merick touched the scars that the bony fingers had carved into his cheeks and he shuddered at the memory. I hope they're not quite as... overwhelming this time.

The street began to slope downwards as he and Eadwine began to approach the docks. There were fewer people down here and he could see that the lake had chunks of ice bobbing along the surface. Most of the boats were still moored at the various jetties and he began to set off towards one of them when he heard a grunt behind him. Merick turned to see Eadwine's flushed face as he struggled to carry his alchemy kit.

"Do you need a hand Eadwine?" Merick nodded at the crate and he could see that it weighed heavy on his shoulders. "I can carry it for a while if you need a break."


Last edited by Popdart5 on Tue May 03, 2016 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Readability)
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Tue May 03, 2016 10:52 pm

"Thanks," the young scholar responded with a weak smile, letting Merrick take the alchemy kit for a few moments.

Taking it in turns Eadwine and Merrick made it the rest of the way to the docks and surveilled the collection of dingy sheds and wharves which composed it. There were few ships visible, as the majority had been put into dry docks or warehouses to wait out the frosts of winter. Although the fringes of the lake had not frozen over yet, it was sure to occur soon.

Eadwine looked, and felt, worse for wear. His previously blue tabard was now a horrid brown of dried blood and dirt, punctuated with stabs from goblin spears. His right thigh was exposed through a massive rent in his pants, torn by the orc's crossbow bolt. The new mail shirt required some repairs, and was in desperate need of oiling. Layered over this was the smell of stale sweat from two day's hard travel, and a near-death-experience to boot.

The young scholar reckoned he had come close to bleeding out after his little stunt back at the mill, but this didn't worry him half so much as the lack of intelligence it implied. Why did he run out like that, unprepared? Why did he freeze at the sight of the bodies and the orcs? Eadwine felt a sting of shame for the umpteenth time, and mentally shoved it away. Better to focus on how to improve than to dwell on the failure.

On the upside, Eadwine privately opined, he would have less explaining to do than the man next to him. Merrick had managed to make partial amends for his foolish potion-fuelled antics---thankfully having retrieved Eadwine's alchemy kit from the frozen river---but Thorgrim had been so livid it was frightening.

Despite any reasons for antagonism, Eadwine felt more bonded to Merrick than ever. Both men were from Auskell, both were indebted to Thorgrim, both had run afoul of the Faceless and both had made simple mistakes with nearly disastrous consequences.

Plus they smelled equally bad.

Merrick let out a long sigh. "Shall we check over there?" he asked his counterpart, gesturing towards the far end of the wharf area. "We can work our way back up."
"Sure," Eadwine replied, liking the simplicity of the suggestion.

The first boat they approached was being maintained by a group of three men. Merrick hung back and let Eadwine do the talking. "You're mad," one of the men exclaimed after the filthy scholar finished explaining. "A trip to an unguarded thorpe near a war front at this time of year? You're dumber than you look!" Eadwine bit back a retort and left before Merrick had time to vent his spleen on the fellow.

A half hour of enquiring lead to no results, just more insults and the occassional piece of advice to 'get your heads checked'. This was beginning to rankle both men. "Stupid dock rats," Merrick muttered after another fruitless conversation.

Lugging the alchemy kit around didn't help their tempers.

Resigned to keep going until they found something, the companions approached a pier with a small timber shack on it and a noisome craft docked alongside. Eadwine shot Merrick a glance, almost as if if to say 'I hope they refuse too: who would want to sail in that tub'. The thief-cum-warrior just shrugged in reply.

Low voices could be heard from inside the shack, so Merrick raised a hand a rapped on the door. A chair could be heard scraping against the floor, then the door was flung open. Eadwine copped an eyeful of tobacco smoke and began coughing through his mask.

"Whaddya want?" a rough voice asked.
"We're after passage to North Watch," Merrick supplied.
"Ah. Whaddya have in mind at North Watch at this time o' year?" came the greasy reply.

When Eadwine recovered from his coughing fit he looked up and focused on the figure through watery eyes. The man at the door was short and wiry, with a balding head of grey hair which seemed too large for the rest of his frame. A large smoking pipe was stuck in the fellow's mouth, and red-rimmed eyes regarded the travellers. His mask was extremely simple, being essentially a roughly-wittled piece of wood.

"We're with Thorgrim's Warband and we have a contract to collect there," Merrick continued, deciding bluntness was the order of the day.
"You're mad. North Watch at this time o' year, with undead running 'round too?" replied Smokey, totally deadpan. Eadwine was just about to let out a groan when the short sailor rubbed his hands together and grinned widely, displaying yellowed teeth. "Fortunately for you lot, I'm mad too."

Eadwine was unsure whether this was a good thing, but they needed a boat.

"The name's Nico." He offered a hand to Merrick, then shook with Eadwine too. His wiry grip was surprisingly strong. "Nico Moreau."
"Merrick," responded the ex-thief, and Eadwine too only supplied his first name, though cordially (he hoped).

"So, how many you looking to transport, lads?"
"Five, plus equipment. And our horse," Eadwine responded.
"A horse, eh?" wheezed Nico, drawing heavily on his pipe. "You are mad. Ever tried getting a horse on a tub like this'n?" he asked, squinting at Eadwine.
"No."
"Thought so. Can't take it," he finished with authority.

Eadwine's lips tightened a little, but the boat was more important than keeping hold of Jocelyn. Maybe they could sell her here and buy another mount at North Watch...

"How much for passage on that 'tub'?" Merrick asked, jerking a thumb towards the boat languishing next to the pier. About thirty foot long, the clinker boat had a fairly large cabin and hold. One mast held the patched mainsail and jib. The entire construction reeked of tar (even over Nico's pipeweed) because the hull appeared to have been sealed with large uneven strokes of the black, sticky material.
"Well, to pay for me 'n the boys I'd need around ten silver per head," Nico said.
"Ten!" Merrick exclaimed in disbelief.
"Got any other takers?" Nico asked generally, waving a hand around absently.
"No," Merrick admitted.

"The boys?" asked Eadwine, cocking his head at an angle to indicate his lack of comprehension.

Nico whistled, and suddenly three heads popped up from behind the boat's railing. "The boys," Nico indicated with spread arms. "Jean, Leon and Fleur."

Eadwine and Merrick stared in confusion. One head obviously belonged to a Mul with cropped black hair and a flat nose. The expression was flat too. The next bore long blonde hair and an angular face which spoke of a touch of elvish blood somewhere back a few generations. This one smiled mischievously. The final, perplexing head was crowned with a brown bob and matching eyes, clearly belonging to a woman of about twenty years age.
"The boys?" Eadwine asked.
"Prettiest damn boy I ever saw," Merrick muttered.

"Fleur is practically one of the boys. Can belch with the best 'o 'em." Nico said it with such pride he could have been announcing that she was being elected Queen of Revalia. Fleur demonstrated her prowess for the watching companions, and Leon (at least Eadwine assumed that the blond one was Leon) burst into laughter. Jean smiled but remained silent.

"We've got some supplies to run to North Watch," Nico continued as he tapped the ash out of his pipe. Eadwine held his breath against the smell. "Looking to head out in the next day or two."

"We'll come with," Merrick nodded. "We can pay you half now; gotta get the rest off our boss."
"Deal," Nico said, sticking out a hand to shake with Merrick again. The roguish Auskellian counted out twenty five silver pieces and handed them over. Nico quickly secreted them somewhere about his person and set about refilling his pipe. "Pleasure doing business with you lads. Come see me early tomorrow so we can be ready for ya. Let's get ready, boys!"

He stumped back into the hut with no further ado, and the faces on the boat grinned and vanished back below deck. As Eadwine and Merrick left the pier, carrying the kit between them, Merrick sighed and said "Now I get to sail into an army of undead with a crazy smuggler. Damn, my life couldn't get much worse."
"Smuggler..." Eadwine responded, heart sinking.
"You're so pure sometimes, Eady," Merrick said, glad to have someone to tease. "I've got to get to work on corrupting you..."

********************************************************
The two men arrived at the Cups of Courage and relayed their news to their companions.


Last edited by Mifurey on Wed May 04, 2016 3:16 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : changed NPC name to avoid overlap with existing character)
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Sat May 07, 2016 7:28 pm

****************************A week ago***********************

Forza squirmed in his saddle. It was official, his arse had gone numb and his determination to find a position that would somehow relieve him of his discomfort seemed only to worsen it. While Forza did appreciate his noble stead and the fact that he was not walking the journey ahead, it did nothing for his arse which was his current major concern. The road south seemed to stretch on for eternity, reaching endlessly into the white void of snow covered slopes. He, as all the others was wrapped in an assortment of fur cloaks. His hood was up, and while it did keep his head warm, it seemed to deliberately neglect his ears.

Forza heard the rapid canter of hooves begin to slow as a bucksome blonde, a true northern beauty, rode up beside him. The curvaceous Ulfen worn her furs well and sighed with a facetious flare, noticing Forza’s squirming. “Your cock torments you? Maybe you should give the hores a rest Forza?”

“It is not my cock that torments me Gwen.” Forza countered, as if the continued banter were actual truth. “My torment is born of the saddle on which I sit. It lacks the capacity to facilitate my tremendous endowment” Forza smouldered with a cunning wit.

Gwen puckered her lips and raised her brow in response, conceding her defeat in another of many flirtatious bouts. To unknowing onlookers, it may seem that the two were involved or at least attracted to eachother. However, while the latter would not be far from the truth, the two in fact were simply good friends who liked to engage in harmless flirting to both pass the time, and blow off steam. In fact, Gwen was promised to Themarian Thane’s son and was herself a noble of the Icey north. A responsibility she both ignored and actively avoided.

The two rode near centre of their small company, some twenty warriors strong. Each of them wore uniformed chainmail; however they lacked their deep blue regalia and the matching banner under which they usually rode. Gwen’s tone darkened, now lacking her flirtatious wit. “This is utter horse shit. If this was truly a battle that needed the Warden’s support, why do we only have a score of fighters? Forza, what did Adeline say?”

Forza glanced at her with a coy smirk. “What makes you think I know anything about this little escapade?”

“Oh, horse shit to you and all. Adeline is your sister, and you’re the first Alchemist of this unit. So don’t piss lies on me you dapper shit sniffer.”

“Path of Light, **!!@!! Fine. Adeline said Hothgar and Gaylia received correspondence from Ghenrael’s Northwatch. So we are responding to their call.”

“That can’t be all, certainly not enough to warrant Wardens marching to aid, and why only this many?” Gwen was determined to get the answers she wanted, but Forza was, as always, vague and lucid at the same time.

“Because this is an unofficial intervention, we are technically imperials intervening in foreign affairs without sovereign sanction” It was both not surprising, yet frequently astonishing how little the company’s subordinates knew. Forza himself should by all means be in the same position, but he had a way with words and his half-sister Adeline was also the company Marshal, second only to Hothgar and Gaylia, their company’s Hall Masters. He had grown accustomed to being privy to sensitive information, yet he was always surprised when his peers revealed exactly how little they knew before an official briefing was delivered.

Gwen was difficult to anger but was easily frustrated, a trait that Forza would use to his advantage frequently. Forza glanced over and could see Gwen was at that point already. He let out a patronising chuckle. “Buck up Gwen, there is good coin to be earned on this job and few to share it with.”

“Ancestors, I hate how **!!@! happy you are all the time. No matter where we are, in the Hall, on the battle field, riding along for days. Inevitably, eventually, ill here your **!!@! belly chuckle. I think you’ve taken a serious blow to the head, or taken one to many of your damned concoctions.” Gwen’s words were hot and hollow. While on the occasion, Forza’s unwavering humour in all things would frustrate the shield maiden, deep down she valued his joy. For her it was a rare light in a grim world but she would never admit it, especially not to Forza (he’d have a field day with it).

The company reached the summit of a slope. Its vista clouded only by the fall of new snow, thinly veiled the Brightwater expanse. Their sight could scarcely capture the lake shore smoke clouds marking a path of driven destruction. They were still days away, but their destination was within sight and so to was their quarry.

Gwen:
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Forza:
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Last edited by Cowboy on Sun May 08, 2016 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

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