Dark Days Ahead

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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by MachDhai on Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:56 pm

There was a strong flash of annoyance in Varsil's eyes when she refused the potion he had made. She was as stubborn as Elricks! He eyed the contents of the bowl, looked at Elricks who was still watching Ezri struggle with her mount without helping her. Neither seemed interested in anything he'd have to say, and he had always been more fond of Darryl then he was likely to admit, so in the end he just stalked off towards his young friend to share the last of the potion.

Shadrik watched Varsil for a moment, a strong hint of hope in his eyes for Darryl's survival. Then he looked to Elricks and Ezri, and at the subtle shake of Elrick's head Shadrik focused on readying only one litter and he was done it in no time, strapping it to his own horse, intending to simply lead Darryl's when the time came to move out. Between him and Varsil, they were able to carefully load the wounded boy onto the litter and carefully strap him in place, wrapped in thick blankets.

Her display of bravado angered Elricks to no ends, but he wouldn't show disrespect to his employer. As long as she was right about this Sia fellow being able to tend her wounds, then he might just let it slide once she was feeling better. "Shadrik, Darryl is your responsibility. Varsil, anything you can do to scout for us will be needed. I will ride rear guard, stay close to Ezri and if I say so, you ride."

As he spoke, he started towards his own horse, and ignored Varsil as the well dressed young man approached the fallen Warboss, producing a strange knife from one of his pouches and perched atop it's chest. "I will be along shortly, Elricks. You know you don't want to watch this, so I will catch up." His tone was absent and dissinterested in whatever they were all up to, and Elricks knew his friend enough to know he was right.

He did his best to hide his own pain as he gained his saddle, the muscles across his chest and legs screaming in pain as he pulled his heavy armoured body to the saddle. There was a bit more life in Darryl's face, but the boy still didn't look well. Shadrik was still torn between barely held anger and bitter depresion, getting into his own saddle and clearly dissinterested in whatever Varsil was up to.

"We ride when you are ready, Lady Ezri. Lead the way." He regained one of Shadrik's spare spears, and turned to watch her with a cold gaze. He didn't blame her, didn't hate her. He was concerned and didn't want to show anything that might weaken her own resolve. Let her get angry at him for his attitude. It would give her something to anchor on and focus with.
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by Shades Of Gray on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:18 pm

((Ugh.... sorry this is so rusty my friend, I'm really out of practise, but instead of making you wait forever I'm going to try to produce... something. Once things begin to mellow out I'm sure I'll find a little more 'oomph' for these posts!))

Ezri watched her hand reach forward, curling carefully around the pommel of the saddle while her other senses told her that her sense of touch was fuzzy and numb. The other hand carefully braced against the seat, and with more strength in her legs, she was able to coil the muscles in her thighs and steadily ease herself forward and into the saddle. Tyro helped; or as much as the horse was able to. His head was crained around, watching Ezri move with wide eyes, nudging her backside with his nose as if to give her a little push. She settled, feeling everything wobble and adjust, threatening to dissapear to black again, but the jolt of Tyro shifting and standing helped clear it away.

She spat off to the side. This time she had enough clarity to realize what she was seeing when it hit the ground. Ah... Moving quickly would be wise... More bloody remains that looked more like coffee grounds than blood; a sign of internal bleeding... but what was to be expected when you had a building collapse on you? She released the reins, muttering to her horse who crained back his ears as if to hear her better. "Sia... go."

Tyro didn't need anything more than that, and turned on his own, heading East, just as she had told Elricks to go; should she be unable to move them forward. He walked through the town, head up, eyes wide, nose flairing as if trying to catch a wiff of anything through all the blood that had been spilled on the ground; training, as well as being Ezri's companion for the few years gave them a certain kinsmenship that showed in these hard times. The horse was determined to be careful; but it showed that he wanted to dash forward in a lopping run to get their quickly. Occationally, Ezri would grunt to slow his walk; making sure they didn't leave the others too far behind; or simple pain from the uneven ground. Sitting up straight was impossible at this point, and here, with her hands planted firmly on the pommel of the saddle holding her upright, she gripped the lip with both hands as any small child would do to maintain their balance. The blood made her slip ever so often, but it was begining to turn to a paste which acted more like a glue as time went on.

There was nothing but trees for a short distance, though it seemed to take hours just to pass through and to head into the clearing. They were at the top of a small hill, which lead down to the Druumi meadow. Ty-Kui was circling in the sky above, a black shape seeming to stand out against the setting of the sun. He cried out as if to signal he had spotted them, and before the sound had even left Ezri's ears, the familiar lurching weight of the falcon landing on her shoulder followed. She grunted in pain; lacking her armor meant no protection from his claws, but all it did was clear her head from blurry thoughts of closing her eyes. And it reminded her of options.

Tyro took the smoothest route down he could, his pace picking up a little, ears back and nearly flat against his skull as if impatience was winning. He ignored the warning that came from Ezri as they met the flat land, and huffed with irritation. She reached up once again, grabbing a brown corded necklace from her neck and managed to, ungracefully, pull it off. If she had steadier hands she might have marked it, but smeared with blood, she was certain the message was clear enough, so she whispered to Ty-Kui, who lifted one clawed foot to clench the necklace. The flat stone with scripted writing hung free, but with a kick off Ty-Kui was shortly in the air, crying out again, before flying further East.



The meadow began to dissapear, turning into a forest that seemed far more unwelcoming than Ezri made it out of be. The trees were closer together than she remembered, darker, taller, foreboding, and blurred together in strange times. Tyro whinnied, stopping suddenly with his head craining back. She knew she was going to pass out; felt the chill seep into her body, the cold piercing as too much blood spilled and failed to keep her warm. She felt her eyes going blind, her muscles ignore her directions, the world tip violently to the side, and the sound of leather rubbing against leather as she fell off the saddle towards the ground.


In the forest there came a flash of something, before the presence of a man vaulted from the treeline and moved forward so quickly he seemed to have just suddenly appeared. The bow that had been in one hand was secured over one shoulder; the other catching Ezri before she became a heap on the earth. He was forced to kneel from the possition, clothes a muted gray-green that seemed to make him nearly invisible in the twilight, long cloak knotted around his waist, a style often seen by someone who was forced to move quickly; either on the run or sneaking somewhere. Pointed ears stood out proudly, the brown hair tied back and bound at the knap of the neck, though it was yet impossible to discern the length or style. Wide, almond shaped eyes the color of honey, and the noble mouth that were distinctly elvish furrowed with concern before gracefully standing and collecting his burden. Tyro didn't make any advancement or sign of trying to protect Ezri, and a short number of seconds later, Ty-Kui landed on the pommel, still smeared with blood. "As quick as you can; follow me. You're not safe in these woods at night."
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by MachDhai on Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:16 am

The ride was made in silence. They weren't far from the ruins when Varsil caught up again, his gruesome work complete and he took up a place flanking Shadrik and Darryl. It only took one look from Ericks for Varsil to keep his attention on Ezri, ready to respond if she were to fall, something that was seeming alarmingly likely for the amount of blood she had lost.

As the heat of battle faded, and the hectic moments that had followed were left behind, both Shadrik and Ericks were growing painfully aware of their own injuries. In both men's case, it was just a matter of bone deep bruising that made riding a dreadfully unpleasant experience. As the mood of their surroundings changed, however, each of the men's focus sharpened and focused more outwards rather then worrying about their bumps.

Everything changed quickly. Elricks nearly yelled out Ezri's name as she started to tip out of her saddle, but then the Elf had arrived in a flash, catching her before Elricks could even yell, and all three men's heads snapped towards the newcomer in a flash. None were foolish enough to argue, since this was, apparently, the one Ezri had been leading them towards. Varsil nearly spoke up, but clammed up again when Elricks cleared his throat pointedly and the group started moving once more, none concerned in making sure Ezri's horse followed; there was no doubt the loyal animal would keep up.

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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by Shades Of Gray on Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:37 am

The elf moved like a wraith; perhaps a bad omen for the burden he carried. With a simple tug and flourish, the tail of his cloak came untied and draped over Ezri’s still form, before she was tucked close under his chin. Her head lulled as he moved; lifeless, unresisting, bloody lips parted and still. Occasionally the elf’s lips moved, though any words he might have said failed to reach their ears.

As they continued on in their hurried pace, the trees grew closer and closer together; their branches stretching high over head, blocking out any light the setting sun might have hoped to give them. The trunks were no longer rich and healthy; bark had begun to curl back, peeling as they turned pale, ghostly white in this forest of decay, and in the corner of the eye, glimpses of black would be seen, flickering about.

Further ahead on the trail, a streak of black ran across their path, followed by a second that split in half and formed a third. The third didn’t disappear into the woods like the rest; instead it hovered, seeming to look at them even while it was evident that it didn’t have any eyes. Suddenly, a series of sinister clicks and chirps sounded directly behind them, followed by a low hissing like some sort of insect off to their right. Sia, if possible, moved quicker still, though not so fast as to lose the horses or to create a gap in their party. “We need to move fast,” He informed them, slowing enough to close distance. “Those sounds come from Shades that took homage to these forests when the plagues hit. They’ll take every ounce of life these two have left before trying for us. Center your wounded, and move quickly!”

Even with his own orders, Sia didn’t fall back or offer Ezri to be burdened by someone else. The elf shifted his weight, balancing Ezri and his center of gravity before pulling out a crystal vial as long as his fist and two fingers wide. A sharp whistle came from his lips, beckoning Ty-Kui into the air. The Falcon called out in response, fluttering his wings before taking to the air. Sia gave the vial a vigorous shake, slapping it against his thigh where it cracked against something solid, and began to glow. The clicks and low sounds of the Shades turned to outrage, pitching and crying until Tyro’s ears went flat against his head, neighing out his unease.

Ty-Kui snatched the vial with his talons, bringing the bright light above their heads, insuring that the shades didn’t strike. “Go!”
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by MachDhai on Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:30 pm

Ericks barked a simple command and Varsil responded in kind. He urged his mount forwards and nimbly darted across Shadrik's path to take up a position on Shadrik's left. He kept just a bit ahead of the large man and his laboring horse, and was in a fair position to support either the mysterious elf and his employer, or Shadrik and his friend. The Elf's warning description of what was flittering about in the forest shadows was more enlightening for Varsil then any of the others.

Shades, dredged up by the deaths of the plagues. That was something he could work with. Griping his reigns in one hand and hunched close to the saddle for stability, Varsil dug around in one of his pouches to produce a bundle of soft blond hair. An innocuous, curious item, one of many strange things he had ferreted away in pouches and sacks to use in just the right occasion.

From another pouch he produced a peice of wax paper, awkwardly holding each in one hand. Once he was sure he had what he'd need, he sat up in the saddle, the reign wrapped once about the horn and trusting his horse to keep to the trail, following the Elf's lead without his guidance. Trusting the untested animal, Varsil went to work on the objects in hand. A sun dried dragonfly husk was revealed from within the wax paper, a bit beaten and battered but intact enough to do what he needed.

Muttering in High tongue, complaining about the inhospitable surroundings and rough ride, he went to work tying the hair around the tail of the dead insect. Once done, he grimaced once and violently bit the fleshy pad of one finger until it bled, smearing some onto the insect and hair. Then came a string of words to channel his focus and power, just a dabble into the insect husk and hair, channeled into the blood.

The little insect sparked to life, a bright glowing spark that with minimal guidance on Varsil's part suddenly took to the air and streaked away from the beleagured group, carrying with it all the life and purity of a simple young child, a glowing beacon of the warmth of life stolen from the Shades haunting the forest, a delicious morsel for them to chase and hound.

It would be a short lived spell, but it should draw at least a few of them off the trail, something to help buy the group some time. This trip was growing much too costly for Varsil's liking, he had already gone through so many valuable components and they'd acheived nothing towards their goals.

Elricks kept the rear right of the group, a steel eyed glare casting into the shadows along Shadrik and the Elf's exposed flanks, not trusting to the Elf's talisman alone to keep the Shades at bay. He only spared the occasional glance to his own rear, his safety secondary to that of his friends and employer, and he didn't flinch at the sudden burst of light from Varsil, trusting his friend to be doing something of benefit.
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by Shades Of Gray on Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:45 pm

The clicking and high pitched squeals magnified as Varsil’s spell went into effect. The moment it sputtered to life they reacted, and as it darted away in its pale light the shades unable to resist fallowed. This only seemed to empower Sia’s vile, still clutched in the falcon’s talons as he flew above their head, and their path was made easier down the once commonly used road.

There came the occasional shade, more desperate than the others, who would lurch through a flickering opening, getting in close but burned by the light. They made pathetic attempts and a couple tricky ones before they reached grounds that the shades seemed unable to cross. The woods were lighter here, green, paradise compared to the dying waste of forest that had engulfed them.

Sia broke out into a run the moment they were all safely across, and Ty-Kui called out before circling and landing on Tyro’s saddle. Up ahead was light, a pale green mist that hide the occasional flickering pixy that was trying to live in the small sanctuary the elf was able to provide. A deer, startled, jumped across their path before diving into the woods, leaving behind no visible trail only the sound of shifting brush. Through the mist was a medium sized cabin of basic, Elvin construction, the door open from where Sia hadn’t thought to close it, and a pale flickering light within.

Tyro huffed, moving towards the window where he stopped, ears back, annoyed at the flickering lights and the soft chitters of laughter that came from the pixies. They recognized the horse and began circling and dancing around him, talking excitedly, some of them braiding his hair, and as annoyed as the horse was he didn’t so much as nip at them. He knew he was supposed to be there, even if his reigns were loose, and the saddle remained. The falcon left the perch of Tyro’s leather pommel, sending a series of screams from the pixies that sounded like bells before he swooped inside.

Sia left Ezri on a square bed, her legs bent and propped with pillows since she had yet awoken, covered with blood that was a mix of her own and goblin kind. The wounds on her skin were cleaned with water, the bloody sponge sitting in a basin at her side, and currently the elf was quickly gathering an assortment of supplies and bandages, which were deposited on a table the basin had rested on. As the others came inside he didn’t look up, face pinched with concentration as the falcon aimed its pale light to better illuminate her exposed chest.

His fingers were glowing, a pale purple that appeared a murky green in the colored lighting. His magic was unique, a skill rare amongst the elves that was connected to the earth around them. Like spider webs, bits of fine silky string clung from his fingertips to her flesh, fingers working deftly and quickly as they wove back and forth, knitting skin, returning ligaments, vessels and muscle back to its original form. Fine beads of sweat were breaking on his brow, and like a cat intent on its prey he didn’t so much as blink. He was working quickly to try and stop the bleeding, but couldn’t ignore the jutting bone. “How is the other?” He asked without looking up, and then jerked his head behind him to guide them to another bed in which to rest their friend.
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by MachDhai on Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:44 pm

By the time they reached the safe haven of Sia's cabin, Varsil's strength was failing him. He'd channeled too much will, worked too many spells for one day, and not one had been planned or prepared for. Working such magics off the cuff was a difficult thing, and his mood was only soured with the knowledge of how many rare components he had spent in one day. His repertoire of magic was certainly thinned.

Shadrik visibly calmed down once they crossed into an area the Shades couldn't reach, and once they drew to a stop at the cabin Shadrik awkwradly fell from his saddle, leaving his tired horse with one stern look before rushing to check on Darryl. Whatever magics were at work from Varsil's impromptu potion had taken effect, and the boy's wound, while not fully healed, was well on the road to recovery. He was cold to the touch and looked as though he hadn't eaten in days, but his breathing was steady and he was sound asleep.

Elricks dismount was far from smooth. Swinging one leg over the saddle to drop to the ground, a sudden flash of pain through his chest stole his breath away and left the armoured young man sprawled heavily on the ground with a grunt of pain. Nothing was broken, it was simply an unpleasant matter of bruises and sprains, and he managed to recover himself while waving Varsil off.

Soon enough all four were on their way into the cabin, with Elricks and Shadrik supporting Darryl between the two of them on a make-shift stretcher formed from the litter, and Varsil plopped himself down in the first available chair with an exhausted sigh. He was untouched with grime or blood, unlike any of the others, but there were no doubts between Elricks and Shadrik that he had earned his keep.

Once Darryl was settled onto the spare bed, Varsil forced himself to his feet and crossed the room to check on him, letting Shadrik and Elricks sit finally. Shadrik's various head blows were catching up to him as the adrenaline started to fade, leaving the hulking youth a bit dazed and unduly tired, and much the same was happening to Elricks as he began to realize how much it hurt to breath or move in certain ways.

"Darryl will live, although when he finally wakes he will be famished. Plenty of fluids and hearty food will be in order to help him regain his strength, but he must heal on his own from here." Once certain Darryl was okay, Varsil couldn't help but watch with intent curiousity as to what Sia was doing. The way the Elf was sealing Ezri's wounds was unlike anything the young spell caster had encountered before and he couldn't help but be interested.
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by Shades Of Gray on Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:01 pm

Sia didn’t argue. If they said that their companion would make it without further aid, then he believed them. He himself was much too focused at the moment, feigning for calm when his guts wished to twist in worry and doubt, choking down the pleas and curses he wanted to whisper and shout at the woman in his custody. Ezri wasn’t moving.

“There is balm, in the brown jar on the East shelf, for bruises and abrasions.” The elf muttered for anyone to hear. He had seen the assortment of bruises and wounds this lot carried when he first made contact with them in the forest; but nothing was as alarming as the boy and woman’s wounds which demanded attention immediately.

The silken threads began to glow softly in the dimly light room, providing their own light. It cast shadows against Sia’s face as his brow pinched. The silk began to shift around her skin, growing taunt as the skin strained under the pressure, and then it began to melt, replacing skin that would heal and recover over time. For now the threads led their own strength where she hadn’t any to spare.

The bleeding stopped, but she was pale and cool to the touch. The elf took a moment to grab a blanket from the foot of the bed, draping it over her elevated legs and tucked her in to conserve what heat she had left. Already there was a fire going; unattended since he had raced from his cabin when receiving ‘word’ from the falcon what had happened. It had just been a simple necklace; but one he had crafted for Ezri a couple years previously. He knew what happened without so many words, and rushed without question.

Now he continued to work frantically, setting the bones that were broken and jutting from her skin, this time allowing himself to scowl aloud as he strained to keep the wounds from opening under his ministrations. It wasn’t easy, but time passed, and soon bones were where they were supposed to be, and having done all he could; Sia once more began to stitch close the wounds with that silky thread. This time he spoke, Elvin streamed past his lips in a soft murmur that coaxed the lines in Ezri’s face to relax and smooth. Finished; he pulled another blanket from the foot of the bed, and covered her with it, before putting things away. “What are you and she doing out here?”
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Re: Dark Days Ahead

Post by MachDhai on Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:58 pm

The men were silent for a moment as they settled their things and Shadrik fussed over Darryl. Not long after the hulking youth had taken a seat next to the sleeping boy, his head dropped forwards and he was sound asleep, balanced awkwardly on a stool by the bed. Elricks noticed immediatly and forced himself to move long enough to lean the mountain man forwards against the edge of the bed, an uncomfortable position for the moment but much safer then leaving him simply sitting up.

Sia's question was certainly a good one. Why was Ezri in the middle of the wilderness with anything less then an entire army at her back? Why was she travelling with four sell-swords to begin with? Varsil moved to speak but after sharing a glance with Elricks he simply nodded and fell onto another chair, satisfied that he couldn't work magics of Sia's style and thusly loosing interest, letting his own mental exhaustion catch up to him.

Elricks crossed from Shadrik and Darryl to look down at Ezri with a thinly veiled look of concern. Not the concern of a man worried about getting paid or even of a ruined reputation for his employer being so baddly hurt, but that she was hurt at all and likely blaming himself for it to begin with. They had been cocky and unprepared for the fight and the blame rested solely on his shoulders.

Tired hands began working at the clasps and straps of his armour, setting the heavy metal plates neatly onto the floor in an out-of-the-way spot, "She seeks artifacts of the King's power, stolen by a dark wizard of myth and legend. For better or worse, she chose us as her allies in this, and thus far I have failed her. If there were any other way, I would ask that you care for her while we press on, but I've little doubt that she will have a pivotal role to play. And that she would be none too happy with us."

He smiled tiredly after his breast plate was removed, eyeing the scrapes and dents in the fine armour and pondering how best to pound them out with the tools at hand. A few deep breaths proved rather thankfully that no ribs were broken, simply bruised. Of the four of them, only Darryl was seriously hurt, and Varsil's worst hurt was likely a sore bottom from riding all day.

"We were set upon by a Ork warband, Warboss included. I fear they have been rather succesful before meeting us, judging by the Boss' trophies." The heads of officers and other knicknacks had been prominent on the brute's belt and gear, a grim sign that they had been prowling the region with little care of the Kingdom's martial might.
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