The Sign of Darkness IC

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The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Blackrock on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:05 pm


Chapter 1: Descent into Darkness

It was a warm spring evening. The sun was slowly setting in the west, the birds were chirping, the streams were murmuring and Sir Alric was brooding. The man, who had not so long ago entered his thirties, was feeling a distinct lack of purpose. It seemed that the world was full of great deeds just waiting to be undertaken, legends waiting to be born – the stuff of ballads and songs. That was, of course, too much for the paladin but even then there were other things he could do. Those stuck-up pricks, the elves, dedicated their lives to their precious trees; the bugger dwarves were digging something in their mines...while humans...well, they were just being humans. Whatever that meant.

And yet, everyone he had met seemed to have some sort of calling, whether it was toiling the land or mugging his fellow man – everyone lived for something. And Alric? He just wandered from town to town, not quite certain what he should be doing, apart from the usual “being an arse”. While he enjoyed using his superior wits to tease the poor peasants, it seemed to him that this...hobby of his was just that – something he should be doing on the side.

Then what else? He liked...acquiring items from time to time, but Gods knew he lacked the natural talent to make a living from such things. Slaying maidens and saving dragons seemed lucrative enough...or was that the other way around? Last time he checked, there were plenty of maidens and a dwindling number of dragons, so it seemed unfair to murder the poor beasts. It seemed equally unfair to kill a defenceless girl...but killing someone meant that they ceased to exist, Alric reasoned. In that case, there was more than one way to “slay” a maiden...if she no longer existed as a maiden after the battle...

Lost in such deep thoughts, the lonely paladin continued travelling the equally lonely road. He had recently crossed the northernmost bridge leading into Adalon and was now seeking a place to lay his head and rest. He wasn’t quite certain why he had come here to begin with, but he had often heard that the small kingdom was a wild and dangerous place. Although he wasn’t one for danger, Alric thought that it might give him something to do. Who knows, maybe he’d join one of those adventuring companies that ventured beyond the Bulwark...the fools, as if he would be that moronic to risk his head for something like “fame” or “glory”...although the loot was nice.

Regardless of that, he had grown weary of the Empire and its ordered way of life, it was such an utterly dull and depressing place. There was nothing to do...well, apart from the typical eking out a living – but that was not something Alric would consider. Even though he had travelled a lot over the years, from one village to the next (more precisely – from tavern to tavern), he never felt that he had undertaken a journey. Old men often said that one best finds himself on the road or some such, Alric didn’t care to remember exactly, so he had decided to travel.

Of course, he understood that as leaving the place where he had lived most of his life – the roads, taverns and gutters of the Empire. The options were many – he could visit the elves living in the south, but something told him that those sombre tree-shaggers weren’t going to like him. Nor he them, for that matter. He couldn’t stand damp and dark places like cellars (although the wine-ones were pretty nice), so visiting the dwarves was out of the question; he never understood how someone could live in a hole, no matter how big, all their life.

So north it was, past the Bulwark and into the safety of Adalon – he wasn’t fool enough to enter the Northlands, of course. Maybe he’d travel further eastwards, into the unknown lands beyond the Godswall. He had heard that the paladins of Silis were held in an especially high regard there...he could use that to his advantage. Maybe. Some day.

For now though, he just wanted to wet his whistle and socialise a bit. Travelling was well and good, but even when spent in such highly interesting company – that of himself – it could grow boring from time to time. The bridge which he had passed last night was guarded by grim, quiet men – they told him that he could find an inn further down this road. Well, now he wondered if he shouldn’t have asked them about the distance first. That said, the path he was now walking on seemed better travelled in this part, so there was something close.

Adalon didn’t seem much different than the Empire truth be told, at least the nature. Trees, birds, streams and grass – hills and mountains in the distance; nothing unusual. Maybe some poet would find a difference and give further insight into the two lands, but poets were stuck-up pricks and Alric didn’t like them much. So he just told himself this was a road like any other and that was that.

He carried on for a few more hours, the sun had now firmly set and the moon was just about to come out. Alric had given up on finding an inn, but just then, as he rounded a corner – a welcome sight appeared before his eyes. The light streaming from the building, accompanied with the far-off sounds of lute and harp, indicated that it was a tavern and not some peasants hut. As he drew closer, the knight realised that there was something off about the inn.

It had four more walls than usual.

What manner of devilry was this? Who ever heard of an inn that was shaped like some fancy-arsed temple? Then again, if it was such an infrequent sight – then visiting it surely must be worth it. He knew not why, but deep down he felt that there was something interesting waiting for him inside. Maybe it was that sense of purpose he was searching for? Or maybe just some buxom wench with a full tankard of ale and tits bigger than his head? Only one way to find out, he thought...

Less than half an hour later, he was already inside and enjoying his tankard of ale (alas, there was no sign of the wench). Upon entering he had drawn some glances from the other patrons, but it seemed like the kind of place where everyone minded their own business, so after noting his tabard – the colours of his famed Order – they had turned their heads back to their tables. The innkeep had proven to be a friendly sort going by the name of Hugh, who seemed more than willing to share his tales...for the right amount, of course. Alric might decide to take him up on his offer later.

At present though, he was just toying with the wooden mug. The ale was above average, he determined – but he had tasted better. That said, this was a wild region, being so close to the northern bridge, the most common place where the orcs made their raids. It was better than he anticipated, actually.

While trying to remain inconspicuous, he cast a few glances at the other patrons, but there was nothing out of the ordinary. Meaning, all the usual riff-raff were here – bards, drunks, dwarves, travelling merchants and would-be adventurers. There were also the mandatory hooded strangers in the corners, with the only difference here being that they were twice the usual amount. One of them, he suddenly realised, had been eying him carefully for a while now. He had a black hood, hiding his features, and was casually smoking from his pipe. Who was this bugger?

Another man might look into this further. He might get to his feet, cross the tavern and ask the stranger what he wanted. A more cunning sort might pay the innkeep for some information, another might simply observe in silence. But Alric was not such a man. Instead, he simply tried to hide even more behind his tankard, hoping that this bastard would just look the other way.

By Silis, it had better work.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Kyrt Malthorn on Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:07 pm

Aezegul snorted. For appearing a relatively small blurb on the map, the country of Adalon seemed to take unnecessarily long time to traverse.

Of course, one couldn't very easily change the landscape. Surely the denizens wouldn't much care to have their cities and villages dug up and moved, even if it might be more convenient to put them all close together. Aezegul attributed to his dragon heritage that he saw a bigger picture: he understood well enough that some things simply weren't worth the effort of changing. Though, weren't such mortal fools capable of better nation-planning? It was not as if their cities were simply dropped out of the sky at whimsey. But the intervals at which taverns appeared were far, far too long. They seemed better in the Empire.

Or maybe it was Aezegul's foul mood. A couple bandits had actually tried to mug him. Worse, the fringe of his cloak was now spattered with their blood, making the caked dirt run in stained rills. The dust of the next few miles had not yet managed to obscure the resulting strange, unsightly patterns. It shifted his first-impression image from dark, hooded stranger to dark, hooded killer. A subtle but key point in any exchange among dark, hooded types.

At least he had the consoling weight of the satchel bobbing at his hip. A reassuring jangle of coin and other... gifts.

Still, his clawed feet were in danger of beginning to ache. The mere concept nettled him even over the comforting clink. It had been, what, three hours since he'd left town? Just how far was the bridge? More importantly, how far to a descent resting place?

In good fortune, it wasn't far at all. He grinned a mouthful of draconian teeth at the sight of glowing windows. From the moment he stepped inside, he was warmed by the general air of apathy. The half-dragon drew a couple eyes and two or three double-takes; after all, he couldn't completely hide his scaly features.

Immediately, Aezegul decided he liked this inn: four walls meant four corners, and one was usually dominated by a bar. The additional angles incorporated into this inn's design created many more than three corners, almost as if the inn were built for the dark, hooded, corner-favoring types. There was something pleasing about knowing nearby company wanted no more attention than he, himself. There was even one corner utterly unoccupied, which Aezegul naturally took.

The tavern girl that came after his order looked to be a veteran: she didn't flinch, falter, or scream. She wasn't too pretty and, actually, she looked more ready to throw a punch. Mutton was on the fire tonight, and the half-dragon opted to order a meal of it. Tempted as he was to demand a raw portion, he refrained. Blood made him want to, well, roar. The fourth fastest way to draw unwanted attention. It suddenly dawned on him the tavern girl hadn't left yet.

"What do you want?"

"Payment. Up front."

Right. That.

Aezegul's claws quickly found the bag of coin in his satchel. Well, one of them; didn't matter which. He thumbed out the necessary amount and paused. The girl's hand was open, waiting impatiently. With effort, the payment was relinquished.

Not but a few minutes later entered a man that made the half-dragon want to snarl; some sort of knight from the looks of him. The sun-design on his garish tunic was likely a reference to some deity or another; it didn't matter. One knight, paladin, or noble fool was as bad as the next, and if this one got it into his head he could slay a dragon - even a half-dragon - Aezegul would teach him a lesson. The lesson those roadside bandits wouldn't soon forget.

Presuming the dead remembered anything at all.

Though he was of half a mind to challenge the knight there and then, he was content enough to sit back and watch the human gradually downing an ale. His observational stance was further encouraged by the timely arrival of his meal. By the time he'd finished, he'd noted with amusement he wasn't the only dark, hooded type to have an eye for the knight.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Digital Muse on Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:37 pm

Aily rose from her cot in the simple room at the inn called Hugh's along the road to the capital in Adalon. She'd been left behind by her squad as she'd been injured in a minor skirmish with a small band of upstart Orcs close to the mountains. Her squad had carried her this close and made sure she was cared for before continuing on their way to their barracks to report to their Captain. She'd suffered no broken bones, which was truly a lucky happenstance, thank Lim. But, she'd nearly had an arm and a leg ripped from her body when she got too close to one particularly ugly beast in an attempt to hamstring it. Only a perfectly placed arrow from one of her squad's archers that killed the orc prevented that gruesome and inconvenient ending from becoming a reality.

Even with that, she'd taken almost as many injuries from the fall to the ground under the dead Orc as she had from it trying to tear her in two. Once the battle had ended it had taken 3 of her squad mates to roll the beast's carcass off of her. Her commander had berated her, once again, for her stupidity in rushing to within hand to hand range and then refusing to make use of the training she'd been given. She would prove her way was better. One day. Aily's finger's explored gingerly, cataloging the extent of her injuries; at least three ribs might be broken, the muscles in her shoulder was severely stretched and deep bruising covered her from stomach to knee. There had been some worry of internal bleeding, but after a few days, she improved and now it was simply a matter of making her slow way back to the capital.

Walking gingerly to test her legs, Aily made her way to a wash basin and washed her face and hands. Running her fingers through her chestnut-colored hair, she found, painfully, a large knob on her scalp. Well, that accounted for her headache. And here she thought it had been the Dwarves singing nightly in the tavern below that had caused it.

After carefully rebraiding her hair, Aily inspected her armor and weapons, noting that she'd need to repair some of the riveting along the bands around her chest. Other than that, however, all seemed intact, even if she wasn't. Deciding it was time to take a decent meal, she made her way down the wooden stairs of the oddly shaped tavern to the bar where Aily ordered ale, roasted lamb and bread. The bartender looked at her blankly, then at the insignia on her tunic. He rolled his eyes, gumbling something about freeloaders and told her to grab a seat. "Go on...I'll have it brought to ya."

"You're thankful enough when there's trouble." She retorted as she headed to a table a bit away from the loud Dwarves. No one could say a Dwarf could sing, but no one could doubt their enthusiam.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Gadreille on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:26 pm

Letha was a paranoid sort.

She had worked up and down the coastlands, but she was always afraid to go to the same place twice. She had stolen a valuable artifact from her mentor - a bag of holding - and she always feared that he was looking for her, trying to get it back. She had never been his favorite pupil, what with her...lack of ability. Now that she was not only a loser but a thief, she was certain he would use his magic to explode her head right off of her shoulders. He wouldn't even have to try that hard. Merely lighting a candle near her caused her great distress, and at that moment he could use any number of weapons to decapitate her -

Letha shook her head, forcing herself off that train of thought. It didn't matter if she was afraid to go to the same place twice, it wasn't as though anyone that hired her would ever re-hire her. She was a master of weather, but she had one shot, and if she missed, she was good as dead. Luckily most people that bothered hiring her only needed a twist of the wind, an acceleration, perhaps a storm to change direction - and she could manage that just before she passed out from her...lack of ability. Yes, she got the job done...but no, her clients did not like caring for her unconscious body for hours, days or even a week after. She was lucky no one had yet cut her throat as she slept. Not yet anyway.

So it was that she had wandered far from her point of origination. She had been walking for many weeks, with very little work, and even less food. Sometimes she could find wild things to eat, but it was barely enough to keep her going.

It was late in the night when she stumbled upon an odd building far down a desolate road. The tavern as it turned out to be was strange indeed - it had many walls that made it almost seem circular, though with many points. As she entered, she found nearly all of these points were in fact corners, and all were taken. She removed her hood in a place where most were up. Apart from the hooded folk, there were some rowdy dwarves, a few other patrons who looked like they cared less who else was there, and a hardy tender behind the bar. She took a seat in a table in the middle of the room, where the tables were a bit more spaced. She looked about, trying to decide whom would be in the most need of a weather changer - and looked decent enough not to slaughter her in her sleep.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Chainlinc3 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:20 pm

Charles von Hubert III trudged glumly along the road in the thickening darkness that followed sunset. It wasn't HIS fault the town hall lit on fire. He'd just been performing like usual, and then he did the fire-breathing trick, and then the roof caught on fire ALL BY ITSELF. It's amazing how little logic effects an angry mob.

Pulling out his map of the region, Charles drew a small X over town he had left the previous night-- he thought it was called Treebeer or something, but he hadn't really paid attention to the locals and the map didn't show a name for the truly small towns. He heaved a sigh as his eyes wandered the map, seeing dozens of other Xs dotting the land. Perhaps he should give up on this performer business. He'd been at it almost a month now... That was long enough to move on, right?

Charles rubbed his head as he tried to guesstimate if switching professions now would be pleasing to his god. Elos was a tricky one-- to truly embody change, you needed not to change often but to change at changing intervals. Unless Elos was changing in accordance with change as well, in which case his standards would be changing all the time, and he might currently be demanding consistency for all Charles knew. That line of thought gave him a bit of a headache, and he hadn't even begun the issue of having to change faiths in order to embody change., so he decided to deal with it later-- ideally, the problem would resolve itself when he came across someone who needed something done, which would make the shift natural, which made it okay... he thought.

The sight of an building in the gloom cheered Charles up considerably. Buildings meant people, and people meant work! Plus, the building appeared to throw quadrilateral standards to the wind! This was truly a good sign. He found himself smiling, despite his situation.

"Heh... perhaps I should take up architecture."

He pushed the door open with considerably more vigor than was necessary, and stepped in with a bright smile on his face. The barkeeper looked at him as if he were insane, and the smile faded, then returned as a slightly more acceptable grin. Closing the door behind him with his foot, he approached the bar and took a seat on a recently vacated stool. The bartender approached him cautiously, as if worried that this strange man might suddenly burst into flame. Charles couldn't really blame him, there; it wasn't every day you saw a traveler wearing clothes as classy as his own. The poor man must think he was dealing with nobility.

"No worries, good sir. I'm no noble-- just another traveler looking for a room and a bite to eat."

Instead of replying, the barkeeper just continued to look at him warily.

"Um. I'd like some stew?"

That seemed to satisfy him, and he put aside the mug he had been cleaning, then extended his hand expectantly.

"Twenty-five coppers."

Charles happily reached for his purse and retrieved the requested coins, then deposited them in the barkeeper's hand. His smile faltered slightly when he realized he was going to be out of money in the next few days at this rate, but he was confident he'd be able to find work here from someone. After a moment's examination of Charles' payment, the barkeeper headed off to get him a bowl of stew, and Charles took the opportunity to examine the other patrons of the bar.

There were several shifty-looking figures in the building's numerous corners, but one of them stood out-- a scaly-looking fellow. He wondered if the poor man had some sort of medical condition... This could be his big chance to try out those healing rituals he'd found several months back! On the other hand... the fellow looked like he was more than willing to take a limb as payment for a perceived slight, so he might not take it well if Charles made a mistake.

Several other customers occupied the various tables-- they generally seemed to be of a more wholesome sort than those in the corners. He figured he'd start looking for work with them. Only a handful really caught his eye: a soldier-girl, a woman who looked like some sort of sailor, and a man who, if his eyes didn't deceive him, was a paladin of Silis... and looked to be hiding behind his mug. That wasn't exactly typical behavior for a paladin of Silis, or paladins in general really. They tended to be more... kick-the-door-down-and-administer-swift-justice-to-the-heretic, in his experience. At any rate, paladins generally seemed to have a fair amount of wealth, so he was as good a place to look for work as any.

The barkeep placed a wooden bowl full of stew before him, along with a crude spoon. His examination at a close, he turned his attention to his meal and began to eat. After all-- he couldn't work on an empty stomach.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by StalkerX on Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:12 am

Too long, this road just seemed to long, and the worst part was he had stopped for directions on many occasions.

The lone ranger Veil'thris had been walking for days, the scenery around him never changed though this was mostly accountable for the fact that everything at a distance was a blur. However he could make out long, tall brown blurs mixed with green and blue, there was some white in there some where too. From this, he could deduct he was in a woodland area, the skies appeared to be mostly clear, and the sun was at his back. At least he had his since of feeling to appreciate the warm sun on his back, mingling with the crisp summer breeze which was also on his back. His leather cloak absorbing most of the heat from the sun, he felt the need to pull down his hood and mask at times, but risked losing his hunter like apeal, he hated having such conflicting feelings.

But these thaughts became dissrupted, finally he made out another blur, and had it not been for the smell of this individual, he wouldn't have known it to be a human, who lacked the ability to bath himself...


"Excuse me, sir?" Veil started in a calm tone, when he was suddenly interrupted by a woman's voice. "Oi, Ya mind rephrasing that?" the voice asked, and as he approached the man his vision soon came in to focus, the smelly man he thought he was approaching was actually a woman? She was stout for a human, about as wide as she was tall, but even with her build Veil'thris could tell she was no dwarf, do to her lack of facial hair....atleast thats how they are mentioned in the storys he had heard.

"I'm sorry Ma'am my vision is not what it used to be, could you tell me which road to take to reach-" it was again he was cut off in mid sentence, his hood and mask made it impossible to see the irritation that crossed his face, which later turned to surprise at the woman's snapped words.

"Ye been traveling the same road for three days elf!" she snapped at him "All ye have to do, is use the eyes The Creator gave ye and take another path!".

Suddenly it struck Veil, why the scenery never seemed to change, and he was at a loss for words. "Pardon my intrusion then" he spoke quickly and walked off even faster, the faster he got away from this harpy the better.

He cursed himself as he often did when his failing sight was brought up in to conversation, thankfully he was able to swiftly relieve himself of any more grief. In his early years he was a renown tracker, a excellent marksman, and one of the most renown hunters in the woodland kingdom, and now, he was the woodland kingdoms largest joke.


With a little more than a days travel and many stops for directions Veil'thris was traveling in complete darkness, at least his lack of sight was not so much of a burden now, as utter darkness is always dark no matter how blurry.

Veil found himself growing weary from all the travel he had done, he could see feint blurs of light as well as the rythmatic tone of music. Although he was unfamiliar with the songs, and the dwarves that sang them were no bards, it was still music to his ears, for all of these were signs he was heading for a tavern!

With a dry throat and empty stomach Veil pushed open the tavern doors, pulling up his leather mask and keeping the rest of his features hidden under his heavy leather hood. Despite his failing sight the elf could take notice to the strange, yet accommodating architecture of this tavern... but the oddities did not just stop with the design of the tavern, but extended to its patrons as well. He saw every one from Nobles to scoundrels, Elf to dwarf the tavern seemed to fit all forms of life within its walls.

Bumping in to a few tables he muttered his apology and continued his navigation until he found the first empty table he could find, and threw himself on to the seat. It was when his feet came off the ground and rested on the table that the aches and pains began to settle in from his travel here, all while his tired muscles began to relax... he was sure to hurt in the morning.

Sitting there the hunter detected a unsettling amount of tension within the tavern, he was one to keep to himself however and would not allow himself to worry over such things "Speak when spoken too" was his motto and it has not failed him yet.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Blackrock on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:59 am

The common room of the inn seemed to be filling up with even more people. Some queer, hooded mage-type entered, but there was something off about him – wisely Alric decided not to study him anymore. You never knew if these queer mage-types weren’t watching you with some third, magical eye or something. Some woman came down via the stairs leading to the other floors, while a few more strangers shuffled through the door.

An elf stumbled past his table, threatening to turn it – almost as if he didn’t see it. Was this one drunk or blind? The knight always thought elves had more grace than that. Not all those pointy-eared buggers were so perfect then, he thought with a smile. All the while, the dwarves and their jolly song of beer and gold (and more gold) continued carrying through the night.

Despite all that, Alric still couldn’t shake himself of the feeling that he was being watched. He decided to sneak a glance at that corner and what did he see? The same hooded stranger was looking directly at him – their eyes met. Briefly of course, Alric was quick to move his away; he couldn’t stand watching people in the eye. Folks said it was a mark of honesty, he considered it a mark of idiocy.

He took a nervous sip of his ale, wondering what would happen next. Taking a deep breath, he decided to appear calm and steady….by Silis! He was a paladin, he had to appear on top of this…he had to. It was easier said than done though. Why couldn’t that fellow leave him alone?! Whatever it was that he wanted, Alric most certainly didn’t have it. He had little gold to speak of, he had no great secrets or ancient knowledge and by all the gods, he had no…paladiness…whatsoever!

The paladin shifted his attention to the bar instead. The innkeeper seemed like a rough sort and like any good host, he appeared to be thoroughly consumed by the sacred tradition of wiping his cups with a suspicious-looking rag. Wonder if he’s cleaning the cup or the other way around… Alric considered with a smirk, but his mood didn’t last as he remembered the silent observer.

Another quick glance at the corner revealed something which made Alric sigh with relief – the man was watching someone else. Although knowing better, his curiosity got the better of him. Following the stranger’s gaze, he tracked it to the woman who had descended down the flight of stairs. What could he want with her? She seemed a local, there was something…Adalonian about Adalonians that gave them away.

Lost in such musings, he failed to notice when the stranger had averted his gaze to someone else. This time it was at the other hooded stranger, the one who seemed like a mage of sorts to Alric. He watched him silently for a few minutes, before moving on to someone else in the inn. A woman who stood roughly in the middle of the establishment and looked to be some sort of sailor. And again, after some time the man in the corner looked elsewhere. This time it was at some fellow sitting next to the bar, eating a soup.

What the bugger does this guy want? Alric had to ask himself. If that wasn’t enough, the stranger started examining the clumsy elf who had almost knocked over the paladin’s table before. Now…that was just too much! One or two people – there were queer folks out there, but who gave this man the right to single out and study the various patrons in the inn? Before he could answer that question the man’s eyes moved again, falling on….

Him.

Startled, Alric couldn’t look away so he held his gaze on the man, as much as his nature revolted against that. The other simply smiled form under his hood and exhaled two thin wisps of smoke from his nostrils. Finally, Alric looked away and to calm himself drank down the rest of his ale. When he looked up again, the stranger was standing over him. When did he manage that?! The only thing Alric could do was to hold his jaw from dropping to the floor.

“Greetings my friend, be not alarmed” the stranger said, in a deep, soft voice.

“W-who are you?” It was a dumb question, the paladin realised, but he had nothing better at present.

“I will reveal that in time” he said and seemed to smile under that hood of his “For now, you must know that a great task has been set before you. Before us.”

“Us?”

“You, me...the other brave heroes lurking in this room.”

“Brave heroes?” Does he count me amongst their numbers? What IS he smoking?

“Aye...I will explain that, but first let me gather them all. Please, make your way to my table in a couple of moments.”

And without any further notice, the stranger simply turned around and headed towards one of the “others”, whoever they were. Could it be the people he had been observing throughout his stay? That was an even dumber question...of course they had to be.

Alric didn’t like this one bit, but on the other hand – he had nowhere else to go. It was night outside and he didn’t savour the thought of sleeping in some damp glade yet again. The nearest village was probably miles away and...whoever this stranger was, he seemed to be the sort who wouldn’t just let you go. What other option did the paladin truly have?

Sighing to himself and lamenting his piss-poor luck, he got up and slowly made his way to the table in the corner, hoping it wouldn’t result in him getting his throat slit.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Chainlinc3 on Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:34 pm

Victor fumed as he finished his stew. This whole getting-chased-out-of-town thing was REALLY getting him worked up. Those damn monkeys should've been THANKFUL for his entertainment! That was probably the best performance they'd ever seen, or would ever see! And how did they show their gratitude? They tried to murder him! Those... those INGRATES! It just made him want crush something, to choke someone and watch the life slowly drain out of thei--

Now that he thought about it, he was more or less surrounded by the same people. Humans all looked roughly the same. He eyed one of the bar's patrons, a young-ish man maybe thirty years of age, contemplating what the most efficient way to end him would be. He was sitting in such a way that his neck was quite exposed, so a throwing knife to the throat would probably do the trick. But Victor was tired, and the man was several tables away. He figured the odds of hitting was roughly 2 out of 3, which was far too much risk if he was going to empty the bar effectively. The wood of the building looked rather greasy, though, so if he threw a few potions at the torches, he could-- block his own exit. This was proving to be more challenging than he had at first imagined.

A hooded figure loomed in his peripheral vision, and he turned to face the stranger with a remote expression.

"Greetin--"

"Groups cost extra."

"...What?"

"You were sitting at that table."

Victor nodded towards the stranger's recently vacated table, where the other man he had identified as a paladin of Silis now sat.

"You have a friend there now. If you want a story, groups cost extra."

"I think we've had a bit of a misund--"

"Oh, you want a song? I suppose we could go outside, but otherwise you'd need to find a way to shut up those dwarves."

All thoughts of mass homocide forgotten, Victor switched into full-on sales mode.

"I have this really great song, the tune's not great, but the story it tells-- oh, the story. Beautiful tale, about a young solder off to war and the girl he lef--"

"Nonono, see, I just want to talk to yo--"

Victor's face paled, and he interrupted with a shout.

"I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT FIRE!"

There was an awkward silence for a moment (well, what would have been silence if not for the dwarves), and then the regular conversation resumed. The man blinked confusedly for a moment longer, then continued.

"...I'm sure, but that isn't what I wanted to talk to you about."

Victor stared at the man, looking for any sign that he was affiliated with Duke Carcer. Or Count Jules, or Lord Clark, or... Anyone really. Victor made a point of not trusting people who were affiliated with other people. They never tended to have his interests at heart.

For his part, the stranger just watched him. And so, they both stared at each other for a minute, until Victor's attention span ran out.

"...So?"

"Just head over to my table and we'll talk once I have everyone assembled, okay?"

Victor gave him another hard look.

"You sure you're not trying to kill me? Or hand me over to someone who's trying to kill me?"

The stranger replied with a puzzled pause, and then a nod.

"I'm in no way trying to facilitate your demise."

"Good enough for me!"

Without further delay, Victor skipped over to the table and grabbed a chair next to the Paladin, wrapping an arm around the man's shoulders in a gesture of camaraderie that seemed to make him profoundly uncomfortable.

"So, Silis, huh? I know pleeeenty of stories about Silis."
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Digital Muse on Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:13 pm

Aily's dinner was delivered in good time and her stomach rumbled in protest reminding her just how long it had been since she'd eaten last. She was careful to breathe shallowly to avoid the sharp stabs of pain from her many bruises. After wolfing most of the lamb and some of the bread, she paused to peer over her mug at the other occupants of the oddly-shaped inn. Aside from the Dwarves and obvious locals, Ailly's sharp eyes noted a few shadier types among the crowd. A half-dragon? That surprised her a great deal. A girl with a carved staff. No more a bladed weapon. How interesting. At least the girl was interesting until an Elf stumbled over the table of a sneering Paladin.

Aily peered at the Elf more closely. This particular Inn seemed full of oddities. Suddenly, a young man blurted out, "I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT FIRE!" All eyes studied the smaller man that had shouted, few noted the man standing beside him. Cloaked figures were supposed to be overlooked. That was the whole point of the cloak, after all. After a few moments when no bloodshed was offered, everyone went back to their own ruminations or song. Aily noted the young man get up from his table quite happily to join the unhappy-looking Paladin at another table toward the back of the tavern, but it didn't matter to her, so she turned her attention back to her meal. Shifting slightly on the hard bench at her table, she noted movement out of the corner of her eye, it was close. Too close. With barely a whisper of movement, her dagger was in hand and tickling the cloaked man's inseam beneath his cloak out of sight of the others. With a lowered voice, the Adalon soldier hissed, "I'd appreciate it if you backed up, friend. I might get nervous and kill your future children."

The cloaked figure had been gliding between the tables to gather the people he'd picked out in his study of the room. He started to bend to speak close to Aily's ear when a tiny prick at the inside of his thigh made his words die in his throat. Coughing slightly to gather his wits after the far too sudden threat, he shifted a tiny bit back from Aily. "Forgive me. I mean you no harm. I wish only to speak to you. I believe you would be instrumental in the protection of your beloved nation. I ask only that you hear me out."

Aily looked up into the dark recesses of the hood to the man's face, considering. "Sit then and tell me what you know. And so help me, if you are a spy, I will cripple you and take you back to Adalon in pieces."

"I can assure you on that point at least. If you would please retire to my table while I fetch others that will help us." He waved his hand toward the table already occupied by the sneering Paladin and a far too happy man draped around the Paladin's shoulder and nattering away.

Aily began to verify that was really the table the cloaked man meant, but he was already gone through the crowd. She remained seated for a few minutes, considering her best course of action. Was it a trick? A plot against her king? She wouldn't know without learning more. Pressing her aching body up to a standing position caused protests through every muscle. Resting momentarily, she finally made her way toward the table she'd been pointed towards and glared at the two men as if in challenge. "Do you know what is happening?"
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by StalkerX on Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:05 pm

With a few mugs of ale in his stomach nicely accommodated by the meal he had ordered Veil resumed his position of having his feet kicked up on the table, and his hands tucked comfortably behind his head. The elf's mask had been drawn down prior to his meal, his muscles relaxing finally, he let out a long sigh before noticing the figure sitting across from him.

Not once had he seen this man, nor saw him approach his table, it was like he was just "there", even with his poor sight he should have caught at least this mans blur.

"Hello friend" the stranger greeted, and Veil'thris felt no need to be hostile to him so greeted him in kind, "Greetings to you as well, may I be of some kind of assistance, stranger?".

The cloaked man chuckled lightly and continued to speak "Actually, I was just about to ask if you would sit at my table, I wish to discuss a matter of up-most importance with you and a few other patrons of this Inn".

The sound of adventure alone was enough to get Veil to knock his feet off the table and sit up at attention "I see no harm in a little talk" he admitted out loud and although he could not see the mans face, he had an Idea he was smiling.

"Very well, my table is located four tables across from you" his arm made a slight gesture to the elf's side, and Veil'thris gave a nod. "I will not keep you waiting, but there are others I wish to gather, please, make yourself comfortable while I do this".

Following directions the elf's movements were far more graceful then his entry, he had a better idea of his direction, gliding along the Inn allowing his fingers to graze along the tables and chairs he passed to count how many he had crossed.

He was able to catch a question passed by a woman who was sitting by a table near him, the question alone was a hint that she sat at the very table he was looking for. "Do you know what is happening?" she asked, and although the Elf did not have the answer, he felt the need to answer, letting a friendly smile cross his face while he sat himself down in a chair. "Well, I don't know what is going on but it sounds like adventure, dose it not?" he asked trying to make out the faces of the others sitting at his table, Lucky for him they were close enough his vision was not too impaired.

The woman looked to be nothing short of a warrior, in fact, she looked far more formidable then most of the men in the bar, he pondered, perhaps a bushy beard was not the mark of a warrior after all...

Beside himself he saw a man who could be nothing short of nobility, or a warrior of the light, at least he had the looks for it. The babbling mad man at his side on the other hand was another story, he recognized his voice to be from a patron who nearly disrupted his meal when he shouted about something to do with a fire... Veil was quickly debating weather coming to this table was in his best interest.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Gadreille on Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:52 pm

Letha had been pondering who to approach for hire when she began to notice a pattern of movement within the confines of the tavern. One man emerged from his corner, and one by one, began convincing others to join his table. Letha could not overhear what the man was saying, who could hear anything beyond the roaring drunken noise of the dwarves? Beside that, so far every person approached by this hooded figure had themselves been in a corner, or at the bar. None were near her. There were sure some oddities being gathered...but why?

As Letha watched this man move to and fro, she began to feel dread. What if he approached her? What was he saying, why was he asking those people over, what was going on? Or worse, what if he didn't? What if he walked right past her, never glancing her way? What if she really was as worthless as her mentor said she was?

It was at that moment of turmoil that the hooded figure turned from another table and headed in her direction. She glanced his way, but there really was no way to make eye contact with a hooded person, and so she looked behind her, to see if there was someone else he might be walking toward. The old drunk man, asleep in his mutton? Probably not. The scraggly boy who was currently trying to pickpocket said man? Doubtful. No, as she turned around, it was she he was definitely approaching.

The man took a deep breath before he spoke, seemingly in exasperation. He put his hands up in a surrendering gesture. "Hello friend. I wanted to -"

"Yea OKAY fine I'll hear you out," Letha said, jumping up, not even letting the man finish before she marched right over to the table that everyone else had. She was dying to find out what it was all about. As she rounded the table to find a seat, taking stock of who was already at the table, she decided that she best stay far away from the dragonish character. Not that he was a dragon, she cared not in the slightest. But he used magic, she sensed, and if he decided to flick a candle flame out with it she'd be down for the count. No, best stay clear of him.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Blackrock on Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:47 pm

Alric fought the urge to break down and cry, as more and more people came flooding to the table. The woman that came down the stairs, the hooded, queer mage-type; the clumsy elf and the extravagantly dressed man, who seemed to be raving, as he neared them; some other woman, the one that looked like a sailor, was approaching as well….who are these people?! And more importantly, what did they want with him?

The hooded stranger soon joined them, taking a seat. Alric had kept his gaze low, studying the polished surface of the table and trying to pretend he wasn’t really there. He didn’t want to be here, he didn’t want to talk with anybody and he most certainly didn’t want anybody taking an interest in him. But it was too late for that, wasn’t it? His mind told him. The mysterious man had eyed them one by one, measured them, weighed them in some way and then he had gathered them. For what purpose though?

“Thank you for coming, friends” the hooded stranger began speaking, as if having read his thoughts “I have called you here for a matter of the utmost importance.”

Alric looked up long enough to see the man raising one of his hands, motioning for all of them to listen first and ask questions later. That in itself told the paladin that this wasn’t going to be good…if questions needed to be asked, then it always turned foul. One way or another. Bugger this inn, he thought, and bugger me for that matter, should have stayed out in the wild. If only he had decided to be man for once, he would never have gotten himself into this…

“My name is Meren Farwander…”

The man bowed his head slightly, pulling down his hood. He had the face of a middle-aged man, perhaps in his forties. A very brave face and noble-looking to boot, his dark brown hair reached down to his shoulders, while his broad forehead seemed to have been made to hold a circlet at the least or a crown. Gods, it isn’t some king in exile who’ll recruit us to reclaim the throne, is it?! Or to rescue his daughter, held captive by a dragon? Alric couldn’t help but wonder.

“Time is short, so I will get straight to the point” he put his hands on the table and looked about them “Many years ago, long before the time of our fathers’ fathers, a Prophecy was foretold...”

Not a bloody prophecy! ANYTHING but that! Even the rescue-the-princess-held-hostage-by-a-dragon thing was better! Alric was quite ready to break down and cry, he was not the stuff of legends or prophecies. Still, the stranger didn't seem to care and he began reciting in a deep voice, kept low, but powerful enough for all of them to hear clearly.

“In a time of peace,
darkness will creep in.
It will poison the hearts of men
and cloud their minds.
In the depths of the earth,
the Seal shall be shattered,
And the lands will tremble.
But there shall come,
an unlikely few,
from a place of respite they shall set forth,
to the halls of the Sign….”

He stopped here, shaking his head slightly “This is as far as I know it, the last fragment has been lost to time.”

Alric frowned, biting his lip. First of all, like any Prophecy he had read or heard about, it sounded awful. And secondly, who was to say that he, Alric, had anything to do with it? He glanced around at the others, they didn’t seem like Prophecy material either.

“However, I do know where we might find the rest of the Prophecy. And, no offense meant friends, you ARE an unlikely group.”

“We aren’t even a group!” Alric burst out “I don’t know any of these people! And why should a Prophecy start in an inn from all places? And why this inn? This is bollocks!”

“All adventures start in an inn, paladin.” Meren smiled “Haven’t you listened to the bards singing?”

Alric let out a sigh and shook his head, trying to think of a good response in the mean time, but the other man had no intention of waiting.

“For many years have I awaited the coming of the Chosen, this kingdom we now call Adalon was once, in a time before memory, something much more. I know little of it myself, but this is the place where our journey must start. “A place of respite” and the “halls of the Sign” are close…buried deep beneath the ground.”

The paladin had nothing to say for once. Instead, he looked about the others seated on the table…perhaps one of them had a better grasp of what this bugger was on about.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Digital Muse on Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:44 pm

Slowly but surely the cloaked man gathered more people to the table he'd sent Aily toward. As each arrived, she studied them critically; assessing their potential. The Paladin looked terrified. It made her frown heavily. The Elf seemed unable to focus on anyone's face properly. It all felt very wrong.

Before she could extricate herself from the obvious farce, the man introduced himself and began to explain the reason for gathering them. She nearly snorted in disbelief. Did he truly believe any of them would trust his word on this supposed prophecy? She was not a learned scholar, but she'd certainly never heard of any such prophecy. And even if the prophecy was a real one, there was no indication what it meant or even if any of those gathered at the table were in anyway connected to it. A sentiment that the terror-stricken Palladin seemed to echo.

After listening to Alric's outburst, Aily had to add her own doubts. "You were waiting for "The Chosen" you say? What makes you say we are those people? Or that this is that time? This is not a time of peace, let me assure you." She shook her head. The cloaked man was wasting her time. "While Adalon is the greastest of all the nations, you have not proven this the the place you say or just how this 'Hall of the Sign' can be found or what we are to look for. If it is beneath the ground, perhaps you should speak to the Dwarves instead."

The Adalon soldier drew her knife once more to peel an apple absently with its remarkably sharp blade. "You also haven't explained how this affects my nation. That is all that interests me." She added with a low tension in her tone.

Aily could feel the Elf to her left and the Bard to her right tense slightly in preparation of getting out of her way, should she decide to make an attack on the cloaked man that had gathered them all, but she ignored them. They were of no concern to her. If a brawl did erupt the half-dragon, then the Mage and perhaps the Palladin were her concern and in that order.
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Re: The Sign of Darkness IC

Post by Gadreille on Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:15 pm

Letha was completely amazed by Meren Farwander's story. A prophecy of great prose and ominous warning, she felt slighted when he stopped short and could not finish it. What an idea for an adventure! she thought to herself.

The interjections of her peers were beginning to annoy her. They seemed far less interested in the man's story as she did. Perhaps it was, for the first time, she felt really and truly needed. He was a good salesmen, his product ethereal but no less valuable. She was sold and ready to ride to Adalon. She knew she couldn't do it alone, though. In fact, she wasn't sure that Meren Farwander even knew how completely and utterly useless she could become if magic came into the mix.

"Whoa now, lets hear the man out!" She said as the lady warrior began to tense up. "Perhaps it has nothing to do with your nation, and merely happy coincidence that this journey bring you home. That is your home, right? And besides, who would trust a dwarf to prophecy? They only care about..." Letha looked behind her and whispered softly, "...gold...", as if the very word would set the table of dwarves off into a frenzy.
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