Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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Harbingers of Ruin


The winds of the cold North flow into the valleys of the marches, chilling the mortals to their very bone. It is a warning. A prelude to what is to come. The dead stir as the barbarians march to war upon the civilized world. Demons are summoned in dark rituals within the very bastion of humanity itself, and old secrets that are better left undisturbed are re-awoken. Yet this is only the beginning. A prelude to the ruination of the world. For the time of growth has long since passed. It is the time of Kings and Heroes. The age of Ruin has come...



The tune of the Kaelic penny whistle flowed whimsically in contrast to the beat of the Bodhrán, setting a jaunty mood among the weary travelers. It was a fortnight through the wilderness from the closest city of Andred, and a trek through the mountains for hundreds of miles east or west from anywhere else. The music could be heard sloping down Umber's Cairn to newcomers, bringing a merry hope to their spirits.

"At last," many spoke as they halted, gazing up at the plateau that overlooked the Northern Marches. "Umber's Cairn!"

A rough bit of rocks that looked suspiciously like carved steps led upwards from the southern curve of the slope toward the Cairn proper. Mountains towered about them from left to right, and on a clear day with a keen eye, you could even see the Dragonback Mountains to the far north in the far distance. As of now, the day was bright but cloudy, with huge birds of prey lazily floating in the sky down the valley.

The music was lively and merry, being played by two common men with their rolled up sleeves. They wore green and blue tunics, stained from travel. All about, roughly hewed rocks and sturdy logs were set about for people to rest upon. In the center of the Cairn was a firepit that was unused as the day was still about noon. Contrasting the tales of the Marches' infamous cold, the sun gave a warmth to the outpost.

Still, despite the upbeat music and the sun's welcome face, many people about kept to themselves and their own groups. Three black leather Darkslayers discussed a matter among themselves near the peak of the rise while a scarred Drabarian Warrior of savage proportions strode into the clearing, looking about slowly as if it were a beast sniffing the air. Near the northern edge of the Cairn, merchants plied their wares.

A trapper sold furs and salted meat for travelers left of a burly tradesman who offered low price metal tools to wield or craft with. There was even a small bloomery and Anvil to repair your armor and equipment just right of the smith. To the east, a caramel skinned woman sat upon a bright red carpet and offered to read fortunes, as well as providing the answers to a traveler's mystical curiosities.

Opposite of her was a fair skinned lass with brown hair, tied in a tail that swept about her shoulder. She had on the robes of the Galena priesthood, with a sturdy belt of various enclosed flasks and sacks strapped to it. She prayed above a kneeling Knight, placing her hand upon his brow and blessing him to give peace to his troubled mind.

Near the firepit, two Dwarves sat and smoked pipes. They were curious looking fellows. One was bare chested and covered in blue woad tattoos, with a straw colored mohawk cresting his head. He only had one arm by the looks of it, and a mad look to his eye. The other Dwarf was tall and slim for one of his kind (though still far more short and burly than a man) wearing exquisite chainmail and sharpening a broadsword that looked like a twin bladed butcher's cleaver.

The wind picked up, flowing hair and clothing lightly as the clouds passed overhead in slow waves. The newest batch of travelers were just making their way up the carved steps at the base of the Cairn.



@IcePezz@LadyTabris@BurningCold@Mortarion@Graviloquence@MiddleEarthRoze
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Mortarion
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Among the many figures making their way towards Umber’s Cairn one of them stood out in particular among the throng of travellers that made their way towards the plateau that overlooked the Northern Marches. This traveller, who stood out from amongst the rest of the people making their way towards the cairn, was a knight or, more precisely, one of the Templars from the Order of the Dusk, a fact that was readily apparent ue to the dark indigo tabard that the lone knight wore over the chest piece of his armor. Yet it was evident that the templar had been on the road for a long time, something that was evident by the dried mud stains that one could spot on the tabard alongside with quite a few places where it was clear the tabard had been teared and which had been subsequently sewn again.

No one knew what had driven the mysterious knight to make the trip towards Umber’s Cairn and, by extension, the Northern Marches. Indeed the knight spoke very little towards the troupe of travellers with which he had arrived to the path leading to the cairn, only speaking when it was absolutely necessary or when he had to request something directly from another member of the group, and so far no one had the courage to ask the knight any more details past his name: Talos Valcoran. As such, most of the group had eventually started ignoring the templar and barely anyone noticed when the knight suddenly stopped on his way upwards towards the cairn.


Talos had stopped making his way towards the plateau when a familiar sight had suddenly appeared: there on the distance he could barely make out the outline of the Dragonback Mountains. While it was difficult to recognize the distant mountains, their sight was one that Talos was all too familiar with due to the time he had spent serving Lord Daubeney in an effort to be knighted. Anger and bitterness surged in equal measures in his spirit as the memories of the time he had spent on the accursed lands that Daubeney lorded over, memories of joy and triumph as he recalled the victories he and his fellow would-be-knights had shared over a decade ago. Yet the sight also dredged painful memories from the depths of Talos’s mind, briefly passing before his very eyes: he remembered himself and his fellow squires chasing a beast in the direction of the Dragonback mountains, their discovery of the lair of the Fey Witch and the gruesome encounter with the witch.

Raising a, unknown to him, shaking hand Talos touched the spot under his breastplate where he knew that the pendant he wore was located. Taking a deep breath Talos calmed himself down, his hands looking around the path towards the cairn to see if anyone had noticed his small outburst only to notice that -instinctively- his free hand had reached for the hilt of his valdium blade. Breathing deeply once more, Talos let go of the hilt of his sword and turned his gaze towards the outline of the Dragonback mountains once more “I swear I’ll avenge you my brothers, even if it’s the last thing I do.” Talos swore to himself under his breath before giving a small nod in the general direction where the mountain was, a small gesture of remembrance towards the memory of his dead comrades.

With his emotions back under control Talos resumed his trek towards Umber’s Cairn with a renewed sense of purpose, quickly reaching the clearing. “I swear I’ll avenge us all.” He thought to himself bitterly as he gently set down the rucksack that he carried with himself, settling down on a log that was near the smithy located in the northern part of the cairn.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by IcePezz
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A pirate doesn't care so much for blending in. It's said that they're devils and black sheep, they plunder and cheat. They extort and embezzle, they pilfer and loot. Down to the core, they're all something alike. Alanna wasn't raised as a pirate, though the last ten years as one has certainly instilled some of their values. She walked tall among the crowd, with a lighthearted step and a sparkle in her eye. It was her next big adventure. The only problem was, she didn't know what it was or where this road would lead her. And as she climbed the steps into the Cairn, the wind only tugged at her harder. Was it the gods pushing her this way? A low chuckle emerged as she waved off the notion.

Social niceties and the charm of her smile carried her well through her journey. Striking up a conversation wasn’t hard, and it seemed as if this group was more than happy to share what information they could. Each had their own reason for embarking on the long trek to the Cairn, though none seemed intriguing, or daring enough to warrant Alanna's company further.

As she claimed victory, finally reaching the plateau, she smiled. Her gaze wandered over the luxurious scenery, the towering mountains never ending in the backdrop. Throughout all of her adventures, all of the jobs she had taken, she had seen some extravagant landscapes and breathtaking views. But nothing could have prepared her for this. There were so many small details that reminded her of home. Yet it welcomed so many different walks of life. Her smile reflected the heart of a child, triumphant in their ability to walk, to wander, broadening their horizons with each step. Coming to realize the world is so much bigger than the oceans she had been tied to, and the spoils she would claim within this new world. Well, it was new for her, and the way she saw it, hers for the taking.



Alanna was dressed in her usual, with her hair pulled back for once. Her brown leather duster, caked in dirt and dry mud from the long trek, danced around her calf muscles as the wind trickled through the outpost. Her collar was popped up to shield her bare neck from a cool caress carried down from the mountain tops. The afternoon sun offered just enough warmth to allow her to sit, lazy and unburdened, by the unlit fire pit, just opposite of the dwarves. Her buttox was buried into the ground with her backside leaning against a sturdy log. Her feet were crossed at the ankles, and her legs extended out in front of her. Her eyelids remained closed. She was basking in the sun like a lizard in the desert, enjoying the dribble of conversation she could overhear, and the merry tune which filled the outpost and lifted spirits. She soaked in every bit of noise.

Alanna had been slumming in the encampment for 2 days now. She wasn't quite sure what was next for her, and the trek beyond was a perilous one to be traveled alone. She had come this way based on rumors and fairytale. Regardless if they were true or not, the Cairn provided much more than just trade and safe slumbers. It was an outpost indeed, and for those who knew where to look or how to listen, it provided information.

One eye opened as she heard the many footsteps making their way up the slope. Then the other opened to gander at the new arrivals, measuring every detail. There were a few that caught her attention this time around. Had the tides changed? She decided not to approach, and kept her distance for now. Further scrutiny may be necessary, and so she would just observe with a keen eye and open ears. Choosing her new travel companions was just as tedious as selecting new crewmates. It wasn’t a matter to be taken lightly, especially considering the rumors she heard, which brought her here in the first place.

Her eyes followed a tall, brutish figure walking towards the smith. She had recognized the colors he wore. Her thoughts lingered on him for a moment, curious why he was all by his lonesome, and here of all places. In an effort to not attract attention, Alanna peeled her gaze away from the Knight, returning it to other new arrivals.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by LadyTabris
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Among the travellers, there was a woman wearing a simple but bright green tunic, with her long, black hair braided and wrapped around her head a few times to keep it out of the way. She had a cloak, but in the sunny weather, it was folded and strapped on top of her backpack. A lute with carefully carved embellishments sat at the top of her back. Cadence could the exhaustion starting to creep into her muscles, as the weight of said bag and instrument started to cause an ache in her shoulders. Despite being used to her travels, she had owned a horse for a long time in recent years and wasn’t as accustomed to walking as she once had been. As the music faintly crept into her ears, she felt both relief and excitement. Slowly, Umber’s Cairn became visible. The next part of her story was about to begin. The closer she came to the Cairn, the more the music and the sunlight had her itching to dance, but the weariness in her feet from climbing the stairs stopped her.

Many people in the travelling group kept to themselves throughout the journey, especially those in groups. Some people had been more open to speak with her than others, but she had made to great friends on the journey, despite chatting with a sizable number of strangers. As she reached the top of the steps triumphantly, she considered the many new people there were for her to meet here.

Her thoughts strayed briefly to Kadia. She clutched a letter she had recently received from her inside her pocket. The contents were benign, detailing her arrival in Andred. The bard worried, despite the letter. It was loyal to Kadia’s character to lie because she didn’t want Cadence to be concerned. After all, she knew the woman felt some guilt about parting ways with her. Cadence missed her dearly. As she fiddled with the page in her pocket, her gaze flitted to a pair of dwarves smoking from pipes. She briefly wished she had one, before turning her attention to finding a separate log to rest on.

Usually, she might sit down next to someone who looked friendly and try to engage in conversation; however, after the long trek to the outpost, she was feeling rather exhausted. She chose a log not immediately next to anybody else and sat on the ground in front of it, so that she could rest her sore back. She pulled her knapsack off and set it down next to her, though she took much more care with her lute. That, she propped up against the log, making sure it wouldn’t get dirty. She missed having a case for it, and thought that perhaps she could find one while she was at the Cairn. After all, what was a musician without her instrument, she mused. As she leaned back against the log and took a long drink from her waterskin, she began to survey the other travellers. One thing was exactly how she expected it to be: the travellers seemed very diverse, and she was sure they had interesting stories to tell.
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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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The sun gave a clear view of the Marches from this high up, but the travelers were weary and laden with burdens and tragedy. Unfortunately, the two colorful commoners who had been playing the merry tune had just halted their revelry to take a break for lunch. They'd received enough coin from passersby to garner some food for themselves, and they saw fit to head over to the man selling skins, to see if he had some jerky.

The Dwarf soldier had halted his blade sharpening, appraising his broadsword with a practiced eye. He raised an eyebrow to the other bare-chested Dwarf, who seemed lost in thought as he smoked his pipeweed. That is, until the soldier Dwarf elbowed him. "Seems we have a crowd," he said, gesturing to the two women who'd sat close to their firepit, as well as Talos who had planted a bit further away.
"So, what do you want me to do about it?" (Wot do ye want meh tae do aboot it?). The other one snorted. "Stop your concocting and get to something useful, like the hurdy-gurdy. I'm gonna let out some oamn's."

"Aye, I suppose I've been smoking a bit too much to be the one singing." The mohawk Dwarf said with a grin, revealing two or three missing teeth, with the rest looking positively un-cared for. He reached back, and to those who looked, his missing arm had been replaced with what looked like a tool of some kind. With his good hand, he grabbed an odd, multi-layered stringed instrument. He began to play a slow tune, broad and low in its sound, yet high enough to be heard above the murmur of conversation. The other Dwarf began a song through the tune.

"The miners pick, and the blacksmiths hammer!" he began. "Our. King's. throne. of. Gold!" His voice rose at Gold. "The Brewmaster's Ale and the Soldier's banner, Glory to the Gods of Old!"
It began again.
"The farmer's hoe and the ranger's crossbow, the inventor's engine of brass!" He cried. "If you think the Dwarves are will take your shit, you can kiss our hairy ass!"

There was uproarious laughter among the two Dwarves, though they continued through the lyrics, the song taking a more glory-filled tone as it progressed. While the Dwarf's voice was grating, he was obviously used to singing the song and it flowed well, if songs fit for Mountainhall barrooms was your style of music.

As the song played, another came into the Cairn for rest and refitting. He looked to be twenty six, give or take a year. He had on dark leather fitting over chainmail, and a blue jacket atop that. His hair was dark, as were his eyes. He wore a sidesword at his hip, the sword's hilt a knuckle guard and tapers to give more hand protection to the wielder. This coupled with his jacket made it clear he had either been a sailor or a duelist. He made his way up and over to the blacksmith, handing him his dagger that looked quite corroded for some reason.

The Drabarian walked over to the firepit, setting its Halberd down and listening to the Dwarves as he began to eat what looked to be an entire chicken, cooked. It chewed with the laziness of a lesser Dragon gnawing on the remains of a kill, leisurely. Still, there was an intelligence to its eyes, the Drabarian's broad shoulders heaving as it raised the chicken to its mouth. Near Talos, the hooded woman peeked out of her cowl. She was Praelian, it seemed. A vixen beauty who gazed at her surroundings with eyes of midnight brown. She locked eyes with Talos for a moment, before her eyes fell upon the fortune teller. She lifted herself up, and glided over there to meet her.
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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by LadyTabris
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Briefly, Cadence felt concerned that perhaps the dwarves were opposed to the travellers, herself included, sitting down near them to rest, but, after a second, her fears were alleviated. One dwarf began to sing, and the other played an instrument. The song was fascinating – one she hadn’t heard, and she enjoyed as they sang through the lyrics. She watched, not too blatantly, but avidly, for the entire song. It was of the rougher sort, but the dwarves seemed very enthusiastic to be singing it. Likely, she thought, it was from their homeland. Those were the most interesting songs to her. When someone sings a song from their homeland, they know the ins and outs of the stories and meanings behind the lyrics. Sometimes, an elder might have actually experienced the events. Those were her favourite conversations.

She became enthralled by the rough song until its end. Perhaps not the most elegant of songs, it had just as much value to her. As it ended, her attention was drawn by what appeared to be a Drabarian eating an entire chicken. She blinked at the scene for a second, and tried to imagine eating that much food herself, before glancing around the Cairn again.

She was beginning to feel the energy returning to her limbs. The bard stretched her neck, hearing a relieving crack. She pulled herself up to sit on the log properly, instead of leaning against it, and began sorting her stuff into place to start moving around again. She secured her lute to her sack before carefully swinging it onto her back. Her ash brown hair, which was pinned up before, got caught on her pack and pulled down. Cadence reached back to pull it over her shoulder, one large braid tumbling down the front of her body. She pulled up her hood, obscuring herself slightly.

As she looked around, the fortune teller she had noticed when arriving at the Cairn. Before, she had just wanted to rest, but now, she was considering following through to sate her curiosity. She noticed that another woman, who she could just barely see through her hood, was moving over to meet the fortune teller. While she didn’t want to disturb the two while they talked, she also couldn’t help but wonder about what she would tell the other woman as well as what she might tell herself. Deciding to move towards the two, she began to walk across the hillside, her sturdy boots comfortable on her feet.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by BurningCold
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Eyes glinting in the darkness like a cat, Eòghan watched the encampment from the distant shadows, chewing on the edge of his pipe thoughtfully. The embers within the bowl flared alight at each puff, casting sharp silhouettes against an already angled face. Laughter and idle chatter drifted along the night's air, and there seemed to be comraderie at the camp already - a good or bad sign, depending on which you looked at it. Either this group was very open and welcoming, or they knew one another intimately already, and would be uneasy against outsiders such as himself and his companion. However, it wouldn't be the first time wary or even unpleasant eyes had been cast their way, and Eòghan had suffered enough foul gazes to put up with some more. Especially when it came to another job - a man had to eat, after all.

"Mallow - they look pleasant enough. Shall we introduce ourselves?" His husky voice betrayed his Kaelian roots, what with the light brogue to his accent; any roughness present he preferred to attribute to tobacco and mead, or simply sleep - he had too much of the former and not enough of the latter, and altogether they had an adverse effect on one's vocal cords.

The skayleigh in question nodded his accordance. From what Mallow had observed of those at the camp, none of them seemed particularly inclined to cause serious injury to newcomers. The fact that most were well armed, however, betrayed any true sense of security. Mallow and Eòghan weren’t exactly the most popular fellows around a campfire, due in part to the insignia of the now defunct order Mallow once belonged to; the Holy Order of the Bloodied Cross had a reputation across the Isles and Bania, that had no doubt spread, to some varying degree, to nearby countries. The imagery of the Order was a penance that Mallow had to bear, until his sacred mission was at long last at its completion.

To Eòghan’s question, Mallow nodded sagely. “This is a juncture for travel, is it not? Doubtless we will find at least one friendly face… Ah, perhaps an ignorant one would do just as nicely. I think it best that we reveal ourselves, now, or soon.” His voice was smooth and musical, in harsh contrast to his companion’s. Softly spoken, with a certain sharpness to the edges, Mallow’s timbre was a gently stirring ocean, hidden depths only barely hinted at during normal speech.

As the two approached, it was clearer to see the diversity of those currently camped in the cairn; a pair of singing dwarves, several humans (one even looked to be a knight of some sort), a Drabarian, and several merchants dotted around the encampment. It even had a blacksmith - yes, the place was far more lively and cosy that Eòghan had first assumed, and this could be somewhat troublesome considering the job. Cosiness meant many could grow far too lax... and while the sound of music was charming to his ears, part of him shuddered to think of what could happen if a camper were so blatantly loud in the forests of Bania. There were creatures in that land that could hear your pulse if it were quickened enough through passion or fear... a song and dance would bring far more attention to oneself than would be wise.

Shaking this thought off, Eòghan reminded himself somewhat chidingly that they were no longer in Bania; although no wilderness could ever be seen as truly safe, Umber's Cairn was hardly a monster-ridden area. As far as he was aware, anyway.

"Do you suppose there is somebody in charge here? Or simply a free-for-all?" He asked Mallow as the pair made their way in - gazes no doubt drawn to the size of his large companion. He could hardly blame them; the Skayleigh were not known for diminutive statures, and Mallow didn't try to blend in in anyway. As for Eòghan, he liked to think he looked fairly ordinary, but even he recieved some strange looks without his taller friend beside him.

Mallow pointed at the two singing dwarves peaceably. “Those two seem fairly friendly, Eòghan, friendly enough at least.” Mallow’s lips quirked, imperceptible to anyone but his companion. “There doesn’t seem to be any recognizable leader among this ilk, though weapons are certainly aplenty.” Needless to say, the lands they traversed could be treacherous, making arms and armor commonplace, but that only made caution all the more necessary. With so many swords and other deadly weapons about, it was prudent to determine friend from foe as quickly as they could.

So the pair weaved their way across the camp, towards the fire, dwarves, and drabarian. The two took for themselves seats around the fire, and Mallow extended a gloved hand towards the dragonspawn. “Well met.” Though he was apt at hiding it, a snake of anxiety began to coil around Mallow's heart. If this drabarian knew of Mallow's order, or cared much for the affairs of Bania, trouble might soon be in their future.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Mortarion
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Talos looked up at the feeling of eyes bearing on him, his eyes locking with the Praelian’s before she walked away from him. He briefly followed the figure of the woman as she made her way towards the fortune teller, his brows knitting together in a frown as he watched the woman for a few brief seconds before turning his gaze away. “Why was she looking so intently at me….something seems shifty.” Thought the knight to himself before shaking his head slightly “Ah, probably overthinking it.” He thought to himself, but the uneasy feeling that had settled in his mind wouldn’t go away no matter how much he tried to convince himself he was overthinking things.

With a last sigh Talos stood up from the log that he had been using as a makeshift seat since his arrival to the cairn. Scanning the plateau with his eyes Talos couldn’t help but draw his eyes towards the fortuneteller and the hooded woman that had locked eyes with him, debating with himself whether or not to talk with the Praelian woman when he noticed a second woman -another traveller he guessed based on the clothes she wore- approaching the fortuneteller’s stand. Deciding that it’d draw undue attention to go and interrogate the hooded woman, the knight settled his eyes on the trio of Darkslayers that gathered on the cairn and began making his way towards them. “Hail fellow travellers.” He addressed the trio of monster slayers once he was close enough to them, he didn’t exactly trust the trio -after all part of the Order of the Dusk- but he had heard plenty enough to know that his and their order had enough in common for him to approach them (at the very least to get info regarding any sights of Fey monsters). “Might I ask you what brings you to the Northern Marches? Perhaps looking for one of the damnable Fey monsters?” He prodded with his question, weighing the kind of answer they’d give to him to know if he’d try and strike a proper conversation in hopes of gaining any tidbit of knowledge in regards to his elusive prey.

The three Darkslayers turned to regard the heavily armored Knight. They weighed him with their dark gazes for a moment, and then looked to one another. The group was varied in most ways one could image. The taller one was scarred, with his hair pulled back. There was a short, stocky slayer as well next to him, a tad older. In the center was a slim and grim woman. All of them wore dark colors over lightly wrought chainmail.
“Heard nothing yet,” the tall one said, his voice gravelly. “Or nothing on fey. But there is a Troll needs slaying north east of here. First we’ll hit the town. Why? Have you heard tale of something in particular?”

Talos crossed his arms over his chest as the Darkslayers turned to regard him, seemingly weighing him with their gazes, for a moment, the expression on his face hidden behind his helmet. He took a moment to inspect the monster-slayers as they did the same to him, slightly surprised to find a women amongst them, having not picked out that particular detail from when he had first noticed the presence of the Darkslayers upon his arrival at the cairn, but not particularly bothered by the fact. He had, after all, seen plenty of women picking up a blade from the corpse of an unlucky sod, sometimes that particular sod being a family member or a loved one, when it came to defend those they cherished, though such instances were far from common. “Hmmm, a troll you say?” He echoed when the Darkslayer, the tall one, responded to his query before posing one to him “Hmmm, not recently if I am to be honest.” Replied the Knight to the trio of slayers “See, when I was a squire, me and a group of other would-be-knights were tasked by a baron named Daubeney to patrol the village and areas to which he claimed lordship over.” He explained, hoping that giving the trio of monster slayers his story might help him get some info “During our time there we ran into a Fey witch who was responsible for a number of troubles in the region, which happened to share a border with these same marshes.” Continued the Templar “And I was hoping that, by the grace of the gods, I might be able to pick the trail of the witch, whom we were only able to drive away and not fully slay.” Finished Talos, an idea blossoming in his mind as he recalled the events that had so fundamentally changed his life “Say, you did mention that there was a Troll that needed slaying north of here, no? Pray, tell me, is this the first such incident that you have heard about in the nearby area, or have there been more incidents of the sort? Either in regards to monsters or any sort of increase in criminal activity in the area?” He asked, trying to keep his voice calm but there was an unmistakable air of tension around Talos (and which might have crept somewhat into his voice). The point of his question was less interest in the activities of monsters or criminals, indeed he cared very little and had next to no interest in the activities of the latter, but more in seeing if the same pattern that had presented itself in Daubeney’s lands could be repeating in the marshes. It was a flimsy hope admittedly, but it was the only one that Talos had at the moment.

The taller Dark Slayer answered. “The Marches are filled with such beasts, though many slumber or remain in the hills and mountains, or deep forests. We have just arrived, so I am not certain.”
“Aye,” the woman replied. The stouter, older hunter sharpened his knife as the others spoke, merely watching the conversation, and the crowd about them.

“The forests west and north of here are known for their Fey spirits,” the woman said, hands on her hips. “Perhaps you’ll find what you seek there, though it’s quite a bit of land to be searching through.”
“Not to mention the beasts and Orcs,” the taller one continued. “Good hunting for the right price, I’d say. But for you, you might need to find something to help point you in the right direction.”

Talos listened as the taller member of the trio of slayers answered his question, nodding silently when the man answered that the Marches were filled with such beasts but that many of them were inactive and spent their time slumbering on the nearby hills and mountains. It was disheartening, if not unexpected, piece of information, but the fact that the trio of Dark Slayers had just arrived, and this hadn’t had much time to obtain information about the activity of the monsters in the zone, gave him a glimmer of hope that he might yet be able to find his prey or, failing that, some information regarding it’s whereabouts. He turned to look at the woman as she spoke, maintaining his silence until she was done speaking “Yes, that is very true.” He said, nodding once more in agreement with the woman of the group, about to speak once more when the tall Dark Slayers continued speaking.

“As much as it pains me to admit it, you are right.” Said Talos with a defeatist sigh “Without a group or someone to point me in the right direction I’d die of old age before finding my quarry if I searched this lands by my own means, even if I looked out for the same pattern that led to my encounter with the Fey Witch in the first place.” He said, shaking his head slightly “Nonetheless, I thank you for the advice you have provided to me.” Said the knight “It’s best that I accept my inability to accomplish this mission on my own before starting it rather than while lost in the middle of the marshes.” He said, his shoulder slumping slightly as he pondered what to do next.

“Knight,” the tall one replied. He reached into his pack, and produced a pendant made of rabbit fur and obsidian, on a leather thong necklace. He tossed it to him. “For good luck.”

Talos looked up when he heard one of the Darkslayers, the tall one if he recognized the voice correctly, address him. He was somewhat confused when he saw the tall Darkslayer reach into his pack, his hand instinctively reaching up to catch whatever it was that the monster slayer had tossed at him. Turning his hand towards his face so he could take a good look at whatever it was that the Darkslayer had handed him Talos’s eyes widened in shock when he finally recognized the object: it was a pendant designed to protect the wearer against Fey WItches, they were also supposed to react in some sort of way to the nearby presence of witches as well. Talos had heard of the pendant’s existence, and of their properties, during his training as a member of the Order of the Dusk but had never expected to ever find one.

“My thanks for this gift Darkslayer, I hope that you find whatever it is that brought you to the Northern Marches and that you succeed in your endeavor.” Said the Knight as he closed his hands once more around the pendant, bidding farewell to the trio of monster slayers one last time before he returned to his previous spot in the Cairn near the smithy.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by IcePezz
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Alanna had seemingly dug herself a grave by the unlit fire pit. If she didn’t move soon, she would surely seal her fate. Her legs were starting to cramp and her back was becoming so numb it nearly felt like it was a part of the tree trunk it had been leaning on. True, while the dwarf’s song was quite entertaining, it had attracted the attention of several colorful characters. Seats became occupied, eyes lingered to those in the encampment … with the exception of her, oddly enough. Alanna was a clear spectacle of a pirate, and yet the lives of everyone else seemed so much more interesting. She wasn’t upset by any means. The very reason she remained quiet and still was to blend in, to observe without being bothered, she just didn’t think it would work so well.

The dwarves clearly earned her favor. If they could fight as well as they could entertain and rally, there was no going wrong with this pair. Her eyes wandered over the newcomers, some taking part in trade, others in conversation. A curious dagger caught her eyes, it’s owner seemed skilled enough by his garb. Her gaze trickled over his attire, lingering on his side sword a moment before moving to the next pair to approach. She narrowed on the Skayleigh and a set of blue eyes. Whatever emotions they stirred, her own lowered in thought. She had come into contact with many from the Kaelic Islands over the years, some of her highest paid jobs came from the shores she once called home. However to see them this far out... As much could be said about her without knowing of her story. Though upon noticing the insignia worn by one, she rolled her eyes and turned her attention elsewhere.

Lost in her own thought, until …

What business would the Knight have with the Darkslayers? She wouldn’t deny it, his story was one she was interested in learning. To Alanna, he had the look of one who had plunged into darkness and managed to come out alive. And whilst the same could be said for many within the encampment, there was just something about him. Enough to move her from the pit of dirt she seemed stuck in. There was enough idle chatter among the group and so she rose to her feet. They had hardly noticed her her before, so she doubted anyone would notice her leave.

She just needed to get close enough for her elven hearing to pick up their conversation. Minding her surroundings, she continued to blend in, hoping that ‘close enough’ wouldn’t get her killed. Their conversation was exactly what she were hoping for; talks of dangers beyond the trail. Blood of a fey witch would fetch quite a price, not to mention the rumors of power that surrounded it. A challenging kill and an even harder find.

She waited a bit after their conversation had concluded. Gazing once more over the travelers huddled within the cairn, there were several she could pick out that may fare well on such a venture.

There was a sense of purpose to her step this time around. Her heels crunched on the gravel beneath her feet, announcing her presence. The smirk of a sly pirate stretched from ear to ear as she reached the Knight. “In need of travel companions, are you?”
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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In the distance, the rolling clouds billowed forward as the daytime progressed. Thunder boomed upon the northern horizon as the afternoon sun was blotted out. The Dwarfs chuckled and conversed in their native tongue once they finished with their merry tune.

The Drabarian pipped in when they asked him a question. Apparently there was a shared language as they spoke. He regarded Mallow curiously, but then shook his hand with a grip that could shatter stoner. The travelers seemed to have, for the most part, begun to relax from their long journeys and sit down a spell.

The minutes slipped by, and lunch was in the process of being eaten by many of the vagabonds and travelers. It caused many of them to nearly drop their meals when they heard one of the booms of thunder much too close for what was conceivably possible. It seemed to happen just above the Cairn, and yet the realization was now clear as day. There had been no lightning.

It was the Dwarves and Drabarian that looked upwards first, as well as the Gypsy. They gazed into the sky, less than a mile north of them and almost directly upwards. At first, there was nothing. No thunder or sound. Merely grey clouds obscuring the sky and teasing the vision. And within moments, it changed. Two shapes hurtled downwards, looking very small at first but swiftly growing to huge proportions. Great membranous wings flapping to and fro as two great creatures ripped and tore one at another in freefall.

"Dragons!" The leaner Dwarf cried, helping his other companion up as the two grabbed their things and hightailed out back down the slope as fast as their stubby legs could move. Above, the Dragons hurtled toward the Cairn in a grappling ball of fire, claws, and muscle.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by MiddleEarthRoze
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MiddleEarthRoze But it is not this day! / This day we fight!

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"Oh... EverGod, have mercy." Were the first whispered words to leave Eòghan's lips as the winged beasts steadily approached the group. While he liked to try and entertain all possible foes and troubles in his future simply for planning's sake, dragons had not been high on that list. Eòghan didn't like dragons. They had a tendency to set things on fire, and the last he checked, he certainly wasn't fire resistant.

"Mallow." His tone was short as he got to his feet; pipe and travelling cloak now discarded next to his bag. "Get them to the ground if you can; I'll find a good spot for jumping." After the amount of time the two had spent together, Eòghan knew he wouldn't have to explain anymore to his Skayleigh companion. At that, he made his way towards the mountains fringing the edge of the cairn; moving fast and silent, his footfalls barely making a sound as he shot past the others in the camp, everyone scrambling for their weapons. Running would do no good for the people here. There was no shelter to run to, and the dragons could easily catch up to anyone foolish enough to flee. Particularly the Dwarves with their stubby legs... which meant they would have to fight. At least long enough to convince the beasts that they were not going to make for an easy lunch, and scare them away with tails tucked between their legs. As for the best way for Eòghan to fight? Against beasts like this, even stealth provided plenty of advantage. If he could get higher than one of them, unnoticed, then the rogue could be untouched by fire as he made his own attack. Hopefully, anyway...

Reaching a jagged precipice sticking out from the left side of the mountain ranges, Eòghan knelt close the rock face, one hand gripping tightly and the other holding his sword. All that could be seen of his face now was a small strip of pale skin, the rest hidden beneath his hood and cowl, and his piercing blue eyes, narrowed in concentration as the dragons grew closer. Hopefully the mountain would provide enough cover - and those below enough distraction - for him to be able to land on one of the monsters. If he could get a decent enough injury to the wing joint, it would go down.

"And me with it." He thought to himself grimly - not even considering the danger the second one could pose. All that mattered was that everyone came out of this safe... and after muttering a quiet prayer to the EverGod, Eòghan felt enough hope that this could be possible. The dragon's roared in the ever-closing distance, reverberating the rock the Kaelian stood on... but he did not balk, nor fear for his life. Fear of what may be would have to wait until after the battle.

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