Hidden 13 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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The mad, squealing bray of the beast behind him was almost more haunting than it's very real charge not a minute earlier. Torsten's side bit at him with a stabbing pain that simultaneously ached like he had not felt in months. But it was nothing he couldn't handle, as long as he kept his posture at a certain level. Luckily for him, the forest allowed him to move hidden behind brush and gloom. Unfortunately, it also allowed other creatures to potentially do the same.

The forests of Norgard were primordial and vast, and Torsten would not feel so unused to such thick woodland. The very roots of the towering trees ripped and shaped the very earth beneath his feet, making much of the ground uneven and misshapen, and the rest would be covered in bushes or thick grass that quieted the footsteps of whatever walked upon them. What was strange wasn't the thickness of the forest, but the dim lighting. Even a forest as great as this with such a large canopy above would have more sunlight cutting into the darkness.

Doing his best not to stumble, Torsten would almost not see the sudden drop in the underbrush before it reached the front half of his leading foot. Likely to his surprise and horror, he would notice the drop was actually a footprint. A footprint as large as his torso and very humanoid in shape. Small roots and vines jutted out of the now softened earth below, as if gasping for air from whence they were pressed.

Luckily (in a fashion), the accompanying war cry Torsten heard next didn't sound like it came from whatever Jotun or strange forest creature. It was a piercing scream that carried bloodlust wherever it echoed, spreading across what bits of the foliage it could. Judging by the echo, it likely came from the south. The birds springing to life and fluttering away mostly came from that direction as well. When the forest spoke, one need only listen.
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by Luminosity
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Mari had to force herself not to stare at the Drogator in fascination. It took her a moment to realize what he was. No doubt Kane was used to stares; his armor alone was enough to provoke gawking, to say nothing of the being encased inside it. He seemed friendly enough, if a little terrifying. She would hate to see how he looked as an enemy.

She was mid-drink of her ale when Kane chuckled, and Mari nearly spat out a mouthful, but managed to contain herself, holding the back of her hand to her lips until she was sure she wasn't going to be an embarrassment.

"Brave, or perhaps just stupid," she said, smiling broadly. "I serve Rán, the sea goddess. I'm on a pilgrimage to one of her oldest temples, here in the Blackwood. I'm to become her Ninth Daughter. If I can survive the rite of passage, that is."

There was a chance they'd heard of the Daughters, if Ithaca and Kane were as well-traveled as they looked. The eldest of them had much fame in the Sea of Swords and even beyond, and while Mari had no legend to speak of yet, the name of the little group carried some weight. Perhaps not here, though. As far as Mari knew, the last time a Daughter of Rán entered the Blackwood was over twenty years ago, when the Eighth passed her initiation.

"Thing is," she continued, "it's said that only Daughters of Rán can find and enter the temple, so I'm not sure if anyone here can help me." A few of the Daughters Mari had spoken with suspected that the temple actually moved somehow, and that old, powerful magic protected it from curious eyes and those that the Widow didn't care for. If she couldn't pick up on any lead, Mari felt she'd have to simply set out on her own, and hope the Goddess guided her.
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“Das ist wundebar, Lecherlich,” Torsten’s dejected low-volume commentary considered the wonderfully ridiculousness of his predicament. He more than likely cracked a rib several minutes ago and stumbled into an impression made by some jötunn of Yggdrasill-origin. He knew this day could only get worse.

Almost on cue, he could hear the familiar war cry of Orc raiders. Three of the bipedal humanoids were of motley green skin tone and the other two, a solid brown. They were closer to his friend Njal’s height, than his own, who was a rather large man in his own right. The orcs had pointed ears and were dancing around two would be corpses laying on the ground at their feet. They appeared to be celebrating the looting of trousers from their victims. They weren’t wearing any armor and only stolen pants. The trousers would allow two of their own to cover their legs. What a boon!

Upon closer inspection, Torsten realized who the corpses on the ground were; they were two countrymen he knew quite well, Ulf Gunnerson and Njal Osborne. He had only been thinking about these two prior to the brief encounter with the large wooly boar. Now they were in the clearing just ahead of him. The distance from his concealing bush to the dancing orcs was just under thirty yards. He didn’t want to get too close as they still outnumbered him five to one. Given his recent injury, he would have preferred not fighting these monsters, but he kind of felt like he had to. It was like a sign from Ulfric, the God of Battle presented him with a sacrifice. It was as though the Gods themselves were telling Torsten, kill this prey and we will return you to your friends to help you.

Torsten thought quickly how he would engage the orcs. He pulled out a hand full of arrows, fewer than a dozen and stuck them in the dirt in front of him. He hefted his bow nocking an arrow. He took careful aim at the closest orc, sighted in and loosed the arrow. It struck the creature in the left thigh. An audible yelp escaped the injured orc, but Torsten knew the beast was still a threat. Fortunately, the group had no idea where the arrow came from. They stopped dancing to look about. Before they stopped, Torsten got off a second arrow which just barely missed the same orc he shot at the first time.



Now, they knew where he was and the pressure was on. He nocked a third arrow and loosed it at an uninjured orc closest to him and hit the monster in its chest, knocking it back on its ass. Three of the orcs would be on him in seconds. He grabbed a fourth arrow, planning to loose another just before switching to his axe. Now the distance was closer to 10 to 15 yards.



At this range, he knew he would hit. The pressure actually attuned his senses filling him with confidence. He loosed the fourth arrow at the next orc in line. It struck the brown creature in the throat, dropping him to his knees. The Orc gurgled in its own blood, drowning while gasping for breath.

There were two uninjured orcs remaining and the one he hit in the leg. Torsten dropped his bow drawing his axe. The orcs were upon him. The first one took a swing at him, missed stumbled onto the ground. The second uninjured orc swung an axe at Torsten injuring him in the ribs on the other side of his chest.



Torsten darted away from the one orc in front of him who connected with his chest, preparing to strike with his axe. He swung and connected midway up the creature’s left arm taking off its hand. Torsten knew there was the fifth orc slowly moving towards him. Instead of dropping back, he surged forward to strike this one a second time. The orc was successful in dodging the axe swing and able to push Torsten to the ground putting more pressure on his injured ribs.



“Oof!” Torsten let out a groan as he hit the ground. So far, he had killed one orc, knocked a second one out, dropped a third to the ground, a fourth lost an arm and this fifth one with an arrow wound to the leg. Torsten quickly hurried to his feet, looking back as he ran towards Ulf and Oz. “Wake UP!!” Torsten yelled as he reached his friends. Both had bindings around their hands and ankles. They would not be much help even if they were awake. He could see both friends’ manhood exposed to the world. Although it was common knowledge Njel was hung like a field mouse, Ulf Osborne had at least an eight-inch penis dangling in the soil. “Holy Shit! Wolf! I’m gonna kill these Orcs just so you can put your pants back on!” Neither of his friends could hear him.

Torsten turned. The orc who lost his arm had run away. The one who landed a hit on him stood near his comrades snarling and howling with part of an arrow shaft in his leg. It was as though he were yelling, “you want these pants, you’re going to have to come and get them.” Torsten also wanted his bow and arrows before he left. There was only one orc who appeared willing to fight him. Torsten ran back towards the orc with his axe. The orc similarly armed with an axe. The orc took a swing and struck Torsten’s axe. Torsten then took a swing which was parried by the orc. The orc’s second attack struck Torsten firmly in the side knocking him on the ground. He could feel the blood oozing from his side. The warm liquid slowly coated his belly and upper thighs. He felt weak, unable to get to his feet. He considered taking out a knife and stabbing the orc. The knife made it to his hand, but never got to use it.



The surviving orc, picked up two of his injured comrades and helped them depart the clearing. One dead orc remained behind. If no one got to Torsten soon to bind his wounds, he would join the orc in the afterlife and meet Maleum and Nar'rog. Ulfric had abandoned him in this moment of need. He could feel the life draining from his body. He lost consciousness.
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Hidden 12 days ago 12 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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The mage seemed to try and absorb the information. Clearly he was intelligent simply based on the look in his eye, but that didn't mean he wasn't useful. His gaze turned to the doorway, where one could see the vine covered wall of the inner tower that led down to the ground floor, and then he looked to the book cases with a monumental pile of books. It looked like he had been just as surprised to see Kyiriniae'aea as she, him.

At her admittance to her plight, he almost seemed to stumble on himself. "Sure," He said, but then caught himself like someone had whipped him. "I mean- Yes, of course." He bowed and took her hand, giving it a light kiss. His voice was strong, and it had gained a bit of professionalism. "My apologies, I'm simply a little overwhelmed. I was fully expecting to fight someone to the death, not meet a lovely woman- er, Elven maiden such as yourself."

He finally moved to the chair she had presented him, setting down and placing his knife in the sheath on his hip. He scratched his scalp, just below his thick mane of black hair. "Forgive me, I haven't explained much of anything, have I?" He asked. He spoke to scold himself just as much as to apologize to her. "As I said, I am Alcander. I'm an adept and mage of the Mythrin Tethir. Your portal... it was within the tower I had been given by my master, north of Greybridge city. Minutes ago I saw it come to life and I couldn't get a reading in my Crystal Sphere. It's dangerous magic to handle, though I'm certain you know that."

It was clear he was used to speaking to other mages, but he was less used to speaking to elves or beautiful women and he tried to pass it off as if it were nothing. He also clearly seemed to think Kyra was far more knowledgable than he likely was, considering how old she could potentially be.

"If we're in the Blackwood, then this very well might be in a Mythal Itha." He remarked, then he stood up slowly and decided to make his way over to the third bookshelf on the right, running his fingers over the spines of the books. Finally, after it looked as if he was going to take a book out and begin reading, he instead turned empty-handed. "I have so many questions but, tell me of this warlock?" Alcander placed his arm across his chest, in the same manner a man might hook his arm around a lady's, only before him rather than at his side. He bowed again.

"I'll help you, if I can, Lady Kyra."
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Hidden 12 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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Sylvaine sat down next to the Dwarf, who seems particularly downtrodden. In fact he looked like a particularly sullen bulldog that somehow learned to drink alcohol with the best of them. Judging by the empty mugs beside him and that an alcoholic haze surrounded his beard. He didn't seem to notice Sylvaine at first, finishing his fifth mug, emptying half of its contents by what looked to be a pure opening of his throat. It was almost fascinating to watch. Once the mug was down, however, he gave Sylvaine the stink eye. Though she seemed to be just charming enough to at least warrant some answers from him.

"Day? Aye you could say that. More like a bloody week." He regurgitated, calling another drink.

The Dwarf sighed, letting out a small belch. "Me cousin got himself lost in the Blackwood a few days ago. Ambushed by Orcs, you see. No, he's not dead. I know what yer thinking." He declared. "He's far too tough to let a little thing like violent orcs kill him off. No, he got himself lost and I hadn't the supplies or time to find him. I should go back out there, but I wouldn't even begin to know where to look."

Meanwhile, Cillian found himself at a table alone. Though he had no one to speak to, it gave him a very good chance to listen. A low murmur of the crowd reverberated constantly in the background, but thankfully that didn't drown out the conversations of the closer or more prominent and interesting people.

Most notably, the Skayeleigh woman that had stalked past them at the beginning seemed to know the Elven maiden and Gnome sitting with her, but it appeared they were simply there for a business transaction. A business of information, in fact. It was hard to tell exactly what they were discussing, but the mentioning of secrets and the very real bag of coin being slid across the table was something to take note of. It made sense, the city being very much a place of trade and tourism. It was logical to think someone would make it their business to know who was where and what was happening.
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Hidden 10 days ago Post by Romero
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Glancing across to the bar that Sylvaine had gravitated towards, Cillian frowned slightly when he saw that she had apparently struck up a conversation with the dishevelled dwarf, rather than with the inn-keep. The dwarf certainly didn't look to be in a sharing mood, and although Cillian couldn't make out their conversation, he doubted they were discussing the acquirement of any food and drink. Or at least not for Cillian. Thankfully a lifetime of wandering, travelling wherever his feet took him, had left Cillian as a man with plenty of patience, and despite the pangs from his stomach, and the dryness of his mouth, the man from the Caelic Isles was always grateful for a moment of peace, and as he leant back in his chair, stretching out his tired legs, Cillian closed his eyes for a moment, and simply listened.

It had been his mother's first story that had lit the fire within Cillian, but it had not been until he had first heard her sing that the flame had been whipped into an inferno. To hear the magic of her words, to feel the power of the legends in her voice, it had bewitched Cillian. He had spent untold hours sharing the stories he had learnt with anyone who was willing to listen, and as he had grown older, he had lent his own voice to the windswept hall of his village. Ever since that first song, Cillian had grown to appreciate the sounds of life, and as he leant back in his chair, the air around him was alive with noise, and it was like music to him. The murmur of a dozen voices filled the tavern, weaving together to form a wall of noise, each voice merging into the next, but there was more beyond that. The sound of boots on floorboards gave an uneasy beat to the symphony, and if Cillian concentrated, he could hear horseshoes on cobbles from the streets that ran past the tavern. Running beneath it all, like the silver thread along the hem of the chaotic tapestry, Cillian could still hear the roar of the river Heathric. The noise was at the heart of the city, just as the river itself was, and to Cillian, it was like the blood-flow of some mighty beast. In an instant, one noise cut through it all, and brought Cillian crashing back to reality, the tether frantically tugging for his full attention.

The distinctive sound of a coin purse landing on a table, and being slid across it, was a sound that was all too familiar to Cillian, and as it cut through the hubbub of the tavern, the wandering bard was careful to keep his eyes closed, straining for the source of the sound. It didn't take him long to realise that it had come from the direction of the unusual trio that had had noticed when he had first entered. It seemed as if he would have to wait for something to eat, but his hunger was all but forgotten as he strained to overhear the conversation of the Skayeleigh warrior-woman, the Elven maiden and the Gnome gentleman. At worst, it would serve as a welcome distraction, and perhaps even make for an interesting tale.

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"I have heard that bravery is much like beauty." Ithica said, whipping her head a bit like a proud stallion to get some of her hair's fringe out of her field of vision. She looked like she had decided to relax a bit on the drinking for a short moment. "It's in the eye of the beholder. I can't tell you how many times someone has thought I were brave when I was being foolish, or foolish when I was being brave. Perhaps it takes a bit of both to be a true hero."

She turned Kane's way, smiling casually. "I don't think anyone would know that more than you, you big grunt."

The Draconic Knight seemed distracted, watching over the crowd like a hound that had just caught a scent. Mira would catch the scent of sulfur in the air, supposedly coming from Kane's nostrils as small points of smoke wafted from them. It was extremely difficult to tell if he was angry or something else, but it was at just that moment when an older Dwarf walked out of the crowd. Mari would recognize him as the one that had been talking to the younger man Ithaca had mentioned before. The Dwarf looked like a well traveled adventurer, with a gleam of mischief in his eyes and a relatively lithe build (for a Dwarf).

There was no real chance of knowing why he had approached, unfortunately, as Kane and the fellow began conversing in a strange, foreign language. Though it seemed they were on even friendly terms than Kane and Ithaca, which likely made some sense. Ithaca and Kane likely traveled a lot, just not together, happening to meet here often to trade stories and news from distant lands. The prospective daughter of Rán would see the Dwarf wave for the Drogator to follow him, and the big one would stomp through the crowd with the Dwarf.

"Knowing Orek, they're likely about to go on some fool's errand deeper in the forest." Ithaca said, more to herself than Mari. Remembering the younger woman was still there, Ithaca cleared her throat. "Sorry, I get distracted." Her eyes went back to the departing two. "It's my job to know who is going where so I can save their ass if need be, or at least report missing persons. Not that those two are helpless. Po neither, if I know him."

Ithaca decided to start drinking again, taking another long, hardy sip. Her biceps prominent from the simple movement. "Anyway, I doubt you'd care on what they're doing. How long do you plan to stay in town?"
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Wēlanandaz went from speaking openly to returning to his own stoic self, his eyes narrowing almost into slits as he caught sight of the two huge warriors blocking their path, their own silence broken only as Emilio once more opened his big mouth.

While there was no danger in attempting to deal with these knights with the power of words - and sometimes it even worked - the Dwarf had known enough guardians and fanatical combatants to realise that, here and now at least, this may not work out.

Moving his body and limbs with as much cautiousness as Emilio stated his words, Wēlanandaz calmly placed one hand on the hilt of his weapon and then shimmied his shield around his body and onto the forearm of his other arm.

"Be careful, manling," he growled in a low voice, "I don't like the look of this."

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Hidden 8 days ago 7 days ago Post by Duck
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Sylvaine listened intently to the dwarfs tale, nodding at all the right spots and doing her best to appear sympathetic to his plight. It was as she had hoped, then. The dwarf was desperate, and her father had always saif that desperation made for lucrative clients. With a little luck, and a lot of talk, this could be hers and Cillians ticket to free supplies for the journey ahead. She gave the dwarf a big smile and raised her glass to him.

"Well, friend" she said, "Seems your luck is about to change! I don't know if I believe in fate or stuff like that, but chance is smiling on us both this day. You see, me and my friend over there" she continued, indicating Cillian, "Are well-versed travellers and outdoorsmen, and it just so happens we've frequented the Blackwood on more than one occation."



Sylvaine lied, of course, but the dwarf had no way of knowing. Besides, like all good lies it had a grain of truth in it; Cillian and her had spent a lot of time in the wilderness, albeit never far from the roads. Having let the information sink in for a moment, she continued. "As it happens, we are both also for hire. I have no doubt in my mind that we could find your friend for you and have him back within a week or so, depending on how far he's wandered. Meanwhile, you can remain in town and rest up, knowing he's on his way home." She lingered a moment, taking a sip from her glass, before going for the kill. "For a reasonable price, of course."

She put the glass down and gave the dwarf her most serious, businesslike look. "My proposal is this: My associate and I venture into the woods in pursuit of your friend. You supply some money up front, a couple of silvers, so we can aquire supplies for the expedition. If we return within a week, you pay us the rest of the money, three gold each. If we're late, you pay us only one gold each. Either way, you get your friend back and can remain here where it's safe. How does that sound?"

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Mari had always made friends easily, but even she hadn't expected her first encounters in the Blackwood to be so pleasant. Of course, she was swiftly reminded that she was an outsider to these parts when the dwarf, Orek as Ithaca named him, spoke to Kane in a tongue unfamiliar to her, and lured him away from the table. The adventurers already here had established connections, which she'd likely need to do as well if she wanted to get anywhere.

For the moment, she was alone at the table with Ithaca, and she finished another long drink of her ale as she watched the Drogator leave, feeling the warmth of it seep through her. "I'm not sure," she answered. "I'll be coming and going at the very least, hopefully starting tomorrow. The Daughters are sellswords, after all, and I might as well look for work while I look for a lead." There had to be no shortage of it in a place like this, where there seemed to be an endless supply of danger.

She'd need the coin, too, if she wanted to keep a roof over her head while she searched. And it'd be good experience for her, as Mari had accomplished very little on her own, which was no surprise given how young she was. Asherah had given her excellent training, but training could only take her so far.

She ran a hand through auburn hair, enjoying the atmosphere of the barroom. "Actually... I don't suppose you've heard of anything I could help with? Or know who I should ask? I'm not picky." She was no knight in shining plate, certainly, and would take just about any honest work if I meant she could get out and do some exploring the next day.
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Hidden 7 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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Torsten would feel both heavy and weightless in what seemed to be an eternal instant. His body, formless to his mind, felt as if he were floating on air as the blackness permeated his mind. It took him more than a moment for him to feel his breathing again, and his body shifted. The movement brought a stabbing paint into his side, pinching his ribs into the meat of his body. It jolted Torsten awake, and he would feel more sore than he had felt in months if not years. His vision would illuminate with fire, returning to showcase a firepit and his two friends, Wolf and Oz. The smaller Wolf bit into a strip of jerky he chewed with gusto, whilst Oz sharpened a thick orcish knife he had taken off of one of the corpses.

Wolf would hear his grunt, ears twitching much like the canine of his namesake. The fire crackled, and Torsten would suddenly feel as heavy as he should feel. His side wrapped up and his throat dry and hoarse with every breath. Taking on all of those Orcs was something most would call foolish, but it seemed to perhaps work out for him and his newfound companions if he continued to breathe. Whether he would was up to the Gods, it seemed.

"So, you're finally awake." Oz said in the native Norgardian, not having even looked up to see Torsten's eyes. The whetstone he ran across the thick blade scraped every few seconds, as if it were a machine tracking the passage of time. "We didn't know if you were going to make it. We just had to stitch you up, and it'll be awhile before you can fight like your ancestors again. But you're alive."

Wolf went and grabbed a water jug, letting him know his intentions. "I'll be pouring some water down your throat, ok? Then I'll grab some jerky for you. If you want to get strong again, you'll need to sit back and take it."

He did just that, helping Torsten sit up, his back leaning against a tree before he helped feed him. The two men seemed healthy enough, though certainly worn out and scratched, with some minor bludgeoning damage to their arms. Luckily, they had regained their trousers from the dead orcs, though that now meant they were covered in blood and that a dead orc had been in them. It looked like they all could use a settlement at this point. Speaking of such.

"Tomorrow we'll be heading south to Riverview. A town on the Heathric. Before then, you can tell us what the fuck you're doing here, Torsten."
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Hidden 7 days ago 7 days ago Post by Gunther
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Torsten felt exhausted. He knew he needed more rest. Yes, he was awake for now, but also depleted. “I feel like I took on the entirety of the orc army and lost,” Torsten mumbled in Norgardian. “What the…”

He looked around at Wolf and Oz. “Am I glad you boys were here. Otherwise, I’d be worm food.”

“Yes, maybe I should have let you die, brother,” Wolf responded. “Like I said, what the fuck are you doing here? This is the Blackwood.”

“Well, you know me, brother,” Torsten spat with a smile. “I love a good adventure. Mighty fine way to start one, eh?”

Oz allowed a guttural chuckle at that. “You’re a bloody fool for coming down here by yourself. You know dat!”

“Well, you two didn’t fare much better than I. I recall seeing the two of you bound up with your knickers removed. Got a good look at your bits and pieces, I did.” Torsten swallowed the water Wolf gave him and took a piece of jerky. “I recall Bjørn telling me you was hung like a field mouse. He weren’t lying, brother.” Torsten smiled.

“Aye, should have left yer to die,” Njel Osborne uttered under his breath.

“I can’t say the same thing about Wolf over here. He has a python any man could be proud of,” Torsten said with a grin.

“We’ll have enough of that, thank you very much,” Ulf Gunnerson mentioned. “Ye don’ wanna me to unleash the Python. It could git deadly.”

“Pig’s eye.” Njel Osborne was done with talking about men’s tubes. He looked at Torsten. “Eat that jerky and git some sleep. You’ll be walking in the morning.”

“Oz, what were you two doing here?”

“Same as you, Tors. Looking for adventure.” Torsten was satisfied with his response. Maybe with the three of them wandering through the Blackwood, they would have a much better chance. He still wished Vanhel were with them. Maybe we would have fared better if the old man were there to watch his back. ‘Why’d he run off with that woman anyway?’ Torsten thought to himself before he drifted back to sleep.
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The Iron Star remained bustling with patrons, though as the time moved on a bit there were a few men and women who had regained their feet and headed off before the night crowd showed up. The 'business' transaction that Cillian was attempting to overhear didn't quite catch his ear, but he could see their manner and clearly knew bits of information were being passed. If he chose to remain there and do or say nothing, whatever opportunity might be there would pass. But of course, opportunities abounded in Greybridge, and he could check on his companion at the moment who seemed to be deep in conversation with a certain Dwarf.

The Dwarf in question had either a bit too much (which was saying something for his stout kind) or he simply didn't care to scrutinize too much. Perhaps he was depressed? But he believed Sylvaine, and it was clear from the way he raised his head from his frothing mug, curiosity evident under his bushy brows.

Of course, once Sylvaine mentioned coin, he had a sudden look of skepticism and distrusts, but it wasn't overt. It was obvious he would at least think about the proposal, and he did just that, stroking his thick beard as he considered. "Couple o' silver..." He groaned quietly and looked at his drink again. He was thinking that he could be giving them a few silver to fail or run off while he could instead use it to buy more drinks.

Luckily, his Dwarven sense of clan and duty overrode his Dwarven love of ale. He suddenly spoke up. "Fine. Four silver coins, and ye get me cousin back in the week. If ye don't, yer to find me here at midday and pay me back. If I never see ye again, it won't turn out good for ye. We Dwarves have a long memory and a short temper, understand?" It was clearly a threat, but at the end of his speech, it was clear he dare not hope they would find his cousin again, lest he feel even more depressed at the prospect of failure.

He handed Sylvaine four silver Lordlings just as the Skayleigh got up from the booth that Cillian was watching, making her way past his table. Her mace lightly bumped the tableside.
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The two were Knights of the Skull. A secretive order known for their ferocity and unwavering endurance in a fight. With those swords, it looked as if they could deal a large amount of damage as well. Emilio's words were not heeded, at least at first. The two seemed to not move for a good ten seconds, and it was hard to tell where their eyes were within the slits of their great helms. Wēlanandaz warning broke the silence, and not a moment later did the two suddenly move. An eerie palor would fall over most who saw them suddenly move, as it looked as possible as two statues that decided they were tired of standing still.

"Follow us." One said. Which one was hard to tell, but the two didn't seem to wait for you to gather your thoughts of explain any of the things Emilio asked.

Mercifully, the ground was far less broken and hilly now. It seemed to be almost a straight shot forward, though the trees and thickets were ever reaching and prominent around them, sometimes twigs/leaves clinging to Emilio's robes or Wēlanandaz's beard. The donkey seemed at ease at least, though if they were to try and get nearer the Knights, the donkey seemed oddly reluctant.

Around half an hour later, the Knights would suddenly halt and split apart to allow your cart to pass. As you near the two, the trees give way to a stout stone wall looming out of the forested path, earthworks having separated the wall from the forest by about a dozen feet. Before you is a large wooden gateway, already slowly opening for the two of you to enter. The men atop the wall don't seem to be Knights of the Skull, or at least full fledged members. However the two would certainly see a few of them training in a small yard left of the gate, clinging to the side of the keep that shot into the sky.

Olderin's Refuge, if this truly was the place, seemed to be a lowly built castle settlement, with two large walls sweeping over the landscape like a snake trying to push its form outwards. The keep, and the backgate the two now entered, was within the inner wall. The outer wall faced the north where the greater blackwood was located. As they entered, they saw two important aristocrats (judging by their clothing) speaking to one another near the training Knights, and a few squires and servants carrying horses to the stables across the way. Perhaps they would be better served finding work on the outer settlement?
@Tony Pajamas@Jb
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