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Caravan's Current Destination:
Tonight, the Pilgrims camp in the Hold of Clan Buraq: a desert city from the Dinnin culture, that thrives on slavery
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Tortoise
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Dust and dirt kicks up into the air where the Caravan roams, a cloud of disturbance that forms around and clings to it like a cloak. Hundreds of people and animals (the people walking or riding, the animals tugging caravans and weights) move together like one massive, living thing. It has left its trail all over the world. It is as if the Caravan and those who ride within it are lost in some great, endless search. But, whatever the Caravan may be looking for, it has never found it. For centuries it has roamed the world like this. And it will roam for centuries more.

Today and for the past seven days the Caravan has moved snail-like through an old forest called Emerald. The place is so named for its color: the leaves and grass here are a shade of green so bright they nearly hurt the eyes, and those who live nearest to it tell rumors that the trees drop jewels, cut and polished, instead of fruits. Its smell is sweet, but with an undercurrent of something wild, and something very threatening.

Threatening, yes. There is a sharpness to the air in this forest that the Caravan has found itself in, in every breath a certain feeling of something old, something deep and furious. The Emerald Forest is awake, the Pilgrims have begun to realize. It is alive. And not only alive in the way that all plants and such green things are- but alive in the way a person is, like a spirit. It has a Mind and Will of its own. What, you must wonder, does it think of the Pilgrim's Caravan worming its way through its body? It feels... hostile.

Perhaps that is why so few people build here. As the Pilgrims roll through the Emerald Forest, they have met no other humans, elves, or any other friendly faces. There was a town that sold them needful supplies just before they entered, and there is good word of a crumbled old city on the other end of it, to the East. But no humans or humanoids are said to dwell within, nor have for centuries. To live in a forest is one thing, after all. To live in a Living Forest- that is completely another. It would be like building your house in the stomach of some great giant. Here you are always feeling the air breathing around you, the wind sucking in-and-out between the trees in a way uncomfortably reminiscent of the air in a man's lungs. The last people who lived here did so ages ago, and nothing remains of them but the haunted barrows they left behind, silent stone tombs scattered throughout the wood.

Some in the Caravan are beginning to grumble that they never should have come here at all. They've had nothing but misfortune and delays since they entered. Every day a wagon wheel pops off, and every night a child or an old woman falls ill. They blame the forest itself, or some curse that must be seeping out of the barrows. The sick are multiplying even when they get good food and rest; but the likelyhood of having much of either dwindles with every day they spend in this forest. The Caravan is usually well-supplied, but it cannot last indefinitely, and already a week has been burnt up. The animals are depressed, despite the green grass and bright air. They are still days out from getting through to the other end. They are on a path- the only path, in fact, that exists through this wood- but it is uncomfortably narrow for a Caravan so large, and it means that every time a wagon up ahead breaks down, all behind it must stop and wait.

During one of these inevitable stops, a crowd of about twenty strangers emerges from the woods with hungry faces, pleading desperately to join the Caravan.

--- ~--( )--~ ---

Athulwin


"Do you know where they came from?" asks Athulwin. He is sitting in his own caravan, a small but cozy one, filled to bursting with pillows and books and blankets. There's a little man stooped in here with him, a messenger.

"Not exactly, Navigator," the little man answers. He was the one who drew the short straw, got sent to tell Athulwin about the two-dozen strangers who appeared out of the wood asking for food. "They say that they've been lost in the forest for weeks. They look it, too. Oh, you should see 'em, faces all sunken and ribs showing. Poor creatures! Said they're from the city, came in as loggers hoping to fell some of the great big trees that only grow deep in the wood. But once they came in, they said, they could never find their way back out. It was like the trees closed up behind 'em, they said. And after that-"

"And after that," Athulwin finishes, sighing a gust of wind, "they had nothing but misfortune and bad luck, until eventually they ended up cart-less and starving, and now they have to beg for their food from us."

"Well, that's about the shape of it, sir."

"Alright. Spare what we can for them. Give them some straw bedrolls to sleep on tonight. Bread and water, the like. Did they say anything else? Anything useful?" At the word 'useful,' a flame flickers inside his mouth. He's quite frustrated at being interrupted. He'd been meditating on the Eld Breviary when this messenger came in, and everybody knows that Athulwin hates for that time to be disturbed. He doesn't care if he shows his irritation- he considers himself entitled to it.

"Just one other thing. Uh, it's probably nothing, you know, mister Navigator."

"It's alright. Speak, messenger."

"Well, it's just, some of them found one of those old barrows that they say lay around these parts, and when it was getting to be dark the other night they tried sleeping inside it, you know, and... they saw dead things in there, mister Navigator."

"One often finds dead things in a tomb."

"No, no, I mean they saw dead things that was still moving like they were alive. Said a bunch of bones came walking up to them. And it said something to them, too, that frightened them so bad they all went running, even though nobody could guess what language it was."

"Undead, then. I'll put the word out. Thank you."

The messenger turns and whisks his way out of the caravan. He knows what Athulwin means by 'put the word out,' and he doesn't much like to watch it happen. It freaks him out. Soon as he's gone, the Monk turned Navigator begins to speak stirring, gasping words in a foreign tongue. It does not sound like normal human language. It uses the inhaled breaths as much as the exhaled ones. It sounds more like the rustling of leaves in the breeze, like an arrow whistling by your ear, like the stirring of a tornado. He is speaking the language of the Wind, and at his words a breeze suddenly comes into his open window and begins to circle around the room, rustling the fabrics. He reaches out and grabs it.

The wind whirls in Athulwin's palm, tickling his fingers. It is his own pet windstorm, held in the palm of his hand. He brings the hand to his lips and whispers his words into it. Normal, human words, this time. When he opens his palm, the wind will fly outwards, out from his caravan, carrying those same words to the intended Pilgrims, where they will hear his speech as if it were carried on the wind. In this way he can talk to people far off, without having to bother getting up and walking over to them.

He could have just sent the messenger, he realizes. But that would have been less impressive.

He sends his wind-borne messages to most of the key figures of the caravan. The guard captain, the quartermaster, and so on. He also sends messages to a few of those who might not be leaders, per say, but nonetheless stand out in one way or another; they are often the most useful.

To Galaxor Stoneclaw, the great giant explorer, he says:

"Stoneclaw, O giant wanderer of our Caravan, there is word of ancient barrows nearby. Was it not your purpose to see the world, so that you may bring stories of it back to your tribesmen? Well, while we are stopped for some time, perhaps you'd like to venture out and explore these forsaken old ruins. Some others may wish to go with you. I hear of tales of undead- and I admit, I do not like having such a threat so close to our Caravan. Take your axe and your fists with you, should you go. I do not think any skeletons will withstand you."

To Gru, the cheesemonger and friend of rats, he says:

"Gruyere Yarg, O man of cheeses and wines. You will no doubt have heard that a small, hungry group of refugees has come beseeching our caravans. Basic supplies are being granted, but I wonder if perhaps they would also benefit from something hardier and more cheering out of your supply of cheeses and wines. I do not expect it is in your nature to give people something for nothing, but nonetheless I ask. They may also have some gold or meager goods to barter with, if you must profit from this." He paused a moment, and as an afterthought he adds: "By the way, Master Yarg, your last sample of Brie de Meaux was deeply impressive, as always your work is. One day you will have to let me see your methods." Athulwin was an appreciator of things like fine cheeses and wines; many of his fellow monks produced similar goods, back in the monasteries. He was a reoccurring customer.

To Knossos, the occultist, he says:

"Knossos, O Walker of Dreams. What do you know of undead and old tombs? More than I would like, I imagine. We are very near to some of both. Ready your occult knowledge close at hand to protect us. But, please, spare my sensibilities the details."

To Malleck, the wanderlusting bard, he says:

"Malleck, our friendly musician. Your ears have heard of the refugees that have come asking our aid. Food and necessities have been supplied, but they are in poor spirits. Perhaps you may ready your instruments and your voice; I imagine a follower of your faith knows what to do."

He gives no suggestions to the other stand-outs of the Caravan- Ilyana, Mergoux, Jason and the like- though he can guess what they might do. Some will no doubt go forth exploring into the old barrow-tombs, hoping to crush the undead who live there. Some may join Malleck in trying to cheer the refugees, or find out from them more of what strange things they experienced. Some may even simply go wandering in the forest, trying to find out the source of its strange hostility towards travelers. And some others may do something he has not even thought of.

It doesn't matter. Each in the Caravan is a free soul, as always. Even Athulwin holds no true sway over what they choose to pursue, whatever he may suggest.

With that humbling thought, he reaches again for his Eld Breviary, and continues to meditate. He has not moved from his caravan.
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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by twannyman
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Ivraan Valdo

When the Caravan arrived at the edge of the Forest of Emerald Ivraan felt uneasy. In fact, that feeling grew the more time the Caravan spent inside of the Forest. There was something wrong, very wrong with the Vitae of this place. Normally the Vitae he could sense was a pleasant calm energy, but in this place, it was a torrent of torment, as if one poisoned the energy of the land. Be it the sharpness of the air, the trees that looked so unnaturally green, or the seemingly endless illnesses going around. Unfortunately for Ivraan, he did not have an exact clue as to why this was happening and thus he spent most of the time meditating in a wagon he managed to procure after one of the old members passed away. It was old but well-maintained, the three and a half years that Ivraan had spent with the Caravan were not spent in vain. He had picked up at the very least the basics of how to maintain a wagon of this size. Handily cutting down wood with his spear to fix and patch the wagon as seemed fit.

The inside of the wagon was rather barren. A bed made of solid oak sat prominently in the middle. It was covered with straw and feathers to provide a decent, comfortable sleeping experience with a blanket woven from fine silk. Some pillows could be found at the head, but they were nothing more than straw stuffed into what seemed to be a pillowcase made from jute. On the side of the bed stood what seemed to be a small station with grinders, pots, and flasks, clearly intended to be used for his herbology. A book laid bare on the table with what seemed to be some very vague descriptions of the Forest of Emerald, people who claimed to have ventured in and returned, people who stood at the edge and described what they saw, and things like that. On the other side of the wagon, one could find two different racks. One for weaponry and one for armor. The weapon rack was mostly used for Ivraan’s spear, however, one could find a few daggers and an axe in there as well. The armor rack was currently empty as Ivraan just finished adorning his leather armor, with his common traveling clothes being flung over a chair that stood lonely in the wagon.

A perfect timing to be frank, Ivraan could sense new sources of Vitae, unfamiliar, worn out as if harassed by the Forest for a while. He opened the door of his wagon, stepped outside, and made his way forward, towards the new sources he felt. Once there it confirmed his feelings, a group, worn out from travel, unknown to the Caravan had arrived asking for supplies. He gave them a smile as he awaited the response of the Navigator. He did not have to wait long as a small man, one whom he had seen on countless occasions arrived carrying with him some bedrolls and food and water on a cart behind him. As he started to hand them out Ivraan approached the group and started helping the small man. “Hey there! Hope this helps out!”. He spoke as he gave away the last bedroll that the small man brought.

“Sooooo….. if you don’t mind me asking, you saw anything interesting?!”; Ivraan spoke with a glimmer of curiosity in his eyes, while this Forest felt unnatural, it was also an ill-documented place. Anything he could learn from these worn-out travelers was a big plus.

One spoke with a worn-out voice, warily; “Thank you kindly for the food. Be wary of these woods, for something dwells within. At the very least we believe so.”

Ivraan just nodded and smiled; “I see… I see. Well, thanks! I’ll wait for the others to pop up to see what we will do!”
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Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Expendable
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"You did good," Ilyana said, giving the donkey a good rub down, when her stomach suddenly wobbles, burning and cramping. She leans forward, resting herself against the animal's side as she sucks in air, her forehead all sweaty, while her right hand fumbles with freeing the flask on her belt. It took a few moments, but it felt like ages before she could free it, unthreading the cap and let it dangle on its little chain as she surreptitiously took in a quick mouthful, then another.

She could feel the medicine trickling down her throat, then after a moment, the burning easing and her stomach relaxing. Ilyana used the edge of her hand to wipe her mouth before straightening, then glances about to see if anyone had noticed. Not that it mattered, the rumor was she was drinking. After all, she was a sailor and had small casks of rum on her cart. Not that it was anyone's business, but she could feel the self-righteous disapproval.

Screwing on the cap, she slipped the flask back in its usual place, then glaring around her, she walks to the back of the cart and squats down, checking the cart's axle and the nut holding the wheel in place. It seemed tight. Getting back up, she grabs the donkey's feedbag and fills it with a day's measure of grain, then slips it in place over the donkey's head so she could feed.

Ordinarily, she'd let it graze, but she didn't trust the grass here, the whole forest felt wrong. Ilyana goes to check the other wheel, then slips out the wooden blocks from under the canvas, slipping them into the corners so the cart wouldn't tip in the night. Assuming someone didn't yank them out again like they did a month ago, laughing as she yelled bloody murder at the top of her lungs as she got tipped out.

Clearly, she should have gone for a proper wagon, which seemed like a waste of space - until she joined the caravan. Without intending to, she glances over at Valdo's wagon - just as the white-haired half-elf climbed out. Feeling her face burning, the half-human girl turned abruptly away, pretending to check one of her tie-downs.

So what if he was one of the few half-humans in this carvan, why couldn't Ilyana stare? Like herself, he was scarred. Did he get his in battle, like most of her scars? She'd like to stay to listen to his stories, but she was... uncomfortable in crowds, ever since her crew marooned her. Besides, he might see her brand. The one marking her as a thief.

Best to keep her distance. Besides, almost everyone here thought she was a boy. Why would he be interested in another boy?

Her stomach wobbled.

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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Gruyere Emmentaler Caerphilly Yarg


For the umpteenth time, the wheels of the Chuck Wagon rolled over an overgrown root that encroached on the Emerald Forest’s path, strongly jostling everything -and everyone- inside. It has been long enough since the last root that Gru had just started to relax again, daring to release his grip on his book with one hand as he reached for his mug of tea. The timing couldn’t have been worse; just as his fingers closed around the handle and brought it towards his face for a sip, the whole wagon jerked upward on the right side. Both his book and his mug flew from his hands as he jumped in surprise, spraying tea all over his clothes before both hit the ground close enough to douse the pages with spatters of murky liquid. Instantly aggravated, the wan cheesemonger flushed with anger, his uneven teeth bared like an animal’s.

“BLAST IT!” He seethed, pounding both clenched fists against his armrests before leaping from his chair with such a furious energy that he nearly hit his wagon’s ceiling. He moved toward the front of his mobile home’s forward compartment and smacked the wooden wall. “Can we stop! Hitting! Things! Already! How many’s that, now? If you can’t steer around it, could you lot give me some kind of warning, at least? Just, I dunno, squeak or…something!”

Gru got a chorus of squeaks as the small armies of rats inside all four of the Chuck Wagon’s front wheels addressed his complaints. Most were as angry and indignant as their master was, whether at him for being cantankerous, one another for making mistakes, or themselves for doing a bad job. While Gru couldn’t understand their words, he definitely got the message. “Ughhhh…sorry, lovelies.” With a heavy, groaning sigh, he crouched down to collect his things. “I know the road’s hard, you’re trying your best.” Was he being unreasonable? Probably. Why, then? Well, it wasn’t the book. He hadn’t treated it any better than its previous owners, as its torn, yellowed pages and frayed cover suggested. He might have if he really enjoyed reading it; it chronicled an old war on some other part of the continent, but its author prioritized statistics over drama to the point that it really wasn’t all that diverting to begin with. The mug wasn’t the crux of the matter, either. Forged from staunch metal and bound in insulating leather, it was a stalwart traveler’s companion and could take a beating. Not even the tea vexed him, despite this being the wagon’s ‘dry’ side. Lukewarm and largely depleted, it didn’t soak him or ruin anything, and it hadn’t been tasty enough that the loss would be missed.

“It’s this blasted forest!” Gru interjected suddenly as he rose to his feet. After slapping the book and the mug down on his little desk, he paced around his living quarters’ cramped interior, constantly forced to adjust his balance against the movement of his mobile home. “It’s been days in this godforsaken place,” he fumed, giving vent at last to all his built-up annoyance. “No farms, no fields, no customers, no quiet. You’d think it’d be a nice peaceful ride through the woods, but no. Just a complete and utter waste of time!” And as if to emphasize his point, the cart suddenly drew to a stop, its wheels -and their occupants- squeaking in frustrated protest. Moaning, Gru could only hang his head. By now, he’d come to expect unexpected stops like this, and they certainly weren’t the fault of his rats. Another breakdown, probably. He tottered over to his little closet and pulled it open. As he selected which jacket to wear, a gang of rats formed up on the top shelf, assembled from both those on break up above and those who’d been working down below. In the center of the mob stood his favorite four: Pepper, Rick, Wensley, and Reggie, all ready to receive and distribute his orders. “Take a breather, loves,” he told them, his tone one of resignation. “My gut tells me we’re gonna be here a while.” As he took his top hat with one hand, he held the other out toward Pepper, who jumped on with a little cheer, ran down his arm, and climbed up onto his head as fast as her little legs could carry her. Gru placed his hat upon his head, checking in the mirror bolted to the back of his closet door that it was perched just right, and as he did more rats climbed up him to cluster together and form his live fur collar. The rest scattered, and with a final sigh Gru shut his closet and headed for the door. “This despicable forest hates us.”

A moment later he stepped out into the cool woodland air. He took a deep breath, then shut and latched the door behind him. After climbing up onto the Chuck Wagon for a good view, he put a handkerchief to his mouth and surveyed the scenery. Sure, the Emerald Forest looked beautiful, with vibrant colors straight from a child’s storybook. But it had been nothing but trouble since the minute the Pilgrims’ Caravan arrived here, just as Gru expected. A tree didn’t grow overnight after all, and a forest this size took far, far longer, during which time it had more than earned its terrible reputation. Something was wrong with this place. The personification Gru applied early was by no means unwarranted–this massive place’s inhospitality wasn’t just undocumented, but tangible. It watched without eyes, listened without ears, and resisted its visitors every step of the way.

An ill wind blew through these trees, carrying ill fortune to all those who entered. Breakdowns, accidents, illnesses. Gru could hear the coughing from here, up and down the stalled caravan. From the beginning he’d been hesitant to send his rats out to forage, and not just because of their typical predators. In a forest that wanted to swallow up the whole caravan, nobody needed to be more careful than its tiniest members. Still, it was only a matter of time until supplies began to dwindle. The paranoia planted throughout the pilgrims would then start to fester. And then what? Only through unity did the caravan survive. It had survived countless hardships already, even in the comparatively brief time Gru had been with it, but only a fool would take that to mean infallibility. Anyone could die. Any day, any time, for any reason. But Gruyere Emmentaler Caerphilly Yarg intended to survive.

No matter what came his way.

News quickly spread of strangers in the pilgrims’ midst. Gru got the details from Hoogarth, a good-natured strigiform traveling with the caravan as a hunter. The owl-man spoke of woodsmen, lost in the woods they’d come to harvest, humbled and on the verge of starvation. Still agitated by the terrifying things they’d witnessed. “Hmph,” Gru huffed, his lip curling. “They must be stupid. Everyone knows these woods are cursed or some such. Why anyone would take such absurd risks is utterly beyond me. And now they’re begging for food? Well, if they’re planning to come crying to me, let's hope they haven’t lost their coin as they did their wits.” Getting the impression Gru was talking more to the rats than him, Hoogarth just shrugged and kept moving to let others know.

It wasn’t long before Gru got another visitor in the form of an airborne phantasm. He watched it flutter toward him on the breeze, hoping it would pass him by, but unfortunately he knew better. It was the work of Althuwin the Navigator, mainstay and fixture of the Pilgrim’s Caravan for as long as just about anyone could remember, and through magical means Althuwin greeted Gru from afar. Predictably, he seemed to be reaching out in hopes of appealing to Gru’s better nature.

Too bad I don’t have one. Under no circumstances could Gru afford to part with the fruits of his labor for free. His cheese was an incredibly finite product. Every one aging in his Chuck Wagon’s dry shelves was a masterpiece-in-progress, from six-week-old Muenster to twelve-month-old Parmesan to his famous ‘Cheddar of Rebirth’, made the day he first joined the Pilgrim’s Caravan and aged for well over two years since. When it came to making cheese, time was money. A single empty spot on his shelf was a huge problem. After all, he couldn’t make new cheeses without fresh milk, so by now his production had been stopped dead for an entire week. That had been part of why he’d so vehemently opposed Althuwin’s route through the Emerald Forest, but nobody outweighed the Navigator when it came to matters of opinion. Besides, many of his cheeses were already spoken for, custom made to satisfy orders he’d received. They weren’t for sale, much less charity.

Still, maybe something could be arranged. “Ergh…I’ll consider it. Perhaps we can strike some…ah, bargains.” Even if someone couldn’t pay up front, a savvy trader could find ways to get his due. Right now, these people were too hungry to read fine print. If they could read at all. Gru was a salesman, not a businessman, but he could wheel and deal if needed. And his rats made for excellent debt collectors in a pinch. Althuwin went on to compliment Gru’s cheese, which struck him as backward. Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to flatter before you ask favors? Establish a good mood up front. Otherwise the honeyed words fall flat. Of course, not everyone could cut it as a salesman. Althuwin also asked about Gru’s methods. The cheesemonger sprouted a thin smile. “Trade secret, I’m afraid.” He respected -and to an extent needed- Althuwin as a customer, but they weren’t friends. One gave the other money, and the other gave the one food. Besides, Althuwin had a ‘way of speaking’ that Gru didn’t quite like. This wasn’t the first time that the old man had asked how the proverbial sausage was made. Sometimes Gru wondered if the Navigator knew things that he shouldn’t. As the wind sprite left, he watched a handful of pilgrims arming themselves for an expedition off the beaten path. There are some secrets that should stay buried, he thought, peering warily through the ill-omened verdure.
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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Overlord Thraka
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"There's a lot of Half-Elves here," they murmured to her from under her helmet, her eyes shifting back and forth. The Pilgrim's Caravan, the Roving Town, the Village of Wheels and a thousand other names besides. She'd heard stories to be sure, but having never seen it before, she'd not been prepared for what she was to find.

Comprised of dozens if not hundreds of wagons, twice as many animals and three times that number of people, had surprised her like little else did. She had been in cities the world over, traveled far and wide in her long years, but while many places could be described as a melting pot, none were quite like this place.

She'd only been with the Caravan a few short days but she was still seeing things that might inspire awe in someone more easily impressed than she. Wonderous wagons moving on their own, or else pulled by strange and exotic beasts. Enormous wagons big as houses, to carts so small that they barely held the single occupant, and more-often were filled to the brim with several. The people too were something else. Poor and rich and inbetween, young and old and some perhaps even dead if the smell was any indicator. Humans and Dwarves and Elves, Lizardmen and Catfolk and all manner of Beast-men. Just yesterday a large slug pulling a wagon had shouted at her to move aside while it inched forward, leaving a slimy trail on the ground behind it. But yes, there were above all things, far more half-elves than she'd ever seen before in one place, if indeed this counted as a place.

Seeing them felt... odd to her, not that she hadn't seen them before, or everytime she saw her own reflection, but to see them so unbothered by not just themselves, but those around them. It confused her. In her home, and indeed most places she had been to, half-breeds like her would have been run out of town or at the very least given the ugliest of glares. She'd long since moved past it bothering her, but it still made her frown to see others so open about it. Better counties they must have come from.

"Lots yes," the voice hissed in her ear. It was soft, like the sound of a summer breeze. "The white hair has magic, and the pirate-"

"Not a pirate, she reeks of ex-military. Navy probably."

"Talk of reeks?! There is a big cart that smells horrid, just behind!"

"I got a whiff. Cheese." There was a brief pause, then the Warrior's frown became one of confusion. "Wait, I didn't know you could smell."

"Of course I can smell! I can see and hear can't I?"

"Nevermind, it's not important. Anyways, I'm not here to make friends. As soon as things have died down at home, I'm off,"

"You mean us yes?"

"Of course," the warrior muttered. Just me and the voice in my helmet...

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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Enigmatik
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Enigmatik Overly-Caffienated Thembie Supreme

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Gadri Abzan


Gadri sighed as the wagon ahead rolled to a stop, rattling to a halt like every single other vehicle ahead of them had done. Another thrown wheel or broken suspension. They tugged, frustrated, at the end of their beard, then stood from the driver's seat and headed into the main forge. The terrain here was infuriating - too much stop-and-start to set up the forge, yet oppressive and uncomfortable enough that they couldn't take the opportunity to actually appreciate the quiet.

Not that there was ever much quiet for the caravan's dwarven metalworker. They grabbed a heavy leather satchel sat next to the door, tightened the strap holding their hammer to their apron, then stepped out the back door, firmly pulling it to and locking it. Far too many valuables to trust even other caravaners around this particular wagon.

"Going to see if I can't clear the holdup quicker," they explained to nobody in particular, then set out at their usual steady pace, boots sinking a little into the soft, constantly damp mud.

Malleck 'Freepaw'

Talking to Athulwin (@Tortoise)


It was too green in these woods.

Too green, too wet, too... Alive. In his time inside the caravan, Malleck had seen all sorts of sights alien to most of the painted folk, but the one thing that he could never quite get over was how lush everything seemed normally. When you grew up surrounded by chest-high stalks of yellow-green broken up by the occasional pop of colour from a bush or tree, even a simple temperate meadow seemed like an impossibly verdant explosion of life. The Forest of Emerald though, with its overwhelming palette of... well, emerald green, was something else altogether. It almost hurt his eyes to stare out at the sun-dappled grass, dew dripping down each stalk, or look up at the hardwood pillars that jutted into the sky, taller than any building he'd seen.

But that wasn't the worst part of all this - oh no. The worst part was that the vast canopies that hung above the caravan were thick enough that at night, you could only just make out the starlight where it slipped between wide, heavy leaves. Instinct told him that Otota had shifted across to the east and closer to the horizon line, but until they finally gave this strange place the slip, instinct was all he had. The last glimpse of Otota he'd had was eight days ago.

Needless to say, that he was somewhat on edge, and when the wind-whispered message from Athulwin came he practically leapt out of his skin before realising who and what it was. He nodded - the gesture entirely meaningless, then pushed himself up from the back of the stopped cart he'd been resting atop, giving a wave to the kindly older woman who had shared a fire with him last night. "Thank you for your time! And the soup, it was delicious!" Then, with steel-shod staff in hand and a tambourine tinkling against the side of his rucksack, he set off. There'd been the constant muttering of refugees among the Caravan for a few days now, but so far he'd not seen hide nor hair of them, and Athulwin's suggestion was a good one. Now, all he needed to do was to track down Athulwin, and from him find the location of the refugees.

As he strolled along, waving and cheerily greeting those that he passed by, he couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. There was a presence hanging over him - spiteful and intelligent. It liked that he couldn't see Otota. It sounded ridiculous, but he was convinced that at least some part of the forest had it out for him.

Then again, maybe he was just starting to go a little crazy. Either was a possibility.

Twenty solid minutes of walking along the stopped Caravan later and he finally caught a glimpse of the familiar shape of their navigator's carriage. A spring entered his step, digitigrade legs easily accelerating him into strides that were surprisingly long for a creature his size, hopping over a small puddle to land just outside the man's rear door.

"Knock knock! Malleck here! Got your message Athulwin!" He followed the sentence up with a noise that most who had interacted with him had come to know - a high-pitched chirp, followed by a quick yip. Knocking had somewhat baffled the Ainok when he had first joined the caravan - his people's homes were made from hide or bartered fabric, 'knocking' just wasn't something you could do, so instead they used that distinctive call to let people know that someone wanted their attention. Other races, he had quickly learnt, preferred you to bang on a solid object, so he'd split the difference and just said 'knock' these days.
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Knossos Dreamwalker


It had been a splendid morning, in the mind of the Dreamwalker, despite the sour mood of the animals. The verdantly beautiful scenery of the forest simply called "Emerald" was certainly a more unique sight than the ones he'd seen in the past few years, the air was warm with a bright and sunny warmth, and the fact the forest hadn't decided to swarm them in Feral Lionbears was certainly something he was glad for as well. One could feel how 'alive' this place was, both metaphorically and in the literal sense, and a Living Forest wasn't exactly something he was going to see every day either! It was fascinating, though he hoped the forest would let them through long enough to get to the other side. A druid he was not, but....eh, if it came down to it he could try to communicate? Maybe? He'd have to maybe thumb again through a particular tome he had finished reading through a few nights ago after some weeks on the road. Well, said tome was more like a journal that had been used to compile someone's notes on native occult art and practices in some peculiar jungle far away at least.

Though after having gone so far to pull the carts and pieces of the caravan along, he also felt like he couldn't blame the animals for needing to rest at least. Except for that slug wagon. It was kept near the rear of the company for a reason, given the slippery trails it left on the path that could make some other animals slip and trip! Last thing they needed was that to happen to anyone, especially when the other animals were getting tired. Though according to said beast's driver, the creature could move quite fast when it wanted to and especially fast if it one held a rotting carrot on a stick in front of its face. Hmm. Still, he did want to go back one day and talk to the driver he'd seen a couple of days ago being pulled along by that pair of titanic centipedes if he got the chance....and preferrablly after those things were fed already to boot. Sure they helped ward off some predators from that part of the caravan, but if anyone got eaten that was not going to help the driver's case!

Still, as he was pondering things while his mostly mundane-looking and well-covered (wooden walls and a nice little roof to boot) wagon pulled itself along on its own he felt some means of thanks to the Vilkyn for that much at least. The rest of the things they'd done to others? Ah, no thanks he was fine with that. Making a mana-gem-powered self-driving-and-stopping traveling wagon though? It had taken a few years to get and make the components for it, but it was so very worth it compared to what he'd had before. Pfft. Having to conjure some wiggling monstrosities to pull it was simple and all, but having to get permits or temporarily dismiss them or coming up with some excuse every time a paladin or war cleric or such came over his direction when they stopped in the larger cities eventually became a bit of a constant headache for him there.

"Knossos, O Walker of Dreams. What do you know of undead and old tombs? More than I would like, I imagine. We are very near to some of both. Ready your occult knowledge close at hand to protect us. But, please, spare my sensibilities the details."


Athulwin was not a bad navigator, he had to give him credit, but the man was as lazy as anything sometimes. Not that magic didn't make it easy to send some quick messages about the Caravan, so perhaps his passing thought there was a bit moot. But if it came to chopping wood or other such hard labors? That was where he felt most correct in that thought about the other man, really, and more secure in it. Still, he didn't mean Athulwin any bad or ill-intent, nor would be speak about the man like that behind his back. His personal thoughts were just that, personal and private and subject to change. Besides, he hadn't a clue about the other man's past or history for that matter....but he knew one thing for sure since he'd first seen him:

Dark magic clung to the monk-like man like parasite, the aura feeling to the occultist as if it was leeching and drinking from Athluwin like some kind of horrid cup of living wine. A horrible curse likely cast on a horrible night, if trends for such things lent themselves to taking a guess, and placed on one who seemed to be a sort of monk of all things. He could sense it, feel it even, from the other man. Likewise the other man had been watching him for some time, as if wary somehow about him since that they had shaken hands the night he'd introduced himself to Athulwin. Was it a case of 'had bad experiences with dark magic' or perhaps a case of 'it takes one to know one' though? In the end, it mostly didn't matter if they kept things peaceable between them. He'd tried to only ever be genuine and friendly in return, and even shared some meals with the other man over the past several years to boot. No issues. Not trying to get rid of him. None of it. And if Athluwin wasn't prying into him, he wasn't going to do it in return either out of mutual respect and precaution.

Not that he was the only other one there with some kind of dark magic palpable on them, even if Athluwin was the most perceptible to him thus far. Everyone had secrets to hide, it seemed, after all. He'd only pry or do his thing with more 'cloak and dagger' type discreetness if they made themselves a danger to them all or the caravan as a whole.

"Alright, Athulwin, I'll come up there to see what's going on."

Speaking in a pleasant, yet calm, matter-of fact tone to the airy magical messenger, the occult expert of the caravan would sit up from his spot at the covered driver's seat of the wagon as it pulled over to the side where he had his own little spot. From here the magic-user would lightly hope off of the wagon, before stretching his arms and legs. He didn't need to worry about anything trying to steal from the wagon at least, if nothing else. A few well-placed wards and the like generally kept it secure, really, just as they had before the wagon was turned into csone animated construct. Albeit occasionaly pests would still try to get into the wooden wagon for his rations or such, and the magical wards and such would of course kill them, but he didn't want to hurt anything innocent. In that vein he'd been up-front with the local cheese-maker of the company to make sure his rats were careful, as he had warded his wagon for very good reasons. The magical bag he had attachedto his left hip currently held much, if not his most precious and dangerous, things. The wagon though? It contained and had a lot of things locked up in there for safety's sake and containment, ranging from harmless supplies to a small hanful of things which had also been repurposed for helping in defending or making the magically-moved wagon by this point in time.

Beginning his walk to the front of the caravan, however, the older man glanced at anyone else along the way who seemed to be heading the same direction as he was or at least looked like they were preparing to. Along the way his nose, however, picked up a familiar and yet pleasant aroma. Ah. He knew whose wagon was coming up along the way.

"Good day to you, Gru."

Knossos gave a polite nod to the peculiar and portly little cheese-maker, whose wagon was pulled by rats. Tight with the money, always a bit of a miser, and yet someone who made rather high-quality product and cared more for his rats than perhaps many would ever take the tie to notice. Had seemed to always peddle his wares and goods, but from what he'd seen and heard nothing bad had come from it all. For one thing, the cheese wasn't turning into a monster and eating people or the sort, nor did it seem to be tainted by dark magic. Hold the traces of it here and there? Yes, he could percieve that much, but a trace of something was definitely still different than being imbued or infused with something. From the start he could feel something lingering on the man and that wagon of his, but had kept his mouth shut and minded his own business to see how Gru would conduct himself in those initial weeks.

Safe to say, the cheese-maker seemed to be doing that and just that: Making cheese and caring for his rats. And he was glad for it!

In that vein he'd always tried to treat the other man kindly and fairly in turn as well, even purchasing different cheeses here and there at more spread-out times. Not that he was as perhaps prolific a customer as he felt Athulwin was, really, but if the monk was part-rat and loved his cheese then so be it! No judgement there. Meanwhile he only tried to appoach to try particular things at times, maybe look into a particular delicacy he'd been curious about. Maybe offering part of the supplies to try to help the-, oh!

Knossos took pause for a moment near Gru, turning his head back to him with a small smile on his face.

"Apologies, but I did want to also tell you I've finally found that bottle of fine but rather rare vintage Ilgirian Coast Red Wine I mentioned that I got back three months ago from one of my more 'affluent' clients. Apparently I kept it in my magical bag at the time, but after digging it out I've put it back in my wagon in its proper storage place. I was still curious if you could infuse it into a fine cheese for me, perhaps?"

A fine wine-infused cheese. Not something Knossos could at least remember seeing often at all, save for a few choice places in the last few years. He had been curious about it, but blast it all he'd forgotten where the bottle was initially! Still, he hoped it wouldn't be too much of a bother to ask the cheese-maker. He was providing the rare wine for it at least, if nothing else, so maybe it'd help the price a little bit?

Whatever the case, he wanted to check with Gru about the small matter of that before he would finish making his way to where Althuwin and anyone else the man had summoned would likely be.

@Lugubrious@Tortoise
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Athulwin

Addressing: @Enigmatik


There's an expression in the Old Marshes, a warning whispered from ear to ear and from mothers to their children. "Where the wind blows, a Sayer hears." There's a reason it's one of the most common languages practiced by the Uttering Monks. Sitting with his wooden window propped open, with his eyes on a book and his head off daydreaming, Athulwin nonetheless hears many of the comings-and-goings of the Caravan, the sounds of it all carried to him magically by the wind. When people talk, snitches and snippets of their conversation comes to the Monk. When they take heavy footsteps, they echo towards his reading nook. He does not know everything. He only hears what the Wind chooses to tell him, and it is a spirit both fickle and unpredictable. Nonetheless, he is aware of much.

Through the window, he hears...

People are upset. The Caravan is confused as to why it has stopped here. The refugees who came begging are grateful for all the help, but the Pilgrims themselves aren't sure why they can't keep on moving through this accursed wood and get back out into the open country again. Athulwin hears the voice of Gadri Abzan muttering, saying they'll see what they can do to get them all moving again. It seems like the dwarven smith didn't say that line to any one person in particular, so in one if its fits of whimsy, the Wind decided that Athulwin should be the receiving end.

He hears Gru refuse to reveal his methods- again- which is dissapointing, but he is glad that the monger can show a little bit of willingness to bargain. That is an unexpected good turn. Athulwin doesn't much care for Gru as a human being. He's faithless. He's what the Uttering Monks back in Queensrock would have called a self-seeker, one who has turned from pursuing higher things and now looks inward, hurting those around him by trying to satisfy himself out of himself. An impossible thing. But he is a master of his particular art, and that's something to respect.

And, as expected, the calm voice of Knossos blows through the window too, reassuring Athulwin that the old occultist will be along in just a minute. For a warlock (or whatever he is- he might be a full-blown necromancer for all Athulwin can tell), the Dreamwalker is perhaps the most polite soul in the Caravan. It's refreshing. So many here are road-hardened travelers, more concerned with getting somewhere fast than showing proper respect. It irks the Navigator. But he's also a little irked, and confused, as to why he does not yet hear one particular voice, a yipping one that he expected by no-

"Knock knock! Malleck here! Got your message Athulwin!"

Ah.

Athulwin rises with creaking joints from his seat, his knees popping loud in protest. He summons up his mystical Aura on the way, so that he'll be properly intimidating and persuasive. When he swings open the door to his little, rich Caravan, he is looking at the eager and sincere face of a dog straight from the savannahs.

"You know, Master Freepaw," he looks down at the Ainok singer, "most other people just talk into the wind to answer me. I would have heard it." Maybe. "Hmm. Would you like to come in?" His smile is real, nonetheless.
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The Pilgrim’s Caravan

The Giant Galaxor & The Undead Tombs

Tombs, bones and an axe


DRINK! DRINK! DRINK! DRINK! DRIIIINNNKK!!

GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! C’MON! GET ITTTT! ONE LAST DROP!

Shout after shout as two barrels of dwarven ale lay upside down above Galaxor’s mouth, pouring their highly alcoholic liquid down his throat. It seemed that Galaxor would almost drown at one point as the liquid in his mouth was slowly spilling out of it. This was one of his favourite activities in the caravan and one that made him money from his fellow travellers. A giant can drink way more than most of the other races without getting drunk and their liver recovered fast from alcohol, a fact which most people don’t know. A fact which Galaxor always enjoyed showing.

As the barrels let out their last drop, a loud cheer was let out by the crowd. It was maybe one of the few activities that still brought joy to the caravaneers since they arrived in the forest. But even those that showed up to the drinking bouts or contests, were considerably less than they were before. The crowd was thinning. Less familiar faces. Less enthusiasm in their voices. People chose to stay closer to their families rather than go out drinking with a giant.

Come on! One MORE! the crowd shouted but then…Galaxor heard something else. A voice.

To Galaxor Stoneclaw, the great giant explorer, he says:

"Stoneclaw, O giant wanderer of our Caravan, there is word of ancient barrows nearby. Was it not your purpose to see the world, so that you may bring stories of it back to your tribesmen? Well, while we are stopped for some time, perhaps you'd like to venture out and explore these forsaken old ruins. Some others may wish to go with you. I hear of tales of undead- and I admit, I do not like having such a threat so close to our Caravan. Take your axe and your fists with you, should you go. I do not think any skeletons will withstand you."
Athulwin


Words. Words from Althuwin. Danger. Adventure. Perfect! While Galaxor wasn’t a fighter nor from a fighting clan, he always loved fighting, especially as he chose to embark on this potentially very dangerous mission. In fact, this was one of the many reasons he was even allowed to go. The Stone King himself declared him to be fit for the task.

As such, he put down the barrel he grabbed earlier on and lifted a hand in the air.

Sorry guys, the big boss man is calling me. But don’t worry, I’ll be back! HA! HA! HA! ” he said with a loud laugh that slightly shook the barrel. His voice was like the stone itself, hard, strong, unbreakable.

Galaxor took two steps forward, making the ground shake a bit as he walked and grabbed his massive battle-axe with one hand and lifted it up, putting it on his shoulder and let out a shout towards where he thought Althuwin was.

Did somebody call for an EXTERMINATOR?!

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Nemeia


Anxious mutterings had reached Nemeia like ill omens traveling on a cold wind. Word had spread quickly concerning the luckless strangers that had emerged from the woods surrounding the Pilgrim’s Caravan. Hoogarth, the hooman, the owl man in the common parlor, had told her. He had shared grimmer news still, relating what little the strangers had hoarsely breathed about haunted tombs and wandering undead that had assailed the strangers with cursed words.

She had listened quietly, tending as she saw to the sick. Hoogarth had departed, leaving her with a seasoned strip of jerky that staved off the hunger that had accompanied her since morning. She would remember his kindness.

A week on the road had passed far too quickly by her measure. Ministering to the sick, attempting to stave off the strange illness that afflicted more and more of the caravan had filled her days and nights traveling through the sea of boundless green. The sickness had proved resistant to mundane treatments and magical healing. It was only by a small mercy that it appeared to not yet have charted a fatal course in one of the afflicted pilgrims. The aberrant nature of the mysterious illness troubled her and she had begun to suspect a supernatural origin. Something in the forest. Something far beyond the merely mortal.

The caravan navigator, Athulwin had said as much. He could name the illness no more than she could, but he had suggested that it almost seemed like a curse. The Dreamwalker, the old man, had told her they had to discover how the disease was spread. They had found no common cause. She could divine no easy answer. He counseled that they would have to uncover such facts in order to counter any powerful magic. She would have to continue seeking, to find answers, and to find a cure.

Beneath the broad canopy of the ancient forest, the moon and stars seemed far away. To see the moon more clearly would have been preferable, but Nemeia was not afraid, she knew that even in the darkness the moonlight was shining down on her. She did not need to see the sky, she knew that Valradun walked with her, she could feel it in her heart. Others were with her as well. Those that could help. Those that were willing to risk infection. Two carriages had been repurposed into infirmaries. Full of suffering travelers, they had become a necessity as the caravan’s pace slowed and the number of sick pilgrims grew. And yet, the work continued, as it had to. It was a bright light of compassion in the foreboding forest that filled Nemeia’s heart with much needed warmth.

Replacing yet another strip of thick cloth burned dry by fever from the head of an ailing wayfarer, Nemeia felt something stirring deep within her. She knew she could sit idly by no longer. Action was required. Great action! As Valradun would have wanted. As she wanted. The terrible disease that had overwhelmed the caravan had to be tackled head on. It was not unheard of for a sickness to stem from an undead barrow, given life by the proximity to the undead or whatever power had raised them.

Nemeia heard a commotion as she stepped into the shrouded daylight. She listened to a voice that boomed like a boulder thundering down a mountain. Extermination, the concept was not unfamiliar to her, although she viewed the undead with greater kindness. She felt no hatred, only sympathy for the misguided and misled spirits. Wretched beings that she suspected had been reanimated, most probably against their will, and cruelly torn from their deserved rest.

"Allow me to join you, Sir Stoneclaw," Nemeia said, her singsong voice ringing out pleasantly across the clearing as she approached the large man, the giant painted in shades of stone, "You speak of handling the undead, yes? I will help you bring peace to the unfortunate souls scattered in the nearby barrows."



Addressing: Galaxor @Timemaster
Referencing: Hoogarth @Lugubrious, Athulwin @Tortoise, and Knossos @Crusader Lord
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Ilyana sighs, rubbing her stomach through her leathers. The caravan was not as cramp as a ship, to be sure, but she needed to step away from the crowd and decompress - and the only place to go was the into the forest. Besides, she'll need firewood later. There ought to be plenty of fallen limbs lying a short distance away from the road.

Giving a wave at the nearest guard, she stepped past the road and into the forest.

Of course, everything close to the road had already been taken away. She paused to cut an arrow on the side of a tree, then continued moving deeper into the trees, pausing every so often to mark the trunks. It was weird how there were no fallen branches - other travelers must have been going further and further in for wood.

Or....

Ilyana's musing was cut short as she felt something massive moving through the forest nearby, setting even the wildlife into flight.
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Gruyere Emmentaler Caerphilly Yarg


From his vantage point atop his caravan, Gru watched the people of the Pilgrims’ Caravan go about their business. He didn’t bother to compose any actual critiques of their activities, but he made sure to adopt an appropriately unamused, scrutinizing look as he sat there that seemed to say ‘well, get to it then’ to everyone who passed him. Together, his posture and expression made it abundantly clear that he had no plans to help resolve this dilemma, whatever its cause might be, and that this profound waste of time had him feeling very put-upon. It went without saying that everyone in the whole convoy would be better off getting out of this execrable Emerald Forest as soon as possible; he simply intended to showcase the misery of this situation firsthand, and spur everyone on all the faster.

Of course, the others didn’t need that much encouragement to begin with. Everyone could feel the sickness festering within the Caravan, the steady depletion of supplies, and the worsening communal mood as they walked up and down the chain of beasts and wagons, doing what little they could to get the ball rolling again. He spotted a familiar painted pelt hustling toward the head of the Caravan. As swift as Malleck was, he didn’t hesitate to wave to Gru as he passed, bound perhaps for the Navigator to look into the situation going forward. Gru gave a stiff nod back. Any well-to-do gentleman could appreciate the arts, so while he’d initially disdained Malleck as a freeloader, he’d eventually come around and acknowledged the beastman as a skilled minstrel. Still, having the appearance of an animal didn’t mean he had one’s essence, and Gru had extended Malleck neither his friendship nor patronage. Given current events, it would be a miracle indeed if the painted dog managed to bring him cheer. Not long after, Gru beheld a rarer sight: an individual quintessential to the Caravan, trusted and needed by all sooner or later. He’d never memorized the smith’s name (‘Master Dwarf’ worked well enough when soliciting business) but he’d worked with Gadri whenever his wagon or cheese-making equipment needed metallurgical upkeep. For that reason, Gadri was one of the few who’d ever been inside the Chuck Wagon, making their testimony important if someone started indulging baseless suspicions. For the smith to leave their mobile forge behind to try and expedite this delay, things must be even worse than Gru thought.

Only after another passer-by showed up did Gru have occasion to speak, though. When the genial, gray-haired eccentric greeted him, the cheesemonger turned his way with a thin smile. Manners seemed hard to come by these days, and common courtesy was anything but, so it pleased him to answer politeness in kind when it came from a valued customer. “And a very good day to you, Mr. Dreamwalker.” Whether giving or receiving, names were important. When conducting business, Gru always opted for the professionalism of using a last name, or cheekily substituting a title for one if applicable. As such, most knew him as ‘Mr. Yarg’, or even less cordially, just ‘Yarg’. Since he always joked that only friends would call him ‘Gry’, few addressed him on a first-name basis. Knossos was among the few. “Here to make a purchase, perhaps? I find nothing takes the edge off of a miserable day like this quite like sinking your teeth into a rich, tender, full-flavored wedge of cheese.”

The occultist did have a request, albeit of a more uncommon kind. At the mention of Ilgirian Red, Gru perked up slightly, stroking his whiskers as he cracked an intrigued smile that showed just the faintest hint of his crooked teeth. “An infusion, hmm? Well, you’ve come to the right place Mr. Dreamwalker. For a cheesemaker of my caliber, it’s certainly possible…” His eyes narrowed slightly as he pursed his lips, a hint of his general annoyance allowed to seep through in a way that invited sympathy. Taking a rat from his collar, he began to stroke its back and scratch its sides, making it giggle. “Unfortunately, I’m afraid there’s a little…snag. For the chemical processes to proceed as they must, the wine infusion must occur in the curd stage, before the cheese is brined, introduced to mold, and aged. I’m sure I need not spell it out for someone as keen as yourself, but with no fresh milk for over a week now, my entire cheesemaking enterprise has tragically stopped dead.”

Gru shook his head mournfully. “Most regrettable, I think you’ll agree.” He then put on his most determined face, his index finger raised. “Rest assured, however, that once I obtain fresh ingredients, I will be able to do all you’ve asked and more. And since you’re supplying the wine, why, I’ll even infuse it at no additional cost. A custom ‘Ubriaco Ilgirio’, how does that sound?” Gru tempted his fingers, peering at Knossos. “If you like, I can take the bottle off your hands so that it’s on hand the moment I’m able to begin. Rest assured it will be safe and secure in my rack–and that I’d never dream of appropriating any for myself, of course.”

In a couple parts of the Caravan, pilgrims were gearing up to leave the safety of the stopped convoy and brave the Emerald Forest itself. Like mice jumping headfirst into the lion’s maw. Gru tried not to let them distract him. Even if the fools didn’t end up like those unfortunate loggers, forging into these uncanny woods was just asking for trouble.
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Ivraan Valdo


Slowly but surely the Caravan became busy. Footsteps could be heard all around, the snap of small twigs, and the sound of the leaves rustling all betrayed the size of the Caravan. Some pilgrims and other doo-gooders of the Caravan had arrived to help out the worn-out arrivals. More food and supplies would be handed out. Some people actively invited the worn-out souls over to their wagons so they could take a rest. Ivraan had taken a position to the side just listening as he would often do back home in the tavern. Unfortunately, nothing had really caught his attention and it was clear that these people couldn’t really help him any further. Thus he decisively went back to his wagon to grab the book he had on the Forest of Emerald. On his way back he gave a solid nod to those he passed.

Once he had arrived at his wagon he went inside, grabbed the book, and started quickly shifting through the pages to try and find anything on these “living” souls within the Forest. This was however to much avail, nothing was really clear and more precise than what he had already heard. He glanced at his herbology station where he had gathered some of the leaves from a tree to see if anything had changed. Nothing, nothing had changed, it still had the vibrant green color. Ivraan just sat down for a bit pondering what he would do now. He could without a doubt venture into the woods to try and find these sightings, something that felt like a great idea, however he wouldn’t want to do it on his own. It was as if something or someone had read his mind, as at that exact moment he heard a deep shout outside. It was the giant who had joined the Caravan a few months back.

Ivraan quickly grabbed his spear from the rack along with a few daggers which he stowed in a belt specifically made for them. He grabbed the sheath the spear usually sat in and hurled it over his back. For those who had never seen Ivraan with his spear before it might be a slightly comic sight. Even though Ivraan was a tall half-elf the spear would easily reach his shoulders if it stood on the ground next to him and was only slightly smaller than Ivraan. He made his way over towards Galaxor.

As he arrived he gave a wave and smile towards the giant. “Heya! I heard you were shouting for an exterminator?! Are you headed into the woods to figure out more about those beings?! If so mind if I join?!”; Ivraan spoke with his cheery attitude and hadn’t even noticed the tiefling standing there. He would shoot a smile and wave in her direction. Ivraan had seen Nemeia around a few times but never really spoke to her. ” Hey! Are you also joining in!? Guess we should wait if others want to tag along.” Ivraan spoke with the same cheer. He then sat down the spear on the ground next to him and leaned against it. He was clearly looking forward to it, he wanted to explore the Forest of Emerald for a while now but never really got to it, now to his surprise he had a whole group.



Addressing: Galaxor @Timemaster and Nemeia @Abstract Proxy
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The Pilgrim’s Caravan

The Giant Galaxor & Merry Band

Undead Hunting


As Galaxor made his way up the Caravan and towards where the undead tombs were told to be, he started singing a merry tune.

Ho-ho, heave-ho, in the forest so deep,
I'm the giant of might, with promises to keep.
Through the darkest of forest, I'll hack through the fray,
To take out the undead, and end their dark stay.


He sang, weirdly in quite in tone. More than just like a drunken song sung in a tavern just before dawn. Galaxor would also lift his axe up and let it fall on his shoulder making “boom” sounds to keep the beat of the song.

As he was about to start the next verse, a young tiefling approached him…not that he noticed her. Galaxor’s focus was fully occupied on walking straight, he really didn’t want to repeat the incident from 8 months ago when he stepped on a dwarf and flattened him…permanently.

"Allow me to join you, Sir Stoneclaw," Nemeia said, her singsong voice ringing out pleasantly across the clearing as she approached the large man, the giant painted in shades of stone, "You speak of handling the undead, yes? I will help you bring peace to the unfortunate souls scattered in the nearby barrows."

And that’s when he noticed her. He stopped for a second and looked down at the young tiefling. Galaxor saw the tiefling before in the caravan but didn’t interact with her much, what he knew about her were from the drunken rumours or gossip people would tell him…not that he cared that much for either. Tiefling, demon or angel, who cared as long as they weren’t hostile…for what could any of those do to him? Scratch his toes? Pat him on the knees?

Oh my! I haven’t seen you there, little one! Careful now, I don’t want to step on you. Now that would be a mess! HA! HA! HA! ” said Galaxor as a reply before realising what she actually said.

Handling undead? Naaah, I don’t handle undead. I flatten undead but sure, come along but I don’t think the undead drink, not sure what peace you can bring them. HA ! HA! HA! ” continued Galaxor while laughing before barely stopping and adding a “Pheeew, I’m cracking myself up all the time.

Eventually, after he stopped laughing, Galaxor and Nemeia continued walking towards the tombs and just as they were about to go into the forest, another pilgrim arrived. Tall but still small for him. This is one of the weirdest things for Galaxor since he left the clans. Everyone was smaller than him, by a lot. Before leaving the clans he never saw anyone from the other races and he was one of the smallest giants in the clan, so, seeing people who were so small was weird and a feeling he’d never get used to.

Hey-ho, Ivraan! You should drop by the make-shift tavern. Miss drinking with ya! Aye, aye. We’re going to exterminate undead things, ‘put a cheer on people’s faces. Got so tired of their mournful moans, it was like living in a tomb! OHOHO! Anyways, no need to wait for anyone. Let’s have some fun, shall we?” replied Galaxor with his usual cheerful tone before taking a deep breath and continuing the song from before.

"With Galaxor's might, Nemeia's divine grace, and Ivraan's arcane wit,
To the tomb of undead, where they all just sit.
In the shadows, we'll bicker, and in chaos, we'll slay,
Galaxor, Nemeia, and Ivraan, are on their way.






Sometime later


The three would-be heroes traversed the forest with no incident happening but they would've all felt that something was wrong in the air. It was as if a presence was telling them to go away. An eerie feeling. A sense of wrongness following them at every step. All this became more and more apparent and enhanced as they got closer to the tomb. Even Galaxor's cheery song seemed less so.

The tomb loomed ahead, a shadowy edifice standing in stark contrast to the surrounding forest. It was a place of foreboding darkness and chilling silence. The once-green canopy of trees gave way to gnarled, skeletal branches that clawed at the sky, casting elongated, eerie shadows that seemed to reach out towards any intruders.

The entrance to the tomb was an imposing archway, its stone facade weathered and cracked with age. The carvings that adorned the entrance had long lost their intricate details, leaving only ominous, indistinct shapes. The air around the tomb was unnaturally cold, as though it sapped the warmth from anyone who dared approach.

As the trio ventured closer, they could see the tomb's entrance yawn open, like a hungry maw, inviting them into its dark depths and a spooky mist hung around the entrance, enhancing the dreadful feeling. The very walls seemed to whisper with a mournful, spectral wind that sent shivers down their spines.



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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by OliveYou
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OliveYou

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꒒ꌦꋊꋊ

Addressing @Overlord Thraka

You'd think one so accustomed to traveling and odd sights would cease to be amazed at peculiar and wonderous places. Not so; if anything, Lynn feels like she's only gained a greater appreciation for the world as she's gotten older. Four years ago, she was terrified of what was outside the city walls. and it had taken her more than a few months to gather the courage to leave the place. Liva was an oppressive city, always more of a prison than a home, but it was familiar; the outside was vast and unknown and terrifying. It was only after Pietro was born that she realized the walls she was surrounding herself with, and how easily she could leave them behind.

Taking that first step was the hardest thing she'd ever done. And yet the best thing she'd ever done.

Now, four years later, Lynn is discovering she's more of an explorer than she had imagined--to say nothing of Pietro! Her little boy loves the road. Even as a baby, he would stare, transfixed, at the scenery as it passed by, and break into babbling whenever something new came into view. And now, as a 6-year-old, he treats the world as his playground, his endless curiosity somewhat satiated by the endless variety of his life. The amount of languages he's picked up in the last few years has made Lynn wish her childhood experience was similar, but…

Lynn half-sighs, half-chuckles. She can't dwell on the past; she's much too old for that. She stands up from her seat at the back of the wagon, setting aside the sunhat she'd been weaving for Pio out of some old straw. Despite the wealth of materials in the Emerald Forest, she feels oddly hesitant to harvest any of them, for food or for her own projects. It feels like the caravan is trespassing; she doesn't want to add robbery to that list of crimes.

Everything here feels like a warning sign, from the odd sickness to calls of the wildlife. Even the green of the forest is blinding and unnatural instead of deep and calming. She can't help but think the Livans would appreciate the color, at least for the first few minutes. Then they'd get bored and move on.

Lynn has to admit, she's bored of it too. She's already spent hours on her latest weaving project and taking care of Pio. He is showing symptoms too, and Lynn has him wrapped in a blanket in the back of the wagon, where it is shady and cool. She milked Dolma, the yak that pulls their wagon, this morning. Even she seems agitated; usually the yak is docile and patient, but since entering the forest, she won't stop fussing.

Speaking of which.

With a loud bump, the slow-moving wagon stops abruptly, and Dolma gives a panicked grunt. The wagon must be stuck on something again, and so Lynn goes to investigate. Sure enough, there's a large tangle of roots stopping the wagon wheel from turning. Lynn puffs her cheeks out and gathers up the long hem of her dress. Looks like pushing is the only way.

After a few minutes of effort, Lynn has accomplished nothing but working up a sweat and removing her gray shawl. She usually doesn't like being this exposed, even if her dress is modest, but the air here is sharp and yet stuffy, and the day has become hot.

"Excuse me," she calls, to nobody in particular, but noticing a figure in an imposing helmet with a very helpful amount of muscle. "Can somebody help me move my wagon?"
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Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Overlord Thraka
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Overlord Thraka That Which is Hateful

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The forest had a creeping aura about it, as if menacing the travelers passing under the branches overhead. The road stretched wide, yet the trees, the brush, the green verge hemmed them in, so thick as to be impassible at a glance. There was only one way through the forest, the road they took, and Mergoux was unsure if she liked that. She liked having options, so when the only two were forward, or back, it made her uncomfortable. Still, with woods so thick, it was unlikely they were being watched, by mortal eyes at least. "The Green Lord always watches," she muttered, and heard a murmur of assent in return.

"All the world is his garden, but this place..."

"Like a plot left to grow wild, with thistle and all manner of creeping thing."

"You're feeling poetic!"

Mergoux's lips thinned and the voice chuckled to themself inside her helmet.

The passage was crowded with carts now, the road narrowing to a point, then widening again. A bottleneck where folks piled up and pushed past each other to get round the bend. A queue had formed of carts, but she was no rider. Hefting her pack, she shimmied through pressed wagons and tighter pressed people doing much the same as her. She moved deftly through the crowd, brushing nary a shoulder as she made her way through the bottleneck and past into where the road stretched wider again. It had a more built up look about it, stone underneath, old cobbles. Maybe once long ago some manner of building had stood here, but now it was mostly creeper and dirt, what few stones left coated in the thick green foliage as if the forest wanted to reclaim this land for itself.

"By the dead," she muttered, picking her way carefully through the vines. More than a few travelers had tripped, sprawling out over the cobbles, trying to pick up their fallen packs, some of which had burst open and scattered their possessions far, all whilst wagons trundled on.

Not far from the bottleneck, a young woman was struggling with her own cart, it's wheels entangled in creeper. Glancing about, it wasn't the only one stuck, but it was the only one not receiving any manner of aide.

Mergoux's eyes narrowed to slits under her helmet as she paused, taking in the woman and her cart. She looked ordinary, but that didn't mean anything. A quick glance revealed no obvious weapons either. A simple, modest dress. Perhaps too modest for the warm weather. Plain, simply dyed. Not a wealthy woman to be sure, certainly not by the state of her cart. She plainly not it's first owner, not unless she'd had it for some time, but the canvas over the top of it was newer. The yak pulling it huffed and grunted, straining along with the woman as they struggled to push the cart on.

"Well?!" They sounded exasperated at Mergoux's inaction.

"Fine," she said at last, shrugging off her pack and setting it down. That felt a bit better, a moment of relief. Her bag was none-too-light. She wished she still had her old lightbag, a pack that weighed the same miniscule amount no matter what was put in it, but she'd lost that over a decade ago.

"Look out," she said, stepping in beside the woman. "Take this, cut the creeper." She plucked a large knife from her belt, a heavy blade with a set of knuckle-dusters built into the handle. Setting her shoulder against the wagon, she waited until the young woman bent down and began hacking away at the vines, then heaved with all her might, a grunt of exertion escaping her mouth.

@OliveYOu
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Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Expendable
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Ilyana draws out her cutlass, veering towards the noise... and a loud, sing-song sort of booming voice. It had to be the short giant. Pushing her way through the brush, she came cross the giant's trail, and followed along, arriving on their heels at the entrance of the tomb. Not was the giant alone. There was two other white-haired half-human men with Galaxor, making her self-conscious for a moment about her blonde hair - another difference.

"Ah," she drawls, lowering her cutlass and nodding her head. "I'm Ilyana, I just came in to fetch some fallen branches for a fire, later. What's going on here? What's that?"

There was something very odd about this, but she couldn't fault them if they sent her back.

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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by twannyman
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Ivraan Valdo


Ivraan would continue walking with Galaxor and Nemeia, his spear slung over his shoulder in the hilt. Eventually, he joined in on the singing from Galaxor. Ivraan would manage to sing in the same tune, perhaps a part of him that was raised in the tavern helped here. As for Nemeia he had seen her around but hadn’t really spoken to her. He’d always give her a curt nod in passing, but Ivraan did so for everyone.

“Aye you’re right Galaxor, perhaps after we have put these corrupted beings to rest we can grab a drink, or two, or maybe ten. As for you Nemeia right? Pleasure to meet you, name is Ivraan Valdo.” He spoke with a jolly tone.

Halfway towards the tomb, the travelers came across another Caravaneer. Ilyana, a half-elf just like Ivraan, was clearly scarred like himself. “Hey, we are going to clear out the nearby tombs, you are welcome to join us!” Ivraan spoke in his familiar cheery voice. He’d leave it to her if she wanted to. He was almost certain Galaxor wouldn’t mind, in fact, he was certain he’d love having more people around. As for Nemeia, he didn’t really have a clue, but honestly, they were all from the same Caravan, Ivraan hoped they would at least try to get along.

So far the journey hadn’t been anything new, well expect meeting another Caravaneer. The Forest of Emerald is still as unnaturally green as before. The atmosphere still feels icky, the plants alive and the corrupt Vitae lingering in the air. It had for the most part remained the same, or maybe unnaturally so, wasn’t even fluctuating.

This all changed when they arrived at the tomb.

A vortex of corrupt Vitae, a presence so fierce Ivraan had never seen it before. He slightly staggered back at the sight of it. The deep, dark energies seeping from the tomb. Perhaps this was the reason the Forest of Emerald felt so.. Unnatural. Like how an Oasis in the desert would make life flourish, the tomb would make life wither away. The trees are decrepit and void of life, like hollow bones. The color of the Forest was like a sickly pale man, gone.

Ivraan slowly walked closer to the decrepit arch. Slowly glanced it over, as if trying to recall if he had seen it before. Unfortunately, he had not, he had read about this place from the accounts in his wagon, but nothing really came close to the feeling one had when stood face to face with this… unnatural place. Turning around to face the rest of the party Ivraan spoke; “Well then shall we enter?”



mentions: @Expendable@Timemaster@Abstract Proxy



Vorex Lector


Created and birthed in the Grand Library, Vorex had not seen much more than the library and the environment around it, however this all changed when he got trapped in a chamber inside the Library. Time was passing, and during his passing Vorex would start to absorb the books hidden away, all filled with forbidden knowledge. How Vorex got here, nobody knew, not even itself. It had taken thousands of years for Vorex to become freed.

And free he was, inside an unfamiliar forest, an unfamiliar place. He tried searching for anything he would recognize, but to no avail. He knew where he was 5000 years ago, however that place was long gone. Reduced to ruins and dust, and thus he had set out to do what he was last told. To rebuild the grand library, to do so, he needed materials. Way to write books, and, as it stood, people. Customers who would ask him to access knowledge that he possessed but could not access. And so wandering, creeping around in this forest of unnaturally green Vorex went.
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Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Knossos Dreamwalker


At the mention of Ilgirian Red, Gru perked up slightly, stroking his whiskers as he cracked an intrigued smile that showed just the faintest hint of his crooked teeth. “An infusion, hmm? Well, you’ve come to the right place Mr. Dreamwalker. For a cheesemaker of my caliber, it’s certainly possible…” His eyes narrowed slightly as he pursed his lips, a hint of his general annoyance allowed to seep through in a way that invited sympathy.


Good old Gru certainly had his way about things, but despite many things about his person that scared some potential buyers from the man the occultist knew Gru's business sense and product quality were of a solid quality. But it was this part about the wine that he had figured would entice the cheesemaker most, at least based on his own gut instincts and observations of the rat-loving man thus far. A rare fine wine of appropriate value and cost that might tantalize the senses of a savvy businessman like a rat to cheese, and help make him more pliable for such a request in turn of course, no?

But that side, it seemed the interest was piqued well enough to get Gru thinking. Pondering. Schemeing? Whatever the case, the older occultist smiled back a little more for a moment.

“Unfortunately, I’m afraid there’s a little…snag. For the chemical processes to proceed as they must, the wine infusion must occur in the curd stage, before the cheese is brined, introduced to mold, and aged. I’m sure I need not spell it out for someone as keen as yourself, but with no fresh milk for over a week now, my entire cheesemaking enterprise has tragically stopped dead.”

“Rest assured, however, that once I obtain fresh ingredients, I will be able to do all you’ve asked and more. And since you’re supplying the wine, why, I’ll even infuse it at no additional cost. A custom ‘Ubriaco Ilgirio’, how does that sound?” Gru tempted his fingers, peering at Knossos. “If you like, I can take the bottle off your hands so that it’s on hand the moment I’m able to begin. Rest assured it will be safe and secure in my rack–and that I’d never dream of appropriating any for myself, of course.”


Hmmm. That was certainly a bit of a sore spot for getting such a cheese made. It certainly wouldn't do for getting his request fulfilled sooner rather than later, but alas it was the way of the world that (in more areas than one) a lack of resources brought on complications and other problems as a result. Poor Gru was simply devastated he couldn't being work as soon as he could on this....haha. Ah, he held no ill-will to the miserly man, truly, but the man knew how to do business well. Albeit something about the man in a minor sense reminded him of some of thoser he'd met in the old cults still, perhaps in the sense of business-oriented charisma and shrewdness in business dealings some of them had engaged in prior to get what they wanted.

"I can certainly get the bottle to you this evening, after I help deal with the current problems Athulwin has summoned me for. Perhaps I could even find a couple small glasses in my things before then, that we could perhaps get but a small taste before I hand you the rest, hmm?. Ah, but ultimately I naturally do trust your judgement and rack to keep the bottle safe of course. You are a superb businessman, one whose product quality and integrity speaks volumes."

It was also this sort of thing Knossos had felt was one of the factors that kept the caravan's constant traveling fresh and exciting, running into those with differing skills and enigma about them. Getting to comission and try new things. See new places. Etc. Well, all of these among a number of other factors or such things of course. But as long as they were all peaceable and no harm was done, all was well. Good business was also its own reward, and even he could understand that logic in his own field.

"A fine large wheel of 'Ubriaco Ilgirio' should frankly be quite an exquisite product, no? Though once the final product is finished and handed over proper...well, I've no use for 'leftovers' of the wine at that stage of things, yes? But there'd be no sense letting such go to waste either.

But until then, I shall see you later! I do not wish to arrive too late to the business at hand. Espeically with regards to our more 'exciteable' members as it were..."


One could call it a 'small bonus' if anything, perhaps, a small token gift to the cheesemaker for him to enjoy. Or, well, if the rats bothered to drink at all either for that matter. Perhaps they'd even wear fancy tiny hats when doing so? Haha! But yes, it would do nicely.

In that vein the occultist would give a polite farewell wave to the cheesemaker before he would begin walking along once more, hoping to move along and get to the front of the caravan before it was too late. He wasn't lying as his tone has slightly shifted when mentioning the 'exciteable' members of their company. Good people for the most part at least, but if he had to stop a certain someone from animating ANOTHER wooden wagon or bail someone out of a occult situation after being late to the party....yeah. It wasn't always the most pretty sort of thing to have to deal with. Likely wouldn't be the last time for something like that really. That and they had the forest to worry about as well!

Hmm, perhaps he'd give Athulwin a message to pass around via messengers, so hopefully the others could be careful enough to not anger the living being surrounding them in the literal sense. That seemed like a goo-

Sometime Later


-...nope.

All Knossos had managed was a passing mention to Athulwin about 'tell them to not hack down a bunch of living limbs or trees' and he'd had to hit the road in a hurry to catch up. In particular, he had to catch up with a party of people seeking to just run in and fight the undead. Yes, because attacking first and asking questions later worked for just everything! Well, in some cases it was the best really. Just was not the best in every situation, and in this case if the information he'd gotten from Athulwin was right then the undead were seemingly just trying to scare off or talk to others for the moment being. Hopefully. Key word being hopefully.

Yet the eventually palpable presence of dark energies in the distane did catch his more megically-inclined senses, however, and was at least one way to find a 'tomb filled with undead' yes. the closer the Dreamwalker came to the destination, though, the more nuances he felt somewhat coming from it as well as he felt its energies from afar somewhat. A sort of 'oldness', more like 'ancient-ness' really, and the bustling of negative emotions that were such a swirling and winding cluster overall it made them harder to pick out individually. It differed rather starkly from how the presence of the forest itself, and the thrum of life and magic that seemed to course through it like lifeblood in one way or another.

Likewise, though, the atmosphere of things as he began to get within a certain distance of the tombs began to palpably change to him. Denser. Grosser. Fouler. 'Ickier', even, were among the terms he could apply to it from his own perspective. So too could he describe it as feeling 'warped' and 'twisted' in the magical sense. All of this more so the deeper he got in! Like a sort of anger or ill-intent was in the air, perhaps on the part of the still pulsing-with-life forest, which was focused on the tombs the closer one got to them? Maybe it was something stemming from the tombs. Or perhaps it was something else, like a malignant curse, pechance? The sort born from areas where mass deaths had occured, or where a great deal of intense emotions infused into an area or place amalgamated into something of or like unto a curse naturally. Yet this too was simply a guess to the occultist, as all he knew for sure was that he didn't like what he was feeling.

However, familiar figures would eventually come into view as the older man ran over, waving at the group in a sligtly exasperated manner as he jogged over to them with a final burst of energy.

The tomb loomed ahead, a shadowy edifice standing in stark contrast to the surrounding forest. It was a place of foreboding darkness and chilling silence. The once-green canopy of trees gave way to gnarled, skeletal branches that clawed at the sky, casting elongated, eerie shadows that seemed to reach out towards any intruders.

The entrance to the tomb was an imposing archway, its stone facade weathered and cracked with age. The carvings that adorned the entrance had long lost their intricate details, leaving only ominous, indistinct shapes. The air around the tomb was unnaturally cold, as though it sapped the warmth from anyone who dared approach.

The tomb's entrance yawned open, like a hungry maw, inviting others into its dark depths and a spooky mist hung around the entrance, enhancing the dreadful feeling. The very walls seemed to whisper with a mournful, spectral wind that sent shivers down their spines.


Still didn't make the location any more pleasant, especially as the swirling of dark energies and magic hit its climax as he approached the primary entrance to the tombs proper. It was disgusting, it was horrible, and yet it was something he almost felt oddly comfortable in at the same time. It was both reminiscent of the final place he'd joined a cult, really, after the...disaster had occured. Ahem. Yes. Now that memory wasn't a pleasant one, sending a small shiver down his spine. Luckily, though, it was not as overwhemlingly potent in this aura by far as that 'other' place had been to him back then.

And if they were lucky, they'd never travel by that place ever. Ever. Never ever, even.

"Thank goodness you three haven't gone in yet," Knossos said, his breaths still trying to catch up from his sprint to catch up with them from a little ways behind admittedly, as he tried to address the group, "There's no telling what kind of undead lurk here, but the information Athulwin got noted that something talked to the other people who came by here. If there's any chance the same thing approached us, we could at least try to see if-"

Clack Clack Clatter

"Hmm?"

The occultist's eyes were drawn toward the entrance to the tombs, mostly as a sound began to faintly emanate from it.

Clatter Clatter Clack

A rustling sound, like many pieces of wod clacking and clattering together in the wind after being suspended by rope or string. It didn't sound very hasty, for what it was worth, more like it was casually-moving in some sense. Ah, akin to a gentle breeze if he went back to the wood example he'd made in his mind there. Yet all the same, the noise was getting louder and closer as it seemingly came closer to them. So too, as it got closer, would the light rapping of metal against metal be audible in turn. Even the sound of something dragging a bit, really...

...perhaps he was getting his wish to see what those who had talked to Athulwin had seen. Maybe. Right? If it was, perhaps they'd get a change to at least hear it speak or something. In that vein, the occultist would reach quickly into his the bag attached to his hip to try to fish out the right tome. He didn't much have normal magic to work with, and so he hoped to grab something to help him 'translate' potentially.

Albeit he had no idea how the others would react to all of this. Galaxor was a fight-happy height-challenged giant in what little time he'd tried to talk with or been around the man. Ivraan seemed to be the adventerous and optimistic sort, and he'd been able to get more of a read on the younger half-elf in at least the past three years. And Nemeia had been at least peaceful and such on the average seemingly, he'd come to respect that, but he'd also seen a fair share if not more so of foreign clerics and paladins who went 'SMITE SMITE SMITE' first and asked questions later and always worried about that. Far from 'all' of the ones he'd seen having been like that most definitely, but that had been a sort of thing he'd seen among such professions before in some places at least and did worry about yes.

"Here's to hoping whatever is coming wants to also just talk to us first..."

Or it would all fall apart in less than ten seconds of whatever it was becoming visible to the group. Either way, right? But at least whatever was coming wasn't moving fast by any means for the time being.

@twannyman@Timemaster@Abstract Proxy
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Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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@Lugubrious (See the above post. Apologies for forgetting your tag, and @Tortoise I will not be doing this mini tag-post again in the IC, please forgive me. T_T)
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