Avatar of Light


User has no status, yet

Most Recent Posts

Writing on almost 24 hours busy time no sleep makes a lot of typos. No worries I fixed em (I think) haha.
> Say something else.
[Write in: Ask Umildraen something to test his knowledge and interests.] <

"Follow my lead," you replied in your native tongue, leading to one cautious Aika and one confused Umildraen. "Wha- H-Hey," the dwarf stammered as he flicked his eyes between you two. "It ain't polite to leave someone outta conversatin' in his own home, y'know." Umildraen fell back in his chair with a thud, crossing his arms with a slightly disgruntled huff. Luckily, you quickly diffused the situation with some silvery wordplay. "Oh, no no you mistake us," you sought to reassure him, returning to the common Daldoran between you. "You see, part of the walk back down from the temple was filled with second-hand stories, tales of wanderlust and lofty dreams of heroism. Tales told from you to me, and then from myself to our new friend here Aika," you turned to face her, and her eyes widened as she became the center of attention. She nodded a bit too hard with a slightly lagging "Mhm!" You looked back toward your host, and folded your hands on the table before you as you continued. "She told me that she'd like to hear them from you directly though, and I'd certainly love to see what rumors or tales have spun about what the temple holds, before we er- burst your bubble- no offense." As you finished your deflective speech, it seemed like Aika finally picked up on what you were trying to say, and she threw in her own flare to sell the bit. "Oh! Yes Mister Nogrid, I'd love to compare notes about what people who live here believe and the research I collected. Who knows, maybe your wildest dreams are true?" Perhaps a bit too strong on the sell but, maybe this was one area you were the expert in.

Umildraen unfolded his hands and ran his fingers through his beard once more, humming a low and long gravelly "Mmmmmhhh," as he pondered the proposition. "All-righty lasses," he sparked with a renewed jovial expression. "Ye've earned ye'selves quite th'story then. Now, th'only thing that can make a story better is more mead!"

When I was but a wee lad, m'folks raised me in th'city of Jotov. Ifn' ye ain't been in Daldon for long, it's a walk n' a half down th'mountain west o'here. Anyway, Jotov's a perfect spot for folk o'all shapes n' sizes to take a trip to n' fro between Daldon and me folk's homeland below in Lasaruuj. I've been seein' travelers n' so-called "adventurers" like ye'selves long before either of you were a glint in yer folks' eyes. Th'King's men, th'Emperor's men, mercenaries, even folk you'd call vagrants. You name it, they'd been somewhere neat that wee lad Umildreaen never heard of. But when I take a gander up th'pass at that stone structure atop the highest peak in all o'Daldon, one man's tale fills me more than a thousand bowls of goat stew.

Y'see, it seemed like an ordinary day to everyone else. But to me? Every day I see someone new is anythin' but ordinary. Th'men that took a table at the bar I was workin' that night sure weren't ordinary to me. Ye take one stroll 'round Jotov above or below ground, the knights n' soldiers are wearin' red. Th'Emperor's men red n' silver, th'King's red n' gold. No, this knight n' his boys flew the bluest flag I've ever seen in me life. I sat em' down, got em' all drinks, and wasted no time askin' where they were from n' where they were goin'. Well- to me delight- it was a longer answer than I thought.

Gelish soldiers they were. Th'King's men- different King, of course. They spoke among themselves like you two just did, n' I suppose their captain saw no harm in talkin' about what he said was already common news "back home." Said they were meetin' with th'Emperor to talk about the temple atop Therakin. Yer Geland saw a nasty war with yer other neighbor Minerva quite some time ago, I'm sure you two know all about it, and word made it west of the Spine, but when they told me what was in that temple, I thought I had rocks in me ears.

Accordin' to these folk, yer King's great-great grandfather- th'man who won ye th'war- took the son of Minerva's greatest war general as a prisoner o'war. Took him west, hiked him up Therakn, dug a hole in th'mountain, tossed him down it, and closed it up good. Now- ye might be thinkin "Oh that ain't too crazy a story," but ye'd be wrong! What floored me the most was the nature of this supposed son. Turns out, he's a dragon! I couldn't believe me ears one bit! Men capturin' a dragon- alive- and sealing him in a mountain.

Umildraen tilted back another mug of mead, one that you, Aika, and probably Umildraen himself likely lost count of by now. He closed his tale with a mighty belch and let the mug clatter onto the table with a heavy fist. "Now, as mighty fine a tale they spun for wee lad Umildraen, there's no way it can be true, yeah?" He leaned forward and eyed you and Aika closely. "I mean- how do a bunch o'elves n' humans capture a dragon alive? N' why would they build a temple on Daldoran land-" Umildraen seemed to have an epiphany as he asked that last question, his eyes going wide in realization. "Is- is that why th'blue knight wanted to talk to th'Emperor? Is there some kinda deal between Geland and Daldon?" He went to take another drink, only to remember that his mug was empty, and so he stood to help himself again. "Is it true then? Is Zorkuth truly a dragon?"

• "It's true."

• "It's not true."

• "We don't know."

• Give Aika the chance to reply first.
Very busy day today since like 4am. Stuck in traffic now but when I get home I'll bang a post out. Thanks for your patience.
@Guardian Angel Haruki You should be good now.

I should come up with a more succinct way to prompt a fully open write in, I think. Anyway that should be sufficient for now.
@Light Can I suggest/write a third option?

Of course, gimme a second to amend the post with a write-in prompt.
~ Chapter I ~

The savory and sweet aromas of braised goat stew wafted around you like a soothing quilt of warmth, a much needed contrast to the bitter and frigid air that stung your nostrils for the better part of the night. It was well past anyone's bedtime, yet the man who had left you to reach the temple alone was more than willing to allow you and your new companion to rest before hiking back down to the world below. This cantle lit hole-in-the-cliffs served as Umildraen's humble abode; cramped not only in a stature befitting a lone dwarf rather than two humans, but it also was cluttered with a myriad of books, pelts, tools, and climbing gear adorning the walls that would encroach upon your back no matter which side of the miniscule table you sat at. Aiding to warm your belly was a rather generous serving of mead, the smooth honey wine that complimented your dinner perfectly. Sitting across from you was the man himself, looking much more awake now than he did when you stood just outside his doorway not an hour prior. To your left, Aika justified the frenzy with which she devoured her meal by graciously thanking Umildraen over and over both before and during the feast.

"We don't have goats in Geland," Aika explained in a rough Daldoran. "I've always wanted to see one for myself but, this isn't what I had in mind." A small laugh was had around the even smaller table, and she looked up from the bowl to you and him. "Even so, this is simply divine, Mister Nogrid." As you nodded in agreement, your host took a long swig of drink, comically disparaging the respectful titling of his name with a hearty belch. "No need for formalities, lass," he assured her with an affable smile. "Enjoyin' me cookin's more than enough. That, and seein' ye both safe n' sound." Umildraen leaned back in his chair and cast his gaze to you for but a moment with the same wagging finger from earlier in the night. "Ersu heard me prayer, he did. If anyone needs thankin' it's him. He ain't th'god of weather n' travels for nothin'!" Another belch succinctly ended his point as he tilted forward once more and seized his spoon with a similar hunger to Aika's.

"Indeed," you agreed as you more gracefully tended to your meal than either of those sitting with you. "We'll likely needs his fortune once again as we make our way east, we've quite a trek ahead of us." Umildraen rose an eyebrow at this, curiosity bubbling. "Oh? Is yer business in Daldon over then?" Aika shook her head to clarify. "Well- not exactly. I- we-" she seemed to freeze up, again showing apprehension to divulge the details of her mission. Luckily, you could step in before the dwarf asked too many questions. "Aika's mentor, the client that hired me to find her, simply wants to see that she's alive and well. We may yet return after some time, if the temple proves enough interest to him." You looked to your companion, who in turn gave you a very short and relieved glance in gratitude. "Ahh, seems a simple enough prayer to whip up then, har har!" Umildraen pushed his empty bowl closer to the center of the table and began to run his fingers through his long beard. "Say, I've been livin' in th'temple's shadow fer years and ain't once set foot inside. Folks like you two comin' n' goin' seem like ye handle yerselves just fine tho. I can't help but thinkin', what's in there?"

Your eyes turned to Aika, and as she met your look with one of caution, she returned to your native Gelish tongue to ask you in secret. "Should we tell him? You said we need the help but, we can't just tell everyone either, right?"

• Tell Umildraen about Zorkuth and Aika's goal to extract his heart.

• Tell Umildraen about the books and spiders to deflect suspicion.

• Say something else.
[Write in: Describe something to say in either Gelish or Daloran.]
No voting this week, the Prologue is complete! Next week will begin Chapter 1, and voting will resume as normal.
> "Wait. We should get reinforcements in case this proves too dangerous." <

You felt for a moment a pull from the sincerity of Aika's plea, but one more glance at the beast lying in wait before you shook you to your core. With a heavy sigh, you wracked your mind for a compromise that would make sure you both leave here with all limbs intact. Just as she seemed fed up with waiting for you to reply, an idea stuck you. "So, you want to ferry the heart of a massive dragon across the country side, right?" you asked, getting a curious nod from your companion before continuing. "A heart that- and you can excuse me if my know-how about the insides of a dragon are off- is probably itself bigger than both of us combined, right?" After a bit of stammering, she could only reply with "W-what's your point?" You threw your attention backwards to the thin stairs that spiraled their way back up the edges of this deep chamber, and rose a finger to them. "There's a lot more than me telling you this is a bad idea-" you began. Her brow furrowed in frustration, but you held a hand up to her. "- so far. You found this place on your own, you fought off giant cave spiders with a broken arm and leg, and you cracked an ancient arcane lock in mere minutes. You're really capable, Aika, but unless you have some kind of spell to help us whisk the heart back home..." You rose an eyebrow at her, and as you let the line of thought linger, she seemed to understand more and more.

"I'm willing to help you on this, but we need even more help to not only carry, but protect this thing. Nobody from the lowest thug to the King himself would decline a chance to pilfer a dragon's heart from us once the word gets out."

It all seemed to make sense to her now, and you would see the glint of defeat in her eye as she turned toward Zorkuth. "So, what do we do, then?" Her voice was as cold as the air around you, and she refused to turn around. "I can't just return empty handed." As she lamented, you lifted your hand to her shoulder, a supportive touch compared to the protective grasp from earlier. "You're far from empty handed. Imagine how elated your master will be to hear that not only are you alive, but Zorkuth's remains truly do lie here in this temple. He's a smart man, he'll understand our caution. He might even be able to help us round up a few more hands and make this work. What do you say?"

Aika lowered her head for a moment, you could feel her shoulder heave slowly with a very deep breath. Before looking back at you, her head lifted with a nod. "All right," she forced herself to say. "Ok, we'll get some help." Aika finally allowed you to view her face once again. Her expression was one that- as an adventurer yourself- you could resonate with. Just out of reach from one's goals, only for circumstance to put miles between. You gave her a pat on the shoulder, and nodded in mutual understanding. "Now, let's get out of here, I'm freezing!" Your little quip put a hint of a smile on her otherwise somber face, and as you began to follow her back up the stairs, you threw one more glance at the dragon.

For just the smallest of moments, you could have sworn he moved but an inch.

Aika didn't seem to notice, her eyes down at the steps.

You were just seeing things then. Surely.

You shook yourself right, and carefully made your way back up to the surface.

The crystalline breeze atop the powdery snow cliffs outside were not much more comforting than the bone-chilling aura of Zorkuth's chamber. Electing to still make some haste to avoid another run in with the spiders, you and Aika now stood at the edge of the entry platform that decorated the front doors of the temple. The howl of winter wind whistled through the canyon that you fought the mountain troll in, reaching your ears as an ethereal wail that matched the bright white landscape all too well. It was as if time were as frozen as the weather itself, with the moon's glow not angled much more than when you had first delved down. "It's kind of beautiful, isn't it?" Aika's voice had regained its airy quality, shackled less by the chains of doubt and defeat. You nodded, at least understanding her point if not agreeing with it. "It certainly is something, a view from the top of the world."


Holy crap I completely forgot that yesterday was Sunday. Sorry it was a really busy day. I will have time to write today though.
© 2007-2023
BBCode Cheatsheet