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Thread: Dragons of Autumn

  1. #1
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    Default Dragons of Autumn

    Prologue - The Elven Ranger (Autumn Harvest 9th)

    Downfall fell flat on his face. Dizzy and nauseous, he lay there in the detritus of the forest floor. Absently he smelled the earthy damp autumn leaves and the wet grass as he tried to remember what he’d stumbled over. A tree root? A monster’s tail? His own feet? Delirious, the Kagonesti elf weakly righted himself, kneeling in the slick leathery-feeling cast-offs of the vallenwoods. Red and golden leaves clung to his tangled, shoulder-length reddish-brown hair, adding to the colorful mat of old blood from the scabbed over head wound on his forehead. It still oozed with the infected puss of the swamps. In his fever-induced delirium he could still smell the swamps, still hear the buzzing mosquitoes, still see the horrors that had chased him for his prize.

    The prize.

    His wandering hazel eyes snapped into focus for a brief moment as they remembered the simple wooden staff stashed inside his enchanted haversack. He knew he could not wield it, he had the blisters on his dirty hands to prove it. He would find another who could; someone who believed like him. Downfall knew what the staff really looked like too. He’d seen it when he’d first grasped it and felt the pain of truth. The prize was all the mattered. The pain was insignificant. As he pulled himself back to his feet, he took a deep breath and smirked as he steadied himself. Those fools in Qualinost would eat their words when he returned bearing this! It was proof…Proof of…Where was he again? He was beginning to suspect that the fever was affecting his judgment more then he had previously thought. These woods didn’t look like Qualinesti. His eyes drifted uselessly in his skull for a moment. A skilled woodsman, Downfall concluded he was lost. Fortunately, there also appeared to be a log cabin in a clearing on the edge of his bleary eyesight. He just needed to keep moving. A cabin meant civilization. Safety. Proof.

    Exhaling again, the bruised and weary elf jogged forward through the dizziness and pain as the sun set. The hilts of his wicked-looking knives rattling uncommonly loud against the mithral shirt that peeked from beneath the tears in his soiled clothes. Reach the cabin. Show the proof. Sleep. All Downfall wanted to do was fall down and sleep. Sleep brought nightmares though. The fanged scaly horrors that had chased him out of the ruins and through the fetid swamp still haunted his dreams. He had found the staff clutched in the hands of the stone statue of a woman who stood serenely in an abandoned temple, oblivious to the terrible lizard-men that guarded the place. Downfall had been healthier then, capable of slipping past most of the demonic guards to explore the place. He’d fought one or two he thought. The elf certainly felt like he’d been battling the hordes of the Abyss for days. Anyone looking at him would have certainly agreed that he bore the marks of combat. There was so much blood and grime on him that his tribal tattoos appeared to be nothing more then another layer of dirt.

    The cabin was closer. The trees were thinning out. The sun was sinking lower. Downfall tripped over a recently cut stump and took up his increasingly familiar position sprawled out on the forest floor. He didn’t care. The cabin was a quick jog away now. Take the proof to the cabin. Sleep. He stood up, crushing a late-blooming flower with his foot. He didn’t care. He licked the gritty sweat from his lips and stumbled forward again. The walk across the woodcutter’s clearing felt like the longest walk of Downfall’s life. Each step brought a new wave of pain and dizziness. Sweat, laced with dirt, dripped into his eyes, stinging them and forcing him to blink rapidly to see. Tears began to stream involuntarily down his cheeks as he came to stand before the cabin door.

    He was here! They’d all see what fools they’d been! Grinning madly the sick disheveled elf rapped on the heavy wooden door with a grimy fist as the world itself began to spin around him. Or was he spinning around it? It didn’t matter. He heard the door swing open as the darkness finally overtook him.

    You are in the arms of the prophet now. Rest, brave ranger, said an unearthly feminine voice in his head.

    Downfall fainted with a smile.

    Proof.
    Last edited by Tauren_Kai-Jere; 01-24-2010 at 01:06 PM.
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  2. #2
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    You are in the arms of the prophet now. Rest, brave ranger, said an unearthly feminine voice in his head.

    Downfall fainted with a smile.
    Aegir the woodcutter was standing a dozen yards from the cabin, unhitching an ox from an empty wood cart. He had watched the drunken elf stagger through his clearing and knock the cabin door open. A resounding *crash* announced that a variety of items inside the cabin hit the floor along with the elf. Aegir shook his head and rubbed his temples. Apparently word of his dependable hangover remedy had gotten around.

    He calmly wrapped his ox's harness around a post and ambled over to the cabin door. "A bit too much, eh? I'll get the kettle going; if you're going to toss your cookies, for the love of the old gods don't do it on my floor -"

    One look at the Kagonesti's face told Aegir that this wasn't another local kid who'd gotten hold of one of his father's bottles.

    Aegir tossed aside the toolbelt he'd been carrying and dropped to his knees at the elf's side. Determining that no bones were broken, he gently lifted the lithe figure from the floor and placed him on his own bed in the cabin. "There you go, rest easy. You're safe here..." Casting a glance through the window - "I hope, anyway" - Aegir closed and bolted the door, then went to work seeing to the Kagonesti's wounds.

    OOC: Aegir will take 20 on the Heal check to provide first aid to Downfall, giving him a 27.
    - Clark Valentine


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    The woodcutter's large calloused hands moved with surprising gentleness and grace as they cleaned away the dried blood and dirt of the road from the young elf's face. The brave looked to be Kagonesti like old Ferretas, Aegir thought, who had been gone from Solace nearly five years this very week. Whoever this one was he was a long way from home, the man reckoned. He'd been through hell and back too if his ragged appearance was any indicator. Fortunately, the elf's injuries weren't life-threatening, he was just banged up and exhausted. A few days bed rest would do him good, if the fever didn't kill him, Aegir thought.

    The burly man had noticed immediately that elf's forehead was hot to the touch as he had cleaned and bandaged the old head wound. It looked like the boy had been fighting some kind of wild animal and had barely survived, he thought. Satisfied that the wound would mend however, he gently lay the Kagonesti's head on the pillow as the elf's eyes fluttered open. He was awake.

    OOC - Downfall, you've regained consciousness for now, but you're still sick and delirious. Feel free to join in the fun!
    Last edited by Tauren_Kai-Jere; 07-16-2009 at 11:14 AM.
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    Downfall feebly attempted to right himself and clear off whatever foliage he was entangled in this time. As his surroundings slowly came into focus, he realized that he wasn't sprawled out amidst the undergrowth for once. Gradually piecing together his current environment, he noticed the large human looking down at him.

    Feeling a sobering surge of adrenaline, Downfall muttered a quiet curse in his native tongue. His eyes, now darting across the room from object to object, expressed his discomfort with the sudden change. His instinctual attempt to assume a defensive pose produced little to no actual movement. Had his equipment grown that heavy? Did he even have any equipment?

    A slew of Elven erupted from the panicked Ranger, who looked up expectantly at the figure towering over him.

    OOC
    - Spot Check: 12 (10 + 2) to take stock of his surroundings and equipment.
    - Asks general "Who are you?", "Where am I?", "What's happening?" type questions in Elven
    Salinus Wavebreaker - KoD, SoS
    Tempest "Downfall" Windstrider - DoA, DoW, DRT
    Simone Belmonte - JoNS, JN, DRT

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    Downfall's hands twitched feebly, crawling painfully across his hips and chest like lethargic snails as they took stock of his person. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. He could feel something pressing against his skull, squeezing it with unnecessary pressure. He was to weak and feverish to turn his neck and look around with the added weight of the bandages, but judging by the walls and ceiling that danced and spun behind the giant bearded human's wild black hair he thought he was in a crude man-made log cabin of some kind.

    That's when he realized that the prize was gone. Where was his haversack with the staff? Where were his knives? He should be able to feel their hilts pressed into the small of his back. Where in Chislev's name was he!
    Last edited by Tauren_Kai-Jere; 02-09-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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    As Downfall surveyed the room, an image of the cabin in the clearing flashed through his subconscious. Had he made it? If so how long had he been there? Hours? Days?

    As these questions raced through his head, only one, he decided, was important. As his elven ramblings trailed off, his mind struggled to remember the foreign words more likely to reach the human.

    "Where..." he started, out of breath from his previous outcry. "...is my things?"
    Salinus Wavebreaker - KoD, SoS
    Tempest "Downfall" Windstrider - DoA, DoW, DRT
    Simone Belmonte - JoNS, JN, DRT

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salinus
    A slew of Elven erupted from the panicked Ranger, who looked up expectantly at the figure towering over him.
    "Slow down there lad, I don't speak Elvish..." Aegir replied in the Common Tongue, assuming the elf wouldn't understand Abanasinian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salinus
    "Where..." he started, out of breath from his previous outcry. "...is my things?"
    "Your belongings are right there on the table, safe and sound," Aegir replied. "You'll feel a lot better, or at least not quite so awful, if you take a deep breath and relax." Aegir took a kettle from the fireplace and poured warm, spiced wine into an earthenware mug, adding a pinch of restorative herbs. "Here, drink a bit of this," he said, offering the half-full mug to Downfall.

    "My name is Aegir, also called Aegir Woodcutter. I offer you the safety and hospitality of my home," he said, slipping into some of the formality he'd picked up from his study of Solamnic religion. "When and if you feel ready, it would help me treat your injuries to know who you are and what happened to you." Aegir stood and went over to the door, and began to straighten up some of the items that had fallen when Downfall burst in. He took frequent glances out the window as he worked, fearing that the elf had been pursued.

    Aegir's cabin was simple, but the giant hardly lived in austerity. The door stood in the north-facing wall; from a hook next to the door hung a well-oiled leather cloak. Next to it a large steel mace hung from a leather thong; a massive breastplate rested on the floor below.

    The east, north, and west walls featured glass windows, allowing the sun to light and warm the room. Woolen draperies were pulled to the side of each window. A large fireplace containing several burning logs stood against the south wall; a variety of kettles and cookpots were stacked neatly to its side, and the wine kettle rested on a grate near the fire. A stool stood on the floor near the fire, and on it rested an old leatherbound book, a stack of papers, and a quill and bottle of ink.

    The walls were covered with shelves containing all manner of jars, bowls, and tools. Half a dozen barrels, crates, and casks stood in a corner, together with a number of cooking utensils. A table and chair stood across from the door, and Downfall lay on a wooden bed lined with a straw mattress, woolen blankets, and goose down-filled pillows.
    Last edited by clarkvalentine; 04-22-2008 at 10:06 AM.
    - Clark Valentine


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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkvalentine
    "Your belongings are right there on the table, safe and sound," Aegir replied. "You'll feel a lot better, or at least not quite so awful, if you take a deep breath and relax." Aegir took a kettle from the fireplace and poured warm, spiced wine into an earthenware mug, adding a pinch of restorative herbs. "Here, drink a bit of this," he said, offering the half-full mug to Downfall.
    The confused Ranger clutched at the mug as the human's words began to process in his mind. His eyes continued to dart about the room until they settled on the table. Seeing his haversack still secured amidst his other belongings, Downfall's paranoia began to subside, and his wide eyes relaxed. He cautiously sipped the contents of the mug.
    Quote Originally Posted by clarkvalentine
    "My name is Aegir, also called Aegir Woodcutter. I offer you the safety and hospitality of my home," he said, slipping into some of the formality he'd picked up from his study of Solamnic religion. "When and if you feel ready, it would help me treat your injuries to know who you are and what happened to you."
    The elf's now half open eyes made their way towards the general direction of Aegir's loud, yet comforting voice.

    "I am Downfall..." he sputtered, as some of the wine slowly made its way down his chin. "Chosen messenger of Chislev." That part he had rehearsed in Common enough to say properly even in his current state. "The Gods will smile on you for help me today."

    With that he took a large swig of the woodcutter's all too effective concoction. The warmth of the liquid quickly spread throughout his aching body. His hand, the mug, and the remainder of its contents gently came to rest on the abdomen of the passed out Elf.
    Last edited by Salinus; 04-25-2008 at 03:37 PM.
    Salinus Wavebreaker - KoD, SoS
    Tempest "Downfall" Windstrider - DoA, DoW, DRT
    Simone Belmonte - JoNS, JN, DRT

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salinus
    "I am Downfall..." he sputtered, as some of the wine slowly made its way down his chin.
    Aegir, busy replacing some tableware, was about to reply when Downfall continued.

    "Chosen messenger of Chislev." That part he had rehearsed in Common enough to say properly even in his current state. "The Gods will smile on you for help me today."
    Aegir's heart stopped briefly. Eyes wide, he looked over at the Kagonesti, who had fallen asleep. "What did you say?" he whispered, knowing he would get no reply or explanation until Downfall recovered some of his strength.

    Abandoning his housekeeping, Aegir swept the papers and quill from the stool before the fire, barely remembering in time the bottle of ink, which he gently set of the floor. He opened the well-worn book of lore of the gods, looking for writings about Chislev. Aegir had concentrated most of his study on the gods of Light - Paladine, Mishakal, and the others. But Chislev was mentioned here. If only he could find it...

    *assuming time passes*

    Downfall awoke to find Aegir sitting beside the bed, staring at him intently. "What do you know of the old gods?" he asked gravely.
    - Clark Valentine


    Fate Core - Latest incarnation of the Fate Roleplaying engine
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    The young elf was in and out of consciousness for the next hour, giving Aegir adequate time to read and learn what he could of Chislev. His old Solamnic texts did not tell him much, but mentioned her briefly as a goddess of nature, often revered by farmers and druids in ancient days, usually worshiped by the peasantry at harvest time.

    As Aegir pondered the old words the elf awoke, weakly attempting to sit up in bed.

    OOC - Downfall, you've gotten an hour's worth of rest and are no longer exhausted. You can speak at length with Aegir now if you desire (although you're still sick and crappy feeling).
    Last edited by Tauren_Kai-Jere; 04-22-2008 at 02:28 PM.
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