The Bog of Cullenmore

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Postby Aryan » Mon Sep 02, 2002 1:37 pm

<b>Background</b><BR><BR>Some say that the mystical Isle of Cullenmore lay to the Western Cost of Ireland. Seldom seen, for dense fog continually shrouded it from view. Once every seventy years, the veil of fog would lift, and an enchanted sunken island with mountains, pastures, gleaming cities and clammy bogland would materialise. In this Celtic land of enchantment dwelled faerie people, druids, mages and healers. Few pure humans ever found their way to this mystical land although many heroes were beckoned by the mirage of gold-roofed towers and domes. Whenever they approached the land, it sank beneath the water unless magical flames could bind it into place. Even then they had the wrath of the water magicians to face, the shape changers and the lure of the sea-sirens coaxing their boats to treacherous rocks that ground their wooden hulls to a mushy pulp.<BR><BR>Only the coastlines of of that island claimed gleaming cities of gold, bridges of shimmering silver and dust-free roads cobbled with marble. The inlying areas were dark and treacherous. As havens the cities stood, circling damp, foul boglands and windswept mountains of ice and cruel cold. Homes of the evil. Lairs for creatures which could strike terror and fear into the hearts of the most gallant heroes and the most skilled of enchanters.<BR><BR>Few ventured forth from their cities on the coast.<BR><BR>But there were those who lived there lives as guardians and protectors of those city dwellers, despite the fact that few of these protected knew of the dangers beyond their balustrades and columns of gold. Some remnants of Elven folk lived in the woodlands outside the city areas, thriving in their treetop world safe from the vermin that burrowed underground. The icy mountains harboured a breed of bocans, a goblin like creature that dwelt in caves. Some were safe and respectable; others boded ill for all that found their nests.<BR><BR>Along the edges of the biggest stretch of marshland across the Island, the notorious Bog of Cullenmore, lay tiny earthy dwellings of clay and mud. Hardly noticeable and well-camouflaged in the soggy terrain, Lurachers dwelt theirein. A tiny slim built race about two feet high, with limited magical powers but with a stealth and prowess that matched elven rangers. They ferreted out creatures of evil that lurked within the bog and protected the outlying areas from the greatest threats. Despite the company that shared their lands, the Lurachers were a happy people, that loved singing, dancing and mucic and were often mischievous.<BR><BR>Unsurprisingly maybe, Aryan Sparrowhawk is a Luracher. One of the wisest trackers of her people, her stealth and archery matched by few of her elders. The Tale of The Bog of Cullenmore tells of her quest to find the Shape-Shifter "Caochlaideach" whom she believes to be in the form of a vulture-like beast known as a death-sheerie that feeds on rotting flesh in the Bog of Cullenmore. Once found, she hopes to enchant the beast to enlist it's aid to find her mentor and trainer, Giladeish. A silver arrow she carried, if it hit Caochlaideach would destroy it's enchanted shape and fix the creature in it's natural form.<BR><BR>Giladeish went missing deep in the Bog of Cullenmore searching for the lair of the earth-daemons. Earth-daemons, creatures like monstrous serpents that lay their eggs in watery niches in the Bog of Cullenmore are reputed to live far below the watery surface in muddy burrows and trenches. These creatures have become an evil plague upon the land, burrowing like the gigantic worms they are across Cullenmore, trapping the elven people in their treetop domain and devouring young bocans. The Bocans can no longer roam with ease through their deep subterranean caves but hide out in caverns higher up the mountain slopes.<BR><BR>Aryan has set forth on her quest, alone and unaided, as is the wont of the Luracher tracker. It remains the truth that she would more than welcome the company of those she could trust....the Bog of Cullenmore is far, far from a being pleasant place to travel alone..<BR><BR>----<BR><b>The Tale of the Bog of Cullenmore begins..</b><BR>----<BR><BR>The last rays of the sun filtered lazily through the gnarled willow heads. Their branches drooped and despondent, quite careless of the incessant drone of angry mosquitoes and the harsh grunts of the slimy mud-toads. A fetid smell of death and decay crept on the breeze clinging to all in it's stealthy path. <BR><BR>Aryan contined ahead, shuddering slightly as the night drew closer. Her nostrils flared, repulsed at the stench of rotting flesh. She was close now. She didn't need to see the shimmering of the ill omened Bog of Cullenmore stretching out its muddy tendrils. The acrid scent already overwhelmed her. Choking the land with it's accursed waters and envenomed soils.<BR><BR>An unearthly wail reverberated in the skies overhead effectively silencing the croaks and grunts. Aryan stopped and readied her bow. The silvery arrow shone brilliantly despite the dimming light. It's point needle-sharp and glistening. The cry sounded again. To the right. Aryan's tiny feet stole though the vile quagmire with hardly a squelch. She aimed, waiting for the shadow to pass over her. Beads of moisture slid down her brow and trickled down her high cheekbones. Not a movement. Not a sound. Nothing until the dark shape hovered into view.<BR><BR>TWANG! The arrow thrust forth as if a flash of lightening blistered the skies, it's deadly fork aimed straight for the Death-Sheerie's blackened heart. The arrow flew true. With a deathly haunting wail that sent ripples scurrying through the boggy waters, the vulture-like creature plummeted to the ground. <BR><BR>Aryan wept her brow and released a long breath of relief. 'Easier than expected,' she thought. She waited until the croaking mud-toads had resumed their irritating chorus and stepped towards the black, gaunt frame. It lay still - no sign of life escaped from the vile beast. A black pool of blood was trickling into the watery clayey soils, adding it's poison to the envenomed marshland. <BR><BR>Aryan retrieved her arrow sighed in despair. Yet again, it was the wrong one. She still had to find the beast that carried that which she sought after so hungrily. Then and only then would she would have her answers.<BR>
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Postby Lady-Greenleaf » Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:55 pm

Sierra trudged through the road in mud-caked traveling boots. Her golden hair was in a loose braid falling almost down to her knees. Her weather-stained cloak was wrapped tightly around her. The sword in her scabbard seemed heavier than usual, but that was all in her mind. Her skin was pale from her sheltered life, but this was better. Her hands had become more coarse and she was becoming stronger.<BR> Sierra stopped to take a drink from her flask. It was the only fresh water she would have for a while, so she had to drink it sparingly. Upon hearing the hissing of a bow, Sierra drew her sword in protection. She moved slowly, walking in the direction of where the sound had come. <BR><BR>
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Postby Aryan » Tue Sep 03, 2002 1:26 pm

The twilight rays gleamed eerily through the marsh,as Aryan gazed angrily at the fallen creature. Five days of tracking through the accursed swamps. Five days of vicious stinging insects biting their way through her rough leather jerkin and leggings and hacking through the monotonous landscape with little nourishment and a half empty water skin remaining. Five days worth of annoying guttural toad symphonies. Five days for nought.<BR><BR>'It matters not how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop,' she heard her mentor, Giladeish, utter in her mind. Wise words or foolish words? Whichever they were she would not stop. She knew that. As long as her heart kept beating and her footfalls hurried her onwards. Time. She still had time after all. She hoped..<BR><BR>For a brief moment, the belching toads quitened, but it was enough. A footfall. Almost silent but a trace there still - the sludge through muddy undergrowth; the barest swish of a branch. Human? Possibly? Doubtful - but quiet for a human nonetheless. Maybe an elf? Certainly not her own kind. The footsteps were too heavy. Aryan melted into the trees and waited.
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Postby Aryan » Tue Sep 03, 2002 1:26 pm

<ignore>
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Postby Aryan » Tue Sep 03, 2002 1:26 pm

<ignore>
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Postby Lady-Greenleaf » Tue Sep 03, 2002 5:27 pm

<ignore the thread, or don't ignore the thread... my head hurts <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> >
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Postby Aryan » Sat Sep 07, 2002 11:16 am

<apologies - i mistakenly copied the same post three time - hence the ignores. If I knew how to delete posts i would have erased them>
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Postby Aryan » Sat Sep 07, 2002 3:23 pm

Aryan stood hidden in a mass of tall cattail reeds at the foot of a tree, listening intently. Her frame so slight that the cattails immersed her completely. The footsteps seemed to have paused. She breathed lightly and wondered if she'd have time to conceal herself completely.. but any glow from a flurry of magic would surely draw unrequired attention. She bit down hard upon her lip waiting. <BR><BR>The sun was shrinking fast now, crimson clouds daubed the last silvery glow on the horizon while the dark crept forth like shroud. Several luminous lights appeared hovering in the air above the bog, twitching and flickering like candles in a draught. "Wisps," Aryan sighed inwardly. <BR><BR>Tiny creatures with one blinking eye of fire to guide an unwary venturer. Parasites that fed from the dead drowned bodies of the creatures that unknowingly followed their path. The wisps moved closer, drawn by the smell of death. More and more appeared until hundreds danced like a mist of glowing rain above the dead Sheerie and gorged upon it's remains.<BR><BR>Aryan caught the barest sound of another footfall oozing through the mud. Whatever it was closer now and almost upon her. She crouched low, buried in the shadow of the tree behind her.
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Postby Lady-Greenleaf » Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:15 am

Sierra stopped, the mud seeping over her boots. Little beads of sweat broke out on her forehead as the breath in her all but stopped. She watched hidden from behind a veil of leaves. The hand holding the sword began to visibly shake with excitement. Sierra had heard many stories and legends of this mystical Isle at home, but never had she dared dreamed what was truly hidden here.<BR><BR>Something rose in Sierra, it must had been some sort of fear. It was quite hard to say exactly what she felt. Though she had just drank, her mouth was completely dry. But something compelled Sierra to move forward. Alas, unwary she had become in excitement. The heel of her boot caught an edge and the muddy ground came up to catch her.
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Postby ThreadStalker » Sun Sep 08, 2002 11:09 pm

This is a new role play forum but the same standard of quality shall be upheld. The same guidelines applied in The Prancing Pony also apply in this forum.<BR><BR>I would urge you all to take a look at some of the assistance/class threads on the subject of Role Play in order to improve the quality of this thread. I shall be watching.
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Postby Aryan » Wed Sep 11, 2002 12:07 pm

The noise of sodden footsteps had stopped, but Aryan heard the muffled noise of steady breathing. She ventured a glimpse through the reeds, whereupon she smiled wistfully. A tall blonde haired human-like creature stood half hidden in the drapes of the willows. She bore a sword but did not look decidedly dangerous, although Aryan had never seen a female of the human-kind before. Maybe she was mistaken though.. Caution would be needed.<BR><BR>The creature was about to step forth into a treacherous expanse of mud. Maybe no threat for the nimble feet of a Luracher, but it would take a major feat of dexterity for a heavier foot to tread...<BR><BR>'Aiiii, WARE,' she cried far too late. The stranger embraced the ground with a sickening and undignified thud, her cloak acting as a makeshift sleigh scuttling her across the mire on her rear quarters whilst sculpting pillars of earth with her heels. Finally, she came to a standstill at Aryan's feet.<BR><BR>Aryan stepped forward, a wry smile of amusement on her face contorted into a semblance of concern. <BR><BR>'Greetings, young traveller of the Gnat-plagued Mire, would you perhaps be needing assistance?,' she asked genuinely, though her hand still strayed to her dagger in wariness. <BR>
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Postby *Silvertears* » Thu Sep 12, 2002 3:01 pm

Danae McDouraugh stood on the edge of a smelly, horrible bog. Green water seeped up around her tough boots, turning them from a tree-brown to an ugly black, like blood in the dark. Fog laced through the reeds, and a frog sang out occasionally. Over all, it seemed an normal bog. Seemed. But everything on this cursed Island was unusual in so many ways, she had just started getting used to seeing people with green skin, or people two feet tall. <BR><BR>She heaved a great sigh, pushed back her curling black hair, and her gold-green eyes flashed. She had come here to find her history, and now, every bit of her 4'5" frame was regretting it. Her father was one of the little ones, her mother a half-human. That was all she knew. She did not know why one of her eyes was a cat-green color, or one was the color of molten gold. She did not know why her hair was a somber black, compared to her foster mother's a shocking red. As a matter of fact, everyone at the foster home, and later her foster mother's home, had red or blond hair. She was ignored, and even called a witch by her fellows. So she had played alone, when she was younger, and then she taught herself how to read. It was unheard of, that a strange, small child as she, unimportant as she, could do what most could not. So they sent her away. She lived in the forest. She knew the animals. And she fit in, right away. But when a passing bard told her of an Isle across the sea, she knew she must go.<BR><BR>Danae almost regretted that decision now, because she fit in here even less than she did across the sea, but at least here, she knew she could find kin and kith. And with that thought, she set one foot in front of the other, carefully, and made her way across the bog.
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Postby Lady-Greenleaf » Fri Sep 13, 2002 3:56 pm

Sierra pushed herself up from the mud at the sound of a voice. She used the back of her forearm to wipe the mud from her eyes. Her long hair was caked in the stinking mud, but none of that didn't seem to matter; what she saw in front of her was unlike anything she had ever seen. A small creature, something like an elf, but she knew it had to be a luracher. <BR><BR>Upon seeing the luracher her body was pitched backwards as if on instinct and held her sword up, her hand visibly shaking. Sierra was sheltered and ignorant, she was afraid of the luracher, never seeing one before, despite the time in the bog.<BR><BR>"Keep away from me! Who are you!? What do you want?!"
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Postby Aryan » Sat Sep 14, 2002 9:23 am

" Aii, By Scaramallion's Bane! You are a strange one. Still your fear and put down your sword! I shall not hurt you, giant, if unprovoked,' replied Aryan in fluent human, curiously taking in every nuance of her movement from the shake of the sword to the way her small mouth trembled. <BR><BR>Taking a deep bow, Aryan proclaimed "My name is Aryan Sparrowhawk, Daughter of Sionnach Ruadh of Connlee, sibling to Connar, the Righ of Cullenmore. My profession is assassin of all that endangers our homelands, though some like to curse us the "devil-hands". If you are no danger to the Lands of Connlee that border the Bog of Cullenmore, you are in no danger from the Luracher, nor from Aryan Sparrowhawk, as weird as I may appear to you traveller."<BR><BR>"As to what I desire. Nothing! Unless you can help me locate any beasts such as this one," she continued pointing at the corpulent mass of feathers and black blood, "One of it's ilk, if found, will be of great aid my people, but he will be hard to trace I fear."<BR><BR>"Now pray tell me with what whom do I speak, and what you are doing wandering through the Borderlands of the Luracher?"
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Postby Llinos » Sun Sep 15, 2002 3:05 am

The maiden stepped onto the shores of a new isle, her heart rang with a deep joy, knowing the land she had come to was deep int mysteryand delight. She reached up, one small pale hand reaching for something only your heart could show you, her fingers met a body, smooth and warm, seemingly gentle to the softness of her palm, twas Cynan the great red dragon of Cymru. It was her dear friend who had carried her across the ocean wide to these new lands, leaving their home and all they new behind, but they had not come alone, a great steed leapt from the waves, turning from crisp water to smooth silver.<BR><BR>"Magien, ble wyt ti'n mynd yn Iwerddon?" The maiden whispered nonchalently, seemingly oblivious of her native tounge.<BR><BR>"Na it is in English the folks here do speak, and so must you" the great dragon of fire whispered hoarsely into her ear.<BR><BR>Llinos nodded quietly, she knew the english tounge but had always perferred her own, but now she would use it. She made her way from the shore, clad in green for now, long boots leggings and a tabard imprinted with one great dragon of red and a silver horse bursting from the waves her crest so to speak. Her hair lay limp and water caught down her back, swept with a soft curl it glew a rich strawberry shade of blonde, though her eyes bright with celtic enthusiasm and yet a solemn tint upon them, glew green like an untamble flame. <BR><BR>Reaching the land and casting one last glance across the distant ocean, she took a flying step upon her faithful Magien and they sprinted across the lands, Cynan floating overhead though none could see him except those true of heart, they came eventually to the Bogs, where the myth was told of a secret land. But the first thing the maiden was to see, was another maiden, standing somewhat bewildered at the edge as if plotting her next move. Knowing no fear she slipped from Magiens back, suddenly feeling a kindred for the women.<BR><BR>"Bora da..." Magiens grunt cut her off as he warned her of her own toungue. "Greetings Maiden, are you to cross this bog also? pray tell what might your name be? I am Llinos" A swift bow in greeting she gave smiling oblivious to the girls unique appearence though Cynan made a point of the changing colors in each eye.
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Postby Lady-Greenleaf » Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:25 pm

Sierra slowly lowered her sword, watching the luracher from her place in the mud. Her pale cheeks looked a little flushed after realizing how foolish she had been to think that this creature would inmpaire her being. She pushed back her mud-caked hair from her eyes that caught the faint light of the setting sun. For a brief moment she seemed too stunned to speak and the only sound that could be heard was the faint croaking of toads and the occasional cry of a bird.<BR><BR>"My name is Sierra Connor." Her voice came in something of a hoarse whisper. Her hand rose up again as she pointed off to the coast. "I've come from the Emerald Isle to explore this place known to my people as The Bog of Cullenmore." She paused for a brief moment, looking at Aryan. "Your people are only legends to us, but now I see that it is true."<BR><BR>Here Sierra climbed to her knees to observe Aryan more closely. A smile crossed her oddly rose colored lips, her sword lay forgotten from only moments ago. All else was left oblivious to the Irish girl. The twigs in her hair, the mud on her face and caked on her clothing. The infernal insects buzzing insanely around her no longer meant anything. The novelty and majesty that she was now experience was now completely beyond envisage.
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Postby Aryan » Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:48 am

Aryan suddenly felt slightly self conscious, aware of the giant stranger staring down upon her. She looked down upon her own closely fitting leather armour, dyed a verdant green and studded with bronze. Slung over her shoulder,almost the length of her entire frame, lay her yew-bow, carved with spiralled emblems and runes. Well travelled boots donned her feet and from her belt hung an assortment of pouches and a fiercely sharpened dagger. A sturdy quiver lay snuggled against her back, revealing black and crimson feathers from the deathly arrows theirein. Aryan couldn't quite see was was so unusual. She stared back at Sierra with almond-shaped eyes green as jadeite almost eclipsing the rest of her diminutive mud-brown face. High cheekbones furrowed two edges across her face to an upturned nose and a bow shaped mouth. Her chin was almost non existant. Long ears curled like Triton's trumpet shells protruded from a mass of silvery white tresses braided and woven with thin wires of gold.<BR><BR>"Greetings Sy-err-ya and well met, stranger of the Em-er-rald Isle," Aryan stumbled over the unfamiliar words, bowing again to the girl with a mischievous smile. Females of her kind were not too dissimilar from the mankind she thought. Slighter built, though grubbier, noting the twigs in her hair and her clay streaked garments. <BR><BR>"Welcome to these lands that some of us call home and welcome to your legend. In truth, tis dangerous for the unwary traveller to tread forth here. Follow the wisps and the spectres at your peril. You look tired and hungry, but you are not safe here, especially as the night thickens. We are but a few hours from a shelter where we may rest awhile in relative safety. Will you come with me, and tell me more of your travels? It is not often I come across strange peoples wandering through these bogs and I would welcome company."<BR><BR>
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