Never Winter Nights

This forum is for role-playing within settings that influenced Tolkien (non-Middle-earth). Acceptable styles include for Celtic, Norse, Kalevala, Arthurian, and Anglo-Saxon.

Postby Darklon » Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:24 am

After Buddy got the message from Tenar Arthus didn’t want to rest nor sleep .... they were walking for two days with very little rest ... their legs become heavy as rocks their bodies tired from exhaustion but they knew that they had to get there on time otherwise their friends could be in troubles ...<BR><BR>The surroundings had changed .... no more tress or grass under the feet ... now it was just rocks and dust and tall mountain range covered in fog hiding the mystery behind their quest <BR><BR>“ According to the message I got Tenar should be somewhere near here ... “ said that she jumped to the side pulling Arthus with her ... <BR><BR>“ Orcs, a lot of them “ she said pointing down in the valley ... “ we don’t stand a chance with them. let’s try to sneak past them “ <BR><BR>Arthus nodded and they crawled between the bushes trying not to be spotted <BR><BR>Blending into environment as much as they could Arthus and Buddy tried to make their way on the other side of the pass ....when a sudden rockslide could be heard followed by the battle cries of the orcs ... Clashing steel and yelling had filled this so silent valley ... <BR><BR>At this time there was no time for waiting or sneaking Arthus pulled out his sword and started to run toward the noises when 2 orcs had appeared in his way ... <BR>the orcs were as surprised as Arthus to see a lonely man charging on them but they regained their senses and avoided the mighty charge on time by blocking the sword with their big rusty axes ... <BR><BR>The battle had begin Arthus slowly waiting for any of them trying to attack ... and they waiting for Arthus to make one mistake to give them this one opportunity to strike .<BR>One of the orcs strike from the right .. Arthus moved to the left at the same time blocking the hit with his sword and bouncing the axe back then he charged forward trying to cut the orc in the arm but the heavy axe of the other orc stopped this attack as well ... <BR>The tiredness of the travel was slowly getting to Arthus he knew that he couldn’t last long against those orcs alone ... thinking about that made him forget about the battle for a second, which cost him dearly .... one of the orcs attacked from the front while the other attacked from the side ... There wasn’t enough time to block all two attackers so Arthus decided to block the front charge and try to avoid the second attacker. By raising his sword almost to his head he blocked the first attacker but second attack hit him on the side ... As much protection as his armor gave wasn’t enough to stop this mighty blow ... the axe penetrated the armor and left Arthus flying in the air ... he fell on the ground grabbing his side as to try to stop the bleeding but the axe was stuck very deep ... the other orc smiled and started to walk toward Arthus swinging his axe left and right ...<BR>Arthus tried to crawl toward the side of the valley to get to some more defensive position but the pain was to much for him so he just crawled toward the nearest pile of rocks ... grabbing them and trying to slow the orc by throwing them at him made the orc only laugh while he slowly approached on Arthus ..... he lift up his axe as to deal the fatal blow when he fell down in shakes and sparks ... the other orc turned his back toward the new attacker just to be struck by the bolt of lightning ... his body turned black and wrinkled his eyes popped out as his body fell to the ground ... <BR><BR>“ Hey there big guy , you thought I had left you alone ? “ smiled buddy “ I guess I had arrived just in time “ <BR><BR>she gave Arthus hand and picked him up .. “ I spotted Maeglin and Tenar near us, the way to them is clear let’s meet with them and then I shall tend to your wounds ...
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Postby Darklon » Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:24 am

Edit ** sorry double post **
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Postby Exar_Kun » Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:20 am

A low, echoing sound reached Arladion’s ears, sending a shiver down his spine. It was the bellowing grumble of something that still lurked in the caves, and was now making its way to the surface. And it wasn’t friendly.<BR>Still, no real danger presented itself now, for the orcs were tightly pressed between the two walls that made the pass, and came to the adventurers in equal numbers. Yet the more they fought, the more they were driven back. It was the driving, unstoppable swarm of orcs that kept the pressure on. There was no time for resting, for they were everything that stood between the attacking army and… well, the city that wasn’t there. <BR><BR>The group’s focus were the key bearers, their most important asset. They were the last hope of this world, entire Faerun depended on their survival. Thus the other ‘keyless’ heroes did everything to take the blows and fend off the attacks on their mates, even though they handled themselves as well as all of the others. Using his bow, the thief, <i>what was his name again?</i>, picked off most of the prospective attackers of that mysterious woman, who had that flickering lightball dancing in front of her enemies to distract them. Surprised to say, the ranger acknowledged that it worked like a charm. <BR>A little closer to them, the paladin Arthus valiantly defied the incoming stream of Greenskins, slashing and hacking around him while his partner, obviously the keybearer, gave them a fierce beating with her axe some distance away from him. <BR><BR>Robyn went down, in the corner of his eye. His bow was quickly put away and his quarterstaff now occupied his two hands, while he jumped in front of his half-elven friend to take her place. Through the intensive fending off the attackers, he managed to get out of Fionavar how the druid was holding out. <i>This isn’t working, the weapon is blunt, and that won’t stop the Orcs. I have to find something to get them away for good.</i><BR>And there the opportunity presented itself, in the form of human mercenaries. Arladion focused on them while they came at him, placing the staff just right to break their necks. In one swift movement, he dropped his staff and took up two short swords from the corpses. He swung them both in a full circle, to determine how to handle them. To his surprise, they were almost as good as his own two –late- swords. And suddenly the battle on his part took a turn for the best. Now he knew what he had missed: the steel running through his enemies, finishing them quickly instead of having to beat them five times before they’d finally get wounded mortally or give up (which wasn’t the case with these Orcs at all, stubborn as telling a tree to move over).<BR><BR>But there it was again, the low sound. Yet this time, it didn’t echo, nor did it sound far away. And the others heard it too. A big foot crashed down on the ground. No, on two Orcs, who now made the ground a little bit softer for the foot. In any case, there was a big foot in the scene now, and it looked dangerous. It was bare, with piles of sand under the nails that could bury Arladion and a family of twenty female dwarves wearing water-soaked bearhides. Yet the foot wasn’t alone! It had brought a whole body along, equal in destructive power, and even greater in invoking fright. The ranger picked up the druid, and, never letting his eyes leave the new danger, whispered to Fionavar that it might not be such a splendid idea to heal her now, but to carry her to somewhere <i>safe</i>.<BR><BR>He looked up at the giant bearded man, who roared like only a giant can, a <u>hungry</u> giant to be more precise. The giant, greatly muscled by the way, carried a huge bone club, which was probably formerly attached to one of his own kind, when still surrounded by flesh, muscle and the usual ingredients that make for a healthy limb. This giant stood about 25 feet tall, and with his white skin and his silvery white flowing hair, he made a fearsome sight. Now this guy probably wouldn’t have enough to still his hunger by only eating these few warriors that stood in his way. So if only he wasn’t enough, he brought two of his mates with him, and a pack of five hideous Stone Trolls. They had clubs cut out of stone, and with that, they had fancy for throwing with stones, boulders rather, at every moving target in sight. It took little imagination to see that this sport was the lethal fate of many a goblin inhabiting the caves. <BR>Given the current situation, there was only one possible thing to say for the half-elf. <BR>“Oh <i>sod</i>…”
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Postby The,real,Maeglin » Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:27 am

Dawn was coming up when they reached the end of the pass, they had been running because they knew as soon the sun would set the orcs would be out. It wasn’t usual for orcs to go on raiding in daylight, but it made a lot more sense when they saw the humans, who probably leaded the bunch, or atleast had enough influence to decide when to attack. Still so far he couldn’t understand the reason why, why not by night? When they runned out of the pass Maeglin knew by the first instant that they were in trouble, not their friends were close ahead but a scouting party of orcs, which was running towards them. <BR><BR>He quickly scouted the area ahead of them out of the pass, to their left came the orcs, and to their right he saw in the distance another group of people, their friends, or more adversaries?<BR>All he knew that going back in the pass wasn’t an option, to their left was the scouting party that came running towards them and their might be more after. So he signaled Tenar to go right. They runned for all what they were worth but still the orcs were catching on to them, they had runned out of the pass to put as much distance between them and the army inside the cave, but they hadn’t expected this welcome. They were reaching their stamina limits. If they continued this the orcs might throw a spear in their backs before they reached their friends. <BR><BR>“If the group of people ahead are not our friends we are trapped” Tenar shouted to him while running. Maeglin could not agree more, he felt his breath ragging and his vision becoming blurry, still in that blur he noticed something up ahead. More orcs he thought in despair, till suddenly among the apperently battling group the sight of two wolves appeared, he knew the druid had a wolf as companion, it might be her. Either way the group was battling orcs, and atleast were more of an ally than the group of orcs coming closer to them. <BR><BR>“Allies up ahead!”he shouted to Tenar, than grasping some breath for adding; “It might be our friends!”. The nomad only nodded in the run, but it was enough for him, they were only a hundred meters away from the group, but when he looked over his shoulder he saw that the orc scouting party, apperently a number of 10 was only 50 meters ahead of them. He heard their roars louder and louder, carried by the wind. He knew that if he continued in this speed with his load of weaponry and food on his back, he would collapse before arriving at their friends, due to the nightly stealth and running afterwards his legs felt like jelly. <BR><BR>Both the thief and the nomad handled instantly and similary , they took their bows of their back, slowing their running but both with the same idea, take as many of them out before being caught themselves. They turned around, both standing tall, and the thief couldn’t help but notice how good Tenar looked, proudly standing, all fierce and warrior like, her arrow nocked and ready to be released, she looked at him and quickly he let his glance go to the orcs again, who were now in range to get a clear shot, but his cheek had reddened.<BR><BR>Their arrows were released, taking two orcs out, and before the roars of surprise and anger reached them two other arrows were nocked, and released! Both again hitting the targets, this time slowing down the orcs, who were hesitant after losing 4 of their companions with such clean shots. Maeglin and tenar walked back, slowly, but as quick as they could when walking backwards. The orcs, not wanting to take another clean hit, didn’t came in a tight group this time, but spreaded around, giving them not the advantage anymore of just taking out the front ones. <BR><BR>Closer and closer they came to the battling group, who just like them seemed to get driven back, among the orcs he heard familiar voices and he knew they had found their friends, but they broughts some company!. <BR>Apparently the orcs surrounding them got more courage seeing friends driving their enemies away, and they were too close for his liking, they could shoot another arrow but it would be the last, seeing a run would bring them in melee combat. Suddenly they let out a roar and jumped forwards, 3 of each towards them from every side, the will’o wisp buzzed furiously and send sparks all around. Without the Kyar even signaling him the creature flew towards the orcs and send sparks all around, to confuse and blind them, or to be just terribly annoying.<BR><BR>Maeglin released his arrow to the first orc coming in his sight, shooting an arrow right into his eye, the orc being dead before hitting the ground. Another arrow was not to be released anymore and he dropped his bow to quickly draw his scimitar from his back Not quick enough apperently, a blow from a halbred hit his left arm and he felt it piercing in his shoulder. A quick turn, an uplifting strike from his weapon cutted the halbred in two, before the orc could do anything else a clean cut opened his neck and send him to the ground grasping to his throat. <BR><BR>Another orc came charging towards him, not giving him the time to look to his wounded arm, he could just spare a glance to see that Tenar was holding off two orcs . Apperently helped by the will’o wisp who proved again his value. This orc wasn’t so easily dispatched , especially not while his left arm stung where the halberd had hit him. He parried blow after blow by the furious creature, not able to give a counter attack, or to find his weaks spot. His tirednes became more obvious, but he thought of a way to use that to his advantage, when the orc landed another fierce blow, he pretended it hit him so hard , that his scimitar and himself fell to the ground. The orc, roaring with in his eyes an upcomming personal victory, landed a blow with two hands, to cleave his skull. Maeglin took with his right hand the dagger out of his boot and with his left hand found hold on the ground, what send a shock through his painful arm, but it was enough to lift him up, sideways, and to strike the creatures leg. The orc shrieked in pain and fell face first to the ground, while the thief rolled aside, not wanting the halbred to cleave his skull anyways. Quickly standing up and placing the tip of the dagger in the neck of the orc was an action of an instant. <BR><BR>He rose quickly again, not wanting to find a sword or halbred in his exposed back, but it seemed for now he had no immediate enemies, and Tenar and the will’o wisp had proven a valuable combination, only one orc still stood , parrying the blows of the Kyar. She suddenly found herself released from that task when the orc stood rigid and fell to the ground, his legs falling away under him. With a smile Maeglin retrieved the dagger from the neck of the orc, using the smile as excuse for his way of fighting, this was what he did best in his years. The smile of Tenar lifted his spirit enough to feel ready for what was coming. Her worried look to his shoulder, that was red with his blood coming through his clothes and too the blood on his hand, what had runned down, somehow felt comfortable. Running towards their friends he binded as good as he could some of his shirt around the wound, but he already found his arm getting cold and it felt like the wound was being sticked with needles. But it had to do for now…<BR><BR>During the fight he already had felt the earth shake, and he saw now that they were in more problems, a giant had joined the fight! He and Tenar moved towards their friends, holding off any orc who came too near, the friends all being driven back together.
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Postby Amarie » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:45 pm

Just when Tenar thought it couldn't get worse, more of them showed up. She glanced at Maeglin anxiously. He was hurt, but they couldn't spare the time or find the opportunity to tend his wound. She had been unscathed throughout the battle, but he had suffered a blow to his left arm. She called to her will o'wisp, pulling him from distracting a much agitated orc. As they ran towards their friends, the wisp burst into blue, cooling flame and soothed the thief's wound, albeit temporarily. The creature had limited healing capabilities, but it would suffice for now. Quickly, the wisp joined Tenar's side to fend off the orcs once more. <BR><BR>The Naran saw the others closeby, fighting furiously, their skills engaged and in full force. Well, almost full force. The druid was not faring well, having gone down in the midst of the fray. She was also concerned about Maeglin however. His arm was hampering the strength and effectiveness of his blows, thought still very much lethal. She was constantly distracted by him, wanting to make certain he was holding out. An alarming cry from her wisp caused her to duck, blindly missing the slicing of the troll's massive club. <BR><BR>Her jaw clenched and her eyes blazed at her wisp's angry scolding. Tenar knew that she was being careless, having forgotten her training. She saw the half-elf, Arladion if she remembered correctly, lift Robyn and stare in dismay at the giants and the stone trolls who had newly come onto the scene. She stiffened, gaping at the sheer size of them. She moved closer to Maeglin, closed her eyes and invoked a chant in her tongue. The will o'wisp settled at the tip of her horizontal staff, and engulfed itself and the staff in black flames, the color of Tenar's Kyar garb. The flames lashed furiously around the maiden's fist. Her sword was sheathed and her arrows almost spent, her main weapon was the flaming stone staff now. <BR><BR>"Stone against stone," she murmured in Narannin. For a moment, she closed her eyes, calming herself and letting the flames' power seep into the staff. She felt a change in the wind to the right of her, her eyes opening frantically as her staff made a circular motion and neatly beheaded an attacking orc, its neck sizzling from contact. <i>Pathetic. Even a beginner can do that.</i> Tenar could almost hear her former master's voice, his disgust evident. <BR><BR>Her wisp chided her, reminding her that insecurities and uncertainties were not welcome in battle, especially not at this point when the staff needed her full power. She looked at Maeglin, hoping his wound hadn't gotten worse. "What're we going to do about them?" She figured she could take a stone troll out at a time, but her energy would only really last for two. The giants she could not even consider.
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Postby Darklon » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:46 pm

laying his hand on the wound he chanted his healing spells . Although they didn’t fully healed the wound they surely helped to stop the bleeding . <BR><BR>Glancing over the soroundings he noticed his old friends beeing opressed by new enemy, much more powerfull ones this time then just orcs . <BR>One more glance focused his attention on wounded Maeglin and Tenar trying to defend herself from the troll . <BR><BR>He picked himself up from the ground his wound still hurting him but there was no time to think about himself at this time his friends needed him the whole world depended on the outcome of this quest . Closing his eyes for a second and concentrating the remaining strength he had left in his body he rushed toward the giant attacking Tenar. <BR><BR>When Arthus stood around 10 meters away from the giant he placed his sword in front of him , his hands crossed together on his chest, sword that was in front of him burst in flames, his eyes opened glowing with the dim white light, the flame encircled himself and a loud roar in the skies could be heard . Arthus raised his hands and in one swift movement dropped them down pointing at the giant “ Flaming strike of Gods “ he yelled out .<BR><BR>The sky turned red, roars become louder and louder suddenly a pillar of flame fell down on the giant . Tenar jumped back seeing what is going on .... the giant burst in flames and after a while fell down to the ground as a pile of bones and ashes .<BR><BR>Clouds gathered together again as the gasp in the sky closed and light wind swept over the valley. Friends and foes were standing stunned in disbelief as to what had happend a few moments ago <BR><BR>Tenar and Maeglin both looking surprised at Arthus who now rested his body on the handle of his sword, he looked as if he was drained of energy... <BR><BR><BR>Gathering all energy he had left he lifted himself took his sword out of the ground and walked toward still shocked Tenar and Maeglin . <BR>“ Let’s get out of here . I don’t think we can handle four more giants on our own . Maybe in the group but not on our own ... “
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Postby rwhen » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:32 am

<i>Running behind Arladion, the unconscious Robyn bouncing in his strong arms, Fionavar searched into the backpack, juggling the Druids staff and her own flute, only to come up with a tightly wound wad of bandage. Grumbling at her inability to find something more suitable, she formed a healing spell in her mind, ready to loose through Croft at the earliest possible time. Veering off the path from the pass, Arladion located a soft mossy area, clear of branches or stones and gently laid Robyn down. Davian brought up the rear, backing into the tiny clearing alert for the oncoming attackers.</i><BR><BR>"Do something for her," cried Arladion with an entreating look to the Bard. Fionavar thought of a stinging retort, but saved her energy and breath for the healing spell. Both companions were kneeling by Robyn's upper torso as Fionavar requested Arladion to remove the protruding knife from the damaged shoulder. Though he was gentle, but swift, Robyn let out a small yelp when the blade slid from bone and skin, her eyes fluttering attempting to regain consiousness. Moving quickly, Fionavar laid the bandages over the welling blood and placed Arladions hand firmly on top of the gash.<BR><BR>Pulling Croft to her lips, the eerie song that issued forth was powerful and closed the wound leaving an ugly red and swollen stripe that the Bard knew would heal with time. The deeper injury to the bone would have to be looked at later, for now Robyn would live and rally. Arladion seeing the handiwork of the Bard, nodded approval and joined Davian.<BR><BR>"What is happening, cous?" He started, but could see for himself that the worst of the pack of attackers; giants, stone trolls and orcs had turned towards some of the other quest members who had arrived at some point up behind their retreat towards Beldarian.<BR><BR>"It's going to be rough going, our friends won't stand a chance without some help. If Robyn is out of danger, we should go now." The concern for the shear numbers of the enemy and the small band of defenders showed plainly on the Barbarians face. Taking a deep breath, he turned to look at the Bard who was also standing to receive his gaze. Motionless for what seemed a long time, but in reality was only a few moments, Fionavar broke the contact with a brilliant thought. She ran on light feet to Davian and told him to hold out his sword.<BR><BR>Once again wielding Croft, she endowed a strenthing spell into the sword. As the crecendo of the song played, the sword took on a blue to silver glow about pommel and blade. Strength ran up the arms and through the body of the Barbarian and when the song ended, Davian himself appeared taller and fortified. Standing on tiptoe, the Bard softly kissed Davian and gave him a brief squeeze, warm and meant.<BR><BR>"The spell on your sword will give you enhanced speed and strength as well, the sword will withstand even the strongest of metal. But I warn you, do not let it out from your hands, for if you do, the spell will fail and so will your increased energy. Take care of yourself, Davian and let us meet in the hidden city. Robyn and I will join the defense as soon as she is mobile." Fionavar leveled her gaze with friendship and affection showing in her eyes towards Davian, "Now get out of here." She turned her back to the cousins, but knew they had already left to help the others in this impossible battle.<BR><BR>Through a mist of tears, she came back to Robyn, who was already propped up on one elbow. "Ah, I see you can't be kept down long. But you will stay put until I mix some herbs with water for you to drink. You have lost much blood and need a bit more strength." Fionavar checked her own sack and found the right herbs and began to crush them for the cold drink while Robyn strained to see what was happening behind them. Shortly the Bard had a cup to Robyn's lips. Feeling strong enough, she held the cup herself and coughed on the bitter taste of the drought. <BR><BR>"Are you trying to kill me?" she gagged with a frown on her face, but then winked to show the humor behind her comment.<BR><BR>"Yeah, but I am afraid you will live," Fionavar smiled. "How are you feeling? We can't stay here for long. Arladion and Davian have joined the fight, but it is only a matter of time until it has moved to this point. I would like to get you a bit further down this path. The herbal potion and healing should see you feeling well enough so that you can give yourself more of what you need. Lean on me, and away we go." Putting action to words, Fionavar helped Robyn to her feet and gave her the quarterstaff for support, while shouldering both carrisacks. Placing a strong arm around the Druids waist, Fionavar realized that Robyn had already regained a fair amount energy for she was almost standing on her own weight fully and was able to move forward.<BR><BR>The crashing sounds that met them as they intersected the road caused alarm in both the ladies as they skirted to the right side and moved away from the battle proper about fifty paces. At that point, Robyn indicated that she needed a moment to do internal healing so they could join in the fight. While the Druid was occupied, Fionavar looked out at the carnage her friends were causing, but the outcome looked bleak. She could only hope they were near Beldarian.
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Postby The_Fool » Sat Sep 27, 2003 7:44 pm

Façade's eyes widened in panic at Alayna's words. Behind them came the distinct rattle of loose stones as one of their ambushers stumbled over gracelessly. The smell of orc hit the Fool soon after his mount and he cursed in protest, pressing the cuff of his sleeve to his nose. Lymeric snorted, eyes rolling, whites showing.<BR>"Fool!" Alayna barked. "Move!"<BR>The gelding backed away from the assassin's menacing shouts, rolling back onto his hindquarters, nostrils flaring. A glance over his shoulder caused Façade to retch in raw fear. An enormous orc, skin a mottled black and green, moved with confident strides towards the Fool's faltering horse, crude sword drawn, its serrated edge black with dried blood.<BR>"Curse you Lymeric <i>move</i>!" Façade yelled, slapping the black gelding's rump with the flat of his hand. The explosion of sound was more motivation than the assualt on his personage, and the gelding shot forwards in a state of terror, ears pressed tight to his skull, nostrils wide.<BR>"Damn you Hollebourne shoot him!" Façade shouted as he galloped towards the sharper and assassin. The rattle of stones from behind and the thunderous rhythm of Lymeric's hoofs concealed Matias' reply; but by the look on his face it was becomming clear to Façade that the sharper was considering flight over fight.<BR>"Do as he says!" Alayna cried, her voice booming out above the thrum of the gelding's gallop and the heavy tread of the orc's run. Matias looked at her helplessly, fingers reaching uncertainly for his arrows. <BR>"This is not the time for self-doubt sharper!" the Fool roared, his trained voice reverberating in the dusty valley. "Shoot!"<BR>In a quick decisive movement Matias drew back his bow and let loose. The arrow whistled with a piercing clarity as it cut through the air, tail feathers shuddering in motion.<BR>"OH SHI - " Façade yelped before throwing himself forwards upon his horse's neck to avoid the oncomming missile. Behind him came an enraged roar as the arrow hit its mark; though how well Hollebourne had aimed was yet to be discovered by the Fool as he regained his seat with minimal struggle.<BR>Lymeric hurtled past Alayna and Matias' mounts, despite the Fool's hasty signals to stop. Panic drove the horse now, not a master's guidance and there was little Façade could do to slow the black's pace.<BR>Somewhere behind him he heard Alayna yell out to Hollebourne, her voice shrill. "There's too many of them! We need to find higher ground! We stand a better chance if they have to come to us!"<BR>Casting a glance over his shoulder Façade spied the two members of his company riding hard after him, their cloaks snapping like battle flags in their wake. Returning his gaze frontwards the Fool received a second moment of genuine alarm. A smaller orc stood, legs akimbo, as it awaited his arrival into striking range. In a moment of pure reflex Façade drew his dirk and threw it with a practised flick of his wrist. Unaccustomed to the weight of the weapon, his skill at knife throwing limited to table daggers for nobles' pleasure, the Fool overstretched and a sharp twinge of pain shot up his arm, flaring at the elbow; a signal of an unavoidable sprain. Ignoring the pain in his wrist Façade drove Lymeric on, hope clouding his senses as the dirk cartwheeled its way towards the orc's skull.<BR>It hit with a dull thud, blade first; though only just. A few inches more and the orc would have received nothing but a heavy knock to the head. A low rattling gurgle came from its throat, the handle of the Fool's weapon sticking upright like some bizzare turret. <BR>Disgust welled up within the Fool's stomach, and he had to fight to keep his lunch where it should be. Leaning down as his mount bolted past the dead orc Façade wrenched his dirk from its skull, further tearing the damaged muscle in his wrist and arm. The sight and smell of the dead orc made him gag, and Façade tasted acidic vomit. A jolt in Lymeric's stride almost caused him to drop the dirk, his weakened wrist protesting painfully. Heavy vibration compelled him to glance to the side, where he was relieved to see Alayna, her stallion's legs working like pistons as it strove to keep up with the longer legged, deeper chested, Lymeric. Her look of grim determination was directed in front, where the metallic clangs of swords on swords rang out, and ravens wheeled high above, their harsh calls black against the blue sky.<BR>Gripping his weapon tighter despite the ache in his wrist Façade tried to drive away the morbid thought that swept unhindered through his mind:<BR><i>'A murder of ravens...'</i>
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Postby Hollebourne » Sat Oct 11, 2003 2:43 pm

“Shoot!” <BR>Oh,the bitter fate of a man who thought he had seen everything. <BR>Matias couldn’t remember if it was normal for the bow to tremble between his fingers that way , but he dispatched his arrow, and then pressed his horse forward to follow Alayna and Façade, who were already too far away for his liking. He could see no strategy at all, just a blind race into very unpleasant consequences. Façade’s orc fell, and they raced on to reach higher ground and an illusion of safety. Holle was closing in on his companions, and about to yell a ridiculous ‘wait for me’, when from nowhere, a third orc appeared. The world turned upside down for a brief moment before slamming into Matias with all its elemental power. Rolling over into the grit he closed his eyes in pain, only to open them immediately when he remembered the attacker. But everything was blurred, spinning- he couldn’t focus, stumbling up, coughing in the dust.He heard the orc, but couldn’t see it- frozen in panic he listened to the snarls.The beast wasn’t coming towards him, but why? <BR>Then the world slowly regained contrast and outline, and a gruesome sight was revealed. His nameless mare lay retching and twisting her neck, split open by the orc’s abominable weapon, her attacker crushed under the weight, but struggling to get free. She let out a throaty scream, of such a distressing pitch it rose the hair on the nape of Holle's neck. The orc seemed impervious to the assault, it’s hand groping for its weapon as its eyes met Holle’s. It growled, or perhaps laughed. Then the dying horse kicked as she tried to rise, desperate to run from the thing that was causing her so much pain. Another pitiful cry came from between its lips and its eyes rolled. A thin stream of blood flowed from its flaring nostrils as she began to struggle vainly to her feet once more. Matias broke out of his stare, pulled an arrow from his half-spilt quiver and shot at the orc. He swayed and missed, with the return of diziness and a pain in the back of his head.The orc definitely laughed this time, but was cut off by Holle’s second, homing arrow. <BR>Matias closed his eyes and put a hand to his head, bringing it back stained red. He moaned and tried to concentrate. Alayna.. <BR>But it wasn’t Alayna, it was Façade who pulled him up on Lymeric, cursing in a shaky voice and beseeching him with all manner of wit to hang on and keep awake. Holle wanted to say something about the use of sarcasm in face of mortal danger, but he winced instead as the horse jumped forward, to bring the two marauders in Alayna’s tracks. He blinked to regain focus, and saw her ahead- she must have been slowing down, Lymeric can’t have been that fast. <BR><BR>A more violent jolt, as the horse cleared some obstacle, startled Holle back into full consciousness. They stopped next to Alayna, who satisfied her concern with a single glance their way.They had moved far enough -there were no more orcs around them. <BR>But up ahead, the view was nothing to look forward to. <BR>“Those are trolls down there…” <BR>“They’re giants!” <BR>“Will you draw that damn bow!” was the assassin’s reply, as she started again, turning right, and then straight down towards the turmoil. <BR>“What use is a bow against…Façade, what are you doing?!”to Matias’ horror, the Fool urged Lymeric on. <BR>“Façade, you’re out of your mind! You can’t fight any more than I can! There’s enough of them playing hero down there…FAÇADE!” he tried to grab the horse’s reins, but the Fool had been expecting it and pushed him back. It was only so much Holle could to hang on to both bow and seat. <BR>“I can always let you get off, if you want!” the Fool yelled back. Up ahead, Alayna had already beheaded two assailants, and there were orcs running towards them. ‘No?’ Façade asked. ‘Then start shooting!’ <BR>So he did.<BR>
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Postby Morphobia » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:29 pm

Buddy thought she had seen everything. Apparently she had been wrong. Now she watched the orcs charge up the hill at them, and thought that there would be no end to their onslaught. They roared with the delight of a battle, and she grabbed her companion’s arm as she rushed past him.<BR><BR>‘Come on! I do not intend to be killed today; at least, not this way.’ It was all Arthus could do to keep up. ‘Hurry, Maeglin, Tenar! If we hurry we might find a way to the others.’<BR>Axe slung across back, Buddy began to run, knowing that she would not be able to outrun the giants. ‘They’re coming!’ came Maeglin’s warning cry, and Buddy ducked as one of the giants swung at her with its huge club. ‘We have to get under cover!’<BR>‘I’ll agree to that,’ she panted under her breath.<BR>‘There! Fionavar!’ Arthus began sprinting in the opposite direction, and Buddy had to change course quickly to keep up with him. She beheaded an orc, which came too near, watching as Arthus did just the same. Tingles pf shock shot up her arm as an orc’s club crashed in against her axe. She neatly disarmed the beast, taking its arm off in the process.<BR>‘Tch, clubs, not nice playthings, I imagine!’ She used her axe like a mad thing, striking all that came within range with the ferocity of a mountain lion. The giants pursuing them stopped a few feet short of Buddy, watching her fight the very much smaller orcs. Buddy rapped one on the head with the flat of her axe, stunning it, before continuing to chase her friend.<BR><BR>‘Watch out!’ Buddy ducked, watching another orc fall to the ground behind her, transfixed by Tenar’s arrow. She flashed the nomad a grateful grin, and turned to run face first into the leg of a giant.<BR>‘What the…’ Buddy shook her head experimentally, and then lashed out at the leg that barred her way. ‘Foul play, I say!’ One well-placed strike to the knees crippled the beast, bringing it crashing to the ground. Immediately axe connected with skull – the giant groaned, and then its eyes rolled up and glazed over in death. Buddy did not wait to see if the others were after her. Listening to the arrows zipping from Tenar’s bow, she assisted Maeglin with an orc that had sneaked up from behind. There was a blinding flash of light as Arthus let loose another of his spells. Buddy shielded her eyes against the light, taking off the head of another orc that had been caught by surprise by the light.<BR><BR>When the light had faded, Buddy could see Arthus leaning heavily on his sword in the middle of a ring of carnage. Immediately the wanderer was by his side. ‘I don’t know what you did there,’ she shouted, ‘but you’d better get away!’ No sooner had she guided Arthus aside did the club of a giant smash down where they stood only seconds ago. ‘Come on, pal.’ She scanned the hill, trying to locate anything that would help Arthus heal his wounds.<BR>‘I’m alright,’ the paladin insisted, but Buddy knew otherwise.<BR>‘You’re exhausted, that’s what you are.’<BR>‘I can’t rest now.’<BR>‘Better to rest awhile than get slaughtered out on the battlefield because of fatigue.’<BR>‘Buddy!’ The girl turned her head towards the sound.<BR>‘That’s Maeglin. I’ll get back to you later.’ With that, Buddy sprinted out on the field, towards her friend.
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Postby Aglanor » Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:21 am

Another orc moved in for a kill, but Davian was too fast. He was a devastating blur, moving left and right, hacking with his sword and stopping blows with his shield. <i>Whatever Fiona did, it’s good I can hardly keep up with my own movements. </i> He took another two orcs with a swift strike of his sword. The gaps kept filling in, and not everyone fighting was buffed with arcane power, as he was. Besides, Davian was realistic enough to see that he couldn’t hold out for long, even if the magic lasted all day. He saw fires lashing out from the sky, dropping down on the orcs, like a waterfall with a gruesome effect. In short time the air was filled with the smell of scorched skin and leather. Davian saw comrades moving around, and some falling to the ground. He could only hope they weren’t dead. <BR><BR><i>Focus, Dav! The rest can take care of themselves. Keep your attention for fighting, cause you’ll need it.</i> With that thought he let out another war cry and increased his speed, hacking a way through the orcs who just kept on coming. Suddenly, he felt a huge object hitting him hard on the back of his head, and his world shook. He looked around, and saw a giant lifting his club to deliver another blow. Time seemed to slow down, as Davian felt blood dripping from his head and anger seeping through him. He grinded his teeth, and built on the anger. Throughout the last weeks, he had come to realize how to activate his rage, though not yet how to control it. However, all he needed was some more angry thoughts to have the rage loose. He thought about everything that happened throughout the last weeks; The gladiator pits, the death of Arladion, the ogres, and something snapped. He saw the club lowering in slow motion for another hit, when he yelled out and moved out of the clubs range. He had lost his consciousness and once again had turned into a frantic killing machine. He noticed the giant lifting his club again, but too slow. Davians sword hit three times, before the giant could move in defense. The giant fell down on top of some orcs, and Davian continued his way through the ranks of orcs before him. But he noticed they were failing. They were hitting the orcs and humans hard, but in the end it was of little effect, as the amounts of enemies was too vast. They had to get into defense, but where and how? They were in an open valley and had no place that qualified as a stronghold. Till then, there was no other choice but continue fighting, even though the outlook was desperate. <BR><BR>Like a wish come through, the air suddenly shimmered far behind him, revealing the city of Beldarian at last. He heard cries of joy by his friends and saw Arladion carrying Robyn to the city, Fionavar following close behind. Also he noticed Buddy moving with a fatigued Arthus to the city. Maeglin and Tenar were slowly making their way there as well, still hitting Orcs coming for them. On the other side two horses, carrying Alayna on one horse, and Holle with some blonde guy on the other moved through the Orcs, Alayna at the front, moving her blades on both sides, slicing a way through the army. Slowly it dawned on Davian that he should make his way to the city as well. He turned around and saw Orcs going to the city as well. Davian started running and slicing through the orcs he passed. He did feel arrows flying passed him, and swords slashing his arms and sides, but he had to keep running. He didn’t know how long the Epilendia would have the invisible wall open. Already he saw many orcs going into the city. He increased his pace and sprinted to the city, dodging as many blows as he could, and killing as many opponents as he could. After a minute running, he come onto the walls of the city and blinked his eyes for the sheer beauty of the city. He soon remembered his status though, and sought out his friends who already were fighting in the streets. He saw Robyn back on her feet, though still looking pale. Arladion was fighting with two swords again. He grinned and turned around. He decided the entrance was a nice place for a final stand. He let out another war cry, lifted his sword and dropped it into the first orc that came near. He plucked it out, letting the orc drop to the ground, and moved his blade swiftly to the right, slashing the side of another orc. A third orc appeared before him, lifting an axe but before he could move it for a kill, Davian lunged out, and went straight through armor and flesh, He kept on moving his sword around, but orcs and humans were swarming through. He was not sure how long they’d be able to keep the defenses up. <i>Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.</i> So Davian smiled and moved his sword in for another kill...
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Postby rwhen » Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:24 am

<i>Sitting in a lofty perch high atop Never Winter hold, the Lady Aribeth was patiently waiting. The sanctuary of the bell tower gave the High Priestess a sense of security and power, as well as solitude for times like these. She had no inclination of what was transpiring at Beldarian but she knew the timing was right for a summoning. The time for ending the plague was near, she could feel it in her bones. <BR><BR>As the battle raged at the foot of the hidden city, finally the call came for the High Priestess. Her internal sense of alarm was shooting signals to her mind, but she could not fathom their portent. Hastening to the Portal, she twisted her ring once around her slim middle finger and then closed her eyes and stepped forward.<BR><BR>The scene before her was one of tranquility, a smallish rectangular area surrounded by an ancient wrought iron fencing with gates standing locked, one on each side. In the center, bubbling up front the ground, clear liquid which resembled quicksilver, rose to a height of several feet, only to return with a silent splash to the brick well below. <BR><BR>Aribeth shook off her wonderment as the sounds of battle crashed into her senses. Glancing around she could see no imminent danger and concluded that Beldarian was under siege. A misty apparition formed at the North end of the enclosure and when the High Priestess blinked her eyes clear, there were four Epilendia, hovering and motioning her forward.</i><BR><BR>“Come, it is time for the final summoning. The condition that currently abominates upon your land can only be vanquished when our pure liquids of creation are allowed to flow into the base streams from the mountains surrounding Beldarian.” The Epilendium indicated the bubbling liquid with a tenuous sweep of a wispy arm. “This underground flow will reach every viable water source in all of Highest Earth. Once infused, the condition will cease to be. The well source holds the precious liquid and is surrounded by this fence. The four sides of this enclosure face the directions of the lay of the land, north, east, south and west. There are complex locking mechanisms located on each side that only the keys which are held by the map bearers will open.” <BR><BR><i>The four Epilendia bowed their heads as the energy level increased around Aribeth’s body. In an instant, the key bearers were standing, just as they had been removed from battle; in attack or defend posture and weapons drawn. The stunned foursome looked around incredulously, but then recognized the beings who had bestowed the keys on them and were compelled to walk to their respective gates. Robyn looked helplessly at Aribeth and mouthed the words, </i> “What the….” . <i> Aribeth sent waves of soothing energy to the bedraggled four, but nodded her head in agreement with what was transpiring. In short order, the four were standing in front of their directional gates, along with their special appointed Epilendium. </i> <BR><BR>“Tenar, you are North, insert the key now, but do not engage.” The Kylar looked apprehensive, but obeyed, inserting the key and then stopped short of making any further motion. “Robyn, you are South, insert the key now, but do not engage.” This scene played out through Alayna, who was the East and finally Buddy who was the West. When the last key was inserted to it’s fullest potential, the lock hasps of the four gates began to glow silver in the misty courtyard. As one, of their own volition, they turned clockwise and the towering rusted gates slowly opened inward. The Epilendia moved to the fountain and turned their ghostly backs to the liquid issuing forth, calling once again to the keybearers.<BR><BR>“Retrieve your keys and come forward.” Each of the ladies on the quest did just so and then moved to stand before the healing waters. “You will repeat the words which have now been planted into your thought matrix as one and together, release the keys into the well. When this happens, your internal map will disappear and the waters of life that will end the plague will issue unto their final destinations. Do not be alarmed when the presence of the Epilendia cease to be. When the waters are released, our presence will no longer be required and our task here in Highest Earth complete. We shall move to an alternate plane of beingness. But do not fear, we will always be watching.”<BR><BR>With this statement, all beings moved away and the key bearers moved forward, each standing at the edge of the well glancing at one another. On some hidden cue, they began speaking the words planted within.<BR><BR>“We, the key bearers of Highest Earth, the givers of creation, call upon the healing waters of Beldarian. The conditions have been met, we have chosen and relinquish freely our burden. Rise waters and cleanse the land so that all may not perish, but grow and be fruitful. So say we, the tenders of our Mother, the daughters of light and love.” As one, they dropped the keys into the well. Immediately, the waters withdrew and darkness fell about the courtyard.<BR><BR>When eyes had adjusted to the dimness, only the four questors and Aribeth remained standing in the courtyard. The sounds of battle now ranged closer, even the voices of companions could be heard above the din. Tenar reacted first. <BR><BR>“We need to return to help our friends. Without the Epilendia, we are lost.” She turned and retrieved her weapon, hoping that the others would follow. Before, they could move, Aribeth spoke to them with entreaty in her voice.<BR><BR>“Let me take you now to Never Winter. Each of the others can return at any time. At least I can be assured that you four will take no further injury,” she glanced to the shoulder of the Druid. “Time is of the essence, this place has no meaning for you now. We must depart.”<BR><BR>The four ladies looked briefly at each other. “No dice, Lady Aribeth,” spoke Alayna. “Those are our friends, we won’t leave them.” Together, they all armed themselves again and headed towards the battle closing in on their location. Aribeth called after them in a frantic voice.<BR><BR>“Do not forget your rings and the Portal, I shall be waiting for you there.” As the ladies disappeared into mist around the corner of the courtyard, Aribeth engaged her ring and returned to the halls of Never Winter to begin the vigil.
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Postby Exar_Kun » Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:30 pm

<i>A short while before the ritual, the adventuring party had been driven to the gates of Beldarian. They had run fast enough to have gained a small distance ahead of the ravaging horde, so they could see it nearing with their backs against the white walls.<BR>In the corners of their eyes, the men saw four quick bright flashes. Now four of their female companions had disappeared…</i><BR><BR>Arladion turned around swiftly a couple of times, confused as to where they had gone, and noticed Fionavar to be the only female still standing by their side. Davian swore under his breath as he quickly assessed the situation but focused back on the incoming army. Arthus, being as much of the paladin that he was, look up and about to see if there was some sort of infernal demon responsible for this. Hollebourne and the newcomer were already trying to blame each other for not paying enough attention to their group mate. Maeglin was the first to remember the ritual. Through him the others soon knew. <BR>“Yet I fail to understand one thing,” the half-elf said calmly, gazing over the sea of armored heads, where huge cliffs stood out in the form of giants, moving and shaking like a dark destructive storm, “and that is why they let us remain here to face <i>that</i>, when there is no chance we will live through this.”<BR>No one answered, and instead said the prayers they had hoped to save for a time in the far future.<BR><BR>The largest part of the party was determined to take as much of the incoming wave, to keep their friends on the inside safe for as long as possible, and ultimately give them time to save Faerun, and making sure the rings were within reach, while a certain other, smaller, part was looking for quick exits to sit this one out without any painful memories. <BR><BR>The ground trembled mightily under the armored boots of the Orc horde as they stormed onwards to Beldarian. It cast fear in the hearts of the heroes of Never Winter. <BR>Yet suddenly, Arladion felt calm. He wondered where the pleasant feeling came from. He looked at his surroundings and it came to him that he didn’t hear the enemy anymore. Nor could he feel the cold breeze that stung his skin only moments earlier. He looked down to the grass to see it standing up calmly, not affected by any wind. When listening more carefully, he could even hear the earth whispering. It was in pain. <BR>It was in terror. <BR><i>I don’t know why, but this place must be very important…</i><BR><BR>The horde was close now, in only a few seconds they would be in a fight that they couldn’t possibly win, against an enemy that was tougher than most of them, and yet Arladion hadn’t drawn his sword yet. He was sure this wasn’t natural. <i>This is some kind of spell, I must overcome!</i>. As soon as he finished those thoughts, he drew his swords, and stood in line with his companions. The Orcs drew nearer. The yellow of their teeth was already visible. <BR><BR>And then, as if the world exploded, a thundering bang deafened them. A distortion appeared in the air before them, and spread like a wave over them, and over Beldarian.<BR>Many Orcs lay on the ground, utterly confused as to what had just overcome them. They jumped up as quickly as they had been smashed against the ground, and attacked the impenetrable air with their weapons.<BR><i>A shield!</i> it raced through the half-elf’s mind, <i>That’s why the Epilendia didn’t worry about us, they knew we would be safe this way!</i><BR>Davian followed the Orcs’ example. He obviously wanted to know what was keeping him from snapping a few necks.<BR>The last remaining Giant stepped forward. He grabbed his bone club and hammered on the shield to try his luck. Apparently his luck had abandoned him, or luck was more comfortable being on the other side of the shield. <BR><BR>A door opened behind them. Tenar’s eyes flickered in the open space as she swiftly waved them to come inside. She briefed them as they closed the door behind them, “The rituals have ended. The Epilendia are gone.”<BR>“So that would mean that… the shield will cease to exist too, wouldn’t it?” Davian remarked. Everyone exchanged glances and precisely on that moment, the door splintered in two. Every adventurer who had a bow fired arrows through the door, and leaped back at the same time. Orth stood before them, together with Nargot, to get the first wave. But there was no stopping the advancing force. They broke through all the possible openings, and as they were trying to climb over the walls, the Trolls and the Giant were busy tearing them down altogether. <BR><BR>Dion had secured his bow again and engaged the enemies with his short swords. He made sure that he first blocked all the incoming blows, and then struck back. But the Orcs came at such a constant force and speed, they even seemed to be ignoring him and just running on to get as many of them in the city at once. The ranger was amazed at the sheer strength of their bodies, running in to him constantly. One ugly looking Orc flashed his eyes at him and bashed his shield into Dion’s face. He landed flat on his back. The Orcs marched on. Luckily close by Davian was giving the Orcs a tough time, and his panther was doing his very best to try and keep them at a distance, attacking every Orc that leaped over the half-elf. <BR>Seeing as the Orcs practically ignored him, he followed the stream of Orcs with his eyes and tried to determine where they were heading. “The Stream of Life! They’re heading for the Stream of Life!” someone cried out. <i>Ok, I haven’t a clue what the darned thing is, but it sounds important. Better stop these numbskulls before they do any damage…</i><BR><BR>Arladion jumped up, and rushed towards the front of the marching column, taking heads and striking in the backs on the way, Orth following him. Out of the corners of his eyes he saw other streams of Orcs nearing too. However, now the Orcs did notice him taking slightly too great a number of their kin, and decided to end this nuisance. It was only a small bump in the road any way. Or so they thought. The half-elven ranger put up more resistance than they thought, than <i>he</i> thought even. But he didn’t think on it at that moment, and just hacked away. Yet his luck wasn’t destined to last. A surge of pain shot through him as an arrow pierced his leg. A split second after, he was grabbed by the collar and roughly pulled backwards. <BR><BR>He had been pulled through a portal, and he was back in the Never Winter Hold now. The portal was still open. He was glad to find Orth had never left his side, and rewarded his loyalty with a pleasant scratching on his chin. On the other side, he saw a blurry image of his friends battling Orcs and mercenaries of various races. The Trolls and the Giant were still pulling down towers and walls. A thump was heard when an arrow hit the wooden pole he was standing just inches next to. The muddy feathers on the back of the arrow blocked his vision to the rest of the room. The half-elf swallowed deeply as he tried to ease his heartbeats and wiped the cold sweat of his forehead. Then he pulled it out and put it in his quiver, “Ah, profit!”
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Postby Fionavar » Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:06 am

Fear rooted her to a spot against the far wall of Beldarian. She was playing her flute to send crippling spells to the foe falling about her, but she was not the only one with troubles, the companions on the quest were also sorely pressed to defend themselves. Having watched the four ladies disappear and then shortly thereafter reappear was unnerving. The terror at the thought of losing Robyn almost caused the Bard to swoon with dread. Not far from her position the Druid was now valiantly fighting next to Maeglin and Tenar. The three of them were doing damage, but the sheer numbers of enemy would soon overwhelm them all.<BR><BR>An arched passageway was to the left of Fionavar; she inched her way there and glanced down into the darkness of the tunnel. Looking back to the battle, she was startled to see Arladion be yanked out of existence with an arrow protruding from his leg. <i>Ah back to Beldarian for the half-elf, </i>surmised the Bard. Thinking this was a grand idea; the passageway seemed to be a perfect opportunity for cover to use the ring. But she could not fathom leaving her friends. Once again fitting her flute to her lips she blew a paralyzing spell to clear the area around herself and the tunnel. Calling as loudly as she could, she managed to catch the attention of the Druid. Motioning her to the archway, Fionavar drew her short sword and began her defense while she waited for Robyn to slash her way to their new position. Back to back the ladies fought. In that moment a thunderous sound fell on defenders and attackers alike. Time stood still and so did orcs, trolls and the giant. Shaking her head to clear the ringing in her ears, Robyn pulled the Bard into the tunnel, Nargot loped with them a snarl issuing from his muzzle.<BR><BR>"Let's get out of here," her voice strained. It was then that Fionavar saw the oozing blood from the recently injured shoulder seeping through her outer garment. Alarm reached all her senses and the only thought was to get to the safety of Never Winter. Fionavar tugged on the ring and caught Robyn by the waist as they stepped through to safety. The wolf jumped through, making the trio safe in Never Winter Hold. The sounds of renewed fighting falling behind them. Her only hope was that the others would find a safe passage of their own before it was too late.<BR><BR>The serene face of Aribeth greeted them. "Take her to the halls of healing, Fionavar." Without a glance or word more, the High Priestess turned back to the reflection pool. The way was not long, but the aftermath of the fighting, the fear and the concern left Fionavar weak herself. She managed to get Robyn into the proper room, though the Druid was able to sustain herself with little help. As they turned the corner to see Belle attending Arladion, Robyn fell to the nearest cot. Dropping to her knees beside the makeshift bed, Fionavar took Robyn's hand and brought it to her lips. "You will be fine now, friend. Just fine. Let your cares melt away for we are in Never Winter. Could there be a better place for one in need of healing?"<BR><BR>Robyn gave that familiar crooked smile to the Bard as she laid the other hand on the head of Nargot, "Well I can think of a few," then winked. Two attendants moved in to repair the damage to the Druid's shoulder and pertly let Fionavar know that she was not needed. Fionavar headed then to Arladion who was bravely bearing the painful removal of the shaft in his thigh. She squeezed his arm but was again given a withering look that told her to give the healers room to work. As she backed out of the room she called after Robyn, "I will be back to check on you soon, I promise." Standing in the hallway, suddenly the past months came crashing in on her. All that had happened since leaving Never Winter to search for the Hidden City, just to have it all end so suddenly. She fervently hoped they did not have to leave again immediately, that they would have time to share adventures but moreover that all companions would return from this one whole and hale. Walking back to Aribeth, the Bard stood the silent vigil with the High Priestess, both waiting to see who would summon help or come through the portal on their own. The waiting time would not be long.
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Postby The_Fool » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:35 am

Caught in the middle of battle Façade strove to keep Lymeric's hindquarters out of reach of the bloody sword blades of numerous orcs. Whirling the gelding about in hope of a break in the mass of bodies the Fool spied an orc lumbering towards them, its ears torn, a low snarl rumbling in its throat. Lymeric screamed in fright, that awful, human-like scream, swinging his hindquarters about so abruptly Façade almost lost his seat.<BR>"No Lym!" the Fool cried, panicked, as he was turned away from the attacker, born on the oblivious horse's back away from striking distance.<BR>"Turn the damn horse!" Matias yelped, his unprotected back now the most prominant target for the advancing orc. The creature drew closer, baring yellow teeth in barbaric pleasure; then shot forward, sword raised. Lymeric screamed again and gave a bone cracking kick with both hindlegs, catching the orc straight on the side of its jaw and sending it flying back into the fray. Matias grabbed hard at Façade's shirt front as his balance was lost, choking the Fool and wrenching him backwards.<BR>Another orc ran at them, and Façade was forced to elbow Matias roughly in the ribs to make him let go. Twisting Lymeric's head around sharply with one hand he swung his dirk in a sweeping arc. The orc roared as the blade caught him under the chin, cutting deep, splitting skin and muscle. Distraught, the orc reeled back, clutching its chin and wailing coarsely; leaving the Fool his first real opening in the sea of green and black, a parting of orc bodies that revealed visible escape.<BR>Closing his legs on the black gelding's flanks the Fool pushed Lymeric into a thundering gallop that set both him and Matias towards the middle of the enormous citadel. Up ahead a monstrous stone thoroughfare was flanked by two men, who were fighting frantically to keep the passage open whilst pushing more armed fighters beneath a sprawling archway. The harsh thrum of the gelding's hoofs on the set cobblestones crashed and roared as Façade and Matias flew through the archway, Façade reigning Lymeric in harshly to stop him sliding into Nargot's side. At the sight of the wolf Lymeric reared, eyes rolling, nostrils flaring as he pawed the air. <BR>Matias gave a startled yelp as he was thrown from his seat back onto the cobblestones, Façade barely keeping his seat himself, the strain of hanging on causing his strained wrist to burn with a cold fire. Lymeric came down hard enough to rattle the Fool's teeth in his skull. He had little time to recover as a wave of orcs came storming through the archway, Davian and Arladion just ahead; like paper boats on the crest of a crushing wave. Lymeric reared again, crashing down on a sinewy orc's head, killing him. Façade swung his dirk wide, catching another orc across the chest, the blade rattling on blackened chainmail, jerking the Fool's strained wrist, then catching on bare flesh and cutting deep. The next orc ran in from the left side. Alarmed the Fool employed the first means of defence he could think of and he kicked the orc forcefully in the face. The beast staggered back, clutching his bleeding jaw in a grimy hand. A low, gutteral growl unfurled from the wounded orc's throat and it rushed Façade again, twin short swords raised above its scarred head. A delighted snarl came from the Fool's right. A quick glance in that direction revealed yet another orc, sword raised. <BR>"Hi-ya Lym!" Façade hissed, digging his heels into the gelding just seconds before either party reached him; the black horse shooting forward as both creatures swung. Orc weapons mowed into orc armour, breaking it into shrapnel and biting fatally into orc flesh.<BR><BR>The piercing whistle of an arrow in flight gave Façade little warning, the wooden shaft hitting him violently in his right shoulder and throwing him back slightly in the saddle. An anguished cry escaped Façade's lips, the dirk in his weakened hand falling to the stone floor with a metallic clang. Gripping Lymeric's reigns tighter with his left hand the Fool struggled to keep conscious; red and black spots clouding his vision as he searched, half blind, for his attacker. The fog of black was advancing on his field of vision as he caught sight of an immense orc striding towards him, bow in one hand, serrated machete in the other.<BR>"Dear Eru save me...." the Fool gasped as black blooms blinded him. Somewhere in the corner of his clouded vision Façade saw a rainbow shimmer. His shoulder was jolted roughly and pain exploded down his arm, across his chest. Unable to bear the exquisite torture, he fainted.
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Postby rwhen » Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:18 am

Aribeth and Fionavar stood vigil at the portal by the reflection pool. Never Winter seemed to be holding it's breathe in anticipation of what was to come. The air was getting too thick for the Bard, she had to say something to break the tension.<BR><BR>"Can't we do <i>something</i>? she wailed in exasperation. "At the least we could maybe peek at what is happening in Beldarian? Just to be sure no one needs any help?"<BR><BR>Aribeth turned a stern expression to Fionavar. "All persons involved in the quest have rings and know how to use them, Fiona. We do not stand idle while your companions are in need. I will know when the proper time for opening the portal comes." A frown wrinkling her forehead, the High Priestess turned her unwavering gaze forward.<BR><BR>"Are you always so perfect and do you always do the right thing, Lady Aribeth? Aren't you the tiniest bit worried? Maybe YOU don't need to know what is happening, but I sure do." Fionavar sat heavily on the exquisite tile floor with her head in her hands, she was never one for waiting.<BR><BR>The High Priestess looked kindly down on the Bard. "Of course I make mistakes, Fiona. I am not perfect. However, how should it go if I have my attention directed elsewhere and the need arises for our help?" Fionavar did not look up, but Aribeth could not help but see the silent teardrop hitting the tile below the Bard's head. Sighing deeply as if caught in an impossible situation, she put a hand on Fionavar's shoulder. "Rise little one and let us take but the briefest of views."<BR><BR>As if lifted by hidden strings, Fionavar jumped up and stood eagerly by Aribeth's side. The now familiar rainbow shimmer raised over the reflection pool. A misty scene of the battle materialized. It was horrendous and Fionavar stood mouth agape, unable to speak as her friends battled up and down the back city of Beldarian. It was obvious to both of them that the attackers were gaining on the defenders. Just then a horse shot into the scene, clearly Hollebourne was on the rear of the horse and neither woman had any idea who was at the reins.<BR><BR>They watched as the steed pelted into the city proper and then reared backwards at some hidden foe. Hollebourne was thrown onto the cobblestones and he made his way into the abandoned building closest. The stranger riding the mount however was then assailed by more orcs. Clearly this person was no enemy to the people on the quest, however one might consider him foolish to have joined at the time he did. The hiss and thunk of an arrow hitting flesh was audible even in the great hall at Never Winter, both ladies watched as the man began to slump sideways.<BR><BR>"Dear Eru save me...." were the words that rang loudly in Aribeth's ears. She reached forward and with all her will made the attempt to pull the damaged person through the portal. Not having the ring connection to him made this task all the more difficult. She threw all her energy forward and then retracted. What happened next started even the normally calm Aribeth. A horse appeared through the portal, clattering on the tiles in the Never Winter hold. As it skittered to a stop, the rider toppled to the floor, spilling his life's blood about their feet.<BR><BR>Fionavar did not move, she was rooted in awe where she stood. The High Priestess however knew just what to do and called loudly for the healers. Two men appeared immediately and as soon as it all had begun, it was over. The strange man was whisked away to the hall of healing and Fionavar with Aribeth were left looking at a beautiful horse. Beautiful as he was, the rolling eyes and heaving sides showed that the gelding was going to be hard to handle.<BR><BR>"Make yourself useful and get this animal out of my hall and to the stable." The order was given firmly, but Fionavar had no time for a retort as Aribeth turned her back to both horse and Bard to once again stand at the reflection pool. Eyeballing the steed, she reached a tentative hand towards the harness. Immediately he jerked his head high and out of her reach. <BR><BR>Putting her now knotted hands on her hips and standing defiantly in front of the gelding a slow smile started to curl her lips upward. "There is more than one way to skin a coon," she offered as she released Croft from across her back. Playing the appropriate music, she began her retreat backwards towards the stables, with the entranced horse tamely following her. As they began to exit the hall, Fionavar could see the rainbow glimmer appearing above the reflection pool, who would be next through the magical portal?<BR>
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Postby Tobias_Red-tail » Fri Dec 26, 2003 3:51 am

Her blades wove a silver blur around her, but she never had the chance to strike a fatal blow. The steel sliced flesh, true, but the thin swords couldn’t kill. Orcs that attacked her bore wounds from earlier battles, and Alayna was keener on staying alive than actually killing any. An axe came at her from behind, and she barely ducked it in time, before driving one of her twin blades into its gut, and ripping it out through the side. It roared in pain for a moment, before dropping its axe and collapsing in a pile. The other blade came up in the nick of time to parry another reaching blade, while the other blade whipped across to bury itself in its heart. Yet the black wave kept coming, and for every one that fell, many more appeared to take its place. The assassin found herself hard pressed to hold them back, and cuts, from the superficial to the deep, lined her arms and legs. Adrenaline rushed through her veins, filling them with the energy needed to keep the numerous Orcs at bay. An axe found its way into her side, bringing with it an intense pain that threatened to plunge her into darkness, which she pushed away, knowing that should she fall, death would be very painful, and there was, of course, the chance that the death blow would take off her head, and her life would end here and now.<BR><BR>Upon seeing the never-ending sea of Orcs, Alayna found herself tempted to just stop and let a deathblow fall. The intense pain had dulled to an ache, and the usually light blades began to have the weight of lead. Her mind comprehended that she was weak from the loss of blood, even as she whipped her swords around to stop the sword coming at her from behind. Deep inside, she wanted to scream out that she didn’t want to die, that she feared death. Everything seemed almost surreal, like her body wasn’t her own. She had settled for defense, preferring to avoid being skewered by Orcs than to challenge death by attacking the wave in her current situation. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched Façade, Arladion, Fionavar and Robyn being swallowed up by a portal. <BR><BR>She had never believed in Gods of any kind, but now, stuck in a situation where she could very well be dead any second, Alayna was vaguely amused by her own silent prayers to Gods that she had never believed in, even scorned. Her arms felt stiff, and it was only then Alayna realized how much of her blood must have been lying on Orcs’ blades, or in puddles on the floor. She wanted to scream for Aribeth to bring her back to Never Winter, but was stopped by a few more attacking Orcs that came at her with battleaxes. Steel rang out against steel; her fine blades against their aged and pitted ones, and every strike of theirs that had been parried brought with it a tingling through her spine. She couldn’t hold them off for long, and went into a roll under their axes, ignoring the pain in her side.<BR><BR>Once she had escaped them, she found herself staring into the eyes of another Orc that brought its sword down on her upon seeing an injured quarry that would be easy to kill. Not so easy; she managed to get one of her blades up in time to parry it, while her other arm brought the other blade with it, hitting the creature hard in the ribs. As it fell, Alayna stood up, only to realize that her blade had somehow caught itself in the bones of the Orc. While she tried freeing her blade from the ribs, the assassin had been oblivious to the one that sneaked up from behind, until its sword hit her in the back, bringing with it a fresh wave of pain, as well as the knowledge that she would die here. With gradually numbing fingers, she tried to take the ring from her pocket, only to find all energy lost just as her fingers closed around the band. Now she could only watch as the images grew slower, and slower, until they stopped, and darkness took her.<BR><BR>When she opened her eyes, she found herself staring at her still body, before suddenly being swept off to a cold and lonely shore, her life passing before her eyes, and the delighted memory of the past few months made the dreary surroundings seem even worse than before. The delightful camaraderie of the adventurers she had traveled with filled her with a sadness of sorts, that she would never get to see the end of their adventure, or the fruits it would yield. The last months had added some worth into her life, some color into the dark canvas of her existence, and Alayna wondered if someone would chance upon her in time and place the ring of regeneration around her finger, bringing her back into the world that she had only just fallen in love with. In her palm, a coin suddenly appeared, flickering from time to time, making it difficult for her to close her fingers around it. After a while, the flickering stopped, and the coin lay heavy in her hand.<BR><BR>Somewhere from the darkness beyond, a ferryman appeared, reaching his age-spotted hands out for the coin she carried. How she knew that, Alayna couldn’t explain. She knew that to give him the coin was the right thing to do, and that she should do it. Yet as her hand moved to drop the coin into his waiting palm, she found herself suddenly holding air, the coin disappearing once more. In her subconscious, the assassin realized that she probably wasn’t dead yet, and someone was trying to bring her back. <BR><BR>She began to wonder whether or not to return then, for there was no guarantee that she would have as much agility as before, or that she would be as skilled. Yet the lure of adventure called out to her, and Alayna took a step back away from the ferryman, allowing her spirit to be returned to its physical form, willingly walking into the darkness that awaited to bring her back into a world of color and feeling, although she knew when she awoke, her entire body would hurt. Yet it seemed a small price to pay for the chance to return to life, and she braced herself for being jerked into a world of pain and weakness that awaited her.
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Postby Darklon » Sat Jan 10, 2004 5:38 pm

Exahusted after casting his spell Arthus and Buddy headed toward the citadel. <BR><BR>" Now rest here I have matters to attend " said buddy, smiled and sprint away from Arthus.<BR><BR>Arthus knew that the wave of orcs following them will reach them in no time, he also knew it was a matter of time when one of many orcs would find him regaining his strength.<BR><BR>He saw his companions run past him taking defensive positions inside of the city ...<BR><BR>" well it's now or never " he thought to himself still bearing the side effects of his spell he knew he will have to use all his strength to at least block most of the orcs not to mention killing them ...<BR><BR>He stood up unsheathed his sword and with the prayer of his god in his heart run into the vast sea of incoming orcs ... he looked like a lonely ship on the never ending sea, but his hope and faith had made him stronger, it pushed him to the extremes .<BR><BR>Sorounded by orcs he swung his sword left and righ trying to find weak spot in orcish defense but even if he slayed one the gasp filled in momentally by two more orcs ... <BR><BR>" We have to get out of here " yelled Arthus trying to push his way toward the rest of defenders but his words had remainded unnnoticed the noise that the marching army of orcs made had silenced any sound except the sound of battle , swords clashing with eachother , shields being broke from mighty blows and the screams and yelling of wounded orcs had filled the air ... that was all one could hear at this time .<BR><BR>Blocking the orcish blow with his shield he noticed that soem of the companions already dissapeard from battle field " Are they dead ? " he thought but this moment of deconcentration costed him dearly a spear was stuck to in his left arm, blood started to flow on the floor and his hand become numb as if it was dead ... his shield dropped on the floor as he looked up at another orc coming toward him ...<BR><BR>The orc was already covered in some blood with his rusty axe swinging left to right he charged on Arthus with full speed ... once the orc reached striking distance he lifted his axe above his head and swung it at Arthus as hard as he could ... Arthus lifted his sword and tried to block the attack but the might of the orcish strike was to much for Arthus to handle ... he lost the grip on his sword and it fell off his hand ... now he was standing facing the orc with no weapon at his side ... the orc roared but Arthus didn't want to give up not yet not never ... but the searing pain of his wounds didn't left him much choice it was either slay or be slain and at this moment the thought of dying seemed to Arthus so reall so close ...<BR><BR>Another swung by the orc hit arthus in the chest his armor bent from the mnighty strike and Arthus found himself lying on the floor with his ribs broken in so much pain that he could barelly move ... he felt his life forces leaving him, he felt weak ... for the first time in his life he couldn't protect those who he had to come to care so much for , for the first time he thought how much he shared with buddy about all the troubles they went through about how nice it was to see her smiling face every morning and how much strength and determination that girl gave him, for the first time in his life he though he is going to die on the battlefield ... then the world arround him become one big blur the shouts dissapeard as he passed into darkness...<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Morphobia » Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:47 am

One by one Buddy watched as her companions were cut down in battle. Alayna, the newcomer as well, and Fionavar was nowhere to be seen. Then, out of the couner of her eye, she saw Artuhs fall to the ground. Her first thought, even as she raised her axe to deflect a blow, was that she should reach Arthus, to use to ring that would being them back to Never Winter Hold, back to safety, away from the fighting. But the orcs seemed to have their own game plan. They seemed to be intent on isolating each and every one of them, before cutting them down the way a farmer harvests wheat. And she feared that she would be next. Already her arm was growing weary. How long more could she keep them away? Every time she killed one, three more took its place, all eager to kill, eager to wet their blades in blood, the blood of their enemies. Did they even know what they were fighting for? Buddy asked herself, wincing as an orc's club struck a glancing blow to her head, causing stars to explode before her eyes. She barely had time to clear her vision before having to take another blow to her stomach. Doubling over in pain, she cried out for someone, anyone, to help. But no one could hear her, she knew. And it would end. Just like that. <BR><BR>But would the sacrifices of the others be in vain, said that nagging voice in her head, competing for attention with the pain that overwhelmed her. You fight to protect, to avenge. Remember why you are doing this in the first place. She could barely think. An orc stood over her, crowing in delight and victory before swinging his club down to smash her head into a bloody pulp. Only the orc's bad aim had the club smashing her jaw, and, with renewed strength and vigour, Buddy brought her axe up, ending her immediate threat. The orc toppled, landing on her even as she struggled to push up. Oh, the agony! Her jaw hung by its hinge, useless. She could not even form comprehensible words, not in this state. She thought to push the orc away, but there was another one, ready to do battle. And even as she cut him down from her position on the ground, Buddy knew this to be in vain. There were too many of them, and she was badly injured. She had a few bruised, maybe cracked, ribs, and a smashed jaw. And her friends were being smothered by the ceaseless wave of enemies. She could do nothing, but take as many with her as she could. <BR><BR>There was almost an air of hopelessness around her as she stuggled to her feet. She hacked, slashed, parried, thrust, but still they came. The ring, her mind told her, the ring. Get to safety. Get Arthus. But the orcs would not let her get to her fallen companion. They surrounded her, thrusting at her with sword, spear and club. And she could do nothing. "Arthus," she tried to say, but it came out an incomprehensible murmur, and the orcs howled with glee as they pressed in closer on their weakened prey. He should have stayed where he was! she thought, suddenly angry at Arthus. He should have... Should have...!<BR><BR>She sidestepped the next attack, growing more exhausted by the moment. The ring of orcs around her grew tighter, but she could see that the other orcs had moved on, closer to Beldorian, leaving only those few around her. Then she saw. Arthus' limp body, furthur on in the distance. With a roar, she launched herself at her attackers, who were more than happy to meet her blade for blade. One, two - they fell at her feet, dragging her down before they died. She struggled into an upright position, killed a third. Was too tired for a moment, and took a blow to her arm. Blood flowed freely. The blood loss alone could kill her, but she had to get to him. Arthus. Her friend. She would not let the orcs win. The fourth fell, followed closely by the fifth. Six, seven, eight. That was the last of them.<BR><BR>She staggered towards Arthus, collasped, her hand reaching for him. She felt the cold metal of his armour, knew she might have been too late. Already blackness was beginning to eat at the edges of her vision. Her last thought, as she pulled herself closer to Arthus and activated the ring, was that at least, they would be alive. And then, as the portal opened for them both, she fainted from the pain.
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Postby rwhen » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:03 am

The wait at the Portal was not long for the High Priestess. As Fionavar led the unwilling Limerick to the stables, the rainbow shimmer again engaged above the reflection pool. Two figures tumbled through and onto the pristine tile floor at the feet of Aribeth. Both Arthus and Buddy were grievously wounded and neither were conscious. The large paladin's armour was slashed in various places with life fluids streaming from other non-protected areas. Buddy had received fatal wounds all about her body as the stain of her blood began to puddle on the floor.<BR><BR>Before Aribeth could even think to summon help, it appeared. Three attendants carefully transferred the two newcomers onto litters and bore them to the infirmary. The High Priestess followed, chewing on her lower lip, a habit she had formed of late. While she was no stranger to perilous times, seeing all of the quest members returning to the Never Winter hold in states of near death and fatal injury was beginning to take a toll on her usually serene countenance. Worry lines had now permanently embedded themselves on her forehead and her eyes were dull and gray, a haunted look clouded her vision.<BR><BR>The High Priestess was reassured by the expert care that the people in the filling infirmary would receive. Not only would their rings help to heal them, but the tender mercies of the attendants would not go unrewarded. Aribeth knew that though recovery would be long for some, all would be hale and their former selves at some point. Not being able to stand idly while others were busy around her, Aribeth took one more look about the injured and noticed Robyn had propped herself up on one elbow, also surveying the goings on. Aribeth tried to smile for the Druid, but instead turned her attention back to those who had not yet returned.<BR><BR>Walking slowly back to the Portal, her mind listed the remaining people on the quest. Alayna, Hollebourne, Maeglin, Tenar and Davian. On the last person, Davian, she reflected further how unusual it was that Arladion was back, but not the Barbarian. A jolt of fear swept through her entire body, a brief moment of panic as she reached the reflection pool. There was no time for further remuneration, Fionavar was already there, with wide eyes as the opening of the Portal was evident.<BR><BR>"You, dear Fionavar, return to the infirmary. Your friend is awake and will need your comfort." Aribeth gave a little push in the right direction to the unwilling Bard as the rainbow imaging began to solidify. She could not make out who was coming through, but she could tell already that more space would be needed in the infirmary before the day way spent.
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Postby The,real,Maeglin » Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:22 pm

The fight started more and more to become a blur to the thief, the loss of blood, the many small injuries all over his body and the sound of the battle which was deafening him made it all feel like a dream…. A bad one ..<BR><BR>He knew that Buddy and Arthus had saved him and Tenar from a sure death, as the two of them weren't by far enough to keep the enemies at bay. Also the barbarian who later hold of the orcs at the entrance of the city by going in an amazing frenzy helped them comming this far.<BR><BR><i>And it all looks like it was for nothing</i> Maeglin thought, while parrying another blow from an orc blade, every time he lifted his good arm it seemed to go heavier, more unbalanced and more unsure. He even had to shake his head to keep himself from closing his eyes and simply give in to the despair and darknes that was calling him. He didnt even feel his wounded arm stinging anymore, a throbbing pain that had made him flinch all the time during the battle and flight, but now it was a pain he would welcome, a pain that atleast would feel more real then this.<BR><BR>The wall that had defended them after Tenar and Buddy had suddenly vanished, was as quickly gone as it had protected them. It had taken him a while to understand what was going on, the sudden teleportation of his companion had left him puzzled for a moment, till fear gripped his heart that she was struck by the continous flow of forwarding orcs. But he finally knew what was going on and new hope had gotten into him, making his blows more precise again and instead of just parrying he dealt fatal blows to his attackers.Him and Arthus feeling hope and strenght going through them not only holding the orcs from them away but even clearing space around themselves for a while.<BR><BR>But that seemed all days ago for him, Tenar and Buddy had reappeared and the battle continued, the orcs driving them further and further inside the city. Till they seemed to be nothing more than a mere nuisance what stopped them from going in there. He looked at Tenar who was close beside him again, after she had reappeared she had used her staff and skills to fight her way to him. <BR><BR>Another orc moved towards him, roaring, but Maeglin barely heard him, he deflected the blow barely and managed to place with all his strenght his counterblow in the belly of the orc. A second orc bumped into him, and hit him with the hilt of his sword against the head. The thief almost wanted to thank the creature for wakening him up a little, as this pain was felt! He looked again to Tenar, who was holding off two orcs at a time her staff flaring and dealing one killing blow after another. She seemed to make more space between her and the attackers, as they didn’t want to get struck by her staff. Maeglin smiled a weak smile,<i>atleast I spend my last weeks doing something usefull, finding a purpose</i> he thought, but the orcs didnt give him time to think and continued their rain of blows. He tried to a small wall of stones, so atleast no one could hit him in the back, but before he made it to there a halbred made its way to his face. Again his scimitar saved him, the sword still sharp after many blows on shields, swords and orc armor moved like the flash of a light and cutted the halbred in two, leaving an orc unarmed. <BR><BR>He didnt have the time to finish him off though as more vicious orcs moved in, but it seemed like this last action drained all the strenght from him and he yelled with all despair he had in him, all last hopes and feelings out to Tenar…TENAR !! HELP!!! a cry of help indeed from someone who would cut his tongue out before asking for it. He didnt knew if she had heard it, but it did not seem to matter, his shoulder was numb and the faces of the orcs were spinning before him, the smell of blood, orcs and sweat made him spin with nausea. A big orc, probably a higher ranked creature then the normal grunts suddenly appeared before him , the others making way for him to gie him the “ kill” . The Orc landed a big blow against his scimitar which fell out of his numb hands, and together with his dizzines and nasuea this was enough to male him fall on his knees to the ground. <BR><BR>He looked up to the orc, knowing the deathblow would follow soon. He heard the cry of victory from the foul creature. “ Not without you going with me you monster “ the thief mumbled when taking the dagger with his right hand out of his boot, preparing to stick it inside the thigh of the orc. <BR><BR>He raised himself a little up and brought his hand forward, like in slow motion to pierce his dagger into the right place, not knowing if he would be in time, till suddenly an arm grabbed him and an all to familiar voice shouted ; “ Not this time Maeglin, hold on to me!!!” and Tenar appeared diving towards him, her staff taking out the orc by hitting it in his knees, and the lights comming of her staff confused the others for just a few moments, but those moments were enough for her to slip the ring from her pocket on her finger and launch themself through a portal, all dark for him but it made him smile weakly, till he lost himself in darknes of exhaustion, loss of blood and dizzynes and forgot time and place…
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Postby Amarie » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:31 am

Much of it was a blur. Hues of greys, blacks and browns, not to mention the surrounding natural greens and blues, swirled around her as she parried, dodged and struck her enemies. Heat surged through the blackness of her staff as she used it both as a shield and as a weapon, and even as an instrument of what these people called Naran magic. Her main goal was to reach Maeglin yet the task proved arduous and unending. His energy and his strength continued to wane the longer it took for her to come to his defense. <BR><BR>Tendrils of her black hair struck at her face as she pivoted around to defend herself against an oncoming orc. Well, orcs. There seemed to be a handful of them racing towards her behind the one slashing at her at the moment. As her sword’s blade dug deep into the creature’s gut, she heard Maeglin’s voice call out to her. “Tenar! Help!” Despite the heat surging through her veins and her staff, she suddenly felt cold. The flames in her staff flickered and diminished slightly as her concentration was averted by panic. <BR><BR>Her heart racing, she traversed her way through the fray. Her panic, which had turned to fear, and the mirrored feelings of her will o’wisp now fueled the power of her <i>hiten</i>. She used it to divert and deflect her enemies’ attacks, enabling her to reach Maeglin as he fell to the ground. The despair and hardened resolve was eminent in his voice as he spoke. Quickly, she cried out to him that it wasn’t time yet and that he had to hold on to her. It seemed only to span the most minute of moments, from the radiating of light through her staff, her grabbing hold of him and her slipping on of the ring.<BR><BR>There was more swirling about them again, this time of darkness, the absence instead of the presence of color, though the feeling it exuded was not that of constriction nor danger but of release. Tenar’s arms were wrapped tight around Maeglin, her one hand gripping her staff while the other cradled his head against her chest. Her sword was gone now, left behind along with much of the hope that her thief would be restored to her. “Maeglin,” she whimpered.<BR><BR>She was still sobbing and clutching him when the Naran felt gentle hands rest on her shoulder. “Let him go, Tenar.” While someone hushed her tenderly, another slowly took Maeglin’s unconscious body away from her grasp. She remained huddled on the floor, crying as her wisp separated from the staff, transforming the object back into the plain black stone that it was. A familiar voice spoke to her. Tenar knew not to whom it belonged to, but the kindness in the voice was comforting. <BR><BR>Through the haze caused by her tears, she could discern the blood that was on her hands, her staff and her clothes. She could no longer tell which was hers and which was Maeglin's. This jolted her from her crying stupor and abruptly made her get up. "Where did you take him?" She asked, her voice shrill and frightened, to not anyone in particular.
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Postby Fionavar » Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:33 am

Having seen Limerick into a stall at the far end of the stables where he would not be a nuisance to the Never Winter handlers, Fionavar released the spell that had bound the gelding to her will and slid Croft to his usual positioning across and down her back. Looking at the beauty of the beast brought to mind her tawny mare, Eldarian. It seemed so long ago that she had bartered her dear horse away for money to enlist into the quest for Never Winter. The Bard knew that she would never see the horse again, but still fondness lingered in her heart for the beast. Sighning deeply, she dusted off her tunic and headed back to see what the latest developments were at the Reflection Pool.<BR><BR>Before the room came into view, she could hear a soothingly soft voice and then the shrill and frightened question, "where did you take him?" Fionavar increased her pace until she was standing beside Aribeth, who was crooning encouragement to a bloodied, tattered and battered Tenar. The Kylar was on the floor half sobbing and Fionavar reasoned that the <i>"him"</i> in question was Maeglin. The Portal again began to emit the familiar rainbow shimmer causing the High Priestess to leave Tenar in the care of the Bard.<BR><BR>Kneeling as close as she could to the woman while avoiding the transfer of gore to her own clothing, Fionavar spoke. "Tenar, tell me if you have wounds that need to be bound. I can not see under all this mess," the Bard waved her arms about in frustration to indicate the condition of Tenar's clothing. A will o'wisp fluttered in the concerned azure tones of flame about the two ladies now. Looking up at the Bard with red and swollen eyes, the grime on the Kylar's face was streaked with recent tears.<BR><BR>"I do not believe I have any injury that needs attending only bruised and small cuts. But I need to get to the infirmary, Maeglin has taken many wounds." She struggled to get to her feet, but slumped against the Bard for support.<BR><BR>"YOU will get to the baths first, my friend. Give the healers a chance to work their magic with Maeglin. Remember he came through with the ring, already the healing process has begun. Once you are clean and a bit rested, you will make a more suitable visitor for him. Don't you agree?" Fionavar put all the persuasion she could muster into her voice, soothing yet entreating at the same time.<BR><BR>Tenar was conflicted...her eyes darted in the direction of the halls of healing and then back to the hazel hue of Fionavar's. "We need to let Aribeth have this space for the remaining folks who will come through the Portal, Tenar. Hold faith in the healers, your Maeglin will be just fine." As she spoke, she began to lead the Kylar away to in the direction of the baths, located in the lower level of the keep. The stairs presented a bit of a problem in Tenar's wearied condition, but eventually they found the large pools, heated by natural hot springs that fed Never Winter. Fionavar helped to shed the now useless clothing from her frame and watched as Tenar carefully slid into the shallow end of the bathing pool.<BR><BR>"I will return with soap sand and covering for you in a moment, Tenar." Grabbing a bag of cleansing sand and a soft robe from a nearby cupboard, the Bard swiftly returned to the Kylar. Tenar had fallen asleep with her head propped in a niche of safety at the corner of the pool. Warm water swirled about her body, working the cleaning magic even in her sleep. Fionavar decided to pull up a bench and let the Kylar sleep herself out a bit. As the Bard reflected on who might be left to come through to safety, she heard steps falling lightly on the stairs behind her. <i>Now what?</i>, was the first thought.
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Postby drieske » Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:16 am

<i> Hmm I must have dozed off for a moment.</i> Blinking her eyes Robyn sat up and looked around at the infirmary. Fionavar was nowhere to be seen, and healers were silently moving through the room, keeping a wary eye on the huge wolf that was laying in the aisle, guarding his mistress. When Nargot heard the druid move, his grizzled head popped up and he put his big paws on the side of the bed, trying to lick her face, tail wagging back and forth. Grinning and wincing against the sudden pain the movement caused, Robyn hugged him for a moment, and then tentatively flexed her shoulder. <i>Apparently they really know what they are doing, and the healing magic that is alive here isn’t too bad either!</i> The wound was still sore though. One of Aribeth’s healers noticed that Robyn was awake again and neared her cot. After a quick checkup on the bandage, he said “Better be careful with that shoulder, we removed a splinter of your shoulderblade Lady, give it time to heal!” With a nod he turned around again, and as she followed him with her gaze, Robyn noticed the others. <BR><BR>Someone in the bed across the room was making a feeble effort to get her attention, waving his arm. A big grin appeared as she recognised the familiar face of Arladion, white but smiling. She slid out of the bed, draping the bedsheets around her, and then tiptoed to her friend. “Didn’t I tell you to stay out of trouble?,” she rebuked him, but the grip of her hand clearly told another message and her eyes shone in his. “So good to see you safe and ‘healthy’,” she whispered, lightly touching his leg. Her skilled eyes saw that all had been done to prevent permanent damage, and her senses felt the steady fast recuperation of nerves and sinews. Sofly they talked for a little while, and after some minutes the Ranger’s eyes closed, still exhausted from the huge battle he barely survived. When Arladion’s respiration indicated he was sound asleep, Robyn gently pressed a kiss on his forehead, and stretched. <BR><BR>The air seemed to crackle with energy, as all around her healers were busy fighting for the lives and health of her companions, using both traditional techniques and spells to fasten up the healing processes. Next to Arladion was Arthus, who seemed very vulnerable without his armour. His head rested on a white pillow, and watching him from that short distance, Robyn was surprised at how young the man actually was. Softly, as to not divert the doctors’ attention, she walked on over to Buddy’s bed. <i>Such a courageous girl.</i> She fondly stroked back the tresses of hair that had fallen over Buddy’s face in her feverish and restless sleep. Sudden commotion at the door made her scramble out of the way, as Maeglin was brought in. The severity of the healers' faces told her how bad his condition must have been, and she sent a quick prayer to her goddess for help. <i>Argh, if only I had some healing spells left for the day,</i> she brooded. <BR><BR>Shaking her head to get rid of these useless thoughts, she grimaced as she felt the remnants of what once had been her shirt stick to her body with blood and sand and more undefinable components. Totally unable to go back to sleep, she returned to her own cot and searched her backpack for a clean shirt and legging. She managed to pull on her boots only using her left arm, but by the time she was no longer barefooted, a thin sheet of sweat was glistening on her brow. “Damned weakling,”, she muttered when she got up too fast and swayed slightly. Patting her leg Robyn called the wolf to her side, and then silently left the infirmary. <BR><BR>“Excuse me, do you know where the Bard Fionavar is?”, the druid asked a servant who was hurrying along the draughty corridor. Upon a mute denial, she kept on walking and somehow found herself at the entrance to the hall of the Reflection Pool. The Lady Aribeth was standing motionless, her arms wrapped around herself as if she was cold, and stared intently at the shimmering pool. Although the druid had made no sound, Aribeth seemed to sense someone was near. She turned and her gaze swept through the hall. Upon seeing Robyn she walked towards the waiting druid. "Where and how are the others doing?" Robyn blurted out, worry evident in the tone of her voice, and then remembering her manners, bowed her head respectfully. The lady said “Be at ease Robyn, we are doing all we can to take the best care of your companions, and I will personally make sure I'm ready when the last ones arrive. Try to relax and forget about your worries for a while. I’m glad you are feeling somewhat better, but now we have to make sure you start to lóók better too, walking around in merely a bedsheet and boots”. A hint of a grin hovered around Aribeth’s mouth. “Perhaps you would like to take a bath? You will find someone you are undoubtedly looking for down there.” Following the direction of Aribeth’s gaze, Robyn turned around and saw another arch through which a stairway could be seen. Grinning the druid nodded her agreement and set out towards the promising sound of ‘taking a bath’, the wolf a grey shadow on her heels.<BR><BR>When she descended further and further, she was greeted by the damp aromatic scents of fresh spices like rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus. The mere smell gave her new energy, and when on top of that she heard a familiar voice singing a soothing song, she dashed down the last stairs and flung her arms around Fiona’s neck from the rear, half strangling the surprised bard. Fionavar let out a surprised yelp as she felt Nargot muzzle her face and then laughed joyfully. “Finally, what took you so long, huh?”, she softly said, pulling the druid a little further down the delicately lit hallway. “Let’s keep our voices down, Tenar is finally sleeping my friend.” Only then did Robyn notice the form of the Naran who was gently floating in the shallow comfortable warm water bassin. The willow wisp was close to her head, watching over the resting warrior. <BR><BR>“And what a charming outfit you have Robyn, especially those dusty boots give you a very ladylike appearance!”, Fiona grinned, eyeing her friend’s white wardrobe. The druid only poked out her tongue, and then said “Fiona, you may tease me all you want later on, but for now, would you please help me to get this footwear off, ‘cause i don’t think I can manage that on my own.” Quickly the bard complied and then joined Robyn in the steamy hot bathing bassin, where they talked in hushed voices, as to not disturb Tenar. Suddenly whimpering and growling could be heard near where they had left their things. Calling out softly to Nargot, Robyn swam closer and, after taking the situation in in one glance, she helplessly burst out laughing, beckoning the bard to quickly come too. The wolf was sitting down on his haunches, suspiciously staring at Croft, backing off inch by inch. Seems the bored wolf had searched for some distraction and then decided to sharpen his teeth on the wooden flute. "Ah poor Nargot," Fiona chuckled, "guess I forgot to tell you that Croft has a distinct dislike to being chewed on!".
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Postby Fionavar » Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:13 am

As Nargot backed away from the magical flute, the two giggling ladies noticed that Croft had taken on the appearance of a porcupine, quills jutting in every direction, undulating and daring the wolf to come closer. Finally, as if unsure what to do with this prickling stick, Nargot lay down at a safe distance from the needle-like barbs and blew warm breath gustily from his flared nostrils in apparent resignation. Croft transfigured back to his normal appearance, but stood on end, alert for any need to alter swiftly.<BR><BR>"Now that is something you don't see everyday of the week," remarked Fionavar, "I think Nargot should pick on a mighty oak next time, he might be more successful." As if on queue, Nargot perked his lupine head up and stood on all fours once again. Moving at a catlike crawl, he inched furtively back towards the flute. Robyn raised a hand to offer a rebuke but the Bard stopped her with a nudge to the uninjured shoulder.<BR><BR>"Croft has everything under control," she winked and indicated for the Druid to watch. As Nargot came within lunging distance, the flute rose quickly in the air and tweaked the unsuspecting wolf on the nose. Yelping more in surprise than pain, Nargot fled to the opposite side of the baths, his tail tucked between his legs. "I would venture a guess that your wolf friend has never had a piece of wood bite back, eh Robyn?"<BR><BR>Robyn splashed water into the face of the Bard and turned to make her way to Nargot to give comfort for the offense given by the cruel and unforgiving Croft when both ladies clearly heard Tenar.<BR><BR>"Maeglin, where is Maeglin?" Tenar had awoken and seemed a bit confused by her surroundings, gazing from side to side as if to clear a mist in front of her face. Fionavar waded to the Kylar and reassured her as best she could.<BR><BR>"Maeglin is with the healers in the infirmary, I am sure they are taking great care of him, Tenar." The Bard really didn't know this woman at all and was unsure whether to offer a comforting hand to her or not. It appeared a moot point at the last when Tenar rose up and carefully departed the bathing pool. Robyn had guessed Tenar's intent and held the robe open for her. <BR><BR>"There you are, let me show you to the infirmary,” said Robyn with a serious note of assistance in her offer. A burst of laughter came from the Bard.<BR><BR>"Not dressed like that you won't." Fionavar raised a hand to indicate the nude form of the Druid, still dripping water. "I know you like to make a good impression, but this is taking that a bit far, don't you think?" <BR><BR>A slow smile appeared on the face of the Kylar at the bantering words between the two friends. One look at Robyn with her fists on her hips and a stance that was both formidable and feminine caused Fionavar to guffaw loudly. "YOU, stay here and continue to enjoy the delicious aroma and healing energy of the baths and I will escort Tenar to Maeglin. On my way back I will stop by stores and pick out something suitable for you to wear, deal?"<BR><BR>Robyn acquiesced, but instead headed to Nargot. As Fionavar led Tenar up the stairs the Druid called to her, "just be sure there is nothing pink and frilly in your choices, friend Fiona. I should not like to resemble a courtesan advertising her wares." A hint of a threat was in her voice, however Fionavar was unruffled.<BR><BR>"Trust me," Then she began a new gale of laughter that rolled down the steps and over the warm waters.
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Postby Rooty » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:40 pm

"I sacrifice because it is my duty, mother."A harsh, crisp voice cut through the silence. "And the gods have rewarded me for it. I am their servant."<BR>"Your wife was an honourable woman." An old woman said.<BR>"Indeed. And she died most honourably." The man responded. His clear blue eyes reflected not a speck of sorrow.<BR>"May you be blessed among men, my son." An old man said.<BR>"And may the gods forgive her for her transgression, and may she be received into their Sacred Chambers." The young man said quietly, the edge never leaving his voice. <BR><BR>Without a word to either parent, Thanasimos turned on his heel and left his wife's grave. Mourning was unseemly for a soldier. His wife, once a priestess of the Sacred Fire, had served in the temple for many years. She knew their way better than anyone. Three days ago, sickness had overcome her body at last, and she let an ember drop from the Sacred Fire to the floor. Accordingly, she took her own life as payment to the gods for this great transgression. She died with dignity, as Thanasimos knew she would. She was chosen for him from one of the most honourable families. United with his own, it was hoped that they would produce great warriors. The gods saw fit to deny them this pleasure. Having been married only six months, Thanasimos now found himself a bachelor again.<BR><BR>The Great Plague that had ravaged their land mysteriously vanished as quickly as it came. Many had said the wrath of the gods was upon them. Others said it was the product of an evil genius. The city council had convened and reconvened numerous times to debate what action was most appropriate under the circumstances. Now that the plague was gone at last, only one option remained: to find the perpetrater, if there were any, and avenge those lives lost. To this end, the city chose its most renowned warrior, Thanasimos, to represent them. Having buried his wife, he now saddled his horse and made his way to the Never Winter Hold, where he would present himself to the High Priestess. No doubt she would be exceedingly grateful for his assistance.<BR><BR>The army stood at the gateway to bid him farewell. Like a great black shadow, regally seated upon a stallion of the deepest ebony, as he moved along the cobblestone path Thanasimos barely acknowledged the presence of the rabble, but saluted only his peers and Commander in Chief. His horse walked calmly out of the gate and, as propriety demanded, did not break into a gallop until the gate had fully closed behind him. His black cape and long blond hair billowed behind him in the wind. At this pace, if he stopped only for a few hours to rest, he would reach the hold sometime tomorrow evening.
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Postby Morphobia » Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:44 am

<i>The orcs charged, swinging their swords and roaring at the top of their voices. Her axe - where was it? Buddy glanced around frantically. The orcs came on, masses of them, weapons glinting in the sunlight. The sky seemed to be stained with blood - her blood, the blood of her friends - and the stench of something burning filled her nostrils, choking her. She turned and ran, squeezing her eyes tight shut, an admittance to the fear and cowardice that seemed to well up in her. They were gaining on her, she could feel it. The ground seemed to shudder with their every step, as if the ground would split open. There was a sharp pain in her right arm, a strong burning sensation that followed after flesh was exposed. Her eyes popped open, and she screamed.</i><BR><BR>"Whoa, there." A pair of strong arms held her down, and Buddy found herself staring at the face of a healer, panting. It took her more than a moment to realize that she was in the infirmary of Never Winter Hold, not on the battlefield at Beldorian. "You're safe." A younger healer hurried over, eyeing her a little warily.<BR>"Here, Jazper." She handed him a dish of some sort of steaming poultice, and the older man - Jazper, she had called him - nodded curtly. Without warning, he yanked the bandages tight around Buddy's right arm, and she yelped. Or tried to.<BR>"For your sake, lady, don't move that jaw," he ordered, examining her leg. He sighed, almost in exasperation, shook his head, then, scooping some of the acrid-smelling poultice applied it to a gash on her leg. Buddy gasped from the initial burn of the poultice, then her head began to swim when that slight movement caused waved of pain to assault her jaw. Jazper tutted like an overly-anxious mother. "Don't say I didn't warn you, lady." Her right arm was beginning to numb. He bandaged her leg, then repeated his inspection process of her jaw. "They hit you something awful, eh, lady? Hope you did them something awful too. It'll heal up nicely, though, don't you worry, if you'd just stop trying to talk."<BR><BR>Wearily, Buddy nodded, allowing him to work on her jaw. Turning her head slightly, she could make out the unconcious form of Arthus, pale-faced and wheezing slightly. Healers hovered around him, whispering softly to each other as they observed their patient. <i>If only you had stayed back, you old fool,</i> she thought, almost fondly.<BR>"You'll be all right," Jazper announced, making her turn around to face him. "And he will be too. He's in good hands." He sent her a reassuring smile. "Now, try to get some rest." Buddy nodded, a little akwardly. <i>Thank you, Jazper.</i> She glanced over at Arthus again, her eyes sliding in and out of focus. A while later, she had fallen into a restless sleep.<BR><BR>***<BR><BR>When she woke again, it was to the sound of Robyn leaving the infirmary. the pain had subsided to a dull throbbing, and her right arm felt like a log, heavy and just as useless. <i>Should I try to stand?</i> she thought, fixing her gaze on the whitewashed ceiling. After a while, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, the sudden movement leaving her head spinning. A healer rushed over to assist her, gripping her arm firmly and offering support. "You really should not be walking, lady." <i>It was Jazper,</i> she realised, leaning her weight on the dedicated healer. He chided her softly, as do all healers, talking about rest and recuperation. But rest was the last thing on Buddy's mind.<BR><BR><i>Arthus,</i> she thought. <i>Was he all right?</i> She turned her gaze onto Arthus' face, still sickly pale and somewhat akward without his armour. She sent Jazper a pleading look, then motioned towards Arthus with her good hand. "You're worried about him still?" he asked with a little laugh. "Okay, then." With his help Buddy managed to stagger to Arthus' bedside, then sat on the edge akwardly, then waving Jazper aside. "I'll be in the corner watching, in case you need anything," he said, but Buddy did not hear.<BR><BR>Buddy reached for his hand with hers, holding it in a way that reassured her that he was still alive. She kept her gaze on him, hoping in vain that he would open his eyes and tell her that he was all right. To see his smile, that twinkle in his eyes when he made jokes. To hear him laugh, or merely hear him speak.<BR>It seemed amazing how they had bonded. Buddy had met Arthus a lonely child, her only friend in the world murdered. And Arthus had accepted her for what she was. And they had grown to be friends. Friends. She liked the sound of that. No, more than friends. They had become so close, they could almost be siblings. There were almost no secrets between them, maybe, and Buddy liked to think of it that way.<BR><BR>She cradled his face in her hand, running her thumb tenderly over the many old and new scars. <i>He's in good hands,</i> Jazper had said. At least she would not see another friend die. Her only friend, for though she worked with many others to achieve their cause, she did not know any of them well, besides the paladin. <i>Recover quickly, Arthus,</i> she thought before planting an akward kiss on his forehead.<BR><BR>And she just sat there, holding his hand, waiting for him to stir.
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Postby Darklon » Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:25 pm

slowly regaining his senses he felt a warm soft touch of somebodys lips on his forehead ... he tilted his head slightly toward the women that was standing next to him .... to his surpirse it was Buddy ... a worried expression on her face was now exchanged with sudden joy ...<BR><BR>her hand in his hand ... their fingers joined together ... she looked him in the eyes the concern that was visible on her face now turned into a big smile " good to have you back Arthus " she mummbled .... " And good to see you in here as well Buddy ... " he paused for a second looking at the young girl ... for the first time he had seen her without her armor or travel worn clothes ... she looked differently ... more women like then to what Arthus had become used to during their travels ...<BR><BR>Arthus looked around the room the rest of the group was either in here getting their portion of healing or as Arthus thought the rest of the group was somewhere in Never Winter Hold celebrating their sucess...<BR><BR>" Let's get out of here Buddy ... I don't feel like spending another minute in this room of healing although it was of great assistance to our cause it's a place that I would rather leave to those that need it ... "<BR><BR>Buddy nodded and both of the companions were about to leave the room and head toward their chambers when they were stopped by one of the healers " Sir are you sure you want to leave our healing room , you had taken some heavy wounds in the last battle and lost much blood ... you might consider staying here for little longer ... although the decision is yours to make .. "<BR><BR>" Thank you for your concern but I guess we will depart and take rest in our quarters "<BR><BR>The healer nodded and bowed slightly toward Arthus and Buddy.<BR>Leaning on eachother for support both of the companions headed toward their chambers ... <BR><BR>" Finally some rest from all this traveling. Buddy semmed to care about him ...but ont thought didn't leave his midn ... the monet when they were holding hands and when she kissed him on his forehad ... " Those thoughts kept Arthus awake thinking about the girl thinking about how close they had become and thinking about what he had felt toward her ... the feeling was somehow strange to him but at the same time so fimilliar then he lied himself on the bed and soon the effect of his wounds made him so tired that he fell asleep and slept till the next day morning ...<BR><BR>Slowly opening his eyes Arthus realized that he really was in the Hold that all the troubles all this traveling was behind them and that they are safe now behind the walls of the hold ... the feeling of so disired peace overhelmed him when the smell of freshly baked bread reached his chambers ... his stomach made weird noise as Arthus inhaled the fumes coming from the kitchen ..<BR><BR>He changed his clothes to his usuall white tunic and headed toward Buddy's chambers to wake her up and head toward the kitchen together but Buddy was first to wkae up and had the same plan in her midn so both of the companions met halfway...<BR><BR>" Hello Buddy ... slept well ? "<BR>Buddy nodded in comfirmation as she still couldn't really talk <BR>" Well then let's eat and then I have a surprise for you " said Arthus and smiled toward the girl <BR><BR>The freshly baked bread and the home made meal tasted so good after those months of traveling int he wild eating traveling rations and living on what they could hunt so that the breakfast was over before they had even noticed that their plates were already empty ...<BR><BR>" Well hence we are done in here let's head to the surprise ... as it will not come to us, but first let me visit my chambers "<BR><BR>Buddy was surprised when she saw Arthus new outfit he was wearing a silver tunic and the necklace of gold dragon on his chest ... parade sword at his side ... she wanted to say something but all she could do was just tilt her head in disbelief .<BR><BR>They walked out of the Hold and headed toward the temple district then Arthus walked toward the biggest building among all of the temples . Two guards were guarding the doors but with one wave of Arthus head they opened the door and let the companions pass ...<BR><BR>The building was enormous with windows on each side of it painted with epic battles versus dragons ... there was a huge altar on the northern wall in the shape of a dragon with open mouth , fire burning on each side of the altar ... giving this place an unusuall one coudl even say mysterious magical look ...<BR><BR>" Arthus I'm so glad you had returned ... we had heard about your travels but after a while even we lost track of your party and had no idea as to what had happend to you ... " the voice of an old man come from behind them ... " I see you brought a friend of yours ? may I inquire as to whom am I having pleasure to meet ? "<BR><BR>Buddy nodded her head and looked at Arthus for support ... " She is a friend of mine and my companion on the road ... her name is Buddy and she was of many that had helped to bring the sickness down "<BR><BR>" A noble deed indeed , and anybody who would risk their life for the purpose of serving humanity is always welcome among our walls " said the old man and smiled ... then he paused for a second and he started to think about something then he wlaked away turned around and waived at Arthus " Child please come ... we have to speak of certain matters "<BR><BR>Arthus walked toward his old master " Yes master what is it that you want me to do ? " <BR><BR>" I had seen the future and I know that there is more to come ahead of you ... i can't tell you what future brings as the choices of your actions will form it ... but I can give you this peace of an advice use your faith to guide you and it shall not fail you ... "<BR><BR>Arthus didn't really understtod what his master meant ... but he was sure it was of great importance and shouldn't be ignored ... <BR><BR>" And so I shall do my master " said Arthus bowed and walked toward Buddy that was still amazed by the mystery of this temple ... then they headed back to the Never winter Hold
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Postby drieske » Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:50 am

The words “trust me” lingered in the air, accompanied by the heartfelt laughter of the Bard. <i>Now what is she up to next?</i>, Robyn wondered, a happy grin on her face. Such a bright spirit was rare and unique, and she felt love for this small woman Fionavar, the sister she had never had. Nothing seemed to be able to temper her humour. The bond that existed between them grew ever stronger and that warmed Robyn's heart. It felt good to be away from the fighting and hardship of the past few weeks. And now, with the plague finally under control, things should get better soon, for the land and for its people. The Druid’s face slowly lost the grin, and resumed its normal composed expression, while she wondered about the plague. <BR><BR>It seemed to have come so fast, originating not from one source but from several at the same time! That was unheard of, as were the malignent deadly symptoms. Robyn had been talking to the elders of her own grove and to other Druid communities about the disease, before coming to Never Winter offering her services. All were of the same opinion: the plague was the first of its kind in all history. And to achieve it was hopefully the last too, they still had to find out what had caused the black death. A steely glint appeared in her narrowing eyes at the thought of the person who could bear the numerous victims upon his or her soul. “May he burn in agony in all seven hells forever,” she murmured.<BR><BR>Sighing weary, she stooped to stroke Nargot’s head and then sat at the side of the pool, her feet dangling in the water. The moist warmth seemed to cradle her and kept her from feeling any discomfort. The huge room was sparingly lit, gloom stretching its fingers towards the far ends of the cavern, a hazy mist rolling over the everwarm waters of the bathing pools. Sitting there, only her wolf as companion, she wrapped her good arm around him and rested her head on his shaggy fur. Then softly, hesistantly, she tried to give voice to the emotions that were boiling inside of her, and her words reached out over the distance, calling to her friends scattered over the land...<BR><BR><i>"As the morning light of the new born day<BR>slips over the green hills of Highest Earth,<BR>a fox perks its ears to a baby’s crying<BR>as at dawn finally a woman gives birth.<BR><BR>Forgotten are the long dark hours in pain,<BR>forgotten the tiredness, the hard labour.<BR>Only the intense joy of wonder remains:<BR>this child must be in nature’s favour.<BR><BR>Worn-out inhabitants of the ravaged village<BR>take heart in this human token of hope.<BR>This tiny infant, firstborn after the plague<BR>challenges them 'Get up and together cope!'<BR><BR>'Her name will be <b>Faith</b>', the mother says<BR>looking up at her husband, in tears.<BR>Then she feeds her innocent hungry babe,<BR>this moment soul-etched for all her years.<BR><BR>Spines are stretched, refuse cleaned,<BR>eyes open up and blink in courage reborn.<BR>No more hiding, no more fear of contagion,<BR>resolutions and unity no longer torn. <BR><BR>In close collaboration with each other<BR>the villagers sweep their surroundings clean:<BR>Out go the scavenging orcs, out with the trash<BR>the area gets safe, an encouraging scene.<BR><BR>Pay hommage to the High Priestess Aribeth,<BR>let’s honour the one that gave hope at all cost, <BR>She knew what to do in our darkened days<BR>and gave guidance when all else seemed lost."</i><BR><BR>Robyn’s voice trailed off into silence. Both gratitude and grief filled her, thinking of all the loss and pain the company had endured, and all the good that had been achieved. Closing her eyes she curled up next to Nargot and relaxed.
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Postby Hollebourne » Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:54 am

It had of course happened before, on numerous occasions, that someone had been after Holle’s life. But cuckolded husbands, however furious, could scarcely be considered serious preparation for an army of orcs and giants.<BR>The involuntary plunge he took off Facade’s horse had a lucky ending to it, which he did not have the immediate wit to appreciate. It did in fact diminish the enemy ranks by two individuals, the unfortunate cushioning for Holle’s fall, and in the tangle of weapons, it is surprisingly easy to be skewered on your own blade. As mentioned before, however, Holle did not appreciate this stroke of luck, and in fact, would be amused to hear the knobbly plate armour of the orc who broke his fall called ‘cushioning’. <BR>Aching, spitting dust, he rolled away, and then opened his eyes just in time to take another roll sideways before a battleaxe came down where his head had been. He stumbled up to a crawl and kept going, with the singular idea that motion equalled safety. It had no basis in any logic, but was his one solid thought and better than scatterbrain panic. His bow was long lost, most arrows from his quiver had flown when he fell off the Fool’s horse. There may have been blades to pick up and use in passing, but fighting was not part of Matias’ ‘run and hide’ impromptu masterplan.<BR><BR>Blessed luck. An opening in the raging mass of bodies and blades, an opening straight into one of Beldarian’s buildings. He hadn’t even realised he’d gone that far, but who cared? Stone and mortar offered more substantial safety. The potential risks he was all too willing to ignore.<BR>He made a dive for the wall and thus avoided yet another fatal blow from the enemy. Scrambling up to follow the enclosure he found an opening, and a door leading inside-locked fast. He turned around to search for an alternative shelter, and ducked as a stone the size of a barrel flew past and shattered the door to splinters. The lock, however, solid piece of work, remained secure and in place.<BR>Holle almost laughed out loud and then ducked inside. The push through created a painful collection of splinters in his right arm, but now he was relatively safe, in a small empty courtyard where the battle had no reason to intrude. Grumbling and hissing with pain he examined his bloodied sleeve, it had ripped and the flesh was tender from the wood’s scrape against it. What a war wound.<BR><BR>Still, the safety was short-term. As usual, curiosity made his efforts at keeping back forfeit and Matias soon found himself peeking out of the broken door at the battle. A glimpse every so often of one of those he had barely had a chance to meet at the Hold, none at all of the Fool, or of Alayna. He was looking out hoping to catch sight of both of them. Façade was no friend but still one of the two most familiar figures in the chaos, and who knows, he might always be useful in getting out of the mess. It wouldn’t be the first time Holle would use him as a stepladder to escape.<BR>For the moment though, no ultimate prospects on survival, and no Fool or Assassin to be seen anywhere. Plenty of orcs, though. How the blazes would they...or perhaps that thought was too much to get into at the moment.<BR>So Holle didn’t get into it but stood well concealed by the shattered doorway, observing the battle rather like he had observed the fights at the Arena. Except he didn’t find it suitable to cheer at this time.<BR><BR>Alayna appeared nearby, suddenly, displaying her swordsmaster skills beautifully. If the orcs were moved by the craft they only showed it by redoubling their effort to hack the Assassin to pieces. It was a hypnotizing spectacle. Alayna was fighting like mad, and yet obviously wavered at the very edge of her strength.<BR>Then, she fell. <BR>Matias let out an involuntary cry and then ducked back behind the door, in case someone had heard or seen him. His heart beat a fraction faster than during the escape from the battle, and he felt a chill of cold sweat run down his back. Minutes that seemed like hours passed before he dared look out again. <BR>There she lay, abandoned by her attackers. Dead.<BR>Matias felt sick. There should be something he could do. Drag her body in here…something. <BR>Unexpectedly now he felt the sting of guilt, the cold reminder that by hiding, he had already resolved to do nothing.<BR>Damn it all!<BR>He looked out again, and she was obviously still lying there, and the fight had moved back a little. Someone else let out a cry. Holle just stared.<BR><BR>Then a stray group of orcs were running in from the left, perhaps having made another kill and rushing back to the heart of the battle. One, faster than his companions, or perhaps benefited with a head start, charged down more quickly and, focused on the battle ahead, stormed over the bodies, knocking against Alayna’s limp form with his heavy boot. And before Holle knew exactly what he was doing, he sprung from his hideout and stumbled to her side. The charging orcs let out a triumphant roar, spotting their next target, but in some unexplained moment of clarity of mind, as if someone had prompted him, whispered it straight into his ear, Holle remembered the magical rings, and pried Alayna’s hand open. How he knew it was there was not a question he had time to ask himself- he slipped the ring on Alayna’s bloodied finger and squeezed her hand closed tight, as if afraid that the magic would escape. The orcs swung their blades seconds too late. The portal had swallowed both.
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