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Epoch of the Abyss Read 3119 times

Thunderstruck

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Epoch of the Abyss
« on: July 22, 2015, 12:17:15 pm »
Kaymerus the Sigil stood in the open market of the merchants' quarter in the city of Harradden, one of the six major cities, and trading ports which dotted the Emerald Coast He'd been here since the various sellers had started setting up their carts, just before dawn.
The sun was up now, bearing the promise of clear, bright, beautiful day. The Necromancer perused a selection of melons, and squashes piled high in oxen drawn carts, all line up in front of a rather bland looking pavilion, signifying the merchant's common status among other sellers in the area. Though that meant nothing to the Sigil. He found the selection quite satisfying, and was well on his way to making some choice selections.
Originally he hadn't planned on buying anything, as he was mainly waiting for his friend, and travelling companion, an aging warrior, and former Sell Sword named Catherak. The pair had been hired a fortnight back to track down a curious little item for a certain influential noble, and had been paid rather handsomely for the success of their efforts. While none of that mattered to Kaymerus, Catherak on the other hand had taken a share of his half of the reward money to one of the more reputable and by the by, cleaner brothels to be had-no pun intended-in Harradden.
Catherak, was late, as was not uncommon. While the Sigil had an idea that his friend was fine, where the man, was, he had, nevertheless, sent an emissary after a fashion, to fetch the man. So, in the mean while, he had but to wait.

"See anything you like?",a young, moderately healthy man, said from behind the carts, but in front of the unadorned pavilion.
The Necromancer, said nothing, but merely nodded, and produced several large, silver coins, selected several of what the merchant had to offer, paid the man, and moved on down the line.
He heard the familiar clinking of weapons,, and thinking of Catherak, went to have a look. There, on the same side of the street, as the melon and squash seller, was the set up of an weapons dealer, the merchant's bright, polished selection brilliantly reflecting the sun

"See anything you like?" the seller said, and without waiting for a response, went into his sales pitch. "You did right in coming to me. Why these weapons are indeed the finest to be had. Take this axe here." he held up a double sided, one handed battle axe for his prospective customer's inspection. Now this here is dwarven made, and I swear to you on my dead mother's head, could slice dragon hide, in a single stroke!"
By way of reply, the Sigil reached into one of many pouches-each and all crafted from the skulls of various creatures-and produced what appeared to be a small, round gem, which seemed to glow a deep azure, from within. "Test that theory shall we?" he said
The merchant looked warily at the man clad in dark leathers, and mail, with skulls on his belt, as if truly seeing him for the first time. The weapons merchant sucked in a breath, and said-his voice now a little less certain, and more than a little shaky-Wha-what is that now?"
"That", Kaymerus said, "is a portal spell, suspended at the time of casting. We'll simply throw it to the ground, and the portal will appear. It leads to the mouth of a great dragon's lair. If that axe is a grand as you say, then one good swipe of it, ought to forever prove your reputation, as seller of weapons of unrivalled quality."
The merchant blanched, and went more and more pale at each of this strangely clad, prospective customer's words. Finally, not wanting to have to back up anything he didn't know he said, "Well, perhaps not a real dragon, but it can certainly tackle a good dragon shaped log. Of that I am sure...pretty sure."
Having gotten the truth out of the merchant, Kaymerus put away the small glowing marble, and proceeded to look around at the rest of the seller's wares, now that he was able to get an honest appraisal of each.
In the end, he did buy a few items. The so called dragon-log slaying axe, for common tasks, a seven flanged mace, in remarkably good condition-and of better qualitu than even the merchant knew. Lastly he'd bought a Rondel dagger, a dirk, and a broadsword, which upon magical inspection proved to be of an even greater value than its seller was aware. After haggling fiercely, using the merchant's fear of his potential abilities, such as sending him into the lair of a dragon, the Sigil got a good price for all.
He moved onto the next seller, and then the next after that, having full confidence, that Catherak, would be along directly.


Catherak, awoke early, just after dawn, if the light shining in around the closed shutters of the small room's lone window was any indication/ The wench he'd paid for, for the night, was still fast asleep, he shoulder keeping his arm pinned fast between herself, and the bed's straw mattress covered frame.
He had toyed briefly with the idea of going to back to sleep but thought better of it. He was awake before the girl was, which was good. Otherwise, she might have robbed him blind by now, despite that he had paid her a small noble's ransom for her services, and company for the entire night.
Now the immediate problem was, how to extricate himself from the girl's embrace, without waking her.
He mulled that over for a while, and finding no clear resolution, knew he had no choice. Half holding the girl with his other arm, he forcefully slid his trapped arm free, then let go of the girl and sat up.
Just then he heard a familiar clicking sound of claws on wood. At first he'd thought-or rather hoped-that it was a cat, having gotten into the room by some other, unseen means, intent on a mouse, but his gut instinct told him better than that.
The girl stirred, at his movement, and snuggled closer to the now sitting warrior. He noticed the clicking had stopped, but there was a faint sound of something rustling under the covers. Something small, and moving this way. He felt it then, on his leg, its cold claws lightly raking his flesh as it approached.

Just then, the girl was awake, and coyly said to the warrior beside her. "For a few sovereigns more, we could have a good quick tumble before breakfast." She reached under the covers, meaning to grab between his legs. Her unsuspecting hand seized upon something else instead. Here look of coy desire, turned to one of confusion, and then of shock, and finally horror, as she withdrew her hand from the bedclothes, to find a small, moving, skeletal lizard in her grip.
Heartbeats later, the entire brothel was awakened by an ear piercing shriek of sheer terror.

"Curse you Sigil!" Catherak swore under his breath, while trying to get dressed, grab his stuff, explain about the lizard, and avoid getting hit by the various objects being thrown at him, as he likewise attempted to make his way down the stairs to the front exit.

Roughly a quarter of an hour later, the aging warrior, found his Necromancer comrade in a small eatery featuring all the trappings of a farm fresh breakfast meal. "Couldn't you have just sent a message by official courier, like anybody else?" he asked. The smirk the Sigil flashed him was reminder enough. "Right" he said, "You're not just anybody else", the aging warrior said, as he took a seat, noticing an omelet on the table before him, prepared just the way he like it."His mood brightening somewhat as he took his seat, he said, "Now this is more like it."  taking up a fork and happily, hungrily digging in.


"Take a look at this." The Necromancer said as though he hadn't heard either Catherak's mini tirade, nor his positive appraisal of breakfast. He slid an opened, flattened scroll across the table to the warrior trying to stuff his face.

Cathaerak hurried to swallow, causing a momentary case of hiccups, which he quickly doused with a mug full of cold tea, from a pitcher just left of the table's center. No doubt Kayermus's doing, since tea would not be served even lukewarm at this time of day, let alone cold.
He glanced at the scroll; at the unfamiliar, old, even ancient looking script. "I cannot, as you yourself should well know." He shook his head, then asked the question he supped his cryptic friend was expecting him to ask: Alright then, what by the fickle fates, pray tell is that?"


"This" Kaymerus said, pointing at the scroll is one of the few written accounts of the sorcerer Morteshar, prior to his death, naturally."

""Naturally", echoed Catherak. "So what does a scroll penned by a dead mage have to do with anything?"

"Kaymerus could see he was losing his friend's attention, so he foled up the scroll, slid it lengthwise down into one of his skull pouches-all of which contained extradimensional space inside-then produced another from another pouch. Unrolling the second one, he held it out for Catherak, to examine. "Behold one of the maps of the Elven cartographer Elecettin."

Now this Catherak could read, but he noticed something strange about it. Specifically, in the upper left quarter, a section seemed to move and change as he looked at it. "It's moving. Why? What kind of map is this?"

Kaymerus smiled softly, pleased that he'd at least not lost the warrior completely. "The maps of Elecettin were enchanted, to automatically elvolve, along with the geo-political changes in the world, as they happened. That change your seeing is no doubt, some battle, somewhere concluding, thus redefining the political borders of one place to another.
"But that's not important. Look here, what do you see?" He pointed to a lone mountain, set apart from the rest in a range, by a large gap, or pass on either side.


Catherak looked at where Kaymerus pointed. "I see..." he paused, leaning in and squinting a bit for a closer look, sure he was not seeing what he thought he saw. "That's is odd. I think that's supposed to be the Castle Mount. The place where some old ruins of some battle is supposed to be." He looked ups at his friend for confirmation. "Right?" When he saw the Sigil nod, he noticed a strange soft tint, almost like a glow in the Necromancer's unique silver ringed dark green eyes.
"So then what does it mean?" he started to ask, regretting the question even as he formed, it, and came quickly to its logical conclusion. "We're not-" He stammered, looking for a justification that might allow him more time to relax. "But we just- I mean, that is didn't we just finish...?"
Finally he sighed, held up his hands and defeat. "We'll need supplies."


The Sigil beamed. "There is full market place just outside and down the street." he said, as he got up to leave, rolling p the map, putting it away, and leaving several coins on the table, to pay for their meal; chuckling slightly, as Catherak, slowly rose, wolfing down his eggs, and washing them down with the rest of his tea.

The pair of them left the restaurant, for the market. An hour or so later they set out of the East gate of Harradden, heading East, and slightly North.

"So you want to explain to me, why we always have to walk? I mean you used to be a mage right? Couldn't you teleport us there or something?"

Kaymerus shook his head. "Not all the way no. That place is untrustworthy, where transitory magic is concerned." He looked skyward, for a moment, then sighed. "But if it will cease your whining..." He produced a portal marble, from a pouch, and threw it to the ground. The marble transformed into a full sized portal. "This one will take us to the town of Toosel, about four leagues from here. There we may find suitable mounts, and you may take some of that rest you seek." That said, he led the way into the portal.
After they'd both cleared it, the portal disappeared. They stood on a forest road, just before a bend. From ahead there could be heard the sound of a river, and beyond that, the faint sounds of people.
"As, you're so fond of saying, come on then."


And that's just what they did. Over the river, and through the woods, to Toosel.


« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 09:36:07 am by Thunderstruck »

Peregrine

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 01:32:36 am »
Anne pulled the key from the lock and slipped it out of the latch on the front door and lifted the bracing bar it held in place before pulling the door open and letting in the cool morning air.

She shook her head at the man slumped and snoring against the wall just outside the door. She poked him with her booted toes, "Mig, get up, you're wife's going to be worried sick, and with good measure, sleeping outside like that." The man seemed to move in slow motion, still slightly drunk it seemed.

She rolled her eyes, glad to see was actually alive, which wasn't always the case with those that didn't take care in the night. She probably would have let him sleep it off inside if she'd been the one to lock up, but she had been busy doing inventory and had let one of her handful of employees take care of it. She'd have to remind them that anyone is welcome to the stones in front of the hearth if they were too drunk to walk home.

She took another deep breath and held in what probably would have been a satisfying sigh as she looked out the door at the still dark forest not far off. Her eyes narrowed at the shadows and a cool flash tingled under the skin on her ribs and arms where her reaping tattoos lay quiescent.

She debated for a moment before she heard her brother yelling at someone in the kitchen and she went back to opening shutters and setting down chairs.

"You know you have help to do that, and that it is a good several hours before anyone will even come in for lunch." Anne shrugged at her brother.

"Yes, but from what I just heard, you don't put very much stock in said employees."

He shrugged in return, something they had both picked up from their mother. "But that's why I only work here when you want to relax, if that is even possible for you." Anne rolled her eyes and threw a stray towel at him. "When is Ava arriving?"

She dropped the last chair to the floor and turned and looked out the window again. They were only a half days hard ride from the larger port city, but they did really good business despite that. There was the forest to contend with on all sides of this modest little town, and so they got many travelers either smart enough or scared enough to stop and stay over so they didn't have to travel at night.

In her few short years here, the stories of the things that creeped about in the woods and hills had gone from highly exaggerated, to frighteningly accurate. It didn't bode well that more spirits and ghouls were becoming bold. Though she was a tavern and inn owner, and a highly successful one, Anne's true talents she kept quite from the towns folk.

She was a reaper, a death warden, a spirit weaver- a Necromancer of great skill and power, but also a defender of light and life. She'd kept her small bit of haven protected more than once without the towns people ever knowing. More and more though, there was more to contend with, so she'd started to take practical measures like letting patrons sleep off their

"Anne?"

She shook her head, Ava could take care of herself. Anne actually had a rare smile come to her face, "She's supposed to be here in the next few days. It all depends on when her ship made it into port and if she decides to get a horse or catch a ride or walk."

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 03:30:56 am »
The town of Toosel was surrounded by a forest, this the half-siren knew, for she had been through it, and over it, several times in her decades of life. That day, Ava Irvin had a place to be—in the warmth of Anne’s tavern, and so she had taken to the skies rather than walk. It wasn’t often that she did so, for although winged creatures were known, they were not common.

Not all were as benign as her, either, and half of her was not known for being benign at all.

The wind rushed by her ears as the multi-colored wings pushed her through the air high above the forest. Even so, the woman caught the sound of howling and came to a halt in the sky, letting the wings flap slowly to just keep her aloft.

For a few seconds, Ava waited, listening.

It came again, and a smile lit on her face that most would find abnormal. The howl was bone chilling, threatening, but Ava dove down into the shade of the trees, letting her wings lift before she came into contact with the branches and leaves. There was an opening large enough for her not to scrape her feathers or clothing on them, and her heeled shoes found the ground.

One would think heeled shoes odd for a traveler, but they were the only things comfortable to the half-siren. Her feet had a natural curve that prevented the standard shoes of humans from being comfortable. The heel needed to be lifted and supported, or else flight was the only comfortable method of long-distance travel.

Fortunately, the skirts she wore tended to hide this, as well as how long her feet were. Otherwise they’d remember she was a “bird of prey”, with talons and feet meant to dig those talons into people.

Those feet led her on through the dark forest, her ears ever-alert for other sounds besides the howling. It ended before she ever reached it, but by then she had gotten a lock on the location.

As soon as Ava saw the tree, with its tendril-branches swaying, it started to howl again. All around it were bones and shredded flesh from creatures that had wandered too close, but in its heights were the red, eight-pointed star fruit that Ava knew as the ‘fruit of life’, a fruit many healers had died to obtain.

Besides being delicious, it was something of a miracle healer to all kinds of poisons, and so desirable. Naturally, that meant that it grew on something with more than just thorns to protect it. The howling was a warning, the way bright colors were a warning of poison.
“I don’t recall you being here,” she spoke to it, curious. Had it been so long since she had been around these parts?

Regardless,
“I will only take two,” one for Anne, for Anne would put it to good use, and one for herself.

A cautious foot was moved forward, and the tree howled again, the swaying of the branches becoming more erratic, more pointed.

Ava mimicked the sound with her second step, and then altered it, singing back to the tree in a calming lullaby to relax it. With the third step, the swaying became trembling, and by the fourth, the tree was starting to make the path open, the jagged edges of the branches furrowing around it and not lashing out at the intruder it now registered as one of its own.

Trees weren’t intelligent enough to realize, of course, that trees couldn’t walk.

Ava left the ground when she was close enough to the trunk, wings softly lifting her up to reach the fruits. She took two, stowing both in the cloth bag she had with her, full of such things, and other gifts for Anne from her travels.

What Ava forgot to consider was that the smell of fresh blood was not present. As she let her feet return to the ground, she was reminded of why that should have been significant as another sort of growling reached her ears. ‘Oh.’ Something wolfish was near. Her turquoise eyes shot to glance to the left, and she caught the creature of matted fur and dripping saliva. Its eyes were as orange as fire.

She couldn’t sing two songs at once. She could only pacify one of the two threats to her life.
‘I will make you into food, barghest.’ Not that it understood. It only understood that she was something of flesh and blood, and the tree was no longer threatening its life.

When it lunged, Ava cut off her song and used her wings to pull herself up. She didn’t escape unharmed, but she fared better than the barghest. That creature found itself impaled by several of the formerly trembling branches that shot forward at the threat.

Ava, too, was punctured by one. The blue skirt of her dress tore as it ripped through her leg, but it couldn’t pull her back down. The sky above the tree was open, for no other tree was allowed to grow too near the howling one. The blood dripped down, as did blue, white, and black feathers. Ava let out her complaint in a grumble.

However, she still had the fruit. Considering the risks others took for such a thing, she’d call this a victory. 

« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 03:43:55 am by Krystal Itzume »

Thunderstruck

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 07:06:39 pm »
As they rounded the bend, the hard packed earth of the wide, wagon tracked forest road, turned to loose earth covered flagstone. About a dozen yards later, the flagstone road became a bridge of intermixed flag, and unhewn stone, mortared together, crossing over a small river. Beyond that, the road continued into the forest, on a more or less straight path, of  mostly flagstone, but intermingled here and there with cobblestone.

"What kind of name is Toosel, anyway?" Catherak wondered aloud. "I mean what isa Toosel? Or is Toosel a who?" From about four paces ahead and to his left, he saw the shoulders of the Sigil rise and fall in a shrug. This surprised the more than middle aged sword slinger. To see Kaymerus the Sigil shrug, was something of a momentous occurrence, seeing as in the twenty some odd years he'd known the other, he could count on one hand, with fingers to spare, the number of times he'd witnessed the Sigil make that particular gesture. "What?" Catherak asked. "Don't you know?"

"No, I don't know." The Sigil said deferentially. "That surprises you doesn't it? That I don't know something, andthat I can admit it." Kaymerus stopped, and turned around. "This may surprise you my friend, but I do not in fact know everything. I am not a god. Old, yes, but still a mortal." He smiled one of those wistful, faraway smirks of his. "Just like you."

Catherak blurted, "You're not just like anyone."
At that he to stopped, as he watched his pale skinned friend tossed back his head an laugh a loud, deep, profoundly amused laugh "What?" he asked, stunned.



"Catherak, he said, "you amuse me. Truly it is a wonder, no kingly lord ever snatched you up as his court jester, he said still laughing, until at last his laughter died away, leaving a whimsical smile in its wake,

"Court Jester?" Catherak exclaimed, surprised.
"Be careful, you old bone peddler", he warned, though there was no real threat to the necromancer, in his words. Throughout the years, this had become one of their many games. Well, the Sigil's games, actually.
Before he could formulate further retort, movement from near the bridge caught his attention. Kaymerus, he noted had seen it too, for in a fluid movement too fast for his eyes to track, the necromancer had already drawn his weapon-an old, spiked goblin skull mage-and had it in hand, at the ready.
Catherak drew his long sword, a swift movement, of long practiced precision. Yet compared to the necromancer, one would think he had only recently taken to the blade. There, just before the bridge, stood, of all creatures, a troll. An ugly one too.
Granted, trolls were by nature, at least by most other creatures' perception, hideous, and grotesque to behold; this one seemed especially more so.


"So, you wisheth to crosseth my bridge doth thee?" Said the troll, in crudely mocked high speech, favored by the nobility of old. "If that be-eth the case, then thou need-eth to pay-eth my toll. And what sort of toll might one pay to a troll, thee asketh?"

"Flesh." Stated the necromancer flat out, before the troll could continue. "Flesh, and no small amount of blood. Preferably, freely offered, he continued. Freely offered, is of course preferable, as trolls are as notoriously lazy, as they are pungent, and stupid."
The Sigil watched the troll's jaw drop, its assumed air of class blown away like autumn leaves on a brisk wind. "How about if we paid in bone, and steel, instead?
Before the troll could react, the necromancer averted his gaze briefly to his sell sword companion. "Go get him, Catherak."


Both the sword wielding human, and the troll, stood beside themselves, respectively, but it was Catherak who reacted first. "Gee, thanks, Kaymerus." He said, in mock gratitude. "You're so generous, always thinking of me first." He drew his long sword with his right hand, sloughing off his back pack, to get to his kite shield, with his left. He slowly approached the troll, who in turn, seeing that it's version of the easy way wasn't going according to plan, put up its claws. Claws dripping with a mildly acidic venom.

"Cometh on then, Human" challenged the troll, "And let's see if you flesh canneth-"

The troll, never got to finish, as Catherak, never one to mix words with battle took a sword swipe at the troll. The latter cut short its litany, ducking, and backing up, to narrowly avoid having the top of its head cleaved in two. It came on again, pressing an attack. Catherk braced with his shield against a blow of sharp, claws. The claws hooked into the shield. Catcherak used the moment, to get in three minor hits. The first, a minor slice in the troll's side, eliciting a cry of alarm from the monster. The second, a withdrawal, turned back slash, taking the troll's left thumb, index, middle, and tip of ring finger. The third, a forward stab, up, shearing off the troll's left ear, three gold earrings, and all.

The troll, panicked, as it had clearly underestimated it's would be prey, took the swordsman's hit's with pained acceptance. Just then it felt new pains in its lower extremities. retreating, as much as it could with its right clawed hand still imbedded in the warrior's shield, looked back to find its feet, and legs being assailed by what? Bones! The skeletons of long dead, what was it, salamanders? Salamanders, yes, and fish, and the exoskeletons of long dead crayfish, had somehow reassembled, to taunt, and torment it.
Just then, its attention was caught by the second traveler. This one, pale, approximately human, making a 'come up' gesture with his hand.
The troll, watched in horror as the full skeleton of what? Of a wolf, exhumed itself from the ground, shook off years of dirt, leaves, muck, and worms from its remains, then howled, as it had in life, though there was no larynx to make the blood curdling sound issuing from its mouth.
The human with the sword, and the small skeletal creatures forgotten entirely, the troll tired to flee. Then jerked, finding its right hand still lodged in the warrior's shield.
It tried to break free, and was this time rewarded with no resistance at all. Or so it thought-

-for at that very moment, Catherak came out from behind his shield, in a mighty swing. He lopped off the troll's right hand at the wrist. Then he stepped back to allow the Sigil's raised wolf, to do its worst. Which it did. The skeletal lupine form charged full into the troll's front, goring its bony fang filled snout into the monster's chest, doing massive damage, all the while keeping the thing pinned to the ground.
The troll, cried out for mercy.
Mercy which Catherak granted, stepping in just then, to take the troll's head with one, carefully line up swing of his old long sword.
The wolf ceased its attack, likewise with the crayfish, and salamanders.
Catherak looked to the necromancer. "You could have warned me, you were going to do something like that."

"What, and tip of mister, 'Cometh on then?', here? I don't think so. I needed the time to locate, and summon something like that. You gave me that time. Thank you."

"So what do we do with the spoils?" Catherak asked.

"It's your kill, it's your spoils." Kaymerus stated matter of factly.

Catherak first picked through the grimy belt at the troll's waist, there wasn't much there. A dirty old pouch containing a few coins, and some rings, and various trinkets, of varying value. Next he looked for a liar near the root of the bridge, but found none. Either this troll had only recently set up shop at this bridge, or it laired elsewhere, and only worked this bridge, as it were.
When he was finished the pair of them resumed their trek. Or tried to.


For when they reached to far side of the bridge, with Kaymerus in the lead, the necromancer, walked into...something, and was set on his rump.

What is it? Catherak asked, as he watched the necromancer get up, his hands patting the air as though searching a wall, for a hand hold.

"I can't pass." said the Sigil, very puzzled. "There's a barrier here. The feel of it is magical in nature. The smell of it is necromantic. Or rather", he corrected himself, "Anti necromantic." He turned to his nonmagically inclined friend.
"Catherak", he said. "Go on ahead, into Toosel, and see if you can find the source of this. It will either be a person, or a totem of some sort. Either seek permission of passage, for me, or deactivation, of the artifact.
Please." He added.


Catherak, started to protest, but long years of experience had taught him better than to argue with the Sigil, once the other had made up his mind. And so, alone, and with great reluctance, did Catherak, go on into town, alone.
He spent the better part of the day, asking as close to unobtrusive questions as he could. The people of Toosel, though friendly, were not very forthcoming. That or they didn't know what the hells he was talking about.
On the brink of giving up, Catherak, stopped at long last in the Town's only tavern.
He went inside, sat down at the bar, and ordered a mug of ale. Out of ideas, he finally diecided on the direct approach. "Barkeep, he said." Howver the person tending the bar, proved not to be anything at all like he would have expected in any town, anywhere. the one to whom he had addressed as barkeep, was one of the more beautiful women he'd seen in some time. When he recovered his weary wits. he said, "Know anything about magical barriers? See, here's the thing. My friend and I were coming to Toosel, you see. To stock up on supplies, and maybe get a bite to eat, and a mug of ale. Well I would, I figured. Kaymerus doesn't partake too much. Anyhow, Kaymerus, my friend, got himself stopped just beyond this town's east bridge. He said he couldn't cross, though, I had no trouble with it myself. Kaymerus, my friend is well, I guess you'd call him a..a.." Catherak lowered his voice considerably, then added, "a necromancer."
Then, back in a normal volume he continued. Now, don't get the wrong idea. See, I guess you'd say he's really more of a priest. See, his full name, or title, or call it what you want, is Kaymerus the Sigil. He serves a god called Dualos, the Great Taker. Now those are his words, you see. I'm a man with both feet firmly planted on this side of the veil. Anyhow, the Sigil, said that the barrier just beyond, or just before the bridge, I suppose, depending on which way you're going, is of a nature to keep out magical things, and people. Most specifically, his sort of magical things and people.  Now we don't want any trouble, just to pass though, get the stuff we need, and then be on our way. We have this mission. Kaymerus says, that he thinks something bad from the past has risen again, and since stopping that kind of thing is the Sigil's stock and trade, as it were, it's his job to go and stop it. I'm going with him, because....well...Because that's what I do. But I can assure you, Kaymerus is nothing like the stereotypical kind of caster that one would expect a" he lowered his voice again "necromancer", then back in normal volume again, "to be. He said I should look for a caster, or an artifact, that might either make an exception for him, or that could be turned off long enough for him to walk through the mage wall, or whatever that is. You wouldn't know where I  find that person, or thing would you?"
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 01:16:03 am by Thunderstruck »

Peregrine

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 04:31:43 am »
The afternoon had been busy and the inn was nearly book as the afternoon stretched into the early evening. It would only get more crowded. People did not like to be in the woods these days, and she couldn't blame them.

Even with all the wards and spells she'd cast, she wasn't even comfortable letting people leave in less than pairs at night to go home. She'd laughed, and rolled her eyes at regulars and passers through alike... that was until the old warrior came and sat down across the counter from her.

She was about to ask what he wanted as she wiped at an already clean counter, when he asked her if she knew anything about magical barriers. Her eyes narrowed slightly, but she kept her face impassive the longer he rattled on. She could feel the chill of irritation creeping along the tattoos on her ribs and arms under her sleeves.

Necca had always told her the followers of Dualos were quick to action and slow to think, it seemed he was right if the man before her was any indication. What necromancer in their right mind would send someone like this out questing for answers, and in such a brazen and thoughtless way? She would think the man endearing if he was asking after something else, what with the way he talked and how he'd blushed upon walking up to the bar.

But looks were deceiving, Anne was proof of that. She was hundreds of years old, though she looked barely a day past her twenties. She also looked congenial, like a well liked confidant most of the time, rather than the power rich death reaper that she was.

He might look and sound the simple old worn warrior, but old warriors got that way for one of two reasons. This man didn't look craven, so Anne suspected the other reason- skill.

Her hand continued it's sweeping motions with the rag as he talked, though her fist had tightened on the rag and she debated on calling up one of her daggers. There weren't many reasons for a necromancer to be out traveling, and for all she knew this one that was being talked about could very well be part of the problem of the creeps and things going bump in the woods for all she knew.

She stopped her wiping and looked up at him, a cool menace in her eyes, as she leaned forward and kept her voice down, "And if I do know about barriers or casters or artifacts, what incentive would I have to tell a stranger, a passerby with an extraordinary tale, about any of those things? Many a tale weaver would act the dullard in order to gain access so they could then reap that which want."

She shook her head, "You're welcome in Toosel as you've been able to make it here, those that cannot get here on their own shows they have a measure of power to draw from. Your friend seems to be such, so it is unlikely he won't be able to fend for himself in the woods while you resupply. There is a path around to the other side of Toosel that will link up with the main road through the woods and I'd be more than happy to draw you a map after you've finished your stop here." She pulled back slightly and she put a somewhat warmer tone into her eyes, "Now, Ale was it?"

He was mad if he thought it was going to be that easy, that anyone would tell him, few though they were that knew about who or what kept them safe, just because he asked nicely. Toosel had stayed safe for a reason, and people knew better than to wantonly let anyone in, especially those with powers that the barriers kept out.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 04:13:18 am »
Ava Irvin knew that it would be unwise to continue flight with an injured leg for too long. For one, Anne was likely to fret, and Ava wouldn’t have that happening. While she could heal the wound while aloft, she could not necessarily treat it if it were to become infected, and Ava wished not to close venom inside of her body.

There was the scent of something else dead on the air, and Ava’s stomach grumbled its protest. She was much hungrier than she’d realized, and she chuckled at herself as she decided to at least see what it was, and rest there to check her leg over.

The bridge that she landed near was mostly empty of traffic, save an individual who had skulls about him. Most would think twice about such an individual, but Ava knew the deceptions that lied in form, so she gave him a polite smile before glancing over at what the deceased thing was.
‘Drat.’ Troll.

Ava had made a promise to her long-dead father not to eat of anything a human wouldn’t, no matter how hungry she got. While it could be argued that cannibals existed, and anything was fair game, Ava knew what her father had meant and she wouldn’t dare to cross that line lest she become as monstrous as some sirens were rumored to be, and seek only to fulfill her gluttonous desires.

She took a perch on the stone bridge, her sea-hued wings wrapping around her in a protective gesture,
“Hello there,” she greeted the stranger, no note of wariness in her tone. She found it odd that he was all on his own, since most did not travel alone, and she had never seen him before in Toosel so she knew not who he might be visiting.

Then again, perhaps he was going right through Toosel. She would think he lost someone, but she did not smell anything else meaty near the troll.

Ava did not look at him, for she didn’t need to. Sound was her preferred method of understanding others.

Besides, he had appeared a bit out of sorts. Rather than pay him much attention with her eyes, she paid attention to the wound. She lifted her skirt around her leg to see the wound that had been left and was still bleeding.
“Are you lost?” She inquired, tone indicating she was being attentive, even if her actions told another story. Her ears were alert.

Ava let her hand hover above the punctured flesh. She hummed, and channeled it down, so that the other would never hear the sound nor feel the disturbance of the vibrations as they sought out anomalies. None.
‘Good.’ The song changed. There would be no need to truly clean the wound if she closed it now, and so she let the skirt fall back around her leg and looked to the necromancer.

The song wouldn’t carry to him, and the fall of the skirt ought to cover the magic that wove its way to heal her leg. Ava had no reason to hide her talents, but she also had no reason to show them. She would look for this stranger’s answer, and then consider if delaying longer in getting to Anne was in her best interests or not.


Thunderstruck

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 09:27:50 am »
Catherak frown at the barkeep's less than positive response to his query. He was certain that she was either responsible for the barrier, or at least knew how to bring it down. However, he had seen such displays of utter refusal before. She had shut the door of this or any other inquiries, regarding the barrier, right in his face.
"Fine, then", he said, taking the mug of ale. He paid for it by way of three gold earrings, still attached to the troll ear, which he slapped on the surface of the bar. "You're one less troll, to thread your citizens, by the way.
Courtesy, of me and my friend." He got up to leave the bar, to take himself and his drink in search of any other who might be able to help. Before he entered the throng of patrons, though, he turned and said, "You're welcome."

He made a few inquiries in a more subtle way, with others, who looked like they might know something of the Arts. Most did not, a few did, but were either unable, or willing to help. Most simply had no either what the old sell sword was even hinting at.
Then, after a time, he came upon a man, who looked enough like the barkeep, to rouse his curiosity. "Scuse me, young master", he said, using the less common, more formal greeting which was once popular, among decent folk.
He took the man out of sight, aware that the barkeep's eyes were upon him, or at least tracking his approximate whereabouts. There was something familiar about her, which he could not put his finger on. Something which reminded him of Kaymerus.
When he got the man, more or less alone, he tried again. If he was kin to the barkeep, then perhaps, if he worded this just right, he might find an in.
"You look like the man to see about getting things done in this town", he said. He put as much genuine assumption in his voice as he dared. Flattery after all was like manure. You didn't want to lay it on too thick.
I've got a bit of a problem. I've got a friend. A priest of a goodly god, who seems to be having a bit of trouble getting into this town, if you now what I mean. I came on ahead, to see if maybe I could find the man in charge. Since you seem to be him, I thought maybe you could help.
"I'm not asking no favors, you understand. I'm talking about a service. Paid for in gold, or in like services, as might be needed. I noticed, your town is having a bit of a monster problem. Killed us a troll outside of Toosel, just beyond the bridge. A troll, to be exact. Maybe we, that is my priest friend, and me, could help you on that. I tried talking to the barmaid about it, and well. She wasn't very forthcoming.
"Now normally it wouldn't even be a big deal, except that according to my map, or rather my friend's map, Toosel is the only place to resupply for about twenty leagues in any direction. Since we're coming from the Emerald Coast, it'd be moot point to go all the way back there, only to come back.
"So, is there any way you could help a couple of weary travelers out, who are more than willing to pay for it?


********************************************************************

Kaymerus stood before the barrier. He'd tried a few old tricks, and some new ones, to no avail. Whomever had erected this barrier, wasn't fooling around with magic, and certainly knew what they were doing. He had no doubt, that trying to force his way through would result in his death.
He had thought to pass the time with a little game of Spectral Chess, when the sound of wings, caught his attention.
He hastily dismissed the board, and players, all of which disappeared in a wisp, of iridescent, blue vapor.
Two skeletal lizards which had been playing a light hearted game of hail and seek throughout the various pockets, and pouches on his person stopped what they were doing, and immediately froze in place where they were. Better to appear as strange, eccentric jewelry about their master's person than to reveal their true nature. One stood stock still on either shoulder atop his shoulder plates, like decorative regalia.
The skeletal wolf, remained at his side though. He had gotten the distinct impression from the former beast's essence, that it had no desire to return to its improper resting place beside the road. The Necromancer could empathize. He would not want such a fate either. So to honor the former beast's wishes, he kept it around. Besides, it might again prove useful.

He was a little surprised at the winged woman's approach, but only a little. He'd seen far more exotic beings in his long life. His grandfather, case in point.
Using a combination of both physical, and spectral sight, he assessed her. She seemed to be injured, however slightly. Her Aura while a little odd, did not appear evil. He opted to see where this went.
When she spoke, her tone carrying a note of concern for his well being, rather than her own, he made up his mind that she was most likely of the good variety.
"No", he replied, casually, keeping his tone level. "Not lost. Stuck. There appears to be a barrier just beyond this bridge, which I cannot pass through. I sent my traveling companion on ahead, to find out if there is anything to be done about it. With all of the monsters around these parts, I can understand the need for such a thing. My issue is that the magical wall seems to have mistaken me for something more threatening.
"I can help you with your leg if you wish. I'm well versed in the healing arts."
The skeletal wolf beside him rumbled in agreement, for clearly it viewed its resurrection as a kind of healing.
"Oh I forget my manners. This is...well, actually I haven't named him yet. We've only recently met, you see."
He gestured toward the dead troll, by way of an explanation.
He looked to either shoulder, and said, "Okay guys, the jig is up, you can move now."
The bony lizards imitated releasing breaths, they weren't really holding, and turned to regard the newcomer with wings, all the while snapping their mouths up and down-an imitation of the chittering, they would have done in life.

"My name is Kaymerus." He said simply. He used to use the whole title, but time had taught him better of doing that.
He did not ask after the girl's name. If she chose to give it, that was her choice.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 02:11:26 pm by Thunderstruck »

Peregrine

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 07:16:40 am »
Anne glared, removing the offending ear from her counter with a wave of her hand. She turned away and forced herself to let herself think of other Catherak's she'd met in other times, or the name this Catherak had said. Well, she tried to force herself not to think of that other man of the same name, with the same friend Catherak she'd met in other lives. It could all be coincidence, she wanted it to be, desperately. She couldn't think that this life would ever bring her to that point, what with her moving and hiding away from all known and familiar every handful of years. Well, everything known besides Ava and Barrond that was.

Fate was a cruel and unusual punisher though. On that same thought though, she hoped that no one would be forth coming and Catherak would simply leave and return to his Necromancer and that would be that. Distracted by customers and her worries about what might be, she lost him in the crowd just before he went sauntering up to Barrond.

Barroned raised a brow at warrior, who while large in stature, was still smaller than Barrond himself. He also was old, but looked young, so didn't correct the man when he called him 'Young Master'. Something about him was startlingly familiar, a shadow of a memory tried to stir, made him feel as if he could trust the man, despite some glaring holes in his knowledge of him. His name and his friends name for starters. The friendly feeling made him listen and nod along. He glanced over through the growing crowd at his busy sister.

He smirked a bit, had she not given him power to take charge of the tavern and her self imposed protection duties, what with Ava coming and them planning to scamper off to 'play' among the creepy crawlies of the forest? He turned back to Catherak and dropped a large hand over the man's shoulder, "Troll killer you say? I do like a dead troll. Seems poor manners for us folks here in Toosel to not repay such a help, though we seem to get a new one at that bridge every few weeks and were just getting ready to rid ourselves of this newest one soon. Suppose you saved us the trouble." He scratched at day old whiskers.

As much as he liked to annoy Anne, he didn't like putting her in danger. "I can offer you each a ring to wear while you're here. It should get your friend through the barrier, but it will also bind any powers he and you have. You won't be able to remove these rings unless their spell caster allows it inside the barrier or until you cross the barrier again and then they'll return to me."

He studied the man, "If you cause trouble while you're here, I'll personally see to it that there will be no further toll slaying in your future, understand?"

If he agreed Barrond would offer him two rings from a leather strap tied inside a hidden pocket in his leather vest.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2015, 07:06:43 pm »
The figure before her was a necromancer. That much became clear for multiple reasons, the wolf, the lizards, and the barrier keeping him out all a decent reason. If he sent a traveling companion ahead, no doubt he was a living one. Ava’s lips turned to frown, wondering now about the one before her.

She loved Anne beyond song, and that meant she did listen to what Anne had to say about necromancers—even if it could be considered hypocrisy at times. Ava knew that not all were as good as her friend. However, that left the opening for those good ones to exist, too, and Ava was ever an optimist.
“No, the barrier has not mistaken you.”

He offered to heal her leg and she chuckled and let herself slip from the bridge to stand,
“I appreciate your offer, but my leg is fine now,” a quick lift of the skirts would show that, indeed, the injury was gone. The blood still stained her, but she couldn’t wash that out so easily. No doubt, Anne would see the blood on her dress, or the tear, and still fret a bit. 

The skirts dropped back around her legs,
“It is good to meet you,” she spoke to the wolf, and then giggled as the lizards moved, “And you two. My name is Ava Irvin,” she had no qualms of identifying herself. If he had heard of her, it was likely good—she was a traveling healer and songstress, after all. She didn’t believe many bad rumors followed her.

Alas, she hadn’t heard of Kaymerus.
“I can help you through, but,” she wouldn’t dare to bring something into the town that Anne would dislike, “I need to understand your philosophies a bit,” her hands went behind her back, clasped there to rest at the end of her spine. She would offer him no further hints about what she wanted, or what she didn’t want. She’d be listening intently. Though she couldn’t always pick out every lie, she’d been listening to Kaymerus speak and picking up on his mannerisms. She’d have to consider how he chose to give his philosophies to her, against how he’d introduced himself and explained his situation.

Most people spoke a little differently when they were composing a lie.


Thunderstruck

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 09:06:44 pm »
Catherak, wasn't pleased about the idea of rings that would bind Kaymerus's abilities, but for himself he couldn't careless, for he was, as the Sigil was wont to point out, less magical than a tree stump.
"Very well, he said to the other man, that is an acceptable arrangement. Accepting the rings, he placed the first on his finger, without hesitation. He felt no different; indeed this ring felt to him no different than any other magical ring he'd ever put on. He did get the sudden feeling that this new ring, would mitigate the powers of his other magical rings for as long as he wore it, but then, with the barrier in place, he needn't worry about that stuff. Besides, he was an accomplished swords man, and fighter in general. He didn't use the magic items he wore, half of the time anyway.
Thanks, again, friend. Nice to find a reasonable sort in a reasonable town. I'll go get my friend."
With that, he bee lined for the exit, offering a light salute to the woman behind the bar. Upon leaving he set his now empty ale mug on the tray of a passing serving girl.
Out in the street, he walked briskly back the way he had come, sword hand resting on the pommel of his long sword, out of habit.
When he neared the barrier, and the bridge beyond it, he could see Kaymerus having a little chat, with what appeared to be a very beautiful woman, as if the Necromancer had had not a care in the world.
Which given what he knew of the Sigil's abilities, he probably didn't.


Kaymerus shrugged lightheartedly, as though it were a small matter. As though she had asked him to express his opinion about the annual rain fall on the Emerald Coast.
"Certainly", he said. "Though my philosophies, and the dogma of my religion vary somewhat.
"I am a priest of Dualos, the Great Bestower, and the Great Taker. The principles of my faith are to do my best to ease the suffering of people in life, as Dualos eases the sorrows which they bring with them beyond death, for all eternity. Granted the latter, is for those who choose an eternity in his realm.

My Philosophy is that to do that, I must often pit myself against various powers-often powers of darkness-which threaten the prosperity in general, of people, in general. I am by purpose and ability a Necromancer, as you have seen. However it is my calling, and my code, not to abuse this for personal gain, but to use it for the betterment of this plain, as it honors my god, and as it hinders, the forces of evil."
He took a breath, realizing he'd said all of that in one breath.
"There, that is, as they say, my philosophies, in a nut shell."

About that time Catherak came happening by. The warrior passed through the barrier, like passing from shade into sunlight.
"And this is Catherak," he said, without missing a beat. My friend, travelling companion, and periodic body guard.


"Right, as if you have ever needed any of the above." Catherak retorted.
A man in town gave me rings, to let you pass. I had to wear one too, that was the deal. The rings will prevent you from using your powers in town, but will return to the guy who gave 'em to me, the second we leave, out the of the barrier on the other side.


Kaymerus listened to his friend. He was slightly wounded at Catherak's suggetstion that he needed no friends, but showed it not at all. He listened with no small interest to the warrior's description of the rings, and likewise saw that Catherak had already donned his, thinking it no matter. "Hmm", he said. "Catherak, do go into your pack and get the gold we'll need for trading, hmm?"

Catherak swore at this, knowing full well the Sigil could just do it himself, but he complied. He unslung his pack, opened it up, and...nothing happened. "It won't work", he said. "I can't summon one sigle thing.

"Thought so", Kaymerus said thoughtfully, a finger on his lip. "It seems as these rings prevent any such magical dealings by the wearer, whatsoever. "He observed." Catherak, feeling, like the world's biggest pile of dragon dung, swore more vehemently, that before, while he re-donned his pack.
"Turn around my friend", Kaymerus said, not bothering to hid the amusement on his thin, too pale face. Catherak did so, and the Necromancer dug around in the warrior's pack of holding, until he had produced several pouches, which he visually confirmed held silver, or gold.
Having done this, he tied a few to his waist, and bade Catherak, to do likewise.
Nex he took off this doublet, expanding inner flaps. "In, he bade the skeletal wolf, and the lizards.
Once done, he slipped on the ring, which Catherak had gotten from town.
"So be it" he said. "We're here to make trade, not war."
With that done, he gestured to Ava, and finished the introductions. "Catherak, this is Ava Irvin, a fellow traveler."
He suspected she was more than that, but he didn't let on about it.
"Come Catherak." He said.
Testing out the barrier, again, it seemed to not exist. He shrugged, and passed through.


"Pleased to meet you." The old warrior said to the woman. His first appraisal of her appearance did not due her justice. She was more than beautiful, she was ravishing.
He looked her up and down, but not in a lascivious way. "Nice to see the old bone peddler's tastes have improved, over the years.
"Shall we go, miss, Irvin, was it?"


Toosel was not entirely what the Necromancer had expected. Sure it had all the trappings of a forested frontier town, but there was something different about it. The people, for the most part, seemed relaxed. This was not a common thing to find in a place even if it had a large garrison, which he heavily doubted Toosel did. Catherak had nudged him to show him the tavern, where he'd had a little trouble before acquiring the rings. The Sigil, merely nodded, and silently instructed Catherak, to go about getting some of the things they would need. The Sigil would see about the rest.
But first, he wanted to see, who in this tavern, had caused Catherak, so much grief. The old warrior was not prone to grudge holding, figuring, that was just the way the world worked, but while the swords man appeared over it, the Necromancer could tell, he was still fuming.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 10:50:52 pm by Thunderstruck »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2015, 07:01:13 am »
Ava listened attentively to every detail, her eyes not so much as blinking while Kaymerus spoke. It was a bad habit of hers, another aspect of her half-blood. Sirens were, after all, predators to the core. Blinking in this world meant losing prey, and when Kaymerus spoke he was prey in the sense that she was seeking him. Seeking his truth.

‘Dualos, now that is a familiar name.’
One Ava was meant to be wary of, but as she listened, she heard that this one—though he might end up rash—was not the sort who would mean harm in Anne’s lands.

It was his words that rung true, and his lips followed the movements of those words accurately. There was no trick in the sound. He said it all in one breath, and when he had finished, Ava’s lips curved up in a smile.
“Well met, Kaymerus,” she said before her turquoise gaze jumped to take in his friend, finally blinking. The smile didn’t fade as she looked over the swordsmen. He was the sort she was used to entrancing for extra coin at her shows, the sword who understood little but material pleasures.

Well-intentioned and good-hearted. They made an interesting pair, she decided.
“And well met, Catherak.”

Rings were mentioned, and Ava glanced at them. She hummed as if in thought, but it was a pulse to investigate the items herself as she saw it on the warrior’s fingers. It rang back in her head like a shriek, and Ava winced. It sent her magic right back at her, a powerful binding spell indeed, as Catherak said. She likely wouldn’t be able to override it easily, not that she would. She could guess which man gave the rings to this Catherak, and she wouldn’t want him wroth with her.

She stepped aside to observe as Catherak swore and went about his orders, the dutiful assistant to the necromancer. It seemed the bag they had was magical.
‘Now that could be useful.’ Ava had heard of these things, but did not have one. All of her supplies weighed on her, which at times could be quite the weight. Usually it was not. Herbs were rather light. It was when she made them up into balms and creams, and stored them in metal or glass that they became heavy. Right now, most of her supplies were in a more pure form, as many were meant as gifts to Anne from her travels for the woman to do with them as she liked.

Coin was taken out, and Ava smiled as Kaymerus decided to put on the ring,
“You are the noble sort,” she commented. She could have taken him in, now, if he had asked, but he still put on the ring. She was pleased with his decision nonetheless. He was playing by the rules. She’d make note of it to Anne, since the woman was bound to find out this individual was in her lands.

The trio walked on towards the town, through the barrier that Ava felt ripple over her. It was that sensation which always reminded her of one other thing—wings. Though it was likely plenty in the town knew she wasn’t as human as she could seem, she didn’t like to give them more reason to suspect her.
“It is good to meet you as well, Catherak. You can call me Ava, I’m not terribly concerned with formalities,” she informed him in a sweet voice, “What brings you two to this area of the world?” she inquired.

In the time that Catherak, or Kaymerus, would answer, she again began to hum. She kept the radius of sound around herself, controlling the vibrations back to her wings.

The sea-colored wings trembled, and they would start to pull back and seep into her, melting into a tattoo that would paint her shoulders and upper back, a tattoo of the wings themselves. It was agony, but a familiar agony that Ava kept at bay by focusing on the song that brought the wings into her flesh. It would certainly look odd, but she wasn’t terribly concerned with either this necromancer or his sword seeing it.

They were likely familiar with many oddities as it was.

When the wings were gone, she would pull at the sleeves of her chemise and bring it over her shoulders, as well as the strap of her dress. Some of the tattoo would remain visible on her back despite the fall of her hair, but most would overlook it.

They arrived in Toosel, and Ava turned with a smile to both,
“Well, I have a friend to see here. I may see you two around, but I do not wish to keep her waiting. I hope you have a pleasant stay, and a good journey, if I do not see you again!”

With that, Ava spun away from them both, and hurried ahead, off in the direction of the familiar inn. As always, the place was crowded.
“Excuse me,” though the word was whispered, it held a note of persuasion that caused people who might not have moved, or who may have been too drunk to comprehend, to move, allowing Ava to make her way easily to the counter and occupy a stool. There she sat, and there she would wait until Anne found her. It wouldn’t take long; Ava just hoped that it would be a surprise, and that Anne hadn’t noticed her entrance.

Thunderstruck

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2015, 10:44:13 am »
At Ava's inquiry into the nature of their business in Toosel, Catherak said simply, and honestly, "We're here to buy supplies."
When Ava bid them adieu, the warrior, made a gesture half way between a nod, and a bow, which was meant to be taken half way between respectful, and endearing; for truly this woman-for though she was of a strange nature, she was certainly all woman, as far as Catherak was concerned-was much easer on the eyes, than his day to day exposure to the Sigil's mug.


Kaymerus had never been more proud, than he was in that moment, when Catherak answered Ava's question as to their business in town, with honest ambiguity; though he kept his own features impassive. He was not phased by the woman's magical effects. Having already learned from the use of spectral sight, that she was not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill mortal, it was not overly surprising to witness such effects coming off of the woman.
When she bid them adieu, he was going in the same direction, when Catherak called his attention back.


"Oh, no, ye old bone peddler, Not this time. You can do your sight seein' after we have both done our trading. I may yield to your whims most of the time, but if you think I'm handling all of our supplyin', all by myself, you are gravely mistaken."

If Catherak was aware he'd just made something of a pun, given then nature of the one he'd addressed, the warrior did not show it. Instead, the Necromancer frowned slightly. He did not like putting his curiosity on hold. However, Catherak was correct, the duty of supplying them both for this fateful, and potential fatal errand, was his responsibility in equal measure.
Reaching into a mundane pocket of his doublet, he pulled out a scrap of parchment, rolled up around a char stick, unrolled it, and began writing. "Catherak, fill this list, if you would. I shall handle the rest."


Catherak looked at the list. "Rope, trail rations, water skins, flint, and tinder..." The list went on like that, until it came to the bottom. "A walking stick? What for? You have several, already. Is this some eccentric hobby of yours?"

"Get two of those. Make sure they are of local wood, and make sure one is quite thick. I'll fill the rest." Before the warrior could question him further, the Necromancer waved him off.
For his part, Kaymerus stopped first at the Seams mistress's shop. There wasn't likely to be much activity in a market at this time of the day, but given that he'd made no move to hide his skull pouches, he didn't want to rouse any trouble. Granted, Catherak was a fine swordsman, and he himself an accomplished melee fighter, even without his powers. However, he had no desire to engage in battle over some local's misconceptions, regarding his appearance.
He had picked up a waxed canvas cloak, with pockets, in that light dusty shade Catherak preferred. This would also replace the one he owed his friend from the previous year, when Catherak had had to forsake his previous one because it had been used as an arm shield, and was lost to a ghoul's claws.
For himself, he picked out one of a light green, homespun material. Just something to hide his more uncommon accessories.  The woman had tried to charge him thirty-five Labors. That was,  large copper coins given to field hands, and the like. She had decided to press her luck, by saying he could give her twelve Guildsmen. Gulidsmen, in this case, were small silver pennies, usually paid out to unskilled workers, performing menial tasks for a guild.  It was unlikely that this woman had ever seen a real Trades Guild member, before, but clearly, from a trade standpoint, she knew her way around currency.
He ended the haggling by producing two gold sovereigns, and a silver of like size, for her troubles, and called it even. The look of mixed shock, and joy, she flashed him as he left, his new cloak concealing his person, made it all worth it.
Next he went to the apothecary, for his own list of certain herbs, plants, tinctures, balms, and salves.
While he knew the value of mixing these tings himself, time, and experience had taught him, never to acquire the pre-made stuff, when available.
While that list was being filled, he visited the local blacksmith, bought a couple of small knives, for cooking, an iron ladle for soup, and another piece, which the blacksmith had said was an implement fail, that he was going to have to melt down and remake into something else. Kaymerus bought it off of him, as is.
By that time a young boy, the apothecary's apprentice, came to fetch him, to let him know his list had been more or less filled, and was ready for pick up.
Indeed, most of his list was filled. The rest the apothecary didn't have, or couldn't identify. It was just as well.
He paid the apothecary, as generously as he had paid the blacksmith, and the seams mistress.
Next he stopped by the tanner to see about leather packs, and saddles. If Catherak was at the top of his game, the warrior should be at the livery stable, about now, securing mounts.


Catherak wasn't the smartest man in the world. but he could haggle his way around a market place, they way a thunder drake could smash its way through a castle's defenses. Very well in other words.
He knew Kaymerus was wont to be overly generous with their coin; which meant he himself, had to be especially frugal, and even cunning. He had the rope, the waterskins-had even gotten a couple extra for wine-the camp supplies, and was just closing the deal on a couple of good horses. One a tan colored one, in its prime. The other a black one, just past its prime. The horses, just past middle age, for horse life, tended to put up less of a fight, around Kaymerus.
When he finally found the Necromancer again, Catherak had eagerly accepted the task of seeing to the horses' shoeing, and saddling. Kaymerus, and horses, as a general rule, did not mix.


Kaymerus, and Catherak, had completed their tasks, in less than two hours; a personal record for both. But now the sun was past its apex. While the Necromancer had no qualms over travelling toward, in, or after dusk, Catherak did. Besides, he knew the warrior would want a good meal, and a few good drinks, and a good bed. He would deny him those.
As Catherak tended to their knew mounts, the Sigil went to the inn to see about dinner, drinks, and lodging for the night. He himself wanted to be out of Toosel, as soon as possible-he didn't like being restricted from his magic-but he knew Catherak might not have those things he enjoyed most-well, most of those things he enjoyed most-again, if the Sigil's worst fears were confirmed.
Besides, he felt it was time he met with the person who had given Catherak such a run for his mettle, earlier in the day.
With that in mind, and his hood drawn, he entered the inn.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 06:33:54 pm »
Anne had lost track of Catherak by the time he'd found Barrond and the exchange of rings had happened. The place was busy tonight, regulars and travelers alike.

It wasn't so busy that when about a little less than an hour later she didn't feel a tug on her power connected to barrier. Something or someone very powerful had just passed through, several somethings actually, though she could tell the powers were tempered. It could be Ava, but it usually felt different when she passed though. Maybe she'd brought a friend? She was mostly certain of her work, but there were powers greater than her own out there, not many she'd encountered, but still.

Her brow furrowed and she looked up from the drink she was pouring, as if she could smell or see the distance, though she couldn't. She stopped short of over filling the glass and handed it to the patron before moving down the bar to her Brother.

She jerked her head slightly to the side and he came over. "Something... powerful just stepped through the barrier, keep a sharp eye. It could mean trouble."

Barrond shrugged, "Or it could be the fellow and his friend I gave binding rings to since they got rid of the bridge troll for you."

Anne's face instantly flushed and her eyes flashed violet-black, then back to their odd amber/violet mix. Barrond raised a brow. She took a few breaths, "You did what exactly?"

Barrond smiled, he'd obviously done something extra irritating. Anne could blow up when angry, but when she stayed calm and in control was when she was at her most dangerous. "A fellow came and told me he and a friend had dispatched our troublesome bridge troll, but his friend couldn't get through the barrier so they could resupply. Figuring on the type he was- someone like yourself I might add- I offered to let him through if they would wear the rings you'd given me for such folk. They just want to resupply and go about their business in the forest. Might rid us of more of the creeping things."

Anne's fists had tightened so hard her knuckles were bleach bone white. She took another breath, pursing her lips. If she didn't make too much of this, Barrond wouldn't remember that most likely he'd already met these two particular characters in other lives he'd traveled with her. Ava might not either. That was one of the odd nuances of the spell, sometimes the people around her remembered on their own, but sometimes they didn't remember like she did until circumstances or her own mouth revealed it.

She'd rather not remember all her alternate lives and the people she'd loved and lost or harmed in them, but these two men in particular. She needed to tread very carefully. "Fine, but when you get the rings back, I'm taking them. You have no idea how incredibly stupid it is to give them to people you don't know."

She stepped away before he could reply and went back to work, the bar crowded. Awhile later she looked up, her eyes closing as the last light of day chased to find her face through a window as it dipped below the treeline. She was blessed like her mother that light always seemed to seek her out despite her other tendencies and inner darkness. The light always helped to pull her mood up a bit.

So when she opened her eyes and they fell on Ava, a rare smile split her face. She moved down the bar and summoned a glass and a bottle of her friends favorite and poured. "Well, you certainly are a sight for sore eyes. How long have you been sitting there? You should have said something!"


Ava’s own smile broadened when she recognized the moment Anne saw her. She sat up straighter, only to cross her arms over the counter and lean forward. She never had a problem hearing Anne, and Anne never had a problem hearing her, but she liked to imitate the intimacy of human friends.

She looked down to her bag, and drew from it one thing, though she kept it beneath the counter.

Much as she allowed exceptions around Anne. She was a woman of tea, but here she had elderberry wine, for Anne had found the most delicious brew in the lands. Ava wouldn’t drink it elsewhere, even if she saw it. It had too much sentimental value.
“I didn’t want to disturb you,” Ava answered, and both would know it for a lie. “I was not sitting long though. Not even five minutes,” she promised her, and then lifted the beautiful star-shaped fruit up and onto the counter. “I found you that, rather close, actually,” she spoke with a bit of puzzlement at that, before saying, “I’ve brought other gifts as well.” That one was still the prize, in Ava’s opinion, and so would be shared first.

Why do things backwards? Even desserts should be first.
"How are you, my dear Anne?"

Anne's fingers traced delicately over the fruit, surprised and unsurprised at the same time. Many strange things were appearing in her forest as of late. "A lovely gift indeed." She let the black inky tattoos on her arms come to life and swirl around it, letting it disappear and be stored in a place almost no one could get to.

She shrugged her shoulders and gave a tired smile, "The tavern life is good..." her eyes glanced around once for listening ears, "but I hunger for a bit of the darkness lurking in the woods if I'm honest. It was good you wrote when you did or I might have had to go hunting alone." Her eyes flashed full violet, a wicked smile on the edges of her lips before her face went back to its usual stoicism and her eyes their odd mix of violet rimmed amber.

Those same eyes gave her friend a more thorough looking over and her brow arched, "Your gift came with a cost. Is it needing looking after?"


Ava saw that devious flash in Anne’s eyes, and banked her own lust for the hunt. Certainly, her own turquoise eyes stirred with it, though, like the waters her mother hunted in.

She brought the cup to her lips. The true offer of intoxication was already spoken.
“I am glad you waited,” and she drank deeper then. Anne was one of the few that Ava ever allowed to even see her hunt. She tended to try and eat semi-cooked meat, as well, out in public.

Scaring others wasn’t high on her priority list, nor was being chased away.

She smiled at Anne’s query and said,
“I have already tended it myself, and I assure you I am well now. It is only the dress I cannot fix,” a sad state of affairs, really. She’d have to get a new one before leaving. “I do believe that the forest requires a looking over, though, with the oddities growing there. These other things, however, come from abroad.”

And then she dug into the bag and laid the rest of the items out—dried herbs, powdered things, and a sweet, chewy treat from across the sea that Ava had found to be quite enjoyable when she’d tasted it. Most of the items she’d brought were raw ingredients, though a few tins of balms were also placed there, ones Ava had crafted herself from ingredients she couldn’t bring over so easily.


Anne inspected each item carefully as they were laid out on her bar and then spirited them away the same as she'd done with the fruit. Everything Ava brought was far to valuable to leave about for any sticky or stupid fingers. "Well, you know that you cannot bring gifts and not get any in return." She smiled and twisted her wrist, the black swirling about her fingers of both hands and cloth spilled down from it before the shadows retreated back into the tattoos that peeked out just below her elbows.

She held up two items in each hand, two dresses, a specially cut cloak that would accommodate Ava's wings when extended, and bag made from what looked like pure white leather, something only a few creatures produced. Anne draped them across the bar. "I had several patrons that couldn't pay in coin, and a rather industrious bridge troll." She chuckled, "I jest about the troll, though we seem to be having a problem with them of late and I can't be rid of one more than a few days before another shows up. I haven't found many of them had much worth keeping."

Barrond walked up then, grinning and slapping Anne on a shoulder. He leaned forward as if going to speak conspiratorially with Ava, even putting a hand up next to his mouth as if Anne couldn't hear every word, "You showed up just in time Ava. All your gifts seem to have made Anne forget she's irritated with me."

Anne rolled her eyes. He was her brother, so he knew there was rarely a time she wasn't irritated with him, but she simply shrugged his hand from her shoulder. "I wouldn't be irritated with you if you weren't such a trusting dolt."


Gifts for gifts, though Ava was always surprised by what Anne came up with. Ava usually brought things of a similar vein, plants and the like. Anne’s gifts were always useful—like the cloak that would be wonderful for her wings, and the new bag. “Mine was getting old!” She laughed at the sight of the white leather. This would be quite useful, and meant she would not need to worry over shopping for one. Nor a dress!
“Thank you,” the smile on her face was wide, sincere, before her eyes fell back to assess each item.

She would have to pack them all away in the room she got, and then be sure to pack them up nicely when she left, but she did not yet wish to fold the dresses.

The cloak, however, she draped over herself just as the brother approached. She smiled and leaned forward, miming the conspiratorial game with him.
“You’re welcome, then,” Ava winked, and another bit of laughter slipped her lips as Anne expressed what the cause was. Ava canted her head then, laughter turning to a curious smile, “Would this trusting extend to an act of giving a necromancer and his unmagical companion binding rings? I believe I met them both near one of your troublesome trolls.”

One of them. That there were more was another reason to investigate the forest. Not just to hunt, but to find out what was going on just outside of Anne’s barrier.
“Kaymerus of Dualos and his guard Catherak. Kaymerus did not seem as rash as others of Dualos, though he did have a few creatures raised with him,” wolf and lizards, she recalled. “Nor did he seem malign. He did not speak in a liar's fashion to me,” Ava added, hoping to quell some of Anne's irritation, as well as any worries she might have of those who had come into her town.

Anne visibly winced when Ava used the names and Barrond instantly put a fist through his hair and growled at her. After a moment more he opened his eyes, rare rage burning in them, "You knew, didn't you? When I told you about the rings. You knew I let them in. Why in Neccas name didn't you say anything?"

Anne closed her eyes and let out a long sigh, surprised their names alone hadn't triggered memories in Ava when she met them. But perhaps she wasn't close enough to Anne until now, or perhaps the spells wouldn't work that way this time and she wouldn't remember at all. Ava didn't always remember, but sometimes did through some variation of magic and her own peculiar linage that allowed her to. She was less surprised that Barrond remembered them once the names had come out of Ava's mouth. He'd traveled with her into those other lives, after all, it was easier for him to remember.

"I had hopped they would go unmentioned and unnoticed. That they'd simply resupply like they said, and leave. I'm certainly not going to go seeking them out."

"Damn right you're not. I don't think one life ended well with him involved."

Anne repressed another sigh and bit back a correction. Several of her possible paths had ended well with him with them but Barrond hadn't lived long enough to see the end of those ones. Anne never seemed to get to keep all those she cared for alive, at least not all at the same time. She shook off the gloomy feeling.

"Like I said, no seeking. In fact, I think it might be best if I help Ava get settled and not tempt fate. That is if you think you can keep the place from falling into chaos without me for an evening."

Barrond crossed his thick arms crossed his chest, "Ye of little faith."


Ava stared unblinking at the pair as her words had an affect she did not intend. It seemed these names meant something to the pair, something from their past lives. Ava knew them not. Anne had mentioned it before, and Ava knew that in previous lives she had known Anne, but she had no recollection of them.

She didn’t doubt Anne, though. She knew that time flowed in a strange way around her friend, and could sometimes feel it in the air about her.
“If you do not wish to be bothered by them, then we shall not be,” Ava wasn’t as inclined to believe in fate or inseparability as others. If she dared to believe in such things, she would have given into her own, more primal, instincts a long time ago and become a fatalist. She took the dresses, the bag, her drink, and the rest of her things up into her hands, and maneuvered herself off the stool, and a step back from the counter.

“Please, show me where I’ll be staying this time,”
though it was almost always the same place. Her smile was bright, but when Anne would come to join her, and when she would turn away from Barrond, she’d let a whisper carry to ask, “What has happened with them before?”

Thunderstruck

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 01:33:50 pm »
If the wave of power he'd encountered at the barrier had been a force to be reckoned with, the sensation which assailed him-even wearing the ring of binding-was worse by far, as he attempted to enter the inn before him. Reeling as if he'd just been sucker punched by a mountain troll, the Sigil spun around on the inn's second step from the bottom, and would have collapsed had not a pair of travelers just exiting the bar area not plowed into him, sending all three of them to stagger. Thanks to this however, the Sigil did not fall, and surprisingly recovered first.
"Thank you gentleman", he muttered, regaining his footing upon the street. "I do apologize for that. I had not expected to swoon so."


"Elves, in hells!" replied one, a garishly garbed man, who would surely have passed for some king's court fool, were it not for the seal of nobility upon his cloak, to his companion, a man of similar age-middle age in humans, for that was what these two were-dressed in more muted, earthy tones; "You're sober? We didn't see you enter."
The garish one's companion nodded, as he steadied himself. "Haven't had enough in whatever alley you've been drinking in? Decided to come get loaded in style?"
Back to the Garish one with the noble seal upon his cloak. "Well then Guze, let's help him in!" The two men closed upon the necromancer, temporarily stripped of his powers.
They grabbed him, one man on each side, and laughing all the while, shoved him headlong through the inn's front door. There they stayed, ushering the green cloaked one to an available table.

Had he been in full possession of his powers, these two would not have been able to man handle him so. Indeed,, and even though he was still capable of using certain non-magical abilities thanks to his mix heritage-he had been so disheveled by the magical presence, that it simply had not occurred to him, in that moment, to use them.
Even as the nobleman, and his friend seized his shoulders, pushed him bodily into the inn, then forcibly ushered him to a table, pushed him into a chair, and sat down next to him, one on each side, he had not the occasion to dump these two on their respective bottoms. Now inside, and in a chair, where his two new companions for lack of a better word held him in place still, as though they expected him to try and bolt at any second, did his mind begin to sort this all out.
The barrier, had been a magical construct. As such it had simply kept him out. Had he tried to force his way through the attempt, even if successful-which he heavily doubted would have been the case-would have hurt greatly.
This on the other hand, did not feel so much like a protective ward, as simply the presence of a very powerful will, with equally potent power behind that will. Which meant only one thing: Whoever had had enough power to create a barrier which could keep even the long lived Sigil of Dualos from entering a place, was here, in this building, presently.
He further reasoned that the ring of binding which he wore may work both ways. He had been unable to sense the caster of the barrier until he had been practically inside. Perhaps the caster's perception of himself was likewise muted. Even still, despite the insistence of the noble and his...friend, he neither lowered the hood of his cloak, nor did he allow either of them to do it for him. When on of them tried more forcefully-the garish one, with the noble seal, found his hand forcibly removed, by a person who had fully recovered his wits. "If you gentlemen would like a drink I will happily buy it for, but my cloak, and my hood, stays put."
He watched the expressions on the faces of the two on either side of him. The one in the practical travelling leathers merely shrugged. The noble on the other hand, tried again-or tried to try again, for a hard look from his friend made him think better of it.


"If he wants to wear it, let him, my prince" the other, who was probably the noble's man-at-arms bodyguard, offered, in disarming tones. "He's come to drink, and has offered to buy yourself a drink by way of apology for bumping into your royal presence, as is only fitting. It is up to you, to know best how to accept it."

"And accept it you will, or by the hand of myself, you'll not have a jaw able to do anything but be wired shut, for half a year."

Catherak! Never in all these years, had the Sigil been more glad to hear the voice of that one, than he was right now. 'Catherak. Good, faithful, irreverent Catherak, Thank Dualos, you're here.' the Sigil thought, but did not-probably would never-say. Instead, he just smiled.

"Do you know to whom you are threatening?" The young prince asked

"Aye, yer King Cally's boy. Unfortunately, Yer pappy's lands are far from here, and Toomey's a free town, in a free forest, in a free land. Now, as I was saying, take yer hands offa my friend. 'Sides, which, he's a priest, and his god don't take kindly to ruffians, even royal ruffians knockin' 'round his servants."
Catherak watched with dire satisfaction, as the young prince Cally's eyes bugged out slightly, at the pronouncement, that he'd just made sport of a priest


As if the green clad man, had just turned into a column of flame, the prince, and his man-at-arms unhanded the priest. "A thousand pardons, your Excellency." said the man-at-arms.
For the prince's part, he simply stared, his gaze going between the priest, and the one who had just pronounced him as one. His eyes finally settling on the one who had just threatened do break his jaw, he said: "But this priest accosted us, outside, as we were leaving, and-"

"Saw the whole thing I did. The priest was having a holy vision, and you interrupted his divine communion with his god. May Frevus the Brutal have mercy on your loins, for this sacilege."

"Come, my prince, let us go, with all haste", said the man-at-arms.
For the prince's part, he did not need to be told, thrice. He shot up, and with his friend, made a hasty retreat from the inn.

"Clucks." muttered Catherak, as he took the seat, which the prince had just vacated. The sell sword grunted with satisfaction, that the seat was still warm with a snap of his fingers, he motioned for a serving girl who appeared to have nothing better to do than stand around looking pretty, to come on over, and take their orders. "Thanks a-much sweetheart, Two tankards of your fine house ale, and brandy for my friend here."
The girl left, then returned. Catherak paid her, and tipped her well, with the promise of more, if she stayed nearer to their table.
He downed half of the first tankard in three hearty gulps. "Ahh, this is the stuff. This may be an out of the way place, but the beer is prime! "How's the brandy?"


Kaymerus watched the exchange between freeman, and royalty, with barely contained mirth. Indeed he actually smiled when the ass paining pair hot footed it the hells out of there.
Now Catherak was asking him about his drink. He tasted it lightly, sampling the liquor on his tongue.
"Delightful", he said. Then, after a moment added, "Familiar".
He took in Catherak for a time. Just watching the man drink. Finally he said. "Frevus huh? Interesting choice. You do know that Frevus, requires his priests to wear fresh goat entrails around their necks, each night, do you not?"


"Nope. Didn't know that one. Didn't figure those two idiots would either." Catherak downed the last of the first tankard, then drained the other as though he'd been lost in a desert for a year, and the ale were mountain spring water. Then he ordered two more, as well as one for the Sigil. "Have a chaser." he said, seeing that the Sigil, had drained the snifter of its crimson contents

The Sigil accepted the chaser gratefully, sippling at it sparingly. He liked a good ale, and Catherak was right, this stuff was top notch, but after his little experience out on the street, he wished to keep his wits fully about him. "It's good." he said, complimenting Catherak on his choice of drinks. Then, "Incidentally, how did you know where that young noble was from? Do you know of this king Cally? Are you originally from that land?"

"Nope, and nope again. I saw a caravan gathering for a night departure bearing a royal symbol, so I went on over and asked some questions. Curiosity and all that. Thought if we didn't have to stay the night here...I mean, I know you must be going about mad, without access to your powers, by now" He held up a hand before the necromancer could interject. "Yes, I am aware you can fight. Hells, I know you can out fight a good many foes; but I also know you're accustomed to do so in tandem with your magic. Additionally, I know you object to being cut off from..." He looked around before adding in a whisper, "Dualos".

Kaymerus was touched. He nodded up at his friend, appreciating how little truly escaped the aging warrior's notice. "Catherak, I appreciate that. I do, but we could both benefit from a night's rest that is not spent lying about on some earthen camp site. Besides I owe you for that rather...unconventional means by whiched I summoned you back in the city. "He paused to take a large swig from his ale. Besides, though it pains me greatly, I think I should discover the identity of the barrier's caster. I feel that I know, or should know, who it is, and that thought fills me with both, great hope, and great dread." Now it his turn to keep the warrior from interrupting. "Now then", he said, draining his mug, and standing up. "If you'll excuse me, momentarily, I will see about getting us some rooms for the night." With that, he wove his way around patrons, and servers alike, over to a desk, in front of a wall upon which were hung, many keys. Working the desk was a young man-a boy really-who couldn't have been any older than fourteen. Yet, even in one so young, this lad was no novice where it came to negotiations. The Sigil ended up paying out more than he'd wished to, be decent rooms. Still, he wanted his friend to sleep very well. He did something unexpected, and it showed as evident on the boy's face. He paid out five gold sovereigns for each room, and another two, to the youth-under the table literally, as well as figuratively, to ensure they went into the books under assumed names. Just in case. However he did not enlighten the boy on just in case what.
He returned to their table a short time later, carrying two keys. "It's all set up", he said. "Tow rooms, on ground level, across the hall from the common privy room. Catherak, It's getting late. I wish to pray before I turn in for the night. May your drinks be tasty, and your slumber be well." He paied for another round for his friend, and another brandy for himself, as he went to find his room.


Catherak was both pleased with Kayermus's handling of the rooms, eventhough he suspected the necromancer had probably paid far more than the rooms were worth. Still he was touched that his long time friend and adventuring partner thought enough of him to get him a good room. He knew from experience, that most magic users were not so charitable. He raisd a silent toast to the withdrawing necromancer's back.

He found his, and Catherak's rooms, with little effort. The numbers on the doors were well marked. Only once did he note any of the previous discomfort. from outside the closed door, he felt that presence again. It felt familiar. Even with the ring, and the renewed hope that the ring more/less dampended another magical presence from sensing him, the presence felt familiar. He didn't know who it was yet, but the mental list was a short one. Still, after their last meeting, and parting, he dared not show his face, with his powers under restriction from him. This was the very just in case which he'd not told the lad at the check in desk, about.
Removing his newly acquired cloak, he sat upon the floor, in the darkness, and begand to chant softly. A prayer to Dualos. Though, despite his great faith, and because of the biding ring, he kept both mace an sword, close at hand. Just in case.
Just in case the person on the short list, who was also here, turned out not to be whom he both hoped, and feared that it might be.

Peregrine

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2015, 07:03:19 am »
Barrond caught Ava's eye at her backward glance and the whisper that would carry only to his ears. "What didn't is the better question." He started drying mugs, keeping his voice low, knowing she would hear him anyway, "Love, loss, betrayal, heart break, anger... death. At least four life's worth from what I can now remember."

He shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, even if she couldn't see him, "She was doing so well..." a drink order from one of the barmaids took his attention then and he went about keeping things from 'revolving into chaos' as Anne was always sure it would without her watchful eyes.

Anne for her part tried to shake off the clinging strings of memory and alternate lives that weren't the one she was in.

She took Ava down to her usual door, but she'd remodeled a bit since her friend had been here. The room had pushed out into the open space behind the tavern. It also had it's own private back door that opened into the gardens and could also access the kitchens back door, as well as follow a path back toward the cottage Anne claimed as home- even if she was only there when she was sleeping.

There was also now an enclosed private bathroom with a deep claw footed tub. Anne smiled, "I cleaned myself, so you don't have to worry about what the maids missed."

She took the dresses from Ava and hung them in the large upright armoir on the far wall, then pulled the chair from the desk and turned it backward before she sat and faced the large bed. "Now, tell me all about your adventures." The smokey tendrils on her arms came to life again and she held the fruit in her hand again, "I'm most interested in where you found this, if I'm being honest."

For Barrond's part he wasn't completely unobservant and he took note of a few hooded figures in the bar, it wasn't until Catherak was sitting alone, or well, with one or two of the bar maids buzzing around him, that Barrond took real notice. His eyes swept around the tavern room for his companion, but didn't see him. He debated on disturbing Anne, but decided to just keep an eye on the older warrior for now. Though the temptation to go and set him on fire with the heat building in his fists, was not lost on the older brother.

At about that same time, Anne's eyes glazed over slightly and her body shook as a shiver crashed down her spine. Her eyes traced a path along the wall, paused at the door and then continued before snapping back to Ava and what they were talking about.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2015, 01:22:32 am »
Ava was, in many ways, pleased that she was not burdened with the other lives she may have lived. It was a pleasant thought, to know that in them all she had known Anne, but it was still not her. If Kaymerus and Anne could have so many different outcomes, then it was not them either. Not as Ava knew them now, and the present life was the only one that mattered to her, even if she did accept that others may have been.

So, she gave a nod to Barrond, appreciating his answer, as she followed Anne. The path was familiar, even if the signs of the remodel were apparent. Little changes were noticed when one has been gone a while. She looked the door over as she stepped into the room.

She chuckled at Anne’s words,
“Thank you,” her eyes moved to the other new door, and she opened it to find the bathroom. She clicked her tongue on the roof of her mouth, quiet approval. She was about to put up the new dresses herself, but Anne took them from her before she could even protest. She laughed a little at the gesture, and moved to sit on the bed as Anne took a chair.

Ava could regal her with the stories of the merpeople of Bareese. She could have told her of the nights she'd spent with centaurs and minotaurs on the outskirts of Providence, but she heard the tone in which the fruit was referred to, so she chose to make the details before that short.
“Mm, well I went to the Bareese Isles for a stay. There were a few merpeople, so I learned some new songs,” a beautiful location, of course. Tropical and full of fascinating things, besides the traveling merpeople, “Then I took a ship to Howland Port,” on a much larger continent, continuing east, not far from Bareese. Howland was rather well-known. It tried to be cosmopolitan. “It was quaint, for a port town. A rather homey feel. They’d never seen the likes of me,” in fact, there they had considered sirens a myth, or thought them to be the same as merpeople.

Considering sirens didn’t tend to interact with the general populace, it was no surprise. Ava understood how they could end up confused. Sirens and merpeople both tended to remain near the water, and they were both known for songs.
“I spent most of my time over there and in the surrounding area, before I returned to this land. I did not travel much before writing that I would come to visit,” she put her hands back behind herself only briefly, before she pushed herself up to standing.

“It would be much easier if I showed you where I found that fruit. It’s in the forest right outside,”
she gestured the way she had come, “I know the way back to it. I think it would be a lot easier than trying to tell you where, exactly, it was.” Mapping out the forest without a map in hand would be problematic, especially since she did not know that forest as well as Anne.

Thunderstruck

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Re: Epoch of the Abyss
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2015, 03:45:29 am »
Catherak, had had a fifth ale, and would have had a sixth, or even a seventh, had present circumstances been other than what they were. "Damn'ed bone peddler", he cursed under his breath, as he got up from the table, making his way toward his room. In truth, he was worried about the Sigil. In all their years of traveling, he had not known Kaymerus as the type to get much beyond slightly annoyed. Certainly never flustered. Yet, if he had read the under current of the necromancer's mood correctly, the man seemed down right frustrated.
Which meant it had to be the rings.
Kaymerus had paid for the rooms, for his own sake. So for his friend's sake, he would take it easy on the ale, that the pair of them might get out of town, at the earliest possible convenience.
With that in mind he headed for the corridor, which would take him to his room. Along the way he bumped into the barmaid-Literally!- who had be his server since he'd begun drinking a while earlier. "Well, hello", he said, trying his best not to slur the words.
He looked into her eyes, twin pools of swamp muck green, and big as saucers. He'd seen that look in her eyes enough times in his life to know that, she really didn't care it he slurred out his words or not.
And with that, and a nod, and silver crown, she half accompanied, half led the aging warrior, to his room...


Kaymerus beat at the pillow in frustration. He had prayed, or rather tried to. But with the limiting effects of the ring of binding, he had been quite unable to make his accustomed connection to Dualos. He wondered, dumbly, if this was how prayer worked in the lives of the untouched masses. Wondered if they whispered out a one sided communion to a god; never being sure if their deity was even there, let alone listening.
In his life before Dualos, he'd never been a spiritual man, so he had no memory of divine interaction which was not mutual, and alive.

Finally, he gave up, deciding he'd tray and get some sleep instead. So, try to sleep he did. And failed miserably. The Sigil had not known sleep, in some time, preferring his meditation instead. Yet even this was beyond his immediate reach.
He would close his eyes, level out his breathing, and listen to the sounds of the inn, hoping they might lull him into a semblance of slumber. To no avail. The nearest sound, sounded like two people making love. That or a fire drake, had been impaled by an ice lance, and was dying in a most excruciating fashion. He highly doubted this scenario, however.
In the the first place, the presence of a fire drake, would more than likely spell the doom of this structure-even dying.
Secondly, he'd once witnessed the death of one such creature, and he in no way recalled the creature's death throes sounding like a cadenced series of appeals to a deity named O'Baby Harder.
He changed position with the pillow, placing it over his head, letting the smell of clean cotton fill his nose.
Still to no avail.
He rose, letting the pillow fall away. "Enough of this!", he snarled. Finally giving voice to his frustration. He gathered up his short sword, and goblin skull mace. He redonned his cloak, resolving to get the blessed hells out of there, right then.

The common room was empty, save for a couple of cleaning people, and the boy at the check in desk, who, at that second, was counting. and sorting money. "Excuse me", said the necromancer. He trailed off, eyes searching, until he spied the lad's char stick. "Let me borrrow this, a second."
Reaching into his doublet, he pulled out a piece of parchment, scribbled out a glyph, that was part picture, part text. Then handed it, along with the boy's stick, and a silver crown. He gestured to the boy, to place the paper upon the spike where the key to Catherak's room would go when the room was not in use. "Make certain he gets that, when he comes out in the morning. If you're not up, see that some one else tells my friend to get it."
The boy's eyes lit up at the sight of the crown, but he nodded, and said that he understood. As the necromancer made for the door, the boy, who it appeared was surprisingly fleet of foot, beat him to the door, where he undid the latch, opening it.
"Many thanks", the necromancer responded, stepping out into the night.
Once out, the door slid shut again, the sounds of the lock being put back into place, followed him down the few stair to the street.
He did not bother with Catherak's half of the supplies. No doubt they would be under lock and latch, until the final rays of dawn.
Kaymerus gathered his bearings, and made for the far end of town with all haste.
As with the way in, the way out, ended, with the street, becoming a path, first of cobblestones, then paving stones, then hard packed earth. And as before, there was a stone bridge to mark the end of Toosel. Not surprising, since both the town, and it's claimed forest were set between a pair of rivers. Stepping to the threshold of the ground, and the bridge, he hesitated, extending an arm through the barrier, experimentally, half expecting it to become engulfed in some magical inferno. When nothing happened, he let out a breath he hadn't been aware he'd been holding until just then.
dropping his arm, he passed through the barrier as though it weren't there, taking several large steps out to the center of the bridge. He took off the ring of binding, let it drop from his fingers, and was only mildly surprised when it made no sound whatsoever. The man who had given these rings to Catherak had said they'd return of their own volition, so likely the ring had dematerialized almost immediately upon being released. Still, the necromancer felt slightly cheated, at being robbed of hearing that telltale sound of metal hitting stone.

Where the dampening of his abilities had felt like nothing at all, their return, hit him with the force of a blow to the guts. He doubled over for a moment, as he came back into his full senses. The sensation was as though a window had been opened, where before there had been darkness. The ether filled him, as his senses opened up to the night. "Never again!" he vowed.
He felt a tugging at his back. Smiling he unpinned his cloak, took off his doublet, opened the extradimensional space in the the garment's inner back. A pair of long familiar skeletal lizards emerged, scampered up his arms, to take their rightful place upon his shoulders. Next, his more recent companion, the skeletal wolf emerged amber lich fire dancing merrily in its otherwise empty eye sockets.
"Come, friends, let us find a place to camp, and wait for Catherak."
To his mild disappointment, no troll occupied the underside of this bridge. "It would have been nice to have some extra muscle to carry the wood." he sighed wistfully, with a shake of the head.


Catherak  awoke in a tangle of arms, legs, blankets, clothing, and hair. He hadn't had that much to drink, by his standards, so he was rather surprised by the cadence of orc drums pounding away inside his temples. Knowing the pain would only worsen, the longer he stayed put, he proceeded to extricate himself from the arms, and legs of the barmaid from the night before. He dressed, gathered his sword belt, his coin purse, and room key; left a handful of silver crowns, and gold pennies in the barmaid's unconscious hands, then made for the common room.

He had half expected the smells of breakfast to greet his nose. What he was greeted by instead, was a pint sized porter with a a little scrap pf parchment, upon which was scrawled a travelers' glyph. He at once recognized the hand which wrote it.
"KAYMERUS!!! he bellowed, in a mixture of surprise, and frustration, as he stormed from the inn.
At this moment, he didn't care if he awoken the whole damned town.