Jump to content
Michael-TLH

The Darakan Chronicles, Part 2

Recommended Posts

The unease of being a stranger in a strange land was slowly subsiding as Ilde stowed her travelling gear and contemplated a good night's rest on a soft bed in the Elven inn.

 

Her journey had been a long and dangerous one, but the concerns that weighed on her shoulders were more than those of her own family and village. In a future that only the Wise Woman of her tribe could see, Ilde would stand aside a man with a lion on his shield and fight back the burning skies that would devour the world. She had reconciled herself to her destiny though, even if it meant giving her own life. The Wise Woman had once said that the future for those who could see it was like the image of the night stars upon the surface of the water. It may seem real and unyielding, but every small disturbance creates ripples of change.

 

Those words were what encouraged the warrior from the north to leave her tribelands and her father and sister behind on what might otherwise seem like a forlorn quest. She had cheated the jaws of death more than once during her journey, and for this she would give thanks to her goddess before going to sleep, but now she was intent on repaying the hospitality of the gnome whom she had encountered in the Wilds and who had led her here to the inn of the Elves.

 

Ilde returned downstairs to the common room, where evening meal was about to be served. Once again the feeling of being too far from her own tribelands came over her. Hoping for a sign of some kind from her goddess, she took a seat at a table near the hearth and tried to remain as unobtrusive as her northern attire and warrior's stature would allow.

 

"A mug of your strongest ale.", she replied to the serving-boy who timidly approached her table after some time. The gnome that called himself Acorn was nowhere to be seen amoung the inn's dining guests, though she had hoped to buy him a drink of his choice to show her gratitude

 

While he vanished into the taproom, Ilde took careful notice of the other patrons of the inn and to one in particular. She had overheard the amall man in the hat that seemed far too large for a man of his size say something about throwing bolts of lightning down fromt the sky; and she wondered if he was some unexpected clue to her destiny, or if he was drunk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the hour grows late, Stern finally excuses himself from Robert and Mykayla's room. The Aegis, now standing in the narrow hallway of the inn, turns to look in the direction of the stairs leading downward to the common room. The low murmur of voices can still be heard and the young paladin decides to make one last pass through the inn's common area before retiring for the evening.

 

Still fully armed and armored, less his horned-helm, Stern enters the common room from the narrow landing at the base of the stairs... The giant knight scans the room quickly spoting Eldon, Cuchulainn, Warrick, and Jesset still up trading memories of past battles fought together and finalizing battle strategies for the next great campaign.

 

Stern's eyes stop for a moment on a woman sitting alone at one table near the room's fireplace, her meal finished, she seems somehow out of place, anxious, yet battle tested, and dressed in strange furs of northern craftsmanship. Sensing no evil in barbarian woman, Stern lumbers onward toward the table of his Companions.

 

Stern arrives at the group's table and, letting his Aegis shield and sheathed greatsword slip from his shoulder, leans them gently against the stone hearth, before pulling a chair up to the table.

 

"Tis gettin' late ma friends, Robert n' Myka have retired for tha eve, n' I might suggest ye all consider tha same fer we've a got a tenday of fightin' a head o' us fer sure... They'll be no' much rest in tha weeks ta come, I can feel it in me bones."

 

SK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ilde eats her meal slowly, savouring every bite. It has been almost two fortnights since she had tasted hearth-cooked bread or enjoyed meat that that she herself had not had to hunt and kill. Now she sits listening intently to the conversation at the nearby table of the small man and his companions, but she keeps her eyes on her own mug, the third mug of the evening.

 

The clatter of armour from the staircase gives her cause to look up from her drink, but it was only for a moment. She does not give the man a second glance until he seats himself at the same table with the small man and his friends and leans his shield against the stone hearth, revealing a lion crest.

 

Ilde's eyes widen to behold what her Wise-Woman had only seen in her scrying-pool. Not wanting to miss this chance for any reason, she rises and approaches the table.

 

With her hand raised to her shoulder palm-outward in a gesture of unarmed greeting, she speaks to the shield's owner. "You have a lion on your sheild. I am Ilde of Vildyiin-Yar, and I was sent from my village to join you."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Jesset has assured me that we've all tha supplies we need for our journey, so I'll check on tha mounts n'..."

 

Stern's voice trails off as his attention is drawn from his conversation with the other Companions. The northern woman, that he had noitced earlier, suddenly rises and begins moving toward the table. The young Aegis turns his head and locks eyes with the stranger. Though his divine powers of discernment sense no evil, one hand moves quickly to the grip of his ancient short sword... Then she speaks.

 

"You have a lion on your sheild. I am Ilde of Vildyiin-Yar, and I was sent from my village to join you."

 

Stern's brow pinches in confusion, "Aye, tha' is a lion, tis tha symbol o' Tha Holy Corpus Knights o' Rockfist, servants ta St. Marcus himself... I am Stern Kestrelmann, Aegis o' St. Marcus, Defender o' Searoad, One o' tha Chosen o' Baleah." Slowly the giant man stands and extends his forearm in greeting before continuing, "Wha' does me shield 'ave ta do with any o' this? Who has sent ye, Ilde of Vildtiin-Yar n' where is it ye've been sent from?"

 

Before the barbarian woman can answer Stern looks at Jesset, then to the other Companions, waiting for them to introduce themselves and help him solve the enigma before them named Ilde.

 

She means you no harm Stern... Her intentions are pure and of a goodly nature. She appears alone and far from home, risking much to find you and the other Companions. If she is allowed to join you in your quest, she needs to know the risk of death she will face at the hands of the undead legions...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

--Begin--

 

Eldon enters the common room once again, breathing a sign of relief from his moment's departure. A long day's drinking will do that to a tiny Hin such as himself.

 

Adjusting his enormous hat upon his head, he looks at the armored might of Stern, and his tall, new-found friend. "'Lo, Ser Kestrelmann. Who's your friend? I assume she's a friend as you're not hooping and hollering around here summoning people to battle." he gives an infectious grin to the Valyrie made flesh. "Hi there. I'm Eldon Goodbarrel. The animated ball of cat moving to sniff at your boots is Fuzzbucket. She'll mean you no harm, you're bigger than her."

 

Indeed, the enormous feline cautiously sniffs the boots, smelling her travels reciently upon her. The cat looks up, startling blue eyes staring at the new warrior before yawning and licking her chops. "C'mere, stupid." Eldon says, lifting the beast to his shoulder.

 

--End--

 

--LSH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Aye, tha' is a lion, tis tha symbol o' Tha Holy Corpus Knights o' Rockfist, servants ta St. Marcus himself... I am Stern Kestrelmann, Aegis o' St. Marcus, Defender o' Searoad, One o' tha Chosen o' Baleah."

 

Ilde listens closely to the armoured man's reply and introduction before answering. It was believed by her tribe that a person's name was embued with power and that according to this man's name, he must be a warrior of high status amoung his own people.

 

"Wha' does me shield 'ave ta do with any o' this? Who has sent ye, Ilde of Vildtiin-Yar n' where is it ye've been sent from?"

 

Ilde grips Sterm's hand in greeting to conform to the customs of this region, and is about to answer his many justified questions when she notices the small man with large hat returning from outside. With him is the fattest cat she has ever seen, though she suspects this cat's purpose to be less functional than the mousing-cats that were kept near her village's grain stores.

 

"'Lo, Ser Kestrelmann. Who's your friend? I assume she's a friend as you're not hooping and hollering around here summoning people to battle. ---  Hi there. I'm Eldon Goodbarrel. The animated ball of cat moving to sniff at your boots is Fuzzbucket. She'll mean you no harm, you're bigger than her.""

 

"It is good to meet you Stern of Kestrel Man Aegis Of Saint Marcus Defender Of Sea Road One Of The Chosen Of Balyaah. It is good to meet you also, Eldon of Good Barrel."

 

Ilde then re-introduced herself for the benefit of Eldon.

 

"I am Ilde, daughter of Vegard of the Stone Gate. It was foretold that I would stand beside a man with a lion on his shield and together we would fight to save our lands from the burning skies. I have not seen skies that burn on the paths I have travelled, but you come from other than the North, and have seen things I have not. I would like to join you on your path, but first I wish to offer you all a drink."

 

Whether they accept or decline, Ilde waylays the serving-lad and orders more ale for herself and anybody who will join her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

--Begin--

 

Eldon grins up at her, adjusting his barrel-shaped cat a little on his shoulder. "Well met, then Ilde Vegarddottir. I'm in much the same situation as you. Our oracle said 'git moving, yers', and here I am, only four days later."

 

At the Valkyrie's behest, he heartily agrees to an ale. The tankard bigger than his head, but he still drinks it down like a hardened warrior would. Licking his bare lip clean of foam, he says to her. "These are a good lot, to be sure. Admittedly, the Shining Host" he nods to the stairs, while using the old form name of the Elves. "Is a little quiet, I've seen how she speaks with the others. She'll warm to you, or not as they are want to." He glances at the Aegis. "Meanwhile, Ser Kestrelmann here would eat you out of house and home, had he the chance. He puts away food like I do." he chuckles at his own jape.

 

Eldon glances at his now half-empty tankard, and glares a moment at it, the mug suddenly opaque from frost. He smiles and does the same to the rest of the mugs. "Aah, much better. Always better chilled. Never did like how some Humans like their drink warm."

 

Fuzzbucket jumps to the table silently, her grace impressive for an animal of such girth, and curls up near Eldon, the animal's legs almost disappearing under her as Eldon's small hand begins stroking the beast's fur.

 

--End--

 

--LSH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ilde reaches for a fresh mug and is surprised to find that it is very cold now. She takes a hesitant drink and a smile comes across her face. She then downs the rest of the ale to keep pace with Eldon.

 

"You say you travelled for four days? What is it that you were sent to find, or do you wait for a sign?"

 

As the conversation wears on, talk inevitably turns to homelands. "Where do you come from, Eldon of Good Barrel?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stern holds the female warrior's arm in his for a lingering moment as they exhange greetings...

 

True in heart, n' strong as an ox! I'll bet she can handle tha' battle axe of hers too.

 

"'Lo, Ser Kestrelmann. Who's your friend? I assume she's a friend as you're not hooping and hollering around here summoning people to battle."

 

"Aye a friend, tha' she seems to be good Eldon", Stern rumbles as he offers half a grin to the tiny wizard.

 

"It is good to meet you Stern of Kestrel Man Aegis Of Saint Marcus Defender Of Sea Road One Of The Chosen Of Balyaah. It is good to meet you also, Eldon of Good Barrel."

 

"And ye as well ma friend, just call me Stern..."

 

Stern pauses as Ilde introduces herself again to Eldon.

 

"I am Ilde, daughter of Vegard of the Stone Gate. It was foretold that I would stand beside a man with a lion on his shield and together we would fight to save our lands from the burning skies. I have not seen skies that burn on the paths I have travelled, but you come from other than the North, and have seen things I have not. I would like to join you on your path, but first I wish to offer you all a drink."

 

"Aye then, glancing over at his Aegis shield and then back to Ilde, "it looks as though ye've found me, n' I fer one would welcome another warrior inta tha group... "

 

Stern looks approvingly at Ilde, then to the rest of the Companions.

 

"As fer tha ale , I shall need ta decline, another time perhaps... Remember, we leave at dawn Ilde, we'll need a have a mount perpared fer ye, see to it tha' yer gear, supplies, n' weaponary are ready ta go at first light... Ilde can ye handle a blunt weapon?"

 

A sudden sense of urgency about the mission ahead pushes the giant paladin to excuse himself abruptly from the conversaton. Reaching for his Shield and Greatsword, Stern hoists the items over his shoulder and turns to go... But he stops and speaks once more before leaving.

 

"Ilde, ye must understand... Great anger lies ahead of us, undead n' dark elves will seek our swift deaths, great evil is a foot, we may no' survive. If ye wish ta reconsider I fer one would hold no grudge against ye..."

 

Stern waits for a response from the newcomer, then nodding to Eldon, Ilde, and the rest of the Companions returns to his quarters. Prayer and Meditation, then a review of supply lists and battle plans will end his night within a candle's time.

 

"Good night ma friends... May St. Marcus hold you in his Guiding Light."

 

SK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

--Begin--

 

Eldon gives a friendly wave to the giant Aegis. "Ni-ni, Ser Kestrelmann."

 

He turns to Ilse, smiling as he picks up the next of many ales this evening, again perfectly chilled. "Well, funny you should mention that. I had only been back in Northwood, that's the hamlet where I live, for less than a month. But the next thing I know, Ol' Jenks is rushing into my home, hooping and hollering for me to see Mother. She's not *really* my mother, but you get the idea. Um... village wise-woman is the best I can come up with. Well, she says to me to get on Teacup, that's my pony, and make it quick as I can for this spot." he quaffs some ale down.

 

"Now, she's really clear on what the place looks like, and when I need to be there. So when Mother says go, you go. Anyways, I got there, alright. And just as I got there, I hear all this hollering and hooping going on. And I see these Humans and an Elf, and of all things, a Skoli. Yeah, a real Skoli all fighting for their lives." he shrugs.

 

"So I did what any person would do, I joined the fray and helped them out."

 

By this time, Fuzzbucket is easily curled around Eldon's hand, her purr a deep buzz, and mostly asleep. Eldon reaches for a third ale, the containers huge in his hand, but showing none of the effects of strong drink on his tiny frame.

 

"So tell a little something about yourself, Ilse."

 

--End--

 

--LSH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
" As fer tha ale , I shall need ta decline, another time perhaps... Remember, we leave at dawn Ilde, we'll need a have a mount perpared fer ye, see to it tha' yer gear, supplies, n' weaponary are ready ta go at first light... Ilde can ye handle a blunt weapon?"

 

"I have my own horse, but she has been through much in the past days and needs rest. My food supplies are almost gone, but my axe is always ready. I will do whatever is needed so that we will not fail."

 

Ilde rose to bid him a good night's sleep and assure him she would join him.

 

"I will ride with you at dawn I have come already through much danger and must follow this path to its end. There is no turning back. I have pledged my name to stop the coming evil."

 

As Stern climbed the stars to his room, Ilde sits back down and she and Eldon continue their conversation over many mugs of ale.

 

"So tell a little something about yourself, Ilse."

 

 

Ilde already is feeling a kinship with Eldon at the mention of his own village's wise-woman. Though she is by no means a Lore-Keeper, she tries to tell him about herself and her village in Eldon's language as best she can.

 

"My home is Vildyiin-Yar, in your tongue it is called Starry-Water. There is a lake to provide fish, woods to provide meat and furs for trade, and all around are high cliffs to protect us from orcs and the living-dead that chased us from our old home on the plains at Ergen-Ostell. We have made our home there since the time of my father's fathers' fathers."

 

Telling Eldon about her home eases her feeling of homesickness, along with the ale, which is suprisingly good compared to most of what the traders who came to her village brought.

 

"Your wise-woman is much like Odilla of my village. She was my teacher and much like a mother to me. My own mother died in my first winter so my father sent me to the Wise-Woman to learn the things he could not teach me. From her I learned the songs and lore of our tribe, the tongue of the traders, and my duties as first-born of Rock Gate. My father taught me to be a hunter and warrior like himself. He is our village's Chieftain, as I will be someday if I prove I am able."

 

Ilde finishes another mug of ale. She is glad to have companionship after weeks of travelling alone, and does not wish to end the evening just yet.

 

"Tell me about Stern of Kestrel Man. He spoke of danger and evil as though he knows already what is to come."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I'm worried about Stern" says the young man quietly, as if after great thought. His hand around Mykayla's shoulder absent-mindedly strokes away an errant strand of hair to clear her face, or what of it is visible against his chest.

 

"I don't think hearing voices is a good thing. He seems so obsessed with his duty he forgets we're here to help him too." He pauses and when no immediate reply is forthcoming, he continues. "And just now, I thought he was about to really talk to us again but he seemed to stop himself."

 

His thoughts and words expressed, he lightly kisses her forehead and squeezes her gently closer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

--Begin--

 

Eldon finishes his third tankard, his cheeks only now taking a reddish hue. He streaches his small arms wide a moment, then continues speaking with Ilde.

 

"Well, I don't think I'm the one who should be answering for him, as I've only known him a handful of days. But my initial impression of him is that he's driven. Something burns in him like a flame, or a forge." he shakes his head a little.

 

"I don't know exactly how to describe it. But I can tell you that if he gave his word, he wouldn't even let Hel's minions stop him from completing that task."

 

Eldon glances at the fireplace a moment, then turns back to Ilde. "He's not mentioned what this quest is to me. He makes small, dark murmurings about it. Vague references and such like that. But I'll tell you. Just speaking with him, and his conviction about doing what is right has made me join him. The man was born to lead, it's something about him that drives him so. I don't know what's at the end of this journey, but I should very much like to know.

 

--End--

 

--LSH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Warrick stops chatting with Jesset long enough to be polite and greet the newcomer. "Well met, Ilde. It seems that fate has woven your strand in among ours. We are all here at the behest of a wise-woman it seems, though different ones from all places. But it appears that they are all attuned to the same song..."

 

Warrick smiles and rises to relieve the pressures of his own collection of empty tankards. He carefully picks his way through the crowd, his own lithe form equally nimble with the Elven patrons, even under the influence. Exiting into the rear alley, he seeks the outhouse and spies a staggering form behind the tavern.

 

"Blood. Yes....drink."

 

Before realizing it his dagger is in hand and he has taken a step towards the drunk. Warrick gapes at his dagger and slams himself against the cold stone and stucco of the tavern. He fumbles the dagger back into his sheath and nervously casts about looking for any that may have seen him. Sensing that no eyes have recorded his foolishness, he slinks to the outhouse and then back into the common room.

 

Irritated by his sudden sobriety and confused by his lack of stealth, he slides back into his seat next to Jesset, fakes a smile, and resumes his drinking quietly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"well Love, we all have our paths to walk...but I think we best keep a close eye on him...He is so idealistic at times....it would be easy for him to falter." Then loooking up into his eye she smiles "But now we are alone, finally with privacy...." And she draws him closer into her embrace and she tenderly Kisses his mouth. "Let's make the most of it shall we?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...