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The Darakan Chronicles, Part 2


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The departure of Warrick does not suprise Ilde. He had seemed less talkative upon returning from outside so it might be that he was tired.


The hour had grown late and the idea of a night's rest in that warm soft bed had become even more appealing now that Ilde knew that she would once again be on the trail tomorrow at dawn.


Wanting to be well-rested the next day, Ilde finishes her last ale and pays the serving-lad from the pouch of traders' good given her before she left her village. Her father insisted that she take it in spite of her own protests because the coins would be of more value on her quest than they would to the remote village of fur-trappers.


She then bids everybody a good-night and goes to her room where she says prayer to her goddess. She sleeps deeply at first, but even in the safe confines of the elven inn, her dreams are invaded by a recurring vision of a wall of fire that is sweeping slowly across the sky like a burning red thundercloud moving across the lands toward her own village by the lake amoung the mountains--the village protected by her goddess. Waking, she wonders if this is what Odilla the Wise-Woman sees, and how she and Stern of Kestrel-Man will be able to stop it.

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Stern, awake before first light, rises from his kneeled postion on the floor of inn. The wooden plank boards in his sparse quarters groan in protest under the giant man's full weight. The young paladin exhales deeply, his prayers to St. Marcus now complete, he checks his gear, armor, and weaponary a final time. Then pulling Karamor's shoulder strap tight, Stern secures his Aegis shield, and places his ram horned-helmet firmly on his head. The sounds of others can be heard moving about their own quarters as Stern moves toward the doorway leading to the hallway.


Tha time is upon us father, our true battle begins this morn, may this new dawn no' be ma dying day. I am tha Aegis, I am tha Protector, tha Defender, I am tha Guiding Light... See to it all survive Stern, this is your duty n' sworn oath. St. Marcus watch over tha souls o' these Companions, now n' in tha days ta come...


Stern slowly turns to take one last look at his room, checking to ensure nothing is left behind, before ducking through the low door frame to make his way down the stairs and eventually into common room.


Hammer, though silent, follows Stern at his heel, her excitment visable only by the quick wag of her bushy tail.


There Stern and Hammer wait for the others to arrive.



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Eldon begins the new day as he often does. Pushing Fuzzbucket off of him. The enormous animal yowling for food or attention, either will suffice.


He prepares for the day quickly, cleaning as is his habit. Already hearing the dull thumps of Stern's armored feet on the floorboards, he decides to make his morning preparations with haste.


Coming into the common room, he adjusts his blue overcoat and tosses his hat on the table, ordering bacon, fried eggs, and some potatoes, should they be available.


...or the cold remains of the evening meal, whichever is closer.


Reaching into the Hat, he pulls out an ancient, leatherbound book. Easily the size of his torso, he opens the thick cover and begins glancing over the strange, eldritch runes lying therein. Those reading over his shoulder (Not a difficult task, especially with his size) see the runes squirm and writhe on the ancient yellowed pages.


Eldon looks up at the armored Aegis and says "So, Ser Kestrelmann, what's the plan for the day, hmm?"





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Ilde wakes at first light to the sound of footfalls in the corridor outside her room. Not wanting to be late meeting with the others as she had promised, she quickly gathers her gear which she had meticulously checked and double-checked the night before.


The common room below smells of breakfast, though Ilde does not doubt that elven breakfast fare might be different from what she is accustomed to. She takes a place at the table next to Eldon, who is now reading from a large book and semi-unaware of her presence. Not wanting to disturb his reading, she asks the serving lad to bring her the same thing that Eldon has ordered. She trusts her intuition that his tastes are not horribly exotic and that he has a hearty appetite.

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The day has dawn beautifully with clear skies and cool breezes. Patrons are situated on tables inside and out, taking advantage of what promises to be a wonderful day.


Adelia bustles about the common room with uncommon grace and style. Quickly placing bowls of hot porridge, rashers of bacon, soft loaves of honey-flavored bread and crisp, cool water in the center of the table she moves back and forth between the kitchen and her guests. She smiles as she returns with a plate of sausage and places it between Eldon, Stern and Ilde.


"It is good to see people take so heartily to my cooking." She says with a smile and a laugh which quickly trails off as she stares up over Stern's head. Following her gaze, the gathered Companions look up to where a series of small holes are drilled into the wood. Tiny humanoid figures scramble out of them, unfurling butterfly wings and zipping through the air like hummingbirds. With barely audible squeals the creatures dash out whatever door or window is closest, their tiny eyes wide and terrified expressions on their faces.


"Hmmm... what's gotten into them. I..."


Faintly, the sound of screaming can be heard from outside. Adelia's face pales as she wrings her apron in her hands. The day, so bright and clear just moments before, turns dark and tinged with red as a line of fire races down from the sky. The patrons seem stunned as the line of fire expands, racing straight towards the inn.


With a tremendous roar, the fire pounds the roof of the inn, sending patrons diving for cover or running and screaming the other direction. The timbers creak as the ancient wood around bursts apart.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Three minutes earlier...


Something tickles the back of Warrick's mind, some sense born of walking midnight alleys. Quickly coming up to full wakefulness he nevertheless continues to breathe deeply and evenly, straining his ears to pick up whatever it was that woke him. There. The rustle of silk and the slight hint of spice... he's smelled it before. Whoever is in the room thinks he or she is moving stealthy, but it wasn't enough. Slowly, he opens his eyes just the barest fraction. A figure in a dark cloak, cowl pulled over it's head stands with it's back turned. Warrick opens his eyes fully and with one fluid motion leaps out of the bed as the smell comes back to him. Jesset's brother.


His eyes take in the scene even as his hand lashes out. No time for finesse or to grab a weapon. Hard and fast. One chance to hit the 'caster in his throat and stop him cold. It seems to take forever for him to move.


Smiling, the figure neatly steps out of the way and shakes his head. Warrick's momentum is carrying him forward. Still shaking his head, the handsome blond-haired elf takes a step behind Warrick and laughs as he pushes Warrick from behind. Hard.


Warrick is amazed. Turning his head seems to take forever as he crashes on the floor and rolls forward.


"Please. Did you think I would come unprepared?" A tiny demonic-looking creature scampers out from under the bed, holding a large blue stone. It nimbly scampers up the black cloak of it's master and whispers in his ear. "Ah... good. Unfortunately, Scout, I don't have time to play... my ride is here." His smile is chilling as Warrick hears the sounds of screams from outside. "... and just in time, too."


Warrick's head clears as whatever spell he was under fades. Things seem to move at their normal speed once again as he notes the sky darkening. The elf leaps out the window and rises. "I'll be sure to give my sister your regards." He laughs maniacally as he climbs higher in the sky. Warrick can see a huge draconic shape looming above before the world explodes into fire.

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Stern turns to see Adelia's face go ashen white, then the screams from outside the inn. The tiny hairs on his neck bristle, his spine shivers, and his stomach turns...


Evil is at our door! Danger! Wake tha others, we must...


Stern's thoughts are suddenly interupted as the inn is hit by forces unknown. The heat is intense, the power of the attack is incredible.


What in tha name o' St. Marcus!


The walls of the inn begin to splinter apart.




As the young Aegis bellows out his commnads, he quickly grabs Adelia under one arm and pulls her close and with the other arm draws his shortsword. Sprinting toward the front exit, Stern hopes to get the elven inn keeper to safety and return to help others.


As Stern moves toward to exit, he looks back at Ilde...




Then to Eldon, Stern roars over the sounds of the attack.




Then Stern is gone, pushing his way through the crumbling doorway of the elven inn with the innkeeper under one arm.




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The tiny wizard does what all Hin do in times of crisis. Firstly, a sip of the morning tea. Secondly, Fuzzbucket stuffs herself into his Hat and Eldon's ancient Grimoire follows.


He stands, watching the orange fire beginning to dance. "Right." he says, tossing his hat on his head. He snatches a roll out of the air as the table goes sideways. "I'll see what I can do, Ser!" he calls out to the Aegis.





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It was the frantic chirping of the tiny winged creatures fleeing the room that first made Ilde sense something was wrong. They were behaving much like birds fleeing their nests before the coming of a windstorm. The room had grown dark and then the fire came from the sky. In one instant, Ilde thought she was dreaming again, but in another instant that thought was gone, replaced with very real fear for the safety of her new companions and herself.




Ilde knew already that not everybody had came down to breakfast yet, so her first concerns are for those in the upper rooms. She runs up the stairs, hoping to rescue her companions as well as anybody else who may have still been in their rooms.

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"I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF, YOU <epithet>!" Warrick shouts at the departing form of the Wizard. Two wounds has he now delivered to the Scout and the second threatens to drive him mad. "YOU'LL DIE AT MY HANDS!"


Cursing the Wizard's spell that slowed him he leaps to the window to witness the fires and the dragon's departure. An evil scowl crosses Warricks visage leaving the fires unheeded. I'll kill you myself.


His attention returning to the blazes, the Scout remains unconcerned for the fire. He has been in burning buildings before under his previous command and he estimates the structure still has three minutes to stand. Nearly an eternity for one with his speed. In one motion he siezes his belt, weapons, and backpack and grabs his leathers with the other hand. His foot opens his door as he strides into the hallway. No fire burns as hotly as the one in his veins now.


"WAKE UP! EVERYONE OUT! THE INN IS AFIRE!" he shouts moving up and down the hallway. He kicks and shoulders doors open yelling for all to flee.

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Cuchulainn wakes to meet the sun with prayer. As soon as he closes his window, he hears Warrick's shouts.


"I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF, YOU <epithet>!"


Grabbing his staff, Cuchulainn runs to Warricks room, only to be nearly knocked to the floor by the force of the flying door. Before he can ask whats going on, Warrick warns him of the fire. Scrambling back to his room, Cuchulainn grabs his things before heading down the stairs and out the door.

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<joint post that took place before M-TLH started burning things down to the ground... <_<:lol: >



Cuchulainn knocks on the door of his sick companion.


Warrick raises his head from his personal contemplations and tosses his half-empty flask back into his backpack. "Who is it?"


"Can I come in? I just figured I should check up on you." He says as he pokes his head in the door. He is wearing a small mask over his mouth and nose of fine white guass. "I know Stern may walk unmolested by the plauges of earth, but I prefer to err on the side of caution."


Warrick half smiles, not fully put off by the mask as much as he is curious. Of the group, he has probably spent the least time with the Islander priest but he has remained intrigued by him. "Sure, do come in. Your company is welcomed." Warrick sits quietly for the moment, still smiling, waiting for Cuchulainn to make the next move.



Kneeling on the floor, Cuchulainn spreads the contents of his field medicine kit infront of him. He stops to think for a moment--pondering where to start. He finally reaches for a sheet of specially treated parchment and tears a bit off the side.


"Put this in your mouth, under your tongue and hold it there......... ok, take it out." Cuchulainn holds the moist paper up to the window for extra light. After a moment or two, the wet portion of the paper turns from waxy yellow/white to a deep violet hue. Shaking his head, cuchulainn throws the paper into the chamberpot before moving on. Taking a lacquered tongue depressor and a tiny mirror attached to a hand legnth metal stem, Cuchulainn studies the back of Warrick's throat.


Warrick's demeanor has changed from mild amusement to curiosity...and hope. Perhaps this young diviner may solve my ailment. I'm glad he cares enough to try at any rate...


"I don't know what to say... Let me check your breathing." Cuchulainn as he takes the mirror and depressor out of Warrick's mouth. "Take off your shirt and turn around, I'll be feeling the strength of your lungs." Cuchulainn has Warrick breath in and out several times while feeling his back with the palm of his hand. He seems to have a normal body temperature at least....


"Ok, you can put your shirt pack on." Cuchulainn says before taking a seat across from warrick in the room. "The disease, whatever it is, doesn't seem to have spread to your lungs yet. But I can see it in your intestinal tract. That brew you've been given seems to have stopped ther spread, but its only a matter of time before the disease builds a resistance to the treatment.... I wish I had better news for you."


Warrick nods quietly, slightly disappointed but not at all surprised. "I want to tell you about what I am feeling. But as a matter of honor, I would request that you keep this between you and me only. I wish not to worry the others. I trust this will not be awkward for you?"


Cuchulainn is daunted that some one so much older than he would be willing to share something so heartfelt with him. Though as a priest, he realises it is part of his duty to listen and care for those around him.


Nodding at the young man's response, Warrick settles into a chair next to Cuchulainn. Relief wells into him now that he feels he has someone he can trust to speak with and will not be burdened with what he shares. Cuchulainn's clinical approach has helped the Scout reach the conclusion that he will not worry overmuch about Warrick's condition. And the young man seems interested in listening; his demeanor practically draws it out of Warrick. Under the influence of alcohol and feeling strangely comfortable with the Islander enigma before him, Warrick suddenly pours out the truth of what he has been feeling.


"I feel...I feel like somehow the years have caught up to me. Perhaps even passed through me. I am not familiar with the aches and pains of those much older than myself, but I have served under many of them. I know their complaints and now I feel I share in them. My joints...ache. My fingers and toes are stiff and my back hurts where it didn't used to." Warrick pauses to indicate where in case the healer is interested.


"There is a certain drawback of medicine. A doctor tells a patient of the disease they are suffering, and suddenly the patient is feels the symptoms tenfold. I'm glad you're so intuitive about your own body. Indeed, you're breathing and reaction time are that of some one at least ten years beyond you. At this point, the only thing I can say is bundle up when you go outside; you're most likely more suseptible to pneumonia.


"Obviously, I have no idea what that arrow was or what that necromancer was up to, but is it possible he might have stolen years from my life? Is it possible he seeks to turn me Undead by unnaturally advancing my age? Can magic even do that?" Warrick settles for the moment somewhat embarrassed by his sudden outpouring and barrage of questions. Quieting, he waits for Cuchulainn's answers.


Cuchulainn takes a few moments to collect his thoughts. "Magic isn't a science like medicine.... Some might say its more of an art but I'ld say its more like a bunch of haphazard kids with torches than anything else. I try not to say anything around any of our spell slingers, but its just how I feel.... Once again, I have no idea; I've never heard of someone Falling like this. Almost like the bite of a nightstalker, but over many weeks. Allow me the night to meditate on the problem, we'll talk more again in the coming days. If he lasts that long.

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“Hmm? Mmmmmm! Good morning.” Their kiss is warm, not the passion of the previous night but the friendly touch of two people in love, happy and comfortable with each other.


“Sun’s nearly up! I’m late for meditation. If I can’t cast today, it’ll be your fault for wearing me out.” said with a smile but Robert is already moving, out of the bed he pads quickly across to the table where the bowl and jug of water reside. A little liquid flows from the latter to the former and he splashes his face, his neck and across his shoulders.


She watches with a smile as he jumps out of the bed...her own departure from the bed a bit more leisurely. From the foot of the bed Adia looks up sleepily and thinks. "Morning all ready? and she rouses herself.


"That window’s Easterly, I can greet the dawn from here” says Robert, returning to where his clothes were, like those of most of his sex, hung up on the floor


A few minutes later, he is dressed and sat cross-legged on the room’s wooden boards, his bow across his lap and his sword lying parallel on the floor. With eyes closed, he begins the exercises Victor taught him.


Dressed in a drk blue gown Mykayla sits back on the bed, and brushes the tangles from her hair. Once done she watches as Robert does his meditations, smiling softly to herself. Then she closes her own eyes and begins her own meditations for the day.


The room's solid wooden shutters are thrown back and the glow of the warmth-laden sunlight streams into the room, bathing Robert in it's illumination. Dust motes sparkle and dance in the air as they catch the glint of the newly rising orb and Tanladdwyr shines as with a holy essence, resting peacefully for now. Time passes, the breathing and thought patterns of the youngster focusing his mind, drawing energy from the sun's bounty, almost as though it were sap that ran through his veins and the sunlight was feeding him, giving his system one great systolic boost of power. Slowly, the power of the dawn and the strength of nature imbues him, being safely stored away until he needs to call on it to cast his spells. Eventually, replenished and calm, he opens his eyes and exhales deeply.


"Now I need to eat!"


Stirring from her own meditation Mykayla stretches feeling better for having done so. Forgotten are the dreams that have disturbed her of late, and her unease at being here among the elves, her Kine. She smiles up at Robert and says "We could order a meal in our room...if you like. I don't think we will have many more opportunties to be alone in the near future....I think I would like to enjoy each others company a bit longer...."


"OK, sounds good. I'll go and see what they can rustle up for us downstairs." With that, he removes the chair that was propped under the door handle (old habits dying hard) and leaves the room, trotting downstairs. Just before entering the common room, he nearly crashes into the Innkeeper, bustling her way through the doorframe. Although she is obviously busy, she agrees to send their breakfasts upstairs as soon as the maid returns from drawing water. Content with this, Robert returns upstairs.


Breakfast soon arrives and the two of them sit down to enjoy the time together. Talking of better times and making small talk to avoid dwelling on thier current situation. theya re midway through thier meal when the ruckus starts. "What the...? Mykayla asks. And then her eyes widen in hooror when she hears the words fire yelled and she flashes Robert a look of horror as they both hear the sounds of the attack.

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