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Michael-TLH

The Darakan Chronicles, Part 2

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Ilde sees sincerity and regret in Eldon's eyes, but his leaving the group causes her sadness and concern.

 

"Eldon of Good Barrel, I have only known you for less than one day, but I will be sorrowful to see you go. I do not doubt the wisdom of those who ask you to stay behind, but you were also counted amoung the Seven of which Adelia spoke were you not?"

 

Not wanting to cause any more unease for Eldon when his departure was eminent, she places her hand on his right shoulder, a gesture of parting-friends in her own lands, and on this particular occasion an awkward gesture due to her departing friend's diminutive stature.

 

"May our paths cross again some day friend-Eldon of Good Barrel."

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"I am sorry you have to leave.you have been with us such short time. Your skills in magic and in cooking shall be missed." says Myk as she leans down and kisses the Hin on the forehead.

 

Robert gives his hand to the Hin as well. "May your travels be safe and a quick."

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Winging overhead, the shrill cry of a falcon breaks the somber gathering. Wings full it streaks toward the earth, wings widestretch and... growing larger?

 

Feathers shift and lengthen, growing long and wide. Talons stretch forth and slide together, in a strange twist as the falcon lands. Setting gently to the ground, Tanaar walks forward to the Scout of Searoad, eyes meeting each of the Companions... he nods to Warrick and claps him on the shoulder. His voice is soft like a spring breeze.

 

"We will find her, Scout."

 

Striding quickly to Adelia, he bows low at the waist and speaks to her in Elven.

 

[e]

"Majesty. The enemy moves north and east. We lost sight of the wyrm... I suspect High Magicks."

[/e]

 

The Woodland Queen sighs heavily and motions for grooms to make the mounts ready.

 

"Friends. Time is short. Tanaar will travel with you for a time." She nods as a youth holds a bag up for her inspection. "Food. Clothes. Spare gear. All is provided for you. Tanaar will try and explain what I did not have time for. Go, now... and Eluné light your path."

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Tanaar waits as a horse is brought for him, noting the silent stares and grim faces. Whatever thoughts these Companions have, they are keeping to themselves.

 

Adelia has wished all a safe journey and turns back to her ruined Inn. A squadron of elven guardians meld into the forest behind her, or run forward clearing the way.

 

Cuchullain is still surrounded by a number of sprites and pixies, but is gradually left to his own as the little fey flit off or flicker and disappear. One tenacious grig still clings to his shoulder, burying his little face in the Island priest's hair, sobbing quietly and trembling.

 

Within moments a horse is brought and Tanaar mounts with practiced ease.

 

"Come, friends. We must be off. We've miles to go and no time to spare. Even now the ring expands, devouring all it touches." With a flick of his reins, he wheels his gelding around and out the stables, heading north through the Woodland Realm.

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Bidding Eldon farewell, Stern kneels and clasps the small man's tiny arm in his own, "Ye keep things well n' good here in tha bole ma wee magiker, yer contributions ta our cause shall no' be fergotten Mr. Eldon."

 

Having finsished his good-bye to Eldon, Stern quickly rejoins the others as they emerge from the stables...

 

The giant knight then bows low to elven queen Adelia, his majestic splint mail creaking and scrapping together as he does so, <elf>"We shall meet again yer highness, ta celebrate our victory over this undead evil, by tha sword o' St. Marcus ye have ma word on tha'."</elf>

 

"Come, friends. We must be off. We've miles to go and no time to spare. Even now the ring expands, devouring all it touches." With a flick of his reins, he wheels his gelding around and out the stables, heading north through the Woodland Realm.

 

Nodding to the elven druid, Stern hoists his massive frame onto the huge elven warhorse. Then drawing his ancient and enchanted greatsword, Stern points the massive blade skyward, then turns to the Companions from atop his mount riding back and forth in short circles with a solem look upon his square unshaven face. The young paladin suddenly calls out in a commanding voice that seems more powerful than usual, "TA YER MOUNTS MA FRIENDS, THA CHOSEN O' BALEAH HAVE A SWORN DUTY TA UPHOLD N' A FRIEND IN DIRE NEED. LET US RIDE FORTH N' STRIKE DOWN THIS EVIL, IN THA NAME O' ST. MARCUS, THA HADREN CROWN, N' ALL THA' IS GOOD IN THA WORLD O' MEN... N' FER JESSET! TIME IS SHORT COMPANIONS, EACH PASSING MOMENT BRINGS DEATH CLOSER TA OUR WORLD, TAGETHER WE CANNO' BE DEFEATED, UNITED THA COMPANIONS O' SEAROAD STAND N' AS ONE WE SHALL FEAR NO EVIL!"

 

Having finished his firey speech, the Aegis of Rockfist lowers his sword and slides the blade into his saddle sheath in one smoth motion before urging his giant elven warhorse into a steady gallop behind Tanaar's lead...

 

The spearhead of St. Marcus shall yield to no one from this day forth.

 

SK

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Stretching out a hand, Robert graps Warrick firmly by the shoulder. As their eyes meet the ranger, almost imperceptably, nods his head determinedly. Without a word, all that needs to have been said said in one gesture, Robert springs into the saddle of his mount.

 

Stern's loud voice startles his steed but swiftly the mare is quieted and re-assured. As everyone mounts up, Robert's speach is simple.

 

"Let's ride".

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Though she knew little about Stern or his companions, she knew that their destiny and hers were entwined and that she must follow. Though Stern's speech was not necessary to convince her of the importance and urgency of the quest ahead, she was still moved by it. 'The heart of a warrior..' she thought to herself as she mounted up and followed behind Robert and Stern.

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Cuchulainn mounts up once Stern has made his speech. Once in the saddle, he moves toward the palidin.

 

"What you've said is very true and rousing. And I'm speaking only for myself and none of the group, but I feel it is unwise--especially in the absence of Jesset--that any one person among us attempts to take up a leadership role in our group. Warrick is hurting in more ways than you could know and we all need to support him. It doesn't help that you've made Jesset's kidnapping an afterthought.... I feel the best thing to do right now is stay as democratic as possilbe in our decisions." Cuchulsinn says as quietly and nonoffesnively as possilbe to Stern. He gives a small knod to the warrior before taking his place in the middle of the group.

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"What you've said is very true and rousing. And I'm speaking only for myself and none of the group, but I feel it is unwise--especially in the absence of Jesset--that any one person among us attempts to take up a leadership role in our group. Warrick is hurting in more ways than you could know and we all need to support him. It doesn't help that you've made Jesset's kidnapping an afterthought.... I feel the best thing to do right now is stay as democratic as possilbe in our decisions."

 

Peering down at the young sun priest with a look of concern etched upon is face, the Aegis of Rockfist rumbles in a low steady voice to the boy cleric, "Leadership? Wha' do ye know of it goodly priest? I am but fulfillin' ma duty as Vanguard o' this group, I follow only tha guidance o' St. Marcus n' lead no one against their will 'er without their counsel. St. Marcus shall continue ta light tha way fer me , fer all o' us... Sir Warrick has me support n' empathy now n' ferever, I am no stranger to loss priest but tha time fer weepin' n' poutin' is past... Our duty is clear n' righteous, we must engage tha evil tha' prepares ta invade these lands fer if we do not all will be lost, includin' ever findin' out wha' happened ta Jess 'n seeing ta her safe reunion amongst our ranks... Look around ye boy, we are tagather as one, I MAKE DECISIONS FER NO ONE, me duty is ta keep this group alive, so tha' we may find Jess n' crush tha' which has taken her from us, from Sir Warrick... I claim no leadership on this day, but I shall lead by ma deeds n' do all tha' is in me power n', tha power vested in me by tha Holy Spirit o' St. Marcus, ta see tha' we, The Companions, are victorious!"

 

Stern finishes his emotionally charged response to the young priest and quickly spurs his giant elven draft horse to a hard gallop to catch up with Tanaar once more.

 

SK

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The elvensteeds' hooves pound into the earth at their feet as Tanaar and the Chosen of Beleah ride on.

 

Garr races ahead and Tanaar nods, knowing that because of their bond, Garr will be able to track the missing Skoli better than any spell he could cast. Hammer follows closely behind and when the party turns due north, the elven druid leans forward, lashing with his reins and urging his horse faster and faster. For several minutes all ride in silence. Tanaar stands in the stirrups and looks back, making sure all the Chosen are near enough and he begins to chant.

 

As the last syllables of his spell fade away, Garr and Hammer leap into the air and continue up and away. His horse then begins to rise into the air, walking on it as if it were hard-packed earth. Following behind, the other horses rise as well. Continuing to race forward for nearly an hour, Tanaar soon calls for, and slows down to, a more peaceful pace.

 

"Hold Garr, we must not tire the horses." He turns and faces the Companions. "We will soon leave the demesne of the Wild. There is fodder in the saddlebags for you and your mounts. Ahead lies an area ruin and destruction... as you shall see for yourselves. We won't be able to hunt or find fresh water, but the waybread and such will sustain us."

 

Cuchullain, riding in the middle of the group, is startled when a small voice squeaks in his ear. "Can I have a berry or some tea, please, Bright One?" Turning, he sees a tiny grasshopper-like creature sitting upon his shoulder. A tiny torso and humanoid hands and head grows from it's body and tiny irridescent wings are fold along it's thorax. Sapphire blue eyes sparkle and it's long green hair is braided into tiny rows. It clutches a tiny twig as if it were a spear and a small leaf is folded into the approximation of a rucksack at it's side.

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As her own horse begins to rise into the air by means of the magic of the one that introduced himself as Tanaar, Ilde feels a strange unease at the idea of entrusing herself and her mount to the sorcery of a man who she has scarcely met, even though the others seem to trust him.

 

Her feeling of unease soon passes and is replaced by a very real discomfiture as her horse rises higher and higher. Though Kiire does not seem to mind, Ilde feels as though her breakfast might refuse to stay down. Though as a child she always longed to be able to fly, now she only longs for this part of the journey to come to a safe conclusion back on firm ground.

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The mighty Aegis is suddenly startled as the hooves of this massive elven draft horse leave the ground and take flight. Stern watches in uneasy amazement as Tanaar, the dogs, and the other companions take flight on the magically charged air.

 

By tha Hand o' St. Marcus! Stern thinks to himself as they rise higher and higher.

 

The mounted paladin rides and watches the sky for any sign of danger. Then the mighty knight swivels his head from side to side, then downward as the ground shrinks away.

 

Stern gazes back at Ilde and notices the look of uncertainty of her now pale face. With the wind blowing hard around him, the young Aegis calls out to her in a firm, but reassuring tone, "Rest easy mighty Ilde, you've nothing ta fear but tha challenges tha' lie ahead... Try ta prepare yer mind fer battle n' be at tha ready!"

 

Death approaches Stern, stay alert...

 

Stern pulls the swirling gold lion crested Aegis shield snug against his armored chest and then draws a gleaming short sword, the ancient forged blade of the Aegis, from the thick dark leather sheath hanging from his belt. The holy warrior once more readies himself for battle, in both mind and body.

 

SK

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"Leadership? Wha' do ye know of it goodly priest? I am but fulfillin' ma duty as Vanguard o' this group, I follow only tha guidance o' St. Marcus n' lead no one against their will 'er without their counsel. St. Marcus shall continue ta light tha way fer me , fer all o' us... Sir Warrick has me support n' empathy now n' ferever, I am no stranger to loss priest but tha time fer weepin' n' poutin' is past... Our duty is clear n' righteous, we must engage tha evil tha' prepares ta invade these lands fer if we do not all will be lost, includin' ever findin' out wha' happened ta Jess 'n seeing ta her safe reunion amongst our ranks... Look around ye boy, we are tagather as one, I MAKE DECISIONS FER NO ONE, me duty is ta keep this group alive, so tha' we may find Jess n' crush tha' which has taken her from us, from Sir Warrick... I claim no leadership on this day, but I shall lead by ma deeds n' do all tha' is in me power n', tha power vested in me by tha Holy Spirit o' St. Marcus, ta see tha' we, The Companions, are victorious!"

 

Cuchulainn rubs the bridge of his nose in frustration as the words he has spoken to the knight run off Stern's back like water.

 

As is the nature of all casters, Cuchulainn knows when Tanaar begins to cast his spell. So its not that much of a suprise when the group begins to take flight. Once in the air, Cuchulainn gives an uneasy glance downward; he's only been flying once before.

 

What truly suprises him though, is the presence of a fey in his pack. Cuchulainn has neither berries nor tea, but he knows of a spell that will do in a pinch. Cuchulainn takes a moment to cast the minor cantrip before he hands a conjured berry to the fey creature

 

<sylvin>"And to whom do I owe the pleasure?"</s> He asks the tiny creature as it begins to eat.

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Once again, they seem only to be able to cast useful spells after they would have been truly helpful.

 

"A shame, Tanaar, that none of your kind were thus prepared this morning. We might still have our comrade with us."

 

And tell us next time you're going to cast. That's manners

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Already feeling out of sorts from the attack on the inn, Mykayla watches as the young preist talks to Stern...and shakes her head...Whther he liked it or not the gru9p had to have a leader to follow and if Stern wished to step into that role than all the more good. As a Paladin it was his duty after all. When Tanaar cast his sell her frown deepens as her thought mirror her lovers, but she bites her tongue and says nothing...but feeling slightly embaressed by her kins presuptive behavior.

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