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Lady Tam

The Darakan Chronicles

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Is that roast beast I smell, by the Gods I'm hungry...

 

Stern, stepping foward,kneels down to one knee, making himself seem smaller, nods toward Warrick and speaks to Baleah low and direct...

 

"M'lady Baleah, I am Stern Kestrelmann Son of Karl, born unto the 12th house of Kestrelmann. †I shall accept yer quest... †And I shall join these adventures, they seem a' be trusted souls. †Argh, ceptin' fer that Mage, who appears ta have himself the fever..."

 

Stern stands again, arms outstretched to Baleah.

 

"M'lady, as me Skoli friend said, we'll be needin' our blades and armorments if 'in ya want us at our best. †Blood will be spilled on this journey m'lady... †I can feel it in me bones.

 

Turning his back to Baleah, and looking upon his new companions...

 

"We'll be needin' food, supplies, and some yellow coin to prepare fer this journey..."

 

"But tonight let us feast together (slaps Ame on the back, puts his arm over Jesset's shoulder) for tomorrow we may die!!!!

 

Stern grabs a huge leg of roast beast from the table and begins to devour it as though he's not eaten in weeks...

 

SK

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this Stern is so like the village orcs of Karrock's home. It has been a time since I have dined with such a comfortably friendly brute...

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to the lady: "You have our gear? †My appetite would be greater with my gear returned. †As for the helping, I would like to know more before I say aye or nay. †If your gods are the ones that oppress and slaughter, I'll respectfully not be joining you. †However, if the cause is worthy, and the fight just, I see no reason to not do my all. †Now, time is wasting, our gear, and then, tell the tale whilst we eat. †A decision will be had by meals end."

 

I really want my hammer, now would nice, I don't want to tear this place apart, I just want my hammer. Food smells good, is this a trap too?

 

Ame awaits a response from the lady. †If a positive one is given, she'll stick to the safe food on the table, the fruit and plain bread, wary of being drugged(again?). †Else, she is ready to go find her gear, especially her weapon. †She does her best to stay on guard for more surprises.

 

cbs

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The Islander walks over to the tapestries and peers closely at the scenes depicted on them.

 

"You say your Gods have chosen me... have they stolen my name as well? I seem a poor choice."

 

He walks up to Ametrine and places a hand on her shoulder.

 

"Like the Lady Dwarf, I choose to go only if your Gods have good reasons. I will not spill blood to feed an angry god. What matters the lives of your people to someone whose people are unknown to them? I will help only if there is good reason."

 

He walks over to the table and begins to eat.

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About frikka-frikka time, already. At least this posting went up /before/ 8pm my time. I'll try to get these things up earlier and earlier, but no promises.

 

--Begin--

 

Even with the pressing matters at hand, the meal is a feast of its own.

 

The picked-over remains lie strewn across the table, and no ill effects befall any in the party. Baleah herself nibbles on the food, making sure her guests see that she eats the same things they do, albeit not to the heroic portions that Stern himself puts away.  Baleah herself has put off the important conversation until her guests have had their fill, but does make pleasant conversation at the table. She possesses the ability to make each person seem welcome at her table, with her warm smile or keen wit.

 

But all good things come to pass, and even as she raises her glass to her lips, tasting the excellent vintage of wine; her mood darkens, ever so slightly. She sets the glass on the table, and sits up just a little straighter.

 

ìWell,î she begins, her soprano voice soft, but very clear. ìNow would be the time where we speak of less pleasant things...î She looks over each person, and then begins.

 

ìTwo moons ago, Markham Brightwater, of Brightwater and Brightwater fell ill. He was a man of... grand tastes, weíll say. Many didnít think much of it, the Gods claiming him early for his life of food and wine and letting others do his work for him. His son, Kenneth, took over his business. Mostly shipping up and down the Southern Coasts. Even arranging passage to the Islandsî She glances at the Islander a moment, favoring him with a small smile. ìMarkham was a shrewd mind behind his girth. And would never make a deal unless he made a profit. His son, after some difficulties, took the reins of Brightwater and Brightwater.

 

ìSince Markhamís death, one important figure in this region has fallen-- Each seventhday. First after Markham was Abbot Cullen, head of a small Monastery to the north of here. One seventhday after that, our lord Constable, Elliot fell. One manís passing happens everyday; this is the cycle the Gods decree. Two? Possible, Markham was large with a life made easy by his mind. Abbot Cullen was an old man when my former Lord was crowned, and we believed he would be here to crown Lord Caelein when he came of age.î

 

She reaches out for her wineglass, sipping deeply. ìBut our Constable was a fit and trim man. Recently a Knight-Lieutenant in King Oswaldís army. This is when we found that the Men had a hand in this....î

 

Baleah looks to Warrick and asks him. ìI know little of these Men you have told me about, Milord Greywynd. Would you explain their presence to these companions?

 

The Diviner waits until Warrickís explanation of the Sorrowful Men passes, then looks to the group once more.

 

As you see, these are indeed dangerous people you will be facing. And to answer any lingering doubts you may have. Your arms and armaments have been safely kept. They will be returned to you, regardless of if you help or not. But please. Be safe, and may the Gods give you courage.

 

She takes her wineglass, standing to toast this group before draining it to the last drop.

 

--End--

 

See! up before 8pm... just barely! Enjoy, I'll get the next one asafp, as well.

 

--lstormhammer, Gee Em

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At the mention of the 'Men' Warrick frowns a slightly. †His look is one of...frustration? †It's difficult to say. †He bears the look of a man that has just been defeated at a chess match but he is still not quite sure how.

 

His baritone voice rings clearly in the acoustics of the room, but it is not raised or excited. †Rather, it seems almost over-controlled, but this is not necessarily distracting. †He speaks with little local accent, possibly the result of his controlled tone, but the confidence is evident in his voice.

 

"The Sorrowful Men, as they call themselves, is a group of highly-skilled professional assassins," he states matter-of-factly. †The word 'assassins' is delivered with no judgment in his voice whatsoever. †He may as well be speaking of the local shepherd's fair.

 

"They have an incredibly high success rate when they are actually employed which is infrequent. †Rare is the man or woman that has enough coin to engage them. †When they attack they are thorough and rarely make a mistake. †The victim is typically found cold as stone, the attacker long since departed." †Given that they are eating, Warrick judiciously excludes further details of the victims' conditions.

 

"Their dedication to their order is legendary. †The few that have been caught betray not a whit of their brethren regardless of what extraction techniques employed." †Again he speaks with unusual calmness on a grim subject.

 

"The most curious aspect of these recent attacks is the frequency. †Either there is a great deal of gold driving them or a loyalty of another nature. †I have no idea which it might be. †Their usual method is to strike once, quickly, and then retreat back into the darkness until they are all but forgotten."

 

Warrick stops speaking, appearing almost embarrassed at having monopolized the conversation. †"My apologies for droning on. †This is a subject that has much been on my mind as of late and I fear I have lingered too long on it. † There is more to tell but there is also more time to tell it."

 

He raises his wineglass to the Diviner returning the floor to her. †He puts away his distraction and re-engages the group listening carefully to each while savoring his wine.

 

Perhaps the best vintage I shall be tasting for a while. †Most road taverns certainly lack representation from the better vintners. †Though it will be nice to be out of these stone walls for a time...

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Stern's thoughts, fuzzy from the countless glasses of red wine and mugs of ale, swim about his head like a mushy torrent of images and sensations...

 

He slowly stands and toasts with Baleah. †His massive frame swaying slightly. †Stern's quite drunk...

 

"Fine meal m'lady (belches loudly) and even finer company on this eve!!!" (puts one thick, harry arm around Robert and the other around Jesset).

 

"Here's to new friends and battles yet to be won!!!"

 

"Ame, stand, join us in the toast... (looks towards Ame with a sheepish grin). †Oh, yer already standing!" (roars with laughter). †

 

Stern collects himself and turns to the Rogue and asks,

 

"Warrick, these "men" can they be tracked down?" †

 

"We're might we start lookin' fer 'em?"

 

Stern, yer drunk outta yer skull man! Room spinning...

 

Before Warrick can answer him, Stern falls face down on the table, he's passed out...

 

SK

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Ame reaches across the table and picks Stern's head, none to gently, out of his desert plate and lets it fall roughly upon the tabletop.

 

"I am with you, tell me more, can I have my hammer back now?"

 

I can't believe he got that sloppy, I hope drunk is not a habitual state for him, is there anymore of that dish, that looks kinda good, and no one looks worse for trying it, where is my hammer?

 

cbs

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Mykayla sits back with a look of contemplation of her face. She has eaten and drunk lightly this meal, and now toys with the wine glass in her hands. Her eys flicker from companion to companion, while her face remains unreadable. Finally, after much internal stuggle she slowly says. " I am not quite certain how these 'sorrowful men' concern the elves, for they seem a problem of man. But of late I have found much to be admired in man." (her eyes glance over at Robert) "And since I have found little to 'admire' in my own people lately, I will join with these others and help you." She looks at Robert (who was sitting next to he and says quietly to him. " I hope that you to will stay and help. Perhaps we will find what we are both looking for."

†Robert looks at the others gathered round and simpy nods his head and says. "I will stay for now and help."

LT

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"Your words are as sweet as this wine, milady" say the Islander after taking a sip. "Yet how are we to know it was these 'Sorrowful Men' that did it? Another 'vision' perhaps?"

 

He frowns and stares into his plate.

 

"Whatever the case, I don't mean to belittle your abilities. My gods have forgotten me, it seems. If these 'Men' have killed your peers, I will see what I can do."

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my instincts have served well, I see. I pray my trust in the gods is always so well rewarded. But as warrick speaks, this does indeed seem more a war than a quest.

 

A quest indeed to find these sorrowful men, another to discover their purpose, but a war foil them. Surely these makers of death will not stop before their own?

 

Jesset pulls at her wine, sipping slowly but at length.

 

From the weilders of death to the makers of it... is this war somehow interlinked with the struggle of my bole? Is a rising of the death-gods at the root of mayhem in every community? How widespread will these foes and their allies be? Even beyond this war - or battle if this be but a local extension of more global troubles - this I must know... Is there a connection? and does this threaten a city or a world?

 

Slowly refocussing her eyes, Jesset returns her attention to the table.

 

"Lady, I am glad to hear these details. I see my trust in the source of your visions is not unfounded. Like noble stern, I will fight this evil, but also like him, I have needs greater than simply the return of my arms. If I might speak privately with you a moment?"

 

After the meal passes, the Lynx steps close to the Diviner's chair and kneels low. Speaking in a soft voice, but one still heard by those nearby, Jesset beseeches the Lady:

 

"I do not know what the Gods have revealed to you of my life or needs, but I do know that Divination is a fountain of many springs. I was wondering if perhaps the spring of your knowledge is Wizardry?

 

For the past several years I have struggled in a cause I see now cannot be won by arms alone. And yet, we were so few, there was none to teach me the Wizardry I must learn if I am to turn back the Necromancy that threatens my home. I owe debts of friendship, of family, and of duty that must all eventually lead me home to that struggle once more. Fear not that I will leave your cause against the sorrowful men unresolved, what I undertake, I finish. But I would ask this... If you have learning in Wizardry, would you take me as apprentice? I am lettered in many tongues, including the arcane tongue of Dragons. Perhaps you could let me a book or two during our searches and provide a lesson or two when we return to rest? Say what you will, I will still oppose the Sorrowful Men, but if you can grant this boon, you may help me oppose as great an evil. Think on this, if you will, I will aid the fallen & then return to the table."

 

So completing her supplication, Jesset stands.

 

"Are their guards that could help me with the good Stern? He has been whelmed by his foe, Jack, and I would put him to bed with a poultice. "

 

[if there is no objection & help is available, she will take Stern away to a more comfortable rest than he had last night, returning to the table after placing herbs in his cheeks, a pitcher of warm water with a jack on the stand, and a nightpot near the bed.]

 

"Well now, I suppose I must finish this wine. It is the best I have tasted since resting in the hall of my order 5 years and more ago."

 

So saying, she does, in long, slow, and thoughtful sips.

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Several hours slip by before Stern begins to stir...

 

how, who, what... argh, you blasted fool, ye've gotta be mar careful Stern...  Oh me aching head, it feels liken' the orcs have been dancin' on me neck.  How did I get here in this bed?

 

Stern slowly checks at his side for Karamor... (his Greatsword) She's not there.  He then spits the herbs from his mouth into the night pot, rinses his face with some water, and lays back down.  

 

Stern is asleep within minutes...

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While the others discuss their plans, and make their commitments, Ame signals to one of the table pages.  When he approaches, Ame leans to whisper in his ear, his face pales and he nods quickly.  He runs from the room.  A short while later he returns with a discret bundle which Ame ties over her shoulder.  She smiles broadly, and resumes picking at the food remaining on the table.

 

cbs

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After silently observing for a while Mykayla asks Warrick and Baleah "You seem to know an lot about these 'sorrowful' men. And I must say I agree with the young Islander, how do you know it is they that are doing this? After all there have only been three deaths, that you know of. What makes you think all three are the actions of these assasins?"

LT

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