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Legends of Taltos:Crusaders


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If Rai hears Janara’s questions, she makes not indication as her main concern is over coming her weaken state. As she drinks the water she feels her senses start to return to normal and she’s able to sit without assistance. She takes a deep breath after hearing Roman and begins to contemplate her decision. A few moments until she notices that Ben’s attention is still focused on her. “I’m going,” she says in a stronger voice. “I must retrieve my things from Master Valandil’s tower.” She begins to stand allowing Ben to assist her until she has a secure footing.

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As Rai stands, she comes face to face with a very concerned George, his armour somewhat coated in Darkspawn ichor and blood. "Are you sure you are okay m'lady?" Asks the former (is he?) squire. "Perhaps you should rest some more?"

 

Without waiting for Rai's responce, he turns to Ben. "Ben, I plan on accompanying Roman into the tunnel, but I am not equipped for such a mission. Would you fetch my crossbow and pack please?" George seems somewhat uncomfortable to be asking this of his friend, possibly due to his time as a squire. "I have been charged with securing this breach, so I cannot go myself else I would."

 

While waiting for Ben's answer, George looks around for Jasmine. He smiles at his friend and an almost visible sigh of relief leaves the young man's form when he realises she's okay.

 

"I must return to my post." George says to Ben, Rai and Jasmine as he moves back to the breach in the floor, where he takes up a position beside Erik. On the way, he informs Roman that he wouldn't consider not accompanying him and asks him to send a healer for himself and Erik, who're standing in the breach.

 

As he finally takes up his position, he nods to Erik and raises his shield.

 

"By the Father, none shall pass this point."

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In the midst of the confusion, a willowy, copper-haired elf in ranger's garb slips through the doorway. "Excuse me," she says smoothly to no one in particular, "I was told I could find one Findecano Amatuile here..."

 

Her voice trails off and her entire demeanor changes as she notices the chapel's floor is littered with Darkspawn corpses. Her eyes blaze and her knuckles turn white as she clutches her intricately-carved bow. "Is there no end to their depravity," she mutters through gritted teeth, "that they will presume to enter a place of worship?"

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Ben looks up as George begins talking. "No problem, I'll escort m'Lady to the wizard's tower to gather her things if I can't convincer her to stay there along the way, then gather your belongings and mine, meet back up with her, and be back as quickly as possible." He then goes back to tending to Rai.

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"Erik, Sir George, hold the breach until our team is ready.

Erik turns toward Duke Gerard, salutes and returns to the tunnel mouth.

 

"Ben, I plan on accompanying Roman into the tunnel, but I am not equipped for such a mission. Would you fetch my crossbow and pack please?"

 

Hearing George ask about his gear reminds Erik that he also left most of his gear in his room. Quickly he looks around the chapel. He sees Janara, who looks a bit concerned.

 

"Janara!" He waits until she looks his way. "Can you run by the smithy and grab my pack?" His anxiousness shows in his voice. "It should be simple to find. It's in the chest at the foot of my bed."

 

He then turns his attention back to the tunnel, assuming a defensive position.

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"I'm fine," she says to Ben. "That last spell drained me more than I thought it would. But I'm fine now, really! Let's be off."

 

As the two make their way to the tower, Rai goes into deep thought over her fiery spell. She hardly pays attention to where they are walking as she thinks out loud, "I was quite unprepared for the amount of energy that spell would require. Master warned me, but I never imagined... I shall be prepared the next time however I honestly don't think I can cast it again this day." She takes a deep breath as her eyes flicker with excitement and pride. "But the results were magnificent...quite magnificent indeed."

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Roman is deep in prayer at the altar. He hears George's pledge to go with the sortie and his request for healing, and yet he doesn't hear it. Of course George would go. And so would all the others, even that goofy elf Fin. Roman knows the hearts of all those present in the chapel, and his request for aid was only a formality and so no one would think he was taking their help for granted. He knows that Denelspire is truly blessed to have such champions to protect her in her hour of need.

 

All these thoughts are secondary, however, and he doesn't really know he is having them. His mind is void of concious thought, focused solely on the will of Aurellius. After a few more moments, satisfied that he has heard all he is going to from his Lord at this time, he rises and regards the others. He says to George "I will go and fetch some acolytes at once to see to everyone's wounds."

 

On his way out, he spies an unfamilliar Elven face. His hand goes to his sword hilt as he asks "Who might you be?"

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Janara was just on her way to go collect her own gear when an unfamiliar face came through the front doors of the chapel.

 

In the midst of the confusion, a willowy, copper-haired elf in ranger's garb slips through the doorway. "Excuse me," she says smoothly to no one in particular, "I was told I could find one Findecano Amatuile here..."

 

She was not sure if the elf's voice had gotten lost in the din of voices in the room or if it was that nobody else recognised the name she was asking about. She approached the elf lady with a growing curiosity about the stranger's interest in Fin.

 

Her voice trails off and her entire demeanor changes as she notices the chapel's floor is littered with Darkspawn corpses. Her eyes blaze and her knuckles turn white as she clutches her intricately-carved bow. "Is there no end to their depravity," she mutters through gritted teeth, "that they will presume to enter a place of worship?"

 

Seeing the elf lady's reaction to the current state of the chapel and the bodies lying around, Janara gave a quick though lacking in details synopsis of the day's events so far.

 

"See we was just here to see George there get knighted. " She pointed toward George who was now standing guard at the tunnel breach. "He'd just finished prayin' when the big spider-monster there came bustin' up through the floor, and then the darkspawns came behind it, and everybody went and grabbed weapons and then more came through the doors there. Lucky for us the lady there chanted up some kinda fireball and burnt up a whole bunch of 'em, and that other lady there called for the Wind-Empress to take down the rest of 'em. That halforc over there went berserk and ..."

 

Janara then looked over to Joe and his short fair-haired companion and remembered what the elf lady's original question was.

 

"That Findicamo Ama-something?... that person you asked about? D'ya mean Fin? Fin the little elf? He's over there." Janara pointed toward Fin and Joe. "He isn't in any kinda trouble, is he?"

 

"Janara!" He waits until she looks his way. "Can you run by the smithy and grab my pack?" His anxiousness shows in his voice. "It should be simple to find. It's in the chest at the foot of my bed."

 

Not really wanting to walk away from this most interesting new revelation concerning the strange little elf, but wanting even more to be of some real help to Erik and the others, she excused herself from the lady's company with a shrug and a "They need me to get some stuff now."

 

"Yeah Erik I'll get it for you on the way back from gettin' my own stuff. Anybody else need anything while I'm out gettin' everything?"

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She approached the elf lady with a growing curiosity about the stranger's interest in Fin.

 

If the elf was surprised to find a half-orc in a chapel of Denelspire, her face did not betray it. In fact, her only thought was one of gratitude that someone had heard her in the confusion.

 

"See we was just here to see George there get knighted. " She pointed toward George who was now standing guard at the tunnel breach. "He'd just finished prayin' when the big spider-monster there came bustin' up through the floor, and then the darkspawns came behind it, and everybody went and grabbed weapons and then more came through the doors there. Lucky for us the lady there chanted up some kinda fireball and burnt up a whole bunch of 'em, and that other lady there called for the Wind-Empress to take down the rest of 'em. That halforc over there went berserk and ..."

 

The elf, still disturbed over the scene of carnage, tries to follow the half-orc's explanation, but the flood of words washes over her too fast for her to make sense of it. She decides for now it is enough to know that the Darkspawn attacked the chapel during the ceremony. The rest will come later, when the crisis has passed, she hopes.

 

"That Findicamo Ama-something?... that person you asked about? D'ya mean Fin? Fin the little elf? He's over there." Janara pointed toward Fin and Joe. "He isn't in any kinda trouble, is he?"

 

Yet again the elf is surprised as she looks as she follows the half-orc's gesture. Findecano Amatuile is far shorter than she expected, and looks younger as well. She wonders how long she can delay explaining who she is so she can have a chance to observe him in his natural state. Part of her senses that now that she has met the talkative half-orc, that won't be long.

 

She smiles slightly at the half-orc, touched by the unexpected show of loyalty. "No, he's not in trouble." But before she can say anything else, the half-orc receives an order from a knight and excuses herself. As she turns to go, the elf catches her hand for a moment. "Thank you," she murmurs, moved by the girl's kindness to a stranger. Too late, she realizes she did not catch her name.

 

On his way out, he spies an unfamilliar Elven face. His hand goes to his sword hilt as he asks "Who might you be?"

 

Startled by the imposing knight, the elf lowers her bow and makes what she hopes is recognizable as a courteous salute. "I am Aridwyn Starwarder, ranger of Almirithil. I was sent here by the Council of Elders." She jerks her head toward the pile of Darkspawn on the floor. "I see we have a common enemy, and any enemy of the Darkspawn has my arrows for the asking."

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Startled by the imposing knight, the elf lowers her bow and makes what she hopes is recognizable as a courteous salute. "I am Aridwyn Starwarder, ranger of Almirithil. I was sent here by the Council of Elders." She jerks her head toward the pile of Darkspawn on the floor. "I see we have a common enemy, and any enemy of the Darkspawn has my arrows for the asking."

"Roman Caine, servant of Aurellius," the paladin says as he returns the elf lady's salute. "I hope you are serious in your offer of help. We have just been attacked by the Darkspawn and are about to go on the offensive. We need as many able fighters as we can muster. If you'll excuse me, I have a quick errand to run. Please go and speak with Halbarad and Duke Gerrard if you are serious in your offer." He points out the two men to her and leaves to round up some acolytes to see to everyone's wounds.

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Once outside the chapel, Janara gained a better idea of the size of the darkspawn invasion. The streets were clogged with people rushing this way and that; soldiers trying to restore order while some of the nuns and various acolytes tended to the wounded. Other lower-ranking soldiers were going about stacking the corpses of the darkspawn like cord-wood to be burned. There were also plenty of distrought citizens adding to the chaos. Not caring to stop and ask questions while on an errand, Janara still managed to overhear that at least five seperate openings like the one inside the chapel had been found where darkspawn had burrowed up into the fortified city. For now at least, it seemed the evil creatures had stopped their attack.

 

Back at the convent only a few of the Sisters remained, and there was already preparations being made so that the common-rooms of the ancient stone building could be used as temporary shelter for women and children whose own homes might be in danger of more darkspawn attacks. Janara hurried to her own quarters and got herself armoured and equipped for the upcoming counter-attack. She also looked around the small room for anything that Aeolene might have left behind that would be useful in the tunnels.

 

She then rerouted her exit to take her through the abbey's kitchen and larder where she hoped to find a piece or two of fruit left over from breakfast. As it often seemed to happen, it was Mother Superior Geneva who caught her reaching into the fruitbasket. This time though, rather than giving the usual chastisement, the stern-faced woman praised her for "...remembering the needs of your friends who cannot leave their posts." She then helped Janara fill a towsack with about two-dozen mixed apples and pears, a loaf and a half-loaf of leftover brown-bread from breakfast, and a small crock of butter. Then, the petite woman grasped the half-orc's wrist with both hands as if she could stop Janara from leaving. "Remember your faith.", she said in an unfamiliar shaky voice. "You make me proud, Jane.". Janara was puzzled by the woman's behaviour, and wondered how humans can smile but have tears in their eyes. Rather than ask any questions, she just thanked her superior and set out with her small burden to find the smithy.

 

With all that was going on around the city, nobody around the smithy seemed to even notice the half-orc looting Erik's quarters for the pack that he had requested. It was exactly where he said it would be, and in spite of all her burdens, Janara was able to return to the chapel even quicker than she herself had guessed she could.

 

Making her way to Erik first to deliver his pack, she offered all of the men wo were guarding the tunnel breach first-pick of what food was in the towsack. She guessed poor Sir George had not eaten in quite some time, since he had been keeping prayer vigil since the afternoon before.

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Making her way to Erik first to deliver his pack, she offered all of the men wo were guarding the tunnel breach first-pick of what food was in the towsack. She guessed poor Sir George had not eaten in quite some time, since he had been keeping prayer vigil since the afternoon before.

"Thank you so much, Janara!" Erik's relief is evident. "I don't know the others so well, and didn't feel right asking them."

 

"And besides, I figured you were going out to get your own gear." He pauses for a moment as a smile spreads over his face, followed by a low chuckle, "At least I hoped you weren't going down that tunnel in just that dress you had on........ though it was nice."

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"You've done us all a great service." George says in a sombre tone as he grabs a couple of apples and a smallish chunk of bread from Janara's sack. The look in his eyes is one of thanks, and something else. "I shan't forget this."

 

With a curt nod of the head, George returns to his post. As he does so, he hands an apple and half the chunk of bread to Erik. "It isn't much, but with the Holy Spirit it will be enough I think."

 

As George aimlessly munches on his breakfast, his eyes never leave the breach. While he stands watch, his mind drifts into prayer to fortify his soul for the coming battles.

 

"Almighty Father, I thank you for the blessings you have bestowed upon me - skilled warriors to fight beside in your name, armour and weapons so that I might serve you better, and your own grace and blessings. I shall not falter in the days ahead. So long as I can pick up a blade, I shall smite the filth of this land in your name. This is swear upon all that I am, and all that I have. Amen"

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All the knights and clerics and important people have once again left Fin alone with Joe. Despite his dislike for Darkspawn, there is very little for the Elf to do right now as he watches those around him move like ants in a disturbed hill. Even the rifling of the Darkspawn packs doesn’t keep his attention for long and he soon turns to Joe to relieve the boredom.

 

He finds the Half-Orc in his soaked outfit and wonders how much of the blood on it is the Half-Orcs and how much of it belongs to his enemies. Although he likes the Half-Orc he’s not sure that the imposing man is ready yet to hear about the Bovine invasion so he shelves that bit of knowledge for another time.

 

“DUDE!!! Where have you been man? It’s like…whoaaa…I turn around and tusky dude is gone!”

 

“Shhhhh liddle elf, dey prepare to kill darkspawn!”

 

“Ok dude, seriously man this is got to stop. All this shush Fin, fight Fin, whooaa Fin there is a giant spider gnawing on my leg all gnarly like…” Fin pulls out a peach he has managed to find while he chastises the Half-Orc. “You dudes seriously have to make up your mind! You guys want all quiet like in here and then BOOM!! Big burst of fire explodes near my head, not to mention that it scorched my favorite pair of llama boots! And what’s with that smell dude!!”

 

Prattling on to Joe, Fin does not initially notice the entrance of Aridwyn and instead goes on to the Half-Orc about the importance of baths, not that he himself has had one in a few days.

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"I hope you are serious in your offer of help. We have just been attacked by the Darkspawn and are about to go on the offensive. We need as many able fighters as we can muster. If you'll excuse me, I have a quick errand to run. Please go and speak with Halbarad and Duke Gerrard if you are serious in your offer."

 

"I assure you, Sir Roman, I would not have made the offer if I did not mean it. I will speak with your leaders forthwith." Aridywn nods smartly to Roman as he rushes on to his next task.

 

As Aridywn heads toward the duke and priest, she realizes that the elf they call Fin does not seem to have noticed her yet. She takes the opportunity to listen for a moment and see what she can learn about him before he finds out why she is there.

 

“Ok dude, seriously man this is got to stop. All this shush Fin, fight Fin, whooaa Fin there is a giant spider gnawing on my leg all gnarly like…” Fin pulls out a peach he has managed to find while he chastises the Half-Orc. “You dudes seriously have to make up your mind! You guys want all quiet like in here and then BOOM!! Big burst of fire explodes near my head, not to mention that it scorched my favorite pair of llama boots! And what’s with that smell dude!!”

 

As Aridwyn listens, she realizes that while Fin might not have looked as she expected, he is definitely the Findecano Amatuile she is looking for. The constant, stream-of-consciousness babbling, the inability to recognize the gravity of the situation, the constant use of the word "dude" (which Aridywn was fairly certain was not an Elvish word)... yes, this was definitely the elf she was looking for. Dear gods, what have I gotten myself into?

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