Who Watches the Watch Hill?   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Merlin
 player, 273 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Mon 17 Sep 2012
at 02:00
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Merlin smiles at Deen and gives him a nod. "Young prince, I use a glider, built by Haslanti League artisans. It was my privilege to display some of my skill in piloting it for another Duke's son some leagues from here. It was later that day that the young prince of that duchy exalted. Perhaps the spark inside of him was inspired....perhaps not."

Perhaps Sir Clavien will appreciate his changing of the subject, but perhaps not in the direction that he just did.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 400 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2012
at 03:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Seln really Exalted?" Deen's response is subdued by must standards, but the effort he put into not exclaiming is painful to witness. He doesn't manage the nonchalant single-eyebrow-raise, but he manages to keep his smile politely pleased. "I'm glad for him. I wonder if his father would agree to let him Squire for one of our knights; we could use an Exalt on the border.

"But it was not on a glider that you flew in. Salf and I saw you through the Mask; your wings became your cape,"
he says calmly. "It was stunning."
Merlin
 player, 274 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 00:55
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 29):

"He did indeed Exalt as an Air Aspect. It was my privilege to teach him more than a little of what I learned from the Immaculate Monks of the Blessed Isle. He still has much to learn as he is comparatively young to even exalt from my understandings."

Merlin looks back to Sir Clavien, "Perhaps we should seek out the Duke?"
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 252 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 15:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I'm sure that would be a most excellent idea," says Beatrix in response to Merlin's question. She inclines her head in the direction that the Duke had recently departed in affirmation of things unsaid.
Sir Clavien
 player, 5 posts
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 16:12
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Right this way," agreed the knight, leading any who would follow out the door.

Unwilling to let the thread go, however, Deen walked up to Merlin and looked up at the older man to meet his eyes. "Do you need both means of flight for this mission?"
Merlin
 player, 276 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Wed 19 Sep 2012
at 23:20
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Sir Clavien (msg # 32):

On his way out, he makes sure that the side that Deen is walking on comes up against a wall. In parting he says, "There is a large gulf between need and want young prince. Best to need little and want much than to need much and want little."

With that cryptic reply Merlin has left Deen behind the lady, whom it would be impolite of which to run ahead.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 405 posts
Thu 20 Sep 2012
at 20:31
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Deen walks along with purposeful determination behind Merlin, definitely not watching Beatrix walk. Sir Clavien leads the way as his squire helps organize his men and separate the contingent from those of the other knights. "The princes are ever-devoted to living up to their father's stalwart example," explains the knight as he leads the way across an open courtyard between the main castle and the enormous central tower. From this close, it makes the outer castle structure seem so small it's a wonder nobody struck their heads inside. The barracks building and the stables seem toy-like, nestled here and there in the deceptively large open space. Deen hustles around to walk beside the group again once the way is opened up, but flushes proudly at Clavien's praise. "They will grow up to protect Watch Hill very well, if they continue to heed their father and their instructors as well as they have so far."

The Watch Tower is a five-sided structure, but the sides are easily two hundred feet in length, each. Their height is hard to judge, stretching up to a degree that, even at nearly three hundred feet away, the top requires craning one's neck nearly vertically to see. The top itself is so narrow from this low perspective as to make detail impossible to make out, but each side seems to be a single piece of smoothly-polished white sandstone with Old Realm glyphs scribed decoratively in enormous print on the sides.

The gateway in the near side is open, and guarded only by a pair of men-at-arms who salute as the prince and the knight escort the guests up. Inside, a red carpet leads down a spacious hall lined with a mural depicting a tale similar to those outlined in the tapestries back at Castle Oredol. "My ancestor helped through back the demons," explains Deen eagerly, indicating each stage of the progressive murals as he passes. The style is definitely in a much older format than all save a few of Oredol's tapestries, with element-twisting demons battling six heroes in stylized masks in numerous confrontations.

"These were painted before the First King cursed the demons' servants to be more beast than man to mark them out from his faithful and honest subjects," the prince explains. "This last one shows the reason my ancestor asked for this Tower as a boon, to watch for the demons' return should it ever happen." Indeed, the murals converge along with the hallway on an oddly striking depiction of the tower once more. It looks really odd from a distance, but as one approaches, the perspective-painting aligns such that the mural on the walls and ceiling indeed form a dizzyingly realistic portrayal of the tower as seen from its entry-gate. However, the top is depicted here as a frightful mask with burning red eyes that cast back along the hall, the gaze - unnoticed before the perspectives aligned - seeming to cut through the ranks of the enemies in all the prior paintings.

Clavien claps the youth on the shoulder, and the boy with one red eye grins as he opens the door. "Don't walk too much in here," warns the knight. "Let the Duke pace as he will; conversation is easy enough within a few steps."

Inside, the room is well-lit by windows scored in the top of a dozens-of-feet-high chamber. They're hard to see, however, against yet another mural, this one of a painfully clear blue sky that matches the view of the same through the window. The floor is strewn with a thick layer of silver-white sand that puffs daintily beneath footsteps, and the mural on the walls continues the illusion of sand out to the distant horizon. Above the window to the right is a painting of an emerald sphere. Around the periphery of the sand-strewn floor, just by the walls, paces the Duke of Watch Hill. And you're sure of the count?" he's asking, his progress unhurried.

"Yes, father," says Deen from across the room, standing just inside the wall. But a double-take to check that Deen is still beside Merlin and a careful examination of the seeming doppelganger reveals that the one across the sandy floor has the opposite eye filled with red where the white should be. "Ask Deen if you don't believe me; he can see it, too," he adds, nodding at the approaching party.

The prince next to Merlin edges over to stand between the Night Caste and Beatrix, standing on tip-toes to whisper, "That's Salf. He's my brother." As people step into the room, the images on the walls almost seem to shift, as if the walls were clear windows. As soon as one ceases to walk, however, it's obvious they're just still paintings, and the faint dry breeze is just the footsteps of the walker kicking up some of the sand. Clavien takes a moment to bow and explain the reason for everyone's presence as the Duke's progress brings him around to join them.

Slowing, but not stopping, his walk, Duke Lothus extends his hand to Merlin. "Your offer of scouting assistance is welcome. Can your liege-lady truly spare you?" he asks, nodding to Beatrix.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 254 posts
 Solar
 Zenith
Sun 23 Sep 2012
at 03:56
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Beatrix smirks just a bit as she says "Merlin goes where he will. There are no servants among us; we are allies. We have a mutual cause we journey to further, and if he believes the best way to further it is to aid you against this raid, well, I can hardly fault his reasoning."
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 81 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Sun 23 Sep 2012
at 07:47
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"Lady LeSchayle I believe I shall ask Goodman Merlin if he needs any help on his diversion. If not I shall meet you a little later." Alistr smiles as he turns to leave.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 408 posts
Mon 24 Sep 2012
at 13:37
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
As Alistr turns, he is treated to a momentarily-dizzying display as the murals seem to come alive.
Alistr Hamrsoung
 player, 82 posts
 Full Time No Moon Lunar
 Part time Smith
Mon 24 Sep 2012
at 15:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
 Caught by a momentary dizzy spell Alistr pauses them continues while deep in thought.
Merlin
 player, 278 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Tue 25 Sep 2012
at 00:43
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Beatrix LeSchaye (msg # 35):

Merlin is not far behind, in fact he is not more than 2 paces behind the Lady of Trademeet.

"I would be happy to fly my glider and drop information down to you. If I would be the honored recipient of a rudimentary lesson in your flag system I could even relay messages over difficult terrain features. It is my wish to see the barbarian forces for myself, either way."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 410 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 03:44
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The duke continues his slow pace around the moderate-sized room, silver sand shifting under his weight as it carries him past the party once more. "Our military messages are carried by trumpet or by rider. We could arrange for a page with a trumpet to accompany you, however."
Merlin
 player, 280 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 22:50
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 40):

"Certainly. If he were a seasoned rider without a fear of heights it would help. I am sure he will be able to translate for me should you want you send a message that direction."

Pausing for a moment Merlin asks in a seemingly absent curiosity, "Where ever was such silverish sands found your grace and do you have to replace it often?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 411 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 22:58
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
"I will do it, Father," say both of the twin princes from opposite sides of the room, before exchanging mirrored one-red-eye glances and frowning.

"One of you must stay in the Tower. Salf, it is your turn at that duty," replies the duke.

"Yes!" exclaims Deen.
"Rats!" declaims Salf.

"The sand is a part of the tower," Lothus continues smoothly into an answer to Merlin's question. "Part of the same construction methods my ancestor and the first king used to build it in the first place. It never needs replenishing because not a grain has ever crossed the threshold to leave this chamber. Why do you ask?"
Merlin
 player, 281 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Thu 27 Sep 2012
at 23:15
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 42):

"With all of the walking you and your ancestors have done, at least I assume, it would seem that some of it would be lost here and there. Over the years this could become an issue. Forgive me if I am needlessly farsighted concerning such things. I worry for the defense of not just your realm, but others should the barbarians and beastmen remain unchallenged."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 412 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 04:13
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Salf, across the chamber, snickers, "Go ahead and try to take a handful out of the room."

Deen looks askance at his brother. "Salf...!"
Merlin
 player, 282 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 04:32
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 44):

Merlin picks up a handful of the stuff and activates Air Dragon Sight. Taking a pace towards the door he uses his momentum and a swift toss to 'throw' the sand out the doorway. He is prepared to get out of the way, should something violent happen.

Here goes nothing....or well that might be the idea.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 413 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 05:07
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Deen groans resignedly and hastily ducks out of the way as Merlin scoops up the sand. Sir Clavien also stands well aside. When thrown, the sand scatters like exceptionally dry sand will in such circumstances, glittering in the air as it flies, then floats, then violently flies back as if in a gale blowing through the open door that only the sand can feel. Anybody who didn't take precaution finds it blowing into their eyes, faces, hair, clothes, and anything else exposed.

"Prince Salf, that was cruel," admonishes the Knight. The Duke grimly glowers at his son, who is snickering.

"Try to brush as much off of yourselves as you can before you leave," advises Deen. "Like Father said: not a grain will pass that threshold. Supposedly the god of each individual grain swore an oath to that effect. I think it's just a part of the artifact, myself," he finishes mostly for Beatrix's benefit, though everyone but the duke and Salf is close enough to also hear.
Merlin
 player, 283 posts
 If you knew he
 would have to kill you
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 19:49
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
In reply to Segev Stormlord (msg # 46):

His augmented senses scream in anticipation of the particles coming his direction. Merlin uses his ankle length cloak to deflect the vast majority of the grit as it comes back. The silvery warm stuff scatters and bounces down and around the cloak. Looking back up from under his cloak, there is a mischievous grin pointed at Self. It seems that Merlin enjoyed the 'surprise'.

I will remind myself in the future that the bloodline appreciates practical jokes...

"An interesting response, regardless of the actual mechanics of it. Where would you have me gliding your grace?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 414 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2012
at 23:47
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
Continuing his measured pace around the room, the duke's disapproving glare does not leave the prince on the far side of the room. Nevertheless, his answer is directed at Merlin: "When I come back down from the tower, I will inform you. In the mean time, show Prince Deen how to handle himself properly as he serves as your messenger in the air. I will not have him recklessly hurt himself."



Meanwhile, outside the castle...

A guard heading off-duty after the morning shift spots a surprisingly clean woman and a small goat-herder walking up and advises, "The Duke's readying his forces to go deal with some Beastmen on the far reaches of the Duchy; the castellan won't be looking to buy any goat's milk until late this afternoon, after they've left," obviously making some assumptions about the duo's purpose here.

The goat-herder in the large inverted-bowl straw hat looks a little disappointed, but defers to the grown-up woman wearing the golden amulet in replying to the stranger.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:09, Sat 29 Sept 2012.

Azalea
 player, 10 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 02:14
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

The woman seems a little puzzled for a few moments, exchanging a glance with the goat-herder before looking back to the guard.

"Ah, no, we are not here to sell milk. I merely heard that the recently arrived group has been here and was wondering if I could see them, or should wait.
But... there are troubles with Beastmen? I am a healer, I might be of aid?"

She gives the guard a small smile, although worry is evident in her expression now.
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 415 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 02:18
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The guard's smile was friendly as he shook his head. "A healer, huh? Maybe when we get back, but while the Beastmen'll probably need one, I'm afraid we'd be rather put out if they got one. "You're looking for the Exalted from Trademeet Dale?"
Azalea
 player, 11 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 02:26
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?

"Ah"

She nodded a little, some of the worry alleviating. Or transferring.

"You sound confident. That is always good."

She considered the term he used for a few moments, before letting her expression brighten.

"Mmhmm. Are they here? Are they available?"
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 416 posts
Sat 29 Sep 2012
at 03:01
Re: Who Watches the Watch Hill?
The guard frowns. Then he sighs. "I'm just going off-shift. C'mon, I'll take you in."

The goat-boy asks, "Can my goat come in, too?"

The guard chuckles ruefully. "Sure, why not. We've got thick rushes down." He leads the way into the castle, and sends a page ahead to inform the party they have a healer looking for them.

Said page waits scrupulously on the carpeted side of the doorway to the sand-filled room as he bows to the Duke and the Knight and the Princes. "Forgive me, m'lords, but the Lady LeSchaye and party have a healer who wishes to meet with them," he says professionally and a little breathlessly, carefully watching so he doesn't cross so much as an eyelash over the threshold.