PART 3D: A Friend to Remember.   Posted by The Keep.Group: archive 0
The Keep
 moderator, 250 posts
 Edge of the
Fri 19 Aug 2011
at 21:07
PART THREE: A Night to Forget

OOC: @Knud, yeah, it's just counted as a normal round of combat where you don't take damage :) Good roll, though of course you take a -6CS penalty to fire in to the melee and not hit Tor.

Knud took up position on the ground, ignoring the rest of the battle to see the two giaks jumping around on Tor. Tor had kicked one away to free his sword arm, but the second was going to stab at the Lieutenent. Knud's arrow released perfectly and struck in to the creature's neck.

The thing staggered back a little, and then moved back in for the kill. Either its mail had saved it from harm, or it was frenzied to the point of not caring about such a harsh wound.

Still, it gave Tor a moment to stagger to his feet finally, and take up a position where he could defend himself better against the two foes.

And then, sudddenly, a scream took Knud's attention.

Turning to the sound, Knud saw that Odel's charge had been successful, and yet not. Odel's horse was swerving away from the figure, and Odel had fallen painfully on to the ground.

The robed figure seemed to have one arm hanging uselessly at its side. It lifted its head, and the front of the hood fell away, revealing a familiar face. It was Gwindel.

" 'Tis a fine evenin' to be out," said the small figure. His face was the same, the smile was the same, but his eyes seemed milky and flat. Knud's eyes had a hard time being pulled away from them though, for the dwarf's neck was torn out, a bloody hollow. "The 'ghast did that," said Gwindel, bring his still able arm to his throat, touching it gingerly. "While I was out alone, no' a comrade in sight." The last was said with a dark reproach to Knud.

"An' now I can't even take the sleep I earned, one o' yer traitors sleeps in the stables while this other traitor strikes me before I can reveal him!"

Gwindel turned milky eyes to where Odel lay, and pointed at the fallen knight. "Kill him, lad. At least do that fer me!"

This message was last edited by the player at 12:43, Wed 05 Oct 2011.

Knud Anleifr
 player, 407 posts
 Border Ranger
Wed 5 Oct 2011
at 15:35
Re: PART THREE: A Night to Forget
Knud dropped his bow, it being useless without arrows, although it was not this rational thought that made the ranger drop the weapon.

He stared unbelievably at Gwindel. At first, he thought it was the Helghast, taking perverse pleasure in adopting the form of an honourable man (or dwarf). But Gwindel's words refuted that. A spark of hope, that his friend somehow had survived his trip to the Wildlands, even ignited and then extinguished, when Knud spotted dwarf's neck.

The explanation ensued, with the accusation in Gwindel's voice booming to Knud like a giant bell. "I...we agreed on you going with the Vakeros," the ranger tried to defend himself and realized what traitor his friend was talking about. "Arkan - a traitor? And the knight, too...?"

Knud took several steps towards the dwarf and stopped again. His focus was completely on the small figure, sounds of battle diminished, as if the ranger jumped into a lake, or maybe a different world.
He could almost hear his brain grumbling as it tried to comprehend the situation.

"If you are...dead," Knud was surprised himself how rational he sounded, "we must find a way how to put your soul at rest." The ranger felt goose bumps appear on the skin of his arms (followed with a mild pain given his burnt skin), he had no expertise on the matter of after- and un-life.
"The sorceress - she could help."

Knud made one tentative step forward. With his hand he reached behind his back, until it closed around the Bor rifle, its metal not feeling usually cold after the 'fiery adventure' in the keep. As if the weapon of dwarven kin could give answer to the question. Another thought came to Knud: if, no - when, they found a way to release Gwindel's soul, his body would surely be buried with the rifle. For there was no family his friend could send it to.

OOC: Ooh - that's fun (not that much for Knud, I'd guess). I also hope I remember it right, Gwindel had lost his relatives (he'd never spoken of it, surely, but from the hints Knud could've collected).
Position-wise, I imagine Knud is still several yards away from Gwindel (after all the movement).

This message was last edited by the player at 15:38, Wed 05 Oct 2011.

The Keep
 moderator, 347 posts
 Edge of the
Wed 5 Oct 2011
at 20:33
Re: PART THREE: A Night to Forget

"Ne'er trust't man that widnae walk the mountains, lad" said Gwindel. "O' course the knights are corrupt. And they're not t'only ones. Remember what Tor tried to do t'ye. And t'that corporal, the one that tried tae pull yer away from me to start with, made yer abandon me t' my death. And I know what the Cap'n did tae 'me', when he had 'me' in his clutches..."

Knud was yelling for Velena, but when he looked around he could not see her. In the confusion, despite her assurances to the contrary, it seemed the mage had gone.

"Aye, o' course she's gone. T'lass is no better. You want my rest? Let the Darklanders take all these blasted mages and knights tae the Plain o' Darkness. He will let me go, if ye do. Just let this place die, its heart wiz always black and you're the only point o' light in it. Forget yer duty, Knud. Do what's right for a friend, for once, and escape in t'th' mountains."

OOC; Indeed, Gwindel is still just outside of the keep gate, and Knud is still inside, as you say a few yards back. I assume he would have positioned himself at the edge of the ruined gates to steady himself upon.

And yeah, I think the assumed stuff sounds good.

Knud Anleifr
 player, 409 posts
 Border Ranger
Thu 6 Oct 2011
at 09:56
Re: PART THREE: A Night to Forget
"No, no, no...," protested Knud, "Velena saved me and Tel from burning to death, she stopped the traitor mercenaries, she defended me and Skyl in Tor's eyes*. She's not bad." 'Damn you, girl, where are you when most needed,' thought the ranger as it seemed the Brotherhood sorceress had indeed disappeared. He didn't even realize he was defending the person who he'd had the most strained relationship with. Proving Skyl's 'innocence' or even Tor's would be probably easier...

Knud opened the mouth to speak further, but was struck by Gwindel's words.
"Forget yer duty, Knud. Do what's right for a friend, for once"

His fellow rangers of the Durncrag's patrol...Gorste...and now Gwindel? Were they all links of the same chain? Doomed to perish because of his fear to face the death, which he so eagerly tried to cover with pathetic words of duty.

"Don't speak of His domain," Knud was speaking hastily, trying to repel his darkest fears by the words spoken out loud. "We cannot allow anyone's soul be devoured by Him. Whatever the people have done to us. To you. Their actions might've been flawed, but they acted on their best beliefs." The ranger's gaze wandered along the burnt gateway and blackened walls. "They defended this place as best as they could. The lieutenant always cared about the keep's soldiers. The captain was under the pressure of his responsibility. And he has already paid for that - he's dead, his body burning with the keep, which he did try to protect," Knud himself had to doubt about the sincerity of the last words, but it was some other idea that broke the flow of his thoughts. He couldn't quite grab it, but it was like looking at the flock of sheep with the brown skin of a cow standing out among the sea of white wool. "The captain might've been a drunk, maybe even an Adgana addict, but he would never done anything detrimental to the keep," Knud shook his head and looked straight into Gwindel's eyes, "he disliked you, I know, but...what the Captain did to you?"

OOC: Uff, you might see where this is heading to and I hope it doesn't seem too forced or out of character for Knud, but I think ranger's blabbering is justified and it naturally lead to the the ranger wanting to hear more about Gwindel's interaction with the Captain.

* Didn't mean to return to the issue about my misinterpretation of 'gunning for someone', but it seemed quite appropriate in this instance.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:57, Thu 06 Oct 2011.

The Keep
 moderator, 348 posts
 Edge of the
Thu 6 Oct 2011
at 11:18
Re: PART THREE: A Night to Forget

OOC: It's all good, I'm happy to say it's a stressful situation, enough to warrant any battling or distractions. And aww, poor Knud. Of all the characters, it seemed he'd managed to reach a resolution about duty, making the same choice again willingly. And now maybe he's been broken :p

Gwindel looked disappointed and even derisive of Knud, not something the dwarf ever showed - at least not for a long time. "I taught ye te look at the landscape as t'was, boy, not as yid like it t'be!" Gwindel shook his head. "This iznae a tale where we make it as we want it. This is a rockslide that'll kill ye even if ye close yer eyes and call it spring showers!"

"Ye know whit the Captain did t' me, ye were there. He locked me in th' tower t'be killed by the 'ghast!" Gwindel's eyes went distant for a moment, and then his demeanor changed. "Join me or leave," he said as a challenge. "Jus' don't do anythin' to get me killed. Again." His milky eyes were flat and unfriendly.

OOC: I like that Knud thinks Velena spoke up for the two of them, and that's his basis for giving Velena a break. I'm glad you've kept it going :)

Anyway, is this where you thought it was going to go? I didn't make anything explicit, but I assume you have enough above to make an action..

Knud Anleifr
 player, 410 posts
 Border Ranger
Thu 6 Oct 2011
at 14:34
Re: PART THREE: A Night to Forget
OOC: OK, I've re-read some of the older threads; unfortunately, I can't find the private thread containing Knud+Gwindel+Outler in the armoury tower. Anyways, I hope the following post works within Knud's mindset.

It was clearly difficult for Knud to listen to Gwindel speaking about what he'd taught him.

But when the dwarf spoke of the Captain, something changed. Ranger's face become paler, but also lost any signs of pain the ranger might have been experiencing. His features seemed to become rock-hard, as did his voice.

"My friend - Gwindel Sverger of Bor - had left for the Wildlands. The person that returned was locked up in the armoury - but it was not Gwindel. He had never returned to the keep. Instead, a Helghast adopted his form, murdered sergeant Dinory and then, in sergeant's guise, blown up the gate while escaping." Knud's voice was steadily picking up the volume. "We found a body, torn to pieces, in the armoury - a human body. Dinory's. There was nothing of my friend there...except for this." The ranger raised the Bor gun, his hands clutching the weapon so tightly that his knuckles were white (where the skin could be seen under the dirt).

"True Gwindel wouldn't know what happened in the armoury tower, darkspawn." Knud spat with the last word. He suddenly realized the beast that had attacked the gates earlier that evening had its maw disfigured...just like the dwarf's imitation in front of him has its neck mutilated. Words of Arkan and Velena echoed in his head - they had warned him about this encounter. He even recalled somewhat cold condolences from Tor about Gwindel's death.

"You killed my friend!" shouted Knud, "I will not join you, Helghast! . . . But I will gladly send you back to your foul master."

Despite the bold tone, Knud knew all too well, it wasn't in his power to fulfil his words. Even Velena had admitted she didn't have powers to destroy the shapeshifter.

OOC: I hope that's all plausible; I remember Knud had accepted the possibility that Gwindel had probably died in the Wildlands and it was a Helghast who had returned as the most probable. So, Knud believes he's facing Akakaan right now (although his logic need not be flawless - but he's had a hard night :)).
 GM, 920 posts
Thu 6 Oct 2011
at 18:06
Re: PART THREE: A Night to Forget

OOC: Yeah, no point in letting...well, you'll see who it is...have perfect knowledge. Or even be doign more than keeping you off balanace and being unable to consistently lie. Anyway, it's all good to me, good post, and it's your passport back to the main thread!

I forgot that I removed you from the old armoury thread so Gwindel and I could talk, though as you'll see (I've reopening it to you) we were so paranoid we used PMs anyway for the couple of posts there anyway.

Anyway, I shall lock this thread and rename it.