The High road from Freeport.   Posted by TheDudeAbides.Group: 0
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 11 posts
Sun 1 Jun 2014
at 02:17
The High road from Freeport
    The gates to the capitol city of Freeport stand tall and wide, built from massive granite blocks they tower over the road. Few people are seen about this late at night but the guards remain on duty nonetheless. It has been centuries since the gate was lowered, but as of late whispers have been circulating that the city may close it's gate come nightfall. Currently, the gate stands wide open; a few guards patrol high above on the ramparts. It is cool outside and the clear night sky twinkles with a sea of stars.

1st day of the 2nd month: 11:30 PM.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:24, Mon 23 June 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 67 posts
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 03:30
Re: The High road from Freeport
The clop of hooves on the hard Earth was relaxing, and the rhythm of Jasper's gait threatened to lull Lynessa into a quiet doze. She stifled a yawn and shook her head, as if trying to shake the cobwebs free. She gazed up at the moon, and in truth had not expected it to be so high in the sky by the time they'd finished turning their vouchers. She wasn't about to go back on her suggestion, though. She was too proud for that.

She nodded a greeting at the guards as she passed through the open gates, wondering if they were men she knew. She wondered if they knew her, whether they'd think of her family differently knowing she had been quick to heed the call for heroes.

She led Jasper out into the night, the High Road stretching out before her set against a blanket of stars. ”This is how it begins then,” she thought. She glanced over her shoulder and gazed for a moment at the walls surrounding the City she loved. She hoped that soon she would find herself riding back this way, the Priestess' quest a success and the Crescent name restored...
Devi McCain
 player, 53 posts
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 14:47
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi sat in the saddle swaying slightly as it rocked back and forth with Obe's gait. She held the reins in one hand and the horn of the saddle in the other as she followed just to the right of Lynessa. She didn't know the terrain they where heading through as well as the others likely would.

As they were passing through the gates and Lynessa nodded to the guards she pondered how different it was in Freeport that they had heroes riding forth to do the bidding of a High Priestess, something that as far as she knew hadn't happened in centuries.

When the left the city Lynessa turned back towards it to give it one last look, Devi didn't bother, it wasn't her home nor did she have any real love for the city beyond the Temple of Light itself, she would in fact be more comfortable sleeping on the side of the road out beyond the city away from the large source of people. They would do nothing to further her knowledge, she already had others she needed to talk to just in this group alone, and she doubted any that knew anything of worth in the city itself would share it willingly.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:47, Thu 03 July 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 137 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 04:32
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda held onto the horse tightly as she rocked forward and backward along the trail, the quiet hoofs clacking against the ground creating an odd harmony with the sounds of her terrified breaths and coughs. The girl was certainly used to darkness, having spent the vast majority of her life in a lightless basement. However, this was different. The moon was shining up in the sky, and it looked larger than she had ever thought possible. She sniffled a little bit, confused by the earthy smell that surrounded her. What was that smell? It smelled nothing like her acids or chemicals, she wasn't entirely sure she liked it at all. Regardless she pressed onwards on the old road, not wanting to be left behind in such an unfamiliar place.
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 279 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 00:29
Re: The High road from Freeport
    The group passed under the Freeport gate and onward into the night. The sounds of insects chirping, frogs croaking and the repetitive pounding of horse hooves on the packed dirt blended together as they put distance between themselves and the capitol city. The night was chilly and the group was tired; many had traveled far to answer the High Priestesses call. Several miles out of the city the group happened upon a grove of trees centered around a spring of fresh water. A small clearing provided them ample room to lay down bed rolls and start a fire. The horses could be high-lined to the nearby trees with enough slack to water themselves and graze on the lush vegetation. The group agreed this was a favorable location and headed off the road into the trees. - 5 miles out of Freeport.

2nd day of the 2nd month: 12:15 AM.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:30, Wed 25 June 2014.

Jada
 player, 56 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 02:54
Re: The High road from Freeport
Jada wore a frown as he departed through the gates behind the others. It wasn't that he would miss the city, he simply didn't like the structure of his day being interrupted by other's rashness. The evening was for the contemplation of the day and finding rest to renew one's self for the following day. It was that way for many good reasons and ignoring those reasons was foolish.

At first he rode stiff and was jarred by Blanche's stride, but after a short distance he began to ease into riding. Soon Jada paid little attention to it and focused on the road ahead. He wasn't sure of the animal's night vision and wanted to avoid injuring it by steering it into a deep hole or large rock. Occasionally a yawn would escape him, but he otherwise seemed untroubled by the cold night air.

When the others finally decided to stop for the night, Jada followed their lead with securing the horses. Once he was sure Blanche was settled, he picked a spot opposite the horses and spread out his thick blanket. Setting his bag down as a pillow, he laid down and folded his blanket over himself. A moment later he shut his eyes, obviously trying to sleep. Although judging by his frown, it was not coming nearly as quickly as he would have liked.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 83 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 03:54
Re: The High road from Freeport
Once the group had settled on a place to camp, Lalita gave Apollo a small pat on the nose. "Rest up guppy!" she glubbed. "We have a long journey ahead of us." After securing the horses, the fish-kin did her best to help the others set up camp. However when it came to sleep, instead of lying down on the ground like the rest of them, Lalita decided to slip into the spring. A sigh of relief escaping her lips as she stood there in the body of water, completely relaxed and at ease. "I may not get another chance like this...so i might as whale enjoy it while i can..." she thought as she decided to float on her back.

She gazed up at the stars. Wow. How beautiful they were. No matter how many times she saw them, the fish could never get over at how fintasy like the sky was at night. When the sun fell and the moon rose, that was Lalita's favorite time of day. Everything and everyone was quiet, even the voices! It was a time where the girl could finally hear her own thoughts and reflect on her life for a bit. Not that, that mattered to her really. Just the silence was good enough.

She stifled a yawn. Looks like she was getting a little sleepy as well, but she needed to stay up. What if the group decided to have her take the first watch? In that case she needed to just suck it up and keep her eyes out for anything dangerous or fishy. Just as long as they didn't ask her to get out of the spring.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:55, Wed 25 June 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 70 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 04:06
Re: The High road from Freeport
It had been a short ride, but by the time they came upon the grove Lynessa was as ready as anyone to make camp. The clearing was more than just as good a place as any. The trees offered some protection from the wind, and the spring would give them and their mounts fresh drinking water.

Once the horses had been secured and brushed, and other necessities seen to, she spread out her own bedroll. She was careful to put hers as far away from Jada's as possible. With that finished, she stretched her tired muscles. Heirloom and her armor were starting weigh on her. She slipped the great-sword off her back and placed it next to her own bedroll. She looked forward to freeing herself of the weight of her breastplate, and to letting the chilly breeze air her out a little.

“Lucinda, would you mind helping me with my armor? The straps are on the shoulders, and can be a chore to loosen on my own,” she asked, pulling her cloak aside to reveal the leather straps holding her breastplate together. She paused a moment, and watched Lalita slip into the spring. ”What is she doing...” Lynessa wondered. “Uh... If...” she shook her head to refocus her thoughts. “If you could loosen them for me, I'd appreciate it.”
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 141 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 04:09
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda blushed a little as she got out of her saddle and walked over to the girl. She examined the suit of armor. It was of rather simple make compared to quite a few of the alchemical contraptions she had used in the dark on a nightly basis. It would actually be quite trivial for her to figure out how to remove it. She nodded and awkwardly walked over. She was unsure of why Lynessa had chosen her for such an important duty, perhaps she realized that the elf was good enough to handle it? That would make sense of course, but maybe not enough. She bowed slightly as she walked over and loosened the straps.
Devi McCain
 player, 53 posts
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 14:46
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi let out a large yawn, her mouth gaping open larger than one would expect for longer than one might as well. She was ready for bed, but that didn't mean there wasn't things to do before she got there. She made sure take the saddle and blanket from Obe and brush him down well, she also checked to make sure she would have enough room on his lead to lay if he wanted and that there was plenty of feed for him. With one last pat she left Obe where he would spend the night and moved over to the campsite and spread the blanket out on the ground near to Jada, though not close enough to get into each others way if they needed to move quickly. Looking about she shrugged, the others all seemed to be sleeping or attempting to, "Even if one of them is doing so in the water." which meant that no one had considered the watch, who was taking it first or the order of it. She sighed and looked about at the others a moment before speaking up loud enough for them all to hear, "I'll take first watch, second can go to Jada, Third will go to Jerischo, fourth will go to Lalita and final watch will be Lynessa. Each watch will last for one hour and ten minutes, Any objections?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:46, Thu 03 July 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 142 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 11:42
Re: The High road from Freeport
"U-um....yes...I-I would like a watch please..." She didn't want to be a burden for anyone...and this was a perfect way for her to show she wouldn't be a burden.
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 145 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 12:23
Re: The High road from Freeport

This message was deleted by the player at 12:51, Wed 25 June 2014.

Jada
 player, 58 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 12:26
Re: The High road from Freeport
Without opening his eyes, Jada responded. "I have a question and an objection. How am I to know when an hour and ten minutes have passed? And why are we only planning to rest for four hours and forty minutes a piece? That does not seem reasonable for a journey spanning most of Linness."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:26, Wed 25 June 2014.

Lalita Chandra
 player, 84 posts
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 12:47
Re: The High road from Freeport
"Oh!" Lalita suddenly let out as she stood up in the spring and raised a fin, like some overzealous school girl. "I have a question too hawkfish! Can i take the last shift? That way you guppies can get in a few more hours of sleep~ Glub."

The girl didn't want to say it outright, but she had a trick or two up her sleeve and she thought it fitting to use one of them especially in this type of situation.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:10, Wed 25 June 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 146 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 17:40
Re: The High road from Freeport

Lucinda calmly laid down in her bed, muttering something to herself as she fell asleep, her snores rather soft and quiet...when they weren't interrupted by the occasional cough or wheeze. She had a rather strange dream that night. On any other night it wouldn't have been strange at all. She dreamed of waking up once again in her dark basement to the warm glow of the chemicals and the sweet (to her anyway, to most it would be considered quite noxious) smell of mixtures swishing and potions brewing. She fixed her morning duties and wandered out into her family's greenhouse. The plants belched and seemed to move as her parent's serums made them grow far faster than nature had intended. She plucked an apple off of a bizarrely growing vine. The disgusting fruit almost seemed to be pulsing. She smiled and stowed it into her bag, knowing the fruit would have wondrous unique properties she could surely take advantage of. She whistled as she picked the plants that were ready to harvest and poured mixtures of water and chemicals on the others. She smiled as she saw the juices bubbling within the ground. Those plants were surely going to turn out great. She continued whistling as she wandered back to her lab, happily cutting and depositing the fruits, vegetables, and herbs into her various experiments. Then, after looking up, down, left and right to make sure her parents weren't around, she pulled out a book of her favorite adventure stories and happily read them while she waited. She was a little confused however, the main character of these stories wasn't the ones she had known and loved. It wasn't a girl named Escha or a young lady called Rorona or a princess christened Meruru. Instead, it was an elf named Lucinda...wait a moment...that was her! Just as she was about to get further into the dream she awoke with a cough that rocked her system even as the rest of the world barely heard it.

Her eyes shot open as she groaned very softly. That dream was just getting good too. Now she'd never get it back. She looked around the camp for a moment, happy to find that her low light vision, strengthened by her elven heritage and honed through years of practice in a dark basement, were still effective in the moonlight of the forest. Her eyes narrowed for a moment as she realized that it was her turn to take watch of the encampment. She nodded and smiled awkwardly as she left her bed and waved to her predecessor, who, thankfully, trotted off to bed rather quickly. Her smile disappeared as her mind turned to more serious thoughts.

She looked around the camp and walked for a moment, her natural elven grace allowing her to move almost silently. She personally checked each and every member of the expedition to make sure they were asleep. Then she walked solemnly over to her backpack. There were things that she had to do this night. They were scary things. Tasks that most men would avoid at all costs. Lucinda was not most people. Her parents had trained her for this task for what felt like years. She had wondered about the importance of the training and those tasks, but as she met her companions she realized her parents were right.

They had instructed her not to tell the church, the guards, the guild or even her companions about this. It was smart advice. They wouldn't' understand after all. Most people could never understand it. She opened her rucksack and silently began pulling out a few items and stowing them away in her belt and other loops. She had spent quite a bit of time practicing how to do it silently, even she was confident she could do it in pitch darkness without making barely any noise. She paused as she pulled out her last piece of equipment, possibly the most important one. It was a knife, a small one not unlike the ones that surgeons use. It was a small device,  a tool that most would consider quite inefficient for the task at hand. However, Lucina had spent years assisting in the field of high level Alchemy, where a tiny mistake could cause great disaster. It had taught her a little something about how to cut objects very precisely, something she would need for the task at hand.

She walked off into the shadows of the night for a time, making sure to avoid any patches of dry grass or other materials that would create a good bit of noise.


She headed back to the camp as quietly, no, even more quietly than when she had left and stored the offending articles once again in her backpack. Her eyes narrowed as she looked at her hand. It seemed she had made a little mistake. She luckily had a rag prepared just for the occasion, she supposed one that was normally used to hold scraps was quite appropriate. She wiped the surprisingly strong smelling red liquid off of her hand and quickly stowed it away under rags for more powerful, noticeable stenches. Then she smiled as she went to wake the next watch and jump back in her bed. That had really tired her out!
Devi McCain
 player, 53 posts
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 14:46
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi listened to and addressed each of the speakers in turn starting with Lucinda, "That is fine, you can take Jerischo's watch then.", in reply to Jada, "You can use two and a third turns of the sandglass Jada if you have trouble telling the time accurately enough, I'll leave it with you when I wake you. Being upon a horse instead of walking the distance will make a large difference in the energy we expend, missing an hour or two of sleep won't," she paused looking over to Lucinda, "Shouldn't do anyone harm." Turning to address Lalita, "As long as Lynessa has no objections to it I don't see why you two can not switch watches." While she found it odd that Lalita addressed her as hawkfish, she did not comment on it, after all she called everyone by an odd name it seemed. "Does this satisfy everyone?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:46, Thu 03 July 2014.

The Shade of Grimlock
 NPC, 1 post
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 20:33
Re: The High road from Freeport
    As the night progressed, each member of the group closed their eyes to drift off into restful sleep. The sound of the horses moving about, and the occasional change of the night watch faded into the darkness. Throughout the clearing, and in the water, the members slept fitfully. A strange fog filled their minds and the image of an old man hobbled into view. The members of the party each found themselves alone in the clearing with the fog swirling about their prone forms. Unable to speak or move they remained motionless and still as the old man slowly moved closer. He was wearing a colorful cloak and shocking white hair flowed down his back. His face was covered in a thick, equally white, beard that was wild and unkempt. He leaned heavily on a gnarled staff as he trudged forward. Ever closer, the old man moved until he was directly over the still body of the party member. Taking a knee, he leaned his wizened old face close to your ear and whispered in a whimsical tone:







The old man withdrew and hobbled slowly away; as he passed from view the fog dissipated. A shaft of light pierced through the trees and a warm comforting feeling seemed to fill the clearing. The members of the group began to wake from their slumber to find the morning was well advanced. The last person on watch, Lynessa, had been taken by the same dream and awoke along with the others.

2nd day of the 2nd month: 09:00 AM.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:23, Thu 03 July 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 73 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 00:54
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa woke with a start. Echoes of the old man's voice filled her mind, and for a moment she wasn't sure if she were still dreaming. Then, she heard the others, she noticed the sunlight streaming in through the grove, and illuminating the clearing. She sat, cross-legged, before a small fire-pit she had been building. ”I was going to cook breakfast for everyone, if I could find the right ingredients in our trail rations,” she recalled. ”I started building this fire-pit and...”

She blushed. ”I... I fell asleep!” she realized. She gritted her teeth. Well, she wasn't off to a good start at all. She could have gotten everyone killed.
Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 34 posts
 Will play music for Dosh.
 And Deeds 4 Cheap.
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 02:21
Re: The High road from Freeport
The words woke Jerischo, who'd been working and humming to himself the entire ride earlier.  The words. . .He pulled a book out, hastily scribbling them down into the journal.  He slammed the book, and got up hurriedly.  He stumbled out, nearly tripping over the guard-lady.  He mumbled an apology, suddenly intent on checking on Comet, who was absolutely fine.  He pulled an apple out of. . .where did he even have that apple, fed the horse, and then actually realized he WASN'T being mugged or attacked, and that he had traveling companions.  And that one of them was on the ground, in a clear huff.  His footsteps were quiet as he came to kneel next to Lynessa.

"Rough night for you too, miss Crescent?"  He could tell it had been; her jaws were clenched too tight, the fire pit was half-built, and she looked like something else was wrong.  Not really his department, but nothing a little bit of a good breakfast couldn't solve.  "It's always hard sleepin' with new folk around you, isn't it?  Well, I'll make us all something to eat;  You should stretch and do. . well, whatever it is professional fighters do.  In the morning.  Those routines."  Somehow, even with his admittedly less than stellar wording, his voice was soothing and pleasant.  And he was pulling out trail rations, exploring, getting a pot, boiling water, and what-have-you.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 89 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 02:39
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lalita awoke with a sudden jolt out of the water. She breathed heavily, trying to understand what it was she just dreamt about. "W-what in the world? What was that old man glubbing aboat? His words seemed so.." The girl's thoughts trailed off as she turned her head and realized she was not the only one awake. The swordfish and bard were sitting by the campfire, possibly preparing for some breakfast for the group.

She climbed out of the spring. If it wasn't for the fact that her hair was damp, no one would have ever known she was in the water as her skin was perfectly dry. She sat down next to Lynessa and Jerischo and shaking her head tried to get over her dream and gave the two a bright smile. "Morning~" she chirped, trying to keep her voice down so not to disturb the others. "Um...did you two sleep whale? Glub."
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 77 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 03:24
Re: The High road from Freeport
“Too whale...” Lynessa shook her head. She was still flustered, though she had calmed since Jeri had joined her. His voice was smooth, somehow relaxing. She'd never heard him sing or tell a tale, but she imagined that Jeri did pretty well for himself as a bard. “Too well,” she corrected herself. She gave Lalita a curious look. She was sure that Lalita had been in the spring all night, but the fish-kin's skin didn't even look wet.

She looked at Jerischo and shook her head. “I've never had trouble sleeping around strangers. Sleeping in barracks breaks you of that pretty quickly. It's just...” she paused. The bard may have had a soothing voice, but Lynessa was still too embarrassed to admit that she'd fallen asleep on her watch. Though, she figured Jerischo was probably sharp enough to see the half-built fire-pit and put two and two together.

“I was going to cook something, but you're welcome to instead. I'm afraid I haven't practiced much in a while,” she admitted. She pushed herself to her feet. “I suppose I'll see to 'those routines'.” She hefted Heirloom out of the grass and made her way toward the edge of the clearing so no one would get in her way as she went through her sword forms.
Jada
 player, 61 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 03:34
Re: The High road from Freeport
In reply to Devlin McCain (msg # 16):

"Yes, I would like to borrow your hourglass. Thank you." He said, opening an eye to glance at the man. He travels with an hourglass? I suppose that explains the oddly specific watch duration. He thought quietly before clearing his mind to embrace sleep.

Through the night, Jada slept lightly stirring whenever anyone moved close or made any noise. Those on watch might notice him crack an eye if they took to walking around. When it came to his watch, he didn't need to be woken. He was already silently watching as Devlin came close. Accepting the hourglass, Jada moved to the edge of the camp and began practice stances and strikes. He moved agonizingly slow, keeping proper form as he flowed through a routine. Eventually the hourglass indicated it was time for the next watch, so he went over and woke Jerischo. Jada wordlessly handed him the hourglass, then moved back to his blanket and rested.

As morning sun's warmth washed over him, Jada woke with a start. He quickly realized he had somehow slept though dawn. Waking so late is improper.. but I suppose we did end the day late yesterday. At least I will not be half-asleep the whole day. he thought with a yawn. Not wanting to waste the light they had left, he rose and preformed some basic stretches before leaving briefly.

On his return, he quickly prepared to leave. Without delay he rolled up his blanket, saddled Blanche, secured his belongings for travel. Seeing that the others had plans besides leaving immediately, he fetched some of his simple rations and quietly ate a small breakfast. Once he finished he crossed his legs, closed his eyes and waited.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:36, Thu 26 June 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 152 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 03:49
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda jolted awake as she suddenly realized the sun was reaching her face. Sun!? On her face!? Right as she woke up!? Oh no! This was a disaster! She woke up so late! That means she missed experiments 1-....she looked around for a moment in confusion. Wh-where was she? She'd had a really weird dream...b-but this wasn't her lab! This wasn't her lab! I-It was outside! There weren't beakers or machines or anything! Th-there was just trees! A-and plants! P-plants that weren't moving! What in the world was going on here!? She coughed a bit as she started to panic before finally remembering the events of the previous day. She groaned a little and she started to get up, looking around the camp in confusion while she tried to resist panicking.

Her eyes widened as she spotted a purple and blue-speckled flower in one of her chaotic glances. W-was that... "Spikegrass Maleficarus! I-I can't believe I found it out here!"  Still in her pajamas, Lucinda crawled out of her bedroll and ran over to the plant, stopping only to grab a knife, snips, and a small bag. She started to poke and prod at the plant, smiling as the plant spurt out an oddly colored puff of gas that made her giggle. She started cutting and pulling at the plant.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 90 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 04:19
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lalita codn't kelp but laugh at her comrades queer actions. "You guppies are too finny~ Glub." she stated before getting up and going over towards Apollo. Her smile faded as her back was turned. She just had to wonder about her dream,  what did it mean? No matter how much she was trying to shrug it off, the old man's worlds still lingered in her mind. "Best not to sink aboat it..." she muttered to herself just as her thoughts became clustered with voices once more. Right on time too. The fishy let out a small sigh of relief.

When she reached her horse she gave Apollo a small smile and pet his neck, whispering, "Whale good morning. Did you sleep well? I did...kind of." She then reached into her bag and grabbing out some rations took a small nibble at the food.

 "Do you want to be untied? Glub." She asked Apollo. The horse gave her no response, however, figuring that he would Lalita just nodded her head and untied the creature from the tree. "There you go guppy. Glub." She gave the horse another pat on the neck.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:29, Thu 26 June 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 78 posts
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 03:46
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa started with basic feints and thrusts, and moved on to more advanced techniques as her muscles stretched and loosened. By now, the steps in her morning routine were committed to muscle memory and as was often the case her mind wandered as she worked.

She never knew where her thoughts would take her, though it was really no surprise when she settled on the dream. Only... had it really been a dream? It had been so surreal, what else could it have been? Yet, she could remember every detail so clearly.

”You're only letting it bother you because of what you did. Stop trying to make more of it than it is,” she thought. Yet, as she finished her warm-ups and started rolling up her bed-roll she wore a troubled expression. It remained on her face as she started struggling to get into her breastplate on her own. The dream felt like a puzzle, and Lynessa hated puzzles. She had never been very good at them...
Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 35 posts
 Will play music for Dosh.
 And Deeds 4 Cheap.
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 10:26
Re: The High road from Freeport
The smell of a surprisingly palatable meal wafted through the campsite, the humming as infectious as his words had been earlier.  The bard happily chopped, minced, stirred, did whatever he could to make a breakfast over the now-completed firepit.  As if it'd been completed the night before.  Of course he knew she'd fallen asleep, of course he knew what she felt;  he was good at that.  He was good at reading people.  But it was best for him if the others thought that he was only passable at best;  that he just had luck on his side, and was more pleasant and well-meaning than smart.  To that end. . .

"Who wants breakfast?"
Lalita Chandra
 player, 91 posts
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 12:26
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lalita's head instantly turned towards the rather delicious smelling meal. Looks like the bard took the liberaty to make breakfast for all of them, how kind! She skipped over to the campfire, not worried about Appolo running away. She knew he wouldn't. Then onve everyone else was gathered around, she sat down cross-legged. "Thank you, Jerischo! Glub." she glubbed, giving the man a smile.

Sadly unlike the others, Lalita hadn't cone up with a nickname yet for the bard. Perhaps when she got to know him better. She watched as the others started to grab for the food, then out of no where asked. "Sooooo...who had a spooky dream last night?" To which she instantly raised her hand. There was no use denying it, she could tell from some of the members there was something unsettling them and they might as well spill it all out whale they could. Honesty is the best policy, after all.

This message was last edited by the player at 12:29, Fri 27 June 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 154 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Sun 29 Jun 2014
at 18:55
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda was busy picking apart the flower when she heard Lalita's comment. Should she respond? If others had such a dream, perhaps it was more than coincidence. Everybody else seemed...different in some way, like they were uncomfortable maybe? She wasn't very good at noticing social cues and such, but if the fish kin had noticed, perhaps she should mention it. Still keeping her eyes on the work in front of her, she responded. "Er, um, yeah....I erm, guess it was spooky? Maybe?"
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 83 posts
Tue 1 Jul 2014
at 00:15
Re: The High road from Freeport
After some work, Lynessa managed to cinch the straps of her breastplate tight around her upper body. ”I probably should have asked for help. Getting it on is even harder than getting it off.” But, everyone had looked busy, so she'd handled it herself. She worked Heirloom back into a simple leather scabbard, which she slung over her right shoulder. Then, the tantalizing smell of breakfast reached her and her stomach issued a hungry rumble. She joined the others for breakfast.

“This smells wonderful, Jerischo.”
She leaned forward and helped herself to whatever he had prepared. The flavor was exquisite, much better than she could have managed. “And tastes just as good. Thank you,” she complimented.

She looked at Lalita and considered her dream for a moment. “I had a very odd dream,” she admitted. “It was here. In this clearing, I think. But I was the only one here. Well, me and an old man. He spoke to me.” Even now, she could remember his words clearly, and found herself puzzling over them once again.
Devi McCain
 player, 55 posts
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 19:05
Re: The High road from Freeport
When she woke up her bones were stiff. It was like that most mornings nowadays, but she still wasn't quite used to it. She managed to work herself into a sitting position and then started rubbing life back into her sore muscles like an old biddy. Normally she'd spend some time focusing her mind as well by some simple exercises with her magic, but she didn't want to expose herself to these strangers just yet. Right now she still had an advantage, and that was just how she liked it.

Instead, she turned her thoughts to the dream. After magic found its way into her life she had slowly gained more and more knowledge of the subject in her quest to learn and harness it. Early on, Devi had realized the only way to true enlightenment was to let go of old superstitions and fears. She put no stock in tea leaves and soothsayers, and felt a twinge of spite when she dwelled on the notion that most people willingly let themselves be fooled. They preferred the comfort of lies because the truth contained too much uncertainty for them. Fools.

This rational approach to all things strange had been a great boon to her. In this case, it lead her to the conclusion that the dream she had, and that the others had apparently shared, held within it some meaning. What that meaning was, she wasn't sure yet. It depended on what the others had heard.

She razed her hands through her mane of red hair and yawned. Her fingers tingled painfully but she forced herself to reach out for the food while considering her options. She would be traveling with these people for quite a while. The priestess had seen something in them all - something that Devi perhaps could not see, but if there was one thing she trusted in unfailingly, it was the light. Lilith had guided her here on her quest for knowledge. Building trust was the first step she needed to take, even if some of these people didn't quite seem worth the effort required.

"I had the same dream," Devi spoke. Her voice sounded hoarse, and she cleared her throat before continuing. "One wonders why mystical dreams can never come in clearer forms, hm? Mine was.." She made sure she still recalled all the lines before reciting them:

A door within the earth awaits
no darkness can pass through
the follower of light debates
in fear of what she must do
for the sacrifice of power may
drive back the night and awake the day


No idea what it means."
She felt she could afford herself a small lie after being so forthcoming. Her interpretation of the lines was her own business. "This is good food, by the way."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:13, Thu 03 July 2014.

Jada
 player, 64 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Monk
Fri 4 Jul 2014
at 02:08
Re: The High road from Freeport
Jada sat motionless and silent, patiently listening to the others. Without warning he spoke. "The meaning of those words actually seem rather clear for a prophetic dream. If only there was more certainly of this sacrifice working.. As stated it implies that failure is a possibility. For me the man said:

The winding peak to darkness lost.
A gift of sight with blood the cost.
The map to pulsing light will rise
and burn away the web of lies.
"

He paused a moment before continuing. "So far it seems that our destination is a mountain overtaken by the spreading darkness and a lady follower of light will be called to make a sacrifice." He finished before opening his eyes and looking to each of the women for a reaction.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:06, Fri 04 July 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 160 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Fri 4 Jul 2014
at 05:49
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda was actually surprised enough to look away from her component gathering. These dreams, there was no way they all had different parts, right? She was a woman of ration and alchemy, this talk of prophetic dreams was a little bizarre to her. it didn't seem like something from real life it seemed more like something from one of her stories. But then again...this really was a lot like one of her stories in a lot of ways. So maybe this could be important too. She listened closely to the various prophetic words that each had related.

She wasn't sure what the first one meant of course, clearly it was speaking of some sort of underground area, but she did not understand what it meant by 'sacrifice.' Frankly she didn't even like the word. It sounded far too scary for her. She hoped that, whatever it was, it wouldn't be too much of a sacrifice.

The second one was slightly more interesting. Maps of pulsing light and winding peaks were always fun to think about. Her eyes narrowed slightly at the words about blood. But that map of pulsing light sounded very interesting, burning away webs of lies was like finding new truths, something she always loved to do.

Still in her pajamas, Lucinda moved over to the rest of the group holding a basket of new alchemical components she made from the flower. She rooted through her bag for one of her morning potions and popped the cork, taking a sip. Wait a moment...in times like this it was right to offer drinks to fellow companions. She had read more than enough books to realize that much. She pointed the open potion bottle out to the rest of the group.

"U-um...I heard a few words as well...

Deep beneath the crumbling rock
north from the peak fly like a hawk
the crooked arm bends westward ho!
where water springs the heroes go
bound within the chamber bright
the living, breathing heart of light
the gift of gods the legends say
to keep the evil ones at bay
"

She said rather softly.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 99 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Fri 4 Jul 2014
at 14:40
Re: The High road from Freeport
As Lalita listened to her fellow comrades, she gave small acknowledged nod. It was obvious by now that they all had the same dream with different messages given by an old man. Who was that old man anywaves? From how he was dressed he seemed...nah. Best not to sink aboat it. She would have to dive into this a little moor later.

Ready to give her piece of the puzzle, Lalita took in a deep breath and stated. "Mine was a bit...ominous."

"The child of light may bring again
the rise of darkness and fall of man
for truth in stone may question make
and cause the holy, their oaths to break."


The meaning behind this seemed at bit obvious, though she rather not linger on it.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:29, Wed 09 July 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 87 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Fri 4 Jul 2014
at 15:58
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa listened to each of her companions in turn, chewing her breakfast thoughtfully as each new piece of the puzzle was revealed. It seemed obvious that their dreams were connected somehow. She wondered if the High Priestess had sent them, of if they had come from someone else.

She showed no reaction to Jada's suggestion that a follower of the light might be called upon to make a sacrifice. Lynessa didn't think of herself as "a follower of the light." The phrase made her think of priestesses, or people who had devoted their lives to the light.

When Lalita had finished, Lynessa shared her dream without introduction.

"Ascend the highest mountain top
and seek the holy altar
the cold steel bites into the flesh
be strong and do not falter"


"I have no idea what it means. I'm afraid I've never been very good with puzzles,"
she admitted. She nodded toward the potion that Lucinda had indicated. "Are you offering," she asked the elven girl.
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 356 posts
Fri 4 Jul 2014
at 17:28
Re: The High road from Freeport
    The group sat about a fire eating a delicious breakfast and discussing the events of the previous night, when the sound of pounding hooves is heard in the distance. In the clearing, off the beaten path, the party is obscured and can only see flashes of the road through the trees. A single rider passes by the patch of trees, his uniform clear against the morning sky; he was a messenger. Likely dispatched by the guard in Freeport, he was riding north at full speed; driving his horse to it's limit. His face painted with fear and sadness and a precious letter tucked within the folds of his tabard.
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 162 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Sun 6 Jul 2014
at 04:43
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda nodded at the armored swordswoman, not knowing exactly what to say. She tapped her chin for a moment and thought that she was forgetting something rather important. She then nodded. It was rather obvious now that she thought about it, it was something anybody who had made this potion before should know. She frankly thought that everyone should know about it. But again she remembered the warnings of her parents. They told her that out there, out of the guild and the city, there were so many people who had no idea about anything. "U-um...o-only take a little sip of that...."

She looked back as the man who was racing forward on the horse. what was she supposed to do about that? The best thing would probably be to let him continue about his business for sure. But then again...she didn't always know what was the best thing to do in these sorts of situations. She reasoned that in stories like this...meeting a messenger was probably very important. She spoke up. "U-um....hello?"
Devi McCain
 player, 58 posts
 Human
 Caster
Sun 6 Jul 2014
at 19:12
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi looked from the potion to the source of the sounding hoof beats with the same highly critical expression. To be honest she wasn't convinced the young elf was completely right in the head, and until she saw any conclusive proof one way or the other, she wouldn't touch any potion the woman offered her with a ten foot pole.

Lucinda's reaction to the messenger didn't do much to change her opinion. There was a chance this was some sort of trap, or that the man was chased. On the other hand, she considered as she got up with a grimace, perhaps the messenger had news they could use. Not everything of import could be imparted by unnatural dreams, after all. Luckily, the man was likely riding too hard to hear her soft call over the noise. For now she saw no reason to race after him, but if they others felt differently she'd follow them.

In the back of her mind she mulled over the lines they had all heard. She wondered if the bard's portion had a new angle to add. In the dream, the old man had felt...good to her, but she didn't trust emotions. They were too easily manipulated.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:33, Sun 06 July 2014.

Lalita Chandra
 player, 102 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Mon 7 Jul 2014
at 13:24
Re: The High road from Freeport
As the messenger rode on by, Lalita had to wonder. From the look on his face, did the priestess die? Was that the news he was carrying with him? If so, she could understand why he was also afraid. Because that meant a small bit of hope, died as well.

However, Lalita was no mind reader. So to say whether or not this was actually the message the man carried, was up for speculation. In the mean time she thought aboat all that had been glubbed and realized that Jericho hadn't mentioned his dream yet. "I wonder what the old fish carped to him." she thought as she looked over at the bard. If the man didn't want to reveal what he saw that was fine. After all, she didn't expect everyone to be as forthcoming as they were. She shrimply continued to sit quietly and wait for what the others decided to do.
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 90 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Mon 7 Jul 2014
at 16:56
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa's hand stopped a moment before it wrapped around the potion bottle. Only a sip? She wondered what would happen if she took a long drag on the potion. Perhaps her skin would turn purple, or she'd grow an extra limb. She trusted Lucinda, and trusted Alchemy. It would be best to do what the elven girl said. She brought the potion to her lips and took in a small sip, not even enough to really taste it.

She was about to thank Lucinda, and ask what the potion was for, when the unmistakable sound of hoof beats broke the relative silence of the morning. Through the trees, she caught glimpses of the rider. She recognized his uniform, and with the pace he was setting she judged that his message must be important. Had something happened in Freeport? A bandit raid? A fire perhaps? Had she abandoned the Guard only hours before she was most needed?

"HAIL!" she called in a voice much more commanding than Lucinda's had been. She stood up and raced for the edge of the clearing, hoping to make herself visible. Still, she doubted she would be seen or heard. And with Jasper still tied and unsaddled, she couldn't give chase.
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 362 posts
Mon 7 Jul 2014
at 19:06
Re: The High road from Freeport
    The messenger, riding at full speed, was raising dust in the distance as Lynessa rushed the edge of the clearing; if he heard her call at all, it appeared to make no difference. He was tucked in for a long ride, and would likely not stop even if he had heard her. Tiro was still several days north and given his urgency and official tabard that was likely his destiny. A small wren sat on a branch behind Lynessa and chirped indignantly at her sudden appearance. If nobody knew any different, it would appear the world was at peace. The morning sky was a beautiful blue hue and not a cloud was in sight.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:05, Wed 09 July 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 166 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Mon 7 Jul 2014
at 19:24
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda looked curiously at the swordswoman. She hadn't drank enough for the potion to take effect. She was  a bit surprised. Were her parents right? Did the average person really not know anything about proper doses for potion use? It seemed bizzare to her. She waved her head from side to side to the woman and spoke up. "U-um...you can drink a little more than that...I-It's good in the morning a-and it tastes delicious."
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 92 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Tue 8 Jul 2014
at 17:49
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa reached the edge of the clearing just in time to see the rider's dust cloud in the distance. She had been too slow to catch his attention. Or too quiet. Or the messenger's task was just too important for distractions. Likely, he was heading toward Tiro. She assumed that the outpost would be their next destination. Any big news they would learn upon their arrival, if they didn't catch up to the messenger before hand.

She returned to breakfast, and her potion-sipping skills were promptly corrected by Lucinda. "Well, you said only a sip. I figured I was better off taking as small a sip as possible so I didn't... get sick or anything," she explained, taking the offered potion a second time.

This time, she took in enough of the potion to actually taste it. Her first instinct was to spit it out. It tasted like a grapefruit had been left to soak in a barrel of pitch until it spoiled, then the rotted juices had been added to a mixture of ash and water. She felt her throat grow tight as if trying to prevent her from swallowing the foul concoction, but she forced it down. Tears twinkled in the corners of her eyes as she swallowed.

"Thank you," she said in a hoarse voice, remembering her manners as she handed the potion back to Lucinda. Was this really what the elves considered delicious?
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 168 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Tue 8 Jul 2014
at 18:55
Re: The High road from Freeport
She smiles as she took the potion back. She made a person happy today! Her parents or one of the clerks had always given the item she made out, so she didn't get to see the direct results of her potion sales very often. Now that she thought about it, most of the time the only person who drank her potions was Lucinda herself. Or at least she thought so. Potions did disappear from her lab every once in a while...maybe they went to the shop upstairs? She knew about what happened to the commissioned orders, but what about the general stock? She tapped her chin in deep thought over the matter. Then she clapped her hands quietly and dug through her bag for a moment to pull out a vial. "R-right...every morning and night..." She sipped the elixir again, particularly observant viewers might recognize it as the one she used last night.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 109 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Tue 8 Jul 2014
at 19:26
Re: The High road from Freeport
Okay, that's it. Lalita was officially bored. She'll admit, the dreams were pretty fun to ponder aboat; and she supposed the abrupt messenger was a bit mysterious. However, now that those were done and over with, they were literally just doing notfin but sitting around. Which in all honesty, didn't sit well with the fish-kin. Nope! Naut at all.

Finished with her breakfast, the girl stood up from where she sat and going over to Apollo jumped onto the horses back. Adrenaline pumping through her veins. Yeah, she was ready. Ready to get this show on the road. "We're wasting daylight." She declared as she looked down at her comrades, hoping for their agreement. "Let's go guppies~ This adventure ain't gonna start itshell! Glub."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:41, Tue 08 July 2014.

Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 37 posts
 Human
 Bard
Wed 9 Jul 2014
at 00:55
Re: The High road from Freeport
Jerischo had been busying himself over the fire and considering his party member's words. After the excitement of the messenger passed, he spoke up. "Well since I have yet to reveal what the old man said to me... I offer these words to you all...

To journeys end the dreams will take
and grant the heroes thirst to slake
beware the whispers in the dark
stay true the path and seek the spark
a fate committed years ago
a battle of great foes
the lives of all are in great peril
as darkness ever grows


He stood up and straightened his shirt. Looking over at Lalita, who was raring to go, he said "Perhaps young fishy is right, we are indeed wasting daylight." He collected the cooking utensils from around the fire and prepared to mount his horse...


OOC: This was posted by the GM

This message was last updated by the GM at 00:55, Wed 09 July 2014.

Jada
 player, 70 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Monk
Wed 9 Jul 2014
at 00:38
Re: The High road from Freeport
Hearing the lady's pieces, Jada closed his eyes again and concentrated. "Hmm.." He mumbled as he thought about the clues before him. Fortunately studying prophecies and their twisted meanings had been part of his studies. He cleared his mind and brought forth his memory of a map of Linness. It had been years since being forced to study it, but he could still recall the details. Tallest peak, northward to the bent arm, water springing.. highest peaking, winding peak lost to darkness..

As the other distracted themselves with calling out the messenger, Jada sat quietly and focused. After several more moments, he opened his eyes. "I was wrong. The peak lost to darkness is Widow's Peak. The darkness it speaks of is the dark mages that inhabited it after the rending. It is our first destination where we will likely meet fierce resistance, via the 'cold steel'. After that we need to go north to where the mountain range turn westward. The river's source is there. We can follow it to the second destination.. Although I am not yet sure why there is two. Perhaps the map it speaks of is a literal map, or maybe it is a truth that will burn away the lies of our known history and break our will to stop the darkness. I am not sure, but finding a holy alter on Widow's Peak seems fairly clear."
Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 39 posts
 Human
 Bard
Wed 9 Jul 2014
at 03:43
Re: The High road from Freeport
The Bard smiled at the others, his true thoughts inscrutable.  Fighting?  On a mountain?  Did they have ANY idea how bad that sounded? The thin roads and the possibility of landslides and the possibility of bandits. . .and they could make up time and maybe catch him and-  his eyes betrayed nothing as he spoke up.  He chuckled as he watched the swordswoman try to down the potion, he heard that. . .Volkove.  Okay, this had gone on long enough.  He was NOT putting this off anymore.

"Mountain battles?  Well, that CERTAINLY sounds like a wondrous idea, especially at night, and if we don't know the way."  He stirred the pot more, waiting for a moment before continuing.  "In fact, I think it was on a mountain when I last saw that man. . .that. . .Volkove I think his name was."  He shuddered only slightly, as if the memory brought him chills;  an easy act, as it did.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 114 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Wed 9 Jul 2014
at 12:09
Re: The High road from Freeport
The gills eye's widened as she listened to Jerischo. Did he just say, that he had seen otets? She slid off of Apollo's back and quickly walking up to the man asked, "What mountain? Where was it you last saw him?"

Lalita codn't believe- this was it! The news she had been praying for. Someone had actually seen her otets, which could only mean that he was alive. "Oh thank the cods..." The fish kin thought relieved. He was safe, just the thought of that alone was enough to make the girl filled with joy. She had to know. Where was he now? What was he doing? She needed to find him.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:27, Wed 09 July 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 177 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Wed 9 Jul 2014
at 21:47
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda taps her chin for a moment and begins muttering to herself, obviously lost deep in thought. The Widow's Peak? The Herrin mountains? Although geography wasn't exactly her strong suit, Lucinda had definitely heard of that place. She muttered to herself a little, working through her thoughts quite softly. "Herrin mountains...widow's peaks...why are those so familiar...was it in that story about Rorona? No...was it the mountain Totori climbed to save her friend? No...I'm on the wrong path....Widow's Peak sound's like Willow's Meat sounds like Witnow's Peat sounds like..." Her eyes suddenly went wide with realization as she seemed very excited. "Astrid's Seed! A-and Chimera Root! Oh, and there may even be darkstone! A-and terranite! Ooh! This is going to be fun!" she said sounding more cheerful than timid for once. She had only seen those ingredients! They were really super rare, so her parents had always said that she couldn't use the very few they had. She was sure she could create something really interesting should she be able to get her hands on any of them! Let alone all three! Maybe this whole adventuring in the mountains thing wouldn't be so bad!
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 95 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Thu 10 Jul 2014
at 00:35
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa listened to Jada as she tried to rinse out the taste of Lucinda's potion with a mouthful of water from her skin. Going over what she remembered of the shared poems, she had to admit that the beast-kin's interpretation seemed good. The thought made her a little bitter, that something as feral as Jada could out-reason her. A small part of her was ashamed at this reaction, and was perhaps the reason why she didn't argue with him for argument's sake.

She pushed herself to her feet. “An ambush in the dark in unfamiliar territory would be a bad situation whether you were in the mountains or the open plain,” she responded to Jeri. “In any case, we should get moving soon. South will take us back to Freeport, East and West to the ocean, so North towards the Herrin Mountains seems like our only option at this point anyway.” Like Lalita, she was ready to go. She felt full of energy. Maybe because of the breakfast? Or the extra sleep she'd gotten? Lucinda seemed excited too. She couldn't help but hope the elven girl found some of the plants or... whatever had her so excited... and had some time to harvest them.
Devi McCain
 player, 62 posts
 Human
 Caster
Thu 10 Jul 2014
at 14:55
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi nodded as Jada spoke. "Who knows what new insights we'll gain on the road, or when we reach our first destination. We can discuss it on the road - there'll likely be little else to do." With the rider gone, she had turned her mind towards the poems again. She took out her parchment and pen and made a few preliminary notes as the others busied themselves around the camp - Devi was used to this life and didn't need a lot of time to pack. She jotted down what she could remember of the poems and linked them to each person. There'd be time to correct them later.

When she was done, she started readying her horse. She was more than ready to move again. She mounted her horse and waited for the others to finish their business.
Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 41 posts
 Human
 Bard
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 00:28
Re: The High road from Freeport
The Bard too suddenly was in a hurry, but not for the same reasons as the others.  Where Lynessa was eager to move on, Jada was his usual phlegmatic self, and Lalita was suddenly eager to chatter with him, he found himself in a hurry to do just the opposite;  get the shell away from the Fish-girl.  Oh, he remembered the name Volkove alright.  He remembered it too well, far too well indeed.  And he'd gotten the confirmation that he wanted from the girl.  So his words were airy, breezy as his mind supposedly was, as he hurriedly saddled up.

"Volkove?  Oh gods, what mountain. . .you know, Lalita, I honestly forget.  It was about three months ago, and I was in such a hurry."  Just like he was now.  The girl didn't know what she was getting herself into.  Better to play dumb.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 120 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 00:55
Re: The High road from Freeport
"O-oh..." Lalita stuttered, slightly disappointed. She stood silent for a while, thinking over what the bard had said. So he saw him three months ago? Well, thats nice, but she was hoping Jerischo might have seen otets a little more recently. And he didn't seem to remember which mountain either, though she didn't completely believe him there.

The fish-kin let out a small sigh. How frustrating. But some news was better than none, at least she knew he was still out there or, at least she hoped so. She nodded her head. "Sanks Jerischo. Glub." She replied at last. Lalita turned from the bard and jumping back onto Apollo's back, looked solemnly down at the ground. "L-lets go, every guppy. Glub.."
Jada
 player, 76 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Monk
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 03:40
Re: The High road from Freeport
In reply to Jerischo Elsinoir Addis (msg # 47):

A frown pulled at Jada's neutral expression, but he kept his calm. Is the possibility of future battles surprising? What did he think this journey would entail? Weeks of traveling then chanting a few prayers perhaps? No, the forces of darkness throughout the histories have never made things easy. I am sure this darkness will be no different. "Although the night does not hinder me as much, I too would like to avoid fighting after dusk. Wandering into ambush at night could be dangerous. Another good reason to rest at nightfall.." He said, responding to Jerischo's words.

He paused to listen to the elf's mutterings, but couldn't make sense of it, so he continued voicing his thoughts. "Once we reach Tiro, it might be worth while to search for a guide who knows the mountain. We will have to see how reliable the paths are."

He was relieved when Lalita and Devi moved to their mounts. He had been waiting to depart and now that wait was over. While he was gathering Blanche's reigns, he looked over when the bard mentioned a man sharing Lalita's last name. A family member perhaps? A mountain seems like an odd place for a fish-kin. Heh, about as odd as finding a beast-kin in a monastery I suppose.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:20, Fri 11 July 2014.

TheDudeAbides
 GM, 397 posts
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 22:28
Re: The High road from Freeport
    The group mounted their horses and guided them carefully out of the stand of trees. The early morning air was fresh and a slight breeze floated in from the ocean; it caressed them gently as they rode forth. The messenger that had thundered by earlier had long passed from sight and the dust of his hurried passage had already settled back on the well traveled road. The group set their sights north and headed off at a steady gait.

    Several days on the road passed without event. Each night the group made camp in a suitable location and took turns on the nightly watch. There were no dreams or visions and no more riddles presented themselves. They were riding parallel to the river that flowed south down the finger of land which stretched into the dark blue ocean. It was easy to find suitable resting areas with fresh water and grazing land aplenty. The mood was remarkably good. They had encountered few other people on the road. An old woman and her son traveling south to Freeport and a grain farmer driving a cart of wheat were the only living souls the group saw.

    In the late afternoon on the 5th day of travel, the party of would-be heroes were chatting away and enjoying the afternoon sun when a smell of death greeted their nostrils. Up ahead, carrion birds circled and the scent grew stronger. As they proceeded forward the remains of something large came into sight off the road to the right. It was covered in insects and several birds tore fiercely at it's flesh. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a horse and rider. It was impossible to tell who the rider was but it was evident that he had died in a fight. The remains of his sword arm still clutched the handle of a dagger in a defiant gesture. It is impossible to determine anything else from the corpse without closer examination.

The party is roughly 80 miles south of Tiro


7th day of the 2nd month: 16:00 PM.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:30, Fri 11 July 2014.

Jada
 player, 77 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Monk
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 23:10
Re: The High road from Freeport
With his sharp sense of smell, Jada was the first to notice the foul stench of the decomposing corpses. His ears perked up and he began scanning each side of the road for trouble until they came to the corpses."Hey. You guys aren't going to say that we have no time to bury the dead are you?" He asked as he continued to study the surrounding terrain for signs of ambush.
Lalita Chandra
 player, 121 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 23:38
Re: The High road from Freeport
The gill shook her head as she looked over at the corpse. "T-this is terrible..." she murmured quietly to herself. Just what could've happened here? At once, the voices became awefully loud. She held her hand up so to lean her head against it, the noise driving poor Lalita to have a headache. Why all of a sudden were they so riled up? She shook her head lightly, before veering her attention towards Jada as he spoke.

He asked the others if they were too busy to bury the body, to which Lalita just shook her head. "N-no." she stuttered, the voices still bothering her. "The least we can do is give them a proper burial. Glub."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:40, Fri 11 July 2014.

Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 186 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Sat 12 Jul 2014
at 00:10
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda did her best to avoid looking at the body. She had read all about the effects of death before, about rigor mortis and how the body slowly rots away, especially after being eaten by the various animals and insects. But somehow...seeing it for real was different. It was...colder maybe? She couldn't really say to be honest. She just sat there and stared for a time, vaguely listening to the conversation with a frown on her face. Sh-she would get to the mountain right?
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 100 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Sat 12 Jul 2014
at 01:23
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa recognized the stench as soon as she could smell it. She'd smelled it before... homeless men, women, and children found tucked in the shadows at the farthest end of long alleys, poorly hidden murder victims... though never this strongly. She flinched away from the odor as they drew closer to the source, and brought one hand up to cover her nose and mouth against the stink of death.

She shook her head at Jada. She supposed if someone found her body on the side of the road, she'd want that someone to give her a proper burial. She dismounted Jasper, and approached the bodies to get a closer look. She wondered how long they'd been here, and what had happened to them. Had they been killed, and if so were the killers still around? She doubted it. Who could stand this stench for more than a few minutes at a time?
Devi McCain
 player, 65 posts
 Human
 Caster
Sat 12 Jul 2014
at 19:48
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi gave the corpse a cool look. Growing up the way she did, she'd seen decomposing bodies like this one countless times before, sometimes in an even worse state. Cycle of life, her uncle had always told her, and he'd been right. In some ways, she'd always considered it beautiful that from death life could spring. It was not so beautiful up close, though. And she had seen many corpses, but none of them human. Her stomach heaved as she came closer, a combination of the stench and proximity of death getting to her. She covered her mouth with her sleeve.

"I'd prefer to move on. Whoever killed this man might still be nearby. Most beasts don't leave their prey like this, so I would guess people did this. Besides, his body is being returned to the earth. I consider that the most proper burial of all." She then shrugged awkwardly, one large shoulder moving, then the other. "But I will help you dig if you decide otherwise."

She then stepped forward abruptly. She was probably least given to sentimental fancy of the group. The best thing they could do for this man was find out who he was so his relatives would know some rest. Covering her mouth tighter, she patted the man down for any signs of his identity or his reason to be here. She checked for saddlebags as well and anything that could point out what killed the man. It made her eyes water and her skin itch but she felt someone would have to do it.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:54, Sat 12 July 2014.

Lalita Chandra
 player, 122 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Sun 13 Jul 2014
at 12:39
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lalita jumped down from Appolo's back and walked up to Devi's side, she then crouched down and examined the body closely. "Any chance this cod've been the oarfish we saw a couple days ago? Glub." She asked the other girl.
Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 44 posts
 Human
 Bard
Sun 13 Jul 2014
at 18:22
Re: The High road from Freeport
"Well, that would be an abject shame," said the bard, as he and Comet trotted over.  Unlike the others, he didn't dismount, and instead scanned the surrounding area, searching for any reason to bolt.  He was brave like that.  Brave and prudent, as he liked to call himself.
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 399 posts
Mon 14 Jul 2014
at 19:08
Re: The High road from Freeport
    The group approached the battered corpse and Devi was the first to touch the man. As she patted him down it was clear by the tattered remains of his clothing that he must have come from Freeport. The shredded and blood soaked remains of a tabard were barely discernible through all the carnage. If the remains were the messenger, he must have rode north nonstop. It was apparent that he had been dead for at least 12 hours; for this to be possible, he must have driven his steed for several days without rest. A sealed note fell from within the man's shredded clothing as Devi searched for some type of identification. It was stamped with the seal of the Temple of Light but no other markings could be seen.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:58, Tue 15 July 2014.

Jada
 player, 79 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Monk
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 02:01
Re: The High road from Freeport
Once it was decided that they would stop, Jada dismounted and moved to take a look at the body. He hadn't sensed danger, but even if he had, he knew that he would better suited to deal with it on foot. Having no experience with corpses, Jada was content leaving any investigation to the others.

"I don't sense anything near by." He said as he searched for a spot with soft dirt and a branch or something to be used as an impromptu spade. "It is only a burial if you actually bury them.." He pointed out before looking over the ground for tracks for signs of a beast. A few times he crouched down and looked like he was sniffing the ground. "Any sign of what killed him? If it was a beast we might want to take extra precautions for the next few nights."
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 406 posts
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 02:08
Re: The High road from Freeport
    Jada's search of the ground revealed both horse and human tracks. His sharp eyes were able to discern the traces of at least eight horses and at least three independent humanoid tracks. It was nearly impossible to tell if they were the the tracks of travelers or a group of bandits. The hard packed road didn't provide much more then the most vague of information. There was no sign of a beast, and the wounds on the man were indicative of bladed and blunt weapons.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:10, Tue 15 July 2014.

Lalita Chandra
 player, 124 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 02:22
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lalita fell to knee's, her body shaking violently as she quickly raised her hands to cover her ears. "Q-quiet!" She cried in her head as she tried to gain control of herself.

The voices, what was triggering them now? Her head throbbed painfully as they became louder and louder, her skull feeling as if it were about to split. She wanted to scream! And then, she heard it. That one voice, that one word. Once it had spoken up the other fell eerily silent. However, what soon came afterwards left the girl utterly speechless. As she saw terrifying images of rotting corpses and death flash through her mind. Her eyes widened in shock.

At that moment the fish felt as if she had lost all capability of speech. She continued to sit there, breathing heavily as if she had run from death itself.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:06, Tue 15 July 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 103 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 02:42
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa knelt down and scooped up the sealed note. She held it up for the others, allowing them to see the wax seal bearing the insignia of the Temple of Light. Perhaps this was the man that had passed them five days ago. Or, maybe this man was carrying a response to the first man's message. Or, maybe the man they'd seen before had nothing to do with this one? She supposed none of those questions were quite as important as what to do with the sealed message. Opening it seemed like the smartest thing to do. Lynessa had no delusions about the importance of information: lives could depend on this message reaching its recipient.

“Do you see anything to identify him, Devi? Perhaps something to tell us where he- Lalita?” She caught the fish-kin dropping to her knees from the corner of her eye. She watched Lalita's display, her face creasing with confusion and concern.

“What's wrong,” she asked. She knelt next to Lalita and leaned over to look the girl in the eye. “Lalita? What happened,” she pushed, the letter temporarily forgotten.
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 190 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 03:16
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lucinda looked around, more than a bit confused by this chain of events. So apparently, that man was the messenger they saw earlier? He seemed so alive not so long ago...to see him like this. She shuddered, a nervous feeling filling her stomach. She had seen dead things before of course. She had picked apart plenty of animal carcasses for useful alchemical components. But all of those smelled  like formaldehyde and perfume...not like this. Well, she did suppose there were those times when she needed necrotic flesh from rats. Those didn't have formaldehyde. But that wasn't the point! The point was that this was different. This was bigger yes, but it wasn't like the corpse of a cow...this was a person she had seen so recently. She shuddered again and hid in her cloak for the moment, looking away. It was best for her not to look, right? She shuddered again. No...maybe she really should look at it. Once they were done...she would take care of him properly. Or offer to at least.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:20, Tue 15 July 2014.

Devi McCain
 player, 67 posts
 Human
 Caster
Wed 16 Jul 2014
at 12:55
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi raised her eyebrows as the fishwoman seemed to get into trouble. Lynessa handled the situation adequately though. She would gently try to take the letter from the guardswoman: if this was accepted, she would open it to read its contents.
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 413 posts
Wed 16 Jul 2014
at 19:20
Re: The High road from Freeport
    Devi moved behind Lynessa and easily took the letter. Lynessa was completely per-occupied with Lalita and barely noticed as the taller woman slipped it from her grasp. The red wax of the seal was unbroken and in the familiar crest of the Merchant Guild. This was particularly interesting as the messenger was wearing a tabard emblazoned with the markings and coloring of the Temple of Light. Devi opened the letter revealing only a few lines. She read them aloud to the group,

"Captain Merand,

    The High Priestess of Light, Lismore, has passed. The city is now fully under our control. Muster the Dredmoor and send them north to Denair. The fools within those high walls must either join us or perish. They cling with a dying grip to the secrets of the old ways, and yet they too will be consumed. Colosai Meroque, my brother.

Songbird
"
Jada
 player, 83 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Monk
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 04:10
Re: The High road from Freeport
Jada's search for digging implements was interrupted by Lalita's hysteria. She is reacting to the corpse? I suppose it is a bit disturbing. "How about you take her to some fresher air while we take care of things here." He suggested to Lynessa.

"Well that sounds ominous." He remarked after Devi read the letter. "Any of the names or details mean anything to anyone?"
Lynessa Crescent
 player, 106 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 17:46
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa nodded to Jada, then slipped her hand around Lalita's and shifted to put herself between Lalita and the grisly visage. “Come, the smell won't be so bad if we move downwind of it, and if you keep your back to the body you won't have to look at it.” Like Jada, she assumed that the fish-kin was squeamish and that the unpleasant sight had upset her. Still, she hadn't thought to take Lalita away from the body. Perhaps she had misjudged the beast-kin?

“Captain Merand is in charge of the soldiers stationed at Tiro,” she offered. “'Join us or perish'... that sounds like an plans for an invasion of Denair, but Tiro is a defensive outpost.” She shook her head. The message didn't make sense and, Goddess, was the High Priestess really dead? She'd never been particularly religious, but the thought that someone with the influence of the High Priestess could die made her keenly aware of her own mortality.

Or maybe it was the rider and his horse that made her feel that way. She gently tugged on Lalita's hand, trying to encourage her to move away from the bodies.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:28, Thu 17 July 2014.

Jerischo Elsinoir Addis
 player, 46 posts
 Human
 Bard
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 18:31
Re: The High road from Freeport
The sight of the others mourning stirred something in the still-mounted bard.  Something strange.  Or maybe that was the message.  The death of the High Priestess was neither overly surprising to him, nor was it something that actually pushed him much, save for the fact that it meant that another surprisingly good person had died, which he supposed was a tragedy of an by itself.  But the body and the horse. . .He finally dismounted,  his feet making nary a sound as he came over, and knelt next to the fish-kin whose name scared him.  He spared a glance at Lynessa, his eyes practiced to be sympathetic.

"Come on, young Volkove.  Come on.  This won't bring them back.  We'll take care of them;  I'll give them a proper dirge."  He wasn't lying about the dirge part either;  he'd do it.  Dirges weren't something he had too many of in his repertoire, but he had one.  It was more for an agrarian death, but in a pinch it could do to help guide another's soul to the afterlife. . .well, that was what dirges were supposed to do at least.  He'd never seen it happen.
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 194 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 18:37
Re: The High road from Freeport
She decided to speak up now that they were talking about dealing with the body. She was never the best with dead bodies, but she knew how to dispose of them properly and safely. It was important to do it just right or someone could get hurt or sick. Luckily she had taken care of enough rats to know what to do. she spoke up, although a bit timidly. "W-well, um...I-I guess I can provide the acid...I-If nobody else will..."

This message was lightly edited by the player at 19:07, Thu 17 July 2014.

Lalita Chandra
 player, 127 posts
 Beast-Kin
 Caster
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 19:07
Re: The High road from Freeport
"I'm...fine." Lalita finally glubbed, taking in a deep breath. She stood up from where she sat and giving the others a small smile, began to act as if nothing had happened in the first place.

"I just a small headache." She admitted, looking at Jerischo and the swordfish. "But it's gone now. Sorry for worrying all of you."

The fish-kin's eyes then lowered back onto the bodies in front of her. "Whale, lets get this swimming shall we?" She said, looking up at Jada and Devi. She added, "I'll help however I can."

Lalita wanted it to be clear that she wasn't squeamish of bodies but more importantly, that she wouldn't be a hindrance to the group.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:08, Thu 17 July 2014.

Lynessa Crescent
 player, 107 posts
 Human
 Fighter
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 04:37
Re: The High road from Freeport
Lynessa frowned. She suspected that Lalita was making light of some bigger issue, but doubted that calling her out on it would do any good. Jeri seemed to have brought the fish-kin's bubbly nature back out anyway. "Maybe you should talk to Lucinda," she suggested. "She might have a potion or... something to help if you have a headache."

To Lucinda, she gave a curious glance. "Acid? What do we need acid for?" She knew very little about caring for the dead. She had always assumed you just... dug a hole, said a few words in memory of the deceased, then buried them.

She watched Jada searching, presumably for something to dig with, but her mind was on the message Devi had read. Why would a message of that nature be sent to Captain Merand? And what did the author, Songbird?, mean by "the city is now fully under our control"? Did he mean Freeport? She chewed her lower lip and looked south. Her thoughts turned toward her family and her friends in the guard. Had she left them just before they needed her most?
Devi McCain
 player, 68 posts
 Human
 Caster
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 16:32
Re: The High road from Freeport
Devi gave a slight shrug. "These names mean nothing to me, besides the Priestess, of course. The meaning itself is very clear though: some opposing force must be ready to make a move. If this captain Merrand holds a high position, it seems the stakes are high indeed. All I know is that the only people that can be trusted are those here. The Priestess saw something in each of us, after all."

She straightened her back. "We must make haste. Let's bury the poor sod and get on with things. If we wait too long we might be dealing with a full scale invasion. Perhaps the Priestess knew what was coming in some way." She poked around in the soil a bit, to see if it's possible to dig in it, then gave Lucinda a Look. "My girl, I hope you're not suggesting letting the acid have its way with the man by means of a burial. Burying the corpse is meant as a sign of respect for the deceased, after all."
Lucinda Eravyn
 player, 196 posts
 Elf
 Alchemist
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 17:41
Re: The High road from Freeport
"O-oh..." She said looking a bit embarassed. She just wanted to take care of the body properly. She suppposed this was one of those weird traditions that her parents had warned her about. She would have to be more careful in the future. Desperately trying to change the subject, she remembered Lynessa's words. The whole mess with the merchant's guild was over her head. She had heard of the merchant's guild before of course, they were the men in fancy clothing who came to buy up her shop's stock of alchemical items every once in a while and argued with the clerks and her parents about money a lot. She frankly had no idea what to do about it. She hoped that there wouldn't be a war, even if her parents had said they tend to make a lot of money off of it. But she couldn't worry about that right now! She needed to focus on what she could do in this moment. She nodded to Lynessa and walked over to Lalita. "U-um, where e-exactly does it hurt?"

As she asked the question her mind raced with the possible causes of her current afliction. Could it be an imbalance of humors? Perhaps an inflammation of the muscles? Or perhaps some sort of injury? There were many possibilities, and she needed more information to sort out exactly what she could do.
TheDudeAbides
 GM, 420 posts
Sat 19 Jul 2014
at 00:07
Re: The High road from Freeport
    The group settled on burying the body and set about locating a proper spot off the main road. It didn't take long to find a soft spot of ground and Jada set about digging with a flat rock that served quite well as a digging utensil. Once the man had been placed into the ground and the dirt thrown over the corpse, the group spent a moment in silence honoring his passing. The night was quickly arriving and the group set up a makeshift camp located a solid distance from the recently buried dead. The night passed without event and the party made their way north once more to Tiro. The next day and a half went smoothly on the road. The group had begun to run low on food and the overall attitude seemed a bit somber given the recent burial. Most of the members remained silent, they had things on their minds.

The party arrives at Tiro

9th day of the 2nd month: 15:30 PM.