The Caravan.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 14 posts
Tue 16 Feb 2016
at 21:44
Camp at night
The kingdom of Darion fell to pieces almost overnight. The king was assassinated, leaving behind no heir. No trace was found of the mysterious assassin and in the following months the realm descended into war, as the nobles each desired to take the crown for themselves. Some of them seemed to exhibit uncharacteristic cruelty, others have turned to dark powers to gain an advantage in war.

The war raged on for many months, during which the weakest were conquered by the strong and the land suffered. By now, the conflict has died down, although the kingdom has been split between the victors and it's only a matter of time before they decide they aren't satisfied with what they won anymore.

Worse yet, the weakened realm became a target for it's ancient enemies. Orcs, goblins and other dark creatures grow bolder each day, spreading terror and stealing what little the war still left. The Church of Pelor and Order of Heironeous suffered greatly in the war, while the Church of Hextor rose to prominence. As their patron god has been empowered by the strife, so too were his followers. They are offering protection to the common folk in exchange for their unquestioning servitude and worship of Hextor and establish order where there is none. And so the weak and helpless seek help from those who would enslave them. Their numbers grow each day, as more and more people abandon the teachings of Pelor and either seek protection from Hextor's followers or join them in fear of their might.

You are part of a caravan heading to Selenrad, a large port city to the north untoched by war. It's ruler, Duke Ulric, remained largely uninvolved in the war. Among you are many refugees fleeing there in search of safety and in hope of starting a new life. The duke has promised the refugees food, shelter and protection, but whether his offer is genuine remains to be seen.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:45, Tue 16 Feb 2016.

Ardul'ssysn Sethomiir
 player, 6 posts
Tue 16 Feb 2016
at 22:03
Camp at night
Ardul'ssysn sat quietly within the caravans wagons and hoped that she wouldn't be approached by anyone or anyone causing any trouble toward her for her race.  Even her race has suffered by this war but she wasn't like most of her kin.

She traveled to the surface to gain her own respect and freed from the evil ways of the Underdark.

Her hood was pulled upon her head allowing very little light to enter into the cowl of the hood and not hiding most of her face from anyone.

If this Duke Ulric was true to his offer then she would find peace in his lands as long as she didn't have to worship a human god that only strive in strife.
Johan von Scharnhorst
 player, 5 posts
Wed 17 Feb 2016
at 02:58
Camp at night
The war was seen as a great failure among the remnants of the Raoans. When one allows greed to rule the heart, it is hard to listen to the head, as Incarum wrote in his holy text. Once the war became inevitable, the Raoans sheltered away in isolated monasteries, playing the long game while protecting the innocents caught up in the fire. Johan was happy to hear that his family has done likewise, his father's poor fief not worth the other lords' time or effort. They now pay token fealty to some tyrant as they bide their time for better days.

Johan volunteered for this caravan. The Temple Militant has received no word from Selenrad or Duke Ulric, and the timing coincided nicely with Johan's readiness for his Free Journey, the independent test of faith that all Raoan paladins undertake. As the caravan got underway, Johan walked from wagon to wagon, group to group, meeting people, offering comfort and aid where needed, and learning of their hopes and cares. He's paid some special attention to Domnall, hoping to temper his greed so he could become a more supportive community member. Never with anything preachy, mind you, but Johan would share the parables like The Miser and the Three Spirits and The Forest Hood to demonstrate that wealth is worth most when shared. Drogan too became a favorite. "There is nothing wrong with a good fight," Johan would share with a wink and a kind and friendly smile. "The difficulty is in knowing which fights are truly Good." Dorgan was the first half-orc he's met, but you wouldn't know it by the comfortable manner in which the young warrior interacted with what many would consider a beast. Even Ardul'ssysn Sethomiir, the dark elf, did not seem to make Johan uncomfortable, despite the reputation of her race. She was a tough nut to crack, so Johan saved a special smile for her when she finally shared her hopes for what lay at the end of this journey.

To one and all he offered hope that a place of peace and serenity yet existed, with gentle reminders that they can not yet know if Selenrad  is such a place.
Shardrena
 player, 9 posts
Wed 17 Feb 2016
at 05:35
Camp at night
North, there were sightings of that thing up north. I'm coming for you. And when I find you, I will avenge my parents. If it wasn't for the habitual scowl she wore most days, the young half elf would have been quite beautiful. But since her foster parents were killed by a roaring inferno there was little to smile about. She'd been  in a nearby human settlement selling the trinkets her foster mother had made when the attack happened.

Nobody had actually seen the event. Everyone knew the cause however. It was Kragnak, the red that had killed her parents and burned down her birth place. It had to be, all the evidence at the ruin pointed to the same attacker as her birth village. And everyone knew that had been the dragon Kragnak. And so Shardrena had gathered up her few surviving belongings, as well as her foster father's old adventuring tools. Her mission was simple: revenge.

An early sighting had lead her to the kingdom of Darion. And yet for weeks there had been no further sign of the monster. Then the war had forced her to abandon her quest for a while. Greedy humans had threatened a family with their stupid war. which had angered Shardrena so greatly that she hadn't initially realized what she was doing. Only later had she calmed down. Once she no longer saw red, she'd observed the small squad of soldiers that she'd killed.

That was also when she noticed her own wounds. It had not been without cost that she saved the farmers. And in the months she convalesced with them ill tidings whispered upon the winds. But now she was hale and hearty once more. And a new sighting far to the north had reached her ears. So Shardrena joined a caravan heading in the right direction.

One of her companions was a blond haired man. Ordinarily she might not have been so rude upon approaching him. Normally she wasn't raciest. But ordinarily she hadn't recently recovered from serious injuries after defending a family from men.

"So, human," she asked of Johan, "wasn't there enough greed and murder in Darion for you?"
Warlan Dartalon
 player, 4 posts
Wed 17 Feb 2016
at 15:45
Camp at night
"In the Sun Father's shining light we are all sheltered from the dark and wicked of the world. Let the Light of Pelor lift your weary burden from your shoulders."
Wralan makes the sign of Pelor blessing the refugee, looking at the crowd of people. He moves on to the next, "Sister tell me of your plight." He offers the smallest sip of water and a nickel size bite of bread.

While working the crowd, he gathers rumors and any solid information of the trail ahead. Administratively he notes how many men, woman, children, old, working age, lame, sicknesses, etc in his journal. He gets with the caravan master and offers his service to keep record of the groups food and water supplies and ration them accordingly.

Warlan moves the sick away from the help except for a family member at a time to assist. He does this all day every day, wearing chainmail, shield on back and heavy mace on side and book in hand. By the end of their travels every man, woman or child will know Brother Warlan by name and deed.
Xaz
 player, 3 posts
 Goblin Wizard
Wed 17 Feb 2016
at 22:25
Camp at night
Xaz sneaked aboard one of the wagons one night, determined to keep out of sight. Not only to avoid any negative reactions the big ones usually had to his kind, but also so that no one disturbs him from his "studies". The fact that he already read that book about a hundred of times was irrelevant to him. Nor did the fact that he was essentially reading a book of bad elven poetry bother him. He couldn't exactly be picky about what to read (and he also had very low standards of artistic quality). And he wanted to read something little lighter after spending days getting through that thick book of magical theory.

He treasured the old and moldy tome, as his life changed dramatically the day he discovered it. Whatever Wizard lost it and that spellbook made one goblin very happy, even though it was in a very poor condition, as if it was chewed-up up a couple of times and then swallowed by some very hungry ogre. And it probably was, considering where he found it.

His raven familiar fell asleep on his shoulder while he was reading. He was travelling without care where he will end up. Everywhere was better then in his old home, that old hole full of idiots who shunned him. But he will show them. He will become more powerful then they can possibly imagine. And then they will see how great and powerful he is and be astonished by his knowledge and mastery of the arcane.

He wore dirty grey robes with his hood up, trying his best to remain undetected and unrecognizable and as such becoming so suspicious that he might as well haven't bothered. He didn't pay much attention to his surroundings or the conversation between the ginger half-elf and the blond paladin next to him.
Daelin Swiftbow
 player, 3 posts
Wed 17 Feb 2016
at 23:19
Camp at night
Daelin silently padded ahead of the caravan, though his eyes not elvish, he knew what to look and listen for. Since joining the caravan, the human took it upon himself to be a scout for them....but in reality he savoured the time on his own to think. He'd only been in the human world a few months, and what he saw both awed and frightened him. He was astounded at the variety of his human brethren, as well as the sheer scope of their kindness....and cruelty.

Breathing deeply, the ranger grasped his bow....his most prized position, and turned around to see the lumbering caravan coming over the crest. When he had a break for a brief rest, he would do the same as he did now....nod at the lead caravan driver, indicating all was quiet, then find a quiet seat.

This  caravan trip had opened his eyes more than any. Ardul'ssysn, being of a race commonly linked to cruelty, malice and evil, shocked him. What brief words they shared were kind, softly spoken and honest. She was not like the stereotype of the drow. Then there was Shardrena, who though had elvish blood, also had human...something the young human thought he could relate to, found her had to talk to. The woman seemed focused on some personal mission to the point of obsession, and it made her a little unapproachable.

Daelin couldn't help smile at the irony.

He himself was a human, but found the humans hardest to figure out. He was raised by elves in a small village, and his only interaction with humans were hunters and scouts that the elves knew and trusted.

As he passes caravans, horses and people, he thinks to himself how this all came to be.

Coming upon Johan, Daelin smiles and nods at the paladin...a noble fighter no doubt, but unusual to his senses. To fight for a god was usually a priests domain, like Warlan. Holy warriors just confused him. Where he was from, they fought to protect themselves and others....gods or not.

"Johan....how goes your traveling?" He says with a smile. He looked over at the caravan where Ardul'ssysn sat, and smiled warmly....he vowed that if she didn't come to socialise with others later tonight, he would go talk to her...

....even though a dark elf, he found her easier to talk to than any man here.

Though the paladin and priest were exceptions
Johan von Scharnhorst
 player, 6 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 00:57
Re: Camp at night
Shardrena:
... "So, human," she asked of Johan, "wasn't there enough greed and murder in Darion for you?"


Johan cocks his head to the side appraising the angry elf-kin. "More than enough, I should say, he says. "It is a cruel world when the leaders heed not the word of Rao the Mediator. My blade is a last resort and has seldom seen use outside the practice ring. Can the same be said of yours?" His voice is mellow and non-accusing, he seems merely curious.

Daelin Swiftbow:
"Johan....how goes your traveling?" He says with a smile.


"Alas, the temple's funds have been earmarked for the comfort and relief of the needy, else I would have a rouncey, or with Rao's blessing, a palfrey to ease my tired feet!" He laughs to make jest of his insincere complaining. "Keep your bow ready at hand, good hunter! There is tall grass ahead. Perhaps we can scare up a pheasant or two for the camp supper!"
Daelin Swiftbow
 player, 4 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 01:19
Re: Camp at night
Daelin smiles at Johan. "You know that my bow is always ready Johan. if theres no pheasant, maybe i can get us a deer...or some rabbits." The hunter winks at him.
Johan von Scharnhorst
 player, 7 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 01:28
Re: Camp at night
"A rabbit!" he exclaims. "I have a silver talon for you if you can get such a quick thing with your first arrow!"
Shardrena
 player, 12 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 01:44
Re: Camp at night
Shardrena blinked, the man's calm demeanor startling her. For the last few months none who openly wore arms nor armor that she'd seen had been anything but cruel and greedy humans. Yet this one claimed his blade had not seen use outside of the practice field? The very idea was a joke to her. Since her foster parent's death, she'd seen the worst of humans over and over. Where was the supposed nobility of man? Not in those who took up arms, in her opinion. Humans were arrogant and cruel. At least dwarves were honest about their nature.

Still, his words gave her pause. It was true that the path she herself had started was a bloody one. And she may not have the most noble of reasons. But putting down that monster would spare others the tragedy she had experienced. The sheer arrogance of believing she could do what none before her had managed didn't even occur to the lass. How to explain her mission, her driving need for vengeance? Perhaps the song one of the enclave's musicians had penned? And so she began to sing. The tune was mournful, as befitting one sang to mourn a lost community.

"The roar ov'r hill and dale ring long through Ol' Thissledown
Not seen not heard many a year, now Kragnak's rage does flare
The flames they burn long into night though heroes once live there
O who will will save Ol' Thissledown, who will around will care?"

As the song continued it told the tale of a small village named Thissledown. And of the day the red dragon Kragnak burned the entire village to the ground. It spoke of the slaughter of innocents. Mother, father, child, all had fallen. All but one lone woman and her newborn babe. Finally the mournful song came to an end.

"That thing came back and tried to finish the job. And I will kill it. Don't you dare lecture me about blood, human. Not after I've had everything stolen from me twice. Not after I've seen your kind kill defenceless women and children for fun. You don't have the right."

OOC: Was planning on writing out the full song, but eh.. writers block
Johan von Scharnhorst
 player, 8 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 02:53
Re: Camp at night
Johan listens to the song in solemn silence. "You have my sympathy," he says at last when the song is over. He pulls a coin from his pouch, showing her the heads side. "A tragic life can scar the heart and blind the eye." He rolls the coin over to the tails side. "And if we are not careful, hide from us what the entirety of the truth." He pauses for the lesson to sink in. "Pray you come with me and meet our other companions. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the range in individuality we will find. For instance, have you met the hunter Daelin Swiftbow?"
Daelin Swiftbow
 player, 5 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 10:31
Re: Camp at night
Daelin smiled at the half elf...Johan always saw the good in everything. Daelin looked at the woman and placed his right fist over his heart, moved and placed three fingers on his forehead, then to his lips, then bow.

"A haunting song m'lady....one of sorrow and loss, but also promises equally of a loss." He knew from the one time he met her, and from observations that Te woman held a hard edge, one that judging by the song was understandable. He empathised with her...in fact the two had more in common than he initially thought.

He also understood her hatred....the human held a deep seeded hate for Orc for what had happened to his family, but he had his adoptive aunt to help channel that anger. This woman did not have that....she had the burning anger of hate and revenge.

Daelin could have been like her, so easily.

Shaking his head to bring his thoughts back, he looked at the half elf. "Daelin Swiftbow.....hunter, and human of the green vale."
Shardrena
 player, 17 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 21:11
Re: Camp at night
An eyebrow was raised at Daelin's greeting. No human she'd encountered had known her people's customs. Even those who claimed to know about elves. Hunters she respected, but human who knew the ways of her people? Johan's words caused her habitual scowl to deepen. He claimed to have only practiced with that blade of his. So how then could he possibly expect to understand the depths of her rage?

"So you would let that thing live and destroy more lives?" She spat back at Johan. To Daelin she returned the greeting, though he could see the mild confusion in her eyes.

If one was honest with them self, and Shardrena tried to be, she knew she had problems with her temper. It was quick to flare up, and scorching in it's intensity. Always had been. In fact it was how she'd discovered her magic. While other children had taken to the bow and sword with ease, she struggled. While others of her kin were graceful, she felt clumsy.

She then said something to Daelin in elvish. [Language unknown:  "Etwil erbe ni ateithnot son ecnt eerat?"]

This message was last edited by the player at 22:32, Thu 18 Feb 2016.

Ardul'ssysn Sethomiir
 player, 7 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 23:01
Re: Camp at night
Her head lifted when Shardrena spoke to Daelin in the Elven tongue.  Ardul'ssysn wanted to see if the man was able to understand what she was saying or was he not blessed with being taught that as well.

To herself she softly hummed with the melody that Shardrena sang, it was a beautiful song but if the half-elf only had the perfect pitch the song would of been superb.  A soft smile came over her face as she allowed the warmth of the fire to keep the chill off her.
Daelin Swiftbow
 player, 6 posts
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 23:39
Re: Camp at night
Daelin smiled at the half elf, knowing all well what she said. Answering, daelin mirroroed the musical language of the elves [Language unknown:  "Ta tofi m polaut ivch ounde u ant ovedayntiionast ecosfi t. He whiaveman endi thihastha, sta o meomes. Na illof necand t ut unprun olan cememo ntweni are ncesonour."] The human chuckled, then continued. [Language unknown:  "st thaatient, u mo lobut thanothisstrman dayyinreaday isou peasre tedeauwheble rutfo ich th ch encmo ver."]

He then held up his bow, clearly elven in design and make...again a rarity outside teh race of elves. "A gift from my mother...for all intesive purposes. Her name is Katarine in the common togune, skilled in the blade and magic.  She taught me some swordplay, but i excel in the bow""