Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)   Posted by GM.Group: archive 2
GM
 GM, 8 posts
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Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 17:25
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
The smell of cinnamon and fresh baked bread filled the air, along with a generous helping of laughter and general merriment. It was festival season in Maypole. No one knew exactly when the tradition started, but it has gone on as nearly as long as Krieghold has claimed the lands south of the Green Wood. Ribbons and banners and kites fly in all of their created glory to the eager delights of the children below. Raised in the center of the town is its namesake. Towering nearly one hundred feet up, this used to be the center of a staircase that wound its way up a tower that looked over the fields of this idyllic farming town for miles around. At least that is how the stories are told at the local inn and tavern.

The festival itself is a grand affair for the town, the centerpiece of which is the massive tournament that is held on the outskirts of the town. The normal population of a few hundred booms to thousands as farmer sell food and drink, merchants ply their wares to the contestants, and of course the massive amount of adventurers and glory seekers. The knightly orders have sent representatives to look for possible recruits and to compete in the jousting. There are even a few stands dedicated to the crafts of the Draaken dwarves.

The biggest rumor that has seized the town and festival is the appearance of one of the Roses. None know for certain, but the competition would be fierce to impress a member of the elite group. It also lends a certain importance to Maypole and the festival, rumor or not.

But all is not well in Maypole. A carnival of halflings has crept to the edge of the tourney grounds and established themselves. The sideshow is said to be disturbing enough to keep most of the common folk away. Meanwhile, the music that drifts out of the massive tent is haunting and macabre. The halflings have yet to break any law of the Emperor, so nothing has been done by the jittery townfolk, but many ale-brave men have claimed they will take care of the halfling infestation themselves.

For reasons of your own making, the town of Maypole has found to have called you there at one of the most exciting time of the year. Each of you has also been given a lot ticket, as part of a contest to see the Rose if they come. By chance, or perhaps fate, you all have been given the same group number, though that has not yet revealed itself.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:15, Wed 28 Dec 2016.

Kharash
 Player, 17 posts
 Dragonborn
Wed 28 Dec 2016
at 21:23
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
It's been three weeks now since Kharash completed his training with the Eyes of Yggdrasil and earned the title of Watcher. He openly shows the symbol, and has already noticed the change in how people regard him. He had gotten used to the looks and the whispers, children hiding behind their mothers, and the faces filled with fear. Still many people react just like before, but now others usually the more brave ones salute him with nods of approval. He is being treated more with the respect that he had only experienced when he was in the company of one of his mentors. Soon after his ceremony, one of his mentors Sir Gardall, a greying man whose skill with the sword is unmatched gave him his first assignment: to represent the Eyes of Yggdrasil during Maypole's festival, and to keep an eye out for trouble in the meantime.

Kharash looked at the ticket he was holding between two clawed fingers. The girl that had given him the ticket had been visibly shaking and white as a ghost. But an hour later was standing on top of a crate telling the grand story to her friends. She even waved at him at one point, and as he nodded back at her, the whole crowd of children collectively gasped and cheered for her. He grinned at the thought and made his way across the festival grounds. He stopped at an interesting looking stand surrounded by many people: Nogg's traveling tavern the best ales from all around Arathia! Pictures of exotic barrels and mugs were painted on the cart.

Enjoying his Golden Desert Ale, he stood at a table and looked around the grounds, his silver greatsword shining in the morning sun.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 13 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 28 Dec 2016
at 23:41
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
Griswold stopped with a start, abruptly halting his meander through the throng of revellers.  "Hah!" He exclaimed, triumphantly thrusting his right hand - along with two identical slips of paper - into the air.  Much to the annoyance of a fleabitten grey following close behind.  The golden-haired half-elf lowered his arm and grinned conspiratorially to a companion. "This is great! Now we'll be able see the Rose together.  That'll leave us so much more time.  Good job!"

This message was last edited by the player at 23:23, Thu 05 Jan 2017.

Eli Reiner
 Player, 8 posts
 Half-Elf
 Ne'er-do-well
Thu 29 Dec 2016
at 07:28
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
"...maybe we should keep our voices down about our good fortune at finding ourselves to have the same group number on our tickets." Eli hurredly reached up and pulled Griswold's upraised arm back down below eye level. Aside from the past couple weeks when they were reunited, it had been many years since Eli had seen his childhood friend. He was quickly reminded of why Griswold was usually caught more often than he was whenever they would attempt something mischievous as children.

He lowered his voice a bit. "The original holder of that ticket may not be too pleased when he learns that the ticket he traded for does not, in fact, belong to a group of..." Eli paused briefly as he searched for the right way to phrase it "...young ladies with much to learn of the world." He grinned awkwardly and shrugged his shoulders as though to imply that what's done has been done and there's no sense dwelling on it.

With another quick glance around to make sure the person he had persuaded to trade was not within eye-line, he took one of the tickets back and pocketed it before looking back to Griswold. "Come on, then. Let's see just what else there is to do here."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 14 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Thu 29 Dec 2016
at 10:06
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
The golden-haired half-elf gave an exaggerated, dismissive wave of his hand as Eli walked off.  "Bah! You worry too much.  We've put fair distance between us and him.  Besides, who can hear anything above all this."   He swept his arm wide, a joyful smile on his face.

He rolled his eyes as his friend's back continued to slowly recede, pocketed his own ticket and sighed. "Okay, okay.  Come Jacoby," Griswold tugged on his docile horse's reins. "Let's taste some freedom!"

Ever since embarking on his trial, the squire's medallion had singled him out wherever he went.  And he had loved it.  Revelled at being the centre of attention.  However, here amongst the true knights (including a legendary Rose!), he was but a footnote.  As inconspicuous as he was ever likely to be, ever again.  An opportunity he most certainly did not want to go to waste!
Sigi Stonebrow
 Player, 7 posts
 Half-Dwarf
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 12:48
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
Sigi wandered the market place. She had heard a rumor that Gregor Trolltaster would be here, she wanted to see his legendary craft for herself. It is said that his masterfully crafted helms size themselves to the wearer, a feat she had to see to believe.

The rumors regarding one of the Roses was too hard to pass up. Sigi could care less about the saviors of Krieghold, she had always thought the Kriegs we weak pretenders to the Draaken Empire. The young half dwarf was convinced that the Roses power was fueled by runes. It must be the power of the Titans that fueled the great deeds of these supposed heroes. With ticket in hand, she would see for herself.
GM
 GM, 42 posts
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Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 17:07
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
As the day wound on, only a handful of events were of note. The lists were running several at a time, as it was only the practice tilts this day. The preliminaries would be set for the morrow and the tourney proper held the day after. With a hundred would-be champions, the many would have to be whittled down to a few. Several brawls at the many ale stands had broken out and then been broken up, either by knights or guardsmen. The violence was rare, since usually most of the fighting took place on the field of contest. Many are blaming the halfling carnival for the disturbances.

Lastly, each of you have a whim of fate take notice of your presence.

@Kharash: You find that no person bars the path for you as you walk, a corridor of space opening before you in the throng of bodies. The Norns seem to look favorably upon you as you slowly make your way through the crowds. As easy as the path has been, now before stands a fork. Two paths open up, one towards the lists, the other towards the carnival.

@Eli and Griswold: Fortune favors the bold, it would seem, for you are not accosted as the day begins to wane. It is easy enough to find fun at the festival, with many game and prizes available. The lot tickets sit idle, but not forgotten, as fate pushes you closer to an end. Many options for the rest of the day lay before you two. Where will you go, the stalls, the lists, or the carnival?

@Sigi: It is not hard to find the stall of the fabled runemaster. His craft has long been touted as the best in the world, yet not all are convinced as you sit in line to meet the renown artisan. Whispers of more than mere craftsmanship float on the air, with the more extreme leaning towards deals with other worldly beings. You also hear that the lot tickets are starting to be called elsewhere at the festival. Do you stay and see the craftman or risk missing a chance to see the Rose?

@Brother Sul and Fariel: Fate has brought you two beleaguered souls to the festival for reasons only they know of. Hidden in the stalls is not only a treasure of knowledge from books long forgotten and jealously guarded before being sold, but also the milling of people with tales to tell from all over the Empire. Where does your journey in Maypole begin?
Brother Sul
 Player, 3 posts
 Human
 Holy man
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 22:17
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
Sul was seated in a rundown inn in a corner of the town, the cheapest place he had found to stay. It wasn't just the room and board that was cheap, but the food and the drink as well.

As he nursed a chipped cup of the bitter brew that passed for drink here, trying to drown his sorrows and forget the painful memories of the past if for a little while, encroaching thoughts once more intruded onto his mind: Why again was he here?

It had seemed simple enough. After the failed expedition that had seen his former companions slaughtered, he had vowed to find a way to defeat the creature that had done so and reclaim the relic it had stolen from his party. Some time of wandering had brought him news of the coming tournament in Maypole, and immediately the thought came to him a tournament meant knights of reknown. What better group to be willing to slay a beast of legend than glory hungry knights?

Unfortunately he had not thought much further ahead, how he would recruit such warriors to his cause. He had the backing of no nobility, no coin and most importantly, no one would believe his claims of such a mythical beast existing even in legends, much less in real life.

Thus he found himself in the here and now, the smell of drink on his breath as he sat in the cheap inn, gesturing to the fat innkeeper to bring him another round.
Fariel Kriegborn
 Player, 9 posts
 Silver Elf
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 22:35
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
Fariel Kriegborn did not like idle chat. He didn't like idle -anything- if he was to be honest; "all things should be done towards a greater goal" he reasoned, and idle chat rarely had such goals. It was, in his mind, a fruitless activity, much like drinking.

the elf, naturally, was not much of a fan of taverns. That having been said, he acknowledged them as being important and useful sources of information. In this case, information about a certain strange carnival he was sent to investigate.

Fariel walked to the bar of the cheap-looking establishment, quietly taking in his surroundings. mostly non-descript townsfolk, trying to drink away their dreary lives. Of note was a holy-man, bedecked in symbols dedicated to some deity or another. Interesting, but ultimately irrelevant. The Mission was whats important.


Sitting on a bar-stool, Fariel waited for the barkeep to ask his business. He would begin his...interrogation, as it were, then.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 17 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 3 Jan 2017
at 13:57
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
A flint stone wall.  Uneven and sharp.  Not the most comfortable of surfaces, to be sure, but Griswold knew that the drunkard he'd found unconscious on the main thoroughfare was far too plastered to notice.  Chuckling, the squire dumped a disposable festive hat on the man's head and patted his cheek a couple of times.  A little inebriated himself, Griswold's overly solid slaps would normally have left a mark were the man's face not already blooming.

The squire stood up and jovially dusted his hands off.  He was still grinning when he turned to Eli, who held Jacoby's reins.  "He'll be fine here until he sobers up.  Ten to one his friends were too hammered to even notice the codger drop!"  There was a momentary pause when Griswold looked wistfully back at the unconscious man and sighed.  Was that a hint of envy Eli noticed in his friends expression?  If so it didn't last long as he quickly turned back.  "So where to now?  Must be getting near time to see the Rose, no?" 

This message was last edited by the player at 18:56, Tue 03 Jan 2017.

Sigi Stonebrow
 Player, 8 posts
 Half-Dwarf
Tue 3 Jan 2017
at 20:02
Where the Darkness Lies (Chapter 1)
Sigi scoffed as those around her postulated their theories.

Father was right, these Kriegsmen, they do not understand true artistry.

The muscular half-dwarf shouldered her way out of the line, mumbling curses in dwarven. She would have loved to stay and set these fools straight, however a chance at meeting one of the Roses was more pressing. The magic of the Titans fueled the saviors of Kriegshold, she was sure of it.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:56, Tue 03 Jan 2017.