Gaea's Reach.   Posted by wurms.Group: 0
wurms
 GM, 2 posts
Wed 8 Jul 2020
at 21:08
Gaea's Reach
This is an elven garrison built underneath a dense forest canopy. It is on the border of Worldheim and The Barren Lands. The eastern horizon of the stronghold is blocked by an uniform stone-brick wall with sprawling archery towers interspersed between it. The remainder of the perimeter is protected by a wall of brambles, that has been forged over decades by visiting shamans.

Within the settlement, buildings are carved into the trunks of the trees. There are prisoner's quarters, healer's chambers, and personal quarters.

It has a militant population, consisting significantly of archers and thornblades. There are also druidic healers and a small number of beast-masters. It was established eight hundred years ago, to serve as a first defense against any invasions from the east.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:14, Tue 21 July.

wurms
 GM, 3 posts
Wed 8 Jul 2020
at 21:38
Gaea's Reach
It was night in Gaea's Reach, the moon's dreary glow illuminated the tree tops. There was a fell chill in the air...

The scouts had been hearing strange noises, but they could not find their source. For even with their keen elven eyes, they could not see the encroaching threat...

For when spiders lurk in darkness so profound, they lurk unseen. These evil beasts had been the fear of men since time immemorial. Their forms were otherworldly, yet dreadfully familiar. They were unlike anything but the things that haunt your darkest dreams... and they had come once more.

The scouts had not seen them, as creatures of darkness bear it's likeness. Yet their blood grew cold, and a looming presence crept over them in their bending minds...

It was midnight when they blew the horn of war. His quivering voice was amplified into a primal roar that echoed through the woods. The soldiers were called to action. They had prepared for such a day, they readied their weapons and left their homes to defend their people.

It was when they saw their foe, they knew many would die. The monstrosities of the night had already captured and devoured four elves by the time the horn rally had faded.

They gnawed on their prey with great malice, their leaking jaws an omen of blood to be shed. They were only nine in numbers, but they were large and hungry.

The archers knew to position in the treetops, to peek down and shoot the grounded foes. The thorn blades were not so lucky, as they would have to engage in hand to hand combat with these creatures. Only the bravest would not falter.

They would need to fight smart and strong, but how could they? The creatures of terror threatened to weaken their limbs and minds.

The ambusher's greatest tactic was fear... who would be brave enough to withstand it? Was such courage possible? There had been but a handful of heroes to ever stand against such beasts!

It was thought that no souls' light would shine this deathly night... They would fight in the dark.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:41, Wed 08 July.

Kaedon Wymaros
 NPC, 1 post
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 01:00
Gaea's Reach
The horn woke up the young elf. As he got his bearings, he was too dreary to remember what had woken him, but, as per usual, the horn was blown a second time, and then once more for good measure.

There was no uncertainty now, the elf would risk embarrassment in front of the whole of Worldheim if it meant saving one life, that was his duty as a Thornblade! Rapidly, Kaedon dashed around his room, fighting off the nausea growing in his gut from his sudden jerking from rest as he collected his things.

Finally, once he had assembled his eponymous thornblade and padded tunic, which itself contained rations for journeying, he dashed out his door and didn't bother locking it behind him. Worst case scenario, a thief sneaks in and takes some pocket change. The benefit of leaving a place for several civilians to hide from whatever was assailing their camp at this forsaken hour outweighed the cost to his bank account tenfold.

Kaedon had expected to have had to dash through rushing crows, who were on the verge of panic, but as soon as he stepped outside he realized it was midnight, and the only individuals who were going anywhere were the town guard... for a moment he regretted not locking his door.

Finally, Kaedon arrived at the perimeter of the town, and quickly scaled up, and over the wall, not bothering to take the gate, which was already crowded with other fighters and sentinels.

As he reached the top of the wall, he nearly bumped into the backside of an archer as they nocked an arrow, and they nearly elbowed him in the face. Luckily, both were more graceful than that, and the bowman wasn't thrown to his death and Kaedon didn't get a broken nose in the most embarrassing way he could think of.

They danced around one another in confusion for a moment, before the ranger yelped as Kaedon pushed him lightly to the side so he could continue his path... which lead him to leap off the wall!

The ranger's silence was almost audible to Kaedon as he plummeted downwards nearly 25 feet, the thornblade could imagine his mouth was agape, but he didn't have the time or energy to spare getting distracted, so with a roar of effort, he stabbed his thornblade against the blasting force of gravity, and into the wall, not dealing any significant damage, but managing to slow his fall. He heard the ranger groan in annoyance before reloading his bow, now a full volley behind the other archers.

Kaedon wrenched his sword from the ground six feet before he hit the ground, just to save an ounce of time. As he landed, he rolled roughly, and scraped his knees. He held back a hiss of pain as he stood up... and saw that two waves of fighters had already pushed their way through the gates. He was stupified for a few seconds by his stupidity, before he realized he was just standing around, looking even more like an idiot!

He grunted angrily, and began to dash forward to face the threat ahead of him.

Ahead of him, he saw nine, towering insectoids. Their body shapes resembled spiders, but with oversized eyes... their bodies were plated with a gleaming black material, that was probably chitin. Each of their legs were barbed along the way to the 'foot', which themselves ended in blades dripping with a material of the same, shadowy color.

As he got closer to the creatures, whom were doing battle with too many figures for him to count or recognize while being pelted with arrows, he began to realize he was running alone... he had been sure a couple other Thornblades were running by his side, but as he glanced around, he saw them each paralyzed, the whites of their eyes staring at him and glaring with both horror and warning!

Kaedon turned back towards where one of the insectoids had been, and realized it now stood almost directly in front of him. He yelped in surprise, and dug his heels in the ground to stop himself, but the thing shot two of it's eight bladed feet forwards and tripped him up!

He shouted as he fell on his ass and instinctively raised his sword in defense. The spider however, hadn't struck him, instead, it was now towering over him, it's fuzzy mandibles dripping with indistinct goop that resembles a viscous ink... The smell of it was sour and made his mind hazy... he held back the urge to gag at something, though it wasn't the smell... Then, he met the things 'eyes'... they were a deep crimson red, and they filled him with terror... his body began to seize but he snorted with strain and raised his blade to strike, but instead managed to just meet one of the spider's bladed legs, that had risen to strike him so fast he hadn't even noticed in his state of confusion!

This was dire!
Eridaine Delyssar
 NPC, 1 post
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 01:51
Gaea's Reach
Eridaine was resting in the woods near the town when the horn blew. He had felt it coming. The beasts had been anxious and aggressive tonight. He thought it might have been some creature sneaking its way in, but he had not worried. Now he felt a very familiar fear...

He answered the call to action. He called his beasts from the surrounding woods. He had never used stables like the other Beastcallers in Gaea's Reach. His comrades had thought it was because he felt for the beasts and would not cage them, which was only part of the truth. He knew that by letting the beasts roam the woods, they would take care of pests and alert him of dangers.

His call was followed by a wave of hooves and paws rushing through the forest ground. He reckohnized each face that greeted him. However, he was missing two wolves. He feared they may have been slain, as they would always answer his call. He mounted his quickest stag and rode it bareback through the woods, through the battlement and to the wall.

On his way he saw many panicked thornblades and fragile archers, they had been stricken by something terrible. His beasts began to falter as he reached the wall, they were in primal terror. He raised his voice high and mighty, commanding them forth and filling them with vigor. He charged on his stag towards the unknown.

Then he saw them. These were spiders, creatures as vicious as they were cruel. He had seen these beasts before, though he had scrubbed them from his mind. His stag stopped and bucked him off, running off in fear. One of the nine shadowy behemoths thrust out one of it's eight appendage and impaled the stag in a heartbeat. It was snatched and brought to the horror's maw. Eridaine's wildebeest cried out in terror, but were frozen stuck.

The elf got up from his fall, and took out his cane. He walked his sore body closer to the abdominal fiends, but he did not know why. They were calling him. Men fought and died around him as he was slowly pulled towards his death.

It was then that his wolves came to his aid. They tackled him to the ground and broke his trance. He looked up at them and understood. He was as terrified as them.

He looked to his left and saw Kaedon Wymaros, a new recruit of the thornblades. He had entered battle with a spider. It was a one on one. The monster had gotten him on the ground and was ready to feast on elven flesh.

In the fleeting instant before action, he wondered if he had engaged the creature out of sheer bravery or utter foolishness. He knew it mattered not, he had done his duty either way. He would aid him and defeat at leasat one of these monsters. He gathered his breath and rose to his feet, he felt taller.

"To me - my companions!" He shouted into the night.

And they came. To know why would be to question nature itself. From the dark woods came running with great speed every beast under his command. They focused their fury onto the spider nearest to their master.

Kaedon may have seen it if it hadn't happened so fast. The truly horrid creature standing above him had no time to react. Four wolves pounced from a great distance and stuck their claws to the spider. It was thrown back. They slashed into it's chitin, and gnawed its eyes. Their hearts raced at the rush of the hunt. A wildebeest rammed into the spider with it's horns and it stumbled back one more step. Then came a brilliant stag that through the thickets ran, it charged with it's mighty antlers into the spiders abdomen. It gored it and left a deep gash. The beast toppled onto it's back. The wolves gnawed it's legs. Two more wildebeest joined the fray and headbutt it's gut. The spider let out a vile shriek.

The being of pure terror now knew fear.

Eridaine walked over to his pets. On the floor he saw Kaedon. Though the boy was only one tenth his age, he looked wisened from the experience. Though that might have just been Eridaine's wistful thinking.

He extended his staff to the young thornblade. His eyes were bright. He smiled at him, and said in a voice, calm and reassuring: "Stand boy, the worst has come and gone. You have faced the beast eye to eye, you are ready to strike one down."

His words eminated with great power, as held out his cane so that Kaedon could take it and stand. A kindness he offered to few. He looked down to the frightened elf. He was reminded again of his first battle with a spider. The image of eight red eyes piercing through the night still haunted his thoughts. Though he had seen the face of what lurks in the night, he was not afraid of the dark.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:25, Thu 09 July.

Kaedon Wymaros
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 10:55
Gaea's Reach
The young thornblade's strength was renewed by his elder's voice. The man looked to be in his fifth century, and to Kaedon, it was obvious that singular cracks of gray would soon be forming in his hair. Of course, it wasn't just the feeling of being respected by a man ten times his age that filled him with renewed battle-passion, but he knew who was talking with him, it was a beast-master named Eridaine Delyssar!

The beast-master was by no means the best of his kind in the nation, though he certainly was here in Gaea's Reach. People had often spoke about how strong his voice was, and how it gave such strength to those who were bolstered by it, and caused those who were scorned by it to cower in shame!

Kaedon had heard of him, as most residents had, but he had never gotten to meet the man, on account of the fact that he spent a lot of time outside of town! How he had gotten here so fast was a matter of guesswork to the young fighter, presumably he had taken a steed, though that by itself wouldn't have been enough to save his life, Kaedon worried... He must have had a forewarning of some kind, that was something many druids were capable of.

Kaedon nodded with almost eagerness and grabbed the elder elf's staff, lifting himself to his feet. Then, realizing he looked foolish in the circumstance, turned his open mouth into a stoic line, and gave a grave node. He withheld a gulp and turned back to the spider that had attacked him. It was being mauled by Eridaine's beasts... but it was also mauling them back, he could smell a stench of blood in the air... and a smell of something else... the same thing that had caused his head to be hazy before.

He nearly had to lean a hand on his elder, but avoided it from pure stubbornness, he had already been helped so much! He didn't walk to look any sillier!

He wasn't an expert of fighting amidst wolves, so he decided to look for another spider to take down. By now, the remainder of the guards, archers and thornblades had only just managed to take down one other spider! Kaedon's eyes went wide! At this rate, they'd be upon the town if he didn't do something!

So, without another thought, Kaedon dashed past the first spider that had incapacitated him, holding back the urge to kill it himself for the trouble it had caused him! But, he stomached his rage for just a few moments longer, until his mad sprint brought him about 50 feet away, where another spider was feasting on the corpse of two guardsmen and a guardswoman, picking apart their metallic armor to feast on the flesh and cloth below.

It was horrific, and Kaedon would have been filled with disgust if he wasn't already filled with much stronger righteous anger! With a cry, he threw himself at the spider, thornblade poised like a spear to stab with! The spider squealed in surprise, and threw three arms up to block with, caught off-guard during it's meal. It tried to make eye contact with Kaedon, but he wasn't falling for that trick again! He averted his eyes and instead glanced about rapidly, keeping a master tally of where the spider's arms were in relation to his vitals! He presumed even a glancing blow from one of those dripping foot-blades would be enough to give him an awful disease, even if it didn't immediately paralyze him!

The spider's defense had been hurried though, and he had fallen for Kaedon's favorite trick! With a spin of his wrist and a flex of his shoulders, which caused his lean muscles to pop, he changed his attack from a lunge into a broad swipe! On mere muscle and bones, this would have torn through three arms pretty well, but this thing had severe armor! He barely got through one of the arms, before the second stopped the blow, suffering but a dent, and the third reared back again as a threat!

That was impossible! How tough must this armor be to be so nonchalant against a thornblade? Sure, his was just apprentice-forged, but thornblades were known for piercing armor with ease!

Kaedon stopped panicking immediately before he exasperated himself. This wasn't a lost cause! Through all his enemy's dark constitution, he had still dealt severe damage to one of it's eight limbs, which was now hanging by a sinewy thread!

He gloated mentally, before his eyes opened wider in shock than they had all night! The sinew... it was grafting itself back together!

"You... BASTARD!" the wood elf roared with indignation, his scream of anger was so loud, that it could be heard clearly over the din of battle, and the spider almost seemed to real back, as if it was now the one being terrified! That might not be true, but at least it was on the defense now!

And he wasn't giving it a chance to heal, as four more arms shot towards him, he mentally reprimanded himself for what he was about to do... Those four foot-blades were the least... drippy of them all, so Kaedon was willing to take some hits!

He roared in pre-emptive pain, which turned into a gasp of agony as the four arms stabbed into his backside, piercing his padded tunic and straining muscles. As he had expected from watching the battle for the last few minutes, these things couldn't pump their venom inside of him, they had to produce it first, and hope it entered his bloodstream!

Of course, his point of this hadn't been to test a theory! So, he had, through the pain of the blows and satisfaction of being correct, trading hits with the abominable spider! Sure, his foe had gotten four on him and he landed just one... but his was deadlier!

His thornblade neatly bisected the spider's injured arm, dropping it to the ground with a thud! He roared triumphantly and the spider hissed, elf blood flying from it's accursed pincers! He pulled his blade back over his head, threatening to tear the spider's upper legs if it didn't withdraw them from it's reach around into his backside... and it did, as he had been counting on!

With a grunt and a roll, Kaedon rolled backwards, and landed on his legs a few feet from the spider. It had drawn blood, but the wounds barely reached his muscle layer, and weren't enough to stop him from fighting!

The spider lurched forward against him, and Kaedon prepared for a second round of combat with the monstrous thing!
Eridaine Delyssar
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 11:57
Gaea's Reach
Eridaine stood back and watched Kaedon run into battle with another spider.

'So he is brave and foolish.' joked Eridaine to himself.

Eridaine stepped towards the corpse of the spider. His beasts had slain it, but it had taken one of them with it. One of the wildebeest had been impaled through it's side. It was oozing venom. The wolves were battered from being thrown around, but they were alive.

It was then that one of his wolves let out a howl, not of pain - but greaving. Eridaine looked to where the wolve's eyes had glanced. He saw one of the nine spiders, lurking behind a large tree-trunk. It was chewing on wolf bones.

That was what had happened to them.

The reamaining wolves charged the creature in a vicious rage, trying to avenge their fallen packmates. Eridaine knew he could not ease them. They had entered a feral state and would fight to their deaths now. He watched them run into the woods only to be caught by a long, crooked appendage. It's barbs caught their hide and it launched them into another trunk. One of them was crippled. The others were caught in a bramble.

Eridaine need not rouse his last beasts, they charged towards the spider and were able to get it on it's back. The spider sprayed an acidic venom into the air, searing the back of a wildebeest. Eridaine's eyes darted back towards Kaedon. He had taken a hit from the beast, though in doing so had gravely wounded the creature.

He was reluctant to step in to help, but he would if Kaedon entered mortal danger.

It was then that he was taken by a great shock, as a spider had jumped from his blindspot and landed on him. It's front leg, which luckily wasn't dripping, pierced through his back and got lodged in between two ribs. He cried out in pain and fear, as the spider's hot venom dripped from it's mandibles and onto the back of his neck.

Two arrows came from the wall, shot by a pair of archers. They were aimed extraordinarily well considering the archers' quivering hands.

One struck the spider in it's leftmost eye, the other took off one of it's mandibles. Venom poured out of the wound. The beast recoiled, releasing Eridaine from it's grasp. It slashed the air with four limbs, spasming wildly with pain.

He looked around him, he saw Kaedon against one spider, his beasts against another, four thornblades were battling one with half it's limbs lobbed off.

He would not die alone among the littered bodies. He would take one more evil with him.

Eridaine rolled forward, dodging a spit of acid. He got to his feet in a flash, and turned to face the beast. It struck down with a single leg, and Eridaine used his cane to block it and push it back with great struggle. He twirled his cane around and stabbed the spider in it's center eye. The beast let out a ghastly shriek and fell paralyzed, though not dead.

This gave Eridaine a great surge of hope. He had found their weakness. He struck the beast again, this time gouging out two of it's eyes. Vile blood spewed out of the socket.

Eridaine was revolted yet pleased. The beast twitched for a moment then gave a hiss of defeat. It lay dead.

Eridaine shouted so all could hear "The middle eye! Strike the middle eye!"

It seemed even his beasts heard him, as they did as instructed. They slew their spider as the thornblades slew theirs. Arrows flew from the tree-tops, aimed with intent and purpose, taking out another.

He would take from them their true weapon. Not their poison, strength or sharp limbs. Their gaze of sheer mortal fear. Eridaine stood unyielding among fields of corpses, the eyes of evil would not torment him anymore.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:06, Thu 09 July.

Kaedon Wymaros
 NPC, 3 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 15:49
Gaea's Reach
Kaedon had just finished a second round of 1-on-1 combat with one of the remaining giant spiders. The creature was wickedly fast and strong, and he had been managing to do no more against it than hold his own... he was getting tired... and sluggish!

He knew he probably only had two more rounds of combat like this before his defense would surely falter, and he'd be downed before he knew it. He didn't fear death in battle, but he wasn't certain that the remaining archers could take down these armored beasts before they reached the wall, most of the guards had already perished or retreated into the settlement for emergency healing, so the bowmen would be the last line of defense!

Then, Eridaine Delyssar's words rang true, and the death count rose from two to five in the time it took for Kaedon to get enough distance between him and his foe to catch a breath and process the beast-master's words.

Now, four aberrations remained, and Kaedon was doing lone battle against one of them... there was no other way he'd rather have it! With a roar of pain, fury and preemptive sorrow for all the dead who would later be counted and memorialized, Kaedon finally ceased avoiding his glance from the creature's crimson eyes.

This time, as the insect stared him down, he wasn't the one feeling mortal fear! Before it could raise an arm to defend itself or turn away to flee, Kaedon raised his thornblade and severed it's three middle eyes from it's head, it didn't even make a sound as it fell to the barren earth. Kaedon kicked it once, and leaped over it, running madly to the second-to-last gigantic horror, as by now, the archers had taken out another on top of the one Kaedon had personally slain.

His back ached as he threw himself shoulder first into the spider! His lean but somewhat bony shoulderblade smashing into it's abdomen so hard it shrieked in pain as it's chitonous shell collapsed partially inwards on itself. It rose four of it's hands to strike Kaedon down, ignoring the solo exhausted guard who looked to have been fighting it since this incursion started! The guard threw a weak strike, and the spider raised one of it's standing legs and knocked him back several feet while disarming him of his sword.

The four blades, dripping in poison blasted towards Kaedon... In that moment, he saw death.

THE DEATH OF THESE FOUL MONSTERS!

With a roar that shook the crumbling earth, Kaedon bravely shot his blade forward, even as four blades that promised a slow death rocketed towards his upper body. And then...

The spider jerked to a stop, inches from piercing Kaedon's neck from four ways. Kaedon's Apprentice Thornblade had stuck itself in the center of the spider-monster's skull, piercing all eight of it's eyes in a gruesome instant. Red sludge dripped from the orbs, which were now void of their terrifying effect on mortals, and that viscera mixed with the black ooze that came from it's veins...

But how had a standard-sized sword pierced eight eyes at once? Well... there were tales of the true magic that was contained within a thornblade... Magic that could, in a hero's strongest, or more dire moment, cause the blade to grow in power!

Of course, Kaedon had heard these stories, but there had been enough thornblades in history to have shown proof of this quality to count on part of two hands... or on the legs of one giant spider. Uh, there had been eight.

They had each belonged to legendary heroes. Normally, thornblades came in three varieties: Training, Apprentice (what Kaedon had), and Masterful. Each thornblade was exponentially more expensive and time-consuming to create than the last, except for when they were held by a TRUE HERO... The eight thornblades defied all magical examinations that attempted to prove their enchantments differed from those of regular thornblades... But they had not just the ability to grow in power when wielded by heroes, but to grow totally beyond the usual upper limit of a Masterful Thornblade!

This sort of hidden magic that resided more in a person than their weapon could not be explained by most wizards, and thus they resorted to calling it propaganda or coincidence. Only the Knights of Camelot were known to have a steady stream of individuals capable of using this odd magic, which some called Heroic Ascension.

As Kaedon refocused on what was around him, he lowered his sword to his side. It had not been a trick of the eye. The weapon was still engorged... and it wasn't reverting!

Suddenly, several gusts of wind blew his hair to the side as three thornblades leaped at him, he yelled in surprise, but stopped as they did. They looked at the spider and back at him, he swallowed to avoid stuttering, and then he spoke, "I took care of it".

Yet, they still stared at him. He shrugged with a hint of irritation, and turned on his heel and headed back to the wall. It seemed these two had rushed over to aid him after slaying their quarry, but they were too late. Then, one of them spoke up, "Uh... you're... Hey, Wymaros kid! Your sword is... where did you get a Masterful Thornblade?" but he didn't respond or acknowledge their calls...

He just walked back to camp.
wurms
 GM, 4 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 16:28
Gaea's Reach
The days following the battle were busy indeed. The druids had to work over time to help the great number of injured. They had firefly jars placed around the perimeter, to deter similar creatures from coming in the future. There was mass burials and many ceremonies to honor those who died. A few healthy men were sent as messengers to deliver the news to nearby civilizations. They wanted those living in the relative safety of the borders to know they had overcome the enemy. Two new guard towers were to be installed, though construction had not began yet.

Eridaine had lost five animals in the attack. Three wolves, a wildebeest and a stag. The others were hurt but would recover. He had returned to the woods for quiet contemplation.

He remembered what he saw that night, the fear had subsided, but he could not forget. Elves seldom do. He did remember at the climax of the battle, Kaedon had done something quite unexpected... he had become the ninth thornblade in history to achieve Heroic Ascension.

Not much had been said about it other than the occasional whisper. Eridaine knew this was an important happening, but he would have to convince the thornblades too.
Kaedon Wymaros
 NPC, 4 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 18:58
Gaea's Reach
Kaedon woke up in a cold sweat. For a second he thought he had heard a horn blare, but when the dream faded to the back of his mind, he realized everything seemed normal. No horns were being blown, tonight.

He took a deep breath and settled back into his simple bedding. It had been two days from the battle, and rumors had been spread by those who had battled alongside him. Not everyone believed them, of course, but enough people did that he was getting a lot of admiring stares... which was creepy!

He sighed and turned over, staring at his sword across the room. Even though it was dark in his dwelling, enough moonlight peeked in for his elven eyes to have decent visibility if he focused. The sword was back to it's regular size now, which made Kaedon feel oddly mournful.

It had taken nearly an hour to shrink back to it's regular size. From the vague tales Kaedon had heard, Heroic Ascension was only meant to last until the moment of desperation was over... he didn't really know what this meant, but today he was going to be called over to meet with the general of Gaea's Reach, who had been visited by a shaman from elsewhere in Worldheim. They were hopeful this would give both Kaedon and themselves some answers to what he had experienced.

He groaned again. He felt like going out and practicing, but it was the middle of the night, and it would be totally rude to do that to his neighbors, so he bit his lip and waited for morning to come...
The Game King
 GM, 7 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 21:51
Gaea's Reach
The morning sun rose up and over the garrison-settlement of Gaea's Reach. A young elf was already awake and pacing around his house, anxious to get his day started... he still had a few painstaking hours to wait, though...

Meanwhile, the military leader of Gaea's Reach; General Goras Magwin was just starting his day. He had reluctantly allowed himself two more hours of rest than usual, which meant his sleep last night added up to a strong seven hours. It was his military advisors who had suggested to him to take a break, since he wouldn't be needed for preparing the remaining funerals, anyway.

The wood elf had been a soldier for long enough that his body functions virtually perfectly on less than six hours of sleep. He fell asleep every night within seconds of hitting the bed, and woke up at a sharp time. This was just one point of pride for the elven general.

The man was 5 ft 10 in, rather tall for an elf, and his lithe frame had some decently stocky muscles on it, which was even rarer. Most unique of all were his sideburns that stretched halfway down his face, and framed his nearly-square jaw. Basically, he was a bodybuilder in the world of elven anatomy. He had dark brown hair in his youth, which had slowly turned entirely to a dark gray. His eyes were still a dark brown as always, but in his age they had become speckled with dark gold-green points. His skin had tanned as well, since his early days as a 'pasty', as he put it bluntly.

The elf wasn't by any means elderly, being less than 300 years old, though he was wise and tough beyond his years. Many had been surprised by his early on-set aging... after all, most elves didn't get any gray until they were at least 400! Though, those who knew how much he loved to drink the most dangerous thing in whatever bar he was visiting when he was younger weren't surprised at all.

The man grumbled around for a few minutes as he set about putting on his military garb, which consisted of a ceremonial mahogany sword-sheath, ceremonial armor made from simple steel, and underneath it all, a nicely-made dark green vest on which many wood-carved symbols of his importance were adorned.

Depending on the occasion, he would either wear a simple steel helmet with a golden feather plume to signify his rank, or a hat that matched his vest and which had affixed to it another wooden icon, rather than a feather.

Today, he thought for a whole two minutes on which one he was picking to take with him to the meeting! On one hand, the helmet was more recognizable, as he wore it more often out of sheer preference... but the hat was a sign of respect to the military in large, and that would probably be appreciated by the shaman who was visiting from the 'big city'... He hadn't actually had his informants tell the kid he was meeting with today that this shaman was coming from earth-damned Tordrazil!

He slapped his palm to his forehead with a sigh of severe irritation, before rapping his knuckles against his helmet a few times, which had somehow found it's place atop his skull... he must have been trying the two out, while swapping them. He bet he had looked silly, if anybody was watc--

"Sir! Is everything alright in there?" a voice asked from outside his mahogany door. His mouth gaped for a mere moment before he composed himself, "Of course. I'm just going about my morning, why do you bother me?" the man asked in a firm and stern voice. He wasn't really all that strict, but he definitely put the impression on. Though, the guard outside didn't seem perturbed when he responded, he had probably been around the general long enough to know he wasn't in any trouble...

"The Shaman from Tordrazil arrived earlier than was expected. He asked us not to bother you, but Sentinel Mikael advised me t--"

"Well! Then, you should have followed his advice, donchathink?" the general snapped, suddenly irritated. His change in attitude didn't sneak past the sentinel however, even though he was behind a door. He nodded to himself, and spoke up, "I apologise, sir. I will take my leave now, if my presence is redundant?" the general didn't answer so the guard nodded to the door again, turned around sharply and stomped off quietly.

The general grumbled. He wasn't upset about being 'bothered' as the guard had put it, but he thought it was rude to disobey the shaman's requests, regardless of how minor it was. After some thought, he decided not to bring it up during their meeting!

Realizing he hadn't swapped his helmet for his hat yet, he sighed. He had clearly made a choice, so he was sticking with his gut feeling, now.

The general closed his door behind him and moved on with his day.
Kaedon Wymaros
 NPC, 5 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 22:11
Gaea's Reach
It was halfway from dawn to noon by the time an increasingly-exasperated Kaedon was shocked by the sound of a knock on his door that had been silent all morning. He yelped and leaped onto his bed, reaching to his back for a sword that wasn't there.

How embarrassing! He hoped the guards outside hadn't heard him! He cleared his throat, and with a stiff voice, spoke up as he kept two feet between him and the door, "Yes?" he asked.

One trained and fairly deep voices spoke up from behind his door, "Is this the residence of Kaedon Wymaros?" and another, surprisingly similar voice spoke up after the first, "And do you be him?"

Kaedon thought for a second, which was silly, because he knew the answers to both, "The answer to both of those questions is affirmative," he said, then continued, "and who be you?"

Almost immediately he felt like an idiot! Of course, these would be guards sent to bring him to his meeting place! He threw his head back with exasperation at his offbeat attitude today, which he blamed on his failure to sleep more than one hour last night.

Before they could answer, Kaedon unlocked and opened up his door in a few swift motions. The key was already out of sight and back in it's spot before it could be seen, though one of the two figure's eyes trailed it for a moment, which made him strangely nervous.

The two figures in front of him were both armored men, carrying spears... They weren't just guards, either, these were sentinels! His mind told him to bow, and his neck twitched before he held himself back. Generally, one only bows at sentinel's when they pass by... not when they're coming to retrieve you! He didn't know the etiquette for this situation, so he resorted to a fast and loose salute. The one in the front frowned, but the one in the back smiled. Odd...

Actually, something else was odd about these two men... they were shockingly similar in appearance! Most of their facial details matched up perfectly, and their bodies were evenly-proportioned... except the man in the book was a full four inches shorter, making him just one inch taller than Kaedon!

The one in front spoke up, "We've come to retrieve you for your meeting with General Magwin today..." he paused for a moment and looked beyond Kaedon into his room, and then continued "Please grab your things."

Kaedon's heart sunk! He had nearly forgotten the whole purpose of this! He bowed, turned around and practically leaped back into his room, all these happening so quickly, a small gust was left behind him. The man in front seemed annoyed, while the one in the back seemed mildly entertained. Kaedon plucked his Thornblade from his chair, where he had sheathed it beside his bed a day ago and hadn't touched since... even though he had wanted to! As soon as his hand gripped the blade through it's green cloth sheathe, he felt renewed.

He let out a sigh of relief, and tied the sheathed weapon up with the belt on his tunic, that he had paid an artisan four years ago to devise for him to efficiently carry both his weapon and satchel over his 'armor'...

He turned back towards the door, and moved through, flanked by the two alike men... He locked the door behind him before he left.

After a couple minutes of travel the three elves arrived, and Kaedon had nearly mustered the courage to ask why the men looked so alike before a flash of warning burned through his mind, leaving him realizing just how foolish he had been!

The men were twins! Earth-be-damned, what was wrong with him, today?? He wanted to punch himself! Sure, elves didn't have twins-or kids in general-all that often, but how had he nearly asked such an obvious question?

He rapped his knuckles against his thigh to avoid strangling himself. He'd have to hold off with his self-hatred, until training, where he planned to push himself until he fainted!

He gave a curt farewell to the two men. The larger one merely stood still, while the shorter one gave a half-wave before mimicking his brother's posture.

Kaedon entered the chamber where he was to meet with General Magwin and a shaman from elsewhere in Worldheim, not knowing what to expect...
Eridaine Delyssar
 NPC, 3 posts
Sat 11 Jul 2020
at 00:36
Gaea's Reach
ONE DAY PREVIOUSLY


Eridaine knocked on the carved wooden door. He was at the personal quarters of Goras Magwin, the general of Gaea's Reach. This would be considered rather rude, since technically Goras was higher in authority than Eridaine, but he was nearly a century younger and the two shared a strong mutual respect for one another.

General Magwin answered the door and opened it to allow Eridaine inside.

"Salutations, Eridaine. I thought we would be meeting soon." he said as he nodded to welcome the familiar visitor inside. His arms were crossed across his chest and his expression was stoic.

"Salutations to you too, General." replied Eridaine, smiling. He stepped inside. Goras shut the door behind him.

The two sat down at a small table, Goras lit a candelabra with a matchstick to provide some light to the meeting.

"I hope you haven't brought me foul news?" asked the general gruffly.

"Oh no, not this time." answered Eridaine. He often told the general directly if his beasts heard anything suspicious. Occasionally an odd creature would make it's way into the woods, which would be important to know. Eridaine would usually take these things down while off duty. In fact, most of what he did for Gaea's Reach went unnoticed. This was fine with Eridaine as he enjoyed his solitude, and served the forest as much as Gaea's Reach. Though he was no druid, he was aware of nearly every strange footstep in the forest.

"That is good. I ask you make this quick, I have a visitor coming." stated Goras bluntly.

"A visitor, you say? Another trade caravan, perhaps?" Queried Eridaine. The General seemed impatient.

"If you must know, it is a Shaman from Tordrasil." Replied Goras, he seemed proud of himself.

Eridaine was intrigued, "A shaman you say? What have we done to earn a visit from someone so prestigious?" he wondered.

"The recent battle against the spiders seems to have gotten much attention. The messengers I sent sure spun a good tale!" Goras explained brightly, offering a rare pun in his usually humorless way of speaking.

Eridaine smiled briefly, "I'm sure they did; Do you reckon this shaman will arrive soon?" he asked, not commenting on Goras' pun.

Gosan shifted in his chair, glaring through the shuttered blinds. "Yes, very soon, actually. You should make haste."

"I shall try." Eridaine said "I have come to talk about something - or, someone you have likely been hearing about much since the battle..."

"Go on." Goras replied in wait, still not facing Eridaine.

"I and a few others saw something during the battle. There has been much rumor and fuzziness among some, but I remember clearly." Eridaine confessed, "What I saw has lead me to believe that Kaedon Wymaros, a mere apprentice, achieved heroic ascension - if only for a moment."

Goras' thick brow stiffened, but he kept his gaze to the glass.

"I have also been informed of this happening." He admitted, lowering his voice and finally looking back at Eridaine, "I am pleased to know that you saw this with your own eyes."

Pausing for a moment, he looked outside once more and then back to Eridaine.

"I do have plans to discuss this with the shaman" the general admitted, "Though I have not witnessed it myself, and that lack of certainty might have disappointed him"

Eridaine crossed his arms and leaned forward, "It is likely that Kaedon may not fully grasp his situation, I wish to make that known." he paused briefly, then continued "However, he has honor and a great eagerness to serve. Like many new recruits, he is quite reckless, but that could serve him in the future. I see the making of a paragon in him."

Goras pondered this for a while. After a short silence, he declared "This is reassuring to me, but perhaps not to the lad. If he is to be the ninth hero of Gaea's Reach, we must make certain that he is taught to exercise the right virtues. Also, it will be fundamental that he receives fit training, which we cannot offer him in Gaea's Reach"

Eridaine took a moment of consideration, then gave his closing thoughts. "I think the young man will go to great heights if he is given the chance. I remember the last elf to achieve Heroic Ascension was accepted into The Royal Worldheim Institute as a professor of swordsmanship."

"I think that you and Kaedon have forged a bond in battle. He will do well with your guidance." Goras told Eridaine.

"I am always willing to give it." Eridaine replied, "However, I know the importance of letting one's companions run free and learn from the world."

"You do always say the Earth is the greatest mentor." Goras mused, remembering Eridaine's saying.

"I do, and I always shall." Eridaine added.

The sun was bright in the sky now. The meeting was almost over.

"I have something to ask of you, Eridaine." said Goras.

"What might it be?"

"I want you to attend the meeting with us. Your insight will be well received, I assure you."

"I am no shaman, general, let alone a druid. But I would be glad to share what little I know among such enlightened individuals."

"I would not call myself enlightened, either." Goras commented with a shrug.

"You will see that all are wise in the company of a sage." Eridaine nodded, before standing, "I thank your generosity, General."

"We will talk more at the meeting. I will see you there." Goras declared as he too stood.

"And I shall see you as well." Eridaine nodded.

The two elves shook hands twice. Once as soldiers and once as friends.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:40, Tue 18 Aug.

Kaedon Wymaros
 NPC, 6 posts
Mon 20 Jul 2020
at 00:01
Gaea's Reach
Kaedon stared at the unique and large building, which unlike most of the other buildings in Gaea's Reach, wasn't built into a tree like the residences were, nor was it constructed from planks or thatch like the barracks and medical tents were...

This establishment was constructed directly beside the southern bramble-wall of the settlement... in fact, that sprawling barrier made up one of it's exterior walls! The meeting hall itself was larger than most homes, and dwarfed all existing medical tents (previously during times of more frequent incursions, other medical tents in Gaea's Reach had been large enough to hold many dozens of soldiers instead of just several, but they were often torn down once the incursions had passed, to recycle their materials), the only larger building in the settlement were the main guard and archer barracks, which were of similar sizes.

The Thornblades also had a barracks, most presumed it would be much smaller on account of their lesser numbers... but it was nearly half the size of the greater ones! This was because the majority of that barracks consisted of training areas, rather than just sleeping quarters, feeding areas and equipment arsenals!

Six hundred years ago, Gaea's Reach had contained a tremendous warehouse, that had taken up nearly a fifth of the camp's surface area! However, after a few incursions by monstrosities that were both slightly smarter and much hungrier than most, the settlement had nearly collapsed from famish before Tordrazil sent three massive caravans of supplies to restock them.

It had been a huge embarrassment, and after that, the warehouse had been demolished and in it's place hundreds of smaller stockpiles have since been placed either underneath the earth or behind lock and key.

Kaedon knew very little of this history, however. Neither he nor his father were the brightest of elves, still they were both well-respected within their communities, due to their unyielding courage and significant tactical and combat prowess... Though, Kaedon hadn't exactly been trained as a tactician yet, on account of his young age. His father had passed too soon to impart on him much of his knowledge, either.

Kaedon didn't linger long in front of the building, as he had already said his farewells... he was a bit nervous, but on top of that, he felt the same security and confidence that he had held in his heart his whole life. He took one last deep breath, and knocked on the carved stone archway that lead into the building... It was the only door like this in the entire settlement, and that was because it had been demanded to be installed by the leader of Tordrazil back when Gaea's Reach was originally being created. It was a matter of tradition or something else Kaedon didn't fully understand, yet.

Kaedon waited around the front of the building, which itself was made out of a foundation of stone, with walls of wooden plank, and a ceiling of supported thatch. The roof didn't get wet, however, because it was covered by a wooden canopy that resembled an upside down cone shape, which itself was held up by four sturdy wooden stilts, that spread out on either side of the main building...

A grand and rusted bell was hung from the wooden canopy. It must have weighed two tons, though it still remained held up all the same. Whether it was shamanic magic or just damn good construction, Kaedon didn't know, or really care to find out... it would ruin the mystery.

The bell was rusted for a simple reason. It had never been rung before. The bell was only to be used in case a full-scale evacuation of the encampment was immediately necessary.

Though few completely-untrained civilians lived in the town, there were plenty of children and elderly, as well as families and visitors, at any given time.

Also, it had never been the policy of Worldheim to allow an entire city of people to die, for any reason.

As Kaedon stood there waiting somewhat restlessly, the door was answered by a short and sunburned elf, who mumbled a quick greetings, and ushered Kaedon in. He told him the directions to the meeting room, and then turned back towards the door and pushed it shut with a slow, drawn-out grunt of effort.

Kaedon winced, but didn't say anything. The man was clearly not interested in his pity, so the boy simply followed his directions and walked to the interior room that would be in use today. There were no doors within the building, except for one blocking a small room containing a chamber pot and a stick of lit incense.

After a dozen seconds of walking, that seemed to stretch on to feel like nearly two minutes, Kaedon could already begin to hear conversation in a room beyond his view. His elven ears correctly told him that room was his destination.

He didn't recognize one of the voices, which he presumed was the shaman. It was a wisdom-filled voice, if he'd ever heard one. The other voice belonged to the general.

But, there was a third voice! Was that... the man who had saved Kaedon's life? Why was he here?