Prologue: Arkeal.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
 Dungeon Master, 6 posts
Sat 3 Jul 2021
at 06:18
Prologue: Arkeal
Arkeal's beginnings.
 GM, 1 post
 If it takes forever,
 I'll die trying.
Mon 5 Jul 2021
at 06:13
Prologue: Arkeal
At the edge of the forest, Arkeal hesitated, looking across the muddy plain at the small, walled village. Despair threatened to overwhelm him, and he leaned against a birch to catch his breath. What number was this? He had lost count. There were so many... all similar, almost the same. He remembered very few things about his home, but never once had he recognized a place, never once had anyone known his name. But there was that little nagging iota of hope...

Sighing, he raised the goggles that hung around his neck and snugged them in place over his eyes, then raised his hood and the attached piece of cloth that covered the lower half of his face. Swathed in baggy black robes, prying eyes had little to spot. He preferred not to be remembered, and this getup was less memorable than his undisguised appearance. He double checked the narrow waterskins he wore hidden beneath his arms, patting reflexively to make sure, but he didn't need too. He could feel the water tucked against his ribs, warm from his body, loose and relaxed. Feeling that relaxed him a little and his shoulders dropped a tad. As he struck out across the open area he watched the few sentries atop the wall notice him. No alarm was raised. The gates remained open. No one stopped him as he stepped through. A single oddly dressed traveler was nothing to fear in these parts.

He made his way to the center of town, where it seemed there was a little market day happening. He could see there were more established booths and tents that were there permanently, but many other small tables and booths where scattered throughout the square. People were selling handmade crafts. Clothing, leathers, preserved food, jewelry, carved wood and stone, pottery... Arkeal smiled. He didn't have much money, but the dried and canned foodstuffs would be very useful for longer journeys, if he didn't find what he was looking for here. Plus, half the village was perusing. If his questions had positive responses, they could be here, in this sleepy, slow moving crowd.

But it was not to be. Inquiring at the more permanent merchants and a few older looking townsfolk turned up families with missing children that were too young or too old to be himself. So he asked about the nearest villages and towns to the south and pulled out his map. Three more places to visit were marked. He marked the village he was in with red. There were so many red marks it almost brought him to tears right then, but he swallowed it down. He quickly bought enough preserved food to fill his satchel, and left.
 GM, 2 posts
 If it takes forever,
 I'll die trying.
Wed 7 Jul 2021
at 00:12
Prologue: Arkeal
Four days later, Arkeal was high in the mountain pass. His food stores were holding up beautifully, and he foraged as he went. Two days ago he had killed a nice fat quail, quickly and noninvasively, so the meat was perfect. Boiling the creatures brain in its skull had made his joints ache a little, but it had been afternoon anyway and losing a quarter of a day's travel to rest and clean and cook had been worth it.

As he walked under a canopy dotted with autumn colors, he noticed a little meadow off to the right that was heavily shaded in some places so that some glacier snow had survived through the summer. He smiled to see clean ice beside the sparse green grass dotted with wildflowers. His smile faded into a thoughtful look, and his steps slowed, then stopped.

It would be good practice. Working with water that was already frozen should not drain his energy overmuch, and he got so few chances to work with ice... he could rest an hour or two in the meadow, the climb was steep and his legs could use the break. Decided now, he walked to the place where the grass looked the thickest and sat down with his legs crossed. He reached out to the ice, felt its solidity, its great age. It didn't really wish to change, having been this way for so long.

"Only your form, not your function," Arkeal whispered. Taking inspiration from the wildflowers around him, he shaped the ice into perfect petals, propped up the fuzzy looking snow into the shapes of leaves and grass. It was harder than controlling water, but easier than freezing water into ice himself. Rather than letting it flow, he had to coax it to build itself differently, to exist in a different arrangement.

It only took him about ten minutes of work to be satisfied with the practice, and with the way the ice looked now. He released the ice, then sighed and wiped sweat from his brow. Perhaps a nap. He tucked his satchel behind his head and lay back, looking at the clouds. He let his thoughts wander for a time before lifting his hood and tugging it down over his eyes, dozing in the thin sunlight.