Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Faaid
 player, 32 posts
 High Man Rogue
 70/70 HP, 1 DR
Mon 18 Oct 2021
at 04:09
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Faaid puts out a hand in front of Torstein, though it is unlikely he could do anything to stop the High Man if he put his mind to killing Baddar.  "Faaid saw the touch of the Pale Son upon this one.  He speaks with the same tongue as the dog Faaid has sworn to kill, but look at him.  Nothing but a lap dog.  Search him for tattoos.  Marks of his allegiance to the Witch Queen, of my lands."  He spits on the man, and speaks in his own native tongue.


The language flows beautifully, and he seemingly doesn't take a breath as he nearly sings to the bound man.  But the expression on Faaid's face is not one of love and gracefulness as the language would suggest, but of disgust.  He halfway draws his curved blade, clearly part of his dialogue.
GM
 GM, 45 posts
Tue 19 Oct 2021
at 02:37
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
"His name was cur! His name was craven dog!" Baddar retorted, trying to egg Torstein into violence. "Grondelstein, he said his name was, before he could nothing but weep like a woman! Bah! I waste my time with you! I broke your 'brother' . . . I should say sister! . . . so quickly. There is no reason to think you are made of sterner stuff." The man said, hurling insults upon Torstein and his fallen brother.

Should anyone search Baddar, they will find a tattoo of a spider upon his inner left arm, a coiled snaked upon his stomach, and a vulture on his back.

Baddar shook his head at Faaid, almost but not quite with pity. The contempt he felt for the dark-skinned High Man was too strong for it to beat out the hate.

"I would prefer to die at the hands of an outlander dog than you, davar veiseh!" Baddar said, his words dripping venom. Then he laughed, and it was a dull and bitter thing. "If you truly wish to face ar-Gohl . . . he is searching the hills to the East. But if you do go seeking the old wolf you will find more than you desire." The bound man looked between Faaid and Torstein, and gave another snort.
Ahvylyn Brightsong
 player, 29 posts
 HP [35] MP [3] Def [25]
 Per [+35] Wealth [2]
Tue 19 Oct 2021
at 07:13
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Ahvylyn was listening in a bored fashion to the man as he egged on one and baited the other of the men. She'd picked up a bit, here and there, of the man's native tongue and it was some impressive vitriol. It seemed the two boys had quite the past. Glancing at Aleesia, she added that one to the checkered past club. It was not everyone come upon fighting off bandits like that. Sighing heavily, she looked more directly at the man, Baddar, and considered his words.

Standing, she moved toward the man and crouched in front of him but slightly off to the side so looking at anything other than her face would require him to contort painfully. Idly, she ran a finger over the man's body slowly examining his many wounds, "Men are such a curious thing. They complain that women are emotional creatures, then they wander around waving their righteous anger and vengeance around like the most important thing ever."

Suddenly, she stood up and smiled emptily at Torstein, "Did you know, in the village I grew up in, there was a lord named Petyr. Uppity and privileged, he was. Well, he took to and took for himself a local farmer's daughter. Pretty thing, she was. Well, being uppity and full of himself, Petyr took to beating the woman figuring the poor landfolk wouldn't do a thing. Night after night, they heard he wailing and screaming from the manor." She stopped and looked down at the man again, "Well, one night the father had enough. he went out back of his house and tore up a few nettle plants. You ever seen a nettle?" She put her hands about a foot and a half apart, "Bout this big, lovely purple flowers. All up and down the stem, they have these bothersome stings. Well, anyway, the farmer gathers up a few of them and goes to the manor. There, he busts in and proceeds to lash that dandy up one side and down the other with them nettles. Wasn't his daughter howling now." She moved slowly to turn and look at Faaid now, "Well, the next few days, that lord was laid up bad. About the time he got out of bed the first time, well, someone took to nailing a nettle plant to his door every night. The lord never touched the girl again. As for the farmer? Well, his hands were so calloused and tough from working, them nettles never bothered him any. So, there's never any proof who did the thing."

She looked around the village they were in and then down at the man. She shrugged and looked at the boys to see if they were calmed down yet. "Now, when you boys are done here, might I recommend you give the man here over to the townsfolk? Never underestimate farmers. There are few people as intimately familiar with suffering as a farmer."

That said, Lyn started moving toward the inn.
Faaid
 player, 33 posts
 High Man Rogue
 70/70 HP, 1 DR
Tue 19 Oct 2021
at 14:35
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Faaid listens to Ahvylyn's words with rapt attention.  Beating with nettle?  What curious folk she must come from.  His people would have taken a hand.  The desert is far to unforgiving for his people to suffer any mistreatment of their property.  After she leaves, he turns to the furious warrior and extends a hand towards the bound man.  "Faaid gave him a choice in death, and he chose poorly.  He is all yours.  And before you extend mercy, know that each tattoo is a vile deed, and that anything you do would be a mercy compared to the wrath of enraged townsfolk.". He seemingly refuses to engage with Baddar any further, avoiding speaking to him or even meeting his gaze.
Aleesia Valhorn
 player, 24 posts
Wed 20 Oct 2021
at 02:07
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Aleesia had stayed mostly silent through the afternoon and the return trip, the whole encounter having obviously disturbed her. It had probably brought her back to not so long ago when she had been in the hands of bandits.

The first thing that drew her out of her pensive state was when Baddar returned to consciousness and spoke to Faaid. At the beginning, she had a frown, as if the language was somewhat familiar but she couldn't exactly place it. Quickly though, her expression cleared, in a sort of "Oh, that's what it is" and she then followed the conversation between bandit and rogue, clearly understanding what was being said even though, despite looking puzzled, she didn't say anything.

She watched Ahvylyn tell her story about the lashed lord, but it was pretty clear she found the story disturbing. She shivered slightly, but thankfully was soon distracted by the locals greeting her - even though she didn't believe she had done much of anything - and readily agreeing to play for an hour or so in the evening.

In the end though, after Faid talked about dark deeds and townsfolk's wrath, she finally said something, “Vengeance is not Justice. Vengeance is what he'd do. What his lot would do. Maybe the townsfolk's first answer would be to do the same. But,” she shook her head, “If we want to do better, to be better, we have to seek Justice,” she glanced at Torstein, “No matter what is said or done.”

She smiled crookedly after a second, “Even though it's easier said than done, right?”
Torstein Svanir
 player, 27 posts
 High Man Warrior
Wed 20 Oct 2021
at 03:57
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
There were many emotions that fought for supremacy within Torstein. Few of them were new. This was not a new struggle for him. The impulse to violence was so intimately familiar. The demands of the Code, and the uncertainty about what was and was not Evil. Beyond and perhaps above the demands of the Code was the simple dictums of the Source. It was very difficult to love Baddar. Torstein found in the moment that he could not. He wondered if the words of the man were even true, or if they were merely goading to invoke Torstein's wrath.

And yet, Baddar knew his brother's name.

Aleesia was right. It was easier to say that one sought Justice than to do it. Torstein was tempted to turn Baddar over to the village headman for judgement, but there was no certainty that the judgement would be applied without emotional bias. Any judgement rendered might not see the application of law but rather amount to satiating a hunger for revenge.

The story that Ahvylyn told was in some respects very simple and in others complex. Surely the father had acted correctly and opposed Evil.

Torstein exhaled. He tried to breathe the fire from his lungs and the lightning from his veins and the cold from his heart. After all, where would he be if if Vengeance ruled? If there were no forgiveness for vile deeds? The Source was a god of love. And love kept no record of wrongs. But the Source was a god, greater than all of the gods, and Torstein was only a man.

"I wish to be better." Torstein said softly. "If you still wish to die by your own hand I will loose your bonds and give you a blade. But I ask you: do you have the strength to walk another path?"
GM
 GM, 46 posts
Thu 21 Oct 2021
at 03:48
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Baddar shook his head disdainfully. "I am not a tumbleweed, at the whimsy of the four winds, cupbearer. I would not have my life be yours: every deed in vain. But enough! Loose the bonds and give me the blade!"

Within the inn there were few occupants. With dark just approaching it would take some time for patrons to find their way into the place. The innkeep and some helpers were preparing, however. Cleaning tables and glasses. From the kitchens came hearty scents of supper cooking.

A few of the Legion soldiers were present, passing the time with talk of past action. A few locals as well, talk about the weather. One of Jok's friends was there, but without the group seen last night. There was a sad look on this fellow's face as he nursed his mug, sipping at wide intervals.
Torstein Svanir
 player, 28 posts
 High Man Warrior
Fri 22 Oct 2021
at 01:15
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
An inscrutable expression settled on Torstein's face as he kept his word and loosed Baddar's bonds. He gave the Man a small knife he kept on his person as a tool, holding it out by the handle to Baddar. It would serve. Torstein chose to extend unearned trust to Baddar. He looked over to Faaid and Aleesia. "I will return, in time." He said softly and gently. The tall blond male took a shovel from the wagon, and inclined his head to Baddar. "Come. Let us away."

His intent was to go with Baddar beyond the village limits, and once the deed was done, to give the Man as proper a burial as he could given the circumstances. Though his wounds ached and he longed for the balm and solace of prayer, the comforts of a hot meal, and to rest, duty yet remained. Perhaps if their positions were reversed Baddar would have slain them all and left their bodies for scavengers. But it was not what Torstein would do. He wanted to believe that there was some good and some right in what he intended.

"Do you have any wishes about how you are buried?" Torstein asked Baddar.
GM
 GM, 47 posts
Sat 23 Oct 2021
at 00:16
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Baddar took the handle of the offered blade and there was a look in the Man's eyes, like he was thinking about taking his chances stabbing someone. But he didn't. He followed Torstein. When asked, he shook his head. "No."

The two walked for a time, and Baddar found a place. "Here." He stood beneath a tree, and then knelt. The Man briefly prayed, murmuring in his own tongue. When he finished he looked over at Torstein. "About your brother . . . it was a lie. I spoke those words to anger you. Your brother was a man, and a son of men. He died as one. I could not break him. His final words were to forgive me for what I had done to him and to wish that my journey would end in peace and light." Baddar said. Then he lowered his head and thrust the blade into his chest, piercing the heart.

He died quietly and quickly.

The ground where he'd picked was easy to dig up. The place where Baddar chose was beneath a nice tree. Not a bad place to get buried. It didn't take long to dig a proper grave for him and arrange him with some dignity and cover him with earth. But it was dark by the time that Torstein got back to Greenvale.

Things in the inn were in full swing. The locals had come in for their drinks, and a bunch of Legion soldiers, too. Not all of them, and not their Captain, but most.
Faaid
 player, 35 posts
 High Man Rogue
 70/70 HP, 1 DR
Sat 23 Oct 2021
at 00:54
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Faaid sits in the tavern, unusually gloomy.  Had these been ordinary bandits, he would have been joking and singing and making merriment.  But this encounter hit close to home.  His thoughts are on Baddar and what the man has said to him.  He drinks his ale almost mechanically.

If Torstein returns to the tavern, a tankard awaits him, as well as a request to tell Faaid about his brother.  The question is good natured, not intended to pry.  After all, Faaid himself had lost... everything.



OOC: Weather cut my hike short, but I might as well take a slow journey back west.
Torstein Svanir
 player, 29 posts
 High Man Warrior
Sat 23 Oct 2021
at 02:32
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
The blond male was tired and aching when he entered the tavern. He returned the rope and shovel to the wagon before he entered the tap room. But inside he took a seat with the group and took a deep draught from the tankard that awaited.

He did not immediately respond to the request that Faaid made of him, but he did not immediately refuse, either.

"I did not like Grondelstein." Torstein began. "He opposed my adoption into the Order. But our elder brother overruled Grondelstein's protests, and we became brothers bound by the blood of the covenant. The doubts and misgivings that Grondelstein harboured about me never abated, and when took up a quest I was glad to see the back of him. The man never spoke a kind word to me."

Torstein raised the palm of his hand to his eyes and wiped them. He took another deep drink.

"I imagine that you will desire to pursue ar-Gohl. If this is true, I wish to accompany you. I am sworn to oppose Evil, and so I must oppose him." Torstein said to Faaid. He was not undone or overwhelmed with grief but the blond male had said all he wished to on the matter. "It would also be good to retrieve the coin. The village could it use to do good for those harmed by the bandits."
Faaid
 player, 36 posts
 High Man Rogue
 70/70 HP, 1 DR
Sat 23 Oct 2021
at 15:18
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
"Faaid understands the pain of disappointing family, disagreeing with them.  But Faaid will not pretend to understand the pain of losing a brother.  There is a saying in my native lands.  'Mourn not the rain once it has passed, but be thankful that it was.'  It is admirable that you did not crush Baddar's skull right then and there, a testament to your faith and discipline."  He raises his tankard in a half-toast, closer to a salute.  "Faaid would accept your help in putting down ar-Gohl, but it is not a matter of which to speak lightly.  Let us speak of it no more tonight.  Let it sleep, but not die.  Finding the coin should be our priority, and Faaid will follow you in this endeavor."
Ahvylyn Brightsong
 player, 30 posts
 HP [35] MP [3] Def [25]
 Per [+35] Wealth [2]
Sat 23 Oct 2021
at 23:44
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Ahvylyn wasn't always at the table with the pair of gloomy men but was often on teh stage singing or telling stories. After a song or two, she'd return to the table to drink a bit then go for another round. The bard seemed to revel in the attention she garnered via her craft. She would also invite Aleesia to accompany her is she wanted to.

However, she happened to be parked behind a tankard of lager while the two were speaking of family and cocked a quizzical look at them, "I'll never understand that. I've probably got at least a dozen siblings rolling around in the world. Who knows how many nieces and nephews! It's been a minute since I was last home. Not that all of them stayed there. Some might even have passed here or there doing something or another. It's not like any of us are close. Well, except Yustyn. Me and him grew up around the same time and got into plenty of trouble together. Wonder if he is still on the farm?" Ahvylyn stopped there and pursed her lips as she thought about the siblings she was aware of. Some of them had been in the house while she was young, others not so. It was a natural ramification of a family that took only a decade or two to mature but spanned centuries of lifetime. Some of the siblings were half-siblings as well since mother and father hadn't spent all of several centuries together either. Still, it was a loosely knit network of relationships. "Still, it sounds like your brothers are family of choice rather than family of blood. I've no experience in that. Enough time in the world and you stop looking beyond yourself." She drained her tankard and then stood to return to the stage, "Everything turns to dust eventually. Still, if there's an adventure in the offing, count me in."

Whether it was her mood or the topic, Ahvylyn began to recount some of the old stories from times before the great war that had destroyed much of the ancient world. Stories of heroes now almost mythological, songs from cultures long turned to dust, and simple songs that might have been sung in bars laid waste in war.
Torstein Svanir
 player, 30 posts
 High Man Warrior
Sun 24 Oct 2021
at 19:46
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Torstein returned the half-toast to Faaid, and nodded his head in response.

Ahvylyn's words left Torstein in thought. They suggested a wisdom gained through a long life, such as was found in the Elven kin. But Ahvylyn appeared to be of Mannish descent and scarcely his own age, perhaps younger. It was hard to tell with her beauty. And yet she expressed a view that suggested it was earned by the passage of years and decades.

He looked into his tankard and swirled the liquid within around. Torstein wondered if he would ever live long enough to stop looking beyond himself. The blond male hoped that it would not be so. At least, he hoped that in all of the years of his life he would not stop looking beyond himself. If his elder brother had stopped looking beyond himself, Torstein would not have been adopted into the Order, and his life would have certainly taken a very different course. It would be a darker path.

"Such is an elder's wisdom." Torstein mused to Faaid. "And yet, she seems no more ancient than you or I. Less, even." He took another drink and found his tankard empty. He was not eager for more but asked for food to be brought.

The stories that Ahvylyn gave Torstein some comfort. Though nothing on this earth stayed forever, it did not mean all deeds were in vain. The heroes in the stories lived again in the hearts of all who heard the tales, though they were long ago gone to the home of the brave. And even those who were not remembered in song and story . . . their deeds were not in vain. Their deeds and sacrifices allowed for future generations. New men and women of great heart and soul to walk the same earth and live under the same sky.

Torstein smiled a soft, small smile.

"I would include Aleesia in our number as well, though I fear that it may not aid her recovery. But I find her company agreeable and would feel better being at her side until she is herself again." Torstein said softly to Faaid.
Aleesia Valhorn
 player, 25 posts
Sun 24 Oct 2021
at 22:20
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Aleesia had been in a sombre mood ever since Torstein had left with Baddar and had come back alone. It didn't seem to be anything against Torstein himself, but she was often pensively looking outside the windows, or in her cup of tea as if it would somehow reveal some big secrets if she started hard enough.

While she readily agreed to play her lyre, that evening even more than the previous one it was obvious that she did so because she enjoyed playing for the music, and couldn't care less about who listened even though anytime someone came to talk to her, she behave impeccably.

When she sat at the table to eat a bite shortly after Ahvylyn had started singing about the heroes of times past, she asked to not one in particular, “How many of those do you think were tyrants, thugs or even worse? How many of those reviled were in fact good men and women who either fought for the wrong side for some reason, or even whose side was in fact in the right in whatever conflict arose?”
Faaid
 player, 37 posts
 High Man Rogue
 70/70 HP, 1 DR
Mon 25 Oct 2021
at 19:15
Re: Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Torstein Svanir:
"Such is an elder's wisdom." Torstein mused to Faaid. "And yet, she seems no more ancient than you or I. Less, even."


Faaid laughs at this remark.  "Faaid believes this to be nothing but the defense of a lonely child, not some great wisdom.  'Everything turns to dust?'  In Faaid's homeland, treasures and remains are found with great frequency, telling stories of the past.  Nothing ever truly dies, my friend.  Isn't that what we're doing here, helping learn about the past?"  He drains his tankard, then orders another.

Aleesia Valhorn:
When she sat at the table to eat a bite shortly after Ahvylyn had started singing about the heroes of times past, she asked to not one in particular, “How many of those do you think were tyrants, thugs or even worse? How many of those reviled were in fact good men and women who either fought for the wrong side for some reason, or even whose side was in fact in the right in whatever conflict arose?”


"This question strikes many truths," Faaid responds, though the question wasn't directed at him.  "Faaid has personally seen what misunderstandings and lies can do, and what pride and honor can lead to.  It is hard to say in the moment which side one is on.  But Faaid believes that the truth will find its way, in one way or another.  Faaid must believe this."  He sits up straight and looks at Aleesia, who seems as gloomy as Faaid himself had been earlier in the evening.  "If you would join us, I aim to ensure at least one tyrant receives his due justice.  And there is a small treasure waiting to outfit us for such a task, not far from here."
Ahvylyn Brightsong
 player, 32 posts
 HP [35] MP [3] Def [25]
 Per [+35] Wealth [2]
Tue 26 Oct 2021
at 01:29
Re: Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Ready for a break, Ahvylyn plunked into her seat to drain her tankard again. Smiling into the paid for but now empty mug, she looked around the table, "There is wisdom in the lives of men and the lives of elves. Dwarves have their own wisdom as do the halflings and even the orcs. Every life is different and worthwhile. Aye, no life is spent in vain. Of course not." She lifted the mug to signal a refill. "The lives of men are rapid, fervent, and filled with vigor. They seek a legacy because they cannot grasp the future themselves. But imagine an elf's life?"

Here Ahvylyn sighed heavily and looked around the room, "Imagine living so long you have seen and recall faces, names, cities, kingdoms that exist only in your memory and books? Imagine being one of the few that remembers the day standing atop the battlements of Dros Delnoch when the last walls fell and staring down your doom only... to survive when thousands, millions did not? Aye, I spent a good amount of my youth in the Great Forest traveling with Dusk Elves or sitting beneath the First Tree with the Silver Elves. I learned the wisdom they carry as much as it is possible to do so."

She looked to Faaid now, "And I traveled in your land as well." She turned her gaze to Torstein, "And yours." She smiled as her cup was refilled, "I have traveled nearly everywhere the lights shines still. Each place has its wisdom and life is always worth living. After all, I have made it my life's work to collect all the stories of the world, to dance the steps of every dance I can, and to enjoy it until the last moment. I owe that much at least. So perhaps my wisdom is not one of years, but a type of experience none-the-less?" Smacking her lips, she winks at the three, "I chose to live in this moment and none other."

She went back to sing another song.
Torstein Svanir
 player, 31 posts
 High Man Warrior
Tue 26 Oct 2021
at 02:17
Re: Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Faaid's words made Torstein feel that he had not expressed himself as he wished to. He was no great orator, and no philosopher as well, so he did not press the issue. He wanted to talk about how the great things of the past were no more - the grand alliance of all Kins fallen into mistrust and ill will, the great walls of Dros Delnoch in disrepair, and the fallen Kingdoms of Men. But then, there had to have been a time before such things even existed. Someone had to raise them up. And perhaps here Faaid's words rang truest. Be grateful that something was, not sorrowful that it has passed.

Torstein tried, but despite his best efforts, he could not imagine such a long life. He imagined that it would be very joyful or very sad. Very joyful, because such a long life promised so many sunrises and so many new experiences. Very sad, because so many friends and loved ones had taken the swan's path. Or perhaps both? It was heady stuff for Torstein.

Still he was perplexed by Ahvylyn's Mannish beauty. She showed little evidence of Elvish blood yet she spoke of dwelling among the Dusk and Silver Elves. It was not impossible to him that one of Mannish descent might be welcome. But surely to learn from them in any capacity would take a very long time.

He let out a breath.

"Some lives are lost in vain. Senseless, wasteful tragedy." He murmured to himself more than to the others.

And there was Aleesia's question. Surely some of those remembered as heroes were not as the songs made them. And the same for those cast in the role of villain. It was a truism that history was written by the victor, and victory was too often won by force of arms. Many wars were draped in the clothing of righteousness, to hide that they were waged for purely material concerns justified or not. Indeed Torstein had heard it said that even the Legend himself was remembered in the main because he was the greatest killer of his age and of no particular virtue. Torstein did not want to believe that. He did not believe that the Legend was, as some tales claimed, a pure-hearted saint utterly free of sin and Evil. For that to be true the Legend could not have been a man. Torstein preferred to believe that the Legend was simply a good man. That was enough.

"I will retire for the night. On my way I shall speak to Atrocles, and inform him that we wish to proceed on our venture." Torstein told those at the table. Then he took the remains of his meal to finish in his room, ascending the stairs and seeking out the sage before he did as he said he would.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:51, Tue 26 Oct.

Aleesia Valhorn
 player, 26 posts
Tue 26 Oct 2021
at 23:32
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Fora time, it didn't seem like Aleesia was going to answer Faaid, as she was pensively playing with her cup of tea. And when she did speak, it was to ask another question, though luch like the previous ones, it wasn't aimed at any one specifically. Maybe she was just thinking aloud. “But if the truth comes out, will we recognise it, or will it be spurned? After all, isn't the truth already known?”

Shaking her head after a few seconds, she finally focused on the human. “What kind of tyrant?” She grimaced slightly, “As you have no doubt seen, my skills are not ones that are particularly useful in a fight. In a few decades, maybe,” She shrugged “But right now...” She shook her head.

As if she had thought of something else, she asked something entirely different. “The language that man used with you before... Is it the one from where you come from?”
GM
 GM, 49 posts
Wed 27 Oct 2021
at 04:02
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Atrocles wasn't happy with the news that Torstein brought him, but he wasn't about to argue with the warrior, either. He promised to pay out what he owed to everyone in the morning the next day. And he proved true to his word. Atrocles also hoped that when they'd finished their personal business they'd reconsider protecting him and his students. But he didn't push the matter, and wished them well.

The tree the coins were buried under was far enough away from town that the group'd need to camp out for the night. Atrocles was kind enough to offer to loan them tents to use during their trek, no doubt hoping he'd get into their good graces. If they didn't want to take him up on it, the general store had some tents for sale at reasonable prices, and a ready supply of rations and supplies as they'd need for an overnight stay.

It wasn't hard to find the white tree the half-orc mentioned. There weren't any other trees like it nearby. The milky white bark and leaves made it an easy landmark. It wasn't difficult to dig up the strong box, either. There was a lock on it, but it was of poor quality. Good enough to keep out the average person, but Ahvylyn and Faaid possessed enough skill to pick it with ease. Within was a variety of coins, from all over the place, and bits of hacksilver. Most of the coins were minted in silver, but there were a dozen in gold.
Torstein Svanir
 player, 32 posts
 High Man Warrior
Thu 28 Oct 2021
at 01:49
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
The blond male elected to accept Atrocles' offer of loaning equipment, and it was his intention to return to the scholar's aid once the coin was retrieved and Faaid's hunt was completed. He told the scholar that he, at least, intended to return to guard the expedition, but also indicated that he was uncertain as to how long the endeavor they now engaged in might take. Torstein also elected to purchase rations for some few days from the general store.

When the group arrived at their destination, Torstein dug. Despite the injuries he had suffered, now healing, his was the strongest back and it made the most sense for him to engage in the task. He did it without asking any of the others to do so.

The white tree was an oddity to Torstein. It must have been purposefully planted here, he reckoned, and he wondered whence the seed might have come from. He glanced upwards, and pursed his lips. His brow furrowed.

The coins were of little interest to Torstein. He was not concerned with worldly gains, and could not effectively manage the wealth they had uncovered to see it used to its best ends. For his part, he was inclined to entrust the money to the village headman and allowing him to see it effectively used to benefit the community.

"Do you see the white crow perched yonder?" Torstein asked, and pointed to where the creature stood perched. "It has followed us for most of the day. Is it not strange?" The High Man asked of his companions. He was not unfamiliar with the carrion birds, but he was no student of nature and did not know them to follow small groups. Armies, perhaps, for the creatures possessed some cunning and craftiness and could learn that large groups of fighters meant a meal was in the works. And how rare must an albino be?
Aleesia Valhorn
 player, 27 posts
Thu 28 Oct 2021
at 02:34
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead


Aleesia had followed, a bit doubtfully, clearly not quite sure she was there for the good reasons: it was mostly that she didn't really have anywhere else to go at the moment, and Atrocles wasn't terribly likely to do anything for her. Plus, while she had changed her mind a bit seeing how he had reacted to Persen's adventure, she still didn't have a particularly good opinion of the man, at least regarding the way he treated his apprentices… and she wouldn't be able to pretend at anything more than that at the moment if she were to ask him for employment.

The promise of riches didn't seem to hold a lot of sway for her either: not that she would refuse any that came her way, but it didn't seem to be a huge motivation as far as she was concerned. But in the absence of better options, Aleesia followed. Plus, who knew: she might learn interesting things and maybe make herself useful at some point. How silly had she been to leave home so soon… Her mother had been right: she should have waited a couple of decades more and hone her skills before she considered going out to see the world.

Maybe because of that she offered to help Torstein dig for the treasure - the old fashion way since she didn't have any magic for that - even though she wouldn't have been able to do all that much by herself.

While at first she had seemed unconcerned when the coins had been revealed, she soon knelt on the ground and carefully picked the dozen gold coins and placed them, face up, on one hand. The way she did it, it was obvious that it wasn't for the value of the coins, and that she didn't intend to claim them for herself, but there was something that caught her attention. Her head tilted to the side, she considered them for a long time, lost in thought.

Until Torstein mentioned a white crow anyway. At that, her head abruptly pivoted to the side to look at the crow for a few seconds. The way her gaze navigated from one to the others a couple of time made it quite clear that she seemed to see a connection there, one that, given her troubled frown, very obviously puzzled her.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:37, Today.

Ahvylyn Brightsong
 player, 33 posts
 HP [35] MP [3] Def [25]
 Per [+35] Wealth [2]
Thu 28 Oct 2021
at 08:19
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Ahvylyn was always game to go along when adventure was in the offing. And the collection of a treasure and slaying of a mortal enemy tempted her greatly. It was a hard decision between that and the room and board her stories were gaining her now, but she tore herself away from that temptation for a very good reason: she didn't want to be tempted into settling. Ahvylyn's feet had always been heavy; she expected that came from her father who loved the sedentary farmer's life. Truth told: her mother had been little different if adventurous in her own way. No, it was an oath she had taken that uprooted her each time. A few memories of a time and a place and words spoken were all it took to shake off whatever dust had been collecting and move on.

Plus, this way, there were very few outside her family that knew her origins. Generally, by the time she got back around to any particular village, no one recalled her or associated her looks with the woman who had been there decades before. The few times she had been recognized, she'd just passed it off as a resemblance to a distant relation. Ahvylyn was always careful to hide her longevity. At least among men, she preferred it that way. Elves and other long lived sorts were harder to trick. They tended to be able to spot the wisdom of years.

Ahvylyn watched askance as the others began to dig and drifted away from the labor slowly. When no objection was made, she found a place to sit and began to sing softly. Her fingers moved as if plucking a lute though she possessed no such instrument and her eyes were focused on the distant horizon as she sang an ancient lullaby of the first men. As she sang, faces she had not seen in many of the lifetimes of men floated through her mind. As each made their way, the notes she sang grew more melancholy. She found she had shifted from lullabies to a Drenai dirge with similar note structures.

Shaking her head to clear the cobwebs, she noted Aleesia looking at something with piqued interest and grew curious but not before Torstein spotted the raven. This she regarded with naked curiosity and tried to recall having seen such a one before.
Faaid
 player, 38 posts
 High Man Rogue
 70/70 HP, 1 DR
Thu 28 Oct 2021
at 17:45
Re: Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Aleesia Valhorn:
As if she had thought of something else, she asked something entirely different. “The language that man used with you before... Is it the one from where you come from?”


Faaid nods at this.  "Yes, it was the language of my lands.  Baddar spoke in a dialect Faaid knows, but not of my own.  Now, we should attend to other matters, such as preparing for our small expedition.  If you wish to know more, Faaid could teach you a few phrases.  It is truly a beautiful language."



Along the journey, Faaid seemed to have his spirit back.  He hummed frequently, sometimes with a little skip in his step.  Those who had seem him sulking at the tavern might think he was posturing for effect.  Nonetheless, he traveled with some semblance of joy.

Money was a fine motivation for a man such as he.  After all, coin could buy power.  Coin could buy weapons and armor.  Coin could buy a fine evening at a tavern.  And each coin brought him closer to his goals.  Though at the rate he spent it, it was unlikely he made any such progress.

Upon finding the coin, Faaid begins filling his pouches and sack with as much as he could carry (and as much as was left by his companions).  He is surprised when the others are not quite as enthusiastic, but does not let this deter him from his earnings.  Content with what he had collected, he looks up to find his companions staring at that odd albino crow that had been following them for most the day.  "Faaid has been watching it, though it has not been hostile and has been keen on Aleesia.  Faaid assumed it was with her; so many of the old stories talk about odd animals following those who can use magicks.  Is this not the case?"  He turns to Aleesia, eyebrow cocked.

Looking back at the crow, he thinks long and hard about his own experiences with birds, and if he'd ever seen one like this.  He also considers that this might not be a normal beast, but some sort of magical creature.



10:41, Today: Faaid rolled 118 using 1d100+30.  Nature (Challenging).
Aleesia Valhorn
 player, 28 posts
Thu 28 Oct 2021
at 19:49
Chapter 1: Echoes of the Dead
Aleesia smiled, tilted her head to the side, focusing for a couple of second. “I'm pretty sure I don't need you to teach me.” She answered in that very language with a slight smile. She was obviously proficient, her grammar perfect, but still spoke haltingly as if it took her some effort to remember the exact words.

And through it all, she seemed confused, as if she had no idea where any of that was coming from.


“I remember.” Aleesia said quietly after a few seconds following Faaid's question. She wasn't looking at the bird though, her eyes instead fixed on the coins, while her thumb brushed one of them. “I was there when those were first minted. I remember...” She glanced briefly at Torstein, “He was the First King of the First Kingodm of the High Men.” She indicated the face on the coins with her chin.

“I used those, when they were still new. I was in the marketplace, buying... Wine I think? There were High Men and Star Elves all around, everything was cheerful.” She continued, obviously lost in the memory. “One of them, a Star Elf, was with me. He was...” She turned her head to look at the crow, “He had an albino crow, perched on his shoulder.”

“But...” She frowned, “That's impossible...” While she didn't sound worried, she certainly sounded puzzled now, “I'm as young as I look. Younger than I look in fact... There's no way I could remember any of that.”