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Bound for Turelve: The Land Lubbers

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Bound for Turelve: The Land Lubbers

Post  Wynnsaren on Wed May 12, 2010 4:24 pm

By the time the sun had set after that first day of travel, Szeraal was crunching merrily on the remnants of the gazelle the party had come across on their way to Turelve. Torin was the only one to eat any of the meat and after he'd had his fill, the behir was more than willing to clean up the rest. Nas and Jayashree had palates more desirous of vegetarian fare, and though Lady Darya enjoyed meat as much as most other humans, she knew of the elf's aversion to watching flesh be devoured so settled for chewing on some of her iron rations this evening.

She had to admit, she was looking forward to the Fellowship's visit to Turelve! She hoped to visit Dawnlord Redleaf again and pass along her tithe, and just simply enjoy the bustle of a large city for a few days while they prepared for an assault against the Bloodskull tribe of orcs... If they could find them...

Szeraal curled himself up on one side of the fire, while the paladin leaned comfortably against his dark rose-colored scales. She listened for some time to the pleasant banter between her three companions. Only when the conversation lulled a bit, did Darya speak up with a question she'd been wanting to ask for over a week now.

"Nas," she smiled as she absentmindedly scratched between Szeraal's scales, "you mentioned before that you come from a long line of elvish wizards. Would you mind sharing a bit about them? My mother, Lady Leila Nishan, is a Diviner by trade, which made for an interesting childhood I assure you..."

Darya laughed out loud at the memories before turning her eyes upon the others as well.

"Actually, I'd love to hear a bit about all of your families if there's anything you're willing to share," she bowed slightly at the asking. "I know nothing of dwarven families and next to nothing about halfling families. I'm sure all of you have some interesting stories to tell!"

As the paladin fell silent waiting for a response, her gaze shifted to meet the elf's. She knew full well that she was pushing the boundaries here with him. She knew that there was much unresolved pain in Nas' past, and in the three months since they'd been traveling together she had not pressed him on the issue out of respect. She thought of it often though...how terrible it would be to lose one's family in that horrific manner... He could hardly be blamed for his silence on the issue, but she wanted it to be known that she would be willing to listen if he was willing to talk.

Truthfully these three companions were the ones with the most secrets, and as much as she didn't want to pry, she did want to get to know them all better! Darya was feeling quite homesick as of late. For her friends and her family... It made her realize what a poor job she had been doing of getting to know those that she traveled with!

Maybe this could be the beginning of remedying that situation!

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Nas

Post  xarhelm on Wed May 12, 2010 9:20 pm

"Yes, both my mother and sister were elven wizards. My father was a warrior an archer. A very good one even by elven standards. I really did not know them very well I was only in my 50th year at the time of the attacks. "

Nas laughed at his last remark then added

"it maybe along time to you but by elven standards I was a little less than ten years old by human standards.

I was being trained as a warrior mage the best of both worlds but all that ended when my parents were killed. Orphans are usually welcome among the elven people but apparently not those whose entire family history is amongst the undead. You already know that my Mother, Father, sister and cousin were turned to vampires and a few my mother amongst them came after me but were destroyed by the dawn."

With those words he avoided Darya gaze. He did not wish to see her reaction. she knew the tale at least in part but he had never said those words before directly.

"My sister,and my father along with a few more distant relatives were unaccouted for in the morining. I have to assume they too are vampires but escaped the fate that dawn brings to them. Each morning I wake I am conflicted I do not wish the dawn to take their lives yet in a way I do because eventually I will have too."

Nas poked at the embers of the fire and threw some of the small amount of meat he had taken from the gazelle to his dogs. Then he took a deep breath and continued.

"They are not however the first undead in my Family history. Both sets of my Grandparents were wizards among the best of the elven wizards. They were Mithil Keepers at the city of Myth Drannor. They were working with the Mithal when the city fell and its Mithal was corrupted. They were trying to hold it so others could flee. They are now believed to be as most are in the once beautiful elven city wraiths. Eventually I will go there and free them and as many others from that fate as I can. It will be my final act most likely as entering the ruins is as close to a death sentance as anything else. But if I can free them my life will be not lost in vane.

I do not expect you to understand and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me.I have done enough of that myself early on. There is more to my tale and I will share it if you wish but I feel I am an awful story teller and so will give you rest from my past so that another may share their story. Torrin what of your family? What brings you to the surface?"
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Torin Dourguard

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu May 13, 2010 1:37 am

The dwarf was quiet as he listened to his companions stories. Ever alert eyes scanned the distance for trouble, but always returned to the one speaking letting them know they weren't being ignored. Apparently it was his turn.

The dwarf was torn. He knew that despite their occasional differences, they were by nature 'good' people. They bore no threat towards his people, but still... He wasn't a very 'open' individual. Even amongst his own people.

Still... He could only imagine how difficult it was for the elf to tell his story... Torin couldn't just meet it with still silence. That would be horrible on his part. He stared into the fire for a moment thinking of hearths and forges.

"Ain't a whole lot to tell..." He began softly. "Ain't a whole lot I CAN tell, if ye get me meanin'..." The dwarf sighed audibly.

"Dwarves are secretive lot, and b'fore I left... Promises were made. Ain't nothin' personal... Didn't know any of ye when I made em... and knowin' ye now, I wish I didn't make 'em. But that don't change the past."

His eyebrows bunched together as he tried to think of what he could tell them that wouldn't violate any vows of secrecy. Probably more than he first thought.

"Me family's still all in one piece, livin' happily underground... The Dourguards clan, we've a lot useful trades in our clan. Me father, and me father's father were known well for their cobblin' skills. A trade I thought to follow meself.

"Ain't what happened though. I got meself accepted into the Temple of Gorm, and me brother Bron spends most of his time in the mines... though if he puts his mind to it can make a serviceable pair a boots." Torin grinned sadly. He missed the friendly bickering with his brother about who made the better boots. He missed a lot about Nuradar Stronghold. His recent time underground only made him more homesick.

"As for what I'm doin' on the surface... Lets just leave it at 'I'm here to see what the outside world is like..." He slipped into silence again as he examined his statements. Nothing specific to Nuradar... the stronghold was still safe. Their interests still protected. Just a few generalizations about his own family. Companion's questions answered... without really giving answers... No betrayal of his people. So why did the priest feel so lousy.

Once again he pondered why HE was chosen for this duty...
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu May 13, 2010 9:13 pm

Lady Darya pulled a knee up to her chest and wrapped her arms around the leg as she listened to the two tales. While she was disappointed that Torin wasn't able to share more, she well understood that to make a promise was to keep it!

Nas' story was different tale entirely... She could never understand what that would be like to be so young and watch your parents turned to dust in front of you, but thinking on it now she had a different perspective than the elf. After hearing his story, it seemed to her that the Dawn not only saved him that day, but saved him from the heartache of knowing that his family was out there killing people. It had saved him from the task of killing those particular relatives himself... An opinion that she would be keeping to herself! Such tragedy she would hopefully never have to comprehend!

"A more honorable quest I've never heard of, than to set out to free your family's spirits from the dark clutches of undeath! It's a difficult road you've chosen to follow, Nas, and I very much respect you for that," the paladin nodded, pressing her lips into a small smile.

"I don't want you to feel that you can't speak of the issues you might have with the Dawn without offending me. We all have things in our life that we are struggling to overcome, and Lathander is much more than the Morninglord! He's also the god of the Spring, Creativity, Birth, Vitality, Youth, Self-perfection, New beginnings and Second chances..." As she finished the words, Darya touched her fingers to her lips first, then to her forehead before raising her hand to the darkening sky.

"He's the god of Hope, Nas," she smiled kindly at the elf. "Wherever there is life, there is hope, and I have to believe that through you, your family will one day find peace..."

Her eyes widened a bit and her eyebrows raised as she realized that she was probably saying more than she had any right to at this stage in their relationship. "I...I'm sorry, my friend," she chanced, raising apologetic eyes to meet his, "I don't mean to preach. I just want you to know that while I may never be able to fully understand your plight, I do care and am sympathetic..."

The young paladin sighed quietly as she stared into the fire. Jayashree hadn't spoken yet, and she was concerned that maybe the discussion of family didn't sit well with her either. The halfling had told her once that she was ashamed of something from her past, and again, Darya didn't press her on the issue. There would come a time when all secrets would be brought to light. One only needed to have patience. Unfortunately...that wasn't the lady's strong suit!

Ollimer had once asked her to have patience...

She shook the thoughts out of her head before they could take root. There would be time enough for pining while she was alone on fourth watch!

"I should probably also apologize to all of you for my manic behavior down in the tunnels," she laughed, hoping to lighten the mood a bit. "I have a mild phobia of being trapped in dark, enclosed places... Something else for me to work on!"

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Nas Ath'quehel

Post  xarhelm on Thu May 13, 2010 11:26 pm

Nas took a long deep breath before speaking again.

"I do not believe the attacks on my family were a mere unfortunate coincedence. I have no proof that they were not at this point except I find it hard nowto fathom how one sends a way a young orphaned child to find his own way. I recieved nothing from my family as remebrences except a silver mirror of my sisters. I am the last of a once proud Elven house I should have more than a simple mirror. Yet I do not. It all seems strange to me.

Nasolryl Ath'quehel is my own chosen name. It means Ancient history hunter of forgotten sadness. It is a wild elf tradition When they took me in and trained me I embraced their traditions and left my family name behind. I hope to return someday and restore my actual family name.

The dark side to this is that I will need more information than I posses now. Which means I must do what maybe the most difficult thing I will ever have to do. Since Vampires retain their identity and intellegence I will have to speak with any and all remaining members of my family to get the information I am searching for before I kill them. I do not know if I possess that much strength."


Last edited by xarhelm on Thu May 13, 2010 11:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix things so as to not offend the rule gestapo)
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri May 14, 2010 12:21 am

The paladin could only mirror the long, deep breath the elf had just taken, and shake her head in utter disbelief. To think that someone may have purposefully done that to his family!? She couldn't think of an appropriate name for that kind of...pure...EVIL!

"If you do discover that your suspicion is correct, and there are those who intentionally destroyed your family in such a manner..." Darya patted the shining shield leaning next to her on Szeraal's side as she leveled a committed stare at the elf. "As long as I'm alive and not too old to heft this thing onto my arm, I will aid you in your quest for justice if you so desire."

There was a long pause and then the corners of her mouth started curling up slowly.

"Unless we have to go underground for an extended period of time... Then I'm afraid the deal's off!" The young woman chuckled again at her own weakness and held up her hand, shaking her head slightly to show she was only kidding.

"You have my word. If you ever have need of my assistance in that matter, than I will aid you in whatever ways I am able! Even if it is underground," she winked.

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Torin Dourguard

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri May 14, 2010 12:37 am

The dwarf nodded in silent agreement. Truth was his people didn't have much contact with 'undead.' Before meeting with the elf, he never game them much thought. Occassionally the dwarfs fought battles with dark elves or other wizardly types who'd used them as soldiers... so the Priests of Gorm knew OF them... and it was rumored that the higher priests could actually turn or destroy with the will of Gorm... But that was all before his lifetime. He was surprised to find that many of the surface priests considered it second nature to fight the moving dead.

Torin looked at Lady Darya curiously. They'd spoken once about her odd behavior down there, but had mostly chalked it up to being out of one's element. These past few months had taught him well what it was like to be in a place unlike anything you ever knew. Now it sounded like there was more to the story. This could be an interesting revelation.

"Aye... ye didn't much seem yerself down there... that's fer sure." He asked the woman. "Understand if ye don't want to talk 'bout it... but I've seen ye under the ground before. The caves with the goblins... the piercers by the giants... What was it about these tunnels ye found so distasteful?"
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri May 14, 2010 1:30 am

"Distasteful isn't the word I'd use really..." Darya paused for a moment as she pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I admit that I don't see the beauty below ground that you do, but I'd wager that you don't see the beauty above ground as I do," she grinned at the dwarf. "I think I better understand your discomfort under the big sky now though!"

Before continuing her explanation, the woman unwittingly pulled the second knee to her chest, perhaps comforting herself as she remembered another time in the darkness.

"It's not being underground that bothers me as much as being underground without knowing how to get out," she tried to clarify. "I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm the youngest of four siblings... Well, my nearest sibling is Zarina, who is eight years my senior." The normally confident paladin suddenly looked very vulnerable staring into the flames as she began to tell the story.

"My sister was at a...difficult age...when I was six years old, and she very much resented the attention I received from my parents. One day she took me to an old sepulcher on the edge of our lands. It wasn't my family's tomb actually," she explained. "It belonged to a family that once owned part of the lands my parents now hold. Anyway, I don't remember how she convinced me to go down there, but I trusted her and went down first then Zarina shut the door behind me and barred it.

"It was daytime, so I could see the light peeking through the cracks around the door and at first I was okay, but somehow I slipped on the stairs and hit my head against the stone. When I came to, it was completely dark and I got turned around in there somehow and ended up stumbling around in the blackness in the maze of corridors and corpses. My sister didn't tell my parents where I was until the next evening, and by that time I was quite traumatized.

"I was never in any true danger," Darya smiled half-heartedly, "but for some reason that silly little incident sticks with me to this day."

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Torin Dourguard

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri May 14, 2010 2:10 am

"A cruel trick." the dwarf stated disapprovingly. "If it'd been my family... she wouldn't have been able to sit for a ten day at least."

Her story was different, but similair to others he'd heard in the past. "I've seen that look before... at the time I thought it may be a 'Lathander' thing... Ye just go a bit a mad without seeing the sun or somethin'. Seemed a bit daft to me... but to each his own. Cleander was havin' problems of his own.

"Yer story though sounds a bit familiar. Happens to dwarves every once in a while. The fear of the deep dark..." He was quiet as his mind drifted back through the years. "There was one I remember. One of the weaker mines collapsed... They probably should have shut it down, but the veins were to rich... Someone decided it was worth the risk. Collapsed one night with a dozen good dwarves down there..."

Now it was his turn to poke the embers of the fire back to life, "Happened when I was still beardless, but me father told me it took a good week to dig back down to them. Only one made it back out... never went back to the mines again... Got that weird panicy look in his eyes whenever anyone suggested it.

"I didn't know him when he was legitimate miner... By my time he spent all of his time in the city proper, and most of that in the tavern." The bitterness was evident in his voice. "Dwarves don't normally tolerate those who don't... fill their spot in society. Ain't known much for pity either, but with him it was different. He became a broken shell of a dwarf. Let his fears ruin his life..."
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri May 14, 2010 1:47 pm

The woman nodded sadly after Torin finished the tale. "It would be a terrible thing to be trapped with your friends and have to watch them die slowly...unable to do anything to help... I'm fortunate that my own story isn't as tragic!

"Hopefully next time we head down into the earth looking for those orcs, I'll be prepared... I thought I would have grown out of that old, irrational fear by now, but apparently I've some more work to do! I certainly don't want to disappoint you by not filling my place in society," she smiled at the dwarf.

The paladin realized at that point that she would likely have to rely heavily on Torin and Shobe's instincts down in the depths. She may not know Torin well, but she knew that he was honorable, trustworthy and as a dwarf, had considerable skill underground. Shobe had his secrets as well, but in all fairness he had just joined the Fellowship (though not in so many words), and had yet to really get to know any of them. She hoped that Turelve would be a chance for them all to grow closer as a unit, but with so many differing personalities she knew that it wouldn't be without considerable effort.

"And it's not a 'Lathander thing'," Darya grinned and laughed aloud at Torin's initial rational of her issue, "though I'm not sure what a priest would do if they couldn't tell when the Dawn came! I can see that driving some of them a little batty...

"Actually," she began in a more serious tone, "how is it that dwarves tell time down there? How do you keep track of the days?

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Torin Dourguard

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri May 14, 2010 7:10 pm

The priest echoed her laughter. He was convinced now Lady Darya would be fine. He'd been a little concerned about all of them, himself included. After the horrors of the keep, and then her reactions underground... He was afraid something had broken in her. Understandable... He'd been there with her cleaning the altar room, and the realization of the depravities that humans can commit against each other... still made his bones shiver.

"Well... We can tell time just fine, don't ye be doubtin'." the dwarf answered her simple question. We've got priestly magic, we know exactly how long it takes to make somethin' at the forge. Some even have fancy clocks run on water...

"Difference is, time don't mean a whole lot to dwarves. No day, no night to govern how ye behave... Ye put in yer shift, get some rest, and be back when ye wake." Naturally the dwarf had heard about the sun, and night and day and all the rest... but it had still come as a culture shock how business's all shut when the sun went down, and everyone slept at the same time. Sheer madness.

"Underground, all the time is the same. Attacks can come 'day' or 'night' so yer always ready. If ye looked around the dwarven cities I think ye'd be surprised that come dawn or the dead of night... the same stuff's goin' on."
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Sun May 16, 2010 12:57 am

The thought of no sun...ever, sent an involuntary chill down the woman's spine. She wondered if it would ever be possible for someone who had grown up with the beauty of the sun to live a productive and insanity-free life down in the dark caverns. On the other side of the coin, would it ever be possible for someone who had grown up with the beauty beneath the earth to live a productive and insanity-free life above the ground, under the open sky and blazing ball of fire that governed the day?

That's exactly what Torin was doing, and in spite of all his grumbling, he was doing a remarkable job of it! If the dwarf could hold it together up here, she decided, she could hold it together down there!

"So...before you were sent up here," she started, raising an inquisitive eyebrow at the dwarf, "you'd never never seen the sun before? I must imagine you're especially looking forward to hunting down these subterranian orcs!"

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Torin Dourguard

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun May 16, 2010 11:30 am

"Seen it meself.... Nope!" The dwarf chuckled. "Now, dwarves ain't fools or nothin'... We knew it was there! Some of the elders had seen it before, so I was told what to expect... Bigger than I thought though...

"I figured it be like a bright lamp or sumthin'. Maybe a big torch... Ain't though! Way to bright! Ain't knowin' how ye can like somethin' so much that ye can't look straight at!"

The dwarf leaned back and stared up at the night sky. "Ain't overly fond of that thing either..." He said as he pointed toward the moon. "Nights are better... Those... 'stars' almost make it seem like your in a big cave of diamonds and gems..." The dwarf added wistfully, "The kind of places dwarves dream of!"

He fell silent for a moment as he just watched the sky. "Course... the moon throws the illusion off. Way too much wind too... Ye feel a breeze like this in a cave, then ye ain't exactly 'alone'...."

Torin wasn't used to talking this much. Wasn't really used to people listening either. "Maybe ye should try that next time the dark's makin ye twitchy... Imagine ye'r just outside in the dark... Ye ain't never had a problem with outside on a cloudy night"
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Re: Bound for Turelve: The Land Lubbers

Post  Wynnsaren on Sun May 16, 2010 2:36 pm

Torin wrote:"Ain't knowin' how ye can like somethin' so much that ye can't look straight at!"

Darya couldn't help the fierce blush that rose to her cheeks at the dwarf's comment, and she lowered her eyes, fiddling with her hands a bit as he continued. While it was true that she had that issue with the sun, she also had that issue with someone in particular!

"That's a good idea," she responded to his final remarks after clearing her throat, "imagining that I'm just outside at night! I will definitely have to try that next time, thanks!"

The paladin smiled and looked around the campfire.

"Anyone else have any stories to share from home and hearth?"

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Jayashree Anjuli

Post  WoTmaster on Sun May 16, 2010 3:59 pm

Jaya had been listening to the haunting and tragic tales told around the fire. She had known of Nas's past, just not in this much detail. Something about hearing it from him made it so much more real. She hurt for him and couldn't imagine witnessing that as a child. She'd at least been an adult when she... left. She was glad that Nas had been spared the pain of killing someone he loved, Jaya knew that pain all too well.

"Nas, you know me well and therefore I know that you will hear me when I tell you I am truly sorry for your pain, but glad that the pain of killing those you love has been spared you, at least thus far." She smiled at him and saw his barely perceptible nod in recognition.

"Torin, you are truly brave to come up here and face a whole world that is different from everything you know! I left my home and family, but at least the lands I travel bear strong resemblance to what I am familiar with. I cannot imagine how strange you must find it here!

"I will help both of you with whatever you need to the best of my abilities!" Jaya paused a minute, she still wasn't sure what she could say about her family without putting everyone in danger.

"Like Lady Darya I am also the youngest of my family. I am the eighth child born to great merchants Bruleaf and Lilybright Anjuli. My brothers and sisters all grew to help the family with the business. I was sent away for a different education... After my schooling I lived with my "uncle", one of my father's closest friends, for awhile and it was after my uncle's death that I left home. I don't have many memories of my family from my childhood as most of it was spent away from them. I always wanted to be part of the family business, to "fit in" but after my uncle's death it became clear to me that I never would. So I left.

"I am fairly sure my family is probably looking for me, but I never want to return to them, so I would appreciate it if anyone comes looking or asking for me you would let me know and direct them elsewhere." She looked at Lady Darya then continued, "I'm not asking you to lie! Just please don't answer them! It could mean my life!" she pleaded.
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Mon May 17, 2010 12:09 am

The paladin chuckled and shook her head slightly at Jayashree's concern for her dedication to the truth. It would likely take many more months of travel with these companions for some of them to understand. If they cared to that is.

"Have no fear, my friend," she smiled at the halfling, hoping to ease her worry. "There is a big difference between telling the truth and telling everything you know to anyone who asks. Though I will never lie, I can always decline to speak or withhold vital information if necessary.

"If someone means you evil, I would never give them information that could bring that evil to fruition!"

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Jayashree Anjuli

Post  WoTmaster on Mon May 17, 2010 12:48 am

Jaya nodded at Lady Darya. "Thank you. It means a great deal to me. While they may or may not mean to do evil to me, the result of me being back with them, in that life... well, they would use me to no good purposes. They would wish for me to do things... things that I... I have sworn not to do ever again. They would make me be forsworn. I.... It is better if I never return to them." her voice tapered off as she spoke till it was barely a whisper on the wind.

She looked up around at the faces of those she trusted. She hoped she hadn't scared them. Perhaps she'd said too much, more than she'd intended.

"I don't mean for you to think my family is evil or anything. My childhood was a happy one! Everything was wonderful and happy until my uncle's... passing. It would just never be that way again is all." Jaya lowered her face and looked down, she could feel gazes on her and hated being the center of attention. She could feel her cheeks flushing under what she perceived as their scrutiny.

"So, what were all of your childhoods like? Did you grow up with family? Were any of you sent away for training like I was?"
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