Bryn y Ellyllon (The Gate of Norvegr)

Discussion in 'The Grey Alliance' started by bloodfiredeath, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain 如朱

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    *Ray kept silent and stared for a minute* call me Ray...*notices Blood's gaze and knows what he's thinking about* alright...it seems that I am Ray Malvia Captain of the Grey Alliance and I am a loner by heart but these twits drug me along
     
  2. Wolf

    Wolf Professor Nick Cutter.

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    Mauthair glares at Ray with an expression of anger, but speaks no words as yet. Soon he turns back to Drey, and utters;

    "There are other wolves who travel by me that have not as yet learnt the words other than their own, and therefore I will speak for them; Founeraun is a messenger of the pack, Geountu and Geoceal are young brothers who are taking their first steps as watchers and warriors, Heofoma, Fealuniau, Naufrini and Saelohye are fellow councellors of the Alliance, Ryenyri is a traveller, but common presence in our homeland, and finally Dyorvih, whose life was saved long ago, and now walks here. Lead on friend Drey, for we are eager to speak with your peoples and discuss these concerning matters".
     
  3. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    Bloued noted the controlled anger in Mauthairs stare and acknowledged him with a curt nod. Now was definitely not the time for petty jealously’s and dissent in the ranks. Perhaps it was a mistake to bring Ray, but his skills may prove invaluable if he managed to keep his anger under control.
    Drey and his two companions exchanged worried looks over the course of events. But Wolfs words and Mauthairs stern fatherly gaze compelled them to believe that all was well within the Alliance.
    Drey motioned to a large dark bearded goblin with a large battleaxe on his left.
    “This is Svatr Skeggjadr, Warmaster of our clan”. The goblin grunted something and nodded, then deftly hoisted his mighty battleaxe onto his shoulder and moved off into the dense undergrowth of left side of the forest path.
    Drey grimaced at the giants grunt, then regained his composure and put his hand on the shoulder of his other companion.
    “And this one here, is Myrkr Stjarna, my younger cousin and loyal friend” He said with a jovial grin. The shorter swarthy beardless goblin grinned back at Drey.
    “All you hear from him about me is lies, It seems to stem from his jealousy of me being graced with such a handsome face and a natural gift for the ladies”
    Drey laughed heartily at this and clapped him on the back.
    “Not what old Jarno’s widow said, when she caught you hiding under her daughters bed, cousin!” And with that pushed him off to the right hand side of the path. Moments later the goblin had melded into the forest, and seemed to have disappeared like smoke in the wind.
    “He may be full of himself, but he is the best pathfinder in our clan. No one tracks better than Myrkr. Come my friends we head North, soon you will be in our halls feasting and celebrating with your Northern kindred. Our King Grimmr Gullhyrnder will be eagerly awaiting our presence”.
    The goblin abruptly turned and began to head northward along the path. Bloued and the rest of the pack looked at Mauthair and Wolf, as to what they thought of these strange yet kindly creatures.
     
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Professor Nick Cutter.

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    Wolf looks at Mauthair, smiling jovially for amusement at the goblin's conversation. Mauthair returns the smile, and resists the urge to laugh. "Let us follow, friends, for this comedy is rare, I think. It will help to rally our spirits for what awaits us later, which I am certain will not bring us such merriment. Come. If you look for inspiration in your journey, then think of feasting, and your stomachs will tell you thus!"
     
  5. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Lyanna quickly stifles a sudden laugh at the Goblin's antics. She pads confidently to the edge of the forest, following Myrkr with her nose as she cannot see him. 'Come!' she calls to the others. 'We must not allow our guide to get too far ahead of us or we will not find him again.'
     
  6. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    The pack moved forward as one careful not to lose track of their Goblin guide. The dark gloominess of the forest slowly began to recede into a sparsely covered rocky landscape that Bloued recognised from his first foray into this foreign realm.
    However instead of continuing North along the road, their guides headed east towards a distant grey mountain range.
    Drey turned to the pack with a jovial grin and exclaimed “Fear not my southron brethren, for in the distance you can see our lands, which to one and all is known as Fjall Skaliheim. Which in your tongue is Mountain hall home. The last stronghold of our race in the Land. Since the dawn of our people has it stood, impervious to all who seek to vanquish us. By sundown we should be in its hall’s feasting and rejoicing in safety with happy hearts and thankful wishes”.
    The goblin shuddered as he said the last words, and it seemed to Bloued that his gaze fell beyond them to the North and the happiness was tainted by fear. Mauthair’s thoughts pulsed through the pack.
    “It seems that something is amiss in these lands, a great fear hangs over these people like a dark cloud. We must hasten to their home and seek counsel with the King Grimmr Gullhyrnder”.
    Mauthair looked at the Goblin and spoke.
    “My friend, we are grateful for your guidance and wish to speak with your elders as soon as possible, do you mind if we run for a bit, as it is the wolvish way?”
    Drey looked at Mauthair, with what looked like a sense of relief, and said.
    “Friends, it would be an honour to run with pack, and a relief, as I feared we may not make it into the hills by dusk”.
    His grin returned, though strained as if debating whether to mention something, he then hastily added, “As I would hate to miss any of the celebrations tonight”.
    He looked to the other two goblins ranging in front of them and yelled.
    “Skjotr! Fullr fet! Nott skjott nalgask!” Within seconds the two pathfinders broke into a run, closely followed by Drey.
    Mauthair turned and grinned and broke into a run, with the pack close on his heels.
    Bloued turned to look at Ray, and said “Diplomacy, works better than anger and unkind words!” whilst others in the pack lolled their tongues in wolvish laughter.
     
  7. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    For a while the pack run as if as one with their new, if not unknown kindred from the north. Behind the sun slowly sank to the horizon, casting a blood red hue over the countryside. A couple of the wiser wolves looked toward Mauthair for guidance to this unknown happening.
    Mauthair’s thoughts ran openly to the pack. “I know that in our land Red sky at night forebodes evil afoot and bloodletting of some description; But fear not my Kindred, this is not our land and its ways are still but foreign to us! Chances are that it has a different meaning here”.
    A few of the older, wiser members of the pack glanced at each other, and a glimmer of fear ran through the group, for there was no Great cave in this realm to shelter in, shielded by the ancients spells.
    As if on cue, the Goblins felt the fear and began to pick up the pace. The pack began to notice the furtive glances thrown to the North by the Goblins as the night closed in, and a grim foreboding grew amongst the group.
    Suddenly the sparse landscape of twisted gnarled growth gave way to a series of rocky outcrops that signified the beginning of the Mountain range. The group passed a weather beaten rock standing nearly 10 foot tall, with curious markings on it. Mauthairs thoughts echoed through the pack.
    “That particular stone, seems to bear similar script to the old texts of our kind, perhaps it is a boundary of some kind?”
    As if on cue the Goblins slowed their pace, and a sense of relief was evident on their broad faces. Haltingly, as if not to cause alarm to the pack they stopped to catch their breath. Drey looked at the wolves with a wry grin and between gasps stammered out a few lines.
    “We Goblins are not used to the pace of your packs! Too much of the soft life.” As he said this he glanced in the direction of his cousin, who stood panting nearby.
    Myrkr grinned grimly at his blood, and murmured.
    “Some of us are made to be lovers, not fighters! Especially one as handsome as I Cousin, who obviously took all the good looks in the family!” And with a laugh he continued up the path laughing inanely to himself, as if he had diced with death and won. The other Goblin, Svatr looked at him with a mask of disgust and muttered something under his breath and headed off, careful to stay the opposite side of the track.
    A few of the pack noticed the looks between the two goblins, and glanced at each other. Mauthair’s thoughts raced through the pack.
    “There seems to be some bad blood amongst our new friends, but fear not! I believe it to be trivial in relation to what else seems to haunt this realm”.
    Behind the group the long shadows of night began to fall over the plain, and a thin keening sound could be heard in the distance. It slowly echoed over the valley and up to the pack, reverberating from the cold grey stone of the mountain range. As in response the wind picked up and a bitter chill swept through the travellers.
    The Goblins halted as one, and Bloued imagined he saw the three guides shiver. He tested the air, and sensed a twinge of fear, intermingled with hatred emanating from the Goblins.
    Drey turned to the pack and whispered, “Shadow riders”. His face was set in grim determination, but the mask slipped enough for the wolves to sense a glimmer of distress in his words.
    He looked beyond the pack to the darkened plain, as if searching for something. He looked back to Mauthair and continued.
    “Wise one. I know there are a number of answers you seek about our race and this realm. Especially about such things as what is on the plains this night. However even though the marker we passed gives us relative safety, there are creatures that haunt the dark that will pay scant attention to such boundaries, for they are driven by an insatiable hunger that only the power and strength of our holdfast that prevent. It will be wise if we keep moving before the night is fully upon us and their power is at its peak. I promise that all will be revealed by the elders at Fjall Skaliheim. For such answers are not for one such as I to give”.
    With that the goblins continued with a newfound sense of urgency. The pack as one leapt after them, not wanting to be left in the growing darkness.
     
  8. Wolf

    Wolf Professor Nick Cutter.

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    The thought of shadow riders caused a feeling that was familiar for those who had seen much of conflict beforehand. Creatures that copied the wolf's own tactics through the hidden and watchful approach were ones to reckon with, but there was a feeling that because the riders there schemed in shadow, there may be an element of outwitting on the wolves part that could be used in the future. But this would need to wait, as all began to close in on Fjall Skaliheim from a haste tinted with urgency, eagerness now rife within them all that soon they would be amongst the council of elders and deciding what must be done.
     
  9. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    The pack suddenly entered a large ravine, with high sides topped with ominous towers. The path through the ravine twisted from left to right around large staked ditches, which clearly showed that an attacking force would be bled heavily on its approach.
    The Goblins halted in front of a huge pair of iron clad heavy oaken doors, and bellowed a challenge.
    Despite their immense size the doors swung open silently and swiftly, and the intrepid travellers entered. Bloued paused before entering, turning his head to the darkness behind them. Faintly in the distance he heard the strange keening noise again, and imagined that he saw slight movements in the inky blackness behind them.
    Once inside the gates, the pack found itself inside a long tunnel. The darkened arrow slits and murder holes made it all the more ominous. The Goblins motioned to the pack to continue, and scurried ahead.
    Once at the end of the tunnel, they emerged into a huge open yard, filled with similar ditches to the initial entrance, however this area sloped upward to a massive citadel, whose towers reached up beyond even the keenest of the wolves eyes to the night sky.
    Myrkr turned to the pack and beamed proudly as he exclaimed.
    “Behold the power and majesty, that is Fjall Skaliheim, home of our people. The high seat of our King Grimmr Gullhyrnder, Protector of the Southern realm and Warmaster of the Goblins”.
    The mighty gates of the citadel swung open and the party entered to the sounds of merriment and celebration.
     
  10. HumanInfiltrator

    HumanInfiltrator The Book club lady

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    I look around me not in fear or awe but calculating, this could be a well laid trap one that would be hard to escape from. I move so that I am once more next to Bloued, my friend. Ready to face whatever my come my way.
     
  11. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    I flank Bloued on the other side, sensing the tension of my packmate. However, no danger is evident as I look around at the goblins celebrating around us. On a raised dais, I see the venerable King of the Goblins who rises as we enter and addresses us:
     
  12. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    All sounds of merriment dwindled into silence and a hush fell over the room, as all eyes swung to look at the pack.
    Curious children peered from behind their elders at the strange procession entering the hall. Elsewhere looks ranged from wary to openly hostile, as it became evident that strangers were not usually welcome in this place.
    On the dais Grimmr Gullhyrnder rose to his imposing full height of roughly seven foot. In one mighty hand he gripped a ceremonial goblet, emblazoned with the runic language of his people. The other hand rested on the haft of a tall obviously well used warhammer.
    Despite his bulk, he had a sinewy, gauntness to his body, and the only sign of healthiness was his lush red beard, flecked with tinges of grey. His red, sweaty face belied the fact of wine mixed with illness had robbed him of his natural strength. This detail was supported by the bloodstained bandages covered the left of his body. Despite his obvious pain and fatigue, his eyes shone with an almost fervent desire, to, which end, was yet to be explained.
    Three times he thumped the head of his warhammer on the floor, till all eyes in the great hall were intently focused on him. Only then did he speak.
    “Well met, ancient brothers” he boomed, his deep resonant voice echoing through the hall, in deep contrast to his weakened state.
    “I bid you welcome to our hall, and ask you break bread with me”
    Unsteadily he put down the goblet and picked up a loaf and held it outstretched before him, all the time his eyes never leaving the pack.
    Mauthair slowly edged forward, and grasped part of the offered bread and carefully broke it in his powerful jaws.
    As if a spell had been broken by this gesture the hall erupted in cheers and heartfelt celebration, and the merriment continued.
    Grimmr motioned for the pack to join him near the dais and the audience with the Goblin king began.
     
  13. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    With pain evident in both his speech and movements, the Goblin king spoke to the pack quietly, yet with an authoritative tone in his voice. This fact made it evident to all in hearing that this was a being used to leading and brokered no questions to his rule.
    A flash of warning pulsed from Mauthair through the pack.
    “Tred carefully, my brothers, for we know not what is in the heart of this creature. Be it ill for our alliance, we will have establish the fact. Though my heart tells me otherwise!”.
    The Goblin king stared hard at wise Mauthair as if sensing his trepidation, and then he spoke.
    “I bear no ill will against our southron brothers, our need is greater than yours. But heed this, if we fail your kind will surely suffer the same fate. Ask now what you will of me, and I promise by the Elder gods of our kind that all answers will ring true………I am sure you have plenty of questions to tax what strength I have left”.
    With that he sat back into his throne with a grunt of pain and waited for the onslaught of questions we all so heartily desired to be answered.
     
  14. HumanInfiltrator

    HumanInfiltrator The Book club lady

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    As we wait for the discussion to start I turn my eyes to the rest of the hall. This wounded king holds no direct threat to the pack but the dark corners of this strange place might. I study the faces around us, most turned to merriment and food. Some staring in open animosity others glaring out of the corners of their eyes with dark emotion.

    There are many wounded and few young ones. The men look grim and the women overly cheerful. In the air, under the bold tones of food, warmth and goblin bodies hangs the sour scent of fear, seemingly embedded into the very walls.

    What ever is wrong in this place, it is not new, and it is powerful.
     
  15. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Meanwhile, back at the gate, two wolves emerge from the gate into the forest. The first wolf to emerge is one already known to the pack as Ray; the second to emerge is an unknown, a white wolf who has yet to meet much of the pack. The two wolves mill around the gate, the white one sniffing and glancing this way and that way, clearly confused and waiting for Ray to lead the way to the rest of the pack.
     
  16. Soylent Green

    Soylent Green Threadkiller

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    In the hall, Glaeridian pondered the Goblin King’s request to be questioned and watched Mauthair eye the discontent in the crowd. Although new to the Pack, she sensed the wise one feeling agitation amongst the throng of Goblin men and a palpable disturbance in the surroundings that was clearly mysterious and that belied the merriment and frivolity. Glaeridian glanced discreetly at the king. Grimmr was staring fiercely at the Pack, waiting for the onslaught of questions, but the slight wincing of the eyes and subtle grimace spoke volumes to her: the King was in a great deal of pain, and perhaps not long for this world. An overwhelming sense of forboding settled upon Glaeridian. She had been privy to many dealings with the Goblin lowlings over her days as a lone wolf. Many were disgruntled with the King’s decision to sequester their harvests at minimal return for the war effort while the highmarks continued to profit from the high rents they charged the lowlings. On many occasions, Glaeridian had heard shadowspeak of insurrection. King Grimmr was a strong and mighty individual, powerful enough to instill loyalty amongst his kind, but he relied heavily on the support of the nobility. She knew that a Goblin King weakened by injury could not prevent a schism forming in Goblin society, and was convinced that this could only end in all out civil war. It did not bear well for the Grey Alliance to be caught in the middle of this. It meant that to ensure safe passage through Fjall Skaliheim, the Pack would need to be very careful about the alliances they formed. It was an unwelcome complication.
    “Well?” said King Grimmr, watching the goblet as he raised it to his mouth with some effort, “I am waiting!”
    Glaeridian knew all of the concerns that the Grey Alliance had up to this point were now irrelevant. All bets were off, and there was only one question that needed to be asked. Mauthair, sensing this, nodded to her. With a backwards step, he motioned for Glaeridian to approach the dais.
    She respectfully moved forward and sat on her haunches. “Great King Grimmr Gullhyrnder, Protector of the Southern realm and Warmaster of the Goblins, my name is Glaeridian, and we, the Grey Alliance, lead by the wise and great Mauthair, humbly offer our eternal thanks to you and your kind for granting us this auspicious audience and sanctuary in this, your most sacred hall.”
    Glaeridian ignored the muttering and looks of distain on the faces of the highmarks the King had chosen to dine with him, but Grimmr did not.
    “Silence!” he boomed, and immediately grimaced with pain. “I will not have you interrupting our wolf allies!” He shook his head in frustration as an overzealous noble tried to tend to his wounds by way of contrition. “Get away! Get away!” he bellowed in an irritated tone and turned to look at Glaridian. “Continue, wolf.”
    “We will not tax you any further, your Grace, as you are in need of proper rest and recuperation. We have but only one question, though I fear that it is a difficult one to answer. Do I have the permission of your Grace to speak frankly?”
    The King let out a frustrated sigh. “By the Elder Gods, wolf, you say you will not tax me any further, yet you seem determined to rob me of the precious little rest I will have tonight! Just get to the point!”
    “Of course, my Grace.” Glaeridian glanced at Mauthair for one last time. The wise one nodded approval, and Glaeridian stood and moved a step forward.
    “Your Grace, can you guarantee the unified loyalty of your people?”
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  17. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    As Glaeridian’s words echoed around the hall, the sounds of merriment fell away to a murmur. All eyes were now intently focused on the conversation on the dais.
    Bloued’s keen eyes swept across the room, taking in the varied expressions, ranging from dismay, anger to open hostility. Here and there stood Goblins with open smirks, or looks of self satisfaction on their faces. In particular a group of six males in the darkened left most corner of the hall. They stood huddled around one in particular, but the light was to frail to make out his features.
    The King and Glaeridian were locked eye to eye in a unrelenting stare, and the Kings anger was evident by his tightening of his hand on his goblet, and the harsh steeliness of resolve in his fever ridden eyes. Suddenly his grip relaxed, and with it the tension in the hall was lessened. He rose with a new found strength, and in one swift movement raised his warhammer above his head and bellowed.
    “I am Grimmr Gullhyrnder, Protector of the Southern realm and Warmaster of the Goblins,and I stand before you as your liege and friend, and ask of my people the same question. Am I worthy to be your King?”
    A sudden roar of allegiance sprang from most mouths in the hall, and Goblins began to jump up and bang their cups on the trestles whilst chanting his name. Below long every Goblin in the room was on their feet, banging their cups in time and yelling, “Grimmr, Grimmr”.
    The Goblin king lowered his warhammer and looked at Glaeridian, with a mix and arrogance and eagerness, despite his wounds and the tears of happiness openly running down his cheeks, and growled, “Well wolf, is that not enough to sate your impetuous tongue?”.
    Whilst the crowd showed their allegiance to the throne, bloued glanced again at the six Goblins in the left of the hall. The centre one, around who the others were huddled, threw down his goblet with a grimace and strode from the room with the others in tow. Bloued marked him by his movements and garments, for he believed there would come a time when this faction would bode ill for the alliance.
     
  18. Soylent Green

    Soylent Green Threadkiller

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    The crowd eventually settled back into it’s previous incarnation of drunken frivolity.
    Glaeridian met the steely gaze of the Goblin King. Still a force to be reckoned with, even in his feeble condition, she observed with grudging admiration.
    “Your Grace,” Glaeridian said, with uncharacteristic panic, “I sincerely beg your pardon. I did not mean, in any way, to question the love and respect that your people obviously have for you in such measure.” It was not lost on her that her question, however valid, could result in a diplomatic nightmare of immense proportions if she did not find a way to placate Grimmr, and soon. She sensed her leader, Mauthair, shuffling with unease from haunch to haunch, obvious in her displeasure with The Grey Alliance’s newest member. Glaeridian’s question was not what the Wise Leader had anticipated.
    The King raised his arm, poised to answer Glaeridian, but before he could make his reply, he grimaced with searing pain and fell back into the arms of his devoted highmarks.
    One of them, in a state of disarray, shouted tersely, “I hereby mark the end of these celebrations,” a hint of alarm worming it’s way into the cadence of his voice, bringing with it a formality that was quite un-Goblin like. “Kindly make your way back to your dwellings! And you,” he spat at Glaeridian with venom, “you would be wise to make yourself scarce,” the formality was gone, replaced by malevolence, “if you know what is good for you!” The Highmark retreated with the pitifully protesting King to his antechamber.
    Glaeridian, with much embarrassment, made her way through the hall with the Goblin lowlings, who were bitching and moaning about the end of their festivities, some giving her openly hostile looks. Blessed relief came outside the hall in the form of fresh air and shadow to lurk within. Mauthair, façade as dark as ever, gave Glaeridian an anger-charged look that was loaded with meaning.
    “Fix it!” Mauthair snarled, “I had expected more from you, diplomat!’ With that, Mauthair stalked off.
    Glaeridian was supremely angry with herself, her judgment. She had, in one fell swoop, disappointed the wise and understanding Mauthair, not an easy feat. It had seemed like the right thing to ask, for the natural good of the Grey Alliance, for the good of the Goblin Society. She was a skilled negotiator, no doubt about that. How could she have misread the situation so badly?
    She carefully surveyed her surroundings. She was placed just outside the hall. Some of the Goblin lowlings were saying their farewells and parting ways. Others had formed drunken parties, trying to better each other’s intoxicated hijinx. As Glaeridian sullenly made her way to the gates of the compound, she couldn’t but notice the fervent couplings of young Goblins in the shadowed crevasses of the compound. Even averting her eyes seemed to have no effect.
    She watched the mainstay of the lowling Goblins make their way back to their homes.
    Deep in thought, she did not notice the presence of Bloued beside her. He sat upon his haunches and regarded her in a most familiar fashion.
    “Glaeridian, my friend, you did what was needed to be done. You said what was needed to be said. Our esteemed leader might not realize it as yet, but you have set the wheels in motion that for what we have been waiting for.” His frankness startled her.
    Although she felt the discomfort of familiarity, she wished she shared his sentiments.
    All Glaeridian wanted to was find herself a nice secluded hollow and sleep until the nights events were a distant memory. However, before she could retreat to the shadows of the great hall, Bloued, still lingering beside her, was approached by one of the pack who had been loitering around the gates of the compound.
    “Ray,” Bloued said, “Why are you not standing sentry at the Hall gates with King Grimmr’s Kingsguard?”
    “Bloued, my friend” Ray jovially said, gesturing to an untrustworthy looking white wolf staring at Bloued ”let me introduce you to my white furred friend. It seems he has all the answers…….”
     
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  19. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    Bloued turned from Glaeridian to contemplate the interruption from this personal moment by the newcomers.
    Ray stood warily as if hiding something, but his companion stood poised, as if debating to strike or not. The white wolf’s jaw seemed to be fixed in a permanent sneer.
    Bloued turned back to Glaeridian and he spoke.
    “Excuse me, pack sister! But it appears there are matters much more pressing at this time. I will continue our conversation at a later time. Remember; do not dwell on that which has been already done. Look to the future of both yourself and the pack, and trust in your instincts, they have already served both you and the pack well. Fare thee well pale sister, and I shall see you on the morrow.
    Noticing the tone of dismissal in his voice, Glaeridian turned and headed off into the long shadows of the keep.
    Bloued turned to Ray and the white wolf and locked eyes with them and spoke in a low tone twinged with anger.
    “So what is it that is important enough to warrant such an invasion of my private conversation with a fellow pack member?”
    The White wolf’s arrogant grin faded under the austere stare of Bloued. He looked hesitantly at Ray before finding some inner strength deep within as he tried to return the stare. But it was Ray who spoke first in a tone of unrepented ness.
    “Forgive us Bloued, but this is important. My new friend here has quite the tale, which I believe may explain the lay of the land better than what these so called friends of ours here have told us thus far”.
    Bloued noted the racist anger in his voice, and it was evident by the way he spat out the term friends in relation to the Goblins, that he had already made up his mind on what he believed their race was.
    Bloued turned back to the white wolf and spoke.
    “So friend, it is obvious of what Ray thinks of our new friends, so pray tell, do you believe as he does?”
    The white wolf locked eyes with Bloued for a minute then broke away and sighed.
    “It is not a black and white matter to be honest. I am not sure whether they truly carry any malice towards our kind in their hearts, well most of them anyway. But I have a story to tell you, of what truly plagues this land and how things have come to pass. And if you bear with me I shall endeavour to explain all, and why the goblin kind cannot be trusted”.
    Bloued looked at the white wolf with a renewed interest. Maybe, he thought, just maybe underlying the bigotry and aeons old racial hatred there may well be a grain of truth. The sly looking white wolf could hold some information of value to the pack, or it could be an elaborate ruse to break the already tenuous ties with their newfound allies. After a minute or two of thought he spoke again to the white wolf.
    “Alright, tell me of what has befallen these lands. But first! What is your name?”
    The white wolf raised his head and with great pride responded.
    “The goblin folk call me Askeburdr, which translates as Born of ashes. I was not named in the tongue of my kind due to the destruction of our home before my name day. However the few remaining of the pack who brought me here know me as Jor, which is a combination of Goblin and our kinds slang for Life”.
    Bloued nodded his head and spoke softly.
    “Jor, I am sorry for the loss of your pack. The death of one of our kind is a dagger in the heart of all, but the loss of a pack is beyond sorrow. I mourn for all that have gone before us”.
    Jor looked up with an expression of anger on his face.
    “What would you know of sorrow? When I said destruction, I meant annihilation of our kind. There are none left beyond these walls! What’s out there is not wolven any more, but twisted and corrupt. I am all that remains! The others here of our kind number but three, and all are old and soon will pass over. I am what is left of our kind in this realm! There are no more!”
    With that burst of pent up anger and helplessness, he hung his head and sobbed.
    Bloued turned to Ray and said.
    ‘Time for you to go. Jor and myself have much to talk about, and your presence will not help matters”.
    Ray glared at Bloued but slowly backed away and melted into the night.
    Bloued turned his head to the weeping white wolf and gently said.
    “Little one. I cannot take away the pain of loss or the weight of being the last of ones kind. But know this, you are not alone anymore. The pack is life, and I grant you entry to our pack. But remember this we are not like others, our mission is singular, all personal pride and prejudices must be waylaid. There is but one true way, and that is our upmost goal. Do you accept?”
    The white wolf raised his head and regained his composure and whispered.
    “Yes, I accept”.
    Bloued nodded and spoke again.
    “Now you are reborn into our pack, and now shall I rename you. From henceforth you are to be known as New Hope, or in the tongue of our hosts Nyrvan. Do you accept this name and the responsibilities of the pack?”
    The white wolf gazed into Bloued eyes and nodded, and then shuddered as he felt the weight of solitude lift from him and the consciousness of the pack filled his mind and soul.
    “Wha..What was that?” he stammered in awe.
    Bloued grinned and said.
    ‘That my new friend, was a welcome from all of us in the pack, see we are all linked as one subconsciously. We are one so to speak, and that is our greatest strength”.
    Nyrvan looked at Bloued in wonderment, and shook his head.
    “I have never felt so loved, and valued! This truly is extraordinary. The Ancient ones spoke of such unison amongst the packs, but it hasn’t been witnessed in a millennia till know. Thank you pack brothers!”.
    Both Bloued’s and Nyrvans minds reeled under the wave of emotion from the pack, as they individually, but as one welcomed their newest member.
    After the initial welcomes and congratulations slowly faded out as the pack went back about its business at hand, Nyrvan fixed Bloued with a steely, yet slightly sad expression and whispered.
    “Now my new pack brother, it is time for me to tell you of what befell our kind, and indeed many other races in this realm”.
    Bloued slowly nodded, and sat back on is haunches as Nyrvan began his tale.
    “I believe that I am the last of my kind. When I say last, I mean the last untouched by the darkness that has swept across this land in recent years.
    I was born in the furthermost Northern settlement of our kind. Our pack resided in what was once known as the Ulfrvedrskogr, or in our tongue Wood of the Winter Wolves. This was a place of great power, and our Shamans practised the old ways of worship to the gods of the forest to protect us. Beyond the wood was grassland that stretched for two days walk. At the end of this grassland was a mountain range, reaching as high and as far as the eye could see. Our Shamans rarely spoke of it, and the elders frowned upon all talk of it. Even the forest gods who had protected us for time immemorial were afraid of something that was beyond it. It was a place to be feared and avoided at all cost. The elders even went as far as to place a prohibition of even going into its shadows, due to the fear of some power hidden there waiting for the unsuspecting. It was known to the pack as the Mountains of shadow. I remember us younglings of the pack being told awful stories by the older wolves of “Lurkers” that waited in the shadows at the base of the mountains for the unwary, and then taking them or worse. It was a common bedtime scary story for all of us. However every so often one of the pack would venture too far and never be see again, though sometimes the most horrendous screams of pain would echo back to the wood”
    Nyrvan shivered involuntary and looked at Bloued.
    “Much of which I tell you from here on in is hazy to say the least, as I was but a young pup at the time, and there are things I tend to block out of my memory. However the older of the pack that brought me here have told me of the events of that time in more detail. They say it should not be forgotten, and passed on as a warning to all who follow. There are things that should not be forgotten again, they say”.
    Nyrvan looked at Bloued as if waiting for acceptance of his explanation of the way of the Northern wolf pack.
    Bloued nodded and said with conviction.
    “You are right young one, the elders have long passed lore from generation to generation to preserve the way of the pack. However as we tell others of our story, we must not let personal opinion cloud history, some things should not be corrupted for personal gain or advancement. We must learn from our forebears, even if it means telling of mistakes made and shame brought upon our pack. Continue, Nyrvan”.
    The young wolf nodded at Bloued’s words and recommenced his tale.
    “According to the Elder ones, Goblinkind has been quite busy expanding their holding and as their cities and lands grew, they promoted somewhat of an expansionist ideal. Before long we found ourselves seeing more and more of their kind, but the Chieftains of our pack made an accord with the Goblins, so we had an alliance of sorts, I suppose.
    The great Northern Goblin King, known to all as Fleinn Vetrvedr, which is the spear of the winter storm, was a hard taskmaster and greedy by all accounts. His lust for land and gold was beyond reckoning, and his greed pushed his people to first the grasslands, which proved unsustainable for them, and then to the base of the Mountains of shadow. Apparently there were great mining deposits in the foothills.
    At first they began to lose one or two miners every so often, but overtime the losses became greater. One winter they lost the inhabitants of a whole settlement, amounting to several hundred of their kind. This was the year before my birth, but the stories of the night surrounding this particular loss are now folklore amongst our kind. The elder’s talk of night after night of terrible screams and dark arcane powers shooting into the sky, it is still talked of in hushed tones. The Shamans said this was one of the signs of the awakening, and the beginning of the end for the Northlands.
    Some said, such an enormous offering had aroused the hunger of what was behind the Mountains of shadow, and drew it out.
    King Fleinn Vetrvedr was outraged by the lack of riches forthcoming from the area, and constantly accosted by his subjects about the mysterious losses in the region, which now numbered in the thousands.
    About this time, the elders began to grow restless, and spent most of their time in talks either with each other or the Forest Gods. Plans were made for defense, but the Forest Gods made the Shamans make plans for an exodus of the Old and Young southwards to a safehaven, as if they knew of what was coming.
    I was born on the night of the seventh wintermoon, and some of my best memories are of my siblings and I laying in wait for our father, before he headed out of one of too many council meetings in those days. As he reached the entrance to our abode, we would spring upon him, and he would pretend to be dragged down by our strength, rolling over and letting us nip at him”.
    Nyrvan looked longingly at Bloued again with tears in his eyes and lowered his head and was quiet for a time.
    Bloued gently put his muzzle under Nyrvan’s head and lifted it and whispered.
    “Be strong Nyrvan. Thoughts of what has past are always hard, but remember no matter how hard times may seem. The pack will provide”.
    Nyrvan nodded, and swallowed hard, seeming as he was choking back years of pain and anguish and carried on.
    “They came in force in the late winter, the Goblins that is. The Grand king and his armies rode forth to the grasslands and set camp. There fires could be seen for league upon league, it seemed such a strong force that would prevail. I can remember the haughty arrogant Goblin knights sitting upon the huge Southern Wargs, boasting of this or that. To us it seemed a huge colourful mess, we had never seen so many in one spot, nor had we seen the wargs, which are akin to us but three times our size, and ever so fearful. The only normal side to this seething mass of boastful arrogance was the Goblin outriders, or the Order of the Grey Banner, as they were known.
    They seemed to be men of low means, but cunning and resourceful, more like wolves than Goblins. They were welcome at our hearths, for they were hard, straight talking men, but had a homely side. They were happy to talk of war and tactics for hours, but if a young pup came and sat in their conversations, they tended to grow nostalgic for home and liked to play childish games and even sing and dance, especially after a few drinks. I now sincerely wish more of these kind existed amongst the Goblin hierarchy. There are but few remaining now, as but scattered ashes between the headstrong nobles and their ilk.
    For all this talk of companionship with the Goblin, there was truly naught of it. The Grand King merely had entertainment after entertainment in his Great Pavilion, choosing to not seek counsel of our Shamans or Warriors. He feigned some excuse after another to avoid contact, and so the Elders prepared the young and the old for what was to become known as the Great Trek, or amongst wolves as the Shameful days of blood and sorrow, or Amaelissamr dagr blodovharmr.
    I, in this time was sent south with the young and the frail. So from here in the tale is one of second speech, hearsay from the Elders still alive today”.
    Nyrvan again glanced at Bloued as if seeking to seek forgiveness for the shame of leaving the pack to an uncertain future and surviving.
    Bloued once again nodded at the young wolf and carefully said.
    “There is no place in war for the young or Old, both are the future of a pack. The young through their promise for a future, and the Old for their wisdom to guide the young toward this future”.
    Nyrvan nodded and set his jaw in determination and continued the tale of his pack.
    “According to rumour the Goblin King, decided to advance on the foothills in the region of what was to become known as “The olden way”. Allegedly it was a path as old as time itself that led into the mountains. This area had seen his greatest losses in his kind. The Grand King neglected his outrider’s advice and advanced in force with cavalry only, as the foot soldiers couldn’t keep up. What happened next is merely based on rumour and conjecture only.
    There was a gate at the end of the path, leading directly into the base of a massive mountain. The gate was sealed, but the magic that was keeping it closed was ancient and failing, there was a slight gap around the edges that was allowing something small out.
    One of the Grand Kings Mage’s known as Jord Lundsonr, a fearsome magician in the ways of the earth magic. He alone with his schooling in the old ways, figured out how to open the gate.
    From what I have heard, from the pitifully few survivors of this day, was that with the opening of the gate, they unleashed the darkness that was waiting for aeons.
    Within minutes a host of adversaries from the gate had overwhelmed the cavalry, and any alive ran screaming with madness toward the main host. The Grand King and his mages were all but decimated in the first few moments of the opening. Only The Earth bound mage Jord Lundsonr survived, but apparently was driven mad with the power he encountered and ran blindly off into the grasslands, not to be seen for a time.
    The Grand Kings host under the command of the Order of the Grey Banner to their credit held fast in those first few terrible hours, allowing an orderly retreat to pre determined defence lines.
    However, mere goblins held no sway over the powers from beyond the gate, so any organised defence swiftly gave way to a rout. It was then that the Shamans and Warriors of our pack joined the battle.
    Though tenacious in attack and resilient in defence of their ancestral lands, they could do naught but buy time for the long line of stragglers seeking refuge westward.
    It was here in the first hours of the attack, that my parents lost their lives. First my father leading an attack, then my mother when a breakthrough made it into our enclave”.
    Nyrvan again looked sadly at Bloued and murmured.
    “You do understand, these were hard times for me. Being taken from my loved ones, and then hearing of their fate second hand by strangers. It makes you wonder what really happened to them!”
    Bloued nodded knowingly at the young wolf.
    “I understand my young friend, I too was taken from my pack at a young age. I wandered lost and lonely for years, until I was lucky enough to meet some of my own kind in similar circumstances, and so our alliance was born. But enough of my ramblings. Continue.”
    Nyrvan took a deep breath and carried on with his tale.
    “ I know naught of the battle behind us, save it was a running one of defend for a piece and retreat. The Grand Kings armies were decimated piecemeal in the first few days. The Order of the Grey Banner undertook its own recruiting from the masses of men and material, and gave battle in its own way clandestinely. I have heard they scoured the army for mages to supplement its own ranks. Apparently flesh was but an enticement to the enemy, but Power was the only way of combating it.
    I was told that when the enemy moved, night moved with it. Well at least a shadow. All the lands they took were cast in a perpetual darkness, as if they needed it to survive.
    By the end of winter as the days got longer, and the enemy moved ever so westward, they began to slow.
    On the last day of winter, the Grand Kings capital, Har Himinnlykd fell to the onslaught.
    I cannot tell of that day, we were less than ten leagues west of it, but I still recall the rolling darkness that engulfed the city, and the tens of thousands still within its walls.
    It seemed as if for days there was nothing but tortured screams of anguish echoing off the land. And for a while the darkness stopped and savoured it victory. I shudder to think of what might have befallen the citizens of that fair city.
    However the time the enemy spent in the capital, gave time for the other Goblin lords to raise their banners and march forth to meet the darkness.
    On the first day of spring, naught but a year ago, the entire remaining Goblin realm and its allies including our kind met the shadowed hosts on the plain not a league west of the Grand Kings capital.
    I never witnessed the battle. By this stage I was too far westward. But I have been told that it was nothing short of a slaughter. For three whole days it raged, encompassing the entire realms fighting power against the onslaught of darkness.
    I cant tell you of how it occurred, all I know is that on the third day, the mages of the West used their earth sight to make the sun blaze in summers glory, pushing the darkness back and establishing a boundary of some kind, which still stands today.
    And that now marks the northernmost boundary of our realm, less than four leagues from this Stronghold.
    But it was an ill won victory, our mages were all but consumed by the power they consumed to create the divide, and the night till belongs to the shadow. It is in the dark hours, that the shadows reach grows strong and seeks to pervade our souls and sap our reserve. For this we must be wary, as it night we lose more and more to the ever encroaching night”.
    Bloued looked at the newest member of the pack with renewed respect and nodded.
    “This tale of your pack and its lands is indeed sad, and I thank you for your words and console you on your losses. However I feel there is more to this! Is there not?”
    Nyrvan looked sheepishly at Bloued and nodded slowly.
    “There is a story……..I am loathe to mention it, but there is one surviving amongst our kind who wishes it to be known, much to the chagrin of our hosts. You should talk to him. I cannot tell it properly, but he was there. It relates to our currents hosts brother, and his crossing to the shadow mere hours before the battle was won, when hope seemed lost. Many of our kind were killed as a result of this betrayal and the western flank almost collapsed, and this fact has torn the Goblin alliance apart, and what ever few remaining wolves and wargs left are now reluctant to follow the Goblin Warmasters lead now. It seems as if the darkness is beginning to settle into people’s souls. The kings brother…….”
    The young wolf’s words trailed off into nothing as the sound of footsteps came closer.
    Both Bloued and Nyrvan turned to gaze into the darkness at the figures heading toward them, when a voice rang out in the darkness.
    “Well met Bloued, it is your guide Drey, just in case this infernal gloom has taken your sight! My friends and I were wondering if you might partake of a drink with us in our sergeant’s mess? “.
    Bloued glanced at the young wolf, and pulsed a thought to him.
    “Be quiet my young friend, find the other members of our pack and tell them of these happenings, I will return soon.”
    Bloued turned to Goblins and said jovially.
    “Drey, Old friend, I would be delighted, but my young friend here has another appointment, so he must be off, It’s the kind of thing you don’t need drink for!”
    The goblins all burst into laughter, and it was obvious they were already deep into their cups on this night.
    Drey spoke heartily.
    “Fair enough Wolf, but remember sometimes you need a few drinks, depending on the lass!”
    And with this quip the Goblins all broke into raucous laughter and lead the way to their mess.
    As they headed off Bloued glanced over his shoulder to see Nyrvan heading to where the pack was currently resting.
    Through the corner of his eye he spotted a restless Glaeridian step out of the shadows in which she had been lurking, and follow the young white wolf.
    Bloued chuckled to himself,.Young love! Or was there more to it?


    (Theres more at some stage. lol)
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  20. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    Bloued followed the Goblins through the dark twisted alleyways of the sprawling town beyond the citadel. The darkness of the night was heavy and oppressive, even the slow burning torches located intermittedly along the street seemed lacklustre and ineffective against the encroaching gloom.
    A couple of the Goblins were linked arm in arm, singing a boisterous tune as they walked. The melody seemed strangely familiar to Bloued, but the words were alien.
    He turned his head to look at Drey.
    The Goblin strode along as in a trance, seemingly oblivious to the bitter cold of the night and the effects of alcohol. Bloued regarded the Goblin and chose his opening words carefully.
    “Tell me guide, what is the importance of the song, your comrades are singing?”
    Drey glanced at Bloued for half a minute before replying.
    “That my new friend is a song of our now lessened band of brothers. The words are an ancient call to arms for my order. The two who sing it now, are but a pale remnant of the glory and honour we once held high. Both are newcomers to our order, commissioned on a field of blood, when Goblinkind were few and our enemies were a plenty. Don’t think me wrong, friend. Both are good men when it counts. I just tend to reminisce for the old days after a few drinks.”
    Bloued nodded, and continued.
    ‘The song they sing, it seems familiar, but the words are but a mystery to me!”.
    Drey raised an eyebrow at the wolf and chuckled.
    ‘My dear wolf, perhaps it is but a language barrier. This song is one of the oldest known to our kind. It was, if you believe the stories, taught to us by your kind, who in their day revered blood and battle. In your tongue it sounds like this!

    Stand up and fight!
    May the Ancients magic give you strength.
    Stand up and fight.
    May the wolf inside you, follow the voice of blood, follow the Northern star.
    To the lands where the spirits of your Ancestors, are waiting for you.
    Awake the beast within you!
    Awake the Hunter within you!
    Awake from a long Sleep!
    Nothing can change your nature.
    You were born for war.
    Warriors like you, Die fighting till the last breath.
    Wake up and reach for your heritage! Your Identity!
    War wolf! Rise!

    Bloued looked at Drey as in a trance. Never before had he heard such naked vehemence in song before, yet it seemed so natural, so homely, and he felt lulled by the words.
    Bloued thought to himself, surely his kind had not once been creatures of destruction? As long as he had known the pack had always strived for unity of all, and most certainly acceptance of all, regardless of race or background.
    Somewhere deep in his heart, he felt a new feeling arise. It was not one of acceptance or love of all races, but a cold hard unrelenting hate for something so dark, it had been suppressed for generations.
    The enemy that this realm now faced, Bloued thought, was something his kind had fought against before, aeons ago. However much he thought himself to be immune to the race hate that existed in the realms he had visited, it was irrelevant here. For what was ravaging these lands was older than time itself, and the evil and darkness it represented was firmly etched on Bloued bones. It was what his forefathers had spent their lives trying to quell, it wasn’t just another incursion by a hostile King or Tyrant, it was perpetual darkness incarnate. There was no future if this dark force succeeded.
    Drey appeared bemused at the look of sudden realisation and wonder on Bloued’s face. He suddenly gestured wildly with his hand across the current horizon.
    “So my shaggy friend, perhaps now you can fathom some of the hatred and fear that exits in our realm?
    We are loathe to trust our own kind for numerous reasons, which you are yet to discover. But one thing is sure, the way of the war wolves has been set in stone for a millennia, which is why I am taking you on this little sojourn tonight. There is one of your kind I wish you to meet!”
    Bloued looked at Drey in a state of bedazzlement and newfound respect for the diplomacy, he had shown this night.
    The group rounded a corner in what was probably the most poorly lit and rundown part of town they had yet encountered.
    One solitary torch burned half-heartedly on the entire street.
    A grey stone non-descript building was highlighted in its sickly glow. The only visible indication of any life was the muffled noise of rowdy patrons and promised vice.
    Bloued glanced at Drey to see an unmistakable smirk on the Goblins face.
    “This my shaggy assed friend, is our home away from home. The last bastion of the real fighters in this realm, and the headquarters of the Order of the Grey Banner!”
    Bloued took in the visage of the Drunken Goblins singing as they went in the door, to the bodies of more of their kind coupling in the dark in the shadows farther up the street.
    As they entered the building Bloued noted a sigil hanging from a rusty spear outside the door. To him it seemed to be a rusty chain mail undershirt, but the rust had a distinct colour to it reminiscent of dried blood.
     
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