RPG #9 - The Five Dragons

Discussion in 'RPG #9 - The Five Dragons' started by Nienor, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    In the beginning, there were two divine beings, the Eternity Tree and its antithesis, the Void. The Void was a total absence of wholesome life (it contained demons, corrupted life), but the Tree was life embodied within itself. The Tree sought to fill the Void while the Void sought to empty the Tree of life.

    For the past three centuries, Liandrah has been attacked by demons. A little while before that, nine stars fell from the sky co create the mystical Star Gate, which is also known as the Well of Stars.

    It is very beautiful; one can see the heavens when gazing into its depths. Rather than looking down, it seems as if one is looking up to see the countless stars. The myriad peoples of Liandrah marveled at the marvelous creation of the Well of Stars, and even set aside their differences to worship the Star Gate.

    Then the gods walked through, and their lives were changed forever.

    The children of the Eternity Tree were fair to behold, and many of them proved to be friends. Chief among them were Ærian, Lady of the Sword, and Myrran the Protector. The twins Dalin the Tamer and Dhelian the Huntress, Savath the Timekeeper and Soratha the Weaver, were also beloved. Cy’dath and Ki’dasva, the two most powerful gods, were both respected and feared. Cy’dath was commonly known as the Lord of Untamed Fire, and Ki’dasva as the Lady of Unbroken Night; they are known as the Pair of Chaos.

    Eventually, Cy’dath and Ki’dasva were seduced by the terrible power of the Void, and even allied with the demons to achieve their goal—to conquer this world, and to possess the Star Gate. For by stepping through the Star Gate, they could step to other worlds, and continue their conquest throughout the entire universe.

    Almost one hundred years ago, Cy’dath and Ki’dasva almost succeeded in their attempt to possess the Gate. But three champions rose up against them to foil their plan, losing their lives in the process. They were Kynon, Yanae, and Liliana, and together, they created an enchantment so that the Star Gate was no longer stationary but instead traveled about the land, to be carried by a chosen successor.

    But something went horribly wrong, and the Well, rather than being directed by a Sentinel, became more sentient and alive then ever before, somehow travelling about the land through its powerful, innate magic. Kynon, Yanae, and Liliana all died when they fell into the Well of Stars. Or so all thought.

    The three champion’s people swore to defend and protect the Star Gate, creating an order called the Sentinels of the Stars to fight against Cy’dath, even should it cost them their lives. They now wage a war against the demons almost alone, for the children of the three champions have fallen in their battle against the darkness. The land cries out for valiant leaders to take their place at the head of the Sentinels.

    But Cy’dath and Ki’dasva are also gathering their agents to them, and already most of the gods have fallen. Ærian and Myrran were the first to die as their kin Cy’dath and Ki’dasva slew them with the power of the Void. Savath and Soratha fell soon after. Only Dalin and Dhelian remain.

    Yet there is another presence that no one is yet aware of—the Ring of Five Dragons, the eldest children of the Eternity Tree. They waited for their time to act, for they are the observers, and now they have deemed that the Well of Stars must be protected at all costs. So now they have chosen and blessed many people to defend the Well of Stars. They are called the Blessed, and aid the Sentinels of the Stars against Cy’dath and Ki’dasva.

    Cy’dath and Ki’dasva, to counter the Ring’s move, have chosen their own people to act against the Dragon-Blessed. The demons have renewed their attacks against the people of Liandrah, hoping to use the Well of Stars to escape the Void and ravage new worlds.

    But the Well of Stars has its own ideas, and no one knows quite what they are. Is that the reason why shades of forgotten heroes of old have been seen walking abroad? Why are the ghosts of the three champions, Kynon, Yanae, and Liliana haunting the land without doing anything visible to help Liandrah’s people? Why are seasonal (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) and elemental spirits stalking through the land, seeming to strike at random? And worst of all, why is magic being drained from the land?

    Is the Well of Stars causing this… or something eviller and darker?

    And through it all, the Sentinels struggle and despair, wondering what will happen even if they should control the Well once and for all. Will it aid them or turn against them? Or will it continue to follow its own designs? Yet they have no choice but to seek for the Well of Stars.

    And it is in this state that Liandrah lies, waiting for someone to save it... or doom it.



    The Five Dragons:
    Yharziev (Yhar) the Warden, Lord of Fire and Children
    Ysdraíznah the Mother (Ysdra), the Earth Mother and Guardian of the Earth and Life
    Zahndariel the Dreamer (now simply known as Zahn), Lady of Visions and Wind
    Avzahrael (Avza) the Protector, Lord of the Seas and Time
    Zahramael the Eldest, Lord of Storms, Healing, and Death

    written by Lady Dragon Heart
     
  2. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Sharana repressed a shiver as the desolate wind blew over the little-traveled road to Starhaven, the city of the Sentinels. It always seemed bleaker when she left Starhaven than when she entered it, although nothing had changed. It was still winter and dead leaves still lay scattered everywhere on the road. It seemed so devoid of life that Sharana unconsciously fingered the chain about her neck for reassurance, invoking Dalin the Tamer to watch over her, as well as Dhelian the Huntress and Lady of the Stars, the patron goddess of the Sentinels. The silver chain was hung with a stone that shone like starlight marked her as a Sentinel, and it reminded her that her life lay in her god’s hand. It always gave her some measure of relief to remember that Dalin would protect her.


    She concentrated on the steady clip-clops of her mare as she rode at a steady walk, trying to ignore her depressing surroundings and even more depressing concerns. The Sentinels might be appointed to protect the Well of Stars, true, but that did not mean that the Well was willing to let itself be guarded by the Sentinels. Yet the Star Singer, she who led the Sentinels, had commanded every able body to ride out and discover what they could, not only of the Well but of Liandrah itself. There had been rumors that Liandrah’s magic was dying, being drained and gathered by some force no one knew about. Although Sharana doubted that someone was stealing the magic, there was no doubt that the magic was leaving the land. Even she, although she was a minor mage, could tell that.


    She flexed her wings, longing to fly in the skies’ freedom, but instead bound to this horse. It felt odd to ride as the groundwalkers did; Winged Elves flew. But the Star Singer had forbidden that she fly, and had instead condemned her to be hobbled by this slow, stupid creature. In a fit of temper, Sharana swore, and the mare flicked her ears back before continuing on, always moving at the slow, sedate pace.


    I could really use a companion right now in this gods-forsaken waste, she thought as above her, heavy storm clouds gathered. I wish that another Sentinel was here beside me.


    Her thoughts continued thus until she felt the first drop of rain, and she urged the mare into a canter. If she remembered correctly, there was another town nearby, West Point. It was as dreary as its name, but at least it would give her dry shelter and a place to lay down her head. She pulled her hood up and pressed her wings flat to her back, huddling within her cloak as the wind grew colder and rain poured down about her.


    She was almost soaked through by the time she made it to West Point, and she stopped at its only inn. The paint on the sign was so cracked and faded that she could not read the sign creaking back and forth, and neither did she bother to.


    “A room and hot food,” she ordered as a stable boy led her horse away.


    “And you’ll be paying with…?” In answer, she tugged out her star stone necklace from underneath her damp cloak, and the innkeeper blanched before offering profuse apologies. As a Sentinel, she was not obliged to pay for anything unless she desired to, and especially not for a cheap room and some warm food.


    She took up his offer of a bath, and dressed in dry clothes, she made her way towards a corner of the inn. When he brought her a hot meat pie and some wine, she nodded her thanks before attacking the simple food with an enthusiasm due to a feast. Being rained upon, she had found, often made her very hungry. She did not pay any attention to her surroundings, and so it was that she did not notice the person until nudged.


    “And you would be…?” she asked without bothering to turn around.
     
  3. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    "A friend," the Forest Elf replied, taking his seat across from the woman. Removing his cloak and folding it over his chair, Lendoril calmly lowered himself into the chair, and brushed the dark hair from his eyes.

    "My name is Lendoril," he said, extending his hand in greeting. When she took it with a firm grasp, he knew that her slight figure concealed a strength most would not see. "I noticed the pendant you were grasping earlier..." Only then did the Elf look up, and meet his bright green gaze. He knew aswell as she did, that while most held the Sentinels as a noble and brave order, there were just as many who would benefit from their demise. Looking as he did, a rugged traveller, cloaked and hooded in black, it was no surprise that she suddenly became very cautious when her pendant was mentioned. She moved her slender hand, finding the hilt of her sword, and tapped it slightly, as if to dissuade him.

    Moving his hand to his own katana, he motioned, and said "Look, I have one too," with a slight grin. But as the Elf acknowledged his blade with a nod, he told her, "As I said, however, I am a friend. And hold no ill will against you. In fact, as a Sentinel I hold you in high esteem, and look to join your ranks."

    "I have only travelled a few days, looking for a member of your Order, it seems fate has other ideas. Where are you headed, and how may I be of assistance ?"
     
  4. Alizaria Terra

    Alizaria Terra New Member

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    Alizarin walked quietly and unnoticed into the inn, he creaked aside a chair and sat himself down, it creaked again at his weight. Alizarin was a light man and there was no reason for the chair to moan so much, annoyed and wet he got up to take a place nearby a Sentinel and a Forest Elf. He didn't like being cramped up in a corner but the inn after all was rather full and this table would have to do for now, Alizarin signalled to a waiter to take his orders, the boy hurried over and looked to the floor.
    "I'd like an ale." the boy made his way down to the back of the inn where the smell of warm food and drink lured the customers.

    A moment later the boy returned bringing with him a large mug of ale, he said hushed,
    "That'll be five quid sir"
    "I have no quids, just silver" Alizarin answered. The boy raised his eyebrows and he added "Where I come from we pay in gold and silver, will you accept one silver coin?"
    "Yessir" the child replied, blending the two words together, "Anything else sir?"
    "Ah yes, acctually there is..." he motioned for the boy to come closer, "Tell me, are there many bad deeds done in these parts?"
    "Emm, no sir this here land is full o' all them good rich folk." he looked curiously at the man,
    "Well then, what good news indeed, now boy you can be off to where you came from right? a man like me needs peace and quiet."
    "Yessir" he hustled away like a nervouse puppy.

    Alizarin was now looking at an old man, no one had noticed him and no one would, Alizarin would make sure of that. He stood up and stumbled past the man, and swiftly sat down again, in his hand he held a leather bound satchel of coins, now he could pay in quid, he smiled smugly.
    No one had seen him...he knew that for sure.
     
  5. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    It would have to be a forest elf. They're decent as groundwalkers go... but I always despised my family for looking down on groundwalkers. I ought to give him a try, and he seems decent. The Sentinels do need more people...

    "Sharana Ylavra Wingheart," she said, introducing herself. "I'm a Sentinel, as you noted." She removed her hand from her sword and smiled very slightly. "You wish to join the Sentinels?"

    "Aye," Lendoril said. "It would be a great honor."

    Her smile grew wider, and she said, "Not many would say that."

    "I am different."

    She inclined her head in acknowledgement, but did not say anything as the innkeeper bustled over, asking what the lady Sentinel desired.

    "Another cup for my friend, if you please," she said. She poured some wine and slid the glass to Lendoril, holding those odd green eyes with her own silvery-blue ones. "So. What do you know of the Sentinels of the Stars?"

    "That you are good and noble, and fight against evil."

    Not precisely, my friend. But you'll find out what our duties are soon enough if you are initiated as a Sentinel. "True enough," she said aloud. "What skills do you have?"

    "Longbow and katana, as well as short sword," he answered. "Tell me, what do the Sentinels--" He fell silent when the innkeeper brought him a meal, but when he opened his mouth to speak, Sharana stared at him and he subsided.

    "Later," she whispered quietly. "I do not think that the inn's customers need to know our business." He nodded in reply, and the two of them ate in silence. She was a slow eater, for he finished before her, and he had eaten half as much as Sharana. But when she arched her eyebrows, listening to the conversation about her, he understood her ploy. It was a useful way to gather information. "Follow," she said as she climbed the stairs to her tiny room, stopping only to pour some coins in the surprised innkeeper's hand. Lendoril watched her in fascination; she seemed as graceful and lithe as a cat.

    He seated himself on the floor when she took the only chair, and waited for her to speak. He was not disappointed.

    "You know that demons stalk through Liandrah," she began without preamble. "Even the Forest Elves have been attacked of late."

    "Aye."

    "Would you put a stop to that?"

    "But that is impossible! Demons have always stalked the land!"

    "Only for the past few centuries, my friend. It is possible to put a stop to them. This is what the Sentinels work for." She hid a wince, hoping that Lendoril would forgive her the lie if he discovered it. Although they did firmly oppose the demons, the Sentinels' only goal was to protect the Well of Stars.

    "Tell me, what can I do?" he asked, his eyes burning with hope.

    "You sought to join the Sentinels, did you not? Travel with me. If I deem you worthy to become a Sentinel, then I myself shall initiate you and present you to the Lady of Stars. You know her by the name of Dhelian the Huntress," she clarified. "What do you say?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2005
  6. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Setting Rum to a canter, the two reached the top of the next rise, looking over the land before them bathed in the early morning light. Starhaven was near here, maybe just beyond the horizon, plenty of wealth in this part of Liandrah. Jak patted Rum on the neck "Do you think theyve heard of us here?" The mare whinnied "Well then, we'll have to change that wont we. And i could do with some breakfast, pity we've no gold left" Jak added a cruel smile to that comment, that twisted is curled smile further.

    So with stepping his heels to Rum's flanks they galloped off down into the land along what appeared to be the only road in sight, passing travellers on the way, a few rough folk, one or two wealther classes but riding and with guards, eventually after an hour or two he passed a carriage, well made with some noble's standard on the side, two guards up top one with a bow, one driving, a couple on horses riding behind. Easy meat, they didnt even seem to notice anyone else, just kept going. Jak rode on down the road untill he lost sight of them. He loosened his sabre in its scabbard, clipped his crossbow into working condition and loaded a bolt. He patted Rum on the neck once more and the two swung round and galloped back up the road after the carriage.

    Gaining group fast, Jak leant in, and with his crossbow up against his shouler he aimed steadily, waiting untill he had the aim. Closer he got, and the guards at the rear noticed the sound just as his first bolt flew, striking the gurad with the bow in his neck, his limp lifeless body fell to the ground, Jak rode round is. The two read guards turned to face him and Jak cocked the corssbown once more and loaded a bolt, but he was too close now. Letting it hand from his shoulder ready, he placed his hand on the hilt of his sabre and the blade flew into motion. With lightning speed he shot past the two mounted guards wiht the blade out, catching one in the side who fell with a scream, the other did not stop and raced after Jak. Racing on at full speed after the carriage, Jak pruposefully kept Rum slower than the mare could handle, and the guard quickly caught up, almost within reach of a blade. Jak pulled hand on the reigns and the horse reared hight up to stop and the guard raced past him. Had Jak not held his sabre out when they stopped, the guard would have carried on with his head aswell, which now lay in the head leaves with a blank expression. Jak didnt look, he killed to survive, they would just as easily kill him if he had given them the chance. So he set Rum back at a gallop on the tail of the carriage, aiming his crossbow again, Jak put the second bolt in the driver's throat, the man's hands caught tight convulsively as he fell from the seat and dragged the carriage to a stop with the weight of his corpse. Bout time something went in my favour.

    Slowing to a stop beside the door, Jak left his crossbow slung over the pommel of his saddle and got down wiht sabre in hand to open the door, smile on his face. The two nobles inside looked on in puzzlement. "You seem to have stopped my friends, perhaps I can help, your carriage must be too heavy to go on, I shall have to releive you of some of your heavy valuables" The faces inside where aghast.
    "I say, guards, seize this man at once, guards!...where in the..."
    Jak kept his smile "I think you'd find it hard to talk with a crossbow bolt in your neck, give them a break, now, your valuables please." Putting his blade to the man's neck he stopped smiling, his curled scar a mockery of happiness. "I dont like to be kept waiting"
    Gaining plenty of jewelery and a couple of heavy bags of gold from the carraige, a good haul for just a few noblemen, he loaded it onto Rum who danced about, sensing his master's eagerness to be gone, just before he climbed into the saddle one of the nobles spoke up, usually they gained their nerve back when he was leaving. "You'll hang for this you know, you cant steal from me and get away with it, Do you even know who I am!?" Jak shrugged it off, and got into the saddle, resheathing his sabre.
    "You are another poncy nobleman, nothing more, there are a thousand like you everywhere and all that means to me is more money to take. The real question is, do you know who I am?" Straightening proudly in his saddle he spoke "I am the legendary Cheerful Jak, outlaw in as many places you can name, and more noblemen than you have said the same thing to me and theyre still all wrong. Ive never been caught and i never will be. Remember my face, I hear theres a big reward for me off east."
    With that he set off, cutting the horses free from the carriage and smacking them to send them off into the wild. Riding off into the distance he looked for a near town to get some food and a good mug of ale to celebrate his success. He passed into a small place called West Point and looked for somewhere to stable Rum and get them both some food.
     
  7. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    You know that demons stalk through Liandrah," the Sentinel began without preamble. "Even the Forest Elves have been attacked of late."

    "Aye," replied Lendoril. Too often have my people been murdered at the hands of these Demons.

    It had fallen to Lendoril to lead hunting parties almost every day. He was a skilled tracker, and even Demons left marks for a trained eye to see. Most of the Elven kindred could feel the corrupt presence of those who dwelt in the Void. The attacks had come more frequent, and Lendoril saw many a friend fall in battle. His blade had been covered in their black blood, and his clothes were scratched and bloody.

    Falling out of his reverie, the woman continued to talk. He sipped his wine slowly and listened with great interest about the Sentinels Of The Stars.

    "You sought to join the Sentinels, did you not? Travel with me. If I deem you worthy to become a Sentinel, then I myself shall initiate you and present you to the Lady of Stars. You know her by the name of Dhelian the Huntress," she clarified. "What do you say?"

    The Forest Elf nodded slowly, and removed his scarf to reavel the lower half of his face. "I will travel with you, and aid you however I can. I am deeply honoured to be allowed such a trial."

    The woman rose from her chair, and motioned Lendoril to do the same. "We are leaving soon," was all she said, and Lendoril nodded. He wondered if he could truly become a Sentinel. At home he had an honoured place as one of the greatest swords the land had known. His skills as a hunter were unparralled in his land, and he had once been a Royal Guard. An Order dedicated to the life of the King. Protecting him from his enemies, and sacrificing their life if necessary. Their were only ever two members of the Royal Guard, but they were held in high esteem. Lendoril, however, had always wanted to protect more than just a King. If he could join the ranks of the Sentinels Of The Stars, he would be protecting the world.

    "Where are we going, my lady ?"
     
  8. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    “Stop it with the ‘my lady’s,” she snapped. How she hated that honorific! It reminded her of her pompous, arrogant family, the House of Ylavra. “If we are to be companions, then I’ll not put up with an annoyance like that as well. Call me Sharana—or if you must, Sentinel Sharana. But I much prefer the former.”

    Lendoril smiled before repeating his question. “Where do we go then, Sharana?”

    She did not immediately reply, and tapped her fingers together before asking, “Tell me something first. Is magic being drained from your land as well?”

    Lendoril’s eyes widened. How had she known?

    “I see that it has. The Star Singer, captain of the Sentinels, has ordered us to discover what we can. It is imperative that we find the problem and put a stop to it.” She shivered, and Lendoril did not blame her. The prospect of Liandrah without magic was almost as horrifying as the prospect of Liandrah infested with demons. “We must figure out how to restore the magic, or Liandrah may well die. It depends on magic and needs it to survive.” She stared at something Lendoril could not see before shaking her head to clear away her dark thoughts. “I’m not precisely travelling to a specific destination, just roving about the land. Along the way… if you are worthy, I will show you the greatest secret of all, and you will understand why we fight so desperately as we do against the demons.” He nodded, but he was clearly skeptical. He knew of the demons and their attacks on Liandrah; what other reasons did he need?

    Sharana saw the skepticism and thought, Ah, but you have not seen the beauty of the Well of Stars. “We travel first to discover what we can of disturbing rumors. Surely you have heard the tales of dragons.”

    “Yes,” he answered. “But they are only tales. Aren’t they?”

    “That’s precisely what we’re going to discover. If they are not legend, they will be priceless allies… or our deadliest enemies.” She paused, then said, “I will not lie to you. If you come with me, you have an increased chance of dying.” Her silvery-blue eyes seemed to glow even more strangely, and Lendoril hid an involuntary shiver as those ghostly eyes focused on him. “Choose now, Lendoril of Forest Elves. I will not blame you if you choose to walk away. If you like, I can still put in a word for the Star Singer, recommending you as a likely Sentinel. But here and now, you must choose. If you come with me, you shall be bound to my cause and my whims, sworn to obey my commands. Leave if you fear the danger, or if you do not wish to serve under me. I will not put any pressure upon you either way, for this is your choice. Choose,” she repeated again.
     
  9. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    "Choose."

    The word bounded off the inside of his skull. She was allowing him to travel with her. To perhaps, one day, become a Sentinel Of The Stars. He did not like taking orders; in his land, he had given them. But the chance to become a part of the Sentinels. To perhaps be a Sentinel himself, was not easily passed by.

    "I will come with you, Sharana. Though I do dislike taking orders. Try not to be too strict with me," he smiled jokingly.

    "Very well," the Elf replied, "I have been sent here to uncover the truth of certain rumours. No doubt you've heard them too."

    "I hear many rumours on the road, when I choose to travel by it. If you are reffering again, to the rumours of Dragons...well. It is unlikely, is it not. Dragons have not been seen, in, well.....a very long time. Did they ever exist, Sharana ?"

    "Yes. They did. But that was a long time ago. But who knows. They may still be out there, somewhere."

    As a child, Lendoril had heard stories of Dragons, creatures of immense power and intelligence. Shape-shifters they were, and dangerous. In the stories, fair maid's were captured by Dragons, in others, the Dragons saved the maids. Are Dragons evil ? he wondered. It seemed that the Sentinel did not know either. Lendoril looked at her, deep in thought. She had an eerie beauty to her. He wondered...

    "Are you of the Winged kindred ?" he blurted at her. She only nodded, still lost in thought. Lendoril had never met a Winged Elf before. As a member of the Royal Guard, his life had consisted of weapons training and defending the life of his liege-lord. He had never travelled, unless on business with the King. Even after he left the Guard, and become a Hunter, and Ranger in the wild. He had never chanced upon a Winged Elf. Perhaps they secluded themselves. Most races did these days. Even his people remained hidden in their forests. Stealth and surprise was their way. Enemies did not pass within their realm. None ever had. Until the demons. Even at his young age of 9,54 years, he had fought many a war against the demons. Leading raiding parties was his main task, but he had also been on the front lines, his curved blade whirling and smoking in the Demon's blood. They had lost many a good Elf in those wars. Especially....

    "Lendoril," Sharana snapped, "did you hear what I said ? Get your things together. We leave immediatly. I have received word of a bandit raiding a nobles wagon, not far from here. Usually, we Sentinels do not take part in issues like this, but we are in a small town, and the small folk ask for help. We do what we can. You will come with me, and help these nobles back to town. Perhaps we can even return their belongings. Your hunting skills will come in handy," she said as she gathered her things.

    Lendoril checked his equipment, his katana hung on his left hip, his short sword on the right. His longbow and quiver were strapped to his back. He lifted his black scarf to cover his nose and mouth, and threw his heavy black cloak over his shoulders, lifting the cowl low over his face. The Sentinel gave him an approving nod. "You would be nigh on invisible in the dark," she said, as she put her own cloak on.

    "Come," she said, "once this mess is over, we will return to the hunting of these rumours. Remember, you are under my orders, and I will be watching you, to determine if you would be a valuable asset to the Sentinels."
     
  10. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    She hid a half-sigh, half-grin at the other’s inattention. Even if he does seem to be the dreamy sort, he’ll be more than useful at my side in a fight, Sharana admitted to herself reluctantly. Her fighting was based on grace and agility, not on strength, and she doubted that she could defeat anyone through sheer strength. Lendoril looked as if he could handle both his end and hers.

    She started snapping out orders, and almost regretted her abruptness with him when anger flashed across his face. Although he quickly concealed it, Sharana was adept at reading body language; reading facial and bodily expressions was a necessity to survive in the House of Ylavra. It was clear that although he was not quite as arrogant as most Elves were, he was clearly used to being obeyed rather than obeying. Even if he had concealed his anger behind a smile and a joke, she was fully aware that he would bear resentment towards her. But if he desired to become a Sentinel, obedience was the first thing one needed to learn. The stakes were too high to risk a mistake caused by disobedience.

    If you cannot obey, you will die, she heard in her memories as she remembered the Star Singer speaking to her. And if you die, Liandrah is deprived of one more Sentinel who can protect the Well of Stars against the demons. And if you die, you may cause more Sentinels to fall. There will be time enough when you are older and past your training that you will command. For now, listen and obey—or die. She hoped, both for her sake and his, that Lendoril, too, would learn to obey.

    Sharana slipped down the stairs like an ethereal ghost, and Lendoril wished that he possessed her grace. While all Elves had natural agility and grace, this Winged Elf was so lithe that he felt like a clumsy human.

    She motioned for him to stay back as she spoke quietly to the innkeeper, giving him some more coins when he answered her questions. Within moments, she returned to his side.

    “I wish to speak with this bandit first,” she whispered. “Although the nobles may have been innocent, they may also have been corrupt. The Star Singer has been searching for a pair that has supposedly dealt with demons before, and if they are whom we are looking for…” She trailed off.

    “What?”

    “Then they die. Tell me,” she said, bright eyes examining him. “Do you think that you could handle him even if we gave him warning?”

    Only a snort answered her, and her lips twitched in reply. “That was, I suppose, a dumb question.” He forbore from replying to that. “All right. I’ll challenge him. You get out your bow and keep an arrow leveled on his chest.”

    Lendoril hesitated, aware that this would be pushing her, but continued on anyway. “Sentinel Sharana, I cannot permit you to do that. To allow you to do so would be to place you in risk. Let me take your place.”

    Silvery-blue eyes flashed, and before he could say anything, she was behind him, a knife held to his throat. “I am not as helpless as you think, Lendoril. The women of the Sky Elves are not as soft as those of the Forest Elves.”

    He swallowed, feeling cold steel against his throat. “Dear Huntress, she’s fast!” He thought that he had kept the thought to himself, but evidently not, for she stepped back from him. She was smiling, and Lendoril wondered at Sharana’s mercurial temperament.

    “Thank you,” she said. “Now, let me handle it. Besides, I have magic, something you cannot boast of.”

    “Forgive me for disobeying,” he managed to get out. Although it was hard for him to give an apology, he knew he owed her one for underestimating her.

    “You had my best interests in mind,” she said. “Even if they weren’t quite correct.” She led him outside to where a man was standing outside in the rain, evidently looking for a place to put his horse and sleep.

    “That’s him,” she hissed. “Cheerful Jak. He’s a well-known bandit.” Lendoril thought that she sounded slightly odd, and he realized it was because she had dropped her formal, archaic speech. “Get your bow out, and place an arrow on the string.” He obeyed, and then she stepped out from the shadows.

    “Cheerful Jak,” she called. “I give you the chance to explain your actions here today. But first, answer me this question. I seek two men, two nobles you may have robbed. One is red-haired, and rather corpulent. He has blue eyes, and is human like you. He is a fool and thinks that his title would protect him. The other has golden hair and hazel eyes, and is of the Forest Elves. He is slim, and although he seems ineffectual, he is the silent one who observes. Does this description match your victims?”
     
  11. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    There he was about to set Rum up with some oats and a warm stall while he went to fetch himself a good hard drink and at once some woman in the rain started talking to him, she knew his name and blabbed on about nobles.

    "Gah, word travels that fast, its a wonder the watch arent here already. Out of my way I'm after ale not conversation, you can ask me again after I pass out." With that he pushed past the woman and her dark dressed complanion and headed towards the door. Even through the rain he could hear steel being eased in its scabbard. He stopped. "So, more than conversation, collecting a bounty? after some justice?" he sighed loudly, just one drink was all he came for. "Okay okay, two nobles, and for your information they ALL think their title protects them, makes them better than others, I just keep them on their toes, robbing from noblemen is a victimless crime" He smiled, and his scar twisted again. "as for what they looked like, their probably like the ones you said, i dont care to notice, if youre really bothered about it you can ask them, theyre probably still up the road in their carriage waiting for someone to rescue them from their own ineptitude." He looked over the two again, the male elf had an arrow knocked and tried to hide it behind his cloak in the rain. and the woman stood as if she was safe anywhere, bloody sentinels. "So, yuove got your answers, but I havent got my drink, now can I turn my back and go inside without your friend trying to put an arrow in it, or do i have to bleed you both a little first." Jak spread the side of his coat wide and revealed his sabre, secretly readying a knife in his hand while it was covered by the leather of the coat. He never stopped smiling.
     
  12. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Aurelle was exhausted. The cleric had spent the entire day healing a small band of forest elf warriors. The elves had been involved in a skirmish with orcs. Not ususual, but occuring lately with alarming frequency. She didn't think the number of them had increased, the forest elves did a wonderful job in keeping the number of noxious monsters in the forest to a minimum. Something must have agitated them out of their underground lairs. But Aurelle couldn't imagine what.

    Leading her pegasus, Daun, towards the only visible inn, Aurelle yawned loudly. The place didn't look inviting, but it was better than sleeping outdoors in the rain. It wouldn't have bothered her greatly, there was generally some protection in a tree, but Aurelle always worried about her pegasus catching a chill. They could be so delicate. She headed directly to the stable first. Aurelle would not be able to eat or sleep unless she knew Daun was well taken care of. She didn't trust leaving the pegasus in just any stable. There was the risk of her being mishandled or stolen.

    Stepping gingerly inside the dry stable, the cleric shook the rain off of her forest green cloak. Not wishing for the flowing cloak to trail in horse muck, Aurelle folded the cloak carefully and left it on Daun's back. She didn't see the stablemaster in sight, the elf turned to her mount and said, "Stay right here for now, Daun. I'll go and see if decent quarters and grain can be found for you." Daun neighed quietly in response. Aurelle knew her pegasus would not move unless it was necessary.

    Before venturing further into the stable, Aurelle left her pack on the ground next to Daun. She assumed no one would be interested in stealing a couple of cleric robes. Grasping her staff firmly with her right hand, she picked up the hem of her spring green robe in the other. Walking towards the stalls, her keen ears picked up a conversation on the other side of the stable. After listening for a moment, she discerned that two elves were talking to a less than reputable human named Cheerful Jak. Wishing to be of help to the other elves, Aurelle quietly walked up behind the rogue. He was so intent on attempting to intimidate the two elves, he never heard Aurelle sneak up quietly behind him. With a quick flash of her wrist, the elf brought the staff up to connect with the back of Jak's head. Cheerful Jak fell to the ground before he even knew what hit him.
     
  13. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Bow drawn taught, Lendoril kept a firm eye on "Cheerful" Jak. If I had a hideous scar like that, I would not consider myself Cheerful he thought, as Jak threw out some empty threats. The Sentinel beside him seemed to know him by reputation and had tried to peacefully converse with him. However, it seemed this rogue was not quite comfortable with polite speech, and preferred threats and curses.

    It would only take one arrow to silence him, Lendoril knew, but he would not kill needlessly, and he did not doubt the Sentinel would quickly get things under control.

    The Sentinel gave an exasperated sigh, and turned to Lendoril, it looked like she was about to speak when they both heard a loud thwack and turned to see Cheerful Jak slump to the ground, and an Elf maiden standing over his limp body, holding a stout oak staff. Likely, Jak was not feeling to Cheerful at the moment.

    Lendoril quickly shifted his bow, aiming squarely at the Elf's heart. "Don't move," he shouted towards her, but she spread her hands and lightly lowered her staff. "I mean no harm," came the reply, " I just wished to help my fellow kindred."

    Looking at her bright hair and keen eyes, Lendoril wondered if he had seen her before. She looked vaguely familiar.

    "Who are you ?" came the commanding voice of Sharana.

    "My name is Aurelle, and I am a -"

    "-A Cleric !" exclaimed Lendoril, suddenly realizing where he had seen her before. Aurelle had often visited his village, offering her healing services, medicines and ointments. She came and went like the wind, but her visits were always welcome. Especially during these times. Orcs and demons raided their borders, and healing was an invaluable tool. She had saved many a Forest Elf from certain death. Likely she did not know who he was, being a member of the Royal Guard for 300 years gained one much respect, but he did not journey far from his Lord, and this Cleric hardly visited the King. With his Royal Guard around him at all times, he was more than safe from injury.

    "And you are one of the Royal Guard," she nodded in recognition, "or perhaps were a member of the Royal Guard. You would not be here, and dressed in such if you were still in the Order."

    "I left a long time ago, my services are best used protecting our realm. Not just our King." he replied. In truth, Lendoril missed the honour and respect he gained from being a Royal Guard. He left of his own accord, however, and relished the chance to serve more than just a king. As the Hunter he had led scouting parties, and had overseen the defence of the city in times fo war. He was saving more than one life - he was saving a race. And now, he wished to join the Sentinel Of The Stars. To guard the Star Well and all who inhabited Liandrah.

    "It seems my companion knows you, Aurelle, but I do not," said the Sentinel, "what are you doing here, If I may ask ?"
     
  14. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Knowing that the pair of elves might be initially suspicious of her, Aurelle instantly lowered her staff. The male elf in defense fixed his arrow upon her. Prepared for this she opened her hands in a submissive pose and stated, "I mean no harm. I merely wanted to help my kindred." Before she got an opportunity to introduce herself, the male elf recognized her as a cleric. She was relieved as no elf could attack a cleric without serious provocation.

    While he scrutinized her, she had the opportunity to get a better look at him. She thought he looked familiar. She had seen him among the Royal Guard the few times she was in a contingent to visit the Forest Elves's King. A group of clerics from her grove visited the King's palace for ceremonies each winter and summer solstice. Aurelle was not among the hierarchy of her order, by her own preference. Therefore, she was not always included in these ceremonies. Nevertheless, she did recognize this elf; his black fingernails were a rare trait. Aurelle had the opportunity to enter into a brief conversation with him before the female elf interrupted.

    "It seems my companion knows you, Aurelle, but I do not," said the female elf, "what are you doing here, If I may ask ?"

    Bowing sightly, Aurelle replied, "I was nearby healing a few Forest elves who ran afoul of the recent orc invasions. Orc wounds often become serious due to their filty weapons and poisons. I had hoped to make it to my orders hospitality home before sunset, but the rain delayed me. Daun cannot fly in rain this heavy. Unfortunately this old inn seems to be the only place to stay." Taking a firm grasp on her staff once more she said, "While I did not doubt you could handle a minor outlaw, I thought my course of action to be the easiest. Humans never notice anyone walking quietly. He will wake soon and you can take whatever means you wish with him."

    Taking a closer glance at the other female elf, Aurelle noted she was smaller and more delicate than the male. She did not have the appearance of a forest elf, which is what Aurelle originally assumed she was. "Are you a Windrider too?" she questioned. But before the other elf could answer, the prone man started groaning and attempting to roll over.
     
  15. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Sharana was just annoyed enough with the outlaw to prod him with one boot as he moaned again, firmly keeping him down on his stomach. She, too, opened her hands in a gesture of good will, inclining her head in as stately a manner she could manage, but refused to do more than that. She had her pride, even as Aurelle seemed to have hers. The two strong-willed women held each other’s gaze, pale silvery-blue against bright green-gold before Sharana nodded slightly again—not surrendering, but acknowledging the other—and answered Aurelle’s question.

    “Winged Elf,” she answered, and slid her cloak off. She flexed her silvery-blue wings once and replaced her cloak, ignoring Lendoril’s surprise. Although he knew that she was a Winged Elf, actually seeing the wings often shocked groundwalkers.

    “I have heard nothing but good of you, Aurelle,” she continued. “I am Sharana Ylavra Wingheart, known as Starflight among the Sentinels. The wind speed our ways and the sun bright thy day and mine,” she said formally, invoking the Sky Elf ritual greeting. “Even if it’s raining right now.” She did not introduce Lendoril as of yet; that was his right to offer his name and ties to a stranger, even if Aurelle seemed like she knew him already. “As for him…” she jerked her chin at the prone form of Cheerful Jak, “I have no claim upon him. I merely asked him for information that I received, and now have no further use for him. If either of you have plans concerning him, do as you wish.”
     
  16. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    It was not the first time Jak had been knocked unconciouss, nor would it be the last, he stopped counting after the time the local authorities tried to knock him out while he slept. Rolling slightly on the ground he kept his eyes closed, it was always a good idea to keep the ruse up, and after all the times he'd been hit on the back of the head, his recorvery speed had imporved vastly. He moaned but kept his ears sharp listing in to them talk, just introductions he hadnt got one elves usually beleived themselves better than anyone else, especially sky elves. The only thing worse than a noble thinking he was better because he had money was an elf who thought they were better because they were an elf. He nearly grumbled at it but mananged to turn it into a groan while the others kept talking. They hadnt diasarmed him, which was just as well, he felt like wounding the one who'd hit him, and maybe the snooty sentinel for good measure, unluckily he would only be able to get one bolt out of his crossbow before they pounced. He remembered the knife in his hand which had fallen into the mud next to him. Plannign it through in his head, get up, throw knife into elf's knee, spring open crossbow and fire the loaded bolt into the other elfs large wings, draw sabre and run, a nice simple plan, it counldnt fail.

    Like a spring unfolding Jak jumped to his feet, snatching the knife out from the mud and suddenly remembered he'd played the limp unconciouss act a little too well, forgetting he'd been lying on top of his foot. The sharp pain of pins and needles in his legs made him stagger left and fall into an empty stall while the elves looked oddly, he thought he heard one of them snicker. He kicked his numb foot against the wooden walls to try and get the circulation going again, this wasnt Cheerful Jak, the most feared man in the east, north and south it never got this bad.
    It could be worse, the stall might not have been cleaned.......oh. Why? Why did he have to start out his run in Starhaven like this, he'd robbed coaches blind drunk and pulled it off with finesse, he cursed the gods for giving him his comeupance this soon. He had to get out of here.
    From beneith his coat he pulled out his folded crossbow, pulling back the latch the springs pulled the arms of the bow into place and with the string already loacked in the firing place and a bolt already in place, it quickly clicked together ready to fire. He stood up and held it forward at the elf with the bow, his other hand brushing of the contents of the stable from his coat. He edged back into the main bay keeping and eye on all of the elves and edged over to where Rum stood. "You bloody elves, too busy trying to be all high and mighty to have a civilised conversation, accosting an innocent man just after a drink. If I wasnt worse I'd call the authorities on you" Rum trotted to him but he didnt mount yet, he'd faced enough trouble from these buffoons for nothing, he might as well stick around for now, maybe to kill them or jsut rob them, he wasnt ready to leave with them only seeing him at his worst. He kept his aim on the one wiht ranged weaponry but watched out on the other two, one was a cleric and they didnt always stay passive, likely she had magic, maybe the other one did too. Jak hated magic, worse than nobles. Besides, he was ready for them even if they did use tricks. "Now then, I could leave but I'd be dissapointed to know this was all over you wanting to know whether i robbed a friend of yours. Especially since you've mistreated me so much" Carrying out a conversation wiht a bolt pointed at the other person was always better than without.
     
  17. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    "Nay, I have no use for the man." Aurelle replied. "Soratha's followers do not use their powers to punish evildoers, only bring comfort to the suffering. It would be best if he had one of Myrran's rangers here. They wouldn't hesitate bringing the man to justice."

    Keeping her gaze level, Aurelle assessed the other female elf. She wasn't the slightest bit surpised the other woman was a Winged Elf. Generally a windrider's mount was nearby and Aurelle didn't detect any rocs or gyriffins about. Neither was she surpised at the woman's curt nod of acknowledgement. Windriders tended to be over proud of their heritage and status, Winged Elves were ten times worse. But they were always honorable, so Aurelle knew she had nothing to be concerned about.

    Despite Sharana's foot on his back, the outlaw attempted to escape. It was quite amusing to watch. Instead of neatly springing to his feet, the man fell over into a stall. Pity it was cleaned recently Aurelle thought. Getting to his feet, Jak managed to switfly pull out a battered crossbow. During his tirade of threats, Aurelle did her best not to roll her eyes too much. Didn't the man notice he was outnumbered three to one? Considering he was human and they were elves, it was more like a six to one ratio. Aurelle was sure that slight blow to the had couldn't have harmed him much, he was probably this crazy all the time.

    Sighing she said, "Nobody here has the time or desire to bring you to justice. Leave now without harming anyone, and you can leave freely." After she was sure the man's attention was on her, Aurelle continued, "If you attempt to harm me or the other elves, one spell of Soratha's will make you wish your mother and father never met. Go now; do yourself a favor. The first Hospitality House of Soratha's you see or Ranger's Grover of Myrran. Stop and join them. They can help you make something of your wasted life."
     
  18. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    "You know what, I think I'll keep doing what I do best and have a good time at it, you want to find a wasted life, you follow her" He nodded his head over at the winged one "all this noble causes and mighty quests buisness will get you killed and if not what do you get? that warm fuzzy feeling inside, Id rather live spending other peoples money and die young than waste my time running after the flaming well of stars." The winged elf was frowning, likely she didnt take kindly to him mocking her choice of lifestyle, sure you get free food and room wherever they went, but that was a curse in its own, getting something you didnt deserve for left a hole inside, at least Jak didnt keep it secret, he took what he wanted and worked damn well hard enough for it, not counting being a wanted man almost everywhere.

    "Leave freely you say? well thats all fine and dandy, but i think they were the ones leaving when I got here, I'm still after food and drink, and as this is the only inn in this miserable town I think I'll stay put, and dont let me get in your way as you go, remember, your'e free to leave." He left that hanging in the air, he didnt quite trust them enough to stay wihtout worrying about the local authorities, he'd rather be sure they were gone before he had a quick meal and headed off in the other direction.
     
  19. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Sharana seethed. It was something she did very well, and Cheerful Jak annoyed her enough that she longed to unsling the Starwolf, her enchanted bow, and teach him manners. Beside her, Lendoril growled at the human’s confidence in his own abilities, but he remained still at her side, willing to obey her commands for now. She, too, firmly held her temper in check, although she fingered her sword.

    “I was asked by the local authorities to turn you in,” she said to the outlaw, “but you can go, life intact for the information you gave me. And for the… inconvenience… we caused you, I give you this.” She flipped him a gold coin, which he caught and it disappeared into his hand. He sneered at her before going inside the inn and she repressed a sigh. Yet she sensed resentment and anger on his part, so she readied the Starwolf and one arrow, fletched with her own flight feather. When Aurelle raised an eyebrow, she gestured at the inn where Jak had gone, and the cleric nodded. However, when long moments had passed and Jak did not reappear, everyone relaxed slightly. Then the three of them stared at each other in not-quite challenge, cleric against Sentinel against warrior, and her mouth quirked in silent amusement. The tension faded as wariness faded to curiosity, and they studied each other, assessing the others’ strengths and weaknesses. Sharana waited for someone to speak, but it seemed that no one was willing to break the silence quite yet.

    By Dalin and Dhelian, we are all a bunch of stiff-necked, arrogant fools, she thought wryly. The Windrider for being what she is, Lendoril for being a Forest Elf, and even this Cheerful Jak as an independent sort. I myself have my own pride, though it is for being a Sentinel rather than being a Winged Elf. I guess it’s up to me to start talking.

    She turned to Aurelle and asked, “Where are you bound and why?”
     
  20. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Pushing his way through the door into the warmth of the inn was refreshing at most, the smell of food cooking, ale, even the smoke was all as much comfort as he needed and after that odd encounter in the stable he needed to unwind a little. Before he left the doorway he went back and found the stableboy waiting outside in the rain and instucted him to take care of Rum, giving him a few copper coins for his trouble, as the boy walked away Jak remembered something and called for him to stop. The fat gold coin he had got from the sentinel landed in the boys hands and he sped to his job with newfound spirit. Jak only spent what he earned, any charity would best go to someone who needed the cash.

    Back in the inn he urged himself over to a table in the middle of the room, taking in the sights and sounds hungily before ordrirng food and drink from the serveing girl and payed generously, courtesy of some local noble. The plate was empty shortly after it arrived and shortly after that the mug was drained, he was hungry and thrist, but he didnt trust those damn elves. He reminded himslef how many people there were in the inn and where, he surveyed it allw hen he came in just to be sure of escape and to make sure there were no guards, it was too soon to have his poster up around here but you could never be too carefull. Ambling over to the bar he found the barkeep busy serving several other customers around the place. He called him over after they were done and fished a hand in his pocket. "How much is a drink again?" he inquired mockingly

    Settling his hands on the table the portly barkeep muttered on something or other, jak gathered it wasnt much and made a guess, pulling a handfull of gold coins out and plonking them on the table. "Drinks for everyone, courtesy of Cheerful Jak" He drained another mug and readied to leave. It was quite funny really. Rob the rich and live the good life, flash the gold around and please the masses which would get the people on his side, aswell as draw out the competition. Jak took care of them usually and that left him happily beloved by half the people and sought after by the authorities, which made women swoon and continued his happy life. Another night another rest in the wilderness, he never stayed in an inn unless in disguise, he made his way over to the stable and hoped the damn elves had gone by now, they'd had plenty of time.
     
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