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Ashes of Middenheim Chapter Three (IC thread)


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#1 Hyarion

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:09 PM

The soaked and bedraggled group crested the next hill to see Maeglin sitting on a rock surveying the far side. After the pursuit out of the temple and not detecting any signs of pursuit, the adrenaline of the moment was beginning to bleed off and the wound in his leg was beginning to feel worse than the elf had initially suspected.

"The girl bothers me Allaen, how long has it been since her last dose of medicine? A mutant would be drawn to our prize as a flower leans to the sun. You saw her before she got the medicine, she seemed closer to the Beastmen behind us than to the encampment of humans ahead to my mind. You seem to know more about the strange medicine than I do, what do you say?" he said softly in Eltharin, "Perhaps you should take a look at this before we go too much farther, Allaen." he continued in a more normal tone.

#2 Eldacar

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:42 PM

"Perhaps," Allaen said, moving up alongside the girl. "Anna Abendroth, a word?" he asked. "It involves a personal matter, so if you wish to move out of earshot of the others, then I will understand."

#3 Orcslicer

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:54 PM

Father Odo, walking beside Allaen, respectfully continues forward. Though he does not understand the two elves' conversation, he catches Allaen's arm as the mage begins to drop back.
"It is not wise," he murmurs, "to slow our progress until we can be sure we are not followed. I trust you agree we should press on in darkness?"

Anna nods in response to Allaen's request, reluctantly releasing Orderic's hand and waiting for the others to pass on ahead.
"I think I know what this is about," she says, and hitches her skirt up to her thigh. The knight, glancing back, frowns and colours slightly, stopping around twenty meters away.
With a wince, Anna pulls away the dressing to her wound, revealing a deep gash from her thigh to knee. It looks, for now, like a normal gash.
"It takes somewhere closer to a week before it starts to... look, you know... produce pus," comments Anna, trying hard to sound matter-of-fact and to keep the disgust out of her voice. "Until then it just refuses to close. Stitches, cauterising, herbs... Weiss tried them all."

Edited by Orcslicer, 21 July 2009 - 10:55 PM.


#4 Eldacar

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 06:53 AM

Allaen nodded in acceptance to Odo as he went past, then turned his attention to Anna. "With your permission, at some point soon, I would like to try something," he said carefully. "I know a magic that might - but I stress might - be able to remove it entirely. It is a powerful magic, and would normally be well beyond the limits of my ability to cast, but if you are willing, I would like to make the attempt at some point. I will not use it on you against your will, though. I am not even sure if I am strong enough to successfully handle the energies involved. It could make the mutation worse."

A wry grin flickered across his face. "It was actually your own problem that drew me to the magic in the first place," Allaen admitted. "My own people are immune to mutation, so it is something largely outside my experience. In any case, we should press on. I won't push you into anything, but just think on it. And remember the risk involved if you wish to attempt it. Now come on - we should be moving." Quietly, he started heading forwards again, to rejoin the others.

#5 Orcslicer

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:39 AM

"Don't call me a mutant!" replies Anna, angrily. "I've seen mutants. Swarming the streets, burning and killing. I am NOT one of them."
She closes her eyes, draws in a breath and seems to calm. "I know that what you're suggesting could put you to the stake, so you must have at least some conviction. Since the siege I've been on borrowed time, and without Weiss it doesn't look like I have too much choice, does it?"
Anna drops her dress and looks up to see Orderic hovering. She turns quickly away.
"When we get back to Middenheim, you do what you must. I have, I hope, still friends in my fathers business. They can put me up, and maybe get you access to the colleges of magic. Whatever you need... ingredients and tools, Weiss' office was quite well stocked."
As the elf walks quietly on, Anna hails softly him a final time:
"And Allaen? Thank you."

I realise you didn't actually call her a mutant, but I thought I'd slip that angry comment in as the word "mutation" has a very strong evil connotation amongst the folk of the empire, and Anna certainly wouldn't like it.

Edited by Orcslicer, 22 July 2009 - 09:39 AM.


#6 Eldacar

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:45 AM

"I already have almost everything that I would need," Allaen replied calmly. "Tell me if and when you want me to make the attempt."

#7 Orcslicer

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:35 AM

"Can I ask you something Allaen?" replies Anna. "Why have you stayed here? I mean, the place where the elves live is meant to be beautiful. This-" she gesticulates to the close pressed dark and imposing drakwald trees, "- is an ugly and dangerous land. We may not have been defeated, but we are certainly broken. And Middenheimers are a blunt folk to men of other provinces, let alone foreigners. Why do you tolerate their rudeness? Why do you stay out of choice?"

#8 paraicj

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:19 PM

Julen looked down at the bodies in the pool below from beside Skalf. "Let us get closer and determine if what I fear is true," he said, his face showing the worry that the rest of the group lay drowned. He made his way down to the rim of the pool and looked more closely at the floating shapes...

OOC: Any tests I should take, or do I have to go for a swim to determine who we're looking at?

#9 Eldacar

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:27 PM

"Ulthuan is beautiful, Anna Abendroth," Allaen said softly, memories rising almost unbidden before his eyes. "But the decision to stay here was never my own to make. Before the Storm of Chaos, I had never even left Ulthuan. I came here with my master to fight alongside humanity in defense of what you call 'the Old World' - it was once known as Elthin Arvan, and my people exerted a great deal of control here, albeit more towards the coastal regions. When the Storm ended, I was left behind, to learn more about myself and to help determine my own path and growth. I am barely even an apprentice to magic as my people see things, so that 'worldly experience' as my master termed it is very much necessary. I haven't even passed my first century of age."

#10 Orcslicer

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:09 PM

Paraic:

You climb down the ivy creepers that grow up the side of the exposed rock and from there make your way to the edge of the pool. As soon as you get down there, you realise that the bodies are only the approximate shape of humans. "I swear too much" heads or hooves make up parts of the silent floating vigil, though a short spell of observation reveals that more bodies are appearing in the pool all the time, contaminating the clear water with fresh black blood in the moonlight.

Skalf follows you down, and does an investigation of the pool perimeter. "No sign of them," he comments, gruffly. As you both turn to look to the forest, you hear an unusually load splash from the direction of the water over even the roar of the waterfall.

-----------------------------

Anna plays the part of the good listener, nodding in the right places. When Allaen is finished, she prompts new questions. "Do you not have family to return to? It seems unfair that your master should force you alone to stay, when others were allowed to return."

Edited by Orcslicer, 22 July 2009 - 01:10 PM.


#11 paraicj

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:24 PM

Julen smiled grimply at the sight of the dead beasts. The dwarf was clearly selling his life dearly. He turned to say it to Skalf when there was a massive splash behind them. Julen spun back towards the pool, a gleam of hope in his eyes. None of the beasts had been particularly large...

#12 Orcslicer

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:34 PM

"He sold himself dearly for us," Skalf mutters, making the sign of Gazul. For the sizable body of Gurni bobs to the surface of the water to float among the beasts, still and silent as the grave. "We should bring him ashore. I will administer Gazul's blessing. He deserves at least that, beastmen or nay."

#13 paraicj

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

The hope died in Julen's eyes as he saw the body bob face-down to the surface. With a weary nod, he agreed with the Dwarf's suggestion, and waded out to where Gurni floated.

#14 Hyarion

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 08:12 PM

As the shadows grew longer and the air cool enough, Maeglin called the small group to a halt. The rocky outcrop nearby would serve as a good barrier from the breeze and provide an excellent look out.

"Our pursuers should be as blind as the rest of you once night falls. If we don't rest now we will be too tired tomorrow to deal with anything that can find us. I'm afraid tonight you must go without a fire or a light, even Beastmen would not be able to miss those signs. Allaen, the second watch will be yours."

And with that, the elf was atop the boulder leaving the others to sort out their own arrangements.

#15 Eldacar

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:42 AM

"My family knows and agrees with this course of action," Allaen explained, "and even if they did not, my tutoring is not their decision. They placed me with my master, and so it is he who decides how I will learn. There was another apprentice who remained behind as well, but I think he went south."

*

Nodding to Maeglin about the second watch, Allaen moved over to the priest. "Are you well?" he asked. "And is the skull causing you any undue problems?"

#16 Orcslicer

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:54 PM

Julen brings back Gurni to shore by slowly pulling him across the glassy surface of the pool to where Skalf stands murmuring a prayer in his sombre voice. As the scholar is brought to shore and turned over, his blistered face, a pallid white in the moonlight, is revealed. Blood still seeps from numerous deep wounds in his side.
Skalf places a hand upon Gurni's chest as he nears completion of his rite, before recoiling in shock. "He lives! He lives yet - I felt his heart! The tough old "I swear too much"!"

The priest immidiately fumbles for his healing tools, while Julen keeps watch for any signs of the beastmen pursuing them.
"He's feverish, possibly hypothermic," mutters Skalf. "He needs warmth... a fire, if we dare risk it. As do you," he adds, eyeing Julen's soaked lower half.

A routine perception test please Paraic. Note also that because the water is ice cold to start with, and now night has fallen you will have little chance to dry. For now, you suffer no immidiate ill effects, but if you don't get into a dry pair of clothes and warm up soon, your situation will deteriorate.

_______________

"I feel all the more stronger," announces Odo cheerfully, "Now that the thing is in the b-" He stops, and feels around. "Ulric take it, where is it? I had it at arms length, on that rock!" He begins frantically to feel the ground around him, but Allaen can see that the box is not near his feet.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the camp, Anna approaches Maeglin. "Surely we can risk one, small fire? Look at yourself, and Orderic; he's soaked! If you don't dry off, you're risking making yourself ill."

Orderic at this time puts himself in charge of setting up tents. He still has not spoken a word since he was dragged from the water, but having removed his mail, you can see that he is shivering violently, adding difficulty to his work.

That goes to all of you who went in the water - now that the adrenaline has worn off, you're starting to feel the chill of wet clothes on a cloudless night.

Edited by Orcslicer, 23 July 2009 - 02:54 PM.


#17 Hyarion

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:45 PM

"If it is a matter of life and death, then so be it. But help find the box first, it must remain our top priority." grumbled Maeglin, clearly unhappy about this turn of events.

#18 Eldacar

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:58 PM

Allaen glanced around, searching with his eyes for the box containing the skull.

OOC: Do I make a search test or anything like that?

#19 Orcslicer

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:07 PM

Anyone wishing to may make a search test; let me know the number of degrees of failure/success/

#20 Eldacar

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:14 PM

OOC: Allaen has the Search skill, and rolled a 12. Needed better than a 48 to pass.




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