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    Chapter 2: The Outsiders
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:26 am    Post subject: Chapter 2: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    When they left the Icepick, it was as if each one of them, in turn, had been punched in the face.

    Some of them felt Beory's caress more acutely than did the others. Njord bore the thin sheen of lard upon his skin that took most of the sting from the wind and the driving snow, like the bare edges of her nails, raked across his exposed flesh. Sævil was not unused to the fury of a bitter winter, but this turn of nature was something unheard of even in the lands from which he hailed. He found himself raising his arm, hiding his eyes away from the icy gale and the blinding glare that reflected from the unblemished white with which it covered the world. Ohrin seemed the best pugilist of them all, the blessing of his deity somehow forcing the weather to ignore him. If one looked closely enough, they could see the way that the wind and the snow gusted powerfully in his direction, only to avert its path a hair's breadth from his person. By contrast, Kahss had the hardest time of it, having to turn his head against the worst of it, gritting his teeth against the painful cold and the whirling frenzy of a storm of falling icemotes, like so many tiny razorblades.

    They walked in procession behind Captain Fireheart. The spire of the Icepick behind them, she led them down Corus' central prominade, slogging her way through knee-deep snow all the way. As they had chosen to see their new headquarters for themselves, it had fallen to her to take them to its door. So it was the Little One had said, and so it was that she had taken up the task – as was ever her way, without rebuttal or complaint. Njord was close at her heel, watching the way that her cloak billowed or snapped at its end with the whim of the wind. The way she moved – undeterred by the elements, indeed, as if their wrath only seemed to spur her resolve onward – she was almost like a force of nature, unto herself.

    Five minutes from the warmth of the flickering torches they had enjoyed in the Mayor's presence, Kahss had considered asking the Captain how much further they'd have to walk before arriving at their destination. Eventually, he abandoned the notion. Why bother, he considered the gale, when surely no one would would hear you?

    Eventually, the five of them – shadows on a tapestry of winter white – arrived at the door of a large structure. It was not a place unfamiliar to any of them. It was set along the inside of one of the settlement's inner stone walls, that had once marked the edge of its bounds before it had expanded to take on a growing population. Perhaps a hundred feet in length and twenty feet in depth, there were two large, iron-bound doors in its grey rock and mortar construction that barred easy entry within, about fifty feet from one another. Mercifully, each one of the members of the newly born fellowship noted two chimneys rising from the back of the building, pillars of gentle grey smoke wisping from their tops before being ripped away by the wind's ferocity.

    The Captain pulled at one of the doors, fighting for a moment against the snow that had piled up at its foot. Eventually she conquered its weight. “Come,” she bade them, having to raise her voice to be heard. “Be swift.” None of them had to be told twice.

    Within the structure, warmth assailed the flesh, almost as painfully as had the snow. The collective gazes of the four men among them surveyed their new surroundings. The two fireplaces had been lit, crackling flames roaring in their mouths. Along with the torches, numbering perhaps two dozen, set in sconces along the walls, they provided ample illumination by which to see easily. The walls, it was obvious, had once had windows, but those were long-ago shuttered and barred against the snowfall. It was a grim reminder of their dire situation.

    Gazes traced the walls, leaving the stack of cut wood for burning that lined one of them and four beds – more cots than anything else, with heavy trunks at the foot of each one – that would serve to provide comfort for the weary. Not far from them were four small desks, chairs at each one, with unlit candles and sticks upon their wooden flats. Only a few feet from those furnishings, a table bore three tapped casks atop of it. In center of the room was dominated by a great table, chairs aplenty ringing it. It looked like it might seat two dozen men; the notion that it very well might have to do exactly that escaped none of them.

    Captain Fireheart shook some of the snow off of the shoulders of her cloak. “This building,” she explained, “will serve as your new headquarters. The Little One has seen to it that it is appointed handsomely...but if it does not serve your needs for some reason,” she looked between them, “make known that which you require and we will see if you can be accommodated.”

    To meet her eyes was a difficult thing, as ever, for Njord. The ravishing warrior's dark hair seemed to drink in the light about them; her deep brown flesh seemed like an unbroken field of chestnut. Her eyes were a day's work, just to look into them.

    “That you would come here directly was not expected,” she continued. “I will require some time before I can return to you with the list of volunteers available to you. Given the importance of this labor, I will put the task to as many Guardsmen as I can spare. You will have your names within the hour,” she promised. The way she said it, there was no doubt of it at all.

    “Have you any questions of me before I set about it?” she asked.
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin smiled at the captain, "Thank you for escorting us here. We shall," he added, while looking at his companions to make sure none of them had any immediate requests, "quickly know whether or not this place has any needs and should be able to advise you upon that upon your return. I look forward to seeing the list!"

    Ohrin then gives the captain one last nod and begins to wander about the place, examining the structure and its furniture.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:09 pm    Post subject: Chapter 2: Sævil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    Sævil squints as he takes in the room. He grabs a chair and pulls it toward one of the fires, sprawls out, and sighs happily.

    Once Fireheart leaves, he turns as if to answer her, "Ja, I hardly see the beer keg in here!"
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:57 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord managed to pull his gaze from Captain Fireheart only briefly. He quickly examined the spacious headquarters. Not a single discernable thought about the place entered his mind before his eyes had moved back to the captain. He stepped toward her, keeping a respectful distance, but the burning within intensified. A quick bow of his head and a deep breath before speaking allowed him to gather his voice.

    "Captain, i have question. Are you going with Good Mayor Highmountain to attack 'Egg'?"

    He feared and yet hoped for a specific answer.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:12 am    Post subject: Kahss, Njord, Ohrin, and Saevil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    Ohrin smiled at the captain, "Thank you for escorting us here. We shall," he added, while looking at his companions to make sure none of them had any immediate requests, "quickly know whether or not this place has any needs and should be able to advise you upon that upon your return. I look forward to seeing the list!"

    Ohrin then gives the captain one last nod and begins to wander about the place, examining the structure and its furniture.

    The Captain returned his nod, saying nothing in reply. Instead, she turned and made her way for the door and the task at hand. Just as she was steeling herself against the icy gale awaiting her beyond the wooden barrier, the voice of one of her Guardsmen gave her pause.

    Njord managed to pull his gaze from Captain Fireheart only briefly. He quickly examined the spacious headquarters. Not a single discernible thought about the place entered his mind before his eyes had moved back to the captain. He stepped toward her, keeping a respectful distance, but the burning within intensified. A quick bow of his head and a deep breath before speaking allowed him to gather his voice.
    "Captain, I have question. Are you going with Good Mayor Highmountain to attack 'Egg'?"

    He feared and yet hoped for a specific answer.

    The weight of her gaze was a palpable thing, its intensity darkly furious even in repose. Njord had to force himself to meet it in kind, to not turn away. “No,” she replied. “I will not. It has fallen to me to remain behind. I will lead the City Guard and Defenders not involved with either yours or the Mayor's groups, organizing them for the defense of the city, should the Blackmoorians be so foolish to attack whilst you are away. We shall see that they have a proper welcome from the good folk of Corus.” Captain Fireheart offered a wry smirk to punctuate the notion. It promised much in the way of pain. Njord suddenly realized that he hadn't breathed, the entire time she'd spoken.

    “Each of you should be honored,” she said, glancing about them. “Just as the Mayor explained that Ohrin's name was put forth specifically by Master Retlishin for this expedition – so, too, were each one of you chosen by one whom the Little One trusts. This is not a niggling thing. Perhaps knowing that might give you courage to face the trials doubtlessly ahead of you.”

    Near the back of the room, Ohrin stroked his hand across the flat of one of the desks in the course of his inspection. Wood. Darkly stained, it was hardly the work of a master craftsman. Nay, instead, it was built for utility. It was composed of so many flats, secured together by heavy iron bolts and bucklings. But it was wood. In a place such as Corus, it was something of a rarity. Trees were sparse, here, precious. Those good enough to be felled usually comprised the substance of the fishing boats that filled the bellies of the folk of the settlement. Furnishings and other objects were made of stone whenever possible. Failing that, the occasional bits of driftwood that made it to the shores of the Brink Islands from the icy seas surrounding them were used.

    He considered that the furniture might have belonged to Corus' founder – the renowned Sorillion Ro, himself. At least it was brought here during the days in which he walked the settlement's streets. The Little One had not exaggerated: She truly had given them the best of that which was available to her.

    Perhaps of greater interest, though – not far from the section of the room where the cots lay – he noticed a door. Its rectangular seam was flush to the wall and was difficult to see from the furthest reaches of the room.

    Captain Fireheart nodded in their direction once again. “I will return soon.” She pushed the door before herself open, plunging the room for a moment into the heart of winter. The sudden roar of the wind outside seemed to fill the structure up in an instant, until the door abruptly closed behind her once again. Warmth began to chase it from within once more. It took far too long for any of their liking.

    Sævil squints as he takes in the room. He grabs a chair and pulls it toward one of the fires, sprawls out, and sighs happily.

    The licking flames within the fireplace began to fill Sævil's limbs with life. It would have been easy to pass into blissful slumber, in that position.

    Once Fireheart leaves, he turns as if to answer her, "Ja, I hardly see the beer keg in here!"

    From Ohrin's position, it was not hard at all. One of the casks on the table seemed to be full of the stuff. Or perhaps wine.

    To one such as Sævil, it might not matter so much.
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin, clearly curious about the door, examines it more closely. If it has a handle, etc., he will go ahead and open it, assuming it's a closet.
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    Jigsawed
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Kahss' mind was on the cold, on the list, and on supplies. Following Saevil’s lead he also pulled a chair from the table and sat close to the fire, angled facing towards the door.

    It was plain to see that the weather traveling to the Land of Black Ice would become only more difficult, and if accommodations were not made to fight the cold, he felt as if he might freeze solid before being any use.

    In thought as feeling returned to flesh, Kahss glanced at Ohrin as he ran his hand along the desk; it was certain that wood for arrows would be of concern, and preparations would also need to be made to procure and carry as many as possible. They would be useful for hunting and trapping, a skill honed over the course of a lifetime, and ensure preparation for any situation.

    Lastly, the list. More to travel with, mouths to feed, and hands to watch; more possible spies to walk amongst the living. Upon receiving the list he would make a copy and consider spending time within the next three days learning of the members it contains; both directly and indirectly. He would work with his new fellowship, listen, and keep his eyes ever watchful.

    The flames were pleasant, and would be the last reminder of the comfort of true shelter. Enjoying it while he could, Kahss began to harden his mind for the preparations and journey into the unknown that would come next.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:59 am    Post subject: Chapter 2: Sævil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    Sævil sighs when he spots the cask on the table. He concentrates closely and extends his arm toward the cask, flexing every muscle involved until his entire arm is quivering.

    After a few moments, he drops his arm and glances around the room, "Damn," he says, "I still can't do it."

    Finally he slinks up to the cask, uncorks it, and while watching what Ohrin is up to, has a sniff.
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:24 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord walked into the middle of the area to look around and finally take in his surroundings. The heat in his body still churned but began to subside. The image of the captain faded. As he finally became present, he noticed Saevil's failed magic trick. He moved over to the table where Kahss and Saevil had stationed themselves and, with a slight smile, addressed the would-be magician.

    "You practice sorcery to bring drink to you? That would be good skill to master. Perhaps when it is yours, you teach me."
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject: Kahss, Njord, Ohrin, and Saevil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    Ohrin, clearly curious about the door, examines it more closely. If it has a handle, etc., he will go ahead and open it, assuming it's a closet.

    Kahss' mind was on the cold, on the list, and on supplies. Following Saevil’s lead he also pulled a chair from the table and sat close to the fire, angled facing towards the door.

    It was plain to see that the weather traveling to the Land of Black Ice would become only more difficult, and if accommodations were not made to fight the cold, he felt as if he might freeze solid before being any use.

    In thought as feeling returned to flesh, Kahss glanced at Ohrin as he ran his hand along the desk; it was certain that wood for arrows would be of concern, and preparations would also need to be made to procure and carry as many as possible. They would be useful for hunting and trapping, a skill honed over the course of a lifetime, and ensure preparation for any situation.

    He watched Ohrin inspect the flat of the door, his hand tracing one of the edges of its seam before stopping at about the level of his waist. That was where he found its handle: A small wooden lever that he pushed downward and pulled upon gently to force it to swing towards him.

    The space beyond was not overlarge. Dark, Ohrin opened the door a bit wider to allow the sliver of light that cast from the room outside to become a broader cone of brightness. At last, he could see what lay beyond the door's threshold. A small table inside the door provided a flat on which a twisted iron candlestick could rest. Past that, a squat stone square on which one might sit. A sizable hole was cut into much of the throne, however, a deep well stretching down from that into blackness. Next to the stone arrangement, he saw a series of clay pots, meant to hold water to wash with.

    Kahss watched him gaze inside the tiny room while he considered their situation anew. Lastly, there was the list. More to travel with, mouths to feed, and hands to watch; more possible spies to walk amongst the living. Upon receiving the list he would make a copy and consider spending time within the next three days learning of the members it contains; both directly and indirectly. He would work with his new fellowship, listen, and keep his eyes ever watchful.

    The flames were pleasant, and would be the last reminder of the comfort of true shelter. Enjoying it while he could, Kahss began to harden his mind for the preparations and journey into the unknown that would come next.

    Sævil sighs when he spots the cask on the table. He concentrates closely and extends his arm toward the cask, flexing every muscle involved until his entire arm is quivering.

    After a few moments, he drops his arm and glances around the room, "Damn," he says, "I still can't do it."

    Finally he slinks up to the cask, uncorks it, and while watching what Ohrin is up to, has a sniff.

    From where he stood, it was hard to tell what Ohrin saw inside the dark room into which he gazed in silence. Whatever it was, it seemed of only little import, given the lack of expression that cross his features.

    Njord walked into the middle of the area to look around and finally take in his surroundings. The heat in his body still churned but began to subside. The image of the captain faded. As he finally became present, he noticed Saevil's failed magic trick. He moved over to the table where Kahss and Saevil had stationed themselves and, with a slight smile, addressed the would-be magician.

    "You practice sorcery to bring drink to you? That would be good skill to master. Perhaps when it is yours, you teach me."

    The three casks, Saevil saw, each contained different contents. One was filled with wine, another some kind of beer, and the last, clean and fresh water. In his experience, in the settlement of Corus, there was little guessing as to what the first two might taste like. The folk of their community came from many different places in the world, called many different cultures their own. As one might expect, each prized different flavors when it came to their food and drink. For one who enjoyed trying new experiences, it was a paradise. For the more conservative, each new cask posed a moment of anxiety.

    The crackling fire in the fireplace had overcome the moment's chill when Captain Fireheart had opened the door, at last. Warmth spread across the flesh of the four of them.

    That it would be one of the last warm hours for all of them, was not lost upon any of the quartet.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord, after thinking a bit, spoke.

    "I have questions. Please give moment. First question to Saevil. What is Jungle, or This Not Jungle, or something such? You spoke this in Icepick Tower and it made confusion for me. Another question. We are to plan. Would it be good for list of plan? For supplies and such things? I write but am not best with common-script. Maybe Ohrin is best for this? Maybe Kahss?" Njord looked in their respective directions as he made the queries. Then he turned to Saevil, smiling. "I guess Saevil will have tankard in fist -- no room for quill. And i might join him in such."

    "I think last question." Njord's hint of joviality disappeared entirely, his expression turning grave. "Is this duty madness? I see not how we have chance to find place on haunted Black Ice and rebuild Corus there. I am willing to task, but seems, maybe, doomed for fail? Have better hope to kill 'Egg' and leave Corus solid on island. And even if place can be found, would Black Ice be best? I respect Mayor Highmountain, but maybe not of decision. What thoughts have you?"
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Of course, a privy," Ohrin said aloud. Ohrin then gathered up the clay pots, took them outside, and filled them with snow. These were then placed near the closest hearth for the snow to melt. Once melted, he returned them to the privy room.

    While the snow was melting, Ohrin moved to the sleeping area and casually looked at the cots before turning to look back at the hearths and his companions.

    "Comrades, might I suggest that, in order to conserve wood, we slide the large table forty feet to the left, so that it is directly in front of the left-most hearth. Doing so will allow us to bring the cots closer to the right-most hearth. We can then allow the left hearth to die down, conserving wood, while using just the right hearth to keep ourselves warm as we sleep. We can always restart the fire in the other hearth when we have need to use the great table. Thoughts?"
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:51 pm    Post subject: Chapter 2: Sævil: The Outsiders: HQ Reply with quote

    Sævil tips back in his chair, "Ah friend Njord, That's No Jungle! was the name of my old adventuring band. Good times!"
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord Reply with quote

    Syzygyst wrote:
    "Another question. We are to plan. Would it be good for list of plan? For supplies and such things? I write but am not best with common-script. Maybe Ohrin is best for this? Maybe Kahss?"


    "Good idea. I will fetch quill and paper from my residence and will be happy be our record keeper."

    Syzygyst wrote:
    "I think last question." Njord's hint of joviality disappeared entirely, his expression turning grave. "Is this duty madness? I see not how we have chance to find place on haunted Black Ice and rebuild Corus there. I am willing to task, but seems, maybe, doomed for fail? Have better hope to kill 'Egg' and leave Corus solid on island. And even if place can be found, would Black Ice be best? I respect Mayor Highmountain, but maybe not of decision. What thoughts have you?"


    "I think it is a fair and reasonable question. I know almost nothing about this area or how we will go about our search, let alone while leading such a large party! However, if the Little One and Master Retlishin think the population might have to relocate, then I will not question their judgement. Still, I wish we could first visit Ramshorn before making our way into the unknown. It may be that Baron Ramshorn, who is the deposed leader of the city I hail from, could provide us with some advice."
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin's opening of the door let another gust of wintery bluster into the large structure. Even when he closed it behind himself, toting the pair of pots from the privy back into its small space, it seemed to linger within. It was yet more encouragement for Sævil to test the contents of the casks.

    Once the first was tapped, his tankard ready to catch its contents, he instantly realized that it was hardly any beer within. The scent of the drink was much sharper, the color dark, like peat. He recognized it instantly. It was rum. More specifically, it was the Old Man's rum. He had five casks of the stuff, or so he claimed, that he had somehow managed to bring to Corus from a faraway place he called Hep-Mona-Land. The stuff looked evil, but its thin consistency was delicious to the taste: Just spicy enough to tamper the heat of it, just sweet enough to make one wish for one more mug.

    He knew that even as he was filling his tankard. He'd had a taste before -- but just a taste. The Old Man did not part with the stuff easily. Indeed, to him, it was a prize far more valuable than gold.

    It gave the northman no small amount of pause.

    He knew precisely what its presence implied.
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    PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:15 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord Reply with quote

    "Good! I'm sure you will make fine scribe for us," said Njord, responding to Ohrin. "I like idea of moving tables and cots closer to fire-hearts for to keep from burning so much wood." With that, Njord took hold of the edge of the table furthest from the cots. He grasped it and tried to lift, assuming it would be very heavy.

    Looking at Saevil, who was enamored of the contents of the casks, he asked, "Friend Saevil, what is reason for name of traveling group, Thats No Jungle? Seems like name with story." His query to learn that story might also work to rouse Saevil from his spirits-reverie into helping with the furniture.
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    PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin and Njord shuffled the heavy wooden furniture about the room -- a labor much easier for the northman than the half-elf -- while Sævil and Kahss continued to enjoy the comfort of their chairs, warming their bones by the roaring fire. The former of the two hadn't answered Njord's question, which drew his attention toward the heavy, dark liquor in his tankard. He wondered if his silence bespake its potency.

    In short order, the more industrious of the four of them had the room arranged to their liking. It seemed much more suitable to serve as the headquarters of their newly-minted fellowship. The work took the better part of a quarter-hour to complete. If the Captain was as good as her word, it would not be long before she returned to them with their list of volunteers. Who could say how many of them would be suited to such a task? Any that might sign up would certainly be brave, aye.

    But possessing skill to match that courage was another thing altogether.
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Sævil Reply with quote

    Sævil sets down the cask without drinking and stretches in his chair.

    He glances at Njord and laughs, "I was raised on the same coast near which our mission truly begins, you know. My step-father saw me well educated for a Xeai, but when I arrived in Perrenland, I barely spoke the common tongue, and my experience of the world was narrow."

    "After a few years of mercenary work, a group of us who'd become friends decided to go off adventuring on our own. We'd been arguing over what to call ourselves, and the drink had been flowing all night. Right as a temporary lull overcame our argument our magicker Sarya finished telling Dramm the story of the time I thought a swamp was a jungle," Sævil sighs and gazes at the fire.

    "The telling of which she liked to end with 'That's no jungle!'" He drifts into silence, and closes his eyes as he manipulates something at his throat.

    "Well friends, how can I help now?" He gestures to Ohrin and Njord moving furniture.
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Ha!" said Njord. "That is good story for name! I look forward to you calling hills, mountains, and calling streams, rivers!" Njord welcomed Saevil's joining he and Ohrin with the room arrangements. "I have heard of this Perrenland. It is to south near Lake called Quag, is not? My homeland is not far. I am from forest called Burneal. But i have not had adventures like good Saevil. Will we pass Tusking Land on way to Black Ice? Maybe you see your homeland?," he questioned toward Saevil.

    Turning to Ohrin, he asked, "Has Mistress Highmountain told you road to take to Black Ice? Do we have map? Maybe we go to this Ramshorn you speak? I know not. But I think Black Ice is not place to live." He became silent, and somber.

    Momentarily, he looked at the quiet Kahss, who still seemed lost in thought. "Do you have story, Friend Kahss?"
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    PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:28 pm    Post subject: Kahss, Njord Ohrin, and Sævil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    Kahss turned in Njord's direction thoughtfully, his lips pursed as if he was about to speak. Whatever his thoughts might have been, he never had the chance to give them voice. Instead, he was interrupted by the sound of a boot, heavily planted on the foot of the door behind him. The portal was thrown open roughly a moment after: The harbinger of Captain Fireheart's return.

    She was not alone. Two men followed at her heels and, behind them, the everpresent icy wind that plunged the room's temperature instantly into an uncomfortable chill. The snow from outside whistled into the room, making her heavy cloak and the crackling flames in the fireplaces dance alike, until at last one of the men deigned shut it tight behind them. Both Sævil and Njord recognized both of them right away: Pol Yrnigaard and Resti Sargath, each of the City Guard. Strong, powerful men, they bore their longswords at their sides, still shivering slightly from the bitterness of the cold outside, despite the heavy furs and thick layers of cloth they wore underneath them. Both were but junior in rank and accomplishment, though Sargath in particular might have made something of himself had he not lost his eye to a Stoneholder's crossbow bolt sometime previous to his arrival in Corus. Such was their mettle that neither of them were especially well-known to the northmen, though.

    The Captain clutched a long tube of bone in her gauntleted hand. All watched as she opened one end of it, producing a rolled sheet of parchment from within its hollow. She was as good as her word: It had not quite yet been an hour since she'd first left them. She placed the wax-sealed document in the center of the immense table at the end of the room, coolly regarding the new arrangement of the furniture as she did it. What she might have thought of it – if anything at all – she kept to herself.

    “This is the list of men and women that have volunteered themselves to your service,” she said. She didn't seem to address any of them in particular; it was as if she spoke to them all collectively. “I have ordered Guardsmen Yrnigaard and Sargath to attend to the security of your headquarters. They will remain outside your door for as long as you have need of them. Should anyone seek your attention, they will first announce them, then conduct them to your presence. If you would like to speak to anyone on the list, you have but to tell them to fetch them – and it will be done.”

    She cast her ever-intense stare between the two men, as if to bid them acknowledge their understanding of her orders. Both nodded quickly in response. Ohrin got the very distinct impression that they were terrified of the Captain of Corus City Guards.

    To Njord, it was a virtual certainty.
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    lamashtu wrote:
    Sævil sets down the cask without drinking and stretches in his chair...

    "Well friends, how can I help now?" He gestures to Ohrin and Njord moving furniture.


    "We could use a hand shifting the big table down the room, centered on the other hearth," Ohrin replied as he and Njord finished moving the desks and cots into their new positions.

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Turning to Ohrin, Njord asked, "Has Mistress Highmountain told you road to take to Black Ice? Do we have map? Maybe we go to this Ramshorn you speak? I know not. But I think Black Ice is not place to live." He became silent, and somber.


    "You know exactly as much as I do, my friend, about our future travails. I plan to ask Master Retlishin for a map--or the Little One if Master Retlishin is unable to provide one. I definitely think it would be prudent to seek an audience with the Baron Ramshorn so long as the Little One does not object."

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    The portal was thrown open roughly a moment after: The harbinger of Captain Fireheart's return....


    Ohrin nodded his thanks at the captain as he eagerly moved to the table, quill and parchment in hand, in order to look at the list. As an afterthought, he said, "I think we should lock and bar the far door so that these two stalwarts merely have to guard one door. Also, they should probably build a firepit so that they don't catch their deaths of cold. At the very least, each should take one of our torches for warmth and light."

    Ohrin then turned his attention to the list and began to copy the names down on his own parchment. He then moved to his desk and began muttering to himself in elven as he made notes next to the names of those he recognized.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Quote:
    "I think we should lock and bar the far door so that these two stalwarts merely have to guard one door. Also, they should probably build a firepit so that they don't catch their deaths of cold. At the very least, each should take one of our torches for warmth and light."


    "These ideas are good, Ohrin." Njord responded slowly, almost as if in a daze. He wasn't even looking at the group's scribe as Ohrin began examining the scroll left by the Captain. No, Njord was gazing at Fireheart herself. Something was churning in him, and it moved him a step forward. He remembered his station and stopped. Then bowed his head, asking,

    "Captain, we will see you again before we leave?"

    Something was different this time. Something was shifting inside, but he couldn't discern exactly what that was.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "I think we should lock and bar the far door so that these two stalwarts merely have to guard one door. Also, they should probably build a firepit so that they don't catch their deaths of cold. At the very least, each should take one of our torches for warmth and light."

    Neither of the Guardsmen responded. Yet it was evident in their expressions that Ohrin's thoughts were well-received and appreciated. Their respect for their Captain was all that held their tongues in check.

    Captain Fireheart nodded, glancing in their directions, each one. "Let it be done, then," she said. And dutifully, both men turned and made for the door, eager to get their labors underway. Winter returned into the expanse of the room for a moment and was gone again when the door closed behind them.

    "These ideas are good, Ohrin." Njord responded slowly, almost as if in a daze. He wasn't even looking at the group's scribe as Ohrin began examining the scroll left by the Captain. No, Njord was gazing at Fireheart herself. Something was churning in him, and it moved him a step forward. He remembered his station and stopped. Then bowed his head, asking,

    "Captain, we will see you again before we leave?"

    Something was different this time. Something was shifting inside, but he couldn't discern exactly what that was.

    She turned to face him, as if the sound of his voice was something perhaps unexpected. When she did it, Njord understood why it was that the deer could not bolt to safety beneath the gaze of the hunter. It was as if the quality of Captain Fireheart's eyes penetrated his stare, pinned him to the spot with its weight.

    "Perhaps," she told him. "Perhaps not. If you've something to say to me, Tholjorsonn -- you should make it plain while the moment avails us."

    That indescribable something in the pit of his belly seemed weightless, seemed to tumble away helplessly.

    He hadn't been aware she knew his name.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:27 am    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord felt odd, like he was naked, but on the inside. He searched quickly for something to cover up with, for some barrier to put between himself and the Captain. Somehow he found it -- a small truth, simple but solid, with which he could shield himself from her evicerating gaze.

    "Captain, i merely wonder if we are to contact you for questions. Or it is we go to Good Mayor Highmountain?" The words both slid and stumbled out of his mouth. And still he could not look away.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    She listened to him speak, remaining silent for a few, long heartbeats after Njord's voice had died from the air. No one was speaking now. The quiet was a palpable thing. Before him, Captain Fireheart seemed to be deconstructing him with her ever-intense eyes, pulling him apart. Searching for something...deeper, beneath his surface.

    When she spoke, her voice cut through the air like thunder. Her words, sharp as lightning. "Njord Tholjorsonn," she said, at last, taking a step towards him. Her presence seemed to have weight to it, something that made him want to begin to tremble at the fingers and toes. "You are a man of the Raven-Folk. A survivor of a Plague-Sister's embrace. Yesterday, a Witch-Wife. You are a man of my Guard. And you have something to say to me -- yet for all the courage I know that must lie sleeping in your belly, you cannot seem to bear to wake it. Indeed, it must be of no small import to die stillborn upon your tongue so."

    She was an unbreakable mare, majestic and wild. Her beauty was like a thunderstorm in its ferocity and spirit. "I offer you a final chance to give your thoughts voice, Wintercrown," she said. Her expression was the falling rain. Another stroke of brilliance was about to light the skies of his imagination.

    "Or have I somehow mistaken your mettle?"
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