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    Chapter 2: The Outsiders
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Sævil ceases his labors and looks first to the Captain, and then at Njord. He chuckles softly, and then gets his head down before either might spot his rather wide grin.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Usually Njord's thoughts flowed through his mind like a meandering stream, but now they were a river: a crystalline torrent under the mid-day sun. That she knew what she did was a surprise, but evoking that information in the midst of his fellows was astonishing. And what was this Wintercrown she mentioned?

    Somehow he kept his composure. Not only were his thoughts racing but so too was his body; energy coursed through his heart and lungs. His skin, especially on the outside of his arms and throat, was hotly itching. And that which he had momentarily lost, returned as a weight in his pelvis -- a solidity in his center. His feet were firmly on the ground and his legs were stout. And, most of all, his adrenals were on fire. He hadn't felt this for many moons, and he remembered what had happened the last time they burned so. But this time was different.

    Njord took a step toward the captain, intentionally moving closer to her than ever before: not threateningly so, but probably crossing some boundary of official decorum. As he did so, he bowed his head -- not in reverence, but simply staring down at Captain Fireheart, a full head-and-shoulders below. How tiny she was! He had never noticed that before. His arms may have been slightly shaking as it was all he could do to keep from reaching out with his hands to gently take hold of her. Then, with a more firm, resonant voice than perhaps he had ever brought forth, he stated:

    "We have things to speak about. This is not place or time. I will find you when is better moment. Now, we have work at hand.... Captain."

    He actually began turning away from the commander before he had uttered the honorific, which he had never dared do. He still intended the respect she deserved as Captain, but he was letting her know, perhaps, that he no longer cared that she outranked him. The little world of Corus was being swallowed by Kakasho, maybe summoned by the strange 'Egg.' Highmountain and her companions would soon face that danger and likely die. He and his fellows were likely to perish on the Black Ice: a great dark graveyard that blanketed the northernmost of the Flanaess. Undoubtedly, formalities should be among the first pieces of their tiny civilization to fall.

    He moved toward Ohrin to begin helping with the plans that, in his mind, were likely doomed to fail. And yet, indeed, he intended to seek out the captain soon enough.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject: Kahss, Njord, Ohrin, and Saevil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    Even as he towered above her, the Captain of Corus' Town Guards did not offer even the merest of flinches. She simply stared up into his eyes, unblinking, unmoved. The moment lasted perhaps a breath longer than Njord might have expected.

    Then: "Very well," she replied, nodding ever so slightly. The northman could have become hopelessly lost in the darkness of her hair. "Be present at my office after sunset. I will await you and your cloistered thoughts there...Wintercrown."

    Another breath. A pause. Then, Njord watched her turn on her heel, making her way for the door. The curves of her figure were deliciously maddening, even covered in furs and armor, and he watched them sway with her every step away from him.

    Had he sat where did Sævil, he might have seen the thinnest of smiles grace her lips.

    Her back to him, though, he did not.
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin, completely oblivious to any subtextual undertones occurring in the room while immersed in reviewing the list of names, raised his head to ask the Captain one last question before she departed:

    "Captain, have you any thoughts or advice on Ramshorn and its baron? The baron is the former ruler of my former home city and I am hoping we might arrange for an audience in order to glean some information about what lies ahead; he is a most skilled worker of the arcane arts. However, I am unaware as to whether this settlement, and its leader, have had dealings with him in the past. Any advice would be most appreciated."
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Njord was glad to hear Ohrin's voice as he moved to the far side of the mage, away from the captain. As Ohrin conversed with Fireheart, Njord leaned over the table a bit and firmly planted a gloved palm on its solid wood surface. It helped to ground his still roiled energies. Staring at the table, he shook his head slightly, slowly, both in some disbelief and as a means to stabilize his thoughts. Then he focused on the papers about Ohrin. His eyes were relieved to have something to behold other than the captain. Wintercrown? And she had called him Witch-wife! He would begin to hope for some miracle that could withhold the sun from setting, thus preventing the appointment that she had managed to ordain!
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:41 am    Post subject: Kahss, Njord, Ohrin, and Sævil: The Outsiders Reply with quote

    "Captain, have you any thoughts or advice on Ramshorn and its baron? The baron is the former ruler of my former home city and I am hoping we might arrange for an audience in order to glean some information about what lies ahead; he is a most skilled worker of the arcane arts. However, I am unaware as to whether this settlement, and its leader, have had dealings with him in the past. Any advice would be most appreciated."

    She looked back over her shoulder in Ohrin's direction. "I fear I can offer you little," she replied. "Ramshorn is some distance inland and Corus has precious little dealings with that place. However, we have friendly dealings with Mosshold to some extent, and the folk of those towns are allied. So perhaps they will treat with you well?"

    The Captain paused. "You are aware, however," she considered the matter more carefully, "that the very Egg of Coot is said to be situated directly between Ramshorn and the Land of Black Ice." The way she said it, it was not a question. "Your voyage to the latter place would either be perilous -- should you go there directly from the former of the two -- or rather lengthy, should you take pains to avoid it. This is something you should take care to plan for, whatever your decision. Perhaps you might send some members of your fellowship in one direction, then others in another?"

    She shook her head slightly. "I wonder too much," she finally decided. "The choice is for thee and thou fellows to divine, Master Ohrin. I have my duties elsewhere and should tend to them."

    The Captain's eyes looked past Sævil, gazing into the darkness of his tankard, then Kahss, watching the play of the roaring flames in the fireplace before him. Then, at last, upon Njord, trying his best to lose his attention in the mess of papers set before him and Ohrin. Predictably, he failed miserably.

    She turned once again and made for the door, saying nothing of what she might have thought. It was ever her way. Winter returned to the room for an instant, gone just as quickly as the heavy wooden door closed behind her.

    The breath came out of the northman, all at once, in the form of a sigh.
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Thanks!" Ohrin belated said at the departing captain's back before returning his attention to his comrades.

    "Comrades, I need to return to my quarters to seek a map from Master Retlishin and to fetch my belongings. I shall return shortly and hope to have some thoughts about our selection process upon my return. I am very interested to learn what you each have to say about our volunteers. I, myself, recognize a great many names on the list."

    Ohrin then gave his comrades a moment to opine before leaving the headquarters. Once outside, he spared a glance to make sure the two guardsmen were not frozen to death before continuing on his way to his quarters. Once he gathered up his bedroll, rucksack, armor, etc., he sought out Master Retlishin to ask him about Ramshorn and procuring a map, suggested routes, etc.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "I go also, it's best I have all my gear available here."

    Sævil walks home, his eyes slightly unfocused the whole way. He gathers up all his gear, and returns to the new headquarters. He finds a likely looking spot, and lays it out compactly on the floor, with his bedroll ready to be loosed quickly when ready.

    "I'll sleep far from the fires, as my bedroll is made for far colder places than this!" he says as he returns to the table and begins examining the list of volunteers.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Thanks!" Ohrin belated said at the departing captain's back before returning his attention to his comrades.

    He thought he might have detected the slightest nod of her head before her lithe figure was lost to the wind and the snows -- the the closing of the door behind her. On the far side of the room, the Guardsmen to whom she entrusted their safety were finishing the labor of barring the door. They wasted precious little time in following their Captain's path outside, once finished.

    The closing of the door behind them left the newly-minted fellowship alone in their headquarters, but for the company of the crackling fire.

    "Comrades, I need to return to my quarters to seek a map from Master Retlishin and to fetch my belongings. I shall return shortly and hope to have some thoughts about our selection process upon my return. I am very interested to learn what you each have to say about our volunteers. I, myself, recognize a great many names on the list."

    Ohrin then gave his comrades a moment to opine before leaving the headquarters. Once outside, he spared a glance to make sure the two guardsmen were not frozen to death before continuing on his way to his quarters. Once he gathered up his bedroll, rucksack, armor, etc., he sought out Master Retlishin to ask him about Ramshorn and procuring a map, suggested routes, etc.

    The two men were in the process of building their firepit, when he came upon them. They had broken the frozen ground with a shovel, digging enough of it away to place a small iron kettle within its confines. It would prevent the wind from snuffing out the fire with its icy breath, he realized. The two stopped their work at heaping dry driftwood into the metal container, offering him the best smile they could muster, through their shivering. "Good day, Master," Yrnigaard said. The comment almost took him aback, to hear it. That title was usually reserved for Retlishin alone.

    Sævil followed only a few steps behind him, eager to gather his things and set his affairs right, as well.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:59 pm    Post subject: Ohrin: A Notion of Propriety Reply with quote

    Ohrin made his way back to Master Retlishin's laboratory through the knee-deep snow and the furious wind. The streets of Corus were empty, silenced by the harridan gale. He mused upon returning to the exact place he'd left short hours ago how very differently the day had eventuated than he might have ever expected. Yet if ever a reminder of the truth found in the Little One's words proved necessary -- the weather certainly provided them. There was simply no way the folk of Corus would survive this winter for much longer a time. Indeed, it seemed a miracle that they managed to yet live at all, considering the spectacle about him.

    Master Retlishin's tower was an unusual place. It was possessed of no obvious entry at all: It was simply a featureless column of dark stone, topped by decorative crennelations. It was an imposing obelisk in the shadow of the Icepick. The Master generally came and went as he pleased through the use of his magics. All others would have to wind their way through the buildings -- like the laboratory -- that served as a footer for the tower.

    That was how Ohrin entered. He opened the door into the expanse of his workspace, knocking his feet and cloak free of the snowfall accumulated upon it. Within, Verenna and Zoltan stood, their attention torn from the beakers and alembics by the introduction of the wind and the cold.

    "Ohrin...?" Verenna posed him the beginning of an unspoken question.

    Perhaps she already knew.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    Sævil pushed his door to his modest home inward. Instantly, he knew that something was amiss. Light bled into the sleeping area from lit torches. He felt his entire body flinch, his hand reflexively dipping for the weapon at his side. A battle cry was rising in the hollow of his throat.

    Just as quickly, it was stillborn. The tension fled from his thews, his spine. Sitting against the wall, in one of his chairs, was a face familiar to him. It was the Old Man. He was chewing that foul root he so prized, and Sævil could smell it even from where he stood, across the room. Somehow, it managed to cut right through the scent of fresh fish and the wild and open sea. Half-lit by the torch, he regarded him.

    Sævil watched a sly smile cross his face, revealing a black-toothed grin.

    "So, lad," he said by way of greeting. "It's a fine mess I hear you've managed to get yourself into, eh?"

    He turned and spat into the iron basin beside him.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    [*Note: using brackets/brasterisks for contextual/OOC data.*]

    Njord was fairly quiet while Ohrin, and then Saevil [and Kahss?], prepared to head off and tend to personal matters. Before they left, he informed them that he, too, would be off to gather his gear and would return promptly. After they had left, his mind now clear, he again looked at the list on the table. He read through the names, making mental notes at each one. Perhaps thinking of these possible allies would busy his mind as he, too, went to collect his things; he'd rather have the Captain absent from his thoughts while he journeyed through Corus.

    After he scanned the list and pondered the names, Njord checked out the headquarters, making note of items that seemed absent: kettles, candles, cookpots, oil-lamps, [fresh-water / ice-blocks,] and the like. He noticed, oddly enough, that the place could probably use scented candles, given that it was to serve as a barracks, and since the latrine was essentially built-in. Then he wondered if he could even find scented candles here in Corus, realizing he hadn't actually lit one since his time under the branches of the Burneal...

    [* If Kahss did not leave, Njord will tell him he'll be back shortly. He then checks with the guards as he leaves, addressing them by name, and asks if they need anything. He will try to find any requested items for them. *]

    Njord trudged his way home through the relentless wind. At his small apartment, he gathered all his belongings: weapons, blankets, bedroll, travelling gear, and so on. Everything he owned he could manage to carry in one large heap on his body. He'd probably have to get rid of a few personal effects before leaving Corus to lighten his load, but for now, his life's possessions were on his own frame. The living quarters were now as stark as when he had taken them over nearly a year prior. He offered a moment of thanks to the room, having proven a sturdy, secure place to reside. Then he headed back toward the headquarters: his new, albeit very temporary, home. At each step, a labor due to his burden and the adversarial wind, he realized he was one moment closer to facing the formidable Captain.

    [* Njord will pick things up for the hq or the guards if they are not too sizeable and on the way. Upon returning to HQ, he plans to plant his gear at a bed-station, and, if the others have not returned, he'll go "shopping" for items that would be suitable for the environment/guards. *]
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:39 am    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    Njord trudged his way home through the relentless wind. At his small apartment, he gathered all his belongings: weapons, blankets, bedroll, travelling gear, and so on. Everything he owned he could manage to carry in one large heap on his body. He'd probably have to get rid of a few personal effects before leaving Corus to lighten his load, but for now, his life's possessions were on his own frame. The living quarters were now as stark as when he had taken them over nearly a year prior. He offered a moment of thanks to the room, having proven a sturdy, secure place to reside. Then he headed back toward the headquarters: his new, albeit very temporary, home. At each step, a labor due to his burden and the adversarial wind, he realized he was one moment closer to facing the formidable Captain.

    As he trudged his way through the winter white, Njord saw that his fellow Guardsmen had managed to light their fire in the freshly-dug pit next to the door. Both men were swathed in heavy furs and wore a thick coat of lard to protect those bits of flesh that could not otherwise be protected. Still, they were certain to linger as close to the flame as was possible. Such was the roar of the wind and the relentless pounding of the ice and snow it carried upon its invisible wings. They way made him feel slightly guilty that he had not found anything he considered over-useful to lighten the burden of their duties.

    They exchanged a word between them as Njord approached, punctuating the short discussion with a nod. Then, as he drew nearer, Yrnigaard left his place at the door, opening the heavy wooden portal for him. "Greetings again, Tholjorsson," Sargath said, trying on a smile in defiance of the weather's ferocity. "Kahss remains inside. None others have come or gone since your leaving."

    He passed the Guardsmen by. When he entered the headquarters, it was as if his limbs had gone aflame. The heat from the crackling fireplaces within brought an almost painful warmth with it. Soon, he knew it would be comforting; in the moment, it was hard to imagine.

    The door closed behind him, shut by Yrnigaard. The stain on his imagination was lessened considerably when he saw Kahss in his chair before the fire. He had, apparently, at some point, fallen asleep in its embrace. He made a gentle purring noise by way of snoring, something like a contented cat.

    He watched him sleep as he laid claim to one of the beds, arranging his belongings about it or in the trunk at its foot.

    He wondered if, where he dreamed, it was snowing there, as well.
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Ohrin: A Notion of Propriety Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Verenna and Zoltan stood, their attention torn from the beakers and alembics by the introduction of the wind and the cold.

    "Ohrin...?" Verenna posed him the beginning of an unspoken question.

    Perhaps she already knew.


    "Well, that was...interesting. I'm guessing that you," he said while looking at Zoltan, "already know some of Master Retlishin's plans for the near future. It seems I too have been chosen to help, albeit in a different way. Not sure how much I can really share yet but I'd like to ask for your thoughts on some of our local individuals--specifically their temperaments and abilities. I've made a list; can I ask each of you to take a look at it and to note your thoughts next to the name of anyone you recognize?" Ohrin laid out his copy of the list on a nearby table for them to see.

    "Also, I'm looking for a map of the region that includes the Land of Black Ice. Should I ask Master Retlishin if he has one I can borrow or do we have one lying around here that I can appropriate for the moment?"
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Zoltan's expression was impassive. Instantly, Ohrin realized that all was not well. Though he took great pains to conceal it, there was no mistaking the hint of fire in the quality of his stare as he regarded him. Unspoken venom lingered there. "I know nothing of the Master's plans, I fear," he said, voice curt and short. "Only that you will soon be leaving and that I should wish you well."

    Silence filled the air for a moment. Venenna looked over at the Master's most senior apprentice. She seemed as if a reply lingered upon her lips, but she could not bear give it voice. "Indeed," he said, straightening the shirt beneath his robe. "You will forgive me. I have errands of my own to attend to for the Master."

    Zoltan turned abruptly and walked away, leaving the laboratory through the door at its rear. With the sound of its closing, Verenna sighed.

    She looked back at him, her head slightly cocked. Her eyes offered an apology, of sorts. "Perhaps I can help with your list," she said, setting down the glass container full of cyan fluid she held. She turned down the flame beneath a beaker, bringing it to a simmer, rather than a boil. The soft plume of white smoke rising from its top faded to nothingness.

    She circled the table and gazed upon his parchment. "The Land of Black Ice is poorly-understood," she told him, as she read. "I doubt that you will find a map detailing much more than the outline of the landmass -- regardless of where you look. You may be one of the first civilized folk to explore it to any great extent, you know. This expedition represents a great opportunity to gather knowledge of a land that is merely a fable to most."

    She looked up at him, cleared her throat. "I, ah," she blushed, "managed to learn a bit about your journey from one of the Guardsmen," she confessed.

    Punctuated with an impish smirk.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Njord, after settling into the westernmost bed-station nearest the center of the head-quarters, pondered his next move. Perhaps he should go grab some gear or provisions for the several days they would be staying in the stark quarters? Perhaps he should bathe? No, that was best left for later after the coming encounter with the captain. These thoughts rolled across his mind at about the same pace as the snores lumbered out of Kahss.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:06 pm    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    Njord, after settling into the westernmost bed-station nearest the center of the head-quarters, pondered his next move. Perhaps he should go grab some gear or provisions for the several days they would be staying in the stark quarters? Perhaps he should bathe? No, that was best left for later after the coming encounter with the captain. These thoughts rolled across his mind at about the same pace as the snores lumbered out of Kahss.

    He stood in that way for some time, lost in thought. It was difficult to say how long it had been, in the way that transient thoughts can flit about like so many ephemeral butterflies. When he heard the sound at the door behind him, it almost startled him, snapping him from his reverie.

    The door opened, one of the Guardsmen holding it wide. Through its threshold, four tiny figures waddled into the room. Behind them, it closed. Each one was holding all manner of things: Blankets and pillows, food and drink, cutlery and containers. Their arms were so full of those things that they piled high in front of their faces. That was why they wobbled and meandered on their way: They couldn't see where they were going at all.

    It took Njord a moment to recognize them: Tanner Ruddyfoot's four children. He didn't know all the names of the gnomish youths -- two boys and two girls -- wrapped in their thick furs and hats, gloves and boots. Eventually, the first in the line ran into one of the beds -- eliciting a cry of surprise -- but finally made his way to one of the tables, where he dumped his armful of supplies. He breathed a sigh of relief; he was barely big enough to reach its wooden flat.

    With the act, he finally saw that they gnomish children weren't alone. He quickly took off his hat, holding it in front of himself. "Master Tholjorsonn," he bowed slightly. The other children heard his voice and, in the act of trying to see who he spoke to, began running into one another. The littlest one, at the end, fell on her bottom, though she managed to hang onto a heavy bag of bread and cheese.

    He was surprised they knew his name.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord and the Gnome-Kids Reply with quote

    Njord quickly moved over to the fallen gnome-girl. With one hand he reached down to lift the sack of bread and cheese. The other hand he offered to her in assistance for regaining her feet. As he did so, he spoke:

    "Please excuse. I am not knowing your names. You are children of Tanner Ruddyfoot, yes? Are these gifts for us?"
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject: Sævil: Sævil's Home Reply with quote

    Sævil swears in his native tongue, but lets his hands fall to his side.

    "Old Man Ocean lurking in my own home! And somehow he knows our plans," he barks a laugh, "I shouldn't be surprised, but there's one matter on which you're wrong - I volunteered for this mess!"

    Sævil looks beside the Old Man, "Quite unlike my poor basin!"
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:33 pm    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    Njord quickly moved over to the fallen gnome-girl. With one hand he reached down to lift the sack of bread and cheese. The other hand he offered to her in assistance for regaining her feet.

    The little girl blushed furiously as Njord reached down for her. Shyly, she brushed a bit of downy chestnut hair from her face, managing a smile as he helped her back to her feet. Her hands were so tiny! So soft! "Bedankt," she said, her voice quiet as a mouse. There was something in the way that she spoke that reminded him of Sævil's accent.

    As he did so, he spoke:

    "Please excuse. I am not knowing your names. You are children of Tanner Ruddyfoot, yes?"

    The smallest one's sister admonished her while the largest of the children spoke. "Aye, good Master," he nodded. "I am Hoddy Ruddyfoot. These is my brother, Goodwin, and my sisters, Marta and Matildya." He spoke in the way that someone did when they were trying to appear bold, but were actually rather terrified, inside. The rest of the children regarded him in the same way...all except the last, who he'd helped up from her fall. Instead, she looked up at him with wide, blue-eyed wonder. She looked awed in his presence, the dappling of freckles on her face like the constellations in the night skies. He imagined she must be Matildya.

    "Are these gifts for us?"

    He nodded. "Aye," he repeated himself. "The Mayor asked my father and mother to hurry about and see that you were tended to. They're still gathering things, even now. They told us to bring what they had managed so far, lest you think we were..." he looked for the words, his brow furrowing as they eluded him.

    "Ungrateful," the older of the gnome-girls finished.

    He looked at her as if perturbed by her interjection. "Ungrateful," he nodded, nevertheless apparently satisfied with her choice of words.

    Starry-eyed Matildya still stared up at him, fascinated. "My mommy and daddy say you're going to make the winter go away, Master Njord," she said, still shy and hesitant. Her voice was so quiet. "Is it true? Are you going to make it warm again?"

    Her brother sighed softly. "Matildya...."

    She was undeterred. "The snow killed Benny," she told him. Tears began to sparkle in the corners of her eyes. "And Agnetha, too. Mommy and daddy say it's too cold for mice, here in Corus, now."

    Her sister put a hand on her shoulder.

    "I still have Bjorn and Frieda," she confessed. "But they don't want to eat anymore. They're tired all the time and don't want to play. I think they're sick now, too."

    Her tears looked like they might fall at any moment, now.

    "Can you please make it warm again?"
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    Sævil swears in his native tongue, but lets his hands fall to his side.

    "Old Man Ocean lurking in my own home! And somehow he knows our plans," he barks a laugh, "I shouldn't be surprised, but there's one matter on which you're wrong - I volunteered for this mess!"

    Sævil looks beside the Old Man, "Quite unlike my poor basin!"

    The Old Man laughed. "Iuz take your basin," he kicked at it with half a heart, sending it skittering a few inches from his boot. "I'll spit on your floor instead, then."

    He paused, regarding the northman up and down. "You may be lucky, boy, and a good sword-arm," he decided with a gentle cackle, "but you're not exactly the brightest lad in Corus, are ye? It's a good thing you're so handsome. The likes of young Þóra sure isn't captivated by your cleverness!"

    He leaned back in his chair. "I know about your plans because it was me that put your name in Mayor Highmountain's ear in the first place," he confessed. "So don't boast of brave volunteering to me, boy. We're in this together, after a fashion."

    He chuckled again, then did as he said he would -- spitting a vile black glob of sputum onto his floor.

    "It's only fair, now, that we should talk about what happens next, eh?"
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:20 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    "Who said anything of brave? I'm just tired of being soaked aboard your boat near every day," Sævil grins, "I wanted a vacation!"

    He gathers items from throughout the room and tosses them onto his bed as they speak,

    "Tell me Old Man, what do you know of things, and where is my place in your designs? You well know I'm cannier than the average fighting man of my people, and better educated besides.

    "I've seen enough of the world to know there are few places one's heart is going to call home. Corus, is sparse in mere things, but rich as walrus blubber in people. Corus is where my heart's home has been found, and I'm happy to defend and support it. So tell me what I must know to do exactly that."
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:59 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    "Who said anything of brave? I'm just tired of being soaked aboard your boat near every day," Sævil grins, "I wanted a vacation!"

    "Oh, you'll get your vacation, I reckon." He flashed him his gapped, blackened grin once more. "And by the time you're a fortnight in, shoulders heavy with ebon snowfall, I'll wager you'd give much for another day at sea at my side."

    He gathers items from throughout the room and tosses them onto his bed as they speak.

    From his place on his chair, the Old Man watched him. He looked ever-bemused by the young northman's every move.

    "Tell me Old Man, what do you know of things, and where is my place in your designs? You well know I'm cannier than the average fighting man of my people, and better educated besides.

    "I've seen enough of the world to know there are few places one's heart is going to call home. Corus, is sparse in mere things, but rich as walrus blubber in people. Corus is where my heart's home has been found, and I'm happy to defend and support it. So tell me what I must know to do exactly that."

    Sævil had his back turned to him, folding his blankets. He listened to the Old Man hack up another wad of spittle. This one was big enough that he actually heard it hit the floor when he expelled it from his lips. "Why d'you think I put your name forth, boy?" he asked him. "I know how you feel about Corus. I feel just the same. When I had noplace else to go...it was here that I found a home. A thousand strangers that all had turned their backs upon...so they decided to be boon friends and neighbors to one another. It's a miracle, this home of ours...and I'll be damned if I'll watch it freeze solid while there's a breath left in these old bones."

    "I know you'll fight and die for Corus, boy," he said. "And that's why I told the Little One that you were the one to send forth onto the Dark Glacier."

    He sighed gently. "What you need to do is to find a new place," he said. "A place where we can build homes anew, should the worst come to pass."

    He snickered. Another was of spit hit the floor. "Amidst all that flat ice, I suppose it'll be easy enough, eh?"
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Njord saw the tears welling in the little girl's eyes. How awful it would be to disappoint her! Looking around at all the gnomes, and nodding to each one in turn he said:

    "Is good meeting you, Hoddy, and Goodwin, and Marta, and Matildya. I...we...my comrades and my self are most thankful for gifts. They will help great much." Njord had made a motion toward the slumbering Kahss upon mentioning his comrades.

    Then, focusing on Matildya, he offered, "We are to try very best to deal with cold. But is not only my few fellows, but also many others. Good Mayor Highmountain said that many strong people from Corus will fight against winter. I think we have big chance to bring the warm back, and hopefully, your mice, your Bjorn and Frieda, will no more be sick."

    He felt the lie above his heart. Every time he spoke words that seemed false he felt at least a tickle in the space between his heart and throat. This was no different, and it was only the word "big" that turned his statement into a blatant falsehood. But this tugging at his high-heart was mixed with true sadness for little Matildya. He quickly took a deep breath and managed a broad smile, both to encourage the girl and to fight back the possible tears he now felt. Then, mirroring Marta, Njord reached down and placed a gentle, reassuring hand on Matildya's other shoulder.


    Last edited by Syzygyst on Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Zoltan's expression was impassive. Instantly, Ohrin realized that all was not well. Though he took great pains to conceal it, there was no mistaking the hint of fire in the quality of his stare as he regarded him. Unspoken venom lingered there. "I know nothing of the Master's plans, I fear," he said, voice curt and short. "Only that you will soon be leaving and that I should wish you well."

    Silence filled the air for a moment. Venenna looked over at the Master's most senior apprentice. She seemed as if a reply lingered upon her lips, but she could not bear give it voice. "Indeed," he said, straightening the shirt beneath his robe. "You will forgive me. I have errands of my own to attend to for the Master."

    Zoltan turned abruptly and walked away, leaving the laboratory through the door at its rear. With the sound of its closing, Verenna sighed.

    She looked back at him, her head slightly cocked. Her eyes offered an apology, of sorts. "Perhaps I can help with your list," she said, setting down the glass container full of cyan fluid she held. She turned down the flame beneath a beaker, bringing it to a simmer, rather than a boil. The soft plume of white smoke rising from its top faded to nothingness.

    She circled the table and gazed upon his parchment. "The Land of Black Ice is poorly-understood," she told him, as she read. "I doubt that you will find a map detailing much more than the outline of the landmass -- regardless of where you look. You may be one of the first civilized folk to explore it to any great extent, you know. This expedition represents a great opportunity to gather knowledge of a land that is merely a fable to most."

    She looked up at him, cleared her throat. "I, ah," she blushed, "managed to learn a bit about your journey from one of the Guardsmen," she confessed.

    Punctuated with an impish smirk.


    Ohrin was still quite stunned by Zoltan's response and departure and only half-heard Verenna. Snapping out of it, Ohrin looked at her and said, "Well, that was odd. I suspect he either wants to accompany Retlishin or wishes he had been given the assignment I received. After all, he is the more powerful mage."

    Ohrin then looked down at the list and recalled the rest of Verenna's words. "Regarding a map, I'm just hoping to learn more about the settlements between ourselves and our destination; to help us pick our route there. As for the list of names, your help would be most appreciated!"

    Ohrin then gathered up some small items of his that belonged to him to take back to the headquarters as Verenna looked over the list.

    "I'm going to go seek out Master Retlishin to see if he has any advice to offer. I'll be back in a bit."

    Ohrin then turned to go; while opening the door, he turned back with a wry smile on his face and added, "Oh, and tell that guardsman to lock it down. Loose lips sink ships!" With a chuckle, he departed the laboratory to seek out Master Retlishin.
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