August 19, 2017, 05:46:03 AM

Author Topic: Seeking the Path Lost  (Read 108 times)

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Offline Onónion Menathradon

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Seeking the Path Lost
« on: June 06, 2017, 10:29:25 PM »
It was a city unlike no other. Even Narim, with it's corrupt and foul ways, could not reach the level of darkness that blanketed the city of Aeluin like a burial shroud. Nestled along the shores of an unnamed lake, the city was half on the water and the rest on land but neither part seemed to be without the shadow that seemed to coagulate like thick blood along her narrow avenues. Despite the time of day, late afternoon, a perpetual fog doused the city and only thin shafts of sunlight pierced the gloom for only brief moments before the mist closed her hungry jaws on the light. Everywhere Onónion's eyes roamed he saw the signs of the Dark One, openly sported on the sleeves of the men and women who called the foul pit home, or displayed on the signs of the buildings around him. Drow, orcs, goblins, minotaur, dark men and women who would have been hunted in Northland walked freely in the only city of all Entar that would allow them to do so.

In most cases Onónion would have been out of the city and traveling in any direction away as fast as possible. Despite his initial impulsion, second thoughts brought order to the chaos of his mind and steeled his resolve. There was nothing left in the North but bloody memories and broken promises. As he looked at his hands in their steel gloves, he could only see the blood of his mentor staining them still. The memories of his blade piercing his masters heart upon the summit of a lonely hill on the Kordar Isle remained with him, no matter how far South he escaped from them. The shock of the mangled corpses strewn through the halls of the Temple of Talos in Elenion still resonated inside of him, as if he could not bear to believe that such a holy and sanctified abode could harbor such terrible crimes. But he had seen it, the same symbols that were carved into the bar where he sat scrawled in blood in the Temple of Talos.

The bar itself was like most establishments that dotted every city on the face of Entar, perhaps a bit darker and more quiet, but a place to drink your sorrows away nonetheless. This time of day, the bar was mostly empty, the inhabitants that came here still at work or busy at other errands. The barkeep, an elderly half blind human sat on a barrel in the corner of the bar, snoring softly, his chin of his chest. Onónion was alone at the bar itself, nursing an ale that had long grown too warm to be considered of good taste. The only other patrons were a small group of burly men and women whispering heatedly around a table on what appeared to be a map. How they saw it in such dim and poor light was beyond Onónion. Perhaps, due to the unique location, their eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness that called this city home. The only lights that penetrated the darkness was a small fire in the hearth and a few candles that failed to light the place significantly. A rat crept along one of the tables, sniffing momentarily at a puddle of ale.

The Drowned Rat was living up to it's name. Onónion was almost on the verge of leaving when the door to the establishment swung open, admitting a single man furnished in a dark cloak and hood. The curious rat scurried for cover and the group of adventurers in the corner momentarily fell silent as the man made his way through the gloom to sit beside Onónion. The silence seemed to have a waking effect on the barkeep who woke from his slumber with a start and slowly made his way over to Onónion and his newfound companion. Coming to a stop in front of the stranger, the barkeep grunted and asked what the man would be having. With business as usual, the heated conversation between the other group of patrons resumed and the stranger removed his hood, revealing the face of a half orc of middling years and surprising tenor voice that asked for a mug of ale before sliding a few coins in the direction of the barkeep.

Once having acquired his drink with a few tentative sips did the half orc make eye contact with the black orbs of Onónion. When Onónion deigned to not break the silence and simply continued to stare into the brown eyes of his contact, did the diminutive halfbreed gulp and speak,"So you're the big man wanting to find the ruins eh?" Glancing back over to where the barkeep had resumed his watch from his chosen barrel, the half orc leaned closer and whispered," The last party I led to it didn't leave it and they had a few warriors almost as big as you." The half orc leaned back and took a more confident gulp of the ale before him before wiping his mouth on the sleeve of his tunic. Despite the bravado of the stranger before him, Onónion detected slight tremors in the man's hands and a haunted look that spoke more of his travails."If you're planning on hiring me to guide you to it, you'll need more than just your sword to fight our way there. Otherwise I'm staying right here."

"I've already put out word." Clearing his throat, Onónion spoke louder."Argentos. Come here." With that, one of the men and women from the corner table stood up and sauntered over to where Onónion and the guide sat."Aye m'lord?" Argentos, leader of the small band of cutthroats in the corner, was a rarity in his species, a fat drow. But it was said he wielded the claymore on his back with a finesse and quickness that his portliness hid. After arriving in Aeluin, Onónion had hired Argentos and his small band, five in total, to travel with Onónion to the rumored temple. Both drow and halfbreed eyed the other distrustfully, suspicion that Onónion himself ignored."Argentos and his band shall travel with us. Allow their steel to calm your nerve, Master..?"

"Eeric, m'lord. When will you be wanting to set off?" A question that Eeric was obviously uncomfortable asking.

"Word has been spread. We shall wait the rest of the day and night once I am sure that no other like minded individuals will join us. If you have business you need to take care of, both of you, do so now and meet me at the East Gate at noon." With a curt dismissal of turning his head away from both of them, Argentos returned to his warriors and Eeric nodded once before scampering out the door and out of sight. With the matter concluded, Onónion took a sip of his warm ale and grimaced at the sour taste. Despite the bad taste, he savored it. After tomorrow, it would be a long time before such pleasures would be received. And maybe his path would be found once again.

"The devotion of the greatest is to encounter risk and danger, and play dice with death."

Offline Davin Ragal

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Re: Seeking the Path Lost
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2017, 11:41:00 PM »
Aeluin.  It was interesting how often the swordsman ended up in the armpits of Entar.  Not only the armpits, but the armpits of the armpits.  The Drowned Rat was such a place.  In his quest to find the relics described in an ancient tome, he had been brought south with rumor of a temple which housed such relics.

He had never been here before, but when one travels the lesser walked paths of Entar, one learns how to suss a place up.  It was a shabby place, even by the standards of Aeluin.  Davin was no stranger to dives, but since unlocking the Myrmidonic powers by his new master, Falcon, he had felt less and less the need to drink or consume food.  Regardless, he could still take enjoyment in it, though this place looked like it would have little in the way of comfort.

Still, it was The Drowned Rat that he had heard was where the expedition was based.  He had no idea what to expect when he had heard the rumor, would it just be a group of bravos seeking fortune and death, or would it be legitimate.  This part of the world was still rough, new, hostile.  Exploring ruins that had not been touched in a long time was often perilous.  Davin was not worried about himself, but if you move with company, it is best to know who moves with you.  Despite his slowly blooming power and ability, it was still best to travel with like minded individuals on such journeys.  Anything else would just be arrogant, and folly.

He was about to reach for the door when a man, or what he assumed to be a man scampered out shrouded in a dark cloak.  Davin simply moved deftly out of the way, though could not help but shrug a hunch that something had just gone down inside.  Putting the thought aside, Davin pushed the door open and stepped into the dank dark tavern.

Despite the dark atmosphere, Davin took in everything just as fast as he could, not only with his eyes, but reaching out with his senses as his new master had taught him.  It was much as he would have expected from such an establishment, not many patrons, rickety furniture, and likely a poor selection of drinks.

Curiously, the patrons, if they were even real patrons were huddled round a table in the corner.  Mercenaries perhaps, or something worse.  Other than that the only other thing that caught his eye was the giant of a man who seemed to be content to ignore the swordsman's presence completely.  Davin could tell two things about this man without having to look twice.  He was not from Aeluin, and he was a dangerous man to get on the wrong side of.

As he slowly eyed the men and women in the corner, as they had fallen silent when he had entered.  Without even thinking, his hand fell casually and rested lazily on the hilt of the longsword buckled to his belt.  It was a move of pure instinct, not one of forethought.

It was then that one of them started to slowly rise from his chair.  A strange sight indeed, a portly drow elf.  While in Valgard, drow were indeed not commonly seen, Davin had never seen anything but a lithe elf throughout his travels.  He noted the large sword on the drows back; a claymore.  Normally an unwieldy thing focused on stopping power and brutal strikes.  However, even with the single step that the drow took, Davin noted a subtle grace to his movement.

He looked away, if there was to be tension, Davin was not going to escalate it.  He had not come here to brawl with anyone.  The best place to start in this situation was the bar.  The bartender looked like he had been asleep most of the day, or drunk most of the day, but generally they were the best source for information.  That or the large man at the bar, it was not yet clear.

Taking a few steps towards the bar, out of the corner of his eye Davin caught movement.  It seemed the drow had taken exception to him.  Davin stopped in his tracks, as the drow pushed a chair aside to stand a number of feet in front of him.

”This is a private party friend, and you are not expected...” He said, and while he may have used polite words, the menace was obvious in his voice. ”Go find another dive to get drunk in.”  His hand was no where near the hilt of the large blade that poked over his shoulder, but there was a tension that spoke volumes.

Davin smiled as much as usual, a slight curl of the lips.  ”Do I look like a drunk to you?”  He replied cooley.

”You look like a dandy that has wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time...”  Replied the drow.  The tension mounted.  Davin gave a low chuckle, and let his hand slip away from the hilt of his blade.  ”If you cannot see sense, I will have to show you out!” Said the drow angrily.

Then it happened, and was done in an instant.  With surprising deftness, the drow had his blade in hand and was moving agilely forward.  Before he knew it, he was slammed back onto the nearest table, his major sword arm pushed back, and a knife at his throat.

”For such a fat man, you move surprisingly fast, and with such an unwieldy blade too...” Davin spoke, inches from his face.  ”The problem is, I am faster.” He said the last with apparent malice in his voice, his knife pressing on the drows neck, but not drawing blood.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could sense the band of five that had been sat with the drow clattering to their feet.  Peace.  I would not recommend that.  I am here on business  He announced clearly.  If they had sense they would settle down.  He did not come here to spill blood, but he would if necessary.  The drow had clearly taken a dislike to him, but he simply snarled and nodded.

At that Davin release him, and sheathed the knife back in his boot.  The drow lay there snarling, but Davin simply stepped away and sauntered over to the bar, taking a heavy seat, and unlooping his sword from his belt, resting it on against the bar.  He nodded to the bartender, and pointed to a non-discript bottle of spirits behind the bar.  On closer inspection, he thought it likely that the bartender knew little more than Davin did at this point.

Hi attention was more drawn to the large man, who had been quietly nursing his drink throughout the whole altercation.  Davin wondered if the small spat had even roused his suspicions at all.

Sitting back, he took a swig, and then spoke almost to no one.  ”I hear folks are looking to explore the ruins in these parts...”  placing his cup back on the bar, he slid it towards the bartender, indicating he wanted another, despite the fact that the drink had little taste to it other than pure alcohol.

”Can be dangerous business, even with people of such...quality.” He said with a nod in the direction of the corner.  It caught the attention of the drow, who was apparently the leader of the small group, but unless this warrior at the bar had had a similar altercation, he was the real leader of this.

”I happen to be interested in certain artifacts, and my search has brought me to this hole...”