Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1
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Author:  Ismaels-Legacy [ Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

The trek has been uneventful for the most part. After several days of steady (if not a bit slowly paced) marching, the caravan has traveled a quarter of its way to the fortress of Holgrim. Pack Master Carson has been quiet, alert, and stolid throughout; always traveling at the head of the line. The guard leader Dorir Helmsgarde (a surly, irascible dwarf) has kept a tight reign on security, all the while driving the mercs crazy with his constant head-checks, perimeter checks, and scouting. To counter balance his near-tyrannical nature, there is the quartermaster, Ignatius ("Call me Iggy") whose scatterbrained genius is a source of amusement and entertainment for many of the travelers. Finally, the camp cook, Torina, takes on the role of the matronly grandmother for the group. For many, they have not known their own parents, let alone grandparents, so a woman of this venerable age and benevolent temperament is quite a novelty.

The caravan has stopped for the night in a clearing that is clearly man-made. It's another way-point specifically designed as a rest area for travelers between cities. A serviceable well rests in the center of the clearing, a marvel of dwarven stone-cutting. It's a solid obelisk of grey stone, with four spouts on each polished face. the simple knotwork engravings twist their way to the top before turning back toward the ground and intertwining with the previous knots.

Night has fallen quickly and Torina is ladling out a basic stew of barley, oats, and various root vegetables to each member of the caravan as they approach her massive kettle. Guards are posted just beyond the edge of the camp, stationed in pairs, facing away from the fire. The scouts are returning from their rounds, and one is leading a trio of foundlings in his wake. The first man is huge beyond measure and carries a massive warclub. The second is robed, disheveled, and walking with a staff, despite his youthful appearance. Close behind the robed man, holding onto one of the loose tassels of his sash, is a young girl with frightened, haunted eyes.

Author:  Breila [ Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

As every evening at sunset, Hedra has chanted the nightfall prayer. She does her chants in a spot where all in the camp who wish can hear her, and those who don't can avoid it.

After she receives her meal from Torina, she sits down and says a private prayer before tucking in.

When the foundlings arrive, she looks them over, but decides not to approach them yet. Let them eat first.

Author:  Talyn [ Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

The man in the red robes, his golden eyes glittering in the firelight looks over the camp and breathes what can only be described as a sigh of relief. "Others at last." he says aloud, more to himself than anyone else. He glances to the girl holding onto his robes. "I told you we would find others eventually." he says to her, with a hint of annoyance at what seems to be an often repeated phrase.

The girl pouts. "I was just fine where I was!" she says to him. "Me and Lucky can survive just fine on our own." she exclaims before reaching into a pouch on her belt and pulling out a squirrel. The little creature seems perfectly content to let the girl hold him in her grubby hands, though she is very gentle with him. The squirrel glances around in the firelight and nervously grooms its whiskers. "I don't see why you had to drag us with you. I gave you shelter after you gave me water." she says indignantly.

The robed man leans a bit heavier on his staff, which has a blue crystal banded in the top of the wood. He pinches his nose with the fingers of his free hand for a moment. "If my nose does not mistake me, there is stew cooking in that pot." he says to the girl in a forced calm voice. "Why don't you go get some while I talk to whoever is in charge here."

The girl's eyes dart towards the pot. She licks her lips with obvious hunger at the smells coming from the pot. She deposits Lucky the Squirrel on her shoulder and goes towards the pot with determination in her eyes.

The robed figure looks around at the others, his face still mostly hidden in the shadows of the hood of his robe. He looks at the men who brought him and the girl in. "Where is your leader?" he asks them politely. The glint of gold in the firelight reveals that he has a ring on his right hand, the same one that is holding his staff. He waits patiently for an answer, though he looks like he could use a good meal, his focus is on first talking to the leader.

Author:  Jenara [ Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

The woman sits by the fire, her legs wide open, licking her lips. She stokes the blade of the Axe resting between her legs with the new stone.

She watches the others with a wry smile, fodder, nothing more, the Dwarf was interesting, she'd never met many female dwarves, working with this one would be a challenge.

The foundings were interesting, the man appeared to be average, his eyes told a story, that was for sure. The child, another story, the quicker they realised that life is pain, the quicker they could get on with enjoying the brief moments of pleasure that could be grasped.

She ate the slop with a grimace, it was food, just.

No one really talked to her, she was used to it, words were not needed, the old ones knew her, the newcommers would soon enough, she licks her lips once more, saviouring the fresh meat.

These people, amateurs most of them, they wouldn't last a second against a hoarde. She shakes her head, and looks for someone willing to help her stay warm for the night.

Author:  Kafen [ Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Dee is wearing his armor. With a scrubby beard, the blond man with short hair is by the fire. The new comers are somewhat of a surprise, actually. There are not many people wandering about the place. He offers the girl his bowl for food. He goes to get a helping for the young girl knowing it is his butt on the line if the caravan master has issues with it. "Wandering around this late?" He asks the little girl.

Author:  Ismaels-Legacy [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

There are few people who follow the nightly chant, though there are more than enough people who find comfort in knowing that there is a Chanter in their presence. If there is an attack, her presence will be more than useful; it may save their lives. Hedra's most loyal followers seem to be children who sit at her feet and listen with rapt attention until she finishes. Then they start to climb all over her, hanging on her back and tugging on her beard. "How's you make dat funny sounds?" is a common question they ask, no matter how often Hedra answers it.

When the newcomers arrive, the Packmaster walks up behind the Red Robed one and upon the request to meet with the leader he calmly says "You have found him". Carson is non-descript, standing at average height with brown hair and dark eyes. He is lean in the way that a hungry predator is lean, all muscle and sinews. He wears well-worn clothing in various shades of brown and his day-old stubble shows that when he's on the road his entire attention is devoted to the task at hand.

The little girl snatches the bowl from Dee with malicious glee and dashes to sit by the cook-fire. Apparently after being away from her own family for so long, any matronly individual will serve as comfort. Sitting beside her are a few other children, though only one speaks to her. "What's you name?" the little girl asks.

As Dee watches his bowl and utensils wander off, another fellow sits down beside him. "Here, I have a spare and I doubt you get that set back" he says, handing over a bowl and spoon. He has a mischievous glint in his eye when he says it, though, making you wonder what the catch is. "Slade's the name." he says, offering a hand to shake. The first thing you notice looking at his hand is the number of scars he seems to have accumulated from knife fighting. His leather sleeve is held tight against his wrist with a broad leather strap that belies a bulge at the wrist area beneath the fabric.

Author:  Talyn [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

The man in the red robes turns to look at the pack master now that he has been addressed. "Good." he says in a polite voice, though he makes no move to pull his hood down."I hope to barter my way for myself and my young companion to the next city on your journey." he explains. "I don't have much in the way of goods, but I can offer my skills to you for the duration of the time we spend together."

He glances around at those by the cook fire and his expressions seems a bit more relaxed when he sees that Kara has food.

At the fire Kara is eating from the stew and passing choice bits to the squirrel on her shoulder. "I am Kara." the young girl tells the other one. "Me and Lucky are being held hostage by the man in the red robes." she whispers to her, not being too serious. She pouts. "He took me away from my home, I was supposed to wait there for mom and dad. They hadn't come back yet."

Author:  Kafen [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Dee nods his head in agreement. "I suspect you are right." He looks at the little girl and turns to inspect Slade without any shame. Appreciating the experiences that come with the scars, he takes the food set and says in confident tone. "The child knows both hunger and loss. I think she can do with a food bowl for a few days." Shaking the hand, Dee keeps his voice low. "I am Dee, your average jack of all trades. I do things that need to get done while the getting is good." Itching his ear, he jokes darkly. "That's partly why I am here. Some people did not appreciate the scope to which I performed my latest act of charity. It was time for a trip."

Author:  Breila [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Hedra enjoys being with the children. She plays with them, scolds them when they pull her beard, snatches and tickles them, hoping to bring some joy into their life, or at least laughter. She's very sad, however, that they don't know to sing.

"Tomorrow, when we're going on, I'll teach you" she tells them. "Just a little chant to protect yourselves when I'm no longer with you."

After Dorir assigns the night guard duty, Hedra opens her arms in a gesture of giving and chants:

"Oheah, gibbuns guade auge, shaafe oahre unda wache goist, shitsunns uffdr wocht"

(Lord, give us sharp eyes, keen ears and a watchful mind, protect us on our watch)

She then brings her palms together and touches her front and nose with thumb and forefinger.

When Torina has finished packing up for the night, Hedra approaches her: "Thank you for the meal. You cooked well. May the Lord grant you a good night with restful sleep."

Author:  Jenara [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Carith watches the scene unfolding before her, the man in the Red Robes, the Child, even the dwarf..

She shoulders the axe and stands, stretching out her body, doing some exercises. Languishing over the exercises for some minutes she licks her lips and stares at the dwarf.

Once her 'exercises' are complete she steps over to the dwarf, hands on her hips. "So, Chanter, do your chants keep you warm at night? Do they help when the bodies fall all around you...?" She smiles an evil smile and doesn't wait for a response.

"So, we have our chanter friend here, the old guys, a child, and you, Mr Red Robes.. What are these skills you speak of?" She gives him a broken toothed smile, flashing too much skin brazenly...

"Pah, I doubt any of you have even Seen the Horde.. Let alone fought one." She spits on the ground.

Author:  Talyn [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

The red robed man turns to look at the woman addressing him. "I have seen the horde, but I have not had to fight it yet." he says to her calmly. "Subtly and avoidance works the best when you are on your own."

He subtly tightens his grip on his staff, but he doesn't think he will need to use it yet. "As for my skills, I am Magi." he says coldly. Not elaborating further.

Author:  Jenara [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

"A Magi?" She shrugs, "I hope that serves you better than praying to those who don't listen." She growls, her eyes full of amusement.

"I am Carith, If you don't know me, you soon will... And I will see those skills Soon enough." She winks and walks away.

Author:  Breila [ Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Hedra stares at Carith's back, listening to her "conversation" with the Magi. What was that about?

Well, she knew that there would be people who saw her chants as annoyance rather than help, that was why she sang them so that they could be avoided.

Before turning in, she makes her way through the camp to say goodnight to people and give a blessing to those who care about it. With Dorir, the conversation might sound like this:

"Gutt'nakt, Dorir. Drheah sekkne di." "Gutt'nakt, Hedra. Dankdr."

Author:  Jenara [ Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Carith frowns, she was itching for battle, she'd been waiting too long, coiled up like one of the snakes she had seen in the wild..

Walking past the dwarf she nods, her form of wordless appology. "May you sleep be restful." She mutters to herself silently.

She then approaches Kara, sitting close by she ensures the girl has a blanket before drawing her axe.

"Sleep child, enjoy what rest you can." Then she looks to the Magi, her face softening for a very brief moment..

"Sleep, Carith is watching over you." She says softly, before scowling and brushing aside the thought.

She turns to the man known as Dee, her face dark.
"You, thief." The mask draws back over her face, the kindness washing away like a cold rain. "Over here.." She beckons him with her finger, licking her lips slightly.

Author:  Kafen [ Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chapter 1: the Road to Holgrim - part 1

Ignoring her call with obvious pride, he wonders who she is talking about. Clearly, he is no thief. Thieves are what you become once in custody. He prefers to think of himself as the working man. So, he politely ignores the vocal woman who is clearly not talking to him.

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