Adventurers of the Inquisition: A Dragon Age RP (started)

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . . . 21 NEXT
 

While he wouldn't dare let himself care about it, Jarrett woke up with a pained groan. As soon as his endurance had run out, he began banging on the barn while repeating the word 'Nutter', the same word he'd told them to remember right before the wolf attack. He was about as satisfied as he could be, judging that if he couldn't stay out in the harsh weather it was unlikely someone else was. Dragging himself out of the barn he'd collapsed into he moved towards the inn. Making minimal greetings with the others, he slumped himself onto the ground in a corner.

"Morning gentlemen. Had a thought last night. Since we need to check out the Avvar, and leaving a dragon...or even just a Drake would be good for these folk, I thought we could try a 2-for-1 approach. We use our more 'stealthy' compatriots to scout out one problem while we deal with the other. Personally I'd have them scout the Avvar while we go Drake hunting; once we're done we meet at an agreed upon point and hear what the have to say. If the scouts say the Avvar are an issue we go in a deal with them, if not wee leave'em be. Thoughts?"

"Division with the possibility of a dragon is insanity. " Jarrett gave a sneering look at Kari. Before his words could touch anyone's ears, someone else spoke up.

"I agree, As long as I'm not counted amongst those stealthy ones. I suppose, with my height, that wouldn't really be an issue. But yeah, leave the small ones to go scouting, while the rest of us take out the drake, sounds like a decent plan."

He turned his glare at Ash. Bowing his head with a defeated sigh, Jarrett tried to not be agitated. "...May we at least agree to keep minimal distance?"

Berund awoke early with relative ease, his internal clock having been drilled to make sure of it, and began his morning as he did most days. With rigorous and lengthy calisthenics. While his paunch might suggest otherwise, the dwarf actually maintained an incredible level of physical health, as he was trained to do. While the morning was chilly, his routine helped him keep warm, and when he was finished he gathered his gear and made way for the inn. It seemed he missed a portion of the conversation, but once again he caught them talking about the drake again.

"Division with the possibility of a dragon is insanity."

"I'm inclined to agree with Jarrett, here," Berund spoke up as he set his gear down and claimed a seat. "Confidence only goes so far, and doesn't take very much to turn to cockiness. Facin' the drake isn't somethin' to be takin' lightly. Especially when you consider a drake that has found its home has done so in the den of a dragon. In the event we divide our focus, there may be too few for even a drake, as dangerous as they're known to be. I'll be along with the scouting party to see where the Avvar may be and what they may be up to, so I can only give my word of warning to those of you electing to go on the hunt."

Nola stretchered out from between her two blankets. Between the thin roll that she had laid out on the hay bale and the horse blanket she had had at least a bearable night, if not the most comfortable. She quickly strapped her self back into her armor before gathering her bed roll and her pack before heading to the inn. She declined the breakfast, as much as the hot food tempted her, the villagers needed it more. She settled on some dried meat from her pack as she listened to the others plan out their approach. She stared at the wall as she chewed, thinking.

"Ya know, even if it is on it's own, the drake probably has a sizable hunting ground. The forest is only so big, it's quite possible the Avvar's lands and the drakes overlap. Why not have us all head out, our stealthier members ahead to scout, while we....." Nola pointed between herself and Kari. "...keep an eye and ear out for any sign of the drake. Any sign of either, the others re-group with the opposite party and we take care of the immediate threat. Only downside I can see is if the drake get's us as we deal with the Avvar." She said with a shrug. "Other way around the Avvar should do the smart thing, either leave us alone or approach with caution. No matter what we do though both problems need to be dealt with. The scales off the drake alone would be worth the trouble."

"I wanted to apologize if I said something a bit weird yesterday, I was exhausted, and my mind goes strange places when I'm sleepy. If I made you or someone else feel uncomfortable... I'm sorry."

"oh ... okay then, if you insist." Von spoke up as he had finished shoveling some bread down his gullet. Buttering up the next part of the roll, Von felt quit awkward, he felt the need to ask if Ash had dabbled in the blood art of magic. Yet, before he could summon the courage to speak up, Kari came over to them. Von easily greeted her, but he returned to his own meal as the Qunari warrior talked about her plan for the day ahead. While Avvar and Dragons were dangerous threats by themselves, another entity occupied the worries of Von.

As the table started to fill up with the appearance of Jarrett, Nola, and Berund, Von noted their opinion on the plan, some of them opting out of Kari's plan. He could easily see why, the image of the surprise appearance of a dragon would make most people drench their pantaloons and run for the hills, yet Von knew that the people in this group seemed capable for those kinds of enemies. Deciding to speak up, Von placed his knife and remaining roll down.

"A dragon and Avvar are definite threats ... but the fact that there are wolf controlling demons out there worry me. Dragons or drakes are easy to spot, and Avvar are not the smartest, but demons ... demons would make a plan for our little 'fellowship'. It worries me if we move too far from each other."

"Splitting up sounds great", Raven chipped into the conversation. She forgot how she got down there and everything qround her seemed dulled and grey. Her parched throat begged for water but she drowned it with wine instead. There was a cup of wine in her hand and a half-full tankard nearby.

"I can go scouting for the tribesmen and avoid getting roasted and toasted while you try your luck not getting...", Raven sipped some more wine, let out a burp and continued, "eaten". Coincidentally the food she asked for came by and she began eating the toasted bread.

"A dragon and Avvar are definite threats ... but the fact that there are wolf controlling demons out there worry me. Dragons or drakes are easy to spot, and Avvar are not the smartest, but demons ... demons would make a plan for our little 'fellowship'. It worries me if we move too far from each other."

"If demons did appear, your suggestion how to combat it Von? Keep the worst scenarios in mind for it." The situation was appearing more complex. At any turn one Avvar, Demons or Drakes could appear when dealing with another. As he thought this, he reliazed it was in line with a comment a moment ago.

"Any sign of either, the others re-group with the opposite party and we take care of the immediate threat. Only downside I can see is if the drake get's us as we deal with the Avvar."

"I'd be best suited for scouting." Jarrett stood up and nodded towards Nola. His expression growing more enthusiastic from this co-operation of forming a plan, he pointed at her and confirmed, "Keep watch on one and relay messages?"

"Other way around the Avvar should do the smart thing, either leave us alone or approach with caution. No matter what we do though both problems need to be dealt with"

Recounting the next part of her comments, Jarrett absentmindedly continued talking. "Right. They have to be dealt with. Though... how DO we approach the Avvar?"

Kari sat quietly while the others voiced their opinions, when Nola piped up she smiled. "I like the way you think." Though when Von raised a good point...that she'd admittedly forgotten about, she grimaced. "You make a good point about the daemon, but just how do we draw it out...short of letting it pop the top on one of a mage?"

"Right. They have to be dealt with. Though... how DO we approach the Avvar?"

"Well honestly." She said. "Assuming they're not involved with all this, I say leave 'em be." Finishing up her 'meal' she looked about at her compatriots. "That said, if they are involved, we need to put them down hard."

"Division with the possibility of a dragon is insanity."

Sounds about right. That's probably why I want to do it.

Ash thought to himself, as he lifted his hand from the table, as it has started writhing, long, slimy creatures crawling over it. Of course it was just another vision, he was very well aware of it, but it felt and looked real. Sitting back a bit, he brought the hand up to his hair and pulled it through the white fringe, most of all in order to keep up appearances. He listened to the others speak, sort of wondering how they would react if they could see what the table looked like to him. Not to mention, the floor.

If I don't think about it...

No, it didn't matter, it was still clear to him. Some time, in the past, it had helped, but he was too far gone for a trick like that to work.

"Ya know, even if it is on it's own, the drake probably has a sizable hunting ground. The forest is only so big, it's quite possible the Avvar's lands and the drakes overlap. Why not have us all head out, our stealthier members ahead to scout, while we... keep an eye and ear out for any sign of the drake. Any sign of either, the others re-group with the opposite party and we take care of the immediate threat. Only downside I can see is if the drake get's us as we deal with the Avvar."

Ash noticed the way Nola was pointing at Kari and herself, and smiled, wryly. "If you think I'm going to do scouting of any kind, you're very, very wrong," he said, before chuckling as he thought of what would happen. Mostly him telling them how things that did not exist, not even in the fade, was trying to kill them. It was an honest chuckle, for it was an amusing thought. "Well, you could try sending me out there, but I don't think you'd be very happy with the results. I'm... not exactly a good scout, and my eyes aren't really that good."

Then he went quiet again, waiting for Kari to speak again. He figured it was only proper for her to make the decisions, since she had been the one with the initial idea. Besides, he didn't know what to say, Ash was both feeling like keeping away from situations and feeling like he needed to act out on what he saw at the same time.

Too bad I'll have to hide most of my magic.

For some reason, it helped, if ever so slightly, to calm his mind and to get rid of some of the hallucinations.

"You make a good point about the daemon, but just how do we draw it out...short of letting it pop the top on one of a mage?"

"I don't know how we'd do that," Ash replied. Someone would ask him eventually, he was sure of it, so it was better to get it out of the way. "I know someone can take care of it in the fade, you could ask the other mages about that, but drawing it out would be difficult."

Stuffing the last of his bread roll within his mouth, Von sat quietly and began listening to each person with interest. Von heard questions about how to fight the demons, or how to lure one out, a mage answer from Ash, and unsurprisingly a somewhat drunk Raven. Hearing the last suggestion from Ash almost made Von spit his water out. Among the things that ran through his mind, the mages were within question. Finishing off the cup, he was thinking about what he would like to do for the group.

"Um ..." Von said, trying to attract everyone's attention. Suddenly the volume of his voice lowered, so that only the fellowship at the table could hear. "With the Demons. If wolves are being possessed, it either means that the Veil is extremely thin here, or that a demon got out." Von said, and cleared he throat. "With this, we have many options to explore. But within this area, the Veil may be thin enough for easy possession, or there could be a tear like The Breach, I've heard rumours about multiple Veil tears. Although ... " Von said, pondering a little, leaning closer, and looking over each member's face. "Someone could be possessed, or could have opened a way for this demon."

Leaning back all of a sudden he threw his arms up. "That's just speculation, I'm not going to blame anything soon. If they come to us when we leave, we simply kill what's there." Von said with a smirk, hoping that they won't meet anything out there, because then he may be forced to use Lyrium.

"That said, if they are involved, we need to put them down hard."

"Agreed. I've heard rumours ... and you don't want to hear the ones concerning goats."

"I'd be best suited for scouting."

Berund couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at the elf's certainty. "Sure, so long as they don't have an eye for a hooded bean pole," the dwarf said with a smile to show he was only speaking in jest. "But yes, relayin' messages will be key, if this is our plan. So you best be prepared to run for miles, hither and thither, without breakin'. If you can manage that, you'll be fine."

The dwarf scratched his neck as he listened and thought. It seemed everyone was entertaining the possibility of a demon at this point, rather than simply an avid Avvar shaman. He raised a finger to get everyone's attention before speaking, "Should we really be makin' these guesses before havin' our look about? I mean for all we know right now, it very well could be just a lone looney that prances about in a loincloth, drinks mixtures from a skull, and happens to commune with demons and such from time to time. If corrupted wolves are the issue, we should focus on the root of that issue. And from what we know, the Avvar seem to be the most likely candidate."

The group found their discussion interrupted by Arthur, who entered the inn and immediately approached them. He looked tired though excited to see them nonetheless.

"You lot look like you've got a plan," he said "let me know if you need a guide anywhere, I've lived up here my whole life, know the mountain like the back of my hand."

Marsha chuckled at this remark, though she didn't speak up rather she was focused on cleaning the numerous dishes still left over from the previous night's festivities.

"Anyways I was going to go check out if the drake rumors were true," Arthur said "I've never seen a real dragon before, if any of you are heading that direction then I'd be happy to show you the way."

Ash listened to the others, though by now they were just discussing nitpicky details. He didn't particularly care for sitting around and listening, so when Arthur spoke up, he looked up.

"Anyways I was going to go check out if the drake rumors were true. I've never seen a real dragon before, if any of you are heading that direction then I'd be happy to show you the way."

"Sounds good," Ash replied, and got up, clearly getting a bit impatient. "I mean, we could spend the whole day discussing details, or we could get going and see what's actually going on. We're not going to find out much sitting still," he remarked, before stretching again, reading himself for whatever waited outside. He knew that he had some salve for the cold left, and he felt as good as he could, walking nightmare considered.

"Besides, I already know what I'm doing. I'm hunting a dragon, the rest of you can decide what you're doing on your own, whether it'll be going as the whole group, or splitting up. Besides, I'm sure there's something you can do if you're scared," he smirked, as he made sure his armor wasn't loose or put too tight on anywhere. Comfort was important, after all, especially if you were planning on heading into combat. When he was done, he continued, looking over the others.

"Like huddling up together with the other mages, for instance." With that, he walked over to Arthur, waiting for people to make a decision.

"Anyways I was going to go check out if the drake rumours were true, I've never seen a real dragon before, if any of you are heading that direction then I'd be happy to show you the way."

Kari immediately perked up when Arthur started speaking. "Well I guess the clinches it." She said, standing up. "We're off to kill a drake." As she adjusted her armour, and gave her sword one last check, she turned her attention to the 'scouts'. "Since I'm sure you lot aren't overly enthusiastic at the thought of trying to stick a dagger into even a 'baby' dragon, I'd say your best bet is to try and find the Avvar and see what, if anything, they're up to. Assuming the drake doesn't the rest of us, we can meet back here and decide about them once we have a clue...as for the daemon? Not much we can do if we don't know where it's hiding."

Gear ready, she picked up her blade and joined Ash over by Arthur; as she passed Nola, she clapped the dwarf on the shoulder. "You coming short stack?"

"Anyways I was going to go check out if the drake rumors were true," Arthur said "I've never seen a real dragon before, if any of you are heading that direction then I'd be happy to show you the way."

"Then I wish you the best of luck." Turning to face Ash and Kari, "Steel yourselves. I'd rather failure be the fault of a drake and not unpreparedness." Jarrett nodded to them. "Von can you join the three of them? I will scout the Avvar first and it would be better to have our guard up." A seemingly appropriate comment for the situation but he hoped Von would understand it's deeper meaning.

"You coming short stack?"

Nola laughed. "And miss out on those drake scales? Not a chance. Ancestors would never let me live it down, even here on the surface. Each and everyone would break out of the Stone they were encased in and chase me down and berate me for the rest of my life if I passed this up." She jumped up from her seat and slung her pack and shield over one shoulder. "Besides with that pitiful excuse for armor your gonna need someone to watch your sorry hide." She said stepping over to join Arthur. "Remind me to get you somethin better when we get to a decent forge." She elbowed the giant in the thigh.

Von can you join them?" Nola turned to Von with a smile. "Yeah, join us! The more merrier! And the easier it will be to take down." She eyed the elf, he had been acting strangely, even for an elf. She mentally shook herself, it was probably just paranoia.

Von's armour made a creaking sound, yet his mind remained unfocused, it felt as if a puzzle was jumbled into his head, and it would take the damn intervention of the Maker to make it right. Von was just worried, distrusting, and extremely concerned at the events at hand. It isn't just any day that Avvar, a drake, demons, and a large group of mages show up to a small town. As Von wanted to think a little more, Von heard the cunning voice of Jarett and the strong voice of Nola.

"Von can you join them?"

"Yeah, join us! The more merrier! And the easier it will be to take down."

Straightening out his priorities, the Templar started focusing his mind back on his companions. Von gave a straight nod. "Yes, I will. I wouldn't want you to take all the scales." Von said with a short smile, and a voice which was shorter in sound. "As ... as for the demons, I'll keep an eye out." Von said to them, hoping that would allow his compatriots to focus on the mission at hand, to kill the drake and lessen the burden for the town.

Still, Von felt his mind focus back onto the town, he doesn't have the right feeling. ("In the middle of nowhere, a large group of mages ... I just don't feel right about this place.") He said to himself, his facial features betraying his thoughts to anyone who would look close enough. Taking a deep breath, Von looked forward, his eyes brimming with a renewed willpower. "Well, I'm ready." Von said to the drake elimination crew, but he looked to Arthur. "Just ... don't try to get eaten." He said, his smile a little more shy this time.

"I will scout the Avvar first and it would be better to have our guard up."

"I'll go on with ya," Berund said to the elf as he gathered his things. He pulled taut the straps on his armor, making sure they were secure. They wouldn't come loose or rattle, which would certainly be helpful when trying to avoid attention. "Two sets of eyes better than one an' all that. Don't seem right leavin' ya without someone to watch your back, even though it would mean one less person to split the pay with if you didn't make it," the dwarf joked.

"Besides with that pitiful excuse for armor your gonna need someone to watch your sorry hide. Remind me to get you somethin' better when we get to a decent forge.

"Pfft" She laughed in response. "Plate is too bulky, and I'm not afraid of a little pain; besides, this is a lot tougher than you think." Kari added with a mischievous grin. Drawing her utility knife with her free hand, she stabbed her stomach as hard as she could manage, to the shocked gasps and exclamations of some of the locals; though those gasps turned to confusion as the blade stopped, the tip barely entering the armour. With drawing the knife, she tapped her painted cheek and winked.

"...even though it would mean one less person to split the pay with if you didn't make it,"

"Of course you need to keep Jarrett alive." Kari said, raising her voice over the now babbling crowd. "I mean without an elf around who else would the humans blame if this all went wrong?"

"Of course you need to keep Jarrett alive. I mean without an elf around who else would the humans blame if this all went wrong?"

"I s'pose if things go wrong with the drake hunt and it turns out it is in a dragon's den, then said dragon kills the lot of ya afore decidin' to burn this village to the ground--in for a copper, in for a crown, as the saying goes--there mightn't be anyone to pose blame, solvin' that little problem on our end," Berund began, smiling wide at the cheeky Qunari. The dwarf put his hand on Jarrett's shoulder and gave it a friendly shake before continuing, "But if you do happen to be fortunate enough to survive, rest assured that by the day's end you'll have someone to shield yer giant, and probably scorched ass from that awfully scary finger-pointing. So, on that comfy note, shall we take our leave?"

"I mean without an elf around who else would the humans blame if this all went wrong?"

"There would be people to turn and blame an elf, wouldn't there?" While Jarrett's face went sour at the comment, it wasn't at the notion of human bigotry. The humans, she said. His disappointment was audible but Kari only said it in jest after all. He'd let that comment slide.

"I s'pose if things go wrong with the drake hunt and it turns out it is in a dragon's den, then said dragon kills the lot of ya afore decidin' to burn this village to the ground--in for a copper, in for a crown, as the saying goes--there mightn't be anyone to pose blame, solvin' that little problem on our end,"

"Ridiculous. An elf would have fled the area." He chimed in sarcastically.

"So, on that comfy note, shall we take our leave?"

"Ready." Shaking Berund's shoulder as a sign of thankfulness at Berund's friendliness. Clearing his through and he asked the rest of the party the same in a simple manner, "You?"

Group one - Ash, Kari, Nola, Von

As soon as the group was ready Arthur set out, leading them at a quick pace through the snow covered forest. With the blizzard having passed over and no wolves to be seen the mountains had become surprisingly serene and peaceful, for the moment at least. The trail Arthur led them on winded seemingly at random through the trees, though he never seemed lost or confused and the sharper eyed members of the group were able to pick up on some of the signs he seemed to be following. Suddenly Arthur came to a halt, crouching low and walking as quietly as possible as they arrived at the edge of a clearing.

The trees all around them had been burned or broken by some tremendous force, in places large claw marks had gouged at the wood and the unmistakable footprints of the drake could be seen in the fresh snow, in some places etched out with ice from where the snow had melted and frozen again.

"Maker," Arthur whispered "It really is a drake, I don't think anything else could have done this. I bet if you follow the tracks you'll find its lair..."

There was more to the scene than that though, observant members could spot bloodstains in the snow and clumps of what looked to be wolf fur among the broken trees. Von and Ash especially could note the frost that had burned its way into the wood of some of the trees, an unmistakable sign of magic.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Group two - Jarrett, Berund, Raven

It wasn't hard to get directions to the Avvar shrine, most of the locals had been there at some point or another and even with the heavy snowfall the trail seemed easy enough to follow. They were even able to get a description of the monument from one local, who said it was a pair of statues, a warrior fighting some beast.

At first the walk was uneventful, the mountains were serene and quiet, and without the chill of the wind they felt surprisingly relaxed. As they went things seemed more relaxing, they were sleepy after the events of last night, their legs began to feel leaden, feet began to drag. The snow began to look surprisingly comfortable, why not lie down for a bit?

The two had the sudden feeling of being watched, though it was hard to care with how drained they felt, unless... The sense of wrongness dawned on them, they had to shake off this feeling, something was weakening them maybe they had noticed it before but not been able to grasp the thought before exhaustion swept it away, but they had to shake it off now. It was bitter cold, to lie down and sleep would be death, even if the demon or mage or whatever was watching didn't attack.

Ashtalan hadn't been too keen on being part of the banter between the others this time, instead waiting impatiently for everyone to move. He needed to get outside -even though it would be cold and unpleasant walking through the snow-, and he needed to clear his head. Ash doubted he'd see much of an improvement, but just a change of scenery might help, or even the cold air. He wanted to smile and be friendly, but it was difficult to do so.

I don't think I have much nice to say right now.

He told himself, and looked at his feet. It felt like it was the only place he could look, and be sure of that it existed right now, he knew he was real, and he never appeared distorted or twisted to himself, which was a minor comfort. Finally, the others got ready, almost half the group was going to act as scouts and scout out the Avvar shrine -why they needed three scouts was a mystery to him, but perhaps it was more a fear of the drake than anything else- while the rest was going after the dragon.

He calmly followed the others outside, the white snow seemed to turn into a bloody red when snowflakes melted, and he could hear howls. Houses, buildings, even people looked different than they had the day before, a distorting, unsettling kind of different. Of course, then there was the trees, twisted and black, reaching into the ground rather than the sky, and sounds that could be anything but good. Ash blinked a couple of times, then walked close to the others, not wanting to trail behind and get lost completely, as what he saw was surely not the same as what they saw.

I need to follow Arthur.

That was the most important thing. He hoped the young man wouldn't get himself too far into this and get killed, that would be... well, Ash wasn't sure how he felt about it. Would it even matter, if this turned out to actually be a dream? He shook his head, and opened his mouth to speak, saying anything would make everything feel a little better, he hoped. However, he shut it again as Arthur spoke.

"Maker. It really is a drake, I don't think anything else could have done this. I bet if you follow the tracks you'll find its lair..."

"We'll have to do that, then," Ash replied, nonchalantly, and looked to the trees. He saw the way the frost sat on them, and while he wondered if it really was there, he thought he had sensed some magic. The blood and fur was lost in his vision, it blended too well into his delusions.

"Magic," he muttered, and smiled. "Well, we better get going, it's cold out here. Although, if I'm correct, I doubt the drake will help warming us up." He looked to the others, before chuckling, carefully. Ash hoped that he still seemed his old, cheerful self.

"I mean that it'll likely be an ice one, which shouldn't be much of a surprise, considering what this place looks like. Such a shame, I was hoping we'd get some nice fire."

Arriving at the edge of the clearing beside Arthur, Kari took stock of the wreckage. Burned and shattered trees were everywhere, as well as bits of what was probably the drake's most recent meal. Letting her fingers trace over the gouges in a tree trunk, she closed her eyes for a moment, and inhaled deeply through her nose.

"Maker, it really is a drake, I don't think anything else could have done this. I bet if you follow the tracks you'll find its lair..."

Opening her eyes she exhaled slowly, before placing a hand on Arthur's shoulder. "Thank you for your help, but its better if you head back home now...wouldn't want to lose you in the fight." Letting go of Arthur, she turned to the others with a huge grin on her face. "Is anyone else excited? Just the thought of going up against such a beast is making me all sorts of tingly."

"Well, we better get going, it's cold out here. Although, if I'm correct, I doubt the drake will help warming us up. I mean that it'll likely be an ice one, which shouldn't be much of a surprise, considering what this place looks like. Such a shame, I was hoping we'd get some nice fire."

She was looking at a rather charred tree stump when Ash spoke. Looking over at the big Qunari mage, she raised any eyebrow and shook her head. "Don't worry, I'm sure things will get plenty heated once we find this monster." She placed her hand on the charred wood; it was cool to the touch, but not frozen...this had all happened relatively recently. Taking her sword in a two handed grip, she started to follow the very obvious tracks. "C'mon...lets go get us a dragon!"

Von was the first out of the door, he seemed rather eager to those that were gathering their things. Yet, Von just wanted to get his thoughts on track, with an objective, Von's mind became dedicated and determined, when left alone to his thoughts, Von zones out as thousands of his thoughts pour out. How little the Templar says, is compensated in thoughts, and not just the comfortable ones, but thoughts that linger back to the past.

Feeling the sharp bite of the cold air, Von breathed deeply and then slapped his cheeks. Without the blizzard, Von was happy that his cloak stayed in place for the trip, he even kept the hood down to feel the energizing air of the mountains. Ever knowing the first group's objective, Von kept a sturdy hand on the strange family dagger he had at his side. The drake was not the only threat out here, ("Demons ..."), was what Von kept telling himself.

Following the signs, Von trailed near the front of the group, mostly keeping his eyes out for any other threats that may be in front ... or in the back. Coming to the more obvious evidence of the Drake. Von's eyes were attracted to the obvious sign to him, the magic on the tree. Looking upon it, and the things around them, Von wondered why such destruction happened. ("I'm asking too many "why" questions.") Von scolded himself mentally.

"Magic,"

Being made to compare the evidence around the group. Von stared at the wolf fur, and then to the magic. Von nodded with satisfaction, as his mind darted to the possibilities that could happen here, it simply could be the Drake's meal, or it could be something much more.. "Whose hunt begins, I wonder?" He said to the group, a smile on his face. "Who also wants this drake dead? The Demon?" His tone turned more curious.

"Thank you for your help, but its better if you head back home now...wouldn't want to lose you in the fight."

"I agree with that. If you cannot fight, it would be bad if we have to leave a person to defend you." Von said to Arthur, then looked back to the group. "Besides, I think we are all wanting to battle a drake." He said, again smiling, this time somewhat unnaturally due to the suspicious of their current circumstances. "Maker help us if the Demon is more powerful." Von muttered quietly.

The path to the Avvar shrine seemed simple enough. Jarrett made sure to keep focused on the environment for any possible threats. While his group was smaller than the other, he was confident in their ability whatever may challenge them. As they continued on, so did Jarrett's pestering to keep their eyes open. "Focus.", he repeated. Though it was typical for him to seem calm, Jarrett's voice began to lose a sense of command.

His body was growing weaker and he was failing to notice. He wasn't the only one. Their senses hadn't all completely dulled. Frightened Jarrett begun thinking, Wrong. Wrong. "WRONG." he seethed. Panicking, he grabbed the closest shoulder and barked, "Weapons. Drawn".

Nola surveyed the scene, taking in what she could. Feeding ground, if nothing else. She thought picking at a clump of fur. She turned and follwed the track in the snow and smiled. I can already feel those scales underneath my hammer. She ignored Ash's comment on the lack of fire from the drake, mages were all nuts. Awesome, but nuts.

"C'mon...lets go get us a dragon!"

Nola's eyes widened. She quickly caught up with the taller woman. "Whoa whoa whoa, take it easy. I want to take this thing down as much as you, but I also want to live to see the spoils. That means we need something more than 'swing until it's dead'" She said drawing her ax from her belt. "Now here's what I'm thinking." She pointed at a small charred rock. "The drake isn't gonna be happy to see any of us, I figure one of us is gonna have to be more obnoxious to it than the rest. I've got the heaviest armor so I'll take that." She scratched a crude shield in the dirt. "Now you two." She pointed to Von and Kari. "You two will take it's sides, hamstring it where you can, other wise just carve into it like a hungry man at a feast." She carved two swords on either side of the rock. "Now Ash your our only ranged fighter here, on top of the heavy magic. So needless to say you wanna stay back from us. Just hit the overgrown lizard with all you got." She drew a lightning bolt far from the other scribbles. "After that I figure it's just a matter of wearing the damn thing down. It's made of blood and bone, lose enough of either and it's bound to drop."

She looked to Arthur. "And you should head back, but if you wanna tag along to watch, hey that's you decision. But you'll have to look after yourself once we start fighting this thing." She shrugged as she spoke, slipping her ax back into her belt loop. "That's my plan, unless anyone has a better one I think it's our best bet."

"Don't worry, I'm sure things will get plenty heated once we find this monster."

"Oh?" Ash asked, though he suddenly noticed why Kari said that. He hadn't noticed, or rather, it hadn't stood out to him, but there was burn marks everywhere, the already dark trees barely struck him as charred, but when he looked for it... Ash rubbed his forehead, and closed his eyes for a moment, trying to clear his mind of all of this.

"Yeah, of course, I wasn't paying enough attention, silly me," he said, chuckling to himself, though it was an uncomfortable chuckle. He felt sick, he really didn't like it when this happened, when he didn't notice things that would be obvious to others. Not only that, but even knowing about it, he still couldn't tell where the charred marks where without making a serious effort to do so.

is it really that bad?

Bringing a hand up to his face, he hid a pained expression for a brief moment, as the others were talking.

I can't believe I just... just made that mistake. I'm not... I'm not that far gone, right?

Ash only reacted when he heard his name, and removed his hand, paying attention now, and making his attempt at a smile.

"...Ash your our only ranged fighter here, on top of the heavy magic. So needless to say you wanna stay back from us. Just hit the overgrown lizard with all you got. After that I figure it's just a matter of wearing the damn thing down. It's made of blood and bone, lose enough of either and it's bound to drop."

Ash nodded. "Ok." It was a brief reply, but he didn't want to say any more. Not now, not if it meant that he would make another mistake.

"That's my plan, unless anyone has a better one I think it's our best bet."

He nodded again, and started walking, Ash had a distinct feeling of wanting this over with, so that he could feel less... out of it. The others were nice, and he enjoyed their company. Perhaps they would accept him, even if they knew what he was hiding, but he really, really hoped they wouldn't notice how he was behaving, in fear of that they would get uncomfortable and leave him behind.

There was an odd comfort in the snowy forest. It was serene. Calming. Warm, even. That was the strangest part of it all. Berund's armor was generally enough for him to keep well enough from the biting chill, but the sensation was wholly different. He was more relaxed as the warmth washed all through him and he felt the powerful need to sleep. He was just about to set his pack down to rest in the fresh powder before a shout and hand on his shoulder had pulled him from his tired haze.

"WRONG. Weapons. Drawn."

Berund blinked and with a gloved hand, tried to wipe to sleep from his eyes. The coldness on the leather nipped at his lids and brow, pulling him further from the comfort that fogged his mind. Then Jarrett's words finally struck him and he unslung his maul. The dwarf was visibly tense, ready to charge at a moment's notice. He was beginning to sense what the elf already had, that there was something influencing the three of them. If the elf hadn't noticed, Berund had a feeling they'd all have been frozen corpses by the day's end, waiting to be found. Don't think on it now, boy, the dwarf wordlessly told himself. Now's the time to focus.

"Whose hunt begins, I wonder? Who also wants this drake dead? The Demon?"

"Could be, but why?" She asked as she moved off ahead of the rest. "Unless the daemon fucks with it, the dragon wouldn't care about it..." She went silent for a moment, then looked back, obviously concerned. "What if the daemon is trying to take the drake like it did the wolves?"

"Oh? Yeah, of course, I wasn't paying enough attention, silly me."

Kari raised an eyebrow at Ash's response, but mentally shook it off; everyone knew mage's were an odd lot. When Nola caught up to her, she replied with a mock pout. "But 'swing until it's dead' is what I'm good at." Chuckling to herself, she stopped as Nola went over her plan. Admittedly she had been planning on just hacking at the creature until it dropped, but now that they had a real plan she might actually live through the encounter.

"That's my plan, unless anyone has a better one I think it's our best bet."

"Works for me." She replied. "Let's get to it, we're burning daylight."

Much conversation was happening around Selthen, yet he remained quiet, his mind was inquisitive and was questioning everything that they came by. The combination of mages, demons, dragon kind, and the Avvar placed him on worry, increasing his paranoia. ("Why, why are such things happening here?!") He cried internally, wanting to beg to his Maker. Giving in to his internal demands, Von turned around, took a couple of steps from the group, took a knee on the cold ground, and grasped his hands together as he looked up at the sky.

"Blessed be the Maker. Today I do not come to you for worship, I come for hope, the hope to discover the truth behind secluded veils. To know what is happening around us, and to make sure that I can aid in any way I can. I also ask for your blessing in this fight to come, so we may win. May my journal for redemption continue until the end comes." Von spoke under his breath, using his lasting hope, that whatever happens may be in their favour. It certainly wasn't prayer that common among the people, it was personal to the person who had run away from the sights of a living Hell.

Von stepped up, took a great breath, and approached the group once more, where he heard Kari address his concern. Standing before them, Von's physical self looked strong, but within his eyes, he shook as if a great earthquake had come from under his boots.

"What if the daemon is trying to take the drake like it did the wolves?"

"That is why I worry, for I have never seen a demon influenced a dragon kind before. If it is possible ... well, I don't need to say how much I worry for it." Von said as his voice quivered with concern. Slapping himself on the cheeks, Von pulled out his weapons, as he was sick of the wait for fight to come. "Indeed. The sooner we kill the drake, the better it is for all of us." Von called to them all.

Group 1

"Thank you for your help, but its better if you head back home now...wouldn't want to lose you in the fight."

"And you should head back, but if you wanna tag along to watch, hey that's you decision. But you'll have to look after yourself once we start fighting this thing."

Arthur looked disappointed for a moment, then thought better of it "Alright, good hunting then," he said then grinned "I'll come back around this way later, to make sure you don't get lost on your way back. Try not to get eaten!"

With that he turned and began walking back through the woods towards town, soon enough the crunching of his footsteps on the snow faded and the group was alone. The tracks the drake had left, both footprints and the spatter of blood, made finding its lair an easy feat. A small cave in the mountains, as they drew close they could hear the breathing of the monstrous creature from within, and the occasional crunching and tearing of flesh and bone no doubt disappearing into the beasts toothy maw.

Ash and Von could sense a strange sort of unease about the place, the feeling of being watched, similar to how it had felt just before the wolves attacked the other night. Ash with his somewhat distorted sight could even make out shadows flitting about just on the edges of his vision, observers from the Fade pressing against the veil.

Creeping into the cave it became clear the Drake had not escape its battle earlier entirely unharmed. There were a few narrow scratches across the less protected parts of its form, and places where a magical frost that had not melted away seemed to have burned onto its scales. In spite of this it struck an intimidating figure, large and imposing with dangerous looking spikes seeming to grow on its form where a dragon would sprout wings. If anything its recent battle scars only served to highlight how dangerous the creature was.

As the group approached the Drake turned away from its meal, casting the wolf carcass aside into the pile of bones, some with flesh still clinging to them, that lay strewn about it. Rearing up to its full height the beast gave a fearsome roar, spewing fire into the cave ceiling above it and charged.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Group 2

"Why do you resist? Are you not tired? Cold? Hungry?" a voice, almost human but somehow distorted spoke through the trees "give up now, the village is mine, the mages are mine, and I will feast."

The source of the voice emerged from the woods, it looked at once like something had attached itself to a human frame, something bestial and monstrous. It was without a doubt an abomination, though far from a usual one. The lower body of it was human enough, though through the tatter remains of circle robes that it wore they could see its ribs pressed against its flesh, emaciated, starved. Its hands were twisted into monstrous claws and it head and shoulders were deformed, the head itself became wolflike with horrid fangs and wild eyes.

The abomination raised one clawed hand and a wave of hunger and weakness rushed over the group, it felt as though they hadn't eaten in days, and with their growing weakness the abomination seemed to grow in strength. They had to put a stop to this and quickly.

Though injured from its earlier fight, the Drake was still an imposing sight, and Kari let out a mental whistle as she got a look at it. Damn, now ain't that a hell of a sight! Grinning from ear to ear, she readied her blade as it discarded its meal and roared; the sound and the heat made her skin feel electric, she'd never felt more alive.

"Don't let it get outside!" She hollered. Roaring back in defiance, she met the charge, breaking aside at the last moment. Following Nola's battle plan, she struck at the Drake's leg joins, doing what she could to try and hobble the creature. Her blade glanced harmlessly off of its hind leg a few times, before Kari spotted what looked like a soft spot behind the knee. As its attention turned elsewhere she struck, and got an immediate response; the beast roared once more and kicked at the source of the pain, catching Kari before she had a chance to dodge.

Set flying a few feet, she slammed into the cave wall and ended up amongst the remains of the Drake's last meal. Knocked for a loop she lay there for a moment before gathering her senses and staggering to her feet. Tasting blood in her mouth, she spat and grinned once more. As a new wave of energy washed through her, Kari rushed into the fray once more, stabbing hard into the Drake's inner thigh.

Jarrett drew his daggers and turned away from Berund into a defensive position the moment he saw him gripped his maul. His body grew weaker but he had managed to regain enough focus to be alarmed by what he heard next.

"Why do you resist? Are you not tired? Cold? Hungry?"

Whoever said that, Jarrett noticed it sounded wrong as if their was a second, darker voice underneath.

"give up now, the village is mine, the mages are mine, and I will feast."

Choking whatever words he could at the whatever was approaching, his body was feeling as if it was being torn apart. "gah... A taunt.. or a bar.. gain?" Jarrett widened his eyes, despair encroaching at the realization that possibly the worst entity he thought could be behind the group's situation. An abomination and it was standing in front of them, noticeably raising it's hand to command their hunger.

"It's been ages since I knew this pain." Jarrett spoke with serenity. "The mages are yours? Our information was limited. Thank you." He didn't know whether the abomination was speaking the truth but he thought it was better to play along. Twisting his hands and griping his daggers with his waning strength, he readied to counter whatever it did next. With a smile of utter sadism he'd nearly forgotten everything else and commanded, "Ahahaha, strike or I shall!", ready at any second to counter or lunge with his remaining strength.

"Alright, good hunting then. I'll come back around this way later, to make sure you don't get lost on your way back. Try not to get eaten!"

Ashtalan smiled and waved goodbye to the young man, though his mind was set on something else completely. He could feel a presence -one among several- that felt familiar. Like being watched, the same way he had felt with the wolves. However, he didn't want to mention it, in case it was only his imagination. Besides, it was only one thing among so many others, he could see shadows in the corner of his eyes, bad shadows, from beyond the veil.

I'm fine, it's nothing. Nothing nothing nothing... not a single thing.

There was a dragon to take care of, he didn't have the time to allow his sanity to slip away completely. He touched his horns, reassuring himself, trying to act as if nothing was wrong. As they moved closer to the cave, they could hear the drake, breathing, and eating. Then they entered the cave.

The sight of the drake was quite magnificent, more so than most of the things Ash had seen in his life. He was in the back of the group, yet his height allowed him to look at it from above the others, and while shadows kept flickering, he knew that the biggest threat to them at the moment was the wingless dragon. It allowed him to gather his mind, for the time being at least, and he raised his hand, causing multiple bolts of lightning to hit it.

"Don't let it get outside!"

Kari yelled, and Ash looked towards the cave opening, trying to stand in front of it as best he could. If nothing else, he might be able to slow it down for a brief moment, should it decide to escape. Then he fired more lightning, this time stronger lightning that pulsed from his hand, not a bolt but a beam.

I wonder if I should make it experience a walking nightmare,

he thought. However, he feared that the creature would turn unpredictable and even more dangerous, especially inside the cave. Instead, he continued his ranged attacks, cursing the fact that he couldn't heal others when he saw Kari getting hurt. She seemed fine, however, for now.

If something happens... I'll use blood magic.

He had no doubts about that.

Nola wore a grim smile as the drake roared. Good, I knew I'd have to work for my scales. She readied her shield and ax matching Kari's charge. As the giantess broke right she kept to the Drakes front.

"Don't let it get outside!"

Nola snorted as the Giantess called out. No shit. She thought as she clashed her ax on her shield. "C'mon ya overgrown pair of boots! Tasty little treat for ya right here!" She called as the drakes head followed her. "That's right ya stupid lizard. Show We what ya got!" It's head shot forward, it's maw wide. Her shield shot forward, meaning to knock the head away. When it stuck, she felt her arm shake. It was like striking an anvil. But the head turned aside none-the-less. It's gaze snaked to it's left, striking out at Kari. "Oi! I'm the one you want handbag!" She called bringing her ax down along it's exposed neck. The beasts scales kept her ax from biting too deep, but a shallow cut began to bleed.

She felt the hairs stand on the back of her neck as lightning struck. I need to buy the mage a drink. Lighting without a storm. So awesome! She charged forward again, whipping her shield forward to strike the beast in the side of the head. The beast roared as the shield struck, it's head whipping around to bash against Nola. With a grunt she falls, landing on her back a few feat away. The drake was on her, it's jaws clamping down on her shield. It's head jerked back and forth, trying to tear away the shield or her arm, whichever came first.

"Now would be the time to stab it more!" She called through her teeth as she tried to keep her arm from popping out of it's socket.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . . . 21 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked