Tales of the eldeen reaches




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    Tales of the eldeen reaches

    It is evening. All the people of the village are gathered around a large fire on the village green Tonight is the first night of spring. A night of happiness, feast and celebration. A night when winter releases its cold clutches on the land, and spring heralds the coming of summer. Especially for you, for tonight you are all celebrated.

    Last night you were set loose in the forest, left to fend for yourself for a night. You were expected to hunt for the village.

    Some of you grouped together, and brought down a wild boar, or a deer. Others went by themselves, catching hare and squirrel, or fish, in the silent hours of sunrise.

    What you caught, or how much, matters not. What counts is that you came back, alive.

    In the afternoon some of you slept, while others told their outrageous tales to the children, who laughed and squeaked when Jarod tells a tale of his highly improbable meeting with an enraged bulette and his cunning escape plan, leading it into the clutches of an owlbear, himself fleeing while the two mighty creatures fought it out amongst themselves.



    But tonight, you are accepted as equals amongst the adults of the village. The mayor himself gives you a glass of his finest apple brandy, and toast to welcome you.



    The deer and boar are roasting over the open fire, and tables filled with whatever delicious dishes the village wives could make compete for your attention with the barrels of fine mead and foaming ale.



    But all of the sudden the merriment and celebration stops as Scarfang enters the clearing. Voices stop as people stare at the druid.



    Scarfang commands and gets respect. But what he gets even more is fear, for none dare stand up against him. He has no one that you know whom he calls friend, and no one can remember him smile.

    Some say he lived through the crusade. Some say he fought the Silver Flame. Some say he fought the Lycanthropes. Some say he fought both.



    He looks to be in his fifties, strong and unbent, with the effect of old age yet to claim him; He has looked like this for as long as you can remember. Even your father, or your father’s father, does not remember him otherwise.



    He looks around the clearing, undisturbed by the whispering behind his back. With a gesture he summons the village elder. They confer, and a whispered discussion takes place. The elder gives as good as he gets, but everyone knows that whatever scarfang wants, he’ll get. After a minute the elder gives a sharp nod, then walks away.



    The druid walks towards the group of youngsters, bunched together at the side of the fire. The pleasant talks, which had just restarted, stop when the druid approaches. When it is clear that he’s coming straight to you, you jump to your feet, all of the sudden chilled to the bone, the food suddenly heavy as a brick in your stomach, all the effects of alcohol washed away.



    The druid lifts his hand, and Aluir jumps onto his outstretched finger, both tilt their heads as they stare at one another, as if silently communicating. The corner of his scarred mouth twitch into something that could almost be called a grin, and he looks Caw in the eyes.

    “The crow and raven are cousins, you know. They are not alike, but similar. So are you to your cousins. They fear what they do not understand. But fear will be replaced by respect, if you let them know you. That is a choice you will have to make. Soon. You will join me tomorrow on a trip. Feast tonight, but be ready by dawn. You have a long way to go.”



    “Stulgar the Swift.” He looks at the double axe. “Your knowledge of other cultures will soon be called upon. But forget not, that you are what you are, and can never be what you are not. Look and learn, but stay true to yourself, or you will fail. You will join me tomorrow on a trip. Feast tonight, but be ready by dawn. You have a long way to go.”



    “Ranvar hardheart. You follow a different way then the ways of old. That is the choice you have made. Hold on to your faith, for it will be tested. The gods are distant from men, and they do not seem to care. Stay true, and the beasts will bow to you as they bow to your master. You will join me tomorrow on a trip. Feast tonight, but be ready by dawn. You have a long way to go.”



    “Roral Parl. You too, follow not the traditional path of the path of the people. From this you draw your strength. But if you are to become the leader you want to be, you will haave to understand our ways better then you do now. If you learn, you will rise higher then any; If you fail, you will fall. You will join me tomorrow on a trip. Feast tonight, but be ready by dawn. You have a long way to go.”



    “Umbra. Shadow. Beast. Like Caw, they whisper about you when the night is dark. But you must never forget that shadow is created by light. Without light, no shadow. If you dwell in darkness, you will fade away. You will join me tomorrow on a trip. Feast tonight, but be ready by dawn. You have a long way to go.”



    “Silver. You have seen what happens when the beast controls the man. But if you leash the beast to tight, it will die, and you will be lost. To learn this balance you must make peace with your past, and with yourself. You will join me tomorrow on a trip. Feast tonight, but be ready by dawn. You have a long way to go.”





    Without another word, he walks away into the darkness, and disappears; All around you, the people start talking amongst themselves, and the six of you find yourself being watched by the entire village with a mixture of pride and fear.



    *Doghead* "You're an idiot, Dr Z."

 

  • #2

    Ranvar Hardheart: Cleric of Balinor

    Ranvar, clearly uncomfortable with the whispers and attention calls out,

    "More brandy here! You heard the man, TONIGHT WE FEAST!"


    Ranvar then tears into his leg of roast boar, belching loudly after he chases the juicy meat with his last swig of drink.

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    Stulgar nods to Scarfang when he is addressed. He leans over to Roral when all is said and done and asks "Join him for a trip? Have you heard of such a thing happening after the Rite?"

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    Caw's heart leaped when he saw Scarfang approach. He knew it was time. Before he could even thank the druid, he had turned and left. As Aluir alighted on his head again, Caw mouthed quietly "Finally. We will be out of here, Aluir! Sorcery is as despised as wolves despise fire, and the more superstitious had been casting glances towards me strangely. I fear the knife in the back, the string across the throat, the poison in the cup." He turns excitedly to the other novices, "I MUST PREPARE!" before rushing off like an excited boy to pack and ready himself for the journey ahead.
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    Umbra shifts uncomfortably in the darkness at the edge of the fire, he prefered if he hadn't have been pointed out to the others, his reputation was grim enough without Scarfang adding to it. Although he respected the druid, he feared him rightly so, the manner in which Scarfang spoke of him gave a glimmer of light, which shone in his eyes, like the reflections of the fire that he stared into. "We shall see, we shall see." Taking a swig of the apple brandy from the flask he held, he dipped his hand into a pouch at his side and took out a narrow pipe and a small bag of leaf, tapping some into it, he lit it with a coal and drew deeply upon the warm aromas which lightened his head. Tomorrow, he had best put such things behind him while he traveled with Scarfang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bront
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    Stulgar nods to Scarfang when he is addressed. He leans over to Roral when all is said and done and asks "Join him for a trip? Have you heard of such a thing happening after the Rite?"
    Roral turns to his friend and upraises his eyebrows in a shrug.

    'Afraid not. All of the usual activities and requirements occur while we're out in the forest the night before, not the day afterwards. At least, that's what Cracoran told me when he went through the Rite last year. This seems odd.'

    Roral hears the belch of Ranvar and the excited exclamation of preparation from Caw... and he shakes his head in a bit of annoyance. 'Children!' he thinks to himself. But Roral ignores them both and stands up to make his way towards the mayor, Zarn Millar, who is listening in to a conversation between two other of the village's elders.

    'Excuse me, Your Honor, please pardon the interruption. If you don't mind me asking... do you know the cause of this trip? I was to understand that our Rite ended with the Feast tonight.'
    Last edited by DEFCON 1; Wednesday, 17th August, 2005 at 05:25 PM.

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    " Ah, Roral." Zarn says, as you hail him.
    He looks at you, with a mixture of pride, fear and awe.
    "Well, euhm. As of tonight, you are an adultn free to do as you like. So you are free in your choice to join him on this trip, or to stay here. He has no more powers of command over you than he has over the other people in the village."
    He lowers his voice. "Remember Latheron Greatclaw?* He went on a trip with him as well, when he came of age, thirty years age. So did five others, that same day, although none of them returned."

    * Latheron greatclaw was a living legend. He was one of the great freedom fighters, and has u nited several tribes at the frontier with Aundair, beating back the aubdair forces time and time again. Tales of his exploits are told during the long winter nights. He disappeared several years ago, near the end of the war.
    *Doghead* "You're an idiot, Dr Z."

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    "Remember Latheron Greatclaw? He went on a trip with him as well, when he came of age, thirty years age. So did five others, that same day, although none of them returned."
    Roral's eyes widen for just a second as he contemplates the mayor's words. Roral obviously is aware of all the stories about Greatclaw, and the thought of he too becoming a hero and freedom fighter holds particular interest for him. He then glances at the other four of his Rite brothers and sister (with one of them having run off) and thinks to himself... 'Five others didn't return, hmm? Not exactly the most promising of stories. I'll do what I can for the rest of them, but I know that I at the very least will be coming back when we're done. Hopefully I'll be able to bring some of them back with me, unlike Greatclaw.'

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    Silver is stunned by Scarfang's announcement. For some time, she sits in amazement, as she listens to everyone's congratulations and plans. Hayli and Kayli congratulate her. "Isn't that exciting! You're going on a quest with Scarfang." "I wonder why he picked you?" "Aren't you excited?" "I'd be scared. Scarfang gives me the creeps." Gradually, Silver shakes off her shock. "I don't know. I guess this will be fun. I'm not scared of him. But what can he want with us? I was hoping to apprentice with him or some other druid... but why would he want all of us? Surely Ranvar and Roral can't have anything to do with... Excuse me."

    Silver gets up and walks towards her friend, Caw, but he has already departed. "Now where is he off to?"

    She overhears Roral talking to the mayor, and walks up to join the conversation. She nods respectfully to the mayor. "Master Millar." She addresses Roral. "Roral. What do you make of this journey? Did Master Scarfang say you were to be our leader?"
    Last edited by Ozmar; Monday, 22nd August, 2005 at 03:39 AM. Reason: adjusted comment to Roral, as she did not hear his thoughts...

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    Caw:
    You rush off to the hut at the side of the village that you call home. It's a bit rundown, but quite comfortable and cozy, and it's clear that it's inhabited by a bachelor.
    You start packing, sniffing at various shirts to determine wether they are clean or not. Aluir looks at the frantic going-ons and chuckles.
    In the background you can hear the sound of the villagers, when you hear a knock on the door.
    You see your half-sister, Ethain, who hesitates before coming in.
    "Hi, Caw," she says softly. "Can I come in?"
    *Doghead* "You're an idiot, Dr Z."

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