Midnight: A Lost Faith's Shadow. Book 1, The Awakening. Chapter 2, Flight


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    Ý Ignore Hrothgar

    Midnight: A Lost Faith's Shadow. Book 1, The Awakening. Chapter 2, Flight

    Arc of Halail, Day 5 LA 99

    The rolling northern plains stretch to the horizon, broken only by stone topped hills and the small copses of pine and oak that nestle in small vales or crest low hills. Overhead, leaden skies continue to mist, slowly soaking the Heroes and cooling the summer air. Talk is minimal and spirits waver as the Heroes trudge south, hoping to lose themselves in a sea of waist-high sword grass.

    The previous day was spent in rest, the Heroes healing their wounds, guarded by their own vigilant watch and Morn's snares. Staying any longer was too much of a risk; Legate Theiv and his tracker Thune would be scouring the surrounding area for the renegade band and their prize, the young girl Aislinn. The young girl demonstrated her amazing powers on more than one occassion, healing those that risked their lives to protect her. Aislinn maintained her newfound powers were granted from a lost goddess that had awoken from a deep slumber. Could this be true? Is Aryth awakening to fight the Shadow that has corrupted the land of Eredane? Is the sword Bjorn's Faith and the green stone of Kaela proof of Aryth's awakening? And, who is or was this goddess? Fallax has dedicated his former sholarly life and his current hermetic life to uncovering this mystery. However, the old man has been rather tight-lipped about his knowledge of the subject. Regardless, Hope has manifested as a tangible object: Aislinn the young Dorn.

    How to protect the young girl? The Heroes have opted to travel south to Highwall on the Sea of Pelluria, the ruined city and the Heart of Shadow: Theros Obsidia. Theros Obsidia is the Shadow's focus of power in Eredane and the fortress of his legates, The Order of Shadow. Fallax was once a scholar in Highwall and has said taking the girl into Highwall is madness. However, Reznik maintains he has allies in Highwall. Is it worth the risk? The journey will be a long one, passing Shadow strongholds of Port Esben and White Cliff on the Pelluria, not to mention the horrors of the Barrens. Currently, some hundred or so miles northwest of Davindale, the trek will be a long one by land, almost 750 miles. Do better routes exist? Maybe the only answer is now to head south and let darker worries go unanswered.

    The Heroes silent thoughts are broken by a mournful howl that drifts over the eerily quiet northlands. Hackles raise at the sound and chill descends along the spine. A wolf. Not far away.

 

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    Kaela shivers as the wolf howls, the combination of the eerie sound and cool air too much to ignore. She unconciously picks up her pace, each stride a little longer. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Aislinn struggling to keep up.

    "Poor dear. I'm sorry, love." Her pace slows, and Kaela reaches out to touch the girl's shoulder. She wraps her arm around the youth, pulling her close. "We need to reach a decision. I, for one, have faith in Reznik's choice. While it seems folly to rush into such a dnagerous place, I think his reasoning is strong." She glances to Fallax. "That doesn't mean I don't trust you, old man, or that I don't respect your opinions. But Reznik has led me safely so far, and I mean to follow him if possible."

    Kaela leans in close to Aislinn. "You have been quiet for these last few miles. What say you?" she asks quietly.
    Please, Kermie, don't hurt 'em.

    Kaela, from A Lost Faith's Shadow
    Chapter 5
    OOC Thread

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    Starhl howls back when he hears the wolf."Wolf! Walker of the woods. Whose steps are silent shadow. Teeth bright, moon fang. Fur warm, sooth. Come to me!" the barbarian howls in half-Dorn and half-gibberish. The others in the party wonder if their companion is drunk.
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    Morn whirled on Starhl, his eyes flashing beneath his hood."Congratulations. You've just let every orc within a league know we're here you furry lack wit!" Morn turned to the rest of the group "We have to move. quickly."

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    Treading on silent padded paws, a gray wolf emerges from a small oak and pine copse at the top of a hill. Not more than fifty feet away the wolf sits on its haunches, watching the Heroes as they pass, its ears raised expectantly. Near the wolf, the earth is torn and shredded by some unknown force. The wolf throws its head back and emits its mournful howl again, its fading traces lingering on the misty plains.

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    Starhl lopes towards the wolf on his fours, the sword clanging on his back. He speaks in a language of yowls and Dornish, which sounds like mostly gibberish. "You! Sent from the land! You too want to fight the shadow! You have seen them kill your brethen for sport, burn down the forest, corrupt the waters! You too are sent by Nature mother, to fight with us! Join us! Be at our side! The Shadow shall fall!" Starhl snarls at the wolf, scratching his ears with his leg, a feat few thought possible for a man. Aislinn looks on slightly worriedly, wondering what manner of companions she has...

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    Ý Ignore Toric_Arthendain
    Upon spotting the wolf, Valurel keeps his distance. When Starhl approaches it and starts speaking in what sounds like growls, snarls and gibberish, Val raises his eyebrows in surprise despite his own feral nature. Unsure what exactly the big barbarian is trying to accomplish other than get himself mauled, he turns away and scans the horizon looking for any unwanted company drawn by the howls of the wolf and the loud gibberish being spoken by Starhl.

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    To hell in a handbasket...

    Reznik
    Reznik gazed at the wolf, a few years ago he would have run in fear at the sight of the creature. Maybe he would have payed a hunter a bag of grain to kill it. But now he felt compelled to approach this creature and the blasted land it seemed to mourn alone in the mists. The shadowed rogue wasn't drawn to the beast from Starhl's seemingly drunken ramblings, just a need to see that piece of ground for himself.

    "Morn speaks true", he croaked. "We must move quickly. But I must say that I am drawn to the land the wolf cries on. It is scarred."

    Reznik looks to his companions for their decision. Continue moving or investigate the earth near the wolf.

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    Ý Ignore Hrothgar
    The wolf stands at the giant woodsman's approach, backing away slowly and cocking its head to the side, spooked by the big Dorn's wild actions. Stahrl pauses at the treeline, his gaze dropping to the ground. The sword-grass is shorter here and much of the rained soaked earth is rent asunder, stone and dirt strewn about. Lying in the mud is a dead male wolf, its skull crushed by some immense force. Lying nearby are three small wolf pups, their small bodies shredded. Above the dead wolves, a hole in the ground slowly leaks mud down the hill. Their den. Ripped apart. Starhl's gaze travels around the hill. Other holes. Dug apart. As if something was searching...under the ground. In the mud, Starhl spies a huge track. Like a wolf's, only bigger. Starhl straightens and looks at the wolf again. The wolf sits and looks into Starhl's eyes, a pained look that Starhl understands all too well.

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    "What's going on over there?"

    Kaela has spent much time in the woods around Caft, but can't help but feel nervous in these new suroundings. The hot breath of one orc warrior still lingered in her mind. One of the brutes had gotten that close in the tunnel before her enchantment had taken him down. Behind every tree lurked an orc, ready to leap out and slash at her or one of her new friends with a cruel blade.
    Please, Kermie, don't hurt 'em.

    Kaela, from A Lost Faith's Shadow
    Chapter 5
    OOC Thread

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