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Friday, 9th February, 2007, 08:12 PM #1
Shattered Sea Chronicles, Book I: Festival of the Dead
May 1, 1106 CR
The Festival of Renewal at Stonegate is always a time of celebration. This year is certainly no exception. The Festival Fields south of the city are full of wagons, tents, pavilions, and life. The smells of animals and of cooking food fill the air, along with music of many kinds.
The festival is one of two great festivals of the year, the other being the Harvest Festival, six months hence. Tapestried banners hang from the towers of the city, each one indicating the presence of some notable. Nobles have come from all over Avonleigh the kingdom, and from even further afield.
Yet not only nobles attend the festival. Several clans of halfling wayfarers have set up their wagons, and are plying their trade as minstrels, and tinkers. On the fields of honor, contests of arms are held, well attended by noble and commoner alike.
Seven days of joy, revelry, and merriment, to mark the loosening of winter's grasp on the land.
The stonewalled city itself is crowded. A winter's worth of crafting stands to be admired and purchased, the festhalls and taverns are packed.
One such festhall, on the corner of Shield Street and Thane's Way, is a stone building, built with loving dwarven skill. The sign above the door, carved in the likeness of a small burrowing beast, spells out "The Granite Badger" Within, humans and dwarves sit at long benches, and smaller tables, drinking ale, eating, and laughing.
At one table, three dwarves sit. They greatly resemble each other, three generations of solid dwarven manhood. The oldest, with the look of a grizzled old warrior, puts down his ale stein, and looks at the youngest. "So, young Broderick. In only a few days you'll be tying your warrior's braid. Then ye'll be making yer own way in the wide world. What plans have ye got?"
Travelling with old Olephas had made for slow going. The elderly druid moved slowly, though seemingly tirelessly, along the way from the Tremblewood's green, shadowy depths to this rather dusty path. "Ah, it will be good to see my old friends again. And you need to spend some time amongst other people, Redbeard. A druid must reverence the earth, but you are too young to sink into the treedreaming, eh?"
As they walked a bit further along, they topped the rise, and the whole panoply of the festival fields was before them. More people then Redbeard had ever seen in one place. The few human habitations that remained in the Runefields, and even the Jotun enclaves of the northern coast of Avonleigh the island were small, armed camps and fortresses. None of the cities and proper towns had survived the scourge of the Darkrune.
"You are a lucky young man, to come to Stonegate for your coming of age. Lucky indeed. What do you think you'll be doing here at the festival?"
Last edited by Blarkon Dragonslayer; Thursday, 3rd May, 2007 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Updated title
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Friday, 9th February, 2007, 08:59 PM #2
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
When they got closer to Stonegate, they could hear the festivities, and they both quickened their pace. Redbeard comes to a stop at the top of the hill. He is breathing hard, his face as red as his beard. Although his master was slow, Redbeard didn't mind, he wasn't a big fan of being winded like he was now. At his master's question, Redbeard's stomach rumbled. He looked down and rubbed it. "Arr, I be gettin some food first."
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 12:40 PM #3
Olephas smiled at that. "Aye, the food at the festival is always good. Just avoid anything with Sharazaran white peppers. I speak from hard experience."Originally Posted by EvolutionKB
The two walked on, and soon found themselves in the crowds, a continuing kaleidoscope of noise and color.
The older druid looks at Redbeard, and smiles. "I'll be after seeing some friends, my boy. Go and find your food...we'll meet later, at the Granite Badger. Its in the city, just ask for directions, and you'll be sure to find it."
With that he moves off into the crowd, leaving Redbeard alone.
The enticing smells of spiced meat and pastry draw the younger druid to a stall selling very nice meat pies and fried cheese...and he is just about to tuck into a nice platter full, when he is distracted by a scream. "Look out, it's broken loose! Mad wolf!"
He looks around, just in time to see a wolf, looking rather angry, running through the crowd, snarling, a broken chain hanging from a thick leather collar. The creature causes instant pandemonium, and a small child, a little girl, is knocked from her feet, right in the wolf's path.
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 12:50 PM #4
The whole world was bouncing. And hard. And smelled of dry hay.
As the young priest's eyes opened, blearily, the vapors of a serious hangover hanging about the edges of his consciousness, he found himself staring into the placid eyes of a hound dog.
The dog was perched on a bale of hay, and the bouncing resolved itself into the movement of a large farm wagon.
A quick inventory convinced the cleric that all of his gear was present, and it was then that he found the note, on cheap parchment, tucked into his belt.
The note simply read. "Enjoy the festival. Good luck. Change is life." It was signed only "T". It was then that Larren remembered that when he'd been sitting around at the tavern on Krop's Rock with his friend and mentor, that Thorentil's latest lady friend had been a wizard of some significant ability. And she'd hailed from somewhere pretty far north. And they'd all gotten pretty seriously drunk.
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 01:34 PM #5
-The Nameless Psion-
Who would have imagined that the Academy would have been interested in a place like Stonegate. Yet, several seers had reported having dreams of great evils stirring, and at least one focus of that evil was indeed within the city.
Which is why one recent graduate of the academy found himself in an alleyway, listening to a passing musician. Oddly, he found that he couldn't remember exactly where the Academy was, only that he had been there, and now he was to do what he could here, to face whatever evil was coming.
Around him, the city was bursting with life and celebration, it hardly seemed a place where dark evils were gathering. Yet, just as he was thinking that, a female scream sounded from around the corner.
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 04:38 PM #6
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
"Granite Badger ye say? I be there when the sun be setting," the smell of freshly baked meat pied grabs what remained of his attention"...mmm meat pies!" The scream pushes Redbeard out of his food reverie, and looks up to see a wolf barreling towards a girl that had fallen in the street.
"Such creatures are not meant to be domesticated, right Polly?" Polly nods her head in response. Not wanting the girl to be trampled, Redbeard interposes his great bulk in between the girl and the wolf. He hopes to grab the chain trailing from it's neck as it passes him by.
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 06:17 PM #7
As the druid moves, the wolf pads forward. The wily beast shifts just enough that his hand misses the chain. Then the gray furred wolf turns toward the bulky man, snarling...it's shoulders hunching, as it seems ready to spring at his throat.Originally Posted by EvolutionKB
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 06:57 PM #8
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
I probably going to regret this, Redbeard thinks, but there be others around that could get torn to ribbons by these here jaws. Whoever "owns" this pup, won't be happy that I had to take care of it.
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 07:03 PM #9
- Johanna -
For almost three weeks, four Jotuns have travelling the roads, far from their accustomed sea. Theirs has been a route that might best be described as a great semi-circle. They have travelled from Wulfsport, on the northern coast of Avonleigh the island, south and west along the great rocky heights of the hills of the Manticore. Luckily none of the great beasts made an appearance, though one was seen at a great distance.
Then they ascended a narrow, rocky pass, having to climb at places, rather then walk. Then down, into the small kingdom of Valinost, before turning east, and taking the king's road into Avonleigh the kingdom, skirting the southern edge of the Wood of Elessed, and trekking onward four days more, till finally they looked down upon the Festival field, the massive bulk of Stone Mountain rising on their left.
"Well lads...and errr..lass...I must be off about my own business in the city, yonder. You all can do as you see fit, till this evening. I'll see about getting rooms for us at the Granite Badger, which despite its silly dwarven name, is a good place to rest one's head."
With that, the tall, grey-haired captain strode off, heading into the city. The two Finnacar brothers exchanged a look, then looked at Johanna. One of them, it was hard to tell which it was, so identical they were, said, "Johanna, we're off to find ourselves some friendly company. Take good care of yerself. The last time we were here, the bards and singers and whatnot had some big pavilions over on the other side of this great mass of folk, if you are interested."
Saturday, 10th February, 2007, 07:13 PM #10
The druid barely has time to lay a hand on the hilt of his scimitar when the wolf leaps at him, jaws snapping, ripping into his arm. (-5 hp to Redbeard)Originally Posted by EvolutionKB
The wolf tries, but fails, to pull the druid to the ground, but does pull him off balance enough that the scimitar blow misses.
Then like an avenging eagle...well, being an avenging eagle, Polly leaps to the attack, one talon ripping into the wolf's flank, and her beak coming red away from the grey-furred beast's shoulder.