A Keep On The Borderlands: Arrival - Page 4




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  1. #31
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    Brother Comoray glances at Sh'aah as he examines and works on the defaced statue. He says nothing for a few minutes, but finding what he hopes is an appropriate moment, he says, " Not much for the hustle and bustle of military procedures, I take it. "
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

 

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    Arcata gives Bastian a sort of wry, long-suffering look and gets down from her horse without taking his hand...though she's not mad about it. Just a bit impatient, perhaps, at being offered help with something she can perfectly well do herself. Whatever they taught at the mage school she'd attended, being pampered was evidently not on the agenda.

    "Yes indeed, Sergeant," she agreed with him. "Come over to the fire and regale us with tales from the Keep. The meat is jerked, but that's better than being spoiled."

  • #33
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    Sh'aah

    Sh'aah was surprised when the priest addressed him. Brother Comoray was the first person to speak directly to the Ranger all day. "No," was the almost grunted reply.

    He paused a few seconds, then realised he was probably expected to contribute more to the conversation than a single word. "You are good to honour the past. Even if the elf was cruel it is good to remember them to not make the same mistakes. I can help you. Wait a minute," Sh'aah added before standing up and jogging down the hill a short distance.

    He stooped to pick a dozen large, flat and dark green leaves from a low shrub and returned with them. "You smash these with water. Good for cleaning blood. Should help. I will show you," the half orc explained. He rpicked up two loose stones from the arcing wall, one with a slightly depression on it, ripped the leaves up into small pieces and placed them in the small depression. Taking the other stone he ground at the leaves and spat on them a few times, turning it into a thick and gooey paste.

    Sh'aah turned and offered the paste to Brother Comoray with a smile-cum-grimace. "Here. Good for cleaning things. Try it."

  • #34
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    " Thank you, " says Comoray, taking the paste and applying it to the statue. " I have never had much use for defacement and vandalism. Sometimes it is necessary to tear down the remnants of the past in order to begin anew. And often it is both useful and honourable to incorporate the past into the present and future. This is where Lady Ducat an I differ, I think. But vandalism, that is just spite without conviction. There is nothing particularly praiseworthy about that. "
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

  • #35
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    Greggory takes a few hunks of the jerked meat and hands them to his men before taking one for himself. He unfolds a small campaign seat by the fire and proceeds to wolf down the ration. The meat is salty and tough, but strangely satisfying for someone that has survived mostly on foraged vegetation and small game. After getting about halfway through the chunk of meat, he picks up a stick and begins drawing a diagram in the dirt.

    Greggory draws a square.

    The fort itself is a simple wooden stockade that is built on a flattened hill. It is surrounded by a ditch with a defense embankment beyond that.

    Greggory draws two circles around the square to represent the ditch. He adds lines radiating from the outermost circle to show the embankment and the wooden abatis constructed from sharpened felled trees.

    The fort has one central wooden building that the magistrate and officers used as their quarters. The rank and file troops all stayed in wattle and daub structures or simple tents. Nothing really fit for a noble lady such as yourself Im afraid.

    Greggory draws some squares and circles within the walls of the fort.

    There is a small meed hall that was built to serve the troops and a smithy to service their equipment. Oh, and the crooked quartermaster who charged double the going rate for basic supplies. Puh....I wonder if he made it out of there alive.

    In the center of the fort, Greggory draws another square, larger then all the other buildings combined.

    And here is what little there is of the great stone keep of Fort K-11. A single story is complete, with the remainder under construction. When my men and I left for our far range, one master stonemason and a small team of apprentices were working on the keep. If you ask me though, progress seemed slow. Im no engineer, but I think they were in no hurry to see the keep get completed.

    Greggory stops at this point in the story and gathers himself. His characteristic bluster seems to drain away a bit.

    When we came back, we knew something was wrong from the pattern of smoke in the direction of the fort. We found several mauled bodies on approach to the keep....as if theyd been run down while fleeing something. The bodies were brutalized. When we got close enough to see the keep, it was obvious theyd been in some kind of battle. We could see breaches in the wall and several fires seemed to be smouldering inside the wall. Cassie found a strange banner impaled through one of the bodies, a beast-like claw crushing a human skull on a red background.

    Greggory removes a piece of dirty, rough spun cloth from his pack and hands it to Lady Arcata.

    We never actually set foot in the fort. We could see several more of the banners on the ramparts, and didnt want to risk walking into an ambush. Tye said he was pretty sure it was beastmen. Said hed seen their type of killing before when he was in the legion....before he was arrested for desertion and got sent out here.

    Oh, one last thing. We found a name written in ochre on one of our watch towers. Aarach the Skullcrusher. And now, you know just as much as we do.

  • #36
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    Sh'aah

    "Sometimes it is good to destroy...Yes, you are right I think. But there must be a good reason. To destroy with no reason is evil itself. To destroy with a weak reason is not wise." Sh'aah says in response to Brother Comoray. He didn't, in all honesty, think that he would have anything in common with the priest. Perhaps he did, after all.

    "What is wrong with the Lady? I like her." The half-orc is definitely confused at the Brother Comoray's criticism of her. "She is...nice. I think," he adds, scratching his head trying to think of a better way of describing her.


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    " I do not know that I would call it a criticism, " says Brother Comoray. " More of a difference of opinion. We do not share quite the same priorities, though our general goals align. No reason for any of that to get in the way of our co-operating, however. "
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

  • #38
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    Bastian Sangue, human cavalier

    Bastian offers no comment other than the briefest glimpse of amusement as Arcata foregoes his aid down from her horse. He makes sure one of the foot soldiers sees to securing the animal, since he doesn't trust it to have the same innate loyalties as his own mount.

    As Greggory begins his tale, the cavalier sits near Arcata, though he makes sure to leave enough space to make it clear he's taking a protective position rather than one of a peer. His features grow darker as their new companion reaches the description of aftermath.

    "And you've kept clear of the whole area since, yes? So we've no idea if the beastmen simply attacked it to mark their territory or have actively taken up residence. Not that either option doesn't pose a problem, mind."

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    "Probably for the best," Arcata says with a nod towards Greggory. "You didn't have numbers to withstand an attack and, strictly selfishly of course, I'm glad you escaped that fate. We'd have ridden right into trap otherwise." She watches the sergeant's men eating, then says "There's still some wine left if you prefer that to water. It's thin and warm, but the best I can offer at the moment."

    After that she leaned over to stare intently at the diagram. "We should assume the worst; that the keep and its fortifications are occupied. We haven't forces enough to risk a direct assault. What are our options as far as you see them?" she asks Gregg, then looks at Bastian as well, inlcluding him in the question.

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    Sh'aah

    "So you like her then?" the thoroughly confused half-orc ranger asks of Brother Comoray before putting the apparent contradiction out of his head.

    "You can wash it off now," Sh'aah adds, putting the conversation firmly back in the arena of things he knows about. "Should wash off paint, blood and charcoal. Bad carvings are different. Need a mason to fix it."

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