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Thread: Crossed Paths, Part III
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 06:09 AM #1
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Crossed Paths, Part III
The morning of October 21 dawns cold and clear. Unasked, Grassus hauls himself out of bed to assist Mendicus with the morning chores. Grassus smiles a lot, but any sudden movement around him, or the raising of any hand causes him to flinch.
A clear stream flows through the swamp near the campsite in the aspen grove. The party feels quite refreshed as the icy water parches their thirst and cleans their hands and faces. Can it only have been one month since the first meeting of Brioc, Octar and Ehldannis in the dim tavern on the West coast of the Black Sea? Despite the travails of the last month, or perhaps because of them, none have ever felt better.
Last edited by Manzanita; Saturday, 19th June, 2004 at 06:15 AM.
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 06:19 AM #2
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
As soon as the camp is somewhat settled, the elf begins. "It seems that the man can indeed hear. Let me try communicating with him then, I believe I have mastered a spell which will enable me to speak his tongue, whatever it be."
Ehldannis walks over to the old slave and looks him over with a dsicerning eye, as if inspecting the make of a blade or quality of a horse. How is it that these humans allow themselves to sink so low? No Elf would ever allow himself to fall into such degradation. Such short lifespans and yet such a desperate will to live.
The elven wizard squares his diminutive shoulders, takes a deep breath and begins softly chanting, his eyes firmly locked with the man. His speech quickens and grows louder, taking on a strange cadence as words from all manner of languages, dialects and accents begin to emerge in a quick-fire stream from his mouth. At last the stream of words settle into the guttural speech of the hyena-men and Ehldannis smiles and calmly speaks to the old man. "Greetings, my name is Ehldannis. Myself and my companions wish you no harm. Please, tell me of yourself."
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 06:26 AM #3
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
The man's eyes widen. "Oh, Master. I am but a slave. I remember no other life. I clean and cook for the gnolls. Thank you for your kindness."
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 09:17 AM #4
"A slave ... he's been a slave to those gnolls for his entire life. Poor b*stard." Tullius pats the man on his back. "Ehldannis, can you ask him about Matriculus? Has he seen him? And are there any more gnolls? Does he know anything about traps or where the gnolls keep their treasure?"
Tullius wanders around this morning, helping with the small chores for breakfast and keeping an eye out for trouble.
"Thanks Marcus, but I already have a bow, it's just that this new one seems to be calling for me to use it." Tullius shrugs at Marcus. "Ah well, I'm sure Octar will use it well, the man is a legionaire!"
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 10:10 AM #5
~Dhormium spends his morning time alone in prayer, since this days Clangeddin Silverbeard is granting hem access to a new and higher form of the divine. When walking back to camp and overhearing Elhdanis’ translating for Grassus, Dhormium can only think that The man must be a good cook and a terrific cleaner, since the gnolls didn’t kill him for screwing up. It must have been hard on the man, just point at him and he cowers away. Nonetheless he survived, what a strength that must poses, if he where a dwarf he’d make a fine follower for Clangeddin. Dhormium helps Marcus and Tullius with breakfast, mostly by eating it, but makes up for it afterwards by cleaning up after and around camp.
Today is the day, we’re going to see that G’ruk fellow again and find out if there is a way around that blood sacrifice, and hopefully something about this spear point that Sergius found in these caves. Oh blast, Grassus, what are we going to do with him? He’ll probably want to stay topside. I’ll go check with Brioc and Grassus. And so Dhormium walks over to speak with Brioc~
“Brioc, I think that our new friend here would like to remain above ground, but are we going to leave him here all alone? That would not be wise, but leaving somebody here with him is not an option either, we’ll probably need every muscle, blade and blood we have today…”
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 01:14 PM #6
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Ehldannis works together with Tullius to question the old man about whether he has seen Matriculus and then goes on to describe both Sergius and the flaming spearpoint and ask whether he knows anything about them either. Then he will ask what the man knows about the Gnolls and their home, are there more, do they have any allies, any enemies, any treasure?
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 01:20 PM #7
Novice (Lvl 1)
Awake as soon as the first light of day touched the sky, Brioc has spent the morning in quiet contemplation by the river. His sleep had been deep, filled with dreams of flying on feathered wings, swimming through deep cold dark lakes, or running through woodland on pawed feet. The events of the last few days seem to have uncovered a deeper understanding of the green that surrounds him, and Brioc can feel new power within himself and in the wilderness around him.
Brioc looks up as Dhormium approaches, smiling broadly at the dwarf. The morning's musings have left him in a good humour, and he scrabbles down from his seat on a large rock.
"I think it would be cruelty to march Grassus back through the tunnels where he has spent so much time as a captive. Although we can little spare his help, I will ask Mendicus if he minds watching over the camp and our new friend while we venture below." Brioc replies to Dhormium's question.
"In truth, I think Mendicus is ill-suited to our exploration of the tunnels, although he does his best not to show it. He's more a farmer than a warrior, and it has been only his bravery carrying him through our last couple of encounters."
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 01:56 PM #8
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
"Are you here to free us? I'm blessed to have met you before I die. I hope you kill every last one of those cruel bastards. I didn't know such humans still existed. There are many slaves down there. Please free us all!"
"The gnolls are soldiers. The real power lies with the minotaurs, who rule this underground kingdom. There are also lizardmen. They're all the same, though. Cruel, lazy, living off the ancient magic that built this place. They already fear you. You've killed many of their best soldiers now. There is a teleporter that leads from these dismal caverns to their Palace under the sun. There you can kill them. And free us."
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 02:10 PM #9
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Ehldannis turns to Mendicus, "How do you feel about a job change? The old man tells me there are many more slaves in the caverns. We will be flat out liberating them, but someone will need to care for them after we bring them out."
Turning back to the old man, "Do you speak a human tongue and how long have you been a slave here? Do you know aught of the magic that did build these caverns? Can you tell us how to find the teleporters and where they lead to? What can you tell us about these minotaurs? My apologies, I do not mean to overwhelm you with questions. Our objective was not to liberate captives and there are only a small group of us but we will do what we can while we are here."
Saturday, 19th June, 2004, 02:39 PM #10
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
"Ah, Matriculus." Grassus nods eagerly and smiles through broken teeth at Tullius' description of the archeologist. "He was brought in recently. I have seen him. I cannot speak his language, but some of the other slaves can. He is a man of great learning, but now he must scrub the black pots and comb the minotaur cows just like the rest of us."
"There are two groups of slaves. Most are taken from the village of Thracia. This must be where I was born. Where my mother and father lived, perhaps with many brothers and sisters..." he wipes away a tear. "I have no memory of this place. I hear it is beautiful, where people are free to roam the woods, to hunt and fish, to grow their own crops. The gnolls beat us if they hear us speak that language."
"The other group was taken from another city, farther away, all at once. I remember when they came. I was not so old then. Sometimes there are other slaves. Even as you, Master Ehldannis, and the stubby ones," he nods at Dhormium. "I do not always see them often. I know not exactly who is here."
"You were very near the Teleporter, masters. It was in the room with the large statues near where you found me. It is said humans cannot use it by themselves. But you are a wizard, you will understand it better than I. Sometimes they use small stones. Sometimes they simply stand there."
"The minotaurs are huge!" He raises his hands as high as he can. "And they use magic! But you will kill them. You must."
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