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Knightfall's World of Kulan: Tales of the Companions Story Hour (Final Update: Sep 20, 2014)


World of Kulan DM
Taboo said:
As a matter of fact, I've been reading that one, too! :D

I haven't been able to keep up with that one as closely, but only have a couple of postings to catch up on. Both stories are excellent, but I have to admit that this one's my favorite. Mostly because of the characters, I think.

I did start reading the Divinity War Story Hour First, so that was the one that got me started.

Well, it's good to know that someone's been reading that one too. BTW, you might want to take a look a newly revised story that I've just posted up - Realmsian Dragonstar. It is Book One of what will be most likely a three part series. I had hoped to have it done by the end of Book Two but the more I go through it in my head I feel that there will be a Book Three. :D

Anyway, here's the latest soliloquy...


Greystone Mountains, Dwarven City of Milo, Thunderstone Hall:
Dvalin stood in the main chamber of his clan hall. It was good to be home but strangely disconcerting as well. Dvalin walked down the center of the hall staring at the granite statues of his forefathers lining both walls of the hall. They were all there. Hurekk, the first of his line. Filiala, the hero of the First Ogre War. Rethgur, his grandfather.

Dvalin stopped in front of his grandfather's statue studying the craftsmanship that went into the living portrait of the greatest hero of his clan. It was an honor to be his grandson. Dvalin noticed the spot meant for his father out of the corner of his eye. The statue would be carved and placed in the hall after his father died. Dvalin hoped that day would never come but knew better.

Soon he would have to lead not only his clan but sit at the side of the new High Thane as Warrior Consort.

"Grandfather," Dvalin often came to the hall to speak to the statues. Non-dwarves didn't understand the bond to the past. Well, maybe the elves understood.

"It will never be the same again will it?"

Dvalin shook his head in frustration. He knew that time would catch up with him eventually. He had responsibilities now. Responsibilities that he didn't want. His grandfather wouldn't have understood.

"You, Rethgur Thunderstone never failed your duties once in your life, not even when it cost you that life. Father is the same way, grandfather. You would be so proud of him.

"But what of me, you say?" The statue didn't speak but Dvalin knew that would have been his grandfather's question. "What honor shall I bring to the clan?"

Dvalin closed his eyes not believing what he was about to say.

"None, grandfather. None whatsoever. In fact, the clan might fall into dishonor for what I'm am just thinking of doing.

I am to marry Sannl Blackforge. High Thane of the Greystones."

Dvalin deepened his voice intimating how his grandfather had spoken. "What's this you say, my boy? You are to be Warrior Consort? But that is the greatest honor there is!"

Dvalin sighed shaking his head. "Aye, it is that grandfather. But I dishonor us by not wanting to be Warrior Consort."

Dvalin looked at the statue square in the eyes looking for some sort of sign from his grandfather's spirit. Nothing. Of course not. Rethgur Thunderstone's spirit was in Mount Clangeddin. Honored amongst the dead of the Father of Battle.

"I do not love her, grandfather. I don't know if I ever did. Oh, we were inseparable as children, but that was different. We were friends. Life was simple then. We knew nothing of real responsibility.

And now I feel like I'm trapped. There is a whole world out there for me to discover. Jeddar and the others are determined to explore it all. I want nothing more then to go with them.

Jeddar," Dvalin walked away from his grandfather's statue. "I wish you were here, my friend. I could really use your council right about now. But even you have your duties. You must stand against the hordes threatening your home. And it seems so must I."

Dvalin walked from the echoing cavern that is Thunderstone Hall. "For now."
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First Post
Excellent as expected!

And...I noticed the Dragonstar Storyhour and read it last night. :D
It's off to a great start, you keep this up and I won't have time to keep my own story hour updated! :)

(It's ok, I posted one update today and I'm typing up the next two right now. It'll just take me awhile to get them ready to post.)

Great writing!



World of Kulan DM

Greystone Mountains, Dwarven City of Milo, Hall of the Ironguard:
Rikin's armor gleamed where the torchlight found it. He stood before the statue of Moradin in the hall of his order, the Ironguard. The gore mole’s head etched into the breastplate of the dwarf's armor seemed almost alive in the light. The symbol of the Ironguard of the Greystones.

Rikin stood at attention before the statue of his God. To him it was the same as being before Moradin in the afterlife. The All-Father's visage wherever it was etched, carved or built was sacred to the Ironguard, as it is to all the faithful of Moradin.

"Honor demands that I keep him on the path laid out for him at his birth." Rikin's voice echoed through his full great helm and the hall around him. "He must marry the High Thane. To consider anything else would bring shame to his forefathers, as well as our noble father."

Rikin's axe rested on the Alter of the Dwarffather. Placed there to honor the Dwarven Gods with its history and magic. It had been his clan father's weapon during the Second Ogre War. He had died wielding it. Protecting the clans of Kingdom of the Greystones. Its history and magic were now his to wield. It was his honor in life and would be in death.

"Yet," Rikin's voice echoed through the hall once more. “He risks everything by flirting with Thessa the way he does. Yes, I care for her too. She is my friend now. She healed me. Saved my life. I owe her my axe and my will.

But not at the expense of the honor of my clans. I am the last of the Stonefossils. Adopted son of the Thunderstone clan and my second father, Brekk. I would never do anything to dishonor them and I used to think Dvalin believed that too.

But now..." Rikin sighed at the thought of what he might be forced to do if Dvalin's will faltered. "He will marry Sannl. There isn't any other choice. Honor demands it.

He will do his duty, Dwarffather. Even if I have to force him." Rikin laid his hand over the double-bladed head of his axe lying on the Alter of the All-Father. "I swear it!"
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World of Kulan DM
Interlude #3

Location Unknown:
The hallway was dead quiet, as the tall elven woman walked towards the large ornate double doors at the far end. She walked with an air of nobility and confidence, yet she would appear frightening to those that saw her. She wore the trappings of a powerful arcanist with several adornments that confirmed her specialty in the Forbidden Arts. A large humanoid skull covered in feathers was her helmet and her arms and chest were covered in shaped bone, her armor, its power based more on fear and magic than on physical protection. Her robes were made of fine silk dyed pitch black and covered with magical sigils. Her legs and hips swayed in the loose material silently, while her booted feet ran out on the flagstone floor.

One who did not know her would have thought her physically appealing.

The elven necromancer pushed open the double doors without waiting or ceremony. She knew that he wouldn’t object, as they had known each other for as long as the man had been alive. She knelt before her friend and master, however, as some things were expected.

“Father, you summoned for me and here I am.” She spoke.

“How go the preparations in the west?” A man shrouded in darkness spoke from behind an ornate desk made of wood and bone. His voice was full of gravel.

“Everything is going as planned. Out forces will be ready to lay siege to Onaway at the designated time.” The woman remained Knelt until he motioned for her to rise. “How goes the war in the east, Father?”

“As to be expected,” The man known on as The Father stepped out from the darkness offering the elven woman a spot next to him on a low divan and a cup of fine feral wine. “The fools continue to believe that they can win this conflict, but we have guile and ruthlessness on our side.”

“What of the betrayal near the city of Fruen?” The necromancer took the drink and sat next to The Father. “The girl must be punished for her treachery.”

“Agreed.” The Father reclined into the cushions of the divan, drinking deeply from his own cup. “But death would be too easy and I don’t think she would be tractable as an undead slave. Better to strike out at those she believes lover her.”

“Hmm, perhaps the emotional trauma could bring her back into the fold, although she would still have to pay a heavy penance for her actions.” The necromancer removed her helmet, unbound her long hair, and began loosening her armor.

“Possibly,” The Father looked her up and down. “This new body of yours is quite appealing. Much like your original form, all those years ago, when we first met.”

“You noticed,” her smile was almost predatory in the darkness. “It has been forever since we last re-consummated our agreement. I figured that you would be more willing if my form was familiar.”

The elven woman removed the last vestiges of her unholy armor and unclasped her robe. It slid to the ground revealing her borrowed body. Firelight gleamed off her pale skin, as she drank down her cup of feral wine.

“Indeed.” The Father set aside his own cup and grabbed her arm. “Come to me, my pet.”

She did so, while a pair of infernal eyes watched them closely, guarding its compacted master for any sign of betrayal from the elven necromancer known as the Foulsoul.
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World of Kulan DM
Interlude #4

The Tiger Guild of Fruen:
Carl sat quietly reading the latest dispatches from continuing war. Things looked much better than a month ago. The ogres weren’t in full retreat, however, and he had cautioned the King not to reduce the number of patrols.

His judgement had proved sound, as several large stands of ogre and orc soldiers had been flushed out of hiding in the hills and forests near the town of Hadyr, as well as just north of the Spirit Rift. Almost a dozen ogres had risked retreating into the rift and hadn’t been seen since.

“Stupid,” Carl mumbled. “Nothing living survives there for long. This ogre horde thinks it’s indestructible, Tallos, now what do you want?”

“Guildmaster, your granddaughter wishes to see you,” Tallos had been standing at attention for over 10 minutes waiting for Carl to acknowledge his presence. “And yes sir, the ogres seem to be driven by something other than just bloodlust.”

“Well, they will fail more miserably than during the Second Ogre War. And what does she want?”

“People are calling this the beginning of a Third Ogre War, Guildmaster.” Tallos paused to make sure his friend heard the next part correctly. “Crystal wants to join the guild.”

“Well,” Carl paused. “I hadn’t expected that.”

“Yes sir.” Tallos hoped the answer would be ‘no’. The guildmaster’s granddaughter still made him nervous.

“Well, if she wants to apply then so be it. I can’t just say ‘no’ and have that be the end of it. She’s too strong willed for that. However, I doubt very much that the guild members would accept her and there is the Arcane Order to consider as well.”

“Yes, I’d heard that Japheth Arcane had offered her a place at Mathghamhna.”

“Hmm, it seems that my granddaughter will be as much trouble as part of my family as not being a part of it. Of course, any family needs a good shake up now and then.” Carl returned his thoughts to the reports in front of him. “However, other business first.”

“Yes sir.” Tallos continued to stand at attention. “Reports have come in that they are just about to leave the Knotwood, sir.”

“Good,” Carl had decided to let her. “Although, I wish the King had let me choose someone else to lead the mission. I just don’t know if I can trust my son to be open-minded about what will need to be done to make sure this alliance is signed.”

“Your grandson will know what to look for and counsel his father accordingly.” Tallos reminded him.

“If the boy doesn’t become distracted.” Carl loved his grandson but sometimes he wished the boy paid more attention to his guild responsibilities. “At least Mesik is with them. He’ll learn everything we ‘really’ need to know.”

“Yes sir.” Tallos was unsure how Carl would react to the next part. “The report also says that Bactra, the gnome Thessa Simmial, and the vonakyndra are going with them.”

“Oh great,” Carl slammed his fist down on the table. “What is Garth thinking allowing that giant to go with them. I suspected Bactra would go and I’m glad Thessa will be on the trip to lend a healing hand, but Hougwarth Medinton!”

“Yes sir, it’s unfortunate, but perhaps the wood giant won’t cause as much trouble, this time, plus it is an extra sword for any fight.”

“Unless he drops it,” Carl was livid. He had instructed his son to keep a low profile on this journey. There wasn’t any chance of that now. “Oh well, nothing we can do about it until they get back. I will not waste any more guild resources on this mission.”

“You don’t think anything will come of it, Guildmaster?” Tallos had wondered if Carl had agreed with the King’s decision.

“I would never say that and you shouldn’t either. The King is not to be questioned, no matter how ‘we’ might feel.”

“Yes sir.”

“Will you please sit down and relax, Tallos. You’re making me uncomfortable.”

“All right.” Tallos laughed, sitting in one of the chairs in front of the desk. “So, what about Crystal?”

“You don’t think I should let her try, do you?” Carl smiled as he tidied up the desk and hid all the official documents.

“I never said that.”

“But you’ve been thinking it since mentioning the subject. Is she outside?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well, I guess we better get this over with then.”

“Yes sir.” Tallos tapped a sigil on his guild ring and the double doors opened.

Crystal Tigerstorm stood patiently facing the open doorway. Gone were most of her necromantic trappings and in their place she wore silver jewelry presented to her by her mother’s mother who she had tracked down in the Kingdom of Navirosov. Her flowing silk garments were blue-black trimmed with silver, as well as embroidered with magical sigils in silver thread. Her undergarment covered her feminine features, while her outer garment was sheer down to her ankles, while leaving her arms bare. She held her Starburst Staff in both hands, while her long blonde hair flowed over her shoulders and down her back, a single, heavy braid hanging down the side of her face down to her wide, ornate belt. Her lips, eyelids, and fingernails were etched in runic silver coloring. She was such a radiant beauty that one almost wouldn’t have noticed her sturdy, military-style black boots, as she stepped forward.

“The guildmaster will see you now,” Tallos didn’t need to turn around to know she was still standing there. Her scent informed him of her presence. He reddened slightly and was thankful that Carl was too much of a friend to stare at anyone other than his granddaughter. “I will be in the antechamber, Guildmaster.”

Tallos quickly left the room trying not to stare at Crystal as he walked by. He closed the doors behind him, sighing in relief to be out of the woman’s presence.

“Sit down child.” Carl understood why his son had fallen in love with Dawn Almondsky, if his granddaughter was a true reflection of her mother’s beauty. “I understand you wish to enter the Tiger Guild as a more formal member.”

“Yes Guildmaster,” Crystal sat in the chair next to where Tallos had been sitting. “And I don’t expect any favoritism in such an initiation.”

“And you receive no such favoritism, I assure you. Dabuk could swear to my inflexibility, buy somehow I assume you already knew that.”

“Yes, I asked him what I would have to endure. He said it was a long and tough apprenticeship, but he didn’t go into any specifics.” Crystal laid the Starburst Staff across her knees, holding on to it like it was an extension of her body.

“You’d have to dress differently, as well as give up your staff for the duration of your training. Carl had noticed how she had become attached to the powerful, magical staff, and he was sure she wouldn’t part with it, under any circumstances.

“Is that really necessary, or are you simply being overprotective?” Crystal wouldn’t give up her staff. She’d find a way to become invaluable to the Tiger Guild another way, if her grandfather wouldn’t relent.

“Yes it is, and yes I am.” Carl didn’t like being questioned. “Is that a problem for you?”

“Yes it is, you know it is.” Crystal held her temper. “I’m not a child, grandfather. I can handle the staff and if giving it up is the only way to become an apprentice in your guild then I withdraw my request. I will, instead, accept Japheth Arcane’s offer to join the Arcane Order.”

“That is for the best, Crystal.” Carl hoped he hadn’t hurt his granddaughter’s feelings, as he knew first hand how sensitive she was. “I hope you won’t judge me too harshly? I have to do what is best for the guild, my dear. Many of my followers would balk at having a powerful arcanist become an official member of the guild, not to mention that Japheth would consider it an insult.”

“I understand.” Crystal sighed. “I only wish there was a way I could do both.”

“Hmm, let me talk to that old arcanist, perhaps you can be my liaison to the Order. No promises, as I’ll need Heward Tallinson’s approval as well, as he is the Order’s Regent of External Affairs.”

“Really? You have that much pull with the Arcane Order?” Crystal had considered her grandfather little more than the King’s servant, but now considered that all of Fruen listened to his counsel.

“Some.” Carl smiled.

“You are lot more important than you let on, aren’t you?” Crystal laughed.

“That is something for another time.” Carl motioned for her to take her leave. “Now, I have a lot of work to do, my child. I’ll see you tonight for supper. Make sure you dress more, subdued, as we will have several guests including someone I want you to meet.”

Crystal was curious as to who her grandfather meant, but knew the meeting was over and that he wouldn’t answer any more questions until later that night. She left her grandfather to work, closing the doors behind her.

“Tallos,” she nodded to her grandfather’s bodyguard as she went past him in the darkened corridor. “I guess we won’t be getting to know each other as well as I’d originally thought. Oh well, too bad.”

Tallos didn’t move until she was out of sight. He let out a sigh of relief, “Thank you Lord Kuil, my luck could have been much worse tonight.”
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World of Kulan DM
Interlude #5

Tigerstorm House:
Carl paced back and forth in the larger room known as the Storm Hall, wondering what he would tell her. He was an old man set in his ways and wasn’t sure if she would accept the truth. He cared more than he was willing to admit to anyone even his own family. The old soldier in him, told him that he had better things to do than entertain such a guest.

“Grandfather,” Carl had failed to notice his granddaughter entering the dining hall of Tigerstorm House. “What is the matter? I’ve never seen you like this. It’s just dinner with an old friend, right?”

“I wish it was that simple.” Carl stopped in mid stride. He looked at his granddaughter with pride. She was the best of both her parents, strong-willed like her father and passionate like her mother. “How are you finding your room here? Do you have everything you need?”

“Yes, grandfather.” Crystal had been curious after Carl had announced that they would have guests for the evening. Tigerstorm House was not a place where dinner parties happened, ever. Even though she’d only become part of this family recently, she already understood her grandfather’s moods and habits. He was not a socialite.

“Good, good,” Carl hoped that one of the 'other' guests would arrive first, so that he didn’t have to go through the awkwardness he was about to endue, alone.

“Master,” Pademont entered the hall with his usual civility. “You’re first guests have arrived, Sir Walas and his daughter, Willamette.”

“Thank you Pademont. Please escort them to the Stand Chamber. We will be there shortly. And make sure the cook and his assistant go through this room again. I want to make sure everything is perfect.”

“Yes sir, I will see to it.” Pademont turned to Crystal. “Do you have any instructions regarding the décor, Mistress?”

“No,” Crystal found it discomforting to be called by such a title. “I really do wish you would just call me Crystal, Pademont.”

“Unfortunately Mistress, that would not be proper. You are the woman of Tigerstorm House. However, I could refer to you by a different honorific, if you would prefer?”

“Um, let me think on that.” Crystal was not use to be anyone’s Mistress.

“Very well, Mistress.” Pademont bowed regally to them both before departing.

“You will never convince him to be more informal with you, my dear. It is his way. He was born a Highborn’s slave and not even after I purchased, freed, and hired him has he changed. At most, he might simply refer to you as my lady.”

“Ugh, I’m not a Highborn and I’m definitely not a lady.” Crystal wished she was wearing something more revealing, as it was the style of dress she was most comfortable in. Yet, she knew it made the more reserved members of Thallin’s society cringe. The neck high dress she now wore hung down to near her ankles. It was a muted blue color, puffed up over her shoulders down to where it snapped tightly around her wrists.

“I take it that you couldn’t find anything that suited your tastes.” Carl noticed her fidgeting and soon forgot his nerves.

“No offense, grandfather, but everything that has been put in my wardrobe is terrible. I feel like I’m going to suffocate under all this heavy cotton.” Crystal tried not to squirm, failing miserably.

“Well, perhaps you will meet someone tonight who can guide you through the horror that is Thallin society.” Carl hoped she would like Gwen.

“You better not mean some dandy from a respected noble house.” Crystal had made it clear to her grandfather that she preferred her studies in wizardry to the idea of finding a suitable husband. “This had better not be some horrible matchmaking party or I will leave you to suffer alone.”

“I assure you that is not what I mean.” Carl smiled.

“I don’t trust you,” Crystal’s stare was like that of an annoyed alley cat.

“It’s good to have another Tigerstorm around to spar with,” Carl laughed.

Crystal laughed in spite of her discomfort. She knew that Carl had something planned for the evening but hadn’t been able to pry anything out of the servants. Her chambermaids normally would have told her everything but they had simply said that Carl had sworn every member of the staff to secrecy and that jobs would be lost if his granddaughter had learned the truth. It didn’t help that Tigerstorm House was magically protected from scrying and its residents from enchantment.

Of course, Crystal would never have gone that far.

“Well, we shouldn’t keep our guests waiting.” Carl sighed in his own discomfort and his nerves were frayed by the time he and Crystal walked into the Stand Chamber. Carl looked around noting that several others had arrived. There was no sigh of Gwen, however.

“Late as usual,” Carl hoped his 'old friend' would leave her damn cat at home, this time.
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World of Kulan DM

From the Journal of Bactra Redwind, son of Minonus

The Great Forest, West of Woodknot:
It is now early fall and the janbrook trees are just starting to turn. Yet, none can enjoy it with the scent of war in the air. Day after day, the ogres come closer to conquering the Eastern Shores and the Kingdom of the Silver Leaves. The situation has becoming more desperate as the weeks pass. Both Jeddar and Dvalin stayed behind in their respective homelands to help defend Silverleaf and Milo. There hasn't been any news from them, not an encouraging sign. Dabuk says a prayer to Rillifane each day for them.

We have been in the Knotwood for only a few days and tensions are rising amongst my people. Patrols are sent out every hour and fortifications are being built. The Therani Clan Elders have declared martial law and all available resources are being confiscated. It was this that has left me cold to my own people.

I was shocked and humiliated when the Clan Elders' elite guards surrounded me and ordered me to relinquish the relic. I couldn't believe it. There wasn't anyway for them to have known about it, even Dabuk hadn’t known I still possessed it. Someone in my clan has betrayed me, I'm certain. But who?

To make matters worse, they have also declared Eiithinia’s Rest off limits to all but them and druids dedicated to the elven gods. Dabuk was irate and heartbroken. He refused to believe that the clan elders had the right to deny him from entering his own mother's grove. My father and Dabuk's half-brother, Joshian Ironchild, had to restrain him from charging the sentries guarding the grove.

We left my home of Woodknot that same day, Dabuk swearing to return and force the clan leaders to rescind their declaration. Regardless, we have a mission to complete for Carl Tigerstorm. Carl has sent us to make contact with a distant western city-state called Onaway.

While some contact has remained between the west and the east, there hasn't been any formal contact since the end of the Second Ogre War some forty years ago. There have been rumors of some sort of new government controlling the city-state but no one knows for sure if it is benign or not.

Carl wants us to make contact with this new government and determine whether or not they pose a threat to the Eastern Shores. If this government turns out to be good to its people then it the city-state could prove to be a valuable ally.

Fortunately, we won't have to go it alone. Mesik, Thessa, and Hougwarth have all agreed to come with us. Also, Dabuk's father, Garth will be going to act as emissary and to judge whether or not the people are good and decent.

Regardless, the trip will not be easy. The lands around this city-state are said to be extremely dangerous and filled with evil humanoids and vile bandits.

There is a slight chill in the morning air, as the sun rises in the distance. Our clothing rippling in the gusting fall wind. It isn't going to be easy to stop the advancing ogre hordes if it snows early this year...
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World of Kulan DM

Near the western edge of the Great Forest:
"Will you please put that book away, Bactra. Pay attention for once."

Bactra sighed putting away his journal. Dabuk was sulking next to him on his roan. "All right, but stop being such a baby about it."

The young ranger was staring intently into the forest for any signs of trouble. His father, Garth Tigerstorm, rode in the front of the column of horses leading the way. He had insisted that Dabuk take up the rear. Dabuk wished his father would put more faith in him.

"Father is being arrogant. I'd be better able to lead from the front. Not stuck back here."

"With me, you mean."

"Oh come on. You know I didn't mean it like that. I just meant I'm more in my element in the lead."

"Yes, but you're not leading this expedition. Your father is."

"Will you two be quiet back there. Even a goblin patrol could hear us coming with all the noise you are making. Now be silent!"

When Dabuk's father used that tone you didn't contradict him. The man always had his way. Dabuk sighed pulling his horse back behind Bactra's gray mare. She wasn't as large as Dabuk or Garth's heavy warhorses but she was just the right size for Bactra. She was quick on her hooves, which would allow him to escape a bad situation if one arose.

Thessa rode in front of him on a small, but sturdy war pony that she had bought from an elven trader in Woodknot. Mesik rode alongside her on his own pony. They seemed to be having a conversation with their hands, something Bactra had never seen before. He didn't understand any of it.

In front of the two friends walked the wood giant Hougwarth. The large giant man was too big to ride a horse but kept up easily, his long gait more than a match for the horses. Garth had worried that the horses would panic being so close to Hougwarth that he almost didn't let the vonakyndra come with them. Only when his own warhorse, Hindle, took a shine to the giant man did Garth relent.

The two young men watched Dabuk's father in the lead. He was a good a tracker as his son but not better. After his wife died, he changed. He spent less time visiting Woodknot and, in fact, barely went near the Great Forest of Harqual at all. Dabuk chalked it up to too many memories.

The man known as the Justicar scanned the trees carefully, as they neared the edge of the Great Forest. Not even he had ever been this far west more than a handful of times in his life. It was here that elves controlled very little and men, not at all. This was monster country or worse.

Garth reigned in his horse suddenly putting his hand up for the others to stop. Everyone was deathly quiet waiting for the man to either proceed or have them dismount. Dabuk strained his eyes and his ears listening for any clue as to what had set his father off.

Garth sniffed the air a scowl on his lips. "Orcs."

His great blood red roan threw its head back in disgust steam billowing from its nostrils.

* * *
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First Post
Re: Jeddar Silversun

Knightfall1972 said:
Until then, here's a portrait of Jeddar, done by Malessa as part of my Fantasy Art Character Challenge thread.

Thanks again, Malessa.

Cheers! <cough, wheeze> [/B]

Anytime Knightfall, your descriptive writing skills made my work easy. ;)


World of Kulan DM
The Alliance (cont)

The western edge of the Great Forest:
Garth spurred on his horse drawing his sword. Bactra and Dabuk knew that he wouldn't be reasonable about orcs. In fact, Garth Tigerstorm hated orcs almost as much as Dabuk hated ogres. They are more alike than either could ever admit.

Dabuk was the first to follow his father's charge, even though there wasn't any sign of orcs. But Dabuk knew his father better than anyone regardless of their differences. If Garth said there were orcs nearby then there were. The half-elven ranger rode past his friends and his steed was soon on the heels of his father's great roan.

If Dabuk had looked back he would have been surprised by his cousin's bravado, as the elven wizard spurred on his smaller mount. Bactra's own horse wasn't as strong but was quicker when pushed. Soon he had caught up to Dabuk but remained behind the two rangers, letting them lead, as they should.

Hougwarth was soon running beside Bactra's horse with Mesik and Thessa in the rear. Their small ponies were sturdy enough but not as quick as the giant's long stride.

Dabuk could smell them now. The orcs. And something else. It seemed familiar but also different. Garth spurred his massive horse into a breakneck gallop, easily dodging the low branches of a oak tree that hung over the trail.

Dabuk would have missed it if his father hadn't been riding ahead of him. The leaves of the branches grazed his cheeks and scalp pulling at his hair. The ranger peered back just in time to see Bactra duck under the branches, which weren't as obstructive to him on his smaller horse. Hougwarth didn't see the branches in time and sprinted right into them.

Dabuk looked forward just in time to duck another low-hanging branch right at the edge of the forest. He reigned in his horse not believing what he saw in front of him. Ten orcs surrounded a large ogre just past the edge of the tree line.

The ogre was unlike any other of its kind he'd ever seen before. It was ugly yes, but it wore fine clothes and carried a massive steel longsword. The beast was almost jovial, which burned in Dabuk's mind. His look of amazement turned to hatred and he knew who the beast was.

Bactra reigned in is horse next to his cousin's. The two of them stared in disbelief, as Dabuk's father went to the aid of this ogre. It was both awe-inspiring and gut wrenching at the same time.

"Is that who I think it is?" Bactra noticed his cousin's scowl and stayed beside him.

"Yes." Dabuk's voice was cold and unfeeling but Bactra knew he was torn up inside about this.

Dabuk watched as his father charge the orcs closest to him. They didn't have time to turn around before he had cut them down. The ogre took advantage of the distraction to behead two orcs with one swipe of his longsword. Hougwarth charged past Dabuk and Bactra completely unaware of their disdain for the situation. He charged the orcs swinging his own great sword. He sliced one orc to ribbons then lost his footing and fell on top of another.

"Maybe Hougwarth will accidentally kill him." Bactra shook his head in disbelief of the wood giant’s clumsy maneuver. The orc beneath him wouldn't be getting up again.

"Hougwarth's not that unlucky." A twisted smile crept across Dabuk's face.

Mesik and Thessa's war ponies clopped up behind the cousins. Mesik moved his pony next to Dabuk's frothing steed. The ranger's horse was trained not to like goblins or ogres. Thessa brought her pony next to Bactra's horse.

"Is that–"

"Yes Mesik," Dabuk hated having to repeat himself, especially when he was trying to control himself. "That's Kellin One-Eye. My father's best friend."

Dabuk spat on the ground after speaking the words just as Garth killed the last orc and the ogre helped Hougwarth up from the ground.

"Oh damn," Mesik looked at Dabuk and then the famous ogre hero of Harqual. "This is not going to go well."
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