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5E The Rhyot Break - Chapter One: Endless White

daindarkspring

First Post
Zemryn's head turned as the conflict between Gimlak and Faenala began to escalate. Finished with healing Bria, she spun slowly around, her hands dropping down to the pommels of her two shortswords.

Atemi, forgive us for this folly. We are like starving bears, lashing out at whatever lies before us. Our differing ideals may prove a greater foe than the Korrud...

<Initiative roll: 17+3=20>
 

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Steve Gorak

Explorer
Seeing that the situation could quickly degenerate, Gimlak temporarily stands down. Talking to Faenala, he says: "What will you have us do? Will you untie them and guarantee us that they will not attack? If you have that power, I invite you to proceed"
Gimlak patiently waits to see what the woman does.

Edit: note that Gimlak's crossbow is loaded. He is not aiming it a the wolves anymore, but is ready to act if any of them attempts to bite Faenala, if she approaches them to set them free.
 
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Imladir

Villager
Faenala's eyes were blazing, but still, she didn't say anything. Instead, she turned towards the wolves, and approached the two Gimlak had killed. She put her right hand on the forehead of one of them, sighing, head low. After a few seconds, she dipped a finger into the beast's blood and drew a small symbol on its forehead, doing the same with the second one after that.

Then, she looked at the living wolves and approached to get them free, her left hand opened in front of them, to show that she didn't want to hurt them. Hopefully, the Korrud hadn't bred their beasts to be stupid, and they'd recognize she was the only reason they were still alive.

 


97mg

Explorer
From the seven remaining wolves, a variety of reactions erupt as two of their kind are put down. A few attempt to step backwards, whimpering at the plight of their kin. Others stand unchanged, probably better trained, and stand in the cold panting, ready to serve. Others still, begin to bare teeth and snarl snapping at the icy morning air through sharp and angry teeth.

But unlike their humanoid temporary companions, even restrained and tied in servitude, these animals have a leader, a pack instinct still ingrained. All looking much the same, it is hard to know which of them is considered alpha, perhaps it too... is uncertain of their fate. But not for long.

Attached to the front of the sled that holds six of these beasts, one wolf devoid of emotion stares at Faenala emptily as she moves forward, then lurching forward and snapping at her!

They growl then. All of them...

From behind the tensity of the front line, Bria calls out.

"Stop this! Let them be! They are no threat to us once we climb these slopes! Best we do it before they change their mind!"

[sblock=Map]


I'm assuming the two wolves already killed were attached to the third sled, which has been omitted from map.​
[/sblock]

[sblock=Notes]Done some rolls for this in the OOC thread. I think we need an initiative roll from Faenala at this point, and Gimlak too. If Faenala wants to make another animal handing check, with Zem helping to calm them down, you can have advantage on the roll.

Should melee break out, you have advantage on to-hit rolls as the wolves are tied together.

Zemryn = 20
Wolves = 19
Gimlak & Faenala = ?

Wolf Init: 1D20+2 = [17]+2 = 19
[/sblock]
 

daindarkspring

First Post
Zemryn gnashed her teeth in frustration as the lead wolf snapped at Faenala's attempt of pacification. The woman seemed as intent on seeing the wolves set free as Gimlak was on slaying them.

"Goddess above! If you two could climb as well as you linger, we would be halfway to freedom already! Heed our benefactor and make haste while our souls still cling to our spines! Let the wolves sort out their own damnable destiny!"

Whether Zemryn truly understood Gimlak and Faenala's intentions or whether she was just frustrated with the interruption and spoke hastily, she jumped into action regardless. Being near Faenala, she pulled the woman by her ragged furs, towards the rocky slope. She made sure to put her own body between herself and the wolves.

"Gimlak! Save your bolts for the Korrud!"
 

Steve Gorak

Explorer
Gimlak is amazed by the reaction of some of his companions. However, he respects Bria's wishes, puts the xbow on his back and heads towards the cliff.

OOC: if he is able to shoot the head wolf from his readied action that snapped at Fae, he will do so. If not, he will proceed towards the cliff
 
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97mg

Explorer
The wolf that angrily snapped at Faenala's hand, whimpers and whines as he falls to Gimlak's shot. The rest of the hairy beasts behind him begin to growl and howl. Definitely time to get out of here!

Clambering up the dark stone of exposed boulders and tors, like black teeth set within flesh of white, Bria looks downwards. Finally, her companions are coming. She points ahead, further up the jig-jagged slope to a great black stone with a dense and shadow-filled overhang.

"I think we can rest there. Not far to go now!"
 

Steve Gorak

Explorer
Gimlak looks back, to make sure the wolves dindn't follow. He didn't like to leave unfinished business behind, but respected Bria's wishes.

He sits down at her signal, and takes a deep breath. He reflected that this was the first breath he took as a free man, while resting. He liked it. Looking at the makeshift bag with the decapitated heads, he continued his reflection: I will need to fill many bags to fix the world of the Korrund. This, he swore to himself, he would do.

Turning his head towards Bria, he asks the elf: "Where are you guiding us?"
 

97mg

Explorer


There was a clear view from beneath the shadows of a twisted dark tor. The night's storm was all but gone, morning's light almost brilliant as it penetrated the sea of white which stretched off into the distance. The wolves it seemed, after some snarling and protest, had wandered off, probably to gnaw at their restraints to once again determine an alpha and subsist as a pack.

The climb hadn't been easy, an impossibility for wolves tethered to wolves, and tiring for the group of freefolk who made the ascent. But perched on the cliff-face, came something of a reward.

All was still out there. No longer were the grunts and threats of dwarven invaders assaulting escapee's ears. No longer was the possibility of re-capture an immediate concern. The world was quiet, almost serene, yet still severely cold.

Bria rested her back against the dark stone, exhaled, and wiped a fur-lined sleeve across the soon-to-freeze sweat that lay upon her brow. Rest, much needed rest.

She looked to Gimlak and did her best to smile.

"There is a large cavern on the mountain's western tip, but we dare not go there. The Korrud, if they are able, will consider it a most likely place for once-slaves to conceal themselves. Let them go there, as I and my tribe did some weeks ago. We near lost a man that night. A creature has taken refuge in those walls, and I doubt it will show bigotry towards its next easy meal. It is a troll of some kind, yet larger than most and well-equipped to feed on folk such as ourselves."

"But that is not the only cave. If we continue to round this mount's edge, before dark we will reach a camp. A network of tunnels formed of erosion, where equipment and supplies lies waiting for us. My tribespeople will also be returning there... hopefully all of them... but that my friends is a narrow chance."

For a moment she looked around at her companions, seeing what reactions they might have to this news. They must have questions, worries and thoughts that had been pushed beneath their frantic and rushed efforts to merely survive this long.

"Do any of you know Deqoth?" She asked.

"I am his sister. For days we spied upon the mines, hoping to witness him toiling with pick in hand, or shuffling between hut and pit. We had no choice in the end. Without knowledge of his position, the only option was to assault. Free everyone. Yes, we did try luring one Korrud away from camp and... using other means to gain the information we sought... but as you know, they are stubborn... and not easily demoralized."

"Deqoth is sorely needed. He is one third of what my people call the Eluci. A blood-born gift that first settled within the bloodline, far west of Pincer's Split."
 
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Steve Gorak

Explorer
"Dequoth was my friend. I am sorry to say that the Korrund mines got him. He fell to his death." Gimlak says laconically. He lets the elf consider this statement, as he wonders how an elf and human can be brother and sister.
 

daindarkspring

First Post
Zemryn listened, huddling up in her furs as best as she could. Was there a world without snow and wind? And if so, how much blood would she have to spill to reach it?

"Our lives are nothing but narrow chances that overcome. Perhaps your tribe can be as fortunate." Zemryn had lost so much, it was hard for her to imagine having 'people' that she could call kin.

She watched Gimlak give his grim news, then looked back at Bria. "I am sorry for your loss. Perhaps the other two-thirds can muster enough courage to make up for the absence?" Zemryn was trying to instill hope where there was, perhaps, none. But she was alive, and for the moment, free of the mines. That alone was something she would have thought beyond hope only a day before.

Her stomach revolted in pain, and she bit her lip, sneering at the burning sensation that ran through her. Soon, it would be over.
 

Imladir

Villager
Faenala sighed sadly at the wolves reaction. She had hoped for better, but that had obviously been too optimistic. As she turns around, shoulders dropping, she glances at Gimlak with a dark look, then follows Bria silently. Slowly, obviously quickly exhausted by the climb, and very glad she could at least keep warm thanks to her spells, and without risks of getting sick with sweat freezing on her.

She was very glad for the break, that she spent standing as far away from Gimlak as she could, and watched Bria as she explained her plan, briefly glancing in the direction of the indicated mount's edge. All the while though, she kept an eye on Gimlak: as far as she was concerned, he was no better than the Korruds. Worse maybe, considering the content of his bag.

She nodded a bit sadly at Bria's question, still not saying anything. Not that there was much to say...or to add to what the others said anyway.
 

97mg

Explorer
Bria looked downwards in sadness, staring at a patch of dark stone for a few quiet moments. This had always been a possibility, in truth it had been somewhat assumed. Now though, she had what was near enough to confirmation.

Her eyes shifted to meet with Gimlak's then. "An accident. Of all the possible endings... I pray it was swift."

A small smile was offered to Zemryn then, "If only it were true. My tribe believe themselves to be descendants of Solovtend. A belief is strong among most of them that nature's balance isn't black and white like stone and snow, or evil and goodly either. For equilibrium there must be a third thing... a point or object upon which two sides perch..."

She removed her small pack then, reached inside and retrieved a small pouch, tossing it to Faenala. "Please eat if you are hungry, friends, those are Alparrowine nuts. Better roasted beside something more filling of course, but they are said to offer a decent amount of nutrition."

Next, she rummaged again inside the pack, and pulled out a two inch long shaft of aquamarine crystal. Clear as the ocean's distant shallows. Turning it in the morning light she seemed lost its in beauty...
 

Steve Gorak

Explorer
Gimlak, laconically as always, says "Yes it was swift, and I pledge to avenge him. Him, and the others the Korrund dogs have hurt or killed."

He then looks at the crystal. It's beauty is lot to him, as it brings back too many years of suffering and hardship.
 

Imladir

Villager
Faelana listened, but she didn't really care about things like black, white, balance or... Well, or pretty much anything that didn't impact their current situation. If they managed to flee to safety, there would be time for such considerations. Maybe she would be happy to participate in such conversations. For the time being however, the only white that mattered was the snow, the only black the rocks, and the only balance theirs to avoid and fall into some precipice in the mountains.

Even that however was forgotten when she caught the pouch of nuts. She waited to see if there'd be one for each of them, before taking her share of the nuts and holding the rest to Zemryn. As she worked on the nuts, she kept an eye on Bria to try to understand what she was doing with that crystal.
 

daindarkspring

First Post
Zemryn took a few nuts, nodding in thanks to Faenala. She resisted the urge to devour them, realizing suddenly how hungry she was. How hungry she always was. The pain in her stomach receded as she began to chew.

She listened to the others, her eyes moving from one face to another.

"We need supplies. And someplace to operate from. If we are to do anything more than die fighting." Not that dying with a sword in her hand would be bad, it was just that if they were to accomplish more, they would need more.
 

97mg

Explorer
"Supplies, yes," Bria repeated as nuts were crunched on and she noted Gimlak's eyeing of her crystal.

"It seems so very wrong, for something so beautiful, for something that takes the length of so many lives to form beneath us, brings death and destruction. Still, we will see it put to good use. My people camped at the not-so-distant caves for reasons other than shelter... it is said that another rarity resides not far from there, a mountain nymph. She was seen as a last resort, and thus one we have not yet set eyes upon. Perhaps, if we can gain her favor... Are you ready? We should make good use of the light."

The crystal was placed back into her pack, a waterskin passed around, and footstep by footstep she leads you upwards. The crawling upon the sharp chaotic stonework of nature is relentless in its efforts to exhaust and weaken you, but with death ever breathing down your necks each step at least, is a confirmation that hearts still beat and lungs still breathe of cold alpine air.

The sun is descending by the time Bria indicates that your destination is near. You walk through something of a valley now, a winding path between great black spears of rock, and at the end of it lies a series of holes. There is quite a network of caves here, you might assume, with everywhere you look showing evidence of dark tunnels within stone. Some are tiny, barely the size a demihuman might fit down. Others are larger, tall arches of darkness extending many yards in height and width.

Bria turns her gaze westwards, pointing to an entrance some twelve feet tall.

"This one."

Drawing nearer she whistles a series of three short notes, like the call of an alpine chough, a monogamous beast not dissimilar to a crow.

There is no reply. Just a short echo as the tune bounces within the walls.

Then she points to her lips, and to a small patch of snow at the cave's entrance.

[sblock=Notes]Feel free to make perception checks etc...[/sblock]
 

Steve Gorak

Explorer
OOC: perception [roll0]


Gimlak eyes the caves, and tightens his grip on his weapon. this would be a good place for an ambush he thinks to himself, as he surrenders his fate to Bria and her people.
 

Imladir

Villager
Faenala followed, despite her exhaustion. What else could she do? She couldn't stop. She might be able to keep her body warm thanks to her spells, her feet were frozen. By the time they reach the entrance to the caves - or whatever they are - she's in no state to care about much of anything, much less to notice anything out of place. As far as she's concerned, nothing exists outside of her muscles protesting against the abuse, her stomach demanding to be fed and... No, her feet... Well, she didn't feel her feet. She's dimly aware that can't be a good thing, but she's too tired to care.

She looks at Bria, then at the patch of snow she indicates, but doesn't see anything particular about it. If it were covered in blood, sure. Possibly. Maybe. But as it is... Instead of reacting to anything there is to see, she just waits to see what the others are going to do.

 

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