A Not-So-Clear Choice



Original poster
"The choice is yours to make...." The being hovered above the elf's sleeping form, it's message penetrating the youthful elf-man's sleep. "What you do, who you befriend, will determine whether your people continue to exist further..... Be ware of the false friend....?"


Darien awoke, the message firmly implanted within his mind. He stood, frowning in consternation, the message confusing, at best. He'd never left his little village, and he knew everyone here. What would the spirits want with me? All I can do is forge weapons. I can wield only one of my swords, and that not that well.

He left the house after clothing, packing, and sealing the house. He stopped at the local Temple of the Sun and Moon to pray and to get a blessing for his travels. Then, he was on his way, heading out of the city. He could only hope to meet a friend on his way.

(OOC: This is a new type of RP for me. I'm interested in seeing what people will post. This is an adventure. I need mostly other elves, maybe a dwarf or two. I also need one or two villains. Lets have some fun.)
Aurora was journeying through the forest, she had felt compelled to be here at this exact time. She could not say why but the spirits had told her that she was to go on a great important quest, and she was to have companions who she would assist. She sat down on a fallen tree, and absentmindedly pulled an arrow from the quiver on her back and twirled it through her fingers. She wondered again why they had come to her, she was an excellent fighter but she knew little of the spiritual world. She knew little of the companions she was to have but the spirits had told her she would meet them right here today.

She jumped to her feet when she heard someone approaching, she notched her arrow and pulled the string of her longbow tight. She was ready to fire with a seconds notice, she stepped out of the trees towards the elf man approaching. She stared at him a moment could he be the one she was waiting for? She had seen no one else coming through the forest today, "Are you the one i seek?"
Darien looked up and saw the female approach. He bowed, and replied, "I know not, Milady. I simply go on a quest to save my people if I can. And truth be told, I know not who my enemy is, only that my dreams force me ahead." Thus saying, he looked at the woman and assessed the woman with what little divination ability he possessed. Finding no ill, he smiled, "I would be honored, indeed, if you would deign to join me."
Aurora lowered her bow, "my dreams put me on the same quest it seems even though i don't know what threatens our people." The man seemed to trust her very quickly, considering she could have shot an arrow through his heart. Most men trusted her because of her beauty, and she wondered whether he was any different.

Nonetheless he was the one she had been told to wait for, so she slung her bow over her shoulder and walked up to him. She held out her hand to him "i shall join you but i believe we should be properly introduced, my name is Aurora."
Darien nodded, "Well met, Aurora. I am Darien, a weapon-smith. I am pleased to have your company." The pair walked where the path lead them. They came to a gently flowing stream, where Darien knelt and took a drought of water. After drinking, he stood, and said, "We follow this stream till it becomes the Lionshead River, then we go south to Lionshead City. There we get supplies, and speak with the Oracle."
Aurora smiled, "well met Darien." She followed him to the stream and drank her fill, before turning back to him. "so you're a weapon smith? Do you know how to fight?" She asked seriously, she hadn't a clue what they'd be facing but she knew they should be ready. She nodded at his plane, it made sense and speaking with the Oracle was very important.
"It's mandatory among my people to train the children in defensive and offensive techniques with our swords. We are well trained, and I also am well trained with a bow. So, if you also have weapons training, or magics, you are even more well met." He smiled and bowed, "My blades and my bow to your defense while you accompany me, my lady."
Bezlaam grinned maliciously.

It was a feat, actually, for the goat man to do so, for while he sported an immensely powerful (if not rediculously hairy) human body, his goat's head wasn't quite equipped for mankind's many varied expressions. But amidst all the greed, the power, the rage of his kind, there glimmered inside that black heart something akin to delight. Yes, Bezlaam was delighted, and turning his horned head to and fro, he noted that his small batch of companions, numbering a half dozen or so, were just as eager.

The Goatmen were positioned in the shrubs, their fine ears catching the telltale rattle of oncoming carriage. Human merchants, probably. They likely carried all manner of wealth and goods, but these were wasted upon creatures that had no use for them. Who would buy a gold-embroidered lute from a Goatman, after all? Not me.

Brutality for brutality's sake. Good times. Bezlaam gripped his massive hammer, which was in fact two Goatmen skulls tied together over a broad plank, and waited until the carriage had nearly passed them by before bleating a charge.

The Goatmen descended upon the defenseless merchant company with all the fury and hatred of their evil race.
Aurora smiled, "yes i am good with a sword but even better with a bow." "I have heightened senses and healing magics but i can't heal myself unfortunately." She grinned at him as he bowed, and bowed back "i shall be glad of them."

As she straightened up she heard and awful noise, it sounded like the bleat of a goat or sheep. She turned to Darien, "did you hear that?
Cherone swayed as the perfumed fumes from the geyser's beneath the vented floors wafted hotly through the cracks, the vapor seeping through the pores of her skin, the toxins abusing her lungs and heart, swelling her soul with the amusing images of what was to be. Slipping onto the stool, her muffled brain barely noticing the thud of heavy boots as they entered the temple's divination chamber, she began a lyrical mumbling, translating the Gods' messages, those that shone behind her lids in lustrous images, her fingers tugging anxiously at the material of her linen robes.

"Green, ivy and emerald,
glowing in midday light herald,
the coming of the Start.
A new begining, a new savior....specters fall..."

Her natural trance cut short, interrupted by the voice belonging to the boots, he asked hs questions of the gods, guiding her vision, asking about money, power, politics, his inability to...

And as her blinded vision flutters to his bed chambers, his new bride sitting boredly as he talks to his lower anatomy, encouraging it...She burst into giggles at the ridiculousness of it.

He storms out into the streets of Lionshead, taking the fee he paid to the Oracle's Temple, leaving her high in the sweltering sauna, hystircally giddy, awaiting the priestesses to collect her.
((OOC! My descriptions are often borderline PG-13; if I overstep any bounds, please let me know and I'll tailor my words to that effect.))

Much of the shrieking had ended with the fragile lives of the females, who had amounted to two wives and a sales woman. Some reasoned that the inherent evil in the Goatmen drove them to kill women and children first out of some complex understanding for society's needs for such folk, but in all reality, the Goatmen only trampled THEM down first because they were LOUD. As a matter of course, they would likely have been better served keeping their mouths shut.

As his kin pulled the taut circle about the merchant's carriages, composed as they were of three horse-drawn vehicles and a handful of able hands, Bezlaam lowered his curly-horned head and smashed his solid skull into an over sized wheel, snapping it at the base. The attached carriage rippled with shock and threatened to capsize, and almost instantly all insanity broke loose.

Merchants and hired swordsmen alike poured out of the carriages, and the battle was met in earnest. Bezlaam himself brandished his massive rams-head hammer with a single arm, bashing and smashing at the wooden door of the first carriage. It gave way beneath his force, but before he could commence getting inside, the the sting drew his attention behind. Three men stood at the ready holding naked steel, and some paces away an elf eyed him from behind a taut string and notched arrow.

An arrow protruding from his shoulderblade, the Goatmen leader threw back his hideous head and issued a bone-shaking roar, bringing his hammer overhead and rushing forward on hooven feet. Two of the men fanned out to the sides to avoid the charge, but the third was simply a merchant who now regretted taking arms against the ambush. Rezlaam flattened him in an overhead smash, without so much as a squeak. The two swordsmen took advantage of the Goatman's slow weapon and dove in from from opposite sides, leading first with rallying cries of rage and then with the tips of their swords.

Rezlaam's hooved foot caught one in the chest, flinging him through the air and into the side of the carriage. The other drove his sword into the heavy muscle lining the Goatman's forearm, but his aim was not true and the wound was merely fleshy. With another unearthly sneer, Rezlaam turned to the man with hammer on high to punish him for his error in judgment.

The noise was terrible. Of that, Esperaunce was certain. Others around her cried out of fear or rage, but she herself accepted her own terror in muted resignation. What else was there for a mute teenaged girl to do? Rich black hair hung over her hunched shoulders as she hugged her knees and squeezed her eyes shut, praying in the name of every God she'd ever heard in her brief travels to deliver the kindly merchant troupe from this fate, but from the sound of things, that outcome was unlikely.

Tears, unaccounted for but the sobs that poured noiselessly from her throat, carved shimmering rivers down her sun-kissed cheeks. She was helpless. Hopeless.

Esperaunce shivered as a Goatman's roar split the air, burying her face in her bare arms and shuddering as her mind ran wild.

What if they were here for her?
Two older priestesses entered the divination chamber, frowning and somplaining. They each roughly grabbed one of her skinny arms, dragging her slumped body, her resistance only that her mind was too diluted to move her legs to assist, to at least keep her knees and shins from being scraped across the hot vents of the floor. Passing finally into an open court yard, the crisp air clearing her senses, she takes a solid breath, lifting her head to look at her angry guardians.

"Cherone, why do you do this? You are chosen by the gods as a seer...why are you not following your vows?"

Sighing, she sinks to sit back on folded legs, looking tiredly at the women, "I see just fine until the inquisitors ask about inane matters that do not affect the world. I am meant for a higher purpose."

"You're a stupid girl is all, higher purpose?! You arrogant...Superiority? From a servant of the gods! They will strike you down!"

Cherone rubbed at her eyes tiredly, before moving to stand up, her legs still weak, leaving her sluggish. "Is there to be punishment or some other fate? This is the fifth time I have failed at answering an inquisitor and they have demanded a refund."

The two women, looked between themselves, at a loss of what to do, in theory, Cherone's status was higher than theirs. "We'll consult the Mother and return to you with her decision."

Watching them leave, she closes her eyes, seeing the answer already, and so she picks a white rose from the courtyard and retires to her room, packing her few belongings.