MAIN STORY Eudicia

Discussion in 'THE ASCENDER CHRONICLES' started by Effervescent, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. [​IMG]

    She had held on until she had reached the gryphons, but as she bent down to gather their belongings, the flood of tears struck without warning. Silently, they cascaded down her cheeks, and as she brushed them away, she could feel the weight of Saren Dynagra's words truly strike. Would her father never see peace? It was already all but guaranteed that his murderer would never see justice, but to have his reputation forever scarred by prejudicial assumptions?

    Her own reputation might heal, someday... If she kept her past a secret, if she avoided talk of her father, maybe she would eventually escape the stigma. But her father? He died with nearly no one believing in him, and that was a wound that she might never fully recover from.

    She was caught up in her thoughts so thoroughly, that when Alexander nearly tripped over her, she snapped back into focus, her eyes shifting upwards. Swiftly, she rose, brushing her hands across her face before drying them off on her skirts with a shaking of her head, "No apologies necessary, Sire. I should have announced myself when I heard you-- Are we packing up, then?" They had only just unhooked the supplies needed, and it seemed funny to build a fire just to put it out again...

    Her eyes moved past him, to the mounting wall of fog, barreling down the crest of the camp. It seemed absurd to think of, but she couldn't quite ignore the notion in her mind that it seemed to be coming... at them... like an approaching army, rushing towards them. Her heart gave a throb, and she shifted a little closer to the Aegis, frowning softly, "...What in the world..."

     
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  2. Marnia Belhund



    Marnia's return came right on the heels of Dynagra's comments, and in those moments, Marnia felt a mounting anger. She hadn't heard everything. Nay, she'd probably only heard the last two words of what the woman had said to Arabella. But, for whatever reason, there was something about the tone -- and the body language of the recipient -- that sent Marnia into a bristling bundle of 6'2" woman, despite her paranoia, nausea, and recent terror. She let go of Zahar to advance forward with sure footsteps, her ills forgotten for the moment, as she folded out a long finger towards Saren.

    "Now, you listen here you--"

    However, her words were cut short as Alexander did her work for her, albeit in a softer voice than she would have liked. Marnia stood, simmering, for a few moments before noticing the wall of fog moving towards them from behind the girl. Her eyes widened as she stared at it, the stories coming back to her in a wave. By the mother, why now? It was as if the world was conspiring to drop the biggest shipload of troubles upon her shoulders in as short a time as possible, without a breath for reprieve.

    "Clean as a whistle, Alex, not a hair of 'em anywhere," Marnia stated swiftly as she scrambled towards Snowy and the other supply pile. As fast as she could manage, she began to pack her things and saddle them on her unhappy gryphon, who was chomping at the bit to leave. If they could get into the air in the next five minutes, they might be able to outrun the fog and into shelter. Marnia was not cautious by nature, but she knew enough about the fog to figure out she didn't want to be in its grips in the middle of the night with two Eudicia targets and a foreigner, even Alex was around.

    "Dynagra, with me! Zahar, unhook Zaddi! Alex, how much time do we have?" Marnia called out.

    What if this isn't real? The thought struck her like a bolt through the chest. What.... what if this is one of their dreams? What if none of this is really happening?

    She stopped in her tracks, suddenly terrified of the fact that she had no idea if what she was doing even mattered.
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  3. Maes Harrow
    Hobble

    "Er, 'the lot of us'?" Maes glanced back the way the soldier had come, an eyebrow raised questioningly. Where was the angry prisoner? Had he run off? Had he- The farmer swallowed, the gesture obvious. Had the soldier finally gotten fed up with him? He had led the man off in a hurry without any explanation. And who was this soldier anyhow? "There seems to be, uh, one less 'lot of us'."

    He hadn't really found the prisoner (Wolf something?) that great a companion, to be sure, and if he were honest with himself, he felt relieved that the man was no longer with them to cause headache. It just seemed that death was a rather drastic way to handle that problem. But no; he wouldn't have been killed, surely. The Blood Mage would have- No, that was ridiculous. If anything, the Mage would have encouraged it. Hell, at least he hadn't come back also. One was bad enough, if in fact Aveline seemed less bad than others of her sort.

    Concern for himself and the strange foreigner still plagued Maes' mind, but he shook it off. Maybe if the soldier had intended to kill them, he'd have already done so. And perhaps that Wolff fellow deserved it. Yes, that had to be it. Having found justification, Maes loaded what articles he'd removed from his cart and climbed onto the driver seat to take the reins.

    "Hadoume," he muttered, considering the name of the village. He let the matter of the prisoner go. "I think I know the place you're talking about. I stayed there once, though it was a while ago. Good beer; great music."

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  4. Abrecan Scand ; Hobble



    Oh what a curse it was, Abrecan thought, to be of country-folk, earthly-folk, a farming man. To Abrecan, those men of calloused hands and tanned skin were a low breed, to be running away from an unbeknownest deathmark; the ignorance! Absurd! And yet delightful all the same, the presence of minds like these were the flavoring and spice of Abrecan's existence. He had just about opened his mouth to address Maes' inquiry of the insignia before the Soldier returned, neither Blood Mage nor Wolf alongside him.

    That the Soldier simply opted to plow ahead, with nary a remark over the chained murderer, was queer indeed. Perhaps the Magus had taken him? Abrecan had parsed the idea of the Soldier springing the Wolf from his mind - the earlier chase had indicated that the two were not affiliated. Strange, strange indeed, a matter worth inquiry.

    After all, mindless musing without a fellow mind to share with, or ask questions of: a bore.

    "My good Soldier, I could not help but notice the absence of one magnificent - or rather, magnificently bruised - Wolf from your side." Abrecan, ever the dandy, offered a bow that teetered on the edges of mockery and flattery. "I believe we had an Accord; in exchange for your guardianship and offer of sanctuary, I staked my own life to protect the Wolf, so that he may face his Trial in one, terribly addled, piece."

    "It would, of course, be remiss of me to not inquire as to the current wherabouts of my earthly charge, of whose protection is as if sacred to me."
     
    #64 Shizuochan, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  5. Zahar Belanor
    The intricacies of the matter at hand were difficult to interpret, yet Zahar could see the prejudice, hurt, and anger radiating on the faces of those around him. He glanced towards the Squire’s unspoken ire and then at the Aegis during his reprimand of the noblewoman. A few words stood out to him and a stab of sympathy scorched through his bones. He tightened the leather band around his ears nervously and patted down his growing hair. If they knew of his heritage, Miss Dane wouldn’t be the only victim of prejudice.

    Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Zaddie acting strange… His great wings flapped and he snapped at the air as if fighting invisible spectres. Zahar took a few steps forward, concern over the gryphon halting his search of the surroundings. Belhund and the Aegis’ words snapped his gaze upwards and he was struck with the same fear he had experienced not thirty minutes prior.

    Except this time it wasn't shadow casters… It was the fog.

    He sprung into action at Belhund’s command. Zahar threw his pack over his shoulder, made sure his borrowed blade was secured to his back and then freed the gryphon from his tie post. In a panic he glanced around their makeshift campsite and then over at the billowing fog. Would they be able to flee?

    He caught sight of the squire, standing rigid and in place with a dazed look about her.

    “Belhund! We must hurry!” Zahar called out, his tone drenched with panic and fear.

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  6. GEIROLF WOLFF @Effervescent
    Geirolf's eyes trailed downwards to the set of slightly dirtied clothes held by his palms, his thick ginger-brown brows quirked in thought. The Wolf vastly preferred when the conversation in the tailors had been about risque trysts rather than talks of permission and his own worth. Pfftsh. Who the fuck did that blood mage think he was saying that Watermelon was more of a priority than him? For all Geirolf was concerned, the only thing Abrecan was more of than him--was an ass.

    But he knew he'd be lying to himself if he said that the appearance of that mage hadn't slapped some sense of reality into him. Geriolf cleared his throat and straightened--suddenly way more aware of how many strangers were passing by. It dawned on him fully that he was indeed free and naturally, a certain sort of self consciousness settled in response.

    What was there for him to do? Disappear back into the wilds only to hunt and be hunted? Take up an alias, marry some plain girl and get driven even further to madness? No... neither of those sounded good at all. His blue eyes moved back towards the direction where the soldier walked off, where the cart had been previously brought to a stop.

    Cursing under his breath he followed after Enders and began to strip himself of the sorry excuse of clothes he was wearing along the way. Sliding into his 'new' shirt as he entered the opening after the other man, Geirolf caught wind of Abrecan using his mouth and hid his relief at seeing they hadn't already left with an appropriately annoyed sneer.

    "I'm right here, Watermelon. No need to get your underclothes in a bunch." He spat while he approached them. Geirolf offered little explanation as to why he returned, he simply shot a telling look Enders' way before being the next to climb back into the cart. Without thinking his hands began to rub his worn wrists in silence.
     
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  7. The Village of Hobble


    Ender had honestly not anticipated Geirolf’s return. A free man, and a greedy one too, yet he felt compelled to return to Maes’s cart, and with good timing, too. He motioned over to the once-prisoner still alive and in one piece to answer Abrecan, though it would be evident he was no longer sporting his iron restraints. “If you knew what I knew,” Ender began to explain before questions arose from their observations, “you’d know the Wolf of the Valley is an innocent man. I let him go. He won't get a fair trial in Redden and you know it.”

    There wasn't much left for them in the Village of Hobble. They sold the farmer’s stock for a little profit and Geirolf was given a new set of clothes to make himself more presentable and look less the part of a convict. Ender shot a glance to Aveline knowing full well her status and responsibilities. And while she held a higher duty, she did not know what he knew.

    “If anyone has anything to say, now’s the time,” he challenged, and then looked back to Geirolf. “If you're sticking with us, you're going to have to start acting like an Aegis again. These people are under your protection. They're citizens of Estwynd. I'm going to assume you're here with good intentions, but if you're not we luckily have a Blood Mage who can keep you in check.”

    He gave a moment’s pause to allow anyone to decide what they wished to do. Despite Ender’s gift of freedom, he had no authority to grant it officially to Geirolf, and therefore the man was still technically a criminal. Maes and Abrecan were forced against their will to travel with the soldier and the Wolf of the Valley due to the insignia they were given. Despite this, they still had every right to refuse the protection and aid from the soldier before them and elect for sanctuary elsewhere.

    The road ahead would lead them to Hadoume before nightfall. Ecksoh wasn't exactly the safest kingdom to traverse, especially alone. They would need to weigh not only the possibilities but account for their own morals. It would be a long road to Redden, and a dangerous one at that. The Old Road would not be forgiving. Hobble may not have much to offer for the targets of Eudicia, but Hadoume was a small fort overlooking the Winded Woods. It would be teeming with soldiers and built with sturdy fortifications and provide a safe place for anyone who wished not to ride into the unknown.

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    West of Soper


    The fog steadily rolled through the trees in a dense gray across the bed of the woods that slinked ever closer. It was in the most tense of times Alexander was able to keep calm and level headed, almost as if there was no pressing concern while addressing it all the same. His patience provided the man a canvas in which to present the skill, and so he placed himself before his squire and stared at her distance eyes as if to will her back to the present. This was very unlike Marnie to shut down in the face of a dire situation, but he belayed his own fears for her sake and the sake of them all.

    Marina would need to snap out of her stupor soon, and should she not he knew he would need to convince Zahar to take Saren and Arabella to Soper. But the man did not seem well enough to leave Marnia either, his fear evident as he urged her more fervently. Those in their care were not meant to go at this alone. And the fog was a dangerous enemy to toy with, seemingly sentient and predatory as those within disappeared to never return. It still crept towards them, and the gryphons responded with squawks and beating of wings.

    “Esquire Marnia Belhund,” he began softly. “You have a duty to these people to see them to safety. I need you. They need you. Snowy needs you, too. Everything will be okay if we act now. We have a few minutes to gather ourselves before the fog comes, but Marnia, the fog is coming.”

    Currently
    Marina is struggling to grasp what is real causing a hiccup in their escape from the fog. You can either wait for a post from Jax to see how Marina fairs, or you can have your character make a run for it on their own.

    Once Marina snaps back, you can write your characters getting on a gryphon and heading to Soper where they’ll find the Inn Marnia had been to. Feel free to order a meal, settle into a room, or talk about what happened until the next GM post!


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  8. [​IMG]

    The sight of the fog might not have been as alarming as a hoard of men or a stampede of wild boar might have been, and in truth, fog itself wasn't altogether a dangerous thing, so it should by right have given Arabella no pause at all. But seeing it and seeing how Marnie and Alex reacted to it left the weight in her stomach feeling heavier than ever. There was something wholly wrong about the fog, and the sooner they were away, the better it all would be.

    Swiftly, Arabella grabbed the water skin she had been searching for and following Alex, she approached the squire. Setting the skin in Marnie's hand and covering that hand with her own, she looked up to meet the woman's gaze, shaking her head, "...We're alright Miss Marnie. We'll be fine, but we have to keep moving. Right? That's what you said. Back in the city, that's what you told me... With you and Alex, we're safe. Long as we keep going."

    Dropping her hand to her side, looking to the Aegis, then back to the squire, she smiled faintly, as encouragingly as she dared, given their circumstances. She wasn't oblivious to the danger, and there didn't seem a point in pretending that she hadn't noticed the tension, but bringing it to light - pinpointing it seemed the opposite of helpful at the moment. Marnie needed to move, and Arabella preferred to lead from the front, rather than shoving from behind, "It's just a bit of fog, that's all. That's all you need to tell yourself. Just a bit of fog."

     
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  9. Marnia Belhund



    Marnie's mind seemed to be stuck in a whirlpool of its own making. How can I know this is real? All of this is a dream. It has to be a dream. My worst fear, my greatest nightmare -- they know it and use it against me. A panic began in her chest as her heart seemed to beat at a frantic staccato beat, each one ringing in her ears as her eyes seemed fixated on the cloudbank rolling towards them. Even the voice of the foreigner could not stir her away from her neuroses.

    How can I know this is real?

    And then, as if a bubble had burst, Alex came into view. He used her given name and title, bringing her back to earth, and his soft but firm voice seemed to ground her. She still felt jitters up and down her spine as she considered the episode she'd had earlier, the one she hadn't had time to relay to Alex -- was this the real -- no! Whatever was real or not real, she had to act now! If she was wrong, they died, the way that --

    --that Mergan had.

    Arabella chimed in as well, and Marnia's heart began to lighten. "With you and Alex, we're safe. Long as we keep going."

    Keep going. Wasn't that what her brothers had told her every time she had faltered on a hunting trip, complaining how her legs hurt? Isn't that what her father had said after she tired of lessons and lessons on the history of every fen of the T'ousand Rills? Weren't those her mother's words when she deliriously pleaded for death in the midst of agony as the bone rash ate into her body?

    "You're right, you're right, Alex. We'd best be moving. Make the trees jealous with all our leaving," she said with a bit a quirked smile as she quickly saddled up Snowy fully, just loud enough for Zahar to hear her. Laughter made the dark run, and she was eager to make it sprint. They needed out of here, and out of here quickly. Marnie hopped aboard Snowy with a grace that belied her lanky frame, and she looked around for the nearest passenger.

    "All's aboard that's comin' aboard! Daylight's burning!" Marnie called out, hand held out to whoever could reach her first. At this point, she wasn't about to be choosy. They needed out of here, especially before Snowy got out from under Marnia's tight grip on the reins. He was not the least bit happy about being this close to the fog, and she couldn't blame him.

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  10. What an interesting development.

    “Did I say terribly addled? I meant terribly unfortunate, for of course he’s innocent! I saw it in his eyes, you see; I’d not stake my life on the life of a villain, after all.” Abrecan allowed a smile to shine the Wolf’s way. Even if he was innocent, the man was still clearly in an undue state mentally. Bereft of his restraints, it made the man as dangerous as he had ever been, and warranted some relenting on Abrecan’s part.

    Yet Abrecan found that he had acquired a taste for tormenting the wolf, “I do not wear underclothes, Kind Wolf. I found that ‘twere a shame to dull the rare relief of an Ecksoh breeze by wearing undergarments. I highly recommend abstaining.”

    “In any case, I do feel so overly blessed by our mutual guardianship and obligations of protection. Let us allow our past differences to trickle away into the mire, shall we?”

    Even if it were only an alliance of necessity and circumstance, the Wolf - if he could at all live up to his vicious repute - would make a fine protector. And when the opportunity arose, he would make a fine quarry; someone would have to turn him in, after all..

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  11. GEIROLF WOLFF @Effervescent @Shizuochan
    "Who's to say I'm not abstaining right now, Abrecan? A new set of clothes won't erase months worth of living as a lesser human after all." Geirolf retorted sharply to both Enders and his newfound 'ally'. Disrespect. It remained there ever so poignantly in Geirolf's words... yet it was obvious to some that a shift had occurred in him..

    For the first time in the long time the Wolf spoke clearer, sharper. His words did not slur together into some groggy profanity filled mess. Perhaps there was hope for him yet. The former Aegis shot a grin the trader's way, though his blue gaze remained ultimately wary. The man was an ass but he was capable. Trust Abrecan he would not.

    "To the mire they'll go regardless." Geirolf answered along with a long lean back. He examined Watermelon a moment longer, attempting to gauge what he might be playing at but eventually the Wolf crossed his arms and turned to address Enders a little more directly compared to his last remark.

    "And consider that as you being understood, kid. I'll behave... though I'm sure you know I was trusted with a blade when I was an Aegis." Geirolf began innocently, a shark's smile growing with each word. With all his teeth to bare the former prisoner tilted his head playfully. If he was to act like his former self he would--slyness and all.

    "You want me to keep this sorry bunch alive I'm going to need something to work with, you understand."
     
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  12. Maes Harrow
    Hobble
    but only just

    "I can provide that," Maes pipped up, pausing long enough to extract the small knife from its sheath on his belt. Flipping it about to grasp the blade, a length of iron perhaps eight inches long, he proffered the hilt to Geirolf. "It'll be put to better use in your hands anyway. Isn't good for much in mine save cutting vegetables and whittling sticks."

    It had been a surprise to see the, uh, former prisoner return to them, new clothes aside. But maybe it was for the best that he had. The soldier had set him free for a reason, presumably because he was trust worthy, and the man was requesting a weapon, if in a roundabout manner.

    He returned to his horse, unstrapping the feed bag from her nose. She'd done well these past days; sparing a tiny bit of oats to treat the poor creature seemed the least he could do. Patting the mare's neck gratefully, the farmer walked back to the front of the wagon, tying up the sack as he went. Stowing it away, he climbed up to the driver's seat before turning to consider his passengers.

    "The day's wearing on," he said, putting on his best fatherly tone. "We're leaving. Anyone who still needs to do things in town can catch up; our pace will be much the same as it has been."

    Turning back and lifting the reins, Maes gave them a small snap. Heaving what sounded like a very dramatic sigh, the mare stepped forward, following the path toward Hadoume.

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    #72 Red Thunder, Aug 18, 2017 at 7:40 PM
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017 at 3:19 PM
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