Gator Heavy

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    On the edge of the swamplands, a man dressed far too richly to be out among the muck covered rocks and mossy trees stood upon a jutting pile of stones. His brown hair and blue eyes were handsome enough, though the eyes seemed almost too smart. He was clearly not from around these parts and, much more clearly, not a normal man. This could be seen not only in his confident stance and carefree attitude, but also in the way that the biting insects avoided him and his clothing remained meticulously clean, despite the mud and quicksand that littered the outer edge of the swamp. Something was strange about him. His clothing was bright, almost painfully so against the dim tangle of branches that were his backdrop. Across his back was a lute, and he held a scroll case and a chain with some dangling bauble on it in his right hand.

    The swamp itself smelled of stagnant pools, slow moving streams, and decay. It was, however, very alive. The smell lingered simply because there wasn't enough moving water to carry the dead along. There were, however, a multitude of insects to help dispose of what carcasses the wild beasts didn't eat. Alligators, flying lizards with wingspans the width a man is tall, and slithering water snakes with venom that could drop a man in less than an hour haunted the waters. The "dry" areas, still muddy, were full of pitfalls, quick sand, lumbering bears, and hungry plants with serrated leaves that sliced their prey apart. These were the most well known of the swamp's fatal traps and creatures. Others may very well rest unseen under the waters of the swamp itself, destroying the unwary before they can report their findings. It certainly would explain the lack of returning adventurers.

    A rare breeze stirred the air around the swamp's edge, ruffling leaves and yet not touching the well dressed man upon the rocks. There he waited for the five he was to meet with. Indeed, it would be hard to miss the rakish man, so out of place here in the swamp.
    The adventurers will find their way to the swamp, and to this man, as the sun slowly climbs in the sky...
  2. Zeke watched the man, dressed like an outsider, from far above the trees. He was filled with anger. This was on the border between his territory and what was known to them as neutral land. He gritted his teeth. Zeke jumped from the tree, landing briskly on his feet about 10 feet below. He tilted his head at the man. "You! You. Who Are?" he yelled. His english was lacking. He struggled exerting every word from his mouth. He was to clean. Zeke no longer wondered who he was. He was too busy pondering what exactly he was. Zeke's body was covered in scars. His little clothing (Leather Clad Pants) where tattered at the seams. They were dirty. His bone masked was stained in a red tint that was obviously from blood. Zeke took a few steps back, not knowing the man's true intentions. From his belt he drew his Gazelle Sword. "You! What is you!"
  3. The large brown rucksack rubbed roughly against Qwentessa's skin, causing it to turn red. It wouldn't be long before a rash would develop. There wasn't much in the bag, mostly just stolen food like bread and cheese. Qwentessa was awfully protective of her food, hissing and spitting at anything she deemed threatening. Her dagger was kept at her waist, tied loosely to her rags. Her vial of poison was kept in the sack.

    A traveler most of the time, now was the time to stop and have dinner.

    ...Munchy munch, munch munch munch...

    Tonight's dinner consisted of bread, cheese and mystery meat.

    "Tessa got her meal all by herself tonight - Didn't need no help or nothin'. Me thinks I did a good job, yessir I did."

    She nodded to herself, licking off the gunk on her fingers. Despite being focused on her food, her eyes were darting everywhere.

    Not too far away she saw the mysterious man. Was that her contact? It looked like it.


    Bones didn't make for a decent meal.

    Standing up, Qwentessa moved towards the figure but stopped when some unknown person leaped from the trees. She knew from his body language that he meant some sort of harm. He reminded her of some witch doctor with his bone mask. The ex slave let out a derisive snicker, her legs moving slowly through the thick mud.

    Sloooooorp... Slooooooorp....Slooooooorp.

    She waved at the aggressive figure, a giant grin on her face. It was hard not to notice the yellowing of teeth against her deep skin.

    "Whut chu think ya doin'?" Qwentessa demanded, smile still on her face. "This man did no harm to ya, whut ya got against him?"

  4. 'So this was the swamp,' Sheridan thought as he looked up from the vague map of regions. 'It certainly just looks like the edge of a forest from here. Perhaps this won't be so bad.'

    Trudging along, the unfamiliar hiking pack resting heavily upon his ill-trained shoulders, Sheridan took notes of half-glimpsed detail in his travel journal. He took only little notice, enough to check the sun for direction and time of day, before he continued writing and thinking of the task his betters had laid out for him. After passing the tree line, he put away his book and took to glancing around the canopy that now surrounded him. So obsessed was he with the new foliage and the sounds of twittering birds and scampering critters that he hardly noticed when the underfoot became excessively squelchy. Thanks to hit waders, it was only when he stepped in a sucking mud puddle and sank to mid-calf that he noticed the ground had changed at all. The smell was offensive, but so overpowering that he only seemed to notice when he focused on it. Unfortunately he now realized he had wandered aimlessly, too fascinated by the sights denied him in the library and school. The sketched illuminations in dusty tomes did little justice to the fauna and flora bursting with color all around him.

    A hint of confusion made him look back at his tracks. The muddy underfoot had recorded his footprints as surely as he would record his journey with ink and quill. At least it seemed like he had followed a straight line. He was perhaps only a few hundred feet in. Perhaps he should find a clean place to sit and check his notes.

    Blundering his way through the edge of the swampland, Sheridan once again became lost in thought. The sounds, sights, and even the oft-horrific smells made him feel alive. It was because of this that he barely noticed the noise the folks were making, or the obvious conflict, as be pushed through to a rocky area where three people already stood. He paid them only a passing glance, ignorant to their conflict as he sat on a nearby rock and hoisted his pack around. Searching for his scroll-case, he finally recognized that he was not alone.
  5. Hallvard growled as the bent branch came back to slap him square in the face. Wiping the mud of his face-how the hell did mud get on a tree branch?!?- he glanced around catching sight of some people. He tore his foot out of the mud before it sucked him down to deep to move and started striding towards the strange man on the edge of the main swamp. His gaze on the ground in front of him as he walked towards the figure, he glanced up when he heard yelling. His head swung around his dripping wet, blond hair whipping around as well spraying droplets, as he searched for the source of the noise.

    He caught site of it when a man jumped dwon from a tree and continued to yell lat the strange form. He growled his hand going to the hilt of his greatsword strapped on his back, his eyes going upward wondering if their where more men up their waiting to drop on unsuspecting travelers. His hand still on his sword, he glanced at the man who yelled; taking in the bone and leather, he surmised he was some sort of hermit or wildling from around here. Hallvard's gaze swung back to the strange figure taking in the clean and rich clothing and the way the bugs avoided him; everything about him screamed supernatural.

    Hallvard's brow furrowed, another feral growl escaping his lips as he made the sign against evil in front of his chest. Catching sight of the dark skinned woman rushing towards them shouting again-why did they always have to shout?-he winced a hangover from what little wine he had drunken at a nearby inn last night, he had used what little gold he had had left to buy a night with a woman and some drink, thinking he wouldn't have either for some time; at least until he found the gem and got out of the swamp. Growling as he felt his most of his calves covered in mud he grabbed at a nearby branch pulling his feet out he slogged towards the people.

    "Oh stop yelling damn you!" He winced and almost laughed at what he had just yelled. Unsheathing his greatsword and resting it on his shoulder he stood watching.
  6. The man watched, raising a brow and laughing with bright humor as the stranger threatened him. He waited, watching as the others arrived and taking note of them all. They weren't exactly as he had hoped, but they would do. Yes, they would do. But they would never work if they killed one another or managed to alert every predator of their presence before they even began their trek into the dim swamp. He didn't seem the most minute bit concerned with what appeared to be his imminent injury at the hand of the wild man.

    Ignoring the threat or the fact that none of these people appeared as though they would react well to the sight of magic, he began to weave a web of magic. He didn't move, but it would somehow be amazingly evident that he was the source of the energy that began to flow around the adventurers, obscuring their footprints and repairing the damage that they had done in getting this far. He tidied the scholar's robes, hardened the ground beneath the feet of the heavy looking warrior, eased the roughened skin of the woman, and hoisted the angry native neatly into the air, depriving him of motion in any useful direction and keeping him effortlessly out of striking distance of any of the others or himself. Again, he laughed.

    "Welcome, friends! I do hope you all found your trip amusing. I am Darrma the Minstrel, and I would offer my hospitality to each of you but, alas, I find myself expending most of my allotted resources in keeping this young man airbound and restrained, so you will have to forgive me for not setting out tea and biscuits. The merit of this, of course, is that you shant have to make small talk with me and will be instead allowed to hasten into the swamp to reach your goal. There are numerous impediments and zoological deterrents present once you enter the swamp, so I have for you a map and a compass. I do hope they will do you some good. Be warned that all given these tools have yet to return, so I am unsure of their capacity for guiding one in the proper direction. Their accuracy is unparalleled. The compass's magic should indicate the exact direction to the Gem. The map should show every known danger of the swamp. Do take heed and plan accordingly, but remember that much is unknown about the swamp. Its current inhabitants will most likely consider you delicacies to be savagely devoured. I've no doubt that you will need all of your wits, skills, and intellectual acumen. Do not dawdle, for you will want to make decent headway before the sun dips in its course through the heavens."

    He easily tossed the scroll case and compass to the young woman. "If your skills do not allow you to read the map and compass, rely on the skills of one who can, for you shall all have to make use of the talents of those around you if you wish to have even a chance of survival." With that, he was gone, and the savage man dropped unceremoniously into the mud. There was no hint but the compass and map that the minstrel had ever actually been there. Even the area he had occupied was once again filled with biting flies. The team would find themselves left with no explanation of his generosity, no chance for response to his flowery speech, and no time for questions. They would find themselves in possession of a rather singular map, upon which the hazards indicated seemed to move and fade in and out of being and a compass that pointed, not north, but at their destination.