Ruins of the Dragon Lord - The Dragon Stone


Boss Frost

Original poster
"Respect what you do not know, for not knowing is a mighty thing."
-Morudhian Folk Saying

The pale flames at the fireplace dance as fading white ghosts, their light and heat barely needed or noticeable in this temperate summer evening. The atmosphere is dry and empty, as there are very few patrons at the inn; however, their chatter is enough to give the place the feel of a crowded hall. These days, it seems everyone is talking about some thing or another in Meadowvale...

A blond-haired, clean-shaven man affably swaps good-natured jokes, tales and gossip with a few other patrons, very clear in being the town's minstrel. The owner of the inn, a middle-aged woman who has retained her great looks, walks around to dispense drinks, laughing at the jokes and adding her voice to a couple of song choruses here and there.

Outside, an airship packs up, getting ready to leave. Their passengers now well-off, they wave farewell - and good luck. They, for one, will not stick around here any longer than usual. Night or no, the great House Lyrandar airship begins to rise, the ring of fire that was the bound elemental flaring up - the half-elven crew quickly leaving the area, out of Moru Country as fast as possible.

As for our heroes, well... let's let them show themselves - how long they have been here, what they have been doing, and how they got here. Did you come on the now-leaving airship? Did they come by another route - already here, in the tavern where our story will begin? Have they been here forever?

Ramona turns for a moment, looking back at the airship which brought her here. It would have been her last chance to turn back, but... she simply could not. Even if she could not help cure the land of the strange curse that has made the very dirt below her bare feet a lifeless gray color, she could at least try to apply it to her arcane knowledge. Hefting her heavy backpack, she at least was comfortable in the knowledge that her traditional clothes were in-place in this warm climate. She was comfortable enough to wear what she did, eve if it got her no end of odd looks.

Might have been her race, though. Her tail waves like a pendulum back and forth as she moves forward, whiskers and ears twitching as she follows the sound and lights of the inn. Wouldn't be a bad first place to stop, she'll need a room. Struggling with her pack a bit, she balances it on a shoulder and pushes open the door, poking her head in for a moment. She might have been the only litorian in the room, but no one treated her as such. Not as much as a funny glance in her direction. With a smile, the tan-furred being moves over, sitting next to the fire with a happy smile.

"Anythin' I can git you, sugah?" The owner of the bar speaks to Ramona, observing her with an eyebrow raised. "...An' mebbe someone tah be lookin' at that curse yer undah. Or didja want tah look that way?"

It was more polite and kind than Ramona was used to, and she shakes her head, brushing the hair from her eyes, which were painted to look like the markings on a sphinx. "I vill 'ave a drink, please. A seemple ale." Taking out the money, she pays the owner, taking a bit drink before shaking her head, "I vas born like dis. Dah's human. Mum's a sphnix." She lied about that - her race was little known in the first place, and she felt this lie made her more interesting... as well as believable, considering her appearance.

"No foolin'? Huh. Well, guess there ain' no better place for you than Meadowvale, then. You jus' go'wan an tell me what you need, ai'ght?"

Ramona nods, "Vell.. I could oo'ze a room." She nods, smiling her kitty-cat, fanged smile. "I plan on saying 'ere for a vhile, for my ree-surch..." She pats her heavy backpack. "I've got a thee-sis to write."

"Ahhh, you're one o' dem wizards. Must be from Aundair, I'kin tell by yer accent. I'll getcha a room set up for you no prob'bem. S'only three coppah a night, extra fer the food. Not bad, 'siderin' we're the only inn in town." The minstrel behind her grins, "It's highway robbery and you know it, Leah!" He was met with a playful 'thwack' in the back of the head, setting the tavernfolk to laughter.

Ramona herself laughed, nodding, "I think it is a fair deal. Glad-lee." Counting out the money, he handed it to the owner - Leah, before returning back to listening to the bard's tales, enjoying her ale and considering what the country's "norms" are.

The door swung open again, this time as Eir stepped through. She looked over her shoulder to where she had left Bozidar, haggling with a vendor. He was too protective, sometimes...Still! There was a tavern now, full of people for her to talk to. And more importantly, potential job offers! Sure, they didn't have to worry about money if they stayed in a church or something, but she liked having money to buy nice food and lodgings with. And inns were practically THE job opportunity center of the average town.

Glancing around, though, there wasn't anyone particularly interesting aside from the fuzzy person sitting by the fire. Not even a single person moodily staring into beer in the darkest corner. She sat down in the chair next to Ramona, leaning forward eagerly towards the wizard.
"So! What are you doing here?"
Ramona turns her head, looking upon Eir a moment before smiling, "I just got 'ere, honestly. I'm just watching and listening for things I should look out for, faux pas and such... oo know... zat, and maybe some'teeng vill come up." She shrugs, before patting her spellbook. "I still 'ave a thesis to write for ze University, and I figured I could do it 'ere, in the Moru Country. Not even sure what I'll write it on, to be 'onest."

She takes a drink of her ale, shrugging, "I am Ramona, daw-tair of the Archmage Huu... currently, a mere student of magic." She sighs wistfully, "Oh, to command magic as my fazzer does. I am very far away, but I am working on it." With a nod of admittance, she looks to Eir - before clearing her throat, "...That, an' I oo'sed up most of my money on ze trip from Aundair - I'll need to find a job to finance my findings..." With a sigh, she nods, "And oo? Vhat are oo doing 'ere?"
"Oh, huh..." Eir leaned back in her chair, thinking. "Maybe you could write something on the psionics/magic duality and the larger implications it has for the universe? I'm not too good with books, but that always seemed kinda interesting to me..."

Ramona's question needed more thought, though. Eir thought back to why she was there; the villages burning around her, the searing pain of the magical binding ritual, the suspicious looks from priests when she first stayed with the order...
"I'm here for...stuff...My name's Eir, and my companion is Bozidar. I kinda left him dealing with a shopkeeper, but I'm sure he'll swing around here soon."
"Amazing…" An excited grin rest upon Pietro's face, his eyes widening in anticipation as he felt the collective noises and scents of the many patrons that sat in the taverns hit him square in the face. His feet shuffled anxiously, trying his best to not let his inexperience show as he made his way to the far corners of the tavern, still just a little unsure of the new life style he had chose.

He found himself sitting next to a curious looking creature that seemed to be feline and human in her form, reminding him of some of the majestic creatures that he had encountered in his earlier travels. His curiosity got the better of him, apparently being 'fearless' meant not having much tact.

"Are you human?" He bluntly asked the woman, suddenly inserting himself into the conversation she was having with a woman sitting on the other side of her. He reached out his hand and started stroking her head, as if she were a common house hold pet.
She nods, "Pleasure to meet oo, Eir... I'm sure oo'r friend will be able to find oo wizzout trouble." With a scratch of her chin, she nods, "Magic/Psionics, eh? I've not 'ad any experience vith psionics. Back een Aundair, it vas all arcane magic, all the time." With a sigh, she nods, "I remember my first trip up to the Floating Towers of Arcanix... fazzer would turn into a dragon for the trip. I do believe it allowed me quite an entrance." Remembering the looks on a few individual's faces, she couldn't help but giggle. "...Pity it did not last very long."

Ramona's hand raised to swat the offending man's hand away. She would have liked this sort of scenario to happen less often, and yet... if it weren't the petting, it was almost inevitably the tail, and she far preferred it to be the head. Her ears fold and she turns to glare at the man... soon, though, she sighs. "I am 'alf 'ooman," she lies once more. "My muzzer vas a sphinx." Her tail flicked in an annoyed manner as she looked at the man. In particular, the coils of his whip.

"I do suppose oo must be a frontiersman of some kind. It's rude to touch people oo are not acquainted vith... It's 'appened before, though, so I guess I can forgive oo." She takes a drink of her ale, turning back to look at Eir, "Duality to Magic and Psionics, zoh... I don't bee-leeve I 'ave even heard of such a thing. I always thought psionics vas a more... inner type of thing, like sorcery or mysticism, razzer than a science, like magic."
The trail, though well traveled was less distinct than most. What the locals called a road was simply a gray line in an even grayer wasteland and along it a figure covered almost head to toe in trail dust rested in the shade of a building as the elven craft ascended. To be exact the building was the only inn in town, though the wanderer was clearly not a local he was putting off entering in favor of watching those around him. He had only just sat down and leaned against the wall breathing deeply as the cram in his leg eased under a gentle rub.

He had no obvious profession of tools of any trade edified only by a patch sewn into his armor baring the symbol of the Sovereign Host. His features were different from the usual cast belonging to the people of Moru country or indeed Argonessen and his armour and weapon were in the style of the clerical orders of the five nations.

With gathering speed the airship slipped out of view and Logan stood stretching out his arms, one got what entertainment one could on the road and watching the well drilled elven crew was a rare sight. Pushing pen the door he stepped inside letting his eyes adjust to the light and he steeped through the room careful to neither bash anyone with the shield on his back or stab then with the points of his monsingstar. He took a seat on the other side of Eir as as the other but didn't glance at them as he loosened the straps holding his shield in place audibly sighing as the barkeep obviously giving up on waiting for Pietro to order anything turned to him.

"An ale a meal and a room." Logan said immediately, glad he'd be able to get clean and sleep on something other than his lumpy bedroll.
"Whoa! You talk funny like! Just like Ol' Frenadise back at the circus!" Pietro was clearly amused by this as he reached over to her head and started petting it again. "Say 'Ooman' again! 'Ooman'! 'Ooman!'" He seemed to have a great time trying copy her accent, his less than mature personality hardly fitting a face even as young as his. Pietro has the strong face of a warrior, sturdy jaw, dark piercing eyes, a sharp and thin nose, cheekbones that seemed to make his face seem like a fortress of ruggedness, but any of that would have been completely robbed by his stark contrast of his personality and his expressions, being far to whimsical and deep in childlike carelessness to make seem anything like a grown man.

The sudden apperance of the adventurer caught his attention though, his eyes shooting a path towards the armor and the weapon that he was carrying, his absent minded petting of the poor woman seeming to come to a stand still. His heart raised with anticipation as remember the very reason why he choose to leave the circus which was his home for 17 years in the first place. The excitement that was adventuring! He could just imagine the kinds of foes to would be slayen and the wonderous sights for him to see from just gazing at the scratches and dents in the man's shield! A great knot sat in the pit of his heart as he could feel the excitment come to a fevered pitch, his being could not handle potential glory that laid in store for him and his future ventures.

"Sir!" He recited with much eagerness that he did little to keep from being transparent. "May you be an adventurer?" With that tone of voice, anyone with any sense of common wisdom would have known that Pietro seemed to want to tag along with the man, Pietro feeling a great deal of confidence that the armed man was one of many adventures and if he would follow, he too could share in on some of the epic feats that would some day make Pietro The Fearless a recognized name amongst commonfolk to nobility!
Eir, for her part, smiled and supressed a chuckle at Pietro's antics.
"Heh....well, I guess it's good that that guy left, huh?" She thought for a bit, looking at Ramona.
" aren't wandering around out here all alone, are you? It's kind of dangerous..."
Logan waited until thee was a tankard in front of him and he had pored no small amount of its contents down his parched throat before he turned his grimy face to the rugged yet boyishly enthusiastic Pietro. "Not really an adventurer, no." he took another gulp as he tried to classify himself swirling the ale in thought "More a wanderer, following the road to see where it leads. "Getting here wasn't much trouble though only the gods know where I'll be going next." he thought a better explanation was needed to he turned on his seat to face the two.

"Before I came here I thought my calling was to become a cleric, but found the life of study and contemplation too restricting, there had to be a better, more active role in which the Sovereign Host could be served, so I left, following no path in particular road, and it lead me here." he looked at Pietro and Eir with a friendly smile as he stopped himself from degenerating into a ramble. "What about you two? Were either of you on the airship that I saw take off?"