Surmounting Evil

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Celest, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> The province of Raheath had always been a peaceful one until recently. There were many cities such as Coabury in the south, Tayham the mountain city, Nistead on the border of the Plains, Heastead in the west, Brewood on the banks of Laserie River, and View attachment 7614 Crestone nestled in The Leaden Hills.

    Within Raheath there are outlying regions like The Heavenly Weald, home of the elves, or The Plains of Ruin which house many terrifying races; The Jade Sea bordered Raheath to the west and the Fellspire Mountain splits the province in half. Murach Lake lies between Crestone and Nistead.

    As stated earlier, Reheath had always been peaceful until rumors that Nistead has been welcoming creatures from the Plains into their city. A growing darkness has spread from Nistead. Buildings that surround the city have become run down. The number of murders has escalated. Does the High Official in Nistead have ties with the Black King hidden somewhere withing the Plains?

    View attachment 7613 Citizens in the province are scared. They are looking for hope. The prophecies are no longer correct. Raheath is spiraling down into chaos. Will there be a hero? Maybe an unlikely duo that rises from cities in the province? No one knows. All they are concerned with is stopping the High Official’s spread of Evil.

    It was night and everyone, except the guards and Alodel, was sleeping in their homes in The Heavenly Weald. One lone figure slipped from her room and quietly guided her horse through the trees heading towards the Laserie River. She was making her escap View attachment 7612 e. No longer were it just the Elven soldiers that experienced the thrill of adeventure. Alodel was going to be the new Elf that would be able to recite her ventures to eager listeners.

    Alodel was the daughter of the Weald’s stable keeper. In her families stables were all the soldier’s mounts. That’s how the family made their profits. She always thought keeping the soldier’s horses was thrilling. Sometimes she would even hide and watch as the soldiers trained, mimicking their movements when no one was looking. She had never been the most lady like thing. Dirt didn’t bother her but trying to embroider gowns with thin silver thread did. School was never her strong suit because her head was always in the clouds. Alodel always dreamed of adventure. She craved excitement. Today is the day that crave would be satisfied. The day of her nineteenth birthday and her wedding to the blacksmith’s son. Won’t the whole forest be alive when the bride is found missing.

    Finally she made it to the river and mounted her horse, Eneth. He plodded through the waters of Laserie. That river had always bordered The Heavenly Weald. Sacred words of Elven origin are spoken over the waters allowing only those that know the words to enter. Alodel guided Eneth from the water toward Brewood. She was going to stay at the Talisman Inn for night then make her way down to Coaburry.

    She had the hood to her black cloak up. Alodel didn’t know how people treated her kind, so she thought it best to hide her ears. The hood shadowed her honey eyes and blended in well with her mass of thick black hair.

    (( Pics: Heavenly Weald, Plains of Ruin, Alodel ))
  2. Izlamis sat in the corner table of the Talisman Inn. Having just finished his supper, he sat, letting his mind wander as he stared off into the distance. No mug of ale for him, despite the confusion that left the innkeeper in. What man didn't drink ale after eating? In response, Izlamis adjusted the talisman broach for Wildning attached to his shoulder. That should be a signal to all what kind of man he was, but still the other patrons threw incredulous looks at him. He didn't mind. He was both very aware of what happened around him and very unaware of it. Incredulous looks bounced off him as he gazed into space, whereas someone approaching him, such as the innkeeper coming up just not to offer him a mug of ale again, he noticed. Izlamis waved the innkeeper away again.

    What was he doing out here in Brewood, exactly? His last "adventure" had just ended. He should be getting back to the monastery in Tayham, as he usually did, but rumors of monsters, witch hunts, and fear running wild disturbed him. Not that he necessary was the one to do something about it, but as a servant of Wildning, he always felt called to do something. His peers in the monastery, content to sit and meditate in the mountains, never knew how to approach him and his restless need to do something, always doing something. His superiors were also baffled, but at least knew they had someone who would not be reluctant to go out, when called upon, to spread Sun God Wildning's values. He had just gotten back from one of those errands of theirs, and was reluctantly heading back to Tayham.

    He sighed and looked around the room again, summoning himself out of his thoughts to pay attention to what was going around him. He needed more direction than what he had, and wondered if this crowd would have anything to say about the goings-on in Nistead. The mountains did separate the two, but perhaps there were travelers from far off here, who could give him some concrete observations about the situation and whether he should worry or go back to the mountains.

    A new person entered the inn lithely and quietly, black hood covering her face. Ahhh, thought Izlamis. There's someone out of place. Most inn patrons were either well-travelled, like him, and showed the ruggedness of the road, or townsfolk, who all gathered together. This person was neither: the cloak was far too fresh, the steps too careful. This person might lend him insight to whether he had any business being out in the world right now, or if he was just out of his mind.
  3. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> The Talisman inn was too loud and the smoke was suffocating her. This place definitely wasn’t like the Elven realm. The men were too loud and the women too loose. Alodel felt comfortable enough to let her hood down, her hair still hiding her ears.

    She carefully made her way through the tables littering the main floor of the inn. Men spoke to her in crude ways. Women with their cleavage hanging out bumped into her as they made their rounds. The way everyone acted caught Alodel by surprise. The quicker she got her room the happier she would be.

    “Hello,” she said softly once she was at the front desk… no answer. “Sir!” Alodel said rather loudly gathering attention from a couple surrounding tables.

    “What is it?” His voice was rather abrasive, and his eyes were piercing as he leaned over the counter.

    “A-a room?” She stammered lightly. The man just grunted and turned his back to her for a moment as he fetched a key.

    “Your name and 10 septims,” he grumbled and reached out his calloused hand.

    “Eola Rilynn,” Alodel said strongly. She dared not give him her real name. With a nod he scrawled her name down, giving her a chance to glance around the room only to notice the looks of a man in the corner. All of a sudden she felt out of place. Finally, the innkeeper handed the key over. The tag read ‘5’.

    With a quick thank you she swiftly moved through the crowd, sparing one last glance at the man before disappearing upstairs to her room.
  4. Izlamis rubbed his eyes. He was getting nowhere fast, and it was probably time for him to head to his room and sleep for the night. In the morning his path would be clear, and if it weren't, he'd head back to the Temple. It was no business of his, after all, what rumors were spreading. It was his business to sit in quiet contemplation and to be available should his superiors need someone to go out into the world, not make decisions to do whatever he wanted. Still, he felt restless. He would have to fight his restless nature if he went back, but it wouldn't be the first time his duty came over his nature.

    He went up the stairs to his room, where the person who had just walked in was looking around for her room. "Haven't been here before, have you?" Izlamis asked mildly. "It's a little confusing, as the doors are randomly marked. For example, number seven is the first room, and number two opposite it. Which number do you have?"

    Upon closer inspection, the young woman still seemed timid and lost. Definitely new to the outside world, not from Brewood. He wondered what had forced her out into the world.
  5. I have never left the.... my home before," Alodel caught herself. "I have room 5," she said a bit more confidently.

    Her eyes glanced at each wall plaque. He wasn't kidding about numbers just being placed. Either the man got lazy or they don't know how to count. The next peculiar thing that caught her attention was the man talking to her. His breath didn't reek of alcohol, and he wasn't acting like any of the other fools downstairs; his overall atmosphere was that of peace.

    The man could probably tell she was young and inexperienced. She blamed her parents for her naivety. If they allowed her to go out with the hunters like other children got to do then everything would have been fine, but no. Alodel was to be kept from everything. Protected from corruption. Little did her parents know, that protection bred a rebellious adventurous spirit. Now their precious daughter stole a horse and left the Heavenly Weald.

    Alodel knew something was happening beyond their borders anyway. Their soldiers were training more and that never happened unless there was something on the horizon, and she was determined to be there when the action broke out.
  6. Izlamis barely caught the catch in her voice and mulled it over for a moment. So, she had never left home before? She was in for a shock then. He smiled fondly as he remembered when he first left home at the tender age of 17. He'd come a long way since then. Back then, he'd been a bit lost and scared, and had been taken advantage of a few times. It was good that he'd finally found himself with Wildning and devoted himself to Wildning's Temple.

    "Room 5 is over this way," he told her and led the way to a room at the end of the hall. "Is this your first time in Brewood? It's small, but bustling. Being on the edge of the woods makes it a good town for travelers to stop in on their way from one place to another."
  7. "It is my first time anywhere," she said softly with a slight smile. It was all a bit intimidating being out in the world. The fear was probably made worse because Brewood probably wasn't the best place to stop, but she didn't know that.

    Once at her room she slipped the key in the lock and began to turn. She was just going to leave the man after thanking him but curiosity held her in place. "Have you been here long?" Alodel leaned against the door frame and looked at the man. He still seemed a bit out of place in an atmosphere like this; she couldn't figure out why.

    Where are you from?" Alodel asked out right.
  8. "It is my first time anywhere," she said, and Izlamis suppressed a satisfied nod. So, his evaluation that she was not used to travelling was correct. She had seemed a little different than the other travelers, a little unseasoned, a little anxious, and he had hoped that that wasn't because of anything more than being new to the outside world. He wondered where he had come from that was close enough to Brewood for it to be the first place she came from. There were some farms in the area, certainly, but he wondered all the same.

    He had started to walk away when he was sure that she was safely to her room, but her two questions stopped him. He chuckled at being asked where he was from. "I've been here a day or two, on my way from a smaller village to the south," Izlamis began. That first question was, of course, the easiest. "Passing through. I had some business in that village, and now I'm headed back to Tayham, where I live. I serve the Sun God Wildning in His Temple there, but sometimes people have need of a monk, and I am usually the one assigned to leave the monastery to help the people." Izlamis paused, not entirely sure whether he should be so forward. Still, he was looking for something to do, some reason to not go back quite yet to the temple. "If you have need of a monk, then I am sure I can be of assistance." He bowed slightly.
  9. Hearing that he was a monk from Tayham surprised her. She was raised to believe that monks stayed alone and didn't come down then again it is believed that elves stay to themselves as well. That's mostly true until something is going wrong within Raheath. The soldiers of The Heavenly Weald were a force to be reckoned with.

    "A monk I do not need. A companion to travel with, that is something more needed." She nodded then continued "as you know I have never left my home before.. I can not do this alone." Worry tinged her voice, her eyes revealed fear. At this moment she began to doubt whether she did the right thing, but she would not turn back. Possibilities of adventure and becoming independent was too great of an attraction. "In the morning we start as long as I am not imposing on you."
  10. The tone of the young woman's voice implied a strong fear, and Izlamis's role in life was to help alleviate fear and pain. He smiled at her. "If you like, I can be a travelling partner as well. Although I spend most of my time in the monastery, I tend to be the one they send out on their little errands because I am well-travelled. I travelled many years before finding the monastery, and they use my expertise because of it. I am certain I can be of assistance, in either case."

    So, she had never been away from home and was trusting enough to ask a stranger for help. Izlamis hoped he could live up to her expectations as a travelling companion. Though he had considerable travelling experience, he knew he would never know everything there is to know, and he wondered what kind of mission the woman seemed to be on that filled her with fear. Nevertheless, he had found his answer: he couldn't go back to the monastery now. Wildning, whatever journey I am about to embark on, please watch over the two of us and help us drive back whatever dark forces we encounter, he thought, a short prayer to his God.

    Izlamis held his hand out to the young woman. "I will meet you in the morning, then. My name is Izlamis, and I hope you can tell me more about the reasons behind your leaving home in the morning."
  11. "Tomorrow I will tell you my story," she shook his hand quickly and slipped into her room. Finally, Alodel was being an adult. Not only was she on her own adventure, she now had a partner. Even though she planned on going it alone earlier, having someone with her was comforting. She knew that she was naive when it came to the experiences of the outside world, and it may be beneficial to have Izlamis guide her through a couple things.

    As soon as her head hit the pillow, she was asleep, and it felt as if she was only asleep a minute before the sun poured into her room. It took her several minutes to get ready, but soon enough she was ready to travel. Alodel picked the key up and headed down to the front desk. "Thank you for the room sir," she said with more confidence than she had last night. The keeper just grunted and took the key, waving her away as if she was just a fly.

    She left the Talismann Inn deciding to wait for her new companion outside.
  12. Izlamis was up at dawn as usual, but was preoccupied while he observed his morning rites for Wildning. He had gotten his answer, but it was a convoluted one: help this young woman on her journey, as he was ordained to help strangers in their time of need, but what, exactly, could she be doing? Would helping her help him figure out what was going on in the land? He knew that whatever happened Wildning would be watching over the two, be it for some small task or some large.

    Izlamis had gone out to check on his horse in the stableyard when Alodel came out. "Good morning!" he called. "Have you slept well? I was just checking on the state of my horse after a few days rest." He glanced at Alodel. "Do you have food and provisions? I haven't yet paid my bills, so while you get started out here I'll take care of that." Izlamis flipped a coin to a stableboy to saddle his horse, then went back into the inn to pay his dues.

    When he came back out, his horse was ready and Alodel was waiting. "Where are we off to today then, miss?" He suddenly realized that he still hadn't learned her name. "And what may I call you?"
  13. She went into the stables. Eneth tossed his head around when he saw her coming, whining the slightest bit. A smile crept across Alodel's face as she placed her hand on his soft muzzle. She was there when he was born and has taken care of him every since. This animal was like her best friend. After a moment or two of just spending time with her horse, she began to saddle him up. When he came back she glanced over her shoulder at him.

    "Alodel. You can call me Alodel." She nodded and led Eneth from him stall. "I'm from The Heavenly Weald," Alodel said quietly in passing. At some point Izlamis needed to know who she was, and where she came from. Things can't be hidden forever, but they can be hidden from the wrong people. There are many who aren't happy with the Elves and blame them for the Great War a couple decades ago. Old habits die hard.

    "We are setting out for Leaden Hills and Crestone. I have been told that it is an old dwarven city that many races of now inhabitate." The excitement of seeing other towns excited her. She was now doing something that only the Elven soldiers have done.
  14. Izlamis attempted to cover his surprise. Alodel from The Heavenly Weald? So what she hid under her cloak... The woman was an elf. He hadn't seen very many of them out and about so close to their home. Usually they went straight to the big cities like Nistead. Perhaps it was her youth, or the fact that she didn't move like a soldier. She was on some other mission, and she was going to have to tell him at some point. Still, she trusted him enough to tell him the truth about her, as far as he could tell. He would keep hold of that trust, by his vows to Wildning.

    "Alodel," Izlamis said carefully. "Welcome to the other side of the river." He gave her a quick smile before mounting his horse. "So, Leaden Hills and Crestone?" That was further than going back to Tayham. Perhaps he would check in with his superiors on the way. "Then we are headed north." Izlamis nodded, thinking more or less aloud. "Yes, there would be many different races. A few soldiers. Many dwarves. They appreciate the market that the different races bring for their treasures. Many of them are wonderful craftsmen."

    As they rode their way out of the city, Izlamis wondered what drove the young woman to go so far out of her way. She had promised to tell him her story, so perhaps it was time to ask as they started off. Not all of it, but perhaps what kind of errand she was on, and why going to the Leaden Hills would help her. "So, my friend," he began. "What kind of task brings us to Crestone?" He felt that, at least, he had a right to know.
  15. "Stories from my youth. My father was a soldier." A small smile could be seen on her face. Her father used to tell her a story of different lands and cities as she fell asleep every night. He had first hand experience from when he was part of the Elven Soldiers. Once he got wounded he was honorably discharged, and that was when the business of keeping the soldiers horse started. Alodel's mother always said her father wanted to still be a soldier and caring for their horses was as close as they could get.

    She then began to think back through all the races Izlamis named. Worry once again washed over her as she realized that there was a possibility some of her people were there. Everyone back in the forest will know she is missing by now, and there was probably a search already in process... just another thing to worry about. With a deep sigh, she turned the conversation towards him. "And you, a monk from Tayham? I was raised to believe that all monks stay isolated."

    Eneth's ears twitched slightly as the two talked, and he began dancing under Alodel. Something wasn't right. He no longer wanted to move forward. Squinting, Alodel looked in the distance and saw tall dark figures, taller than any human could be. Panic struck her as she froze in place. What was she supposed to do? Nothing like this was ever seen before in the forest.
  16. Izlamis nodded curtly. "I am a rarity among my order. Most of my peers do not have the inclination to travel as I do, but we also are called upon to do certain deeds for people. We serve the people. Since I have experience out of the monastery I'm often the one assigned to go out to answer requests. I once worked with an art thief to recover a man's stolen possessions..." Izlamis trailed off as he, too, saw the dark figures in the distance. What were they, that made horses stop? Alodel, too, was staring into the distance, becoming more and more pale.

    "They don't appear to be moving," he said quietly. "But they don't look like they would be friendly if we met them on the road." He paused and assessed their options. "We could go around them to the west. It might not even cut into our riding time. Or we could wait here to see if they will move."
  17. "I believe it would be best to move to the west; who knows how long we would wait for them to move"

    Clucking softly, she got Eneth to move and cut through the country to the west. Alodel expected to run into unwanted people, but she never expected her horse to react in the way that he did... something has to be amiss, and she was going to figure out what it was. Clearing her throat softly, she began to speak.

    "I left the Weald because our soldiers began training again. A messenger ran to the barracks a fortnight ago, and since then they have been training relentlessly. The only time our soldiers are called are for war."

    She glanced over at Izlamis to see what he was making of her words. Anyone who was rational would become frightened over the fact the Elvish soldiers have been called, but no Alodel. Excitement bubbled inside her breast, not fright. She also knew going into battled was not the place for a female, especially a female elf, but she was going to change history. No longer were women going to be treated as fragile in the Weald.
  18. Izlamis nodded and they began heading west, forging a new pathway away from the figures emanating evil. West was, at least, in the direction they had to go anyway, so it would not be such a huge loss to go around the path. He worried, though. There was definitely evil in the world being woken up, and he wondered if the task set ahead of them was going to attract attention from dark forces. If it did, at least he knew he was on the right path: fulfilling his mission of shining light into the dark. He certainly at the very least teamed up with the right young woman. She seemed to be going on an adventure of great purpose, but he never knew. Izlamis would have to refrain from judgement just yet.

    When Alodel spoke again, Izlamis frowned. The soldiers were being called again? This must be fact rather than rumor, since Alodel had just come from the Weald. This was indeed grim news, confirming the rumors of darkness spreading in the land. He thought for another moment. "Do you know who has called for the soldiers?" he asked quietly. What sides would there be in this war?

    "I've heard some dark rumors in the past few weeks," Izlamis began again, his face still grim. "I haven't been sure whether to believe them or if they were baseless, but what you say about the soldiers worries me. It means there is truly something to fear."
  19. "I do not know," Alodel whispered.

    She allowed their conversation to die as she took time to think about what was going on. Their land was under attack. Dark forces were gathering and many people didn't know where or why. It felt as if something great was about to happen, and it terrified her. What was about to happen was probably bigger than her and anyone within the province. Many people were going to die, and she feared she would be part of that many. She was far from ready to die, far from ready to leave behind her life. Alodel shook her head, trying to clear her mind from the dreadful thoughts that just invaded it.

    "I feel as if this trip will be my first and my last," she whispered and glanced towards her partner. "There is something bigger than us brewing in our province."
  20. As their riding slowed a bit, Izlamis reached out and touched Alodel's arm. He hoped to ease the fear in her voice, that this would be her last trip, and hoped that after this journey she would settle down back in the Heavenly Weald and all would be well for her. Izlamis admired the courage that it took for such a young woman - a girl, really - to realize that something was wrong in the world and want to change it, then to go off, away from everything she knew, and try to figure out what she can do to help. Instead of feeling powerless, go off and do something. He hoped they would find something they could do to stop the invading evil.

    "It's getting dark," Izlamis said at last. "Let's stop and camp here for the night." It was a clearing on a road where it looked like people had been before. Safe enough to know whether anything would creep up on them. He dismounted and started building a fire. "Shall we keep a watch over the night?" he asked. "After the encounter earlier today, I'm not sure I feel comfortable just sleeping under the stars."