Winter's Breath

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zypher, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. [video=youtube;-sWnEWpS_fA][/video]


    Edge of Elumaja, captial home of the Elven lands Maailm on the continent of Lume

    It had started quietly, almost unheard. The first death was just a Halfling thane of some border city that held no significant importance for those Elves of the major city. Soon, however the assassinations crept closer, further into Maailm, each time another figurehead of various towns dying mysteriously. An affluent college mage here, or an important businesswoman in another town. The only clues that anybody had about the deaths were that an unusual amount of Men were seen around before the murders, only indicating that they were the ones attempting to seize the lands of Maailm for themselves.

    As time went on the threats of a war breakout seemed more and more imminent. In an attempt to subvert this possiblity the High Queen Estinia has put out a bounty on the leader of this insurrection against her people, and though many adventurers have heeded her call none have had much knowledge on where to look, instead many have gathered instead the great city of Elumaja, joining together in clans under the common goal of hunting down the insurrectionists and appealing to the High Queen for recognition for their work.

    Now under the right of Maailm's High Queen the others have started their search, marching closer towards the lands of the Men, searching for the assassins. Although, now that the word is out the assassinations have become more bold, even a few being murdered right in Elumaja itself, however nobody important as of yet has been murdered at this point everyone is on high alert and high tensions.

    For Galdur, living near Elumaja had been a rather interesting experience, the cold golden grasses of his homeland, Fryst, were very different then the thick forests and great architecture of the Elves. It was a culture shock for the first few months, until he slowly adjusted, even made a few friends.

    That all changed one day when his friend, a merchant in the College district of the town was assassinated by what he could only assume was an insurrectionist. Driven by anger for his friend's death he has made his way to the tavern known for Insurrection Hunters to gather, the Dainty Nobleman. He was sure he'd be able to find some information, or maybe somebody to help him. With a frown he pulled himself up onto an almost-too-tall chair in a dark corner where he could keep an eye on things. With his arms crossed he waited.

    The Dainty Nobleman, what a fitting name, it was the seediest tavern in all of Elumaja, maybe even in Maailm, and it garnered it's name by the...entertainment, the elves saw fit, from the men serving behind the bar to the ladies and men serving the customers all were in various states of undress, hinting at more then just drinks on the menu. What a strange place for those seeking revenge to gather. Thought Galdur as he looked around, he just hoped he'd be able to find somebody of use.

  2. "...Now, you must keep the town while I am gone. The elders have decided that I will present myself to the Queen, as a replacement for my uncle in her service. And more importantly, I will seek her assistance in helping us to find who is responsible for our kin's death, and bring the party to justice. I am counting on you, my brethren. Take care for yourselves and your neighbors, but don't allow fear to rule your thoughts. We will not let these wicked men rob us of our way of life."

    Galdneiks of the Kapteinis stepped down from the small stage next to the docks as the rest of the town's halflings murmured their approval and solemnly wished him well as they continued to watch the river which had framed their new leader during his speech. In the middle of it, a small but skillfully carved boat burned. It held the body of their slain leader, murdered by unknown hands, as they committed his body back to the river for the benefit of the earth, as his spirit had already yielded itself to the River Mother, for the benefit of all. It signaled the end to their time of mourning. And soon, they were to be without their new leader as well. But as long as he lived, they lived on.

    Galdneiks patted the shoulder of his young cousin, a lad of barely twelve. "I will not be here to teach you, Savienot, but you know I must do this. Listen carefully to the elders, and train your pup well. Live up to your name, for it is time for you to learn what it means to hold our small city together. I wish you did not need to begin your journey as apprentice at so tender an age, but I'm sure uncle did not wish for me to take up his mantle so soon, either. But we do as we must, yes?"

    The lad nodded solemnly, in awe, swallowing hard. Galdneiks gave him an encouraging smile and cuffed him affectionately on the side of his neck. Moving past him now, the young halfling Thane hopped up onto the cart that would take him, along with the city's finished goods, to the capitol city Elumaja. He would seek the queen, and the others with him would head for the market to sell the wares and bring supplies back to the people. Everything had been prepared before the ceremony so they could leave immediately and get a good distance before dark.

    The cart's driver took up the reins and began to drive the cart out of the city. As soon as they were outside the gates and on the road to Elumaja, a large silver wolf padded up to the cart and walked alongside it. Galdneiks smiled at him and buried his hand in the creature's fur. This was his mount, Meness, whom he'd raised from a pup. Only those who were in the line of succession were given their own personal mount to bond with. The rest of the wolves lived as a pack and were fed by the village, so they were able to be used as needed. For carting, the halflings had bred down horses small enough for them to handle, yet strong enough to pull heavy loads for long distances. Both horses and wolves were comfortable with each other, so as Meness walked along with them, the horses paid him no heed.


    It was the evening of the third day when the tired group finally made it into Elumaja just before the gates were shut for the night. The horses were allowed through to market and stables, but Meness was left in the woods outside the city. The elves didn't allow these mounts inside the gates. That was fine, since Meness didn't like crowds anyway. Even the small crowds of their halfling city were a test to his patience.

    Once they reached the market and unloaded their wares, Galdneiks parted ways with his brethren after much affectionate hugging and backslapping. They were headed to the merchants' inn, and Galdneiks had decided to search out a place closer to the castle.

    "Good Mother bear you again to hearth and home," they wished each other as they bid farewell.

    Making his way in the direction of the castle, he decided to stop off in a tavern for dinner and to inquire about where he could reside for the night. Glancing up at one sign, Galdneiks couldn't suppress a smile at the name. The Dainty Nobleman. He figured this was as good a place as any. With a name like that, they must know about inns near to the castle. He had to reach to grab the handle and push the heavy door open. Stepping in, he cast about for an open chair, keeping another eye on the legs and feet in his vicinity, careful not to get stepped on.
  3. I have to admit, the Dainty Noblemen is a very entertaining place. What's the word that street urchin used for men of such looks? Eye candy was it? Yes that must have been it. They are very delicious eye candy. I would eat them up if I wasn't already in the middle of something. God Mother... Why do I have to dragged into this?

    "Because my legs are almost useless and I'm getting old!"

    Right, I recall what she said now.

    Well I honestly can't see what's being planned at the moment. Sitting at one of the booths didn't garner me any attention from the Insurrection leaders and now that I'm sitting at the bar, all I seem to attract are the servers... Not that I am complaining. Granted the burly ones are a bit distasteful, but that one over there - the lean one with muscles. Very handsome. But my mother has told me to keep my innocence till I find the 'right' one. Unfortunately, if I stay here any longer I'm not sure if I can keep my word on that agreement.

    Perhaps I'll wait a little longer and see if someone decides to speak with me. If not, I shall take my leave, and quickly.
  4. Elumaja: Such a strange place to be bountiful in death reports. The city, to her, was always gazed View attachment 7554 upon with beauty and tranquility. Elves, much like herself, thrived and prosper between the walls of the city, even branching out to other, far distant lands. The wide spread continent of Lume stretched to outstanding distances, and Maalim, her home, seemed to be the one enduring the fiascoes. Hushed whispers of assassinations, bounties, and assistance from the Queen Estinia had brought Gwynn to outskirts of Elumaja.

    She did not need to travel far to reach her current destination. Gwynn spent most of her days in the forest or in her cottage miles form Elumaja itself until a lowly street merchant stumbled to her doorstep requesting help and a sending. Gwynn remembered peering down at the langly elf with the mangled arm and open wounds to his upper torso. Her immediate healing was not enough to save the poor elf, however. It took all of his strength to breath out the word 'Elumaja' before he passed from this life to the next. Gwynn took it upon herself to send the man off by burning his body, spreading the ashes atop the highest trees of the forest.

    Revenge, however, is not what carried her feet towards The Dainty Nobleman that day. She was looking for information, as most of the people in Elumaja were. The Queen's wishes were set very high, and though the bounty didn't appeal to Gwynn, it was the justice behind her wishes that did. She didn't want the name of the city to be tarnished with murders, assassinations, and silent chaos. Gwynn tucked a stray strand of her dark brown hair that had escaped her braid behind the pointed tip of her ears. The tavern was as bustling as she remembered the last time she sat foot into it, which was many months ago.

    The familiar drawl of voices and hum of music prickled her ears. Gwynn strained to see the outlines of the beings inside the store. She was surprised to find many races all packed into one in the tavern, either spending their leisure time drinking their spirits away, or by merely finding a place to rest.Gwynn inhaled the horrible stench of a far off pipe and its contents before striding up to the bar, leaning her back against it. She, of course, detected the eyes of foul men, but they also should be wise enough to detect the sheen of the sword against her right hip as well. Yes, Gwynn remembered The Dantiy Nobleman all too well.

  5. The journey to Elumaja had not been one entire pleasant by foot, in the slightest. Though his home had not been terribly far away, still nestled comfortably in Elven land that was, it should not have been so difficult but the rub of the matter was that he was leery of riding horses and unable to purchase one even if he wasn't. Such was the curse of having only a small pouch of gold to last him through. He was going to have to stretch it and use it to its fullest for his journey.

    The trees receded slowly as he neared the city, thinning down from the comforting forest to a mere copse of trees just outside the city limits. It was awe-inspiring for him to see so many homes all clustered together. The town near his parent's house, where his journey had begun, had only been a small string of homes next to one another compared to this. The sheer size of it intimidated him, saying nothing for his sheer speechlessness upon seeing the castle. Far more comfortable in the seedy reaches, for their more humble size, Sinras took to looking for a place to stay and happened upon The Dainty Nobleman.

    The first step that Sinras took into the place was innocent and curious. The steps following were far less innocent than this and his wide eyes could attest to whether or not he had caught the general gist and drift of the place. There had been nothing of the sort in the town he'd visited. He'd never seen anything of this sort in his life in fact, something of which he just realized he was missing out on. He felt his cheeks flush scarlet and he edged closer to the bar.

    Almost as though hypnotized, he took a seat. His eyes were roving around the place, and he gave a small jump of surprise when one of the men stepped before him. It took another minute of confusion for him to realize was he was being asked - if he wanted a drink. Nodding vigorously, Sinras selected the first drink that the server suggested.

  6. Taendil had spent the weeks in mourning for his dear Father, oh he had tried to consol his Mother but she was terribly heartbroken. There had only ever been one Elf for her and now he was dead, they had been together for years. Life, really as they had always been bound to each other in an arranged marriage.

    He wasn't exactly young, but he certainly wasn't approaching middle age either. Though Taendil was perhaps a little childish in someways from the many many years he'd spent inside the College and subsequently the library of the college. He soaked up knowledge as fast as he could, going from teacher to teacher. Only now he was outside of the college and looking for a new sort of teacher. A teacher of life, a teacher of vengeance, of murder, of death... Someone who knew the way that he was going and perhaps had a few answers for the elf.

    Because at the moment Taendil had none at all.

    The local knowledge led him to 'The dainty Noblemen' where the people the Queen has tasked to hunting down the killers gathered. It certainly didn't seem very inspiring to the college-bound elf. It seemed rather...dirty? He couldn't help the color that stained his cheeks as he peeked inside and got his first glance of the garb that the servers were wearing. He nearly ran off then and there, considering joining the Guard a much more sanity inducing option. After all, he didn't need the reward. He didn't want it. He was here only for revenge, only to find out who murdered his Father and why... why of all people it had to be him to die?

    Taendil sucked in a breath of air before he walked into the tavern and found himself a table, he hoped he wouldn't stick out too badly with his platinum blond hair and fair skin. After all, he didn't want to cause trouble. Or find himself in the midst of it. There was many people of differing races, he wondered if they were there for the same reason as him, a college librarian mage... He could have laughed were it not too bizzare but as it was...

    He chuckled softly under his breath anyway, his fingers lingering on the hilt of his sword.

  7. Galdur watched as a the bar patrons seemed to filter in and out, a few of them seemed as nervous about the surroundings as he felt. He suspected that people were probably gathered to join together in hunting parties, after all the assassinations seemed to be growing more and more bold, some of them have even taken place during the day. As he was about to get up and start asking around his attention was shifted as the windows were darkened and a single shaft of light coming from somewhere in the ceiling (probably some magical light produced by a wizard), created a beam focusing on the stage that he had failed to notice off to the side.

    The ruby colored curtains drew back and the sounds of hissing and clicking could be heard throughout the hushed audience and a man appeared amongst steaming pipes, it looked like Dwarven technology and the background appeared to be a Dwarven stronghold, though the actor (in a state of near-complete undress) was clearly an elf. The laughing from the audience told Galdur that it was supposed to be a comedy routine, or at least that's what it seemed like.

    "Ladies, other ladies, and gentlemen," Well it was clear what this baudy show was intended for, "tonight you have gathered for entertainment or possible, a common cause and I, the Dainty Nobleman himself, would like to thank those of you that would intend to hunt the enemy of our fair state, I know the High Queen thanks you for that, and should you be heading out for that purpose I suggest you all gather around the table over there!" The man's whispy voice rang throughout the seedy tavern and he gestured towards a table not far from where Galdur was sitting. He decided he would sit and wait for a moment longer before joining whoever decided to move. From the stage however, the man started strumming on an instrument procured from...somewhere and began singing about rather...interesting subjects. It was enough to make anybody roll their eyes, Galdur did so twice, hopping down from the chair and moving about the tables and the other patrons enraptured in the so called "Dainty Nobleman's" ballad and moved to the table that had been pointed out.

  8. While true that Sinras wanted vengeance - it's why he'd come here after all - he might have been too distracted by the sights around him to even bother himself with going to the table but on happy chance, one of the waiters who had been making eyes at him cupped a hand beneath his chin, a small smile on his face.

    "You're one of them, right?" Sinras was enraptured but the spell broke long enough for him to realize that he ought to be heading to the table where the party seemed to be meeting. Glimpses of delectable skin spurred Sinras into standing and the waiter winked at him, shaking his long hair away from his face with a smile.

    "Such a hero. If you're still here tonight... I've found my quarters unsafe as of late."

    Sinras turned pale and then pink before stumbling his way over to the table where all the others were gathering. He nearly tripped over his own feet twice but managed to get a good spot at the side of the table, ear the front and everything. He was curious who would be leading the affair, since most of them hadn't met before, but he was mostly focusing on the face to keep his mind off of other things. He chided himself for thinking of such carnal imagery when such important matters were being discussed, but he reasoned that retaining his sense of self was still important. It would always be important to not become a machine focused solely on revenge.

  9. It was his serendipitous fortune that Galdneiks had chosen the very table everyone was meeting at, otherwise he would never have joined in with the group now gathering there. Enemy of the state? The High Queen? His instincts told him that he should probably stay where he was, let the meeting gather around him, and find out more about what was going on outside his small city. One thing he'd already decided as the new Thane, he would never let his city become so isolated again.

    Grumbling to himself at his lack of height, Galdneiks was forced to kneel up and then stand on his chair to be able to see over the table, and for his arms to rest comfortably on it. He figured it wouldn't be very good manners to sit on the table, so he stood at it instead as he watched others gather, and accepted the half-pint of ale that he had ordered when he first came in. He admittedly felt quite chagrined that the server who brought him his drink found him so 'cute', and treated him a bit like a child or doll, ruffling his hair and all. But, ever polite, he ignored her unintentional offense and instead turned his attention to finding out who this enemy was. It could give him his first clue as to the identity of his uncle's murderer, for such a crime was practically unheard of in their county. So much so, in fact, that he knew he would never find any answers there.

    Galdneiks also idly wondered if taller chairs with a few ladder rungs on the side would be a helpful piece of furniture to the shorter races in the city. But first things first, he would like some information before the meeting began. He turned to the dwarf who'd seated himself next to him.

    "Excuse me, good sir, but if you would elucidate me to the purpose of this meeting? I have only now arrived in the city, and this is the first I've heard of an enemy of the state. My uncle, our city's Thane, was murdered nigh on two weeks ago, and I have come to Elumaja to seek assistance from the queen in finding his murderer." He decided that broadcasting his new position as Thane would be unwise for a few reasons, so he kept that information to himself.