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Author Topic: Wrath Of The Dragonkin  (Read 794 times)

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Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« on: June 10, 2018, 01:12:43 PM »
Vennar was a tall, raven-haired, middle-aged blacksmith who stood over an anvil, beating his newest sword into shape, occasionally looking over his shoulder towards the doorway to his forge. His friends had yet to arrive, and after what had happened to his brother he feared for them being out alone in the city.

He picked up the sword, giving it a few practice swings and smiling as he saw that it was perfect as usual. This one was intended for a special use however, one he had long expected to come but had still dreaded. He walked over to where a small painting of a beautiful young woman hung, kneeling down in front of it and closing his eyes for a moment, before looking up at the image.

"I am sorry Ainur," he said quietly. "I have failed you. I promised I would stay out of the wars that scarred this world, but now I fear I have no choice in the matter, I see no other option anymore."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 05:57:03 PM »
There was a silence around him as he quietly packed his bag. There was silence in his mind and silence in the room. Luca packed lightly but efficiently for a weekend hunt to bring back game. It wasn’t something that they entirely relied on. His family was wealthy enough to buy fresh cut meat from the butcher, but Luca considered it a well worth hobby to entertain himself every now and then.

It was sometimes dangerous though and he could feel the tension in the room build as he packed. No one could tell him otherwise. Orc patrols liked to walk through the forests he hunted and they weren’t entirely fond of humans. It had never worried Luca. He was a fair fighter, but an ambush was always a possible outcome.

As he was packing his bags he checked all of his equipment. A low mumble escaped his breath as he checked the sharpness of his hunting knife. There was a niche in the blade. He had let a friend borrow it for their own hunting trip. It was just like them to not report the break back to him.

Luca turned around, slinging his bag over his shoulder. “I’m headed to the blacksmith. Guess I’ll need to get a new hunting knife.” He had the money, but it wasn’t something he would have preferred to spend it on. Rhyse would owe him later. With goodbyes being said, Luca headed out the door. The blacksmith wasn’t a long walk in terms of the trip he was about to make, and he had to have the hunting knife. There wasn’t really an option.

He opened the door, the metal hinges squeaking loudly. He cursed the intrusion to himself as he saw the man kneeling at the floor. “Sorry, I can come back.” Luca hesitated though. He really needed the knife.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 06:24:10 PM »
"My apologies," Vennar said, standing up and turning to face him. You are welcome into my forge, what may I interest you in?" He studied the newcomer closely, wondering if he was a suitable choice to wield the sword, but realising it was impossible to tell at that moment in time. Just as he was indicating a seat for the man to take, the door swung open again, and an aged woman in a long grey cloak stepped into the room. "Carolina, what have I taught you about knocking before you enter?"

"If you didn't want me in the house you'd have done a better job of keeping the door shut," the woman said, laughing, before turning to look at Luca. "You chose a good candidate to go north Vennar, have you told him the plan yet?"

"I haven't chosen anything," Vennar replied angrily. "This is a complete coincidence, this man barely knows me, why would he be going north for any reason?"

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 06:32:04 PM »
Luca gave a half effort smile before taking a seat and reaching into his pocket for his silver pieces. "I just need a decent hunting knife. If not the one I have needs fixing, but I leave today for--"

The door to the shop swung open and Luca turned his head to meet the gaze of an elderly woman cloaked in gray. Her words made him switch his gaze back to the blacksmith, his jaw dropped a little in his confusion. "Sorry, what? I mean I am going north but just to hunt. I think you've got the wrong person." Luca hesitated, setting his hands on the table as he took out a few pieces of coin for a new blade.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 06:51:37 PM »
"See Carolina," Vennar said, preparing the fresh metal. "He's not going anywhere near there, we'll have to look elsewhere."

"Then who is going to Vennar?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "You are too ill, my days of adventuring ended many moons ago, and most of the resistance are dead, in one of Myraz's prisons and too scared to leave their house. If we could get your bro..." The words died on her lips as she saw the tears in Vennar's eyes. "Vennar, I didn't know, I'm so sorry."

"It doesn't matter," Vennar said, bringing his hammer down hard against the blade. "Myraz has won Carolina, I'm not risking my life for this."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 07:31:59 PM »
Luca felt emotion rising in the room and the conversation that was happening between the two put a knife in his stomach. He heard the words and a cold sweat ran down his temple. "You're with the resistance?" He stood up from his chair, hands planted firmly on the table.

He had heard little to nothing of a resistance, only that there was one but it was small. Luca had heard of their attempts to bring an end to the king's reign. Usually, talk about the resistance or even thinking about betraying the king was a death sentence. This struck fear in most people, but Luca found himself honored to be in their presence.

"You can't just give up." Luca thought of all of the people Myraz has killed. He was a ruthless king and it was an injustice to let him sit on the throne. The thought made his blood boil. "If you had a way to take him down why don't you?" The man paused, sitting back down. Perhaps he was out of place to say such things.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 06:01:37 AM »
"If it was that simple, don't you think someone would've done it before?" Vennar snapped at him, managing to stop the hammer falling again as he realised the blade might snap due to the amount of force.

"Vennar, allow me," Carolina said, resting a hand on Vennar's arm. "He is not our enemy, getting angry at him will not help anyone." She offered Vennar a small smile as he seemed to relax, before turning to Luca. "Tell me, how much do you know of the story of Myraz's rise to power? I'm one of the few that does know, but as the city historian it is part of my job to know such details."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 01:57:25 PM »
Luca stood his ground, his eyes peering at the man as he snapped at his jumpy response to their seemingly private conversation. He settled as the older woman spoke to him.

He had heard stories of Myraz as a child and the cruelties of his reign. He had even seen some of it first hand, but much of what he had been told were stories to scare children or tales that were told to give lessons of life. Talking illy about the king wasn't something that was done regularly. The people knew better than to curse his name. Luca shook his head and shrugged. "Does anyone?" he questioned blankly. "He's been in reign for as long as anyone can remember," he paused, his jaw clenching, "I know him mostly for his cruelty though."

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 02:45:20 PM »
"Myraz should have died a century ago," Vennar said as he set to work again. "He shouldn't have been a king ever, nevermind now."

"Before Myraz there was a tyrant possibly more evil even than him," Carolina said, taking a seat. "Somehow he had access to an artefact of the dragons, which gave him access to magic no human could match. In desperation Myraz made his way to Dragonblight and begged the lord of the dragons for his aid. He promised that in return the stolen relic would be returned to them, so an army marched south."

"But at the point where they could have won, Myraz betrayed the dragons," Vennar said. "He took the relic as his own, and when the dragon lord attempted to stop him he turned the relic on him and slew him. He even used it to threaten the dragon's son, forcing him to retreat. But not before the new lord of the dragons promised his kin would march south again one day, at which point Myraz would pay for the crime he had committed."

"No dragon has been seen in 150 years since," Carolina said. "Which means if we are to ask Stormrider for help we will need to go to them. But that is no simple task."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2018, 03:03:17 PM »
Luca leaned back into his seat. A lot of this had always been just stories to him. The woman seemed to know what she was talking about and as a historian she had no reason to lie or falsify anything. The man didn't doubt her information, but the idea that the stories were actually true puzzled him.

"Are we even sure that Stormrider will help after all of this time? If dragons are still around, would they risk their existence by revealing themselves to Myraz again?" He crossed his arms over his shoulder. An alliance was an alliance, but are humans even worth that much to the dragons? What if they went to Stormrider only to have their request denied?

"This artifact," he leaned forward sternly, "is that what has given Myraz life for so long? He'll die without it, right?" Luca wanted to hear the truth so desperately and it showed clearly on his face.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 04:25:23 PM »
"If we don't try now there won't be anyone left to try," Vennar said with a sigh. "Most people won't even leave their houses after dark, they're not going to gamble on a dangerous journey north."

"Trying to directly attack him would be risky," Carolina said after a moment's thought. "If you think it is the right choice I can hardly stop you, but a lord of Dragonblight...the mightiest of their kind have been said to be capable of destroying an army single-handedly, if Myraz can slay one I would think very carefully before taking him on in a straight fight."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2018, 04:55:22 PM »
Luca shifted in his seat with curiosity. "If a head-on approach won't work, then what do you suggest?"

They seemed to have missed his question regarding Myraz's extended lifespan, but Luca was smart enough to put the pieces together. They needed to get the amulet away from him if they would even have a chance. He couldn't help but wonder how the Resistance would even be able to approach Myraz. He was the king, after all, and incredibly powerful. "You must have some sort of secret weapon or tactic?" He looked towards Vennar.

Luca had only come here for a knife, but he found himself intrigued at the trumpets of an upcoming war. He was a fighter and it showed in his attitude and build.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2018, 05:20:17 PM »
"You didn't answer his question Carolina," Vennar said, giving her a disapproving look.

"When you're 73 I would be amazed if you're memory is as good as mine," she said with a sigh. "If you could get the relic away from him...I don't know if it would kill him instantly, but it would certainly make him easier for you to kill. I believe there are those who would be willing to help you, I even have..." she stopped, loud noises emanating from beyond the doorway causing Vennar to grab his blacksmith's hammer and opening the door. "What is it Venn?"

"Myraz's men are out in the streets," he replied, grimacing. "If anyone's going, it's going to have to be tonight."

"What do you say?" Carolina asked, turning to Luca. "I can't get you to the dragons, but I can at least give your journey a head start."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2018, 05:54:10 PM »
Luca's head shot towards the door, and he stood slowly as Vennar seemed defensive by the noises. He turned back to the woman as she spoke, but his eyebrows crinkled at her next request. Luca paused, he'd only come here to purchase a new knife. This wasn't at all what he had planned for the coming week. "I..." He hesitated, "There's no one else?"

He looked back at them, but as he heard the soldiers fumbling around outside, his heart stood. Luca nodded, "I'm not at all prepared for this. I don't have a sword or any armor." He slung his bag over his shoulder, rummaging through it to recount what he had packed for what he thought was going to be a simple weekend of hunting game.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2018, 06:01:50 PM »
"I have supplies," Carolina said, offering him a warm smile. "I feared this would happen so I made sure if someone was going to travel they'd have something to take with them."

"The sword," Vennar said, taking his freshly forged blade and handing it to Luca. "In my younger days I'd have wielded it myself, I am sure it will be able to aid you in all but the most dire of conflicts. I can even give you a sheath." He left the room for a moment, returning with a sheath for Luca.

"If you're ready, my cart is outside," Carolina said. "Get under the cover at the back, do nothing till I come out. Vennar and I must speak before we leave."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2018, 06:05:06 PM »
The bit of Luca's stomach knotted. This wasn't some simple trip. This was the beginning of a siege, an overthrow. He was now caught in the middle of a rather large movement that he had never before been a part of.

Luca graciously accepted the sword, eyeing the masterwork before putting in its sheath. The clank was familiar to him, but it made his knees quiver. He nodded, following his directions and crawling underneath the cover of the wagon. His breath was still, and outside he could hear people passing, murmuring their conversations to close ears. The soldiers were causing everyone to become nervous, and Luca too found his heart beating rather quickly.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2018, 06:23:56 PM »
After a few moments Carolina exited the forge, pulling her hood over her face as she climbed onto the front of the wagon, pretending to calm the horses so no-one would notice her speaking to Luca.

"That cover is enchanted with Elven runes," she said quietly. "As long as you're under it, and you don't make a noise, no-one will be able to tell you're there. I will tell you when it is safe to exit the wagon again." With that she nudged the horses into action, feeling relief that the soldiers seemed too concerned with enforcing curfew to notice her wagon. They went unnoticed till they reached the gates, where two guards stepped in front of them. "Captain Agarna, you've been avoiding me."

"Mistress...Lady Carolina," the taller of the two soldiers said, looking thoroughly flustered. "My apologies, the King's orders are to search any vehicles entering or leaving the city." He signalled the other guard to take a look at the back. "What sends you out of the city at this hour of night?"

"You know the farmers around here Captain," Carolina said, chuckling. "They do not always request supplies at convenient times." After a few moments the other guard returned, shaking his head.

"My apologies milady," Agarna said, bowing deeply. "Good luck." With that he signalled someone on the wall above, the gates opening to allow them through.

"It's a good thing he's an old pupil of mine," he said as they plunged into the darkened countryside. She went flat out, only stopping when they reached the edge of a large, dark forest. "You can get out now Luca, I have a pair of relics to help you, and one potentially life-saving piece of advice to give."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2018, 10:11:24 PM »
Luca nodded as if it would help.  Carolina wouldn't know if he was confirming that he understood. The wagon moved forward and the bumps were unsettling at first. He remained still and quiet until he was told he could exit the cart.

Luca lifted the sheet, looking around into the darkness of the night. He turned his gaze to the older woman, "Where are we now?" It was too dark for him to tell.

He could no longer see the town and all around him was the darkness of a silent forest edge, fields rolling from the other side. It couldn't have been to the south or the west. Vennar had mentioned north. That was his only guess but the darkness made it hard to orientate himself.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2018, 05:11:37 AM »
"This is the Forest of Shadows," she said, nodding to the line of trees. "The sheer size of this place means few even attempt to cross it, nevermind succeed in getting to the other side."

She rummaged around in the back of the cart, pulling out a scabbard which seemed to glimmer with the sheen of innumerable gems. From within the sheath she drew a sword which glowed in the moonlight, strange writing just visible along its blade.

"The Dawnhammer Blade," Carolina said, a note of awe in her voice. "A product of some of the greatest Elven smiths to have ever lived, once this was the symbol of an alliance of all races against a great evil." She sheathed the blade again, walking over to Luca and handing it to him. "As far as I know those old alliances are not dead yet, there are those who may be more willing to listen if you carry this blade."

She walked back to the cart, returning with a necklace on the end of which hung a blood red gem.

"A Dragonsblood Gem," she said, placing it in his hand. "If you believe the old tales they contain literal dragon's blood, but I can neither confirm nor deny it, but I can tell you they are extraordinarily rare. This is the only one of the six known gems that I am aware of the location of. It serves two purpose: it enables you to understand dragonspeak, and vice versa, without a lifetime of studying books, and it will glow when there is a dragon nearby, even if you cannot see them with your own eyes." She gave the forest a wistful look. "Be careful Luca, there are reasons no sane person sets foot in that forest. Keep to the path, do not under any circumstances step off it. And if you happen to cross paths with one of the Elven Rangers who guard this place, tell them Carolina sent you, they will know you are trustworthy."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2018, 05:23:23 AM »
His eyes glimmered at the blade that was presented to him. Awe colored his face as he attempted to read the text etched within the metal. It was no use though. The language was ancient, so ancient that they only looked like the scribbles of a child to him. He could not even guess it's origins. He grasped the hilt and resheethed it and secured it at his side. It was heavy, and well made.

Carolina returned with a gemmed necklace. Luca was not from a poor family.  He recognized wealth in objects and this one in particular was worth more than he had ever held . He carefully accepted it, letting the metal chain pool into his hand. He stared into the gem with awe before placing it around his neck.

His eyes turned to the dark forest before him. Luca swallowed the lumo in his throat and felt it bottom out to his stomach like a rock sinking to the bottom of a well. There wasn't any turning back now.

"My family. You'll make sure they're cared for?" He thought of them with a heavy heart. He had not even said a goodbye. There had been little time.

(Sorry for any mistakes. Typed on phone)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 05:25:38 AM by Willow Sol »

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2018, 07:16:40 AM »
"I'm not sure what you expect an aged librarian to do," she said, letting out a chuckle before offering him a sweet smile. "I will do whatever I can." There was a howl that seemed something akin to a wolf that emanated from somewhere deep within the forest, causing Carolina to pull her cloak tighter around her. "You will excuse me if I do not linger any longer, even out here I have a distinct feel of unease."

Unknown to either a pair of eyes were watching them from beneath the boughs of the trees, a brief glimpse of something glinting in the darkness the only indication it might not be an animal.

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2018, 01:28:05 PM »
A shiver crept down the back of Luca's spine at the howl and instinct had him clutch the hilt of his sword. He had heard wolves howling all his life, but never one so menacing. He nodded to the elderly lady, "Anything is appreciated," He was aware she wouldn't be able to help as much as he could, but his worry for his family was always present.

Luca turned to the darkness of the forward and pressed through the leaves. His eyes had adjusted the darkness of the night and the light of the full moon squeezed through the crowns of the trees. He could see enough to safely make his way over stumps and fallen branches. A cold sweat is the only thing that bothered him. He could feel inhuman eyes resting on him, but from where he couldn't say. He kept his hand on the hilt of his sword as he pressed forward.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2018, 02:54:49 PM »
There was a figure following him, wrapped in a long green cloak with a hood pulled over its face. It held a bow in one hand, and a quiver full of green-fletched arrows was slung over one shoulder. It stopped suddenly, knocking an arrow to its bow and pointing it in Luca's direction, but he wasn't its target. Stalking towards him through the undergrowth was the shadowy form of a wolf, but just as the wolf pounced it fell onto the path, an arrow pierced through its neck. Almost immediately another arrow was on the string, now pointed at Luca.

"Who dares trespass on the sacred ground of Ale'thale?" the figure called out. "Speak quickly, I am not known for missing my target."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2018, 03:05:14 PM »
The undergrowth rustled behind Luca and with a switch motion, he unsheathed his sword, spinning around to see the jaws of a snarling wolf lunging toward him. He had prepared to strike the beast but as he brought up his sword the strike, the wolf fell flat at his feet. An arrow sat halfway pierced through its neck. Luca looked up, his sword lifted defensively as he saw a cloaked figure approach. The bow in the being's hand pointed at Luca's face.

There was little time for hesitation. He could sense bloodlust in the eyes that stared at him. They were fierce and serious. He removed his hand from his hilt to show his compliance. His heart stuttered. He couldn't be sure if the being in front of him could be trusted or not. Giving away his purpose of traveling could prove dangerous. Luca kept his answer as vague as possible. "I am unaware this land was sacred. I don't mean any harm. Carolina: does the name mean anything to you?" He eyes the cloaked being cautiously for any hint at a recognition of the name.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2018, 03:38:23 PM »
"Caro..." the figure started saying, before laughing. "Oh Carolina, you never fail to surprise me." The figure returned the arrow to its quiver, putting the bow back over its shoulder. A pair of gauntleted hands reached up to the hood, pulling it back to reveal...a female elf with pale white skin, long silvery hair flowing past her shoulders. A set of daggers and a sword were visible hidden away in her tunic.

"My name is Ariadne," the elf said, offering a gauntleted hand. "I know Carolina well enough to know she would not send anyone into this forest without good reason, what could possibly bring you here that desperately."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2018, 03:55:33 PM »
The man's broad shoulders relaxed. The lighthearted laugh coming from the cloaked stranger gave him a sense of ease as the tension in the surrounding forest was released. The woman revealed herself and gave him a name. Without hesitation, Luca reached out to shake the metal covered hands of the she-elf. He gave a slight nod of the head, "Good to know her name means something even in a forest such as this."

Luca hesitated unsure of where to start. He bent down to remove the arrow from the fallen wolf, eyeing her marksmanship. Cleaning the blood off of the head of the arrow, he spoke, "She's sending me to request aid from Stormrider." He peered up at her, gauging her reaction before returning to the arrow in his hands. "I'm Luca." He wiped the blood away with fallen leaves and then stood, handing it back to her to reuse. It had not broken and was still perfectly usable. "You wouldn't happen to know anything that, would you?"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2018, 04:53:39 PM »
"Stormrider?" she asked, returning the arrow to her quiver and swearing under her breath. "She's not just asking you to go for a quick stroll, you have no idea what you're walking into do you?" Her eyes caught sight of the Dawnhammer Blade, a glint of recognition visible in her eyes.

Suddenly another howl rang through the forest, making even Ariadne visibly jump.

"Damnit, I forgot they hunt in packs," she said, thinking quickly. "You can't stay on the path tonight, the shadow wolves are...temperamental at the best of times." She thought for a few moments. "You can come back to my camp, it's as close to a safe place in this forest as any."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2018, 08:04:05 PM »
Yes. He knew. It was a lot of Carolina to ask but was there really anyone else who could do it? According to Vennar, no one was exactly jumping from their seat to offer themselves to the task. Luca was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he would never leave the fates to play themselves out. If they weren't able to find anyone else in time who knows when they would have gotten another chance.

He shrugged, "There wasn't anyone else."

Skeptical, Luca considered the woman's offer. The howls in the distance swayed him to accept her offer. He nodded. It would be safer within four walls than outside in an area he knew little to nothing about. "Very well." Luca began to follow her, his hand on his hilt, weary of the night calls.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2018, 03:20:12 AM »
She picked a path through the trees, being careful to pay any attention to the sound of approaching animals. She only stopped when they reached a small clearing, something akin to a small camping ground, with a hammock strung between two trees. Ariadne shrugged her bow and quiver off, before slipping out of her cloak too. She was dressed in a brown tunic with dark blue trousers, several daggers and a large sword contained in various belts. She then walked to the edge of the clearing, raising her hands and beginning to mutter something under her breath. She only stopped once she had walked around the entire perimeter of the camp.

"If shadow wolves develop the capability to break Elven charms then my bow will be useless," she said, sighing as she turned to face Luca. "That blade you carry, Carolina gave it to you, didn't she?"

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2018, 08:16:52 PM »
Luca removed the sword from its hilt, eyeing the strange markings that were etched into the shining metal. He nodded, though he wasn't sure of the significance. However, her bringing it up made him start to wonder. "How would this sword be any better than your bow at stopping the shadow wolves?"

Truthfully, Luca knew very little about shadow wolves. They were not something people often ran into on their trek through the forest. This forest was different though. It wasn't a safe hunting forest. Dark things lied within the darkness of the overgrowth than on the paths that he typically hunted on. Most of what he knew were read through old texts or through the stories of the passerby who traveled through his village.

Luca took a seat, relieving his heavy pack from his shoulders and settling himself on a small stump. "How do you know Carlina, anyhow?" He looked up at Ariadne curiously.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2018, 04:09:47 AM »
"Carolina and I go back a long way," Ariadne replied. "She got lost in this forest one day and I rescued her, and our friendship developed from there. She tells me what is going on in the city, and I tell her what knowledge I have of the lands north of this forest."

She sat down on the ground, resting her back against one of the tress with a slight wince.

"As for that blade," she said. "I...I have not told you my full name." She took off one of her gauntlets, revealing a bracelet covered in similar runes to the sheath the Dawnhammer Blade was placed in. "My name is Ariadne Dawnhammer, that blade was forged for my grandfather."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2018, 05:54:08 PM »
Luca shifted, rubbing the tips of his fingers over the blade. Nothing seemed to shock him anymore. It seemed to him that everything was falling into place in odd ways. The pieces fit and somehow he had his own place in the puzzle. "These markings," Luca handed her the sword, "What do they mean?"

He had never heard of the Dawnhammer name, but he didn't particularly pay attention to things of that nature. Luca was a simple man but it seemed as though his life would only become more and more complicated starting now. Carolina and the blacksmith made sure of that.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2018, 10:31:33 AM »
"I'm afraid these runes are far too old for me to understand," Ariadne said, having made a few attempts to make sense of them. "Besides, I haven't been back to my homeland...in longer than I care to consider." She handed the blade back to him. "I am no warrior, I am ill-suited to carry a blade such as this."

She had to stop herself from letting out a yawn.

"If I'm going to help you get out of this forest it would be a bad idea to do so at this hour," she said. "Take the hammock, I spend most nights sleeping on the floor so it makes no difference to me whether I lie there."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2018, 10:01:35 PM »
Luca took the blade and placed it back in its sheath. It was worth a try, but he honestly didn't expect much of asking her to read it. He shook his head, "It's fine. I'm just trying to make sense of all of this," he admitted with a yawn. He was honestly beginning to get tired himself, though he did feel off about taking the hammock. If she hadn't insisted he would have taken the ground without question. "Very well." He thanked her for the hospitality and rested himself in the hammock.

It didn't take long for him to fall asleep with his tired eyes, and morning came quicker than he had expected. He lifted himself from the hammock and reached for his bag, removing a piece of wrapped bread and breaking off a piece. He hadn't eaten the night before and his stomach was eating at itself for food.

(Had family in town, late reply.)

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2018, 04:20:24 AM »
(no worries, family needs to come first sometimes)

She woke up before him, only the thinnest strands of sunlight managing to penetrate the forest canopy. She felt the need to freshen up before their journey, and knew where there was a small lake nearby she could use to wash, leaving her tunic behind with a note marked 'I have not gone far, if any emergencies occur just shout, I will hear you.'

In amongst the possessions she had left behind, hanging on one of the branches of the tree she had slept under, was a small golden locket, which was usually hidden under her tunic and cloak. Inside was not a picture of Ariandne, or even of her family, but of an unusual looking young woman with red hair.

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2018, 04:26:21 AM »
Luca lifted the note as he forced down some of the dry bread. Ariandne could have gone anywhere, but he trusted her enough to fend for herself after the way she had handled the wolf when they first met. The camp was empty and a fire pit in the center was all ash, burned down and cold. He searched some of the camp in an attempt to find wood but had no luck.

Something else entirely caught his eye. A pendant hunt on a nearby branch next to Ariandne's cot. Luca couldn't help but look at it. He could recognize her but not the woman next to Ariandne in the picture. He lifted it with his hands, studying it closely.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2018, 07:41:24 AM »
"She is...was someone important to me," Ariadne said, reappearing dressed in a knee-length white dress. "I can't be with her anymore so I keep her close to my heart as the next best thing." She pulled her tunic on, fastening It up once again.

"Do you wish to know the route we're going to take?" she asked, walking over to where a scroll could just be seen protruding from a hollow in the ground. "I would like to come with you...if you will allow me."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2018, 08:53:48 PM »
Luca lowered his head at the change of tense and obvious hurt in her tone. He knew what it was like to lose loved ones. His sympathy went to her. "I am sorry to hear that."

He hesitantly nodded. He had not expected to have company for his travels, but it was a relief to hear that he would not be alone in this journey. "I-I would be honored" his face lit up. "I'm afraid I didn't come well prepared for this. Carolina really sprung this on me." He laughed awkwardly, "I just went in to buy a new hunting knife." Now that he thought of it though he never did get a new one.  "You seem to know these forests well, how long have you wandered them?" Luca began to gather his things.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2018, 04:02:41 AM »
"She is the reason I want to help," she said, taking the locket back from him, hanging it around her neck again. "I can't prove it for certain, but I am sure Myraz was responsible for her death, even if he didn't do it himself."

She pondered his question for a moment.

"I've been in this forest long enough I don't even know how long it's been," she replied. "It does mean I know the quickest way out of here...relatively speaking anyway. But we won't be able to take it by foot, we'd be in this forest for days if we tried that. Luckily there is a man I know not far from here who has horses that travellers can borrow when they need them."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2018, 03:31:42 PM »
A fire burned in him. He understood the hate for Myraz. It was one of the reasons he even agreed to go on this journey. He hadn't come to regret that decision so far and he honestly hoped that his heart stayed in the right place. As he looked at Ariadne he tried to remember the hate he felt. If he should ever think about giving up, he needed to remember the hurt that the king had reigned over.

Horses. Horses would be nice. He finished gathering his supplies and forced himself to swallow the rest of the bread, taking a gulp of water from a water skin he had brought. "You seem to have a lot of connection," he said dryly, slinging his satchel over his shoulder. "Are you a part of the resistance or just offer help when needed?" He gestured that he was ready to go when she was, and would follow her lead.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2018, 04:55:53 PM »
"I simply monitor this forest," she said, laughing slightly. "The reason I know about this man is because he's the only human brave, or foolish, enough to make a home in this forest. I took it upon myself to make sure he is safe, to the best of my abilities anyway."

She picked up her sword, buckling it to her belt, before picking up the bow and arrows. It was only in the light of day that it was clear one of the arrows had black feathers, rather than the green the others carried.

"I think we should set out," she said, passing him the backpack. "We need to at least get out of this forest by nightfall, and we have no sunlight to tell us how late things are getting."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2018, 11:03:25 PM »
Luca nodded, setting out after her, his eyes taking note of the separate colored arrow. He knew that marked arrows could often be laced with some sort of magic or poison, but he had never seen it used outside of hunting. He had once laced an arrow when there was word of a large bear roaming the woods. A normal arrow would have done little good, the laced would have secured his safety. Neither of them was hunting though, so it piqued his curiosity. "Mind if I ask why the black arrow?"

For the most part, Luca tried to stay out of others way and he left most of his curiosity to fester, but with all of the new information being thrown at him he found that questions were the only way to keep going. The more he began to ask the more he wanted to know.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2018, 04:47:31 AM »
"There is a tradition among my kin," she replied. "Or at least among rangers anyway. It states that if someone takes the life of one you love, then you pick one of your arrows marked as a way to exact...I suppose you might call it vengeance." She pulled the arrow from the quiver, revealing one that other than the feathers was almost identical to the others. "I would not advise touching the point of this arrow, it is laced with a...potent venom, one from the islands I once called home."

She threw her cloak over her shoulders, completing her look from the night before, any hint of vulnerability vanishing in an instant.

"I should warn you, my friend keeps a horse especially for me," she said, chuckling. "She is...unique, if any other rider tried to bend her to their will they would find themselves sat on their backsides in moments."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2018, 10:19:52 PM »
Luca could understand the want for vengeance. It was human nature more than anything and the hurt of having a loved one taken was something that was not easily mended. He was silent as he listened to her, but took her warning with seriousness. He knew how fast some poisons could take down rather large creatures. Luca wasn't as large as some of the beasts he had seen downed with a tipped arrow.

He smiled with a slight chuckle, but kept his eyes on the forest in front of him. His uncle had a horse that was as wild as any. As a boy he'd always wanted to tame it, but its heart was set on his uncle and no one else. Again, he could understand. "I'll keep my distance," he said with another chuckle that escaped only as air through his nostrils. He looked at her curiously. Horses weren't something that most people just...handed out to borrow. "How much is it ti borrow the horse?" His pockets felt empty through his leather pants. Luca hoped she had some answer for the cost.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2018, 05:08:20 AM »
"If you're with me, nothing," she replied. "The first time I borrowed the horse I offered him money, but he said he had no need of it in the forest, as long as the horses make their way home that is all the payment he requires."

She closed her eyes for a moment, uttering something in Elvish under her breath, and for a brief time there was a shimmer around the camp, before it vanished.

"I'm sure Carolina said not to step off the path," she said, setting off. "But as long as you don't lose sight of me you should be fine."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2018, 02:01:13 AM »
He assumed her words were some sort of cloaking spell to ward enemies from the camp. True, he had not often seen the likes of magic and for a brief moment he found himself staring in wonder. His village wasn't known for its excess in magical beings being mostly farmers and simple foot soldiers. That being said with a resistance hiding within its midst it was no wonder someone like Carolina would have as many connections as she had mysteries about her.

Whether Carolina had mentioned it or not wasn't something that struck Luca as important. Staying on the path was something that had always seemed the smart thing to do, or at least stay within sight of it. He nodded, his hand fiddling with the amulet at his neck. He considered himself lucky to have a guide of sorts. He honestly thought he would have been venturing most of this mission by himself. Someone who could shoot an arrow was a great asset. Luca wasn't the best with bows, but he could strike true with a good sword.

The man followed closely to Carolina, his hand resting on the hilt of his blade as he stepped over various fallen limbs. He kept his footsteps light and the path within the corner of his vision. "How long of a walk is it to your friend?" His eyes stayed fixated on the path before him and his ears open for both her and any unfriendly crunches of leave in the distance.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2018, 07:53:24 AM »
"It's not too far," Carolina replied, weaving her way through the undergrowth until they reached a large clearing. It was dominated by a large, one-storey building, and there was a faint neighing sound audible from somewhere nearby. "Follow me," she said, approaching the door cautiously, before gently knocking on the door. There was no noise from the house however. "Arla," she called out, "I know there's nothing wrong with your hearing, how about you come and say hello?"

"Ariadne?" came a gruff voice. After a few moments a lock could be heard being undone, and the door opened to reveal an aged man in a red apron, his milk-white eyes hinting at his blindness. He reached out, Ariadne pulling him into a hug as he let out a chuckle. "It's been too long old friend, it's good to see you again."

"Interesting choice of words all friend," Ariadne said, chuckling, before turning to Luca. "This is Arla, he has lived here as long as I can remember, if he didn't have us to keep an eye on him however I'm not sure how easily he'd survive here."

Offline Willow Sol

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2018, 12:16:34 AM »
This must have been the horse owned that she had spoken of. He was a lot farther along than Luca had imagined but he still seemed spritely even with his hazed eyes. Having known a blind man or two, Luca wasn’t taken aback by the oddities and didn’t hesitate to step forward to introduce himself.

Luca reached forward, grasping the old man’s hand gently and giving it a two-handed shake. “Pleasure, sir.” The man looked at the blind fellow. He seemed quite capable living out here in the woods, which Luca suspected from the lack of other noises coming from the home or another person answering the door, that he lived alone. He couldn’t imagine Arla getting many visitors and if he got any at all he suspected they weren’t often friendly as was he and Ariadne.

He mused to himself over the easy going attitude between the two as they seemed to bounce off of each other’s humor.

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: Wrath Of The Dragonkin
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2018, 04:46:03 AM »
"You're here for the horses aren't you?" Arla asked, raising an eyebrow and laughing. "I know a ranger would pay me a social visit, but a traveller wouldn't go this far out of the way to say hello. She's been missing you Ari."

"It has been a while since I last visited here," Ariadne said, as Arla lead them round to a small paddock at the back of the house. Two of its occupants were little different to the steeds who had driven Carolina's cart, but the eye was almost certainly drawn to the paddock's other occupant: a black horse almost half as tall again as its stablemates, with legs which seemed almost pure muscle, and a shock of silver hair forming its mane. The horse suddenly moved as Ariadne approached, the two greeting each other as if they were long lost friends.

"You are one of the few living humans to have seen a horse like her," Arla said to Luca. "She is called Silver, once the Elven steeds she descends from were spread all over these lands, now most are either dead or fled south when the Elves returned to their homelands. Your companion is about the only person, other than me, Silver will even allow close enough to touch her. The other horses would be far more welcoming to you though, whatever your level of riding skill may be."