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Author Topic: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)  (Read 713 times)

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Offline KaylaMTopic starter

Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« on: November 13, 2010, 09:21:49 AM »
For the dozenth time today, Kelarie cursed herself, her own greed and her own stupidity. She trudged along the ragged path through the jungle, sweat pouring down her brow as she did. Despite the thick canopy overhead which reduced the sun to isolated patches of light streaming through the gaps in the foliage, the jungle was oppressively, almost brutally, hot and humid. And despite the wall of greenery around her, nature at its most fierce and untamed, she was growing to hate it.

It was her own stupid fault she was here. It was not that she doubted her abilities, not at all. Tall and muscular, but still maintaining obvious femininity in spite of it, she was every inch a warrior. Her short, scruffy black hair and deep blue eyes spoke of a certain ferocity and determination, one that was determined not to fail under what should be a trivial challenge. Her leather armour, designed for mobility just as much as protection further underscored the point, as did the massive greatsword slung across her back.

Despite her obvious determination, she was hating the jungle and all that dwelt within it. While she’d had no encounters with wild beasts or other denizens of the green expanse,  she found the constant streams of insects to be annoyance enough. They seemed to find every crack, every seam in her amour and crawl inside to bite and sting, or simply buzz around her head like the pestilence they were.

But above all else, it was herself that she hated. She had chosen to come here, to trudge through this unending green hell. All of that had come off a hunch, a suspicion, a lead she’d been given and decided to follow up. One that, the more she thought about it, the more likely it was that she was being lead on a futile quest.

But I have come this far. Why should I give up now?

Offline Boudicca

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 10:03:11 AM »
One of the advantages to having control of the elements was that irritating things as minor as the heat were easy enough to dispel, as were the leaves and vines that so often got in his way as Loch followed the ominous figure of Kelarie through the jungle. It was better to have her leading the way, cutting a swathe with her impressive stature and superior musculature; being of the magical persuasion himself, he’d never quite seen the need to do things as menial as working out to get himself buff. Why should he? He had magic to do most everything for him, and as a result his slender frame looked rather puny in comparison to his questing partner’s.

His own outfit might have frustrated him more, if he hadn’t worked a simple spell on it to stop those annoying folds from clinging to him. Normally, Loch would wear the traditional robe appropriate to his status as a minor elemental mage, but it had proven far too impractical for such terrain as he found himself in now, so he’d swapped to something considerably less formal and that he wasn’t entirely sure that he was comfortable in: trousers. With a tunic, no less, the sleeves of which were cut off so that his pale, slender arms were exposed. Slung over one shoulder was his satchel, containing a never-ending supply of possibly essential bits and pieces, half of which he’d had no need for so far. Again, magic came in incredibly handy as he’d simply been able to use one of the most basic spells he knew to make enough room in his carry bag for everything but the kitchen sink.

Of course it had been extremely lucky for him to find someone like Kelarie to tag along with. He’d heard about the Cave of T’lazar and the supposed treasure within, and he’d used the lure of gold to bring this adventuring female in on his trek. What he hadn’t told her about, though, was the enchanted relic that was meant to occupy the cave as well – a trophy as ancient as the cave itself, according to lore, and one that would provide its owner with a power beyond their wildest dreams.

... but then again, didn’t all stories of such items run the same way? To Loch it didn’t matter; he’d been struggling at the Mage Academy, his powers hadn’t developed as they should have, and he was in very serious danger of being removed from the school entirely for simply not meeting standards. If he could get hold of this special trinket, and if it worked as it should, then he’d be in very good stead to pass his final exams and become a fully fledged mage.

For why would he need world domination, when he could simply get an A* grade?

Kelarie pushed past a particularly thick branch, which swung back and smacked him wetly in the chest, knocking him off his feet.

“Oof, Kel. Did you forget I’m back here, or something?” Loch grumbled as he picked himself up off the floor. Sometimes, he thought she simply forgot that there was a considerable difference between them, both in height and bulk.

Offline KaylaMTopic starter

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 04:43:54 PM »
“Sorry about that!” She shot back as she glanced over her shoulder at the mage following her. Loch looked to have injured his pride more than his face, but a branch was still a branch, and she should have been more careful. Her growing anger had gotten the better of her, resulting in her getting careless and more headstrong than usual.

Of course, he was also the reason she was out here in the first place. He’d come to her with his map and his idea, telling her of the treasure that it supposedly lead to. She’d agreed to travel with him, of course. Why wouldn’t she? Like any adventurer, she was in it for the wealth as much as she was in it for any other reason; excitement, action, a love of adventure or violence... at the end of the day, it really was about the money.

“So how much further is this cave of yours anyway?” She asked as she paused in her advance,  wiping the sweat from her brow. She had no idea how the mage was looking so calm and cool, but suspected that there was some magic in it. She was sweating like a pig out here, and her armour was only making things worse. Inwardly, she at least was glad that she was wearing leathers rather than the heavier chain she typically preferred; that would have been even more unbearable.

Reaching for her canteen, she paused a second as a crack, the sound of a snapping twig, reached her ear. It was in the jungle somewhere nearby. Something was moving out there, something that was not either of them. They were not alone.

Offline Boudicca

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 02:29:45 AM »
“Er...” How much further, indeed? Loch was by no means a navigator by traditional methods, and the crumpled map that he pulled from his pocket was testament to that fact. He pored over the creased parchment, absolutely oblivious to the sound  that had alerted Kelarie to some unknown presence.

“I think...” He turned the map this way and that, poking at it as if somehow their exact position amongst the lines and so on would become apparent. “Huh. Let me try this...”

Putting the map down onto the smoothest bit of ground he could find in their immediate vicinity, Loch then knelt beside it and hovered his hands over the battered guide. He muttered a word or two in hushed tones, his hands briefly glowed with a luminous green light, and then two tiny figures appeared on the map below them. One for each of them, his own was dwarfed by the far larger one that represented Kelarie.

“Ah, there we go. Nothing a bit of magic can’t fix, eh, Kel? Look, we’re so close – probably just another few kilometres or so in that direction there, and we’ll be there. I’m tired, though. Can’t we stop here for a spot of lunch? I’ll cook, of course. How about a good ol’ fry-up?” Another advantage of his magical skills; in that satchel of his, Loch had food enough to feed a small army and to satisfy any cravings he might have had. For such a small man, he certainly had an oversized appetite and he was constantly requesting that they stop to eat. In fact, if he walked as much as he prepared meals for them, then most likely they would have made it to the cave already.

Without waiting for an answer from Kelarie, he slung his bag off his shoulder and began setting about making them a spot of lunch.

Offline KaylaMTopic starter

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 05:25:29 AM »
In a moment after hearing the snap, Kelarie was glancing around, watching the forest around her for signs of movement, for some unseen attacker poised to strike. She was tensed and ready for battle, and expecting her companion to do the same. By her guess – she knew little of these things – Loch should be preparing spells or doing something sorcerous to prepare to meet their unseen foe.

What she had not expected was to see him sitting down with a map, casting some spell over it. The next thing she knew, a pair of glowing figures had appeared on it, brilliantly coloured against the weathered parchment. Blinking in surprise, she watched as he muttered something about distances, as if the figures on the map somehow were representing their places. It seemed impossible, but there were two of them, and one was a lot bigger then the other...

If that was not enough for her, he then proceeded to sit down while talking about food. She couldn’t help but be surprised; here he was in the middle of hostile jungle with an unseen foe stalking them and he wanted to have tea? Had he ever even been outside of some stupid sheltered mage tower? She was beginning to realise that the answer was almost certainly no.

“Are you insane?” She snapped. “Didn’t you hear that?” She gestured wildly at the jungle while her other hand gripped the hilt of her massive blade. “Don’t you realise what is going on?”

Offline Boudicca

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 12:49:59 AM »
Loch had been blissfully unaware of Kelarie’s attack stance, as was obvious in how he was speeding up the boiling of the water with the aid of a little magic. “Hear what, Kel?” Her tone was unmistakably irritated, and it made him look up as she swung her sword around in wild gesturing toward the dense vegetation. “I only heard the grumbling of my tummy, now you didn’t think that was something out there going to eat us, did you?”

He stood up with a reluctant sigh, and pressed his hands to his hips as he squinted through the foliage, trying to see whatever it was that had his adventuring partner so spooked. There was silence for a few moments, broken only by a screechy birdcall in the distance.

It was enough to make Loch jump, though.

“Oh, holy…”

And just after he spoke, he heard a twig snapping, in the direction that Kelerie had gesticulating so wildly before.

“Yeah, ok, I heard that one…” He began rolling up the sleeves of his tunic, taking up a defensive stance. “But I don’t know what’s happening. You sure it’s not just a deer or something? I’d feel awful stupid blitzing a deer with magic when all it’s doing it watching us… though I guess it would make for a good dinner…”

Offline KaylaMTopic starter

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 06:20:44 AM »
Inwardly thankful that he had at least acknowledged the situation, she turned and squinted at the woods. She was certain that there was something present, but for the life of her, she couldn’t see what it was. Right now, she figured it could be anything – a blood ape, a bandit, a tiger, a crazed trabal witch doctor looking for a sacrifice, a dire Wombat – anything.

“Here’s what we’re going to do, Loch.” She stated, an almost authoritative tone in her voice. “I’m going to approach this... thing... and see what it is. If it comes at me, if it’s dangerous, if it attacks us, whatever, then feel free to blast it into oblivion.”

She cautiously approached the jungle, sword outstretched, ready for whatever it may be. A part of her secretly wished it was dangerous, if only so it would relieve the boredom of this trudge through the jungle. Right now, she could use a good fight.

Offline Boudicca

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 11:18:13 AM »
“Oblivion. Right, got it.”

Loch rolled up his sleeves, preparing himself so that his hands were practically glowing with the energy stored up in them; he liked it when there was someone else to take control of the situation, because firstly he wouldn’t have had a clue what to do himself, and secondly, well, it was always good to have someone else to blame if it all went pear-shaped, right? So he was more than happy to let Kelarie order him around, just as he was more than happy to let her go first.

As she approached the edge of the clearing that they’d stopped in, he got even more nervous. What if whatever it was in there sprang out and attacked her, and he wasn’t able to ward it off? What if it got Kelarie, and he was all on his own? That thought certainly didn’t appeal to him, and with his nerves taking control he accidentally shot off a premature load of magic, sending a scorching ball to hit a tree just off to the side of where his companion stood.

“Well, that was embarrassing,” he whispered hoarsely, cringing more than just a little as he watched the embers flicker where the trunk was severely charred. “Sorry... won’t happen again. Maybe it scared the thing off?”

A rustling in the undergrowth suggested  that his hopeful little wish was far from granted.

Offline KaylaMTopic starter

Re: Of Swords and Sorcery (Boudicca and KaylaM)
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2010, 07:18:07 AM »
“Premature release?” Kelarie asked, her tension suddenly evaporating and instead replaced with dry sarcasm. “Tell me, Loch, does that happen to you a lot? You’re all tense and then suddenly something just spurts out like that?”

“Anyway!” She turned back to the forest, looking at the clump of trees. “Come out of there, who or whatever you are, or you shall get far, far worse!” She gripped her sword, standing at the ready for whatever it was that was lurking in there. In truth, she was spoiling for a fight; the long, hot trudge through the jungle had left her tired and  angry, and, at this point, a battle would be more a relief then anything else.

And then it finally came. The undergrowth at the edge of the forest exploded outwards in a cloud of green leaves, as a pair of figures burst forth, shouting. They were men, clad in tattered leathers, the lower halves of their faces covered with red cloths. Each one of them held a pair of longknives in their hands, a look of fierce determination in their eyes.

“Random bandits! I knew it!” She shouted out. “Now, Loch! Let them have it!”