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  #76  
Unread 26th of April, 2005, 07:54
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Heulwen

"Dead and buried," Heulwen states, voicing the obvious conclusion from what she sees.

Standing back up to look at the others, Heulwen notes their confusion and explains herself, "The tracks, they simply end here. They neither go further, nor double back, they simply end as if the girl vanished from the face of the earth. Or rather into the earth, the ground is disturbed, like some one had been digging, but without any sign of that I recognize as a tool or a digger. Besides that, there is the scent of death."

It would seem that their quest, if it could be called that, was in vain, but Heulwen waits for one of the others to voice that opinion.
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  #77  
Unread 28th of April, 2005, 06:43
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Aashya

"Dead." Aashya says the word as if she does not understand its meaning. "You think she's dead? How can she--? I mean, it doesn't make sense! Buried??"

She stares at the place that Heulwen points to, the disturbed earth. It's barely noticable as being different from the rest of the forest floor to her eyes. A little more uneven, that's all. And this is where the girl's tracks suddenly disappear?

"I don't understand. There's nothing here!"

She ends up speaking louder than she intended, and shuts her mouth abruptly when she realizes how her voice carries in the stillness. She whispers after that.

"Are you saying ........... that Elia is buried there?"
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  #78  
Unread 28th of April, 2005, 08:58
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Heulwen

"It would seem that way," Heulwen replies, "Unless you can think of another reason the girls tracks would just suddenly end in an area of disturbed earth?"

Turning her attention back to the tracks, Heulwen begins in the center of the disturbed area of ground and starts moving in an ever widening circle, looking for anything she might have missed.
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  #79  
Unread 28th of April, 2005, 12:58
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Aashya

"But.... how did she die then?" Aashya asks, almost begging Heulwen for a reasonable answer. "Wouldn't we see some sign of a struggle or something?" She watches the halfling begin to circle around the area of disturbed earth.

She can't be dead, just like that! She's only been missing a few hours..... Aashya stoops down to inspect the freshly dug topsoil, reluctantly reaching out to take a clod of dirt up in her hand.

Is this young Elia's grave?

She shudders. Who - or what - would do this thing? The farmer's words come back to her:

"They’ll find me. They know when you’re in there. . . . . I thought it would end with her mother, but it hasn’t. They want more. They need more..."

"Why kill her then bury her body here like this?"

Who are they?
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  #80  
Unread 30th of April, 2005, 04:21
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Aleina

Face maintaining the mask of calm, inwardly the channeler releases an imaginary breath. Delicately. She must proceed delicately here. Wracking her brain for some excuse to speak with him privately leaves her empty handed. She buys another moment.

"I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Yes, I would have been young then but as I said: I never knew him."

But there were so many things she needed to know. It was entirely possible that Callum had not inherited his father's information. And he might know nothing of Feyd or the words he had spoken. She had to find out. The woodsman had stressed privacy and even if he hadn't, the uncomfortable amount of eyes on her warranted discretion. Her manner slid easily into a disarming, frank, almost embarrassed tone.

"It was Garth -my uncle- who mentioned him, when he heard I was passing this way. He taught me a little about plants, you know. I brought some that he recommended for brewing with the ale, and I had thought to . . ."

Her pause is on the longish side. Give them to Kerrich is what she obviously meant to say, before she continues somewhat more rapidly.

"Well, I brought them as a gift. If you have a minute I could show you how to prepare them."
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  #81  
Unread 4th of May, 2005, 11:34
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Aleina

"Garth?" His brow furrows. "I knew a Garth once. He didn't like me much. That's probably because I dumped his shipment of ale in the river. Well, it's not my fault. He said he'd be better off drowning his sorrows..."

Callum loses himself in the memory for a moment before focusing again on Aleina. "Plants, eh? Well, I guess I can take a few moments. Not that anyone would notice me gone." He sighs. "Well, come on then."

He beckons Aleina back through the doorway that leads into the kitchen.

"Well? What plants did Garth send with you? I hope it's not poison. People try to poison me too much..."

Heulwen

Her search reveals little. Moving in a slow, outward spiral, Heulwen kept her head down. Studying the dirt and leaves and twigs, the halfling searches for any sign of passing. If someone walked on this ground, they hid it very well. But she does find one thing of note: a small wreath of river flowers. The stems have been carefully interwoven, with the flowers designed to stretch from one temple to the other, but the right side has been torn.

It seems Elia won't be wearing this again.
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  #82  
Unread 4th of May, 2005, 23:32
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Heulwen

Picking up the broken chain of flowers, Heulwen shudders involuntarily.

"Who knows," Heulwen replies, "I only know what I read in the tracks, which do a very bad job of explaining why."

Looking around at the forest, Heulwen adds, "Lets get out of here. It is apparent that our intentions are for naught, and I for one, don't wish to encounter the same fate as Elia."
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  #83  
Unread 5th of May, 2005, 00:12
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Aleina

Following the dour innkeeper into the kitchen, Aleina's eyes search for anyone who might overhear them. Her fingers deftly pull her scrip of herbs from her belt, selecting some that won't ruin ale. Satisfied they are alone, she nevertheless keeps her voice low,carefully watching the man's reaction.

"Not poison. Aa' menealle nauva calen ar' malta. That's what my friend Feyd called them."
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  #84  
Unread 5th of May, 2005, 03:38
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Aashya

Aashya climbs quickly back to her feet. Heulwen won't have to tell her twice that it's a good idea for them to get out of here! She turns back in the direction they've just come from, holding the lantern out like a protective ward. But then a sudden thought occurs to her.

She stops, and a look of pained indecision crosses her face. Should she mention it, or just move on? She's a little surprised that neither Heulwen or Rhotha'ah have thought of it. Finally she decides that somebody has to bring it up and it looks like it will have to be her.

"Shoudn't we..... you know, make it so she won't....." her voice falters here, and she can barely manage to continue in a whisper, "rise as one of the Fell?"
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  #85  
Unread 5th of May, 2005, 04:11
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Heulwen

"Do you have a shovel?" Heulwen asks.
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  #86  
Unread 5th of May, 2005, 07:54
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Aashya

"No, but the earth is freshly dug." Aashya truly has no idea how difficult it would be to dig up a body. She can hardly wrap her mind around the concept - digging up a body! - as it is.

She looks at Rhotha'ah. Maybe the Dorn has something they can use - that big wooden shield maybe?

"Or if it isn't that important, we can just go......"
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  #87  
Unread 7th of May, 2005, 00:41
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Heulwen, Aashya

"Sorry, lass," Soradur says. "Didn't think we'd need any of that in here. If you need diggin' though, you let old Soradur take care of it."

The dwarf has heretofore been silent, but that's hardly uncharacteristic of him. It's said that dwarves were born of stone and it seems this one is only slightly more talkative than a slab of granite. He seems wary though, his eyes flitting about, searching for trouble.

Cytaill wanders over to the disturbed earth and sniffs at it. He doesn't like what he smells. The wogren hunches down and backs away from it. On a whim, Heulwen grabs a bit of dirt near where she'd found the tiara of flowers. It possesses the same odors: earth and death. It's less strong here, but it's still present.

Aleina

He clearly recognizes the words, or at least knows what they're associated with. His reaction is far from positive. Callum shakes his head vigorously. "Oh no. No, no. Not that. Not those words. I don't want no part of that. Or Feyd neither. You'll need to talk to my brother about that. Strangers are always saying those words to him. They think I don't know, but I do know. Well, I don't know what they mean, but I know it's trouble. And I don't need any of that."

Aleina asks who the dour bartender's brother is.

"Shallum. Sorry, Shalm. He thinks Shalm sounds more like a man's name than Shallum. I don't go around calling myself Calm do I? Nobody would like that. But they're okay if he does it."

Grumbling, Callum returns to the common room.

Last edited by Cadrius; 7th of May, 2005 at 02:13. Reason: Cosmetics
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  #88  
Unread 7th of May, 2005, 04:26
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Aashya

"I didn't think we'd need a shovel in here either....." Aashya mutters in reply to the dwarf's remark. She starts to search the area for something to use instead - a stick, or a flat rock - but freezes in place at Cytaill's reaction to the disturbed ground.

Would the wogren act that way in response to a simple dead body? Aashya doesn't know much about animals, but she always thought that some of them, dogs especially, liked to dig up things that smelled dead. She doesn't think that most animals would back away like that.

Maybe it is too late to do anything at all for Elia.

"All right. Let's go then. I don't know what we'll tell the farmer but...... let's just go."

Aashya is strangely uneasy about turning her back on the 'grave'. She backs up a few steps, and then looks toward Heulwen. She hopes that the halfling can find the way back out of the woods.
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  #89  
Unread 8th of May, 2005, 12:15
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Heulwen

"Yes, let's go," Heulwen replies, "I don't like this place, and neither does Cytaill. If you want to dig up the body, we can do it in the morning."

Uncharacteristically nervous, Heulwen looks around quickly. Clearly Cytaills reaction has set her on edge.
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  #90  
Unread 10th of May, 2005, 05:53
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Aleina

Her calm is nearly shattered with the realization of her blunder. She had assumed that at worst, Callum would have no idea what she was talking about. She was wrong, and spends the next several moments on eggshells. Even after the glum innkeep hastily departs, she cannot decide if her ignorance had been boon or bane.

Callum now knew she was trouble; that certainly did not bode well. Yet she had gained knowledge of the one she sought and that was something. She returns to the common room, careful to avoid eye contact with Shalm. She nods to her companions, then takes a sip of her watery ale, ignoring the blandness. After what seems an appropriate amount of time she lets her eyes scan the commoon room once more, lets them rest just slightly overlong on Shalm, hoping to gauge his reaction.
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  #91  
Unread 10th of May, 2005, 06:12
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Dun

Not certain what precisely transpired between Aleina and the barkeep, Dun was sure something did happen. He continued to play it cool, and watched her reaction.
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  #92  
Unread 10th of May, 2005, 17:19
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Lyr

Ignorant of the verbal machinations going on around him on anyhting mroe than an intellectual level, Lyr wonders idly about the name of the inn.
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  #93  
Unread 16th of May, 2005, 09:49
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Dun, Lyr, Aleina

Aleina returns to the less-than-raucous commonroom, her mind turning over the ramifications of her words.

Meanwhile, Lyr and Dun quietly sip their watery ales and take in as much conversation as they can. While the men in the tavern may have relaxed some, they still guard their tongues. Yet they don’t cast nearly as many wary gazes toward the two young men. It’s progress, if only by the barest margin.

Heulwen, Aashya, Rhotha'ah

It’s too late. They’ve lingered too long beneath the branches of this dark forest, spent too much time standing still.

And now they’ve been found.

Cytaill hunches down, almost onto his stomach, and emits a deep growl that rumbles forth in warning. Heulwen instantly feels the wogren’s wariness. He can feel them coming. The halfling cries a warning a moment before they’re set upon.

Two figures come out from behind thicket, moving with a low gate. They move quickly, like hale men might, but their humanity is dispelled upon clearing the shadows.

Their skin is blackened and cracked, as if scorched by some unbearable flame. A reddish liquid seeping out from their flesh is picks up the torch light and reflects it. Six feet tall they are, and well muscled, and their eyes burn with an unnatural light.

Soradur shouts something and plants himself between the two men and Aashya. The dwarf hefts his axe and readies himself for the assault to come.
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  #94  
Unread 16th of May, 2005, 11:14
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Heulwen

"Move!" Heulwen shouts at Cytaill's warning, but even so, its too late.

"Head for the farm house!" she says, emphasizing her previous point with an arrow into one of the ... whatever they are, before moving that way herself.

"Cytaill! Defend!" Heulwen shouts, calling the worgen to her side as protection so that she can use her bow.
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  #95  
Unread 17th of May, 2005, 03:28
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Aashya

The tall, blackened figures are terrifyingly near all of a sudden, and moving quickly considering their size. Aashya feels lightheaded with fear, dizzy even, although her feet seem as heavy as lead weights as she clumsily tries to follow Heulwen. She holds the lantern up and out, and it swings crazily with her stumbling gait.

Must... keep... Heulwen... in sight! she thinks, panic threatening to engulf her like cold floodwaters.

But even as she tells herself not to lose sight of the halfling, her head turns around seemingly of its own accord to track the monsters that are coming.

WHAT - ARE - THEY???

A half-tall figure partially blocks her wide-eyed view, and her feet stop moving.

"Soradur! Come on! Run!" It's hard to raise her voice above a whisper, but she forces the shout out. She waits for the dwarf to follow before beginning to run again.
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  #96  
Unread 17th of May, 2005, 04:58
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Rhotha'ah

As the two blackened things shamble from the darkness, Rhotha'ah's hand tightens on the shaft of the throwing axe in his hand. Giving a feral growl at the nearest of the two creatures before him, the Dorn takes his aim at the creature before hurling one of the axes at it, the growl rising in pitch to form a low roar in its stead.

OOC: Throwing the axe at the creature. I realise it's not the best of moves right at the moment, given that I'll be incuring a -4 penalty because of the distance between us and them, but hopefully it still hits. *crosses fingers*
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  #97  
Unread 17th of May, 2005, 05:53
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Aleina

Time is slipping away. The healer can feel that knowledge creeping upon her as surely as the dark creeps upon the land at sunset. Whatever triggered the feeling, her unease will not depart. Pitching her voice low enough that hopefully only her companions can hear her, the healer begins to relate her thoughts.

"I have spoken with Callum, revealed to him the words that our friend spoke. He is not the one, and though he seemed to know the meaning he refuses to be involved. It is his brother, Shalm, that we need to see."

She pauses, assessing their reaction, then continues.

"I don't know what damage I have done. This place was already dangerous for us, with who knows what happening to the women. Now I have made things worse. We must speak to Shalm as quickly as we can without raising suspicion."
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  #98  
Unread 17th of May, 2005, 08:18
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Lyr

"Our fr-? Ohhhh!" Realising the volume of his outburst might attract attention, Lyr snaps his lips shut with a pop.

How could I have forgotten? Lyr is chargrinned by his mental slip.

"Where is this... man, then?"
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  #99  
Unread 18th of May, 2005, 14:05
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Dun

Dun's first thoughts were, She couldn't leave well enough alone... but concern for Aleina quickly followed after she mentioned the fate of women in the village. He whispers back to Aleina, "Let's see what we can do..."

If the bartender was not close by, Dun will matter of factly and non-chalantly wave a couple of fingers at him when he was looking their way and leans closer when he approached. Dun speaks to him in a low voice, "Callum, my companion tells me you mentioned you have a brother, Shalm. We don't mean to trouble you and we wouldn't ask if it was not necessary, but would you tell us how we might speak with him?"
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  #100  
Unread 23rd of May, 2005, 11:00
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Heulwen

Knock, draw, loose.

The bowstring sings a deadly note and the arrow finds its mark, sinking into the forearm of a creature. More fluid sprays out from the forearm, scalding the leaves on the forest floor.

Cytaill retreats back to her side, his ears laid flat. The wogren growls again and bares his teeth.

Meanwhile, one of them advances on Soradur and swings one great blackened fist at the dwarf. Its hand smashes into the dwarf’s face, but he doesn’t even grunt.

Rhotha’ah

The axe spins, end over end, through the night, but the distance is too far and the creature easily side steps the weapon. One of them closes with Soradur, the other comes for the dorn. Their step is eerily quick for dead men.

The sickly-sweet odor of burnt flesh fills his nose and it is only by force of will that he keeps from retching. It makes a grab for the dorn with one of its mighty hands, but he manages to fend it off, for now.

Aashya

She screams for the dwarf to flee, and he tries his best. Blocking a second blow with the haft of his axe, Soradur backs away as quickly as he can.

”Time to leave, lass!” He casts a glance over his shoulder to make certain that she hears him. But there’s something in his eyes. What is it? Resignation? And then it slides into place.

He can’t outrun them.
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