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Megamieuwsel 15th of March, 2002 14:45

Chapter 2 - The Fellowship of Mud
As the crowd disperses into town , Megamieuwsel lingers around the remains of the fire a little longer to see if he can be of any help to the strange man and woman.

They seem to be doing just fine by themselves , better not interfere with their buisness....

"I wish you a good night people , and if you're willing to contact me ; I'm staying in "the Dragon's Hangover" for the night.
Right now I'll be checking to see if my diner, presumably cold by now , is still up for grabs.
I fear for the worst , though....."

The man and his mule disappear into town and the latter finds his food gone indeed. Too tired to even mention it , he stables the mule again , noting with a minor part of his brain the hap-snap repair made to the stabledoor.
Once inside his room , fatigue overcomes him and without undressing he crashes into the bed.


A new morning dawns ; wet and grey and rainy.
In a room , in a inn , in a town , in the middle of nowhere a tall , slender man grooms his moustache and sorts out his clothes while reflecting on the history of yesterday.
The night's rest restored a lot of his vigor , though a deep rumbling in his "midsection" tells him , there one more component missing : Breakfast.

Heeding his stomach's call , Megamieuwsel enters the Inns common room , where the Innkeeper's wife already is serving to some of the customers.

Hmmm... The others must be still asleep. Wonder if their rash words about going along with my "Gargeltje-quest" can stand the testimony of a new day.
A rather grey one , I might say. Good thing , I had my blue set with me ; if the sky isn't cooperative and such....

Cadrius 16th of March, 2002 15:07

Shortly after finishing his cold soup Cadrius retires to his room for the evening. He spends an hour diligently cleaning his weapon, shield, and armor. Polishing every bit of grime, and blood off of it, making it look like it is fresh from the forge again. Eventually he's too weary to continue and collapses into bed and a dreamless sleep.

* * * * *

The morning matches Cadrius' mood, gray and slightly unpleasant. He rolls out of bed with a wince his hand instinctively reaching up to touch his wound.

It's fast on the mend, another day or two and I'll be good as new...not that it matters.

Coming downstairs he notices the blue-clad man is already up. Nodding to him he sits down and orders a small breakfast for himself.

"Good Morning sir," he says as he seats himself noticing the change of color and the lack of purple pants on the other breakfaster.

WhoNAN 22nd of March, 2002 02:32

As Cadrius sits down to breakfast, Whonan steps through the door, looking very tired and weary.... although he is oddly alone, covered in dirt and ash. His expression is of exhaustion, but also simultaneously of joy with a slight smile popping through the mask of fatigue.

He pulls a seat next to Cadrius...

"You know, you really shouldn't walk around with an open wound." He says out of the blue (possibly a pocket of megamieuwsel's).... but obviously not seeing the well hidden injury.

While Cadrius is still caught off guard... the odd man looks to the help, and orders an ample breakfast... paying a hardy price extra for some fresh fruit.

Upon the foods arrival it is attacked with a ferosity that would make a rampaging wolverine take notice... although never without manners, making quick work of the meal... and a slight nod, Whonan seems to discard the exhaustion and looks to be rejuvinated.... he turns to the fashionable man in blue.

"So when did you want to leave.?"

Cadrius 6th of April, 2002 11:33

Cadrius eyes widen for a moment in disbelief before narrowing in suspicion. He attempts to hide his surprise by saying, "It's nothing and will heal in but a few days."

Turning back to his meager breakfast he says, "If it is not too bold of me, what was that map that was found last night? Forgive me for eavesdropping but I overheard something regarding a legendary object of some sort."

He looks down at the helmet he had taken off of one of the orcs, the dirt and grime long since scrubbed away by his relentless hands. It now shines brightly and reflects the objects around it. An image of a griffin can be seen clutching a rose within its talons.

He pauses and awaits and answer from either the grey eyed man or his blue clothed companion.

Cadrius 22nd of April, 2002 07:35

The dark haired man looks around a moment apparently perturbed by the lack of communication from the two men sitting near him.

"Er, excuse me gentlemen? Perhaps I spoke too quietly," Cadrius says leaning forward.

It is then that he notices something most peculiar. The grey cloak and the purple panted man are not moving. They are absolutely still, not a muscle twitches, not a breath stirs within them.

"Dear gods," Cadrius whispers slightly, "barkeep! Come here a moment! I do believe these men have fallen under some sort of hysteria or catatonia."

There is no response from the normally loud man and this causes Cadrius' gaze to shift over to the other end of the bar where the man in question is also frozen. Hunched over a mug with the ale that had been pouring from the keg frozen in mid-air.

The fallen paladin gasps and stumbles backward from the bar, knocking over his stool in the process.

Shaking his head violently he whispers to himself, "No, this cannot be real," scowling and looking about as if the perpetrator might be hiding within the room he yells, "What treachery is this?!"

Unfortunately there is no response forthcoming and the man puts his hand to the side of his head. Distressed and confused he slumps down into a chair by the fire. Once it had been dancing and causing warmth for all, now it lay motionless helping no one.

So much like Kalia... he thinks to himself, the symbolism not lost on him.

"Please," he whispers shutting his eyes tight against the world which has apparently gone completely still, "please let this be some magician's trick."

Gralhruk 23rd of April, 2002 03:08

In the midst of his depression, Cadrius fails to notice the small dark figure slip into the bar so full of motionless patrons. Dressed in a midnight blue cloak of heavy silk, she has short, raven black hair. Cadrius looks up as she glides through the common room, but she fails to notice his gaze. She approaches the statue-like form of the dwarf the paladin remembers from the battle with the orcs and lightly places the palm of her hand on his brow. She wears a veil across the lower half of her face but from the wrinkles at the corner of her eyes you believe she might be smiling.

One hand draws the cloak aside displaying a short, bright sword. She draws it silently and slits the dwarf's throat from ear to ear. Oddly, the dwarf doesn't even move and no blood spurts from the wound. The sword disappears beneath the cloak once more and she gracefully moves to an empty table in the corner. One hand reaches up and unhooks the veil revealing the face of a young serious-eyed woman.

Almost as soon as she is settled, time once again returns to it's normal flow. Blood gushes from the dwarf's neck and he slumps forward on the table, dead, without so much as a sound. The strange woman does not stir and nobody seems to notice her, nestled as she is amongst the shadows.

Cadrius 23rd of April, 2002 09:46

Why have you done this to me? WHY?! the man's mind screams in agony. We broke our bond long ago, why must you torment me with this?

Amidst the depth of his despair he notices a woman enter the room. His blue eyes fill with hope as he notices another living, moving being within the motionless hell around him. However a smile faulters and fails as he sees the woman draw a blade and slit the dwarf's throat.

Suddenly the entire world flows back into motion again. The fire crackles and dances, the ale is poured, and the blood flows, like a crimson river from the dwarf by the bar.

Leaping to his feet Cadrius sprints to the dwarf, catching him as he falls. The blood continues the flow out of him and onto the floor. Recognizing the wound mortal the fallen knight merely cradles the stout warrior's head and whispers, "Be at peace, Moradin waits for you."

As the last breath leaves the dwarf he runs a hand over his face leaving a bloody trail amongst his sorrowful features. He looks up in agony and confusion, searching for the woman and asks, "Why? What is this?"

Gralhruk 23rd of April, 2002 22:44

The woman's eyes widen in surprise as the tall man singles her out with his piercing gaze, demanding answers for an action he could not possibly know she committed. She half rises, eyes scanning the room, and then sits again when the man's question is drowned out by the combined voices of those within the bar. The common room is swirling with bodies and colors as everyone rushes to inspect the dwarf, everyone seemingly speaking at once.

Cadrius momentarily loses sight of the strange woman and when he glimpses her table again she is gone. Craning his head frantically, he spots a flash of deep blue silk as she slips out the door. She is moving quickly but not running and does not look back.

WhoNAN 24th of April, 2002 00:00

Whonan's eyes flare... as he senses another consciousness appear out of nowhere... he looks around and only see's a dying dwarf in a heep, and Cadrius in a different location..... leaping to his feet he is too late to see the woman.... but his mind hears her.

The barkeep rushes to the dwarf along with the majority of the other patrons and those awake at the hour, causing quite a commossion in the bar... the glinting Grey of the strange mans eye alert those surrounding that something is indeed gowing through his mind... and he burst out the door of the tavern... to find the owner of the mind... that he cannot place... looking frantically back and forth down the street to find anyone.

Cadrius 24th of April, 2002 05:34

Cadrius stands to his feet, his legs a little shaky. Blood and violence seemed not to trouble him anymore, but that coupled with a world in stasis and a brief moment where he thought he had reached his eternal damnation has set the fallen knight's world spinning.

Whonan sees the man stand as he flies out the door, also in pursuit of the woman.

Cadrius closes his eyes a moment and steadies himself before he gives chase as well. Bursting out into the street he whips his head back and forth, looking for the elusive bit of silk identifying the dwarf's assassin.

He grabs Whonan's arm and points down the street toward the far end of town saying, "She's headed that way." Looking into the man's gray eyes gives Cadrius pause. He senses something more behind them, something brewing, looking, searching.

He shakes his head and in a moment and then sets off down the street after the woman.

Gralhruk 24th of April, 2002 05:58

With some distress, the woman notes not one but two pursuers. She ducks into an alley, breathing hard and takes a brief moment to steady herself.

Wizards and their promises! How have these two discovered me?

Staring down the alley, she realizes that there is no way out of here. Perhaps they didn't see her, but luck had not been on her side thus far today. She sprints for the far end of the alley and, springing off some discarded crates, leaps up toward the building wall. She gracefully catches hold of a space between some of the bricks where the mortar has fallen out, supporting herself with just her fingers until she can find a foothold. She looks up for her next hold and continues climbing the low structure.

WhoNAN 24th of April, 2002 06:25

Cadrius sprints down the street... but Whonan remains still.... to the observer in deep thought... the air shifts briefly about him...

in the mind of the woman comes a slight echo.
""Come and gone so suddenly, stay a moment and talk.""

The strange Grey clad man, now begins to walk slowly down the street in no hurry at all. And again the air moves.

""Don't try to hide... I can feel your mind."" Again echoing only in the mind of the woman.

--- Whonan normally wouldn't be bothered by the presence of someone... even if they were a murderer... but something about this one fascinated him..... his eyes flickering with life he trods ever still slowly down the street... in the general direction that Cadrius set off in..... not even a bit distracted by the barkeep running to the street behind him calling wildly for the guards whos armour can be heard clamering from the direction of the gates.

Cadrius 24th of April, 2002 07:58

Shaking his head as the gray-eyed man stands still he takes off down the street in pursuit of the woman.

"Blast! Where'd she go?" he says outloud as he looks over his shoulder to see Whonan slowly making his way down the street.

Continuing to run he blows right by the alley where the woman had ducked into only a few moments earlier. She freezes for a moment as she hears the man stomping about but quickly realizes he is unaware of where she has gone.

Racing another several hundred feet the man quickly realizes that she could not have made it this far and he doubles back to catch up to Whonan.

"By the gods man! Why aren't you hurrying? She just slew that dwarf!"

Gralhruk 24th of April, 2002 23:20

She hears heavy footsteps in the street behind her at about the same time she hears the strange voice.

-Come and gone so suddenly, stay a moment and talk.-

She involuntarily freezes, certain that nobody is close enough to whisper to her. At that moment she feels rather than sees Cadrius rush past the alley, oblivious to her prescence. She is almost unaware of her luck in eluding him, so focused is she on the eerie whispering. The voice continues and now she realizes she can feel it's misty coils not with her ears but with her brain.

-Don't try to hide... I can feel your mind.-

She almost shivers and her will raises an unconscious defense against the intruder, like an alley cat arching it's back and hissing at one who has cornered it. The receding footsteps halt for a second and then continue, their volume now increasing. The tall man was returning.

Whoever you are, leave me be. This is none of your affair.

She is uncertain of her escape, pursued as she is both mentally and physically. Another might surrender in the face of such hopelessness, but she has been without hope for long enough that she no longer needs it. She continues climbing, now almost recklessly, and one arm finally slips over the parapet at the wall's summit. She vaults over in a liquid blue arc, instantly laying flat on the roof and freezing in place, listening for the hounds at her tail.

WhoNAN 25th of April, 2002 02:19

Whonan replies with an automated response as his mind is obviously not there... he continues his pace slowly... almost stalkingly so.

"I have slain many in my life too, and no doubt so have you... don't be so quick to judge motives."

He continues walking slowly.... without interuption. And all of a sudden there seems to be prisms of light dancing around his head... almost like snow flakes reflecting light... Cadrius wipes his eyes and they're gone.

Again in the womans mind is anothers presence but this time its silent... only attempting to reason with her emotions... she feels a tugging at her feelings.... pulling her to calm, and relax... nagging her to forget her fear.

((Grahlruk Will Save DC13 or become a bit more calm and friendly (reaction levels)))

Gralhruk 25th of April, 2002 02:46

Like a minature worm, the intruder burrowed into her consciouness. Her mental alley cat took a lazy swipe at it but missed and quickly lost interest. Instead of tensing against this latest onslaught, she found herself relaxing somewhat. The worm spread warmth and comfort whereever it touched and really, a little worm couldn't hurt her.

Are you so sure these men mean you harm? After all, they haven't alerted the guard or called any attention to you.

Her grey eyes still serious but no longer hunted, she reached up and grasped the edge of the parapet. Pulling herself up high enough to see, she looked down on the street at the two men. They were both big, tall men; one clad in heavy armor and toting a rather large sword, the other wearing only normal clothing and carrying a staff. Oddly, the armored one seemed more agitated.

<OOC: Failed my save miserably with a 5. Just out of curiousity, what power was that?>

WhoNAN 25th of April, 2002 03:38

((It was Telepathic Projection))

A Slow smile comes across Whonans face.. as he reaches in one of his pouches... returning his hand to plain site clutching something. Again a shower of prisms fall around him.... and again there is a slight tugging on the womans mind.... reassuring her that everything will be alright.

This time Whonan speaks aloud with no direction or focus... but not loud enough for the guards now swarming around the tavern down the road to hear.

"I have no intentions of malice... however I am very curious..."
He trails off thinking again for a moment.

"... your chances of surviving the guards with my help is far greater than if you fair them alone. The choice is yours... talk with me... or face the town guard."

He clasps his hand on the shoulder of Cadrius reassuring him that everything will be alright.

((Diplomacy +14... Save DC13, you roll 'em))

Gralhruk 25th of April, 2002 04:01

Another worm tries to enter through the same hole as the first, but this time her feline is waiting and pounces on the intruder. He toys with it a few times before putting the little creature out of it's misery. Her brow creases as she listens to the unarmored one speak, suddenly certain that it was his voice she kept hearing in her head.

She shakes her head and her presses her lips together tightly. The man speaks into her mind, invades her thoughts with his little creatures and then threatens her with the guard. Still, these two held the cards in this game no matter how little she liked it. She must play along, at least for the time being.

"Enough. You have found me. What is it that you want?"

<OOC: Saved against the power (I'm assuming telepathic projection again). You win on the diplomacy check: given the circumstances of your meeting I'm not sure what that ought to buy you, but at least she isn't shooting arrows at you.>

WhoNAN 25th of April, 2002 05:14

Whonan's eyes slowly meet the voice... as only a second sense... supporting the preffered one. He raises a smile and a finger to silence her.

He then motions to Cadrius to quickly duck into the alley.

Speaking to him.

"You saw nothing of this woman... I don't care what you describe to them... just not her..."

He then pops back out of the alley staring frantically down the street when the two men are met by the guards.

"Did either of you see the attacker?" one guard blurts out.

Whonan looks at Cadrius reassuringly without a word yet.

Cadrius 25th of April, 2002 06:03

The words from Whonan seem to affect Cadrius as he remains silent and becomes a bit more introspective. Brushing a rogue strand of dark hair out of his eyes he nods slowly.

He is right, you have killed, and not all of them were deserving of their fate.

Cadrius shakes his head and then the prisms of light cause a brief flash in his blue eyes. Dazed by the brilliance he takes a moment for his eyes to clear, the faint shadows of the prisms blazed across his vision. He blinks once and his vision is clear.

"What-" he begins before shutting his mouth again, the muscles in his jaw clenched. Somethings are best left unexplained.

As the man instructs him to lie to any guards that might come by Cadrius frowns for a moment, but he has little time to think as the aforementioned guards arrive quickly.

What? You're gawking at telling a lie? After all you've done, after every person that you have hurt, you hesitate to lie. What was the dwarf to you anyway?

I suppose so...something is not right here. I must learn more before I can make a judgement.

He looks back up at the guards and says, "No, I-I don't know who it was. It happened so fast. I just saw a brown cloak. That's all."

Gralhruk 25th of April, 2002 11:50

She watches the exchange below, flinty eyes inscrutable. She is frozen, motionless, a part of the dull brick around her.

What purpose do they have? I would have guessed the armored one would sooner turn me over for justice, and yet there he stands lying on my behalf. At behest of the grey one.

She stares at Whonan more closely, wondering what is going on behind those grey eyes so like her own. She should be grateful and yet she feels nothing. Well, almost nothing.

WhoNAN 25th of April, 2002 23:40

Whonan smiles at the guard again toying with something in his clenched hand...

"I can only assume they're heading that way." He points down the road past the alley, away from the tavern.

"We thought we should check this alley just in case... but no luck."

He again smiles.... and the guards hesitate looking at one another.

"We couldn't catch up with them, perhaps you'll be able to, but I would hurry if I were you."

Again the guards look at one another, and the moment they turn to each other, the dancing lights sparkle for a brief second around the Grey eyed man, Silver specs flaring amidst the grey only for that brief moment.

The word -"hurry"- must have sparked something in the guards mind, because at about the same time they sprint off down the road past the alley, without as much as a -thank you-.

Whonan simply stares at them as they hustle down the street around the corner and out of sight. Stepping into the alley he looks up to the overhang.

"Good, you're still here.... we should probably be leaving?" He states questioningly as the answer is obvious to him, but perhaps he is wrong. Out of his satche he pulls a beautiful Grey Cloak with intricate embroidering in a silver and black weave. "Someone else may have seen you, it might be a good idea to have a change?" Again the answer obvious to him, but perhaps again he is incorrect.

Gralhruk 26th of April, 2002 00:44

Instead of answering, she stands then and her hands grasp the neck of her midnight cloak. Pulling it over her head she twists her hands around and, with a slight flourish, the cloak once again settles into place. Now it is a charcoal grey. Looking closely you can discern that the underside might be deep blue or black.

"This isn't the first time I've needed to disappear."

She lowers herself over the edge and retraces her route -somewhat less hectically than before - and soon stands beside her pursuers. Her stance is a little cocky for one that has just been caught rather easily.

"What is it you would like to discuss?"

WhoNAN 26th of April, 2002 02:05

Returning the grey cloak to his pack... Whonan merely beams.

"For starters, exactly why didn't I -see- you kill that man, and why did you kill him in the first place... in broad daylight, in a crowded room none the less. You should for all means and purposes should be dead or in the jail right now.... -this- intrigues me."

His eyes light up at meeting hers except now the silver-grey hue has changed to match that of her cloak.... still beaming... still exmaning. Those who would be observant would start to realize that this whole situation was mainly based in Whonan's personal curiousity.

Cadrius 26th of April, 2002 02:39

Cadrius shakes his head, obviously confused and bewildered by everything that has happened, is happening, and will likely happen before the day is over. He listens to the two interact for a moment before saying, "I saw her do it. It was a strange thing, as if the entire world stopped moving except for me...and her. How she managed it does not matter quite so much to me as why it all happened, and more importantly, why I failed point you out to the guards a few moments ago."

The tall man frowns obviously troubled by this last point, but he does not continue and stands still, staring out into space.

Why did I do that? I...I don't know. This is happening too fast, I am not certain what I should be thinking.

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