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  #126  
Unread 30th of August, 2002, 03:14
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"I am far from useless, but if the gnolls track us, if they seek revenge for how many we have slain then I will be hard pressed to make a difference unarmored and largely unarmed."

Cadrius shrugs, it was true. Shade's short sword was a nice one, but there is only so much he can do without more metal to protect him. He certainly is not the most nimble man known, not by a longshot.

"There is also something to be said for the element of surprise as I am sure you are all aware. Do they know Cadogan and I have been freed? Did you meet any resistance on the way here?"
  #127  
Unread 30th of August, 2002, 04:11
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Standing under Shades, blistering verbal attack, Itches at first tryís to counter, but soon gives up and just drops his head in shame.

"Butt ... I ...butt"

Thatís it Itches, keep on making a fool of yourself, youíll never amount to anything more then what they see you as. I donít know why Lily puts up with you

Coming out of his self-abashment, the half-elf hears a question about resistance on the way in. Still he says nothing, more determined then ever to not make a fool of himself.

If I make a fool of myself every time I open my mouth, then I wont open my mouth again
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  #128  
Unread 2nd of September, 2002, 07:52
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Cadogan speaks up.

"I cant hear anything beyond this group, I have reason to believe that we're either alone in here or the gnolls which face us are masters of stealth. It seems the former is more likely - atleast it would seem."

He explains over Itches 'butts'

Cadogan then strides forward half a step giving Cadrius a little nudge to urge him forward the Warrior resists the blind mans urges at first, but looks at the group around him. With little else to do he speaks.

"I think we should atleast move out of this place, then we can fight on equal grounds." He looks around the group for any complaints, finally stopping at Cadogan who looks confused. "For those of us who can see." He adds.
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  #129  
Unread 3rd of September, 2002, 20:14
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Maeko looks around at the group, and looks to the way out.

"Then we are agreed, let us leave this place."

Motioning Itches to follow close behind her, as he bears the light she stalkes down the passageay, followed closely by the now silent half-elf.
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  #130  
Unread 3rd of September, 2002, 23:28
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They stand outside near the dead gnoll guard debating their next course of action. Shade listens to Cadrius complain about being unarmed as her eyes linger on the dead gnoll. Scavenger that she is, she can't help but notice that the beast is only slightly larger than her human companion.

Would he?

She shifts her eyes to Cadrius and crosses her arms, sword and dagger still in her fists. For once, Itches is silent though she doesn't take the time to ask herself why. She nudges the corpse with the toe of her boot.

"That looks to be scale armor, and in decent shape. With an axe and shield as well, which might better suit your combat style."
  #131  
Unread 5th of September, 2002, 15:10
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"I have a better idea, though this will take a few minutes. Go ahead and strip that beast of its armor. I am in better shape than Cadrius; a small sacrifice in my defenses will do less harm if it protects him more."

He quickly undoes the harness holding his claymore to his back, then hands it to the warrior. "Here. I gather this is more your style than an axe. I still have a weapon."

Having done that, he begins undoing the buckles and catches on his armor. To Itches, he asks, "Mind helping me with this? We need to get this on Cadrius quickly, and it's easier with another pair of hands. I'll take the gnoll's armor; we'll be stronger overall by giving Cadrius the better protection."

He begins removing his plate armor as quickly as possible, tossing the pieces on the ground in front of Cadrius.
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  #132  
Unread 5th of September, 2002, 22:32
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Shade raises an eyebrow as the Lone Paladin makes his suggestion and begins the laborous process of removing his armor. It is a selfless gesture and she is surprised that one of his calling would stoop so low as to wear armor stripped from a dead gnoll. She didn't look at Cadrius, hoping that if she just went along that he'd agree as well. Gods knew he could use any protection he could get, since he was far too stubborn to hang back in a fight; in any event, they'd need the beast's armor. Sheathing her weapons, she kneels by her kill, her cloak a deep blue puddle around her.

The thing stank already and she had a chance to view her handiwork up close. It was a clean cut, thanks to careful placement and a sharp blade, but there was blood everywhere and she could see the severed muscle, bone, and nerve within the gaping wound. Pushing away thoughts of the others she had killed so recently, her hands find the necessary buckles as if they have a mind of their own.

Removing it's weapons belt, she strains to pull the heavy scale tunic up above it's waist. That completed, she levers the beast into a sitting position, pulling it's arms forward until it looks like it is bowing down, arms outstretched. It's head flops forward at a sickening angle, the fatal wound she had made yawning wide. Long ago she had made a meager living selling the remnants she'd picked from battlefields and she is vaguely disgusted by the fact that her body remembers how to do this. She rips a long strip of fabric off the dead thing's clothes and stuffs it into the wound, to better keep the blood off the armor, and then sets about tugging it off an inch at a time.

It is a difficult process but she continues at it doggedly; the armor isn't terribly flexible and the gnoll was already starting to stiffen. She is sweating in the chill air by the time it is done, despite the relative efficiency of her action. A few rays of sunlight still pierce the canopy, low and from the west, and fall on the now half-stripped body of the prostrated beast. The image disturbs her, as if the beast was praying to the setting sun, and she places one foot on it's shoulder and pushes the thing onto it's back once more.
  #133  
Unread 6th of September, 2002, 13:12
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Cadogan stands there quietly thinking....

Tick... Tock... Tick... Tock... Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock-Tick!-Tock!-Tick!-Tock!

Oh C'mon people! I can't wait all day! If those blasted Gnolls do something to that Cube its worthless! And.... Uh... Shrival probably needs help - that blasted bird.


Cadogan begins tapping his foot slowly at first, and then faster and faster. He begins to look really agitated and anxious.
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  #134  
Unread 6th of September, 2002, 16:10
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Nodding silently @ the request for aid, Itches Hands the lantern back to Maeko and with clumsy inept hands aids paladin out of his armour. Once this is accomplished the aristocrat notices how near he is standing to the dead Gnoll. Taking a large step away from it, the half-elf turns noticeable Green.
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  #135  
Unread 7th of September, 2002, 00:27
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Shade's grey eyes narrow as Itches dances away from the corpse, suddenly looking quite ill. She had been harsh with him of late, forgetting how difficult this sort of thing must be for the sheltered noble and concerned with her own problems. Guilt washes over her for she knew how hard it was to accept the realities of the world.

He must learn, though, or he will not survive.

Or would he? Perhaps he might find a better solution than she had, so wrapped in her cynicism and bitterness. Unease worms through her and she is distracted by the tapping of Cadogan's foot. Turning her gaze to the blind man, she can't help but wonder what it is he is looking for. She's already asked twice to no avail; she will not ask again. She puts a hand lightly on his arm and addresses him, but not unkindly.

"We'll get nothing but dead if we are not careful. We are already at a disadvantage, wounded as we are and unaware of the strength of our enemy."
  #136  
Unread 8th of September, 2002, 09:36
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Cadogan listens carefully and nods.

"Yes I understand, but the longer we wait the more prepared they could be. Speed and Suprise are just as important as Proper Preperation. As a Famous sage and Infamous Warlord once said;

'suprise doubles your strength, but only if you use it with haste.'

Im all for caution and preperation but can't we make it any faster?" Cadogan pauses realising he just sounded like a real pushy fellow.

"Err...Uhh... Pardon me my dear - Something very important is just itching at my brain."
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  #137  
Unread 8th of September, 2002, 14:29
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"Sorry, old man," the paladin explains, "but taking this stuff off is not a fast process by any means." He finally removes the last plate, tossing it in front of Cadrius.

Taking the scale tunic from Shade, he begins to struggle into it. "It'll take even -- oof! -- longer for the warrior to don -- ack! -- my armor without help. The sooner I can --ugh!-- help him, the faster he'll be ready." He wrestles with the armored vest a moment longer, finally getting it in place. Checking a couple straps, he gets it to fit as well as possible, considering it was made for someone with a vastly different build -- though close to the same size, some parts are simply not made for someone of his frame without a lot of adjusting.

Finally, he finishes adjusting the armor, then grabs his padded overcoat from the ground. Shaking off the leaves and dirt, he holds it out to Cadrius. "You'll want to put this on first, or the plates will rub you raw within half a candlemark."
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  #138  
Unread 11th of September, 2002, 04:28
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Making his triumphant return...

Cadrius stands silent for a moment as he merely stares at the offering of armor. Was it demeaning? Perhaps a bit, but Cadrius is in no position to argue. If they were to retrieve his and Cadogan's belongings he would need all the armor he could get. Fine, if he had no choice then he had no choice.

Reaching forward he gives Paladin a short but appreciative nod before he begins the process of working himself into the armor. It had been a long time since he had worn anything like the mail offered to him. As a result he fumbles at first with a few of the straps before his hands remember the way.

As he tightens the straps of the final piece of armor he looks up again. He is tired, battered, and bleeding but he is also ready to fight.

"Let us go."
  #139  
Unread 12th of September, 2002, 15:34
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Having struggled into the gnoll's armor, the paladin crouches to pick up his warhammer and crossbow. Slinging the crossbow over his back, he replaces his bandolier across his body, making sure his claymore is positioned properly.

He then addresses Cadrius, though he looks at the others as well. "A few more things before we go. I have something else to grant, should we meet trouble along the way. I would prefer to save it for something tougher than the gnolls -- their leader, for instance. Come to me if we meet something like that, but don't endanger yourself; if you can't get to me, I'll find a good use for it."

He takes Cadrius's hand, giving it a firm shake. "Your courage is commendable. Few would have the resolve to go into the dragon's lair to pick up what was lost. Heironeous favors you, this night." Before he releases Cadrius's hand, a faint glow encompasses it, where they meet.

[[OOC: Laying on hands; healing 3 points of damage. All the help I can provide.]]

"We are NOT going on this trek for revenge; not yet, at least. Let's keep that in mind. If we lose focus, we may lose our lives here."
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  #140  
Unread 13th of September, 2002, 00:40
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She watches silently as Paladin finishes arming himself and Cadrius struggles into the heavy plate. Despite the uneasy look on his face, Cadrius looked quite at home in the knight's gleaming armor. Though his face betrays other emotion, his body stands a bit taller, with something not far from pride.

Not for revenge, not for plunder either. I wouldn't be doing this at all if Cadrius wasn't so dead set on it.

She fancies she sees Paladin's hand glow when he shakes Cadrius' hand, but she dismisses it. Whatever it was, she didn't need to know and she didn't care. The two were similar enough to be brothers, or at least cousins, and she didn't need a sign to tell her she didn't belong in that family. Rolling her shoulders to loosen them, she tightens her belt and adjusts her cloak.

As ready as I'm going to be.
  #141  
Unread 13th of September, 2002, 02:16
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Maeko hangs back, looking at the scene without commenting; then she squares her shouders and centers herself, ready to go.
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Unread 13th of September, 2002, 04:12
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Cadrius almost visibly flinches as he feels the divine energy spreading from the Paladin's hand and into his body. He feels dirty and the thought of Heironeous favoring him almost makes the fallen paladin laugh outloud. But that would be unseemly and inappropriate at the time. Cadrius merely nods and tries to forget that he had just been healed by the god who had turned his back on him.

He glances at each of his other companions. They had come after him even when he had run away. Itches the young fool had come along and could have been killed. Maeko the bald and enigmatic woman. Paladin, who he could have been had he walked a different path. Shade, someone who seemed to have tread the same trail as he.

Perhaps it was time to let these people travel with him. Clearly running away wouldn't do him any good. In the end they'd just end up chasing him. He readjusts a strap on the armor before striding away from the cave and down the trail toward the village gesturing for Shade to walk by his side so she can show them the way.
  #143  
Unread 13th of September, 2002, 13:18
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"Hey Hey Hey! Dont forget me!" Cadogan calls as he heards Cadrius stride away now in heavy armour. He stumbles forward but only succeeds in kneecapping himself on a fallen tree and stump.

"Ow-Ow-Ow-Ow-Ow!" Cadogan jumps around in a comical manner on one leg.
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Unread 13th of September, 2002, 15:23
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Maeko runs back towards the blind man.

"Forgive me, older brother" she says checking his knee for wounds, luckily, although painful, it's just a bruise.

" This stupid person did not think you might need help..." she bows, although he can't see her, truly ashamed that he's been hurt by omission.
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  #145  
Unread 13th of September, 2002, 16:06
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The paladin glances back at the group as they make their way through the gathering gloom. Maeko makes every effort to help the old man avoid tripping or running into anything; Shade marches determinitely forward, her eyes scanning everything around them; Itches lags at the back, also scanning the surroundings, but more with an air of fascination than wariness.

He hastens forward, catching up with Cadrius.

"Listen," he says, "it's time we clear the air. I don't know why you went off on your own, but it's not important now. It's obvious that you don't trust me, though your reasons defy me. If we're going to be walking into danger deliberately, it would be helpful if we could figure out what's bothering you; I don't want either of us to be relying on each other with that wall between us.

"So let's have it out -- no more dodging the issue. What have I done?"
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  #146  
Unread 13th of September, 2002, 16:46
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"Grand Father!?" Cadogan exclaims towards the voice. "Im 27 years old!!" Cadogan does not however refuse the help of Maeko.
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Unread 14th of September, 2002, 14:28
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Her eyes do not stray from the trail ahead of her but she doesn't need them to mark the passage of the group behind her. A loud bang followed by cursing as Cadogan bumps into something along with the various creaks and clanks from the two warriors told her all she needed to know.

"I should scout the trail ahead. There are bound to be sentries and we need every advantage we can get."
  #148  
Unread 14th of September, 2002, 16:15
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At Shade's request, the paladin waves one arm outward, a gesture obviously meant to convey "go ahead". He keeps pace with Cadrius, waiting for the warrior's reply.
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Unread 14th of September, 2002, 22:51
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Cadrius' jaw clenches, causing the muscles within to ripple slightly as he is accosted by Paladin. He knew this would come eventually, and to be honest he rather prefers Paladin to do the interrogating. Hell, he would prefer a demon to give him the third degree, anyone but Shade.

He keeps his cobalt blue eyes facing ahead down the trail, watching Shade begin to scout ahead, and he listens to the exclamations of Cadogan as he crashed into a tree. Life as a blind man must be tough.

"You?" he speaks at last, "you have done nothing. I heard a disturbance, I chose to investigate. I heard a woman's scream, I waded in. I did not think there was time to come back and retrieve the rest of you. As you may have guessed it was a trap. I fought my best but there were far too many of them."

Cadrius glances over at Paladin at last before saying, "And do not use that healing upon me again without my permission."

He falls silent again listening to the crunch of leaves beneath his boots and content to breath in the crisp fall air.
  #150  
Unread 15th of September, 2002, 02:58
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Standing back Itches watches the larger humans struggle into their armour. Looking down @ his tunic, the young Nobel feels slightly vulnerable for the first time. The sensation is fleeting as when Itches looks up he notices a slight glow surrounding the hands of Paladin and Cadirus.
Opening his mouth to comment on it, he catches himself before the words can leave his mouth. Mentally kicking himself the Half-elf trails along behind the rest of the party.

Oh well done you fool. Some Vow of silence this has turned out to be, less then an hour and Iíve already almost broken it. What would Lily think of you if she saw you now?

Dawdling behind the others, Itches is lost in bittersweet memories of his love
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