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Unread 28th of June, 2002, 06:15
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Chapter 1: The Road is the Life for me

In an ancient Pine forest, there lies a track. This track leads the way from village to village, from town to town, from City to city.

At one point on this track, well away from any cities, or towns, 4 people are stationed. Atop 2 carts and a horse, these people regard the track before them. They have a decision, for The Track Splits it way here, and they must decide, which side to proceed down.

They have been summoned to the Duke of Kitch's Daughters 18th Birthday, to perform and provide entertainment as is their lot in lives. A Great reward awaits those who arrive first, for The Duke of Kitch loves is daughter above all else in the land, and desires that this be a perfect event.

With this in mind, the band of merry travellers regards their paths. To the right, lies the most direct way, but the straightest road isnt always the quickest. The road to the right goes through a dark forest. A place full of stories of Robbers, and other more in-human creatures.
To The Left the path flows easier, passing through many villages, and being moderately well travelled. However the safer road is longer, adding perhaps a week to the possible time travelled.

Facing this decision, the 4 people must decide what path to take.

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Last edited by itches; 30th of June, 2002 at 14:04.
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Unread 28th of June, 2002, 12:19
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Beronas while fiddling with one of his many arrows looks to see the split in the road. Ha, yeah that would be right, just our luck, we have a choice people, possible death or possible boredom. I don't know what you people think but I am for the right more difficult path. Who knows we may get lucky, famous last words; aye.
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Unread 28th of June, 2002, 15:20
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" A week is a very long time" adds Morgan, " And I'll bet my harp there are at least a score of other troupes running towards Kitch right now...".
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Unread 28th of June, 2002, 16:49
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All the more reason to make haste down the right path the faster of the two.
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Unread 28th of June, 2002, 18:19
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She turns towards the other two: " What do you say my friends? Are we agreed?"
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 10:52
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Ilia sits atop the cart, not wihing to drive it, but merely ride ontop of it as her halfling legs will slow the troupe down. Well, that's her reasoning anyway.

"Well, I'm not particularly keen on tromping our collective behinds through the forest, especially when there are brigands rumored to be running amok throughout. I would much rather be going from town to town, seeing what there is to see and doing what there is to do."

She runs her hand through the straight black hair that crowns her scalp before continuing. "However, I agree that there are most likely a score of other troupes attempting to get their grubby paws on the Duke's employment, so mayhaps quicker is best. That still doesn't mean I have to like it."
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 11:56
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Yavan runs a slender hand through his deep blue-black hair. Sighing he looks at the three roads before them. One dangerous yet short, one long, safe, and possibly profitable, and the other was an unknown.

He casts a glance at the others, scrutinizing them for a moment with his amber colored eyes before shrugging. He clears his throat before speaking in a melodious, almost lilting voice.

"Yes, the road is possibly the shortest, but do you honestly think they will actually base this on first come, first serve? They might look more favorably upon those who arrive first, but there must be more to the selection process.

"What better way to earn credentials than by playing in each of the towns leading up to the Duke? Our reputation will spread by word of mouth and even if it does not, we can always mention that we played. It shows dedication before greed."

He glances back and forth between each of them, attempting to get a good look before going back to tuning his lute.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 12:08
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Beronas slips his hands behind his head.
"Well people 2 for right, 2 for left, How did I know this would happen. I put this before you all, what better way to make a name for ourselves then to play for the Duke. It may be true that their is more to the process of selection then first come first serve, but the only thing we know for sure is that he will most likely hire the first to arrive."
time is short and all we can do is sit here and dispute which path to take, will this have to come to drawing straws?
"Time is short people we can't dispute this forever, the group is divided, maybe we should split up for now and meet at the Birhtday celebration, it may be over before you arrive though".
Beronas starts to cackle under his breath.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 15:16
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Ilia stands up on top of the cart, so she may appear taller than her slight three-foot-nothing frame. "Do not get me wrong, my tall friend, what better way to make a name for ourselves than you play at the Duke's gala event for his precious child. If we were in fact the first to arrive and be selected, it would make our careers as entertainers.

"However, who's to say we wil make it out of the woods alive if we do decide to travel their lengths. We may end up wasting more time fighting for our lives and regathering our scattered possessions than we would in travel."

She breathes once more and smooths the slightly crumpled blouse down the front of her. "As Yavan has already stated, fame does not just come from but one performance, however extravagant it may be, but also from counted smaller ones where more people will be of attendance, however lowly the patron may be."
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 16:06
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"Aye, who is to say we won't still be performing for the duke, if you all opt for the path more travelled then I shall follow".
Although I'm still curious as to what prize the Duke may offer to the first to arrive
Beronas smiles wryly, flicking a strand of his silver hair from his face.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 16:28
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Morgan sigh inwardly,
I hope we won't be sitting here the whole week discussing,
Then she says " I still think the road trough the forest is the best choice, but if it's what it takes to get moving, let's go the other way".

" Come on, Dougal !" and with that she nudges her black horse on the left-hand road, humming a dwarven ballad under her breath.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 16:37
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"I hope this decision proves profitable" Beronas says as he folows after.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 18:49
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The halfling storyteller nods, agreeing silently to Beronas' statement. Profit has always been good, but it is merely an end of any journey. The journey is where the real prizes come from. Maybe the trek through the forest wouldn't have been so bad, if she had been travelling with a group of adventurers, chronicalling their treks and delves. But travelling with like-minded performers such as these required a slightly different wagon of thought and direction.

Ilia continues to sit on one of the two wagons, not minding which one she travels on. As she does so, she takes her fiddle out of her backpack and its case and begins tuning it softly, refining the notes that would be given from the fine brindlewood instrument.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 19:55
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As Beronas sits on the wagon he ponders
Who is actually controlling this thing?
"You people are an enigma, you say left now right, which way is it?"
Beronas puts his hands behind his head once again
"I'm am sick of this indecisiveness lets choose the right and be on with it"
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 20:05
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Taking this a step ahead



Taking up the decision to travel upon the left path the troupe sets out. In the lead sits Morgan on her horse. Followed the Duo Ilia and Beronas. Bringing up the rear is Yavan, slightly drawn back from the others.

After many hours of this travel, the sun lowers and increases in the speed of it decent into the earths waiting arms. When the Sun is still a hands breadth above the horizon, up ahead through the glare of the crimson sunset, a group of wagons can be seen circled off to the side of the road in a small clearing.

((Info time, the wagons are about 200ft ahead of you and off to the side, you can smell smoke, but not see a fire, nor see anyone. Laughter can be heard.))
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 20:12
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"ah sounds and smells as if travellers are ahead, maybe we can provide some entertainment".
Beronas bows his head and smiles.
"maybe I can pick up a few extra gold peices at the pit stop"
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 20:23
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" I might be over-cautious", comments Morgan reining in her mount , "but I think it would be wise for one of us to do a bit of careful, silent scouting, to better judge who this fellow travellers might be, just because we haven't heard of bandits on this road it does not mean there aren't none"
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 20:32
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"I shall ease you soul Morgan, I shall scout ahead"
Beronas hops off the wagon and moving ahead of the wagon.
OOC: how far are we from the other wagons? Is there enough source of light for a human to see? If so I shall continue
Beronas scouts ahead, hiding and move silently up towards the camp.
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Unread 30th of June, 2002, 22:00
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Ilia looks at the human male and raises an eyebrow at his light rant over indecisiveness and the rest of the troupe being enigmas.

At Morgan's suggestion, Ilia is almost ready to leap off the wagon and do the scouting when Beronas does so first. Shaking her head as he leaves before she can stop him, she sighs, once again unable to use the near-natural born skills of sneakiness. "Well, here's to hoping he doesn't trip over and break something. I don't know for the life of me how to drive this thing", she whispers to her comrades as Beronas goes about quietly crashing through the wilderness.
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Unread 1st of July, 2002, 01:37
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Yavan sighs as they make their way down the trail. He was grateful for the halfling's assistance in dissuading the others from their avarice. While their hosts might readily accept the first tone-deaf entertainers that arrive on their doorstep, they would be fools to do so and Yavan would have no business with fools. They would not appreciate the music.

As the wagons grind to a halt the elf looks in the distance to the circle of wagons. A good safety measure for traveling merchants to be sure. Perhaps they could entertain and earn some coin. If they were in fact merchants then they would likely be headed in the direction of the Duke. It seems to be the perfect opportunity to begin spreading the word about their skills.

So he frowns as the others preach caution. It was true that neither merchant nor campfire could be seen, and it was possible it was a trap. Still, who would waylay a troupe of bards? Those of this profession were not usually known for their great amount of wealth.

He stops for a moment as he thinks of his companions. To call them all bards would be fair, but he wonders at their skill. He has yet to see any of them play, sing, act, or recite a poem. The halfling and the woman seemed competent, her could tell simply by the way they spoke. True performers have an excellent control over the tone and cadence of their voices. The other one seemed a little more rugged, a little more suspicious. Perhaps that was the reason for his interest in being the first to arrive. He may not be in the business primarily for the love of art.

Yavan shakes his head sadly at this thought. Every person had a right to seek their own path, but to pass up on something as glorious as music was a tragedy.

He pulls out his lute again and begins plucking a soothing, tranquil melody.

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Unread 1st of July, 2002, 02:49
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Mogan looks at her two remaining companions, the Hin woman and the Quessir seem each lost in their own thoughts.
She hasn't missed Yavan's head shake over her proposal but doesn't care. She had not survived her times with the local militia of Red Rock Hold by being reckless, and, according to the Triads,is not 'trusting appearances on unknown roads' one of the Three Banes of the Traveller ?

Her hand goes to her sword hilt without Morgan ever realizing it, her mind going back at her patrols with the militia.
Let the others think it was greed that moved her to propose the forest road... in truth, not that deep down, she longs for adventure and a few good fights.

It makes no sense to simply sing of things you have never experienced, how can one make the audience sense the heath of the battle, the blood pounding in your ears, the thrill, the excitement, the song of the swords, the despair...if one has never felt it?
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Unread 1st of July, 2002, 14:57
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Ilia looks at Morgan's hand retreat to the hilt of her sword unconsciously and smiles. At least one of us has caution pressed firmly to her. I can barely say the same for myself, this is for certain.

She then turns her attentions to the elf, alerted by the tranquility of the notes that come from the lute he carries. The halfling smiles, putting her fiddle to the side as she reaches for a smaller case and opens it.

Two and twenty pieces of ebonwood sit cased inside the box, lovingly enfolded within. She smiles at the dark grey pieces of wood, known as bones, fondly remembering her short time with the kobold bard under his tuition in the musical arts. The speed in which he had manipulated the squat pieces of wood to create a sound that had chilled her to the core was amazing, and she wanted to know how to do it. It was this uncautious curiosity that had both found her ensnared in the kobold rope-trap, and had spared her from their dinner pot.

Ilia shakes her head wistfully, closing the case and packing it away into her backpack, before looking over the edge of the cart, trying to find where the fourth member of their newly banded troupe was.
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Unread 1st of July, 2002, 20:01
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Info time, the wagons are about 200ft ahead of you and off to the side
When the Sun is still a hands breadth above the horizon
okay yes you see.

Moving ahead of his fellow travellers Beronas, quickly disappearing from their sight. Moving as close as he dares to the caravan Beronas sees the source of the noise and smoke. In the centre of the circle lies a large fire, over which sits a pot, tended to by a dwarven women. The laughter can be seen coming from several children who are running past the fire, draying a yell from the dwarf cook, and laughter from the other six people standing around the camp. Before the Beronas can see more of them, a man, dressed in well worn and used leather, steps around a nearby caravan and points a crossbow in his direction.

"Ere now, what you doing here?" the crossbow wielder asks. "I saw ya trying to creep up on us, and we dont want no mischief"


Back at the carts, the rest of the group, watch as Beronas disappears from their sights, and murmur among themselves.

"Well met, comes a voice to their right, the same side of the road as the up-ahead camp. And from the forest emerges an elf, wearing well-used leather armour and a long sword at his side. As he waits for a reaction from you he hands stays on the hilt of his sword, but he makes no unfriendly move.
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Unread 1st of July, 2002, 20:52
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"Beronas gulps as he realises a crossbow lays pointed at his skull.
hmm, maybe this wasn't such a great idea
"Ah.....sir I mean you no trouble, I scout your camp for me and my companians did not know of what sort of people had camp here, so to lay on the side of caution I scouted ahead. Did I mention we mean no harm to you and your companions sir".
Beronas turns to face the weilder of the crossbow.
"Ha ha, we are nothing more then a band of entertainers sir, maybe we could provide you with some entertainment this evening?"
Aye maybe they were right about me, I may not be cut out for this after all
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Unread 1st of July, 2002, 21:14
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" Well met to you, Quessir", answers Morgan, keeping her hand carefully away from her weapons. She sits back on her saddle, apparently relaxed but ready for action if needs be.

She hopes the Yavan will take the lead in this conversation. Her experience with Elves has been very limited and she knows that in her early life she has picked up some Dwarven mannerisms Elves do not like much.
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