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  #201  
Unread 5th of February, 2004, 02:38
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No food, no rest, the two move through the night, adrenaline and concern fueling Cadrius' muscles. He still isn't sure how Shade keeps her pace, especially in the moonlight. She neither speaks nor pauses until an ubrupt halt reveals Blarth's body sprawled across a rock. The torch carried by Cadrius flickers, dimly lighting Blarth. Cadrius kneels by the body to catch his breath and to look over the half-orc for any wounds.

Disbelief runs across his face, there are still marks, still some faint wounds, but nothing that would explain the extreme amount of blood loss along the trail. Cadrius runs one gauntleted hand along a long, freshly-healed scar. He looks over to Shade, who fits her namesake in the dimness, and silently asks a question that her gray eyes decline to answer. How Blarth is not dead is beyond the fallen paladin. Cadrius grits his teeth, he's seen evidence of miracles before and doesn't like the implications.

"He is alive, at least," he says, getting back on his feet under legs shaky from hard work. Laying most of his equipment on the ground, he sets off looking for enough wood for a fire.

Fifteen minutes later he returns, a bundle of wood clutched to his chest with one arm. Dropping them nearby the rock, Cadrius goes about lighting a fire. He engrosses himself in the task, unwilling to think about who, or what, could have healed Blarth. These lands were not friendly, even to those with orcish blood, and it strikes him as unlikely that any would lend aid. With the wood and small kindling set, he sparks the fire with the torch, a faint crackle and gout of stream of smoke indicates to Shade that it's set.

He walks over to Blarth again and bends down, looping his arms underneath the half-orc's. He looks to Shade and tilts his head toward Blarth's legs.

"I do not know why he breathes, but he need not sleep on this rock."

Bending to the task the two pull their unconscious companion to the fire and lay him down within its growing warmth. Cadrius pulls a spare cloak from his bag and drapes it over Blarth. Bathed in the orange firelight, Cadrius shakes his head, half-bemused, half-worried, and removes his armor.
  #202  
Unread 5th of February, 2004, 07:47
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Shade stares at Blarth incredulously. The half-orc ought to be at death's door, yet here he lay asleep and - of all things - uninjured. In the flickering torchlight her grey eyes seek out his left shoulder, fix on the ragged, bloody sleeve. One of her slim hands carefully peel it back, revealing a nasty white scar. The ground beneath his shoulder is dark with dried blood. When Cadrius gets up she indicates a small, flat clearing a few yards back in the direction they came from, screened from the wind by a clump of dry brush. He nods and heads over there to clear a spot for a fire before searching for wood.

Satisfied that he won't be marring any sign around the half-orc's body, she begins a slow spiral outward from the spot where Blarth lay. She has travelled quite a distance and is on her way back by the time Cadrius gets his fire going. She materializes out of the darkness as Cadrius approaches Blarth as of she'd never been gone.

As they haul the half-orc to the fire, she notes the marks on his clothing. It had been a vicious fight, yet here he lay unharmed. The scars said he had been healed, the ground said that nobody had come to do it for him.

"There are no tracks within 200 yards of where his body lay, except ours and his. He was wounded, that much is clear. From what I gather, nobody else was around to help him. If he had a way to heal himself, though, why did he wait so long to use it?"
  #203  
Unread 7th of February, 2004, 02:51
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"He would not have waited," Cadrius says, sitting opposite of the fire from Blarth, "he would have used it immediately, but it was no potion of poultice that did it. He left his belongings at camp before the battle with the giant--" he tilts his head to the backpack lying nearby "--and could not have carried much with him. This was not Blarth's doing."

He can't shake the feeling that there's some other force at work here, something beyond the veneer of the physical world. A foreboding hatches deep within him and begins to hungrily gnaw its way into his consciousness. Still, Blarth is alive, and it's something to be grateful for.

The two take watches as usual, Cadrius preferring to be awake in the predawn hours. Despite his weariness he lies awake for a long time, his back to the campfire, worrying about what would take an interest in a simple half-orc. These thoughts continue to plague him when he is gently awoken by Shade. Once more completing his ritual of polishing his weapons and armor, Cadrius keeps the fire burning until well after dawn. He lets Shade and Blarth sleep, one looked exhausted and the other catatonic. If a little extra sleep will help, then he's more than willing to give it to them.

Cadrius sits amidst the cold morning air and alternately studies Shade and Blarth. Both are mysterious, but he would be hard pressed to say which one is more enigmatic.
  #204  
Unread 12th of February, 2004, 03:58
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The Baanrite was at hand. For seven years Karat had been Haardworden and the tribe had prospered, but now the tribe had earned the disfavor of Gruumsh and the proper recompense must be made. To fail in that obligation would have changed disfavor into wrath.

"Trak, my son," Karat said, removing the ring from his left hand, "You now keep the family honor. Meet all challenges with courage and you will preserve it for all time."

Placing the ring on Trak's left hand, Karat clasps his arm and nods once. Then, turning to face the council around the Baanrite fire, Karat recites the required formula, "I am the Haardworden. I tend the tribal fire. For seven years I have kept it burning by the favor of Gruumsh. Now that favor has been removed and the fire must be rekindled. As Haardworden it is my duty to see the old fire through to the heavenly altar where it can be offered in sacrifice to restore Gruumsh's favor to the tribe."

As he finished, Karat steps forward into the fire and begins his journey.

***

In the back of the crowd, a little boy, restrained by his elders crys out in despair...


***

"FATHER!" Blarth shouts, bolting awake. Disoriented he looks at the small fire before him, expecting to see his father being consumed in the flames, but the fire is too small and only the scent of wood reaches his nostrils.

Like a flood, Blarth's memory comes rushing back to him and he looks down at the ring on his left hand.

"Father." he whispers.

Looking around, Blarth sees the forms of Cadrius and Shade and confusion sets in again, "What happened?"
  #205  
Unread 13th of February, 2004, 02:31
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The sun crests the horizon, bathing the plateu in its fading autumnal strength. Cadrius closes his eyes and tries to take in what warmth he can gather. His nightly ritual of polishing his armor and honing his weapons long sine completed, the fallen paladin has had a long time to consider the path he currently finds himself on. He's detoured, taken the long way around what would have otherwise been a dead end, a fall into a crevasse. Instead he sits, somewhere near a wasteland and a wizard's tower, seeking first the simple half-orc and now the blind wizard. Shade, his faithful, or at least consistent, companion, has guided him this far and with any luck will take them directly to the tower. And then...what? They storm a magical fortress? They demand their blind friend back? Even when he was a knight Cadrius was leery of dealing with the arcane, and without the protection of Heironeous, he likes the idea even less.

Blarth tosses in his sleep, bringing Cadrius out of his reverie. He watches the half-orc for a moment, wondering if perhaps he caught a fever or some sickness. He kneels down by him and watches, concerned. Laying a hand across Blarth's broad forehead reveals it to be warm, but not hot. The half-orc begins to mutter in his sleep.

"Kalak, gran ourd Haardworden. Ile maf izol marugh!"

Cadrius raises his eyebrows and looks over to Shade, finding her already awakened by Blarth's muttering. Their eyes meet, mirroring confusion and concern. Blarth stirs more, muscles clenching and Cadrius places a hand on the half-orc's chest, growing more worried. Subsiding a bit, Blarth seems to relax before bolting upright, despite Cadrius' considerable weight leaning on him.

"PATROMN!"

"What happened?"

Cadrius looks over to Shade and then back at Blarth, studying him him for a moment before speaking.

"You were lost for several days. . .and we came in search. We found you yesterday, after dark. There was a good deal of blood. You should be dead," he says, reaching over to a waterskin and handing it to the half-orc, "but your wounds are fast on the mend with only a few scars and cuts to mark their passage. We should discuss what happened later, but I think some food and rest is in order."

But only briefly, he thinks, Cadogan has been in the tower for far too long. Who knows what foul things have been done to him.
  #206  
Unread 13th of February, 2004, 03:08
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Shade stalks through the wilderness without a sound and it feels as though she is the only thing in the world that is moving. The forest is unnaturally still, the moonlight making it seem a frieze etched in black and silver. Up ahead, she knows there will be an orcish sentry. It makes sense, but she knows with a certainty beyond what common sense dictates. Odd, but no less odd than the feeling of moving through petrified wood composed of precious metals.

She sees it's squat form up ahead; ungainly, repulsive - but cunning for all that. One might not even notice him were they less wary. Her sword clears it's scabbard silently, one more silvered petal in this forest of her dreams, and her feet slide over blackened earth silently. Metallic grey eyes fixate on the slight hollow where neck joins skull, conveniently exposed despite the armor it wears. She raises the blade for the thrust as she comes into range and in the eternity it takes for her arm to move forward she contemplates the utter stillness of this place.

The shock of the impact travels up her arm and into her shoulder yet the noise she is expecting - something like a shovel driven into half frozen ground - never sounds. The body of the orc is simply gone and she is poised on the edge of a clearing, knowing - once more with unnatural certainty - that Blarth and Cadrius are poised to leap into action. A huge fire burns there, it's flames blood red, tinting silver darkness crimson, surrounded by a dozen orcs. Beyond the fire a man steps into view, shimmering faintly in the darkness that seems to blot out everything near him, and his eyes find hers. Her soul freezes and she finds herself stricken to immobility, just as everything else seemed to be. Her fear wells up, fanning the frigid flame in it's icy breeze. A black cavern in her mind yawns wide enough to swallow her whole and then Blarth's voice cuts through her like a butcher's knife.


"Kalak, gran ourd Haardworden. Ile maf izol marugh!"

She snaps awake, her sword snaking out as her eyes look for the danger, her mind still whirling with images from her dream.

"PATROMN!"

Cadrius is looking at Blarth with concern and, realizing the half-orc had cried out in his sleep, Shade breathes a sigh of relief that it isn't anything more serious. She wasn't the only one with bad dreams, it seemed. Sheathing her sword, she gauges the angle of the sun and thanks any gods who might be listening that the weather hasn't turned bad.

"Food, at least. Rest may have to wait. We shouldn't spend any more time out in the middle of nowhere than we have to."
  #207  
Unread 13th of February, 2004, 03:47
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"Blood? Wounds?" Blarth asks in confusion.

I don't feel injured.

Looking down at his arms and legs Blarth notes the dried blood and tears in his clothing. Carefully probing on of the larger holes he finds the familiar fresh skin that comes along with his forced healing.

"It looks like I..." Blarth begins, before the memory of the fight with the grimlocks comes rushing back.

"Grotgewoner!" he exclaims, "Cave dwellers. Uhh... They're grey and have no eyes but see as well as any orc..." Blarth says, trying to explain, "I don't know what they are called in your tounge, but they ambushed me. Thought I'd make a fine meal I suppose."

Stopping to take a drink from the offered waterskin, Blarth thirstily drinks down a fair bit of it.

"I remember beating them and then trying to find their supplies. Food and water, they must have had some. After that though, it gets hazy. I'm not sure how I got from there to here," Blarth concludes, looking around at the area around them.
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Unread 14th of February, 2004, 05:53
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"Food, at least. Rest may have to wait. We shouldn't spend any more time out in the middle of nowhere than we have to."

"We three have pushed hard in the last several days," he says, turning his gaze to Blarth, "harder than I suspect we know. It would not due to be caught by more of these. . .Grotgewoners, and be too fatigued to challenge them. Still, we cannot delay for long. Shade, do you know how many more days until we reach the tower?"

He'd walk until blood filled his boots, but he's still concerned with Shade and Blarth. The two look hale enough, but he wonders how much longer Shade can go on sheer willpower. Blarth's miraculous recoverly couldn't have come without some sort of price, some depletion somewhere. Had the gnome, Tiltowait, come across the half-orc and healed him he would have been back by now. More importantly, there would have been something to mark the gnome's works. So Cadrius is back to where he began, worrying about a miracle and carrying the symbol of the patron deity of Blarth's fathers.

"Some time you will need to explain to me how this all happened."

He shakes his head and looks to Shade, gauging her reaction. In a pragmatic sense, she's right, they should already be up and gone, but a little rest now could save a headache down the road. Still, the less time he has to spend here the better. The elevation has thinned the trees, removing a good deal of their cover should a late autumn storm strike. The thought of truding through snow somehow makes this ill-fated journey just a little bit worse.
  #209  
Unread 17th of February, 2004, 06:36
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Setting out once more, the trio wonder through the barren lands, driven by a purpose that is blunted by despair, pain and hunger. Eventually the environment seems to meld together, rock after rock after tree after rock merging, fatigue blunting the mind into seeing them all as one.

The sun rises in the sky above them, and the three unlikely companions continue to climb in a shallow mockery of the life-giving-light's majestic rise. Before long, the few trees that remained are stripped away leaving only the bare rocks on the ground and the sparse shadows that hide under them. Step after step the companions move, ever at a slower pace. The small flock of buzzing insects that plague all travellers grow ever larger, drawn by the sweat, blood, and an almost audible stench of desperation that emanates from the small group - yet they too are merely shunted into the background by the mind of the weary travellers.

Then a most unexpected thing is heard. A voice. Singing.

Halting in their tracks at the voice, Shade automatically moves forward to spy out the source of this singing voice in the wilderness, and possible source of danger to her companions.

All listening to the voice mark it as sounding familiar, but not being able to place where from. The voice doesn't sing a particularly good song, but by the same note it doesn't sing a particularly bad song. Nor does the voice appear to be singing for the entertainment of others, for it carries the quality of song, which only comes when one is singing for the pure joy of it.

As the scouting woman narrows down the location of the voice, slipping from shadow to shadow as her moniker suggests, the tale behind the song unfolds. It's an old story, told by old folk to children around the heath and campfires at night. Yet it is also a sad and profound one. It tells the tale of On Tittros, the morning star.

Sitting amongst his Brother and Sister stars in the night sky, under the watchful eyes of their Mother-Moon, Tittros was not content. Looking down of the night-clad world, Tittros would each night, linger longer and longer, reluctant to leave the sky and sleep like all good stars should do. For Tittros wanted more, yet he was unsure as to what it was that he wanted - so each night he lingered, and pondered, until it came to be that he was the last star of the night to retire. It was on one of these nights that Tittros lingered longer then he had ever lingered before, and in the distance he saw a majestic light arise. Bright enough to outshine ever his Mother-Moon. For an instant Tittros saw then sun, and knew that what he desired was to touch the face of such a thing.

His Brother-Stars and Sister-Stars shook their head when they saw of Tittros' longing, and Mother-Moon spoke to him gravely, warning him that such a desire could not come to pass. The sun leads a solitary life, full of sorrow. For so great was it's brightness that none could come near it. Turning a deaf ear to the misgivings of his Brother-Stars and Sister-Stars, and the warnings of Mother-Moon, Tittros began to linger in the day for as long as he could.

Each day Tittros would strain and concentrate and stay longer, and each day the sun would approach that little bit longer. Thus it went Tittros becoming so focused on touching the sun, that he left behind the night sky filled with his Brother and Sister starts, over looked by Mother-Moon, without even realising it. After many a day of stretching out to reach the face of the sun, Tittros realised the truth. He would never be able to reach far enough to touch it. For the closer that Tittros became, the brighter the sun shone, and the less that he was.

Despairing of fulfilling his desire, Tittros turned instead to the comfort of His Brother and Sister Stars, and the stern by wise words of Mother-Moon. Alas it was at this moment that Tittros realised the truth - in all his vain straining towards the sun, he had left behind the night sky. Now he was no longer a creature of the full and friendly night, nor was he a bright and radiant creature of the day. He was stuck in the middle, having forever left behind the night, and unable to enter the day.

And so it was that Tittros became the morning star.

As the song winds down to a finish, Shade finds the source of the music. Sitting with his back against a rock rests a familiar one-armed bard, so caught up in the song that he failed to notice any indication of the approaching woman.
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  #210  
Unread 18th of February, 2004, 05:37
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A long difficult day goes a long way towards pushing Shade from merely irritated to barely checked anger. Finding Blarth had been something of a relief, but starting the day off with orcish voices disturbing her nightmare had put her squarely on the wrong foot. She withdrew from the others mentally, and theirs was a mostly silent trek into the unknown. Throughout the day the images from the previous evening come back time and again to haunt her, like black and silver ghosts, until she can almost see the images overlaid upon the waking landscape.

Lost in dark thoughts, she is roused by a most unexpected sound: singing. It is out of place in this wasteland; beyond that, it is pure stupidity for one to attract attention to themselves that way. She is reminded of Itches, the naive youth who had died only a week past, and she beats the memory ruthlessly down. It wasn't her fault he was dead.

With only a look and a gesture to Cadrius and Blarth, she sets off toward the sound. Her meaning is nevertheless clear: wait here until I see what it is. The sun is starting it's descent in the western sky and any warmth from the copper disk has faded. She can fill the chill in her fingers as they wrap around the hilt of her blade to keep it from making any noise. The singing grows louder as she approaches, pointedly ignoring the lyrics lest it bring back memories best forgotten. She slows her pace and crouches down, moving with as much stealth as she can muster up a small rise.

There, below her, is the source of the singing. Crouched behind the scrub, her eyes narrow as the song ends and she contemplates the figure down below. Nicos, most certainly. Her hand doesn't leave her sword as she digests the information. They had left him three nights ago, time enough for him to get here if he hadn't delayed. They had wasted a bit of time searching for Blarth. She looks around for Laronar but he is nowhere to be seen.

Why didn't Nicos wait, if his intent was to come here anyway?

A valid question, and one that she didn't have an answer for. Was he playing some sort of game with them? The thought disturbs her, but the bard had put himself at odds with his own father to help them escape Karkas. She watches a little longer, waiting to see if some other companion appears, but there are none. Well, there was only one way to find out. She circles a bit wider, still hidden, and approaches him from his flank. Remembering how alert he is, she doesn't bother to get too close before revealing herself. She stands and addresses him from perhaps 40 feet away.

"An odd place for a lullaby, don't you think? You're lucky it's me that showed up and not a band of orcs. Or worse."
  #211  
Unread 19th of February, 2004, 01:45
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Lost in a world of his own, Nicos fails to sense the approach of Shade. Jumping up in fright the bard spins, his sword out before he is fully standing. Seeing whom it is he relaxes.

"Damnit woman, is it your mission in life to always sneak up on me unnoticed?"

Putting his weapon up, Nicos ignores her question and looks around.

"Where are the rest of them?"
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  #212  
Unread 19th of February, 2004, 02:00
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She regards him somewhat cooly from behind her veil. Her arms are relaxed but nevertheless still not too far away from her blades.

"They're around. What are you doing out here? And why did you leave us back at the clearing?"

Shade can't quite decide if she is suspiscious of the bard or not. He might have sinister reasons for leaving them, or he might have just thought the rescue mission a fruitless endeavor. Which, of course, is what she had thought from the beginning.
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Unread 19th of February, 2004, 02:11
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Looking over her dirt-ridden clothes, and fatigued marked face - which strikes quite a difference to his well clean figure he quips.

"A Lot better then you by the looks of it. I was waiting for you to arrive, and got bored so started to sing."

Going a little defensive.

"And look now, it wasn't my idea to leave you there back at the clearing, and it wasn't easy on me either. They kept me all night until they finally decided what to do, but this isn't a tale for here. I'll tell you when we get inside."

Looking down where he was watching he trail, and then the rocks that Shade had emerged from, Nicos hesitates.

"We had better get the others - uh which way are they?"
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Unread 19th of February, 2004, 04:56
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She doesn't make any move, either forward or back toward the others. There was something decidely strange going on, and the bard's cryptic answers stirred the waters of distrust within her. His final question is enough to make her drop any thought of leading him to Cadrius. She folds her arms so that her hands lie within easy reach of her blades and she bends her knees the slightest bit, prepared to move at an instant's notice.

"Who are they and what did they want with you?"
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Unread 19th of February, 2004, 05:22
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Noticing her movements into what is almost a battle stance, Nicos moves his hands well away from any of his blades - confident in his ability to defend himself without them, and confident of Shade's ignorance of that skill.

"The people from the Citadel. You know, brotherhood of mages. Live out in the wilderness. A blind mage is a member. Ringing any bells here? Look, I'll quickly tell you what happened, but details will have to wait until we get back there."

Taking a deep breathing, and noting to no small amount of relief that her blades are still sheathed, he begins.

"After you had left the clearing, the people from the Citadel came and got it. It seems that they were hesitant to allow non-mages to enter their sanction. They needed some information about you, and because I can cause some effects that they would call magic, they judged me a lesser risk. That said they took me there, questioned me, and debated through the night as to what to do. At some point this morning they came to the decision to let you in, and told me you were approaching along this trail."

Giving Shade an apprising look, Nicos adds.

"And now that I've had time to get a good look at you I would rather like to know what happened to you. Frankly you look as if you had spent all 36 odd hours, since we last saw each other, battling for every step you made."
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Unread 19th of February, 2004, 05:41
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"Oh, bloody hell."

Her posture relaxes, though, and she suddenly feels every bit as tired as Nicos implies. Shade looks away from the one armed bard for a moment, studying the sky. Those arrogant mages and their incessant meddling; spiriting Cadogan off, then Nicos. Hadn't they been invited to this damned Citadel? Of course, if she had simply believed they meant no harm she never would have come out here to begin with. Now, though, it was becoming clear to her that the wizards were more than powerful enough to crush the likes of her, Cadrius and Blarth. Here they were, though. If Nicos' story was true, then chances were good the wizards meant no harm. Enough reason to go home, except the journey had been hell on all of them. They could use a chance to rest somewhere relatively safe - and they had come all this way, they might just as well see to Cadogan.

"Not every step, but damn near.

"The rescue attempt went as bad as I imagined it would. To make things worse, we got separated from Blarth and he got himself lost. Cadrius and I made it back to camp to find everyone gone; we waited for what seemed like a reasonable amount of time for anyone to show up. Nobody did. We decided to head towards the Citadel, in hopes we'd run across someone's trail. We found Blarth's, and we spent the rest of the time searching him out in the waste.

"We came across him last night, and were on our way to the Citadel when we heard you."
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Unread 19th of February, 2004, 05:53
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"By Garthinia woman," Nicos exclaims softly as she quickly relates what happened.

"I would like to know more, but I would prefer to be while on a comfortable chair, with a full belly, a warm fire, and a mug of ale. Let's get the others and go on in. There is food, amenities for washing, and it's as safe as if you were under the constant watch of that dour lover of yours."
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Unread 20th of February, 2004, 00:15
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With one last glance at the scrubby hills surrounding them, Shade nods to the bard and starts back towards Cadrius and Blarth. It doesn't take long to get back, and she never hears any sound save Nicos behind her. Hopefully it meant the bard was alone and they weren't being followed. Not that she didn't believe him, but she rarely let her guard down if it wasn't necessary. As they approach she waves, waiting to speak until they are close enough that she doesn't have to shout.

"Look what I found. It seems we have companions scattered all over these wastes. I wouldn't be surprised if Laronar fell from the sky and the gnome popped out of the ground."
  #219  
Unread 20th of February, 2004, 01:50
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Cadrius listens, curious if he can detect Shade approach. He should be worried, should be concerned with her safety, and yet the fallen paladin isn't. He trusts that if there's danger out in this land that she can avoid it better than he or Blarth ever could. He's confident in her skill and passes the time attempting to detect her return. A few birds sing here and there, but for the most part this stretch of landscape deserves the title "wasteland." The elevation coupled with a lack of moisture leaves the landscape half-barren. Here and there shrubs and the occassional scraggy tree cling to the loose soil with a tenacity that only nature can reach, but for the most part they are greeted by rock and dirt.

Crack. He hears something in the woods, footsteps moving across stone and soil. Cadrius frowns. It can't be Shade, she never makes noise like that, even when relaxed. Relaxed. The thought almost makes him chuckle. Has he ever seen the woman when she's at ease? Then again, has she ever seen the same from him?

And so he finds himself only half-surprised when Shade and Nicos emerge from the woods. The one-armed bard had not taken to him the last time they met, and Cadrius doubts that a day and a half in the woods will have changed much. Still, he will not be brusque with a companion, not when they'll need to trust each other for survival.

"I am glad you survived," he says. It's a simple almost off the cuff greeting, but then again the man isn't known for his compliments. "It would not be too much of a stretch to think we shall find that gnome under a rock somewhere, but I for one hope never to meet that foul-tempered elf again. I have only seen one before, and I was very small then. Are they all that. . .frustrating?"
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Unread 21st of February, 2004, 03:46
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Shade just shrugs at the warrior's question, her eyes still scanning the horizon - though for what, even she has no idea. Her eyes finally land on Nicos, searching, measuring.

"It seems the wizards that spirited Cadogan away did the same for Nicos here. He has an interesting story to tell. It seems Cadogan is okay and our arrival is not unexpected."

She looks over to Cadrius to see how he reacts, wondering why she isn't relieved to hear those words herself. Maybe she didn't believe them just yet, or maybe she didn't want to believe them. That facade of a purpose had been holding them together since they had left Karkas. If it was gone, what did it mean?

"Nicos can give us the whole story, though."
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Unread 21st of February, 2004, 05:22
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"An interesting story? From a bard? I would have thought that impossible," he says dryly. Yet he still listens to the man's tale and frowns throughout most of it.

It's his way of coping with the sudden lack of purpose. The wizards knew they were coming, and even welcomed it. The heroic, albeit foolish, rescue of their friend from what? A bastion of civilization in the middle of a wasteland? He isn't certain who they'd be rescuing him from. Perhaps the blind man would be better off in the company of his peers. They might be able to teach him to cope with his lack of sight and still weave his spells. Cadrius might not like magic, but he doesn't want Cadogan setting himself on fire due to his blindness.

"I suggest we keep moving. Our supplies are not plentiful and it would be risky to turn around now. If these wizards will grant us hospitality for a day or two, I say we avail ourselves of it. He might be better for this change, but I would see Cadogan at least once."

So that this was not all in vain.
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