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  #1  
Unread 3rd of June, 2009, 12:27
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Chapter two: The Battle of Broken Rock

Dappled sunlight flashes through the canopy and dances on the gently rippling waters of the river like golden coins rimed with moss. A light breeze caresses the crystalline waters its breath rich with the pungent, earthy smells of the surrounding forest. The river murmled playfully as mayflies danced across surface, tempting the trout from their shady nooks with the promise of a quick snack.

A squat figure crouches along the bank, eagerly waiting for just such a hungry fish. Long braids hold his coppery hair from his amber eyes and a thick mass of beard shrouds his chin like a wildfire. Motionless he waits, a long wooden fishing spear held at the ready. He is almost about to give up for the day when he sees it - the most magnificent brook trout in all of Cylenis.

Nearly three feet long, its brown marbled back had rendered it nearly invisible in the languid waters until a white tipped fin had peaked around it succulent body and caught his eye. Just looking at it sends Thorik's mouth watering - it was more food than he had had in nearly a month. With the slowness of a glacier, the dwarf slowly chambers the spear for the strike.

"Gorm!"

A woman's voice cuts through the bowels of the forest like a jagged blade, plunging the river into chaos. Thorik sees two human men burst from the opposite tree line not more than a fifty paces up river from him. One has the look of a Cyleni, although bigger of stature than Thorik was used to. The other's armor and build mark him as Derbolg. Cursing loudly the Northman half carries, half drags the Cyleni through the icy waters. Behind them a great white bull heshenai launches himself into the river, a sprightly female Derbolg close on his heels.

His fish was gone.

Heaving and white eyed the group thrashes across the waters of the Krókr Fljót, their gaze never far from the woods behind them. At first it seems as if the Heshenai and his thrall are trying to overtake the two men, but when the pale orc tosses the Cyleni onto the bank he yanks him to his feet instead of braining him on the spot.

A flight of black arrows hiss from the opposite bank, their stone head thudding deeply into the trees around them. One slams into the woman's back, its greasy black shaft splinters from the impact but its flint tip is unable to reive the bronze disks of her jazerant. As one the small party move deeper into the woods the staccato of another salvo lending haste to their feet. A few moments later their pursuers emerge; dirty men and women of half a dozen races draped in rancid furs who flit wraith like along the bank before hazarding a crossing.

The Dubhabhainn, the Black River Folk.

Last edited by -J-; 25th of January, 2010 at 12:12.
  #2  
Unread 5th of June, 2009, 10:27
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The Beori remains motionless, concealed in the reeds along the bank while his hard amber eyes stay locked on the vile tribesmen gathered at the water's edge. Hot blood pounds through his veins; thick dwarven fingers tighten on the hardwood shaft of the fishing spear - not that it would do him any good in a melee with nearly a score of blood-mad tribesmen, but this wasn't the time to make a move for his axes. He didn't bother wondering what the fugitives had done to earn their ire; if the Dubhabhainn didn't spit you as soon as look at you it was only because they had something worse in mind.

He waits with terrible patience, knowing full the consequence of discovery, his body still as the very rock from whence his kind was born, a crouching tiger in boiled leather and browned iron. He'd walked the track the four had followed, knew where it ended up. Rough country, there where the hills rose - good bones in that earth, but tough going for a group that looked as harried as they. The river wouldn't slow the pursuers long - this close on the trail and they were frothing with anticipation, sensing weakness in their wearied quarry.

The chase was near to the end; he could see the frenzied exultation in their eyes. He glares with hate at the vermin before him. Life was the proving ground and gateway to the hall of the Gods; everyone ought to get a chance to die well.
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Unread 14th of June, 2009, 02:20
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Piletre staggers through the densely packed forest, numbly following Ghostface. She didn't know how the pale orc is able to do it. He was almost twice her weight, and yet his loping stride never faltered. They had been traveling into the interior of Cylenis for going on two weeks now, ever skirting the wandering groups of Dubhabhainn. This last one they had picked up three days ago, and even with the heshanai's woodcraft they had not been able to loose them. Not that it matters much, she thinks darkly, knowing that there wasn't another day left in her legs.

She is so fatigued that she doesn't realize that Ghostface had stopped running, and she nearly runs into him. Clinging to a branch to keep from falling, she peers through the foliage and spots Gorm a short way ahead dry heaving against a tree, and Rowan, collapsed into a kneeling position beyond him. Piletre can't tell whether he is laughing or crying.

Mechanically she pushes forward, clumsily patting Gorm on the shoulder. It is a simple gesture, and he responds with a glazed nod. Wiping the bile from his cracked lips he falls in step behind her.

"Row..." she calls as she limps up behind him, "...come on." She tugs limply on his ragged shawl. His inertia is too much, and the coarse fabric pulls from her fingers. "Row," she starts again in a tone thick with exhaustion then stops. Looking up from the prone Cyleni she follows his gaze through the edge of the woods to a wall of rough, weathered stone that rises teeth-like before them. Deep in side her breast, the last ember of hope snuffs out, leaving a dark emptiness inside.

This is the spot.

This is the place where I will die.

These trees and stones will be the final, lone witnesses to end of my days, as all that I am fades into shadow and dust.

In the distance behind them she can hear the approaching cannibals. Slowly the half-elf's hands falls to the coarse handle of her flint axe, and the leather wrapped hilt of her bronze knife.

There is nothing left now but to buy the last of her breathes with such bloody ruin as to be worthy of song.

Last edited by -J-; 20th of January, 2010 at 05:18.
  #4  
Unread 15th of June, 2009, 03:32
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Their short - by Heshenai standards - run is over. Ghostface admits the latecomers can take no more. Piletre had been holding up better. Today her stride is broken, and he has no time to gather the bitter Calcorra to aid their endurance.

The pale Heshenai borrows the flint axe from Piletre, hacks down a few birch saplings, breaks them off cleanly with his weight and puts a rudimentary point on them with a few more slashes of the axe.

While handing back the axe to Piletre and with his tusks giving the Mirrian an odd accent he says, "We make our stand against that cliff face behind the big rock and use a few of these to limit their rush."

Almost growling his back ripples as he pierces the earth with the saplings making a crude picket.

Without inspecting his work, he gathers four melon-size rocks that had fallen from the cliff face. He hefts one and eyes the treeline for the first Dubhabnainn.
  #5  
Unread 15th of June, 2009, 07:08
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“Well enough,” Gorm muses hoarsely as he studies the great stone rise before him. “I’ve run about as far as I care to.”

“What was in old times, shall come again.” Gorm chuckles as he echoes Rowan’s words at the fire in a low voice as he forms up rank on Ghostfaces left flank. The weight of the chain hauberk attempts to pull him down deep into the earth. Gorm’s gaze is fixed on the tree line as he readies his spear.

“I am Gorm,” he says in a loud, proud voice to nobody in particular. “Son of Hroðulf, son of Sheaf Blackhand who himself slew over a hundred men at the Battle of Storträdstad. Even now does the line of my people watch over me, waiting in judgment. For it is through glorious action that a man best builds his name and his deeds travel on from this world to the next. May our conduct here today honor all who have gone before us and fallen. For it is only through the retelling of great deeds that the brave may live on forever… and friends, this is our song!”
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Unread 17th of June, 2009, 13:16
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Death twines her fingers in Rowan’s hair and breathes lightly on his neck. Lightly perfumed with sweat and fear, she whispers sweet nothings in his ear. Oblivion awaits. Yet his legs still churn through water and up the scree of these wild lands that the barbarians call home. Rowan brushes aside her courting, clinging to the fire within his breast until the last. He belongs to another.

No men live here in the dells and mountains, but monsters do. The Black River Tribe is beyond savage. They are what happens to men when they are left too long without gods to guide them. He would spit but his mouth has been dry for days. They are harried. Their strength is failing. Fortune will need to smile to rescue them.

Instead she curses them to the dark.

Rowan falls to the ground, not feeling the loose stone and gravel digging into his knees. A mad grin spreads across his cracked lips like the rictus of a dead man. He would cry, but there are no tears to be shed for Rowan, son of Callum, a failure in his father’s eyes, and in the eyes of the world. Instead his body shakes, wracked by the cruel hopelessness of it all.

Somewhere Gorm is saying something. His rich voice is strong despite their long flight. But Rowan can’t hear the words. His eyes are cast to the rough cliffs ahead of him. He searches the stone and gray skies above for answers, not salvation. He finds neither. It is only Piletre’s hand on his arm that brings his head back around. The great orc is building a defense, perhaps expecting to fight his way free, or perhaps merely wishing to die well.

“Rowan.” There is something in her eyes that he cannot read. “This is where we make our stand.”

He stares at her for a long second before bobbing his head. His life has not been a good one. He has done little worth of song or deed, but he can die well. That much he can do.

Rowan stands. Death caresses his face.

It is time.
  #7  
Unread 23rd of June, 2009, 10:09
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“Here,” Gorm leads Rowan gently by the arm to stand in his place next to Ghostface. “Stay together. Keep the line for as long as you can.”

“Piletre, since we are short a spear, you should stand between me and Rowan and provide aid where needed. I will hold the line on the end.”

Once all three of them are in place, Gorm looks down the line to Ghostface. “They are ready,” he says in Vadrii. “As am I.”

Gorm settles in and fixes his eyes once again on the tree line. Death or Glory. Which would come for him this day?
  #8  
Unread 24th of June, 2009, 01:34
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Legs tensed, Ghostface's eyes scan the treeline. He hadn't understood Gorm's words, but he knew their tone. His chest puffed up as he listened. He tests the weight of his missile.

Gorm is still talking. He has arranged the exhausted pinkies into a straight line next to the great orc ripe for the Black River tribe's arrows. He shakes his head and his shoulders lower. I am a shaman not a warrior.

His thick yellowish eyebrows furrow as he considers his words, then orc speaks slowly in Mirrian, "Gorm. Let me draw the attention of their arrows. I hope these thrown stones will hurry their charge. You three stay behind until they charge. Rowan could guard the picket make sure they don't make a circle, yes?"

The pale continues to monitor the treeline but now includes his companions as he scans. At first with anxiety then with his own rhythm, Ghostface shuffles from foot to foot as if hearing drums.
  #9  
Unread 24th of June, 2009, 03:40
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"Arrows," Gorm says as he looks at the neat, straight line he had arranged his companions in. Come to think of it, he did vaguely recall being shot while trying not to vomit while he ran. "Right. Let's do that then."
  #10  
Unread 7th of July, 2009, 15:25
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The rock in Ghostface's hand is of the same stock as the large boulder they are hiding behind - rough, red flecked granite rimed with pale green lichen. He turns the head sized stone in his fist, his sweat drawing out its thick, earthy scent as his restless eyes probe the darkness of the forest.

Waiting.

A spring breeze ripples through emerald canopy, thankfully pushing back the reek of the pinkies behind him. A breeze that still carries with it the last bite of winter before the warming kiss of Helust. A lone raven shoots out of the forest, its wings flashing sable as it flies by.

CAW!

CAW!

CAW!

The bird's frantic call pierces the heavy silence.

Danger!

Manlings!

Hide!

Ghostface hears in their echo. He's already moving when the twang of bowstrings herald a flight of greasy arrows. Like frenzied sparrows they erupt from the forest, their knapped flint tips hungry for flesh and blood. Sparks erupt as they skid and shatter against the reddish stone. One snakes past the rock edge and burrows through the heshenai's improvised girdle and into his guts. Pain and rage blossom in his chest. He bellows out a roar of challenge, and the woods erupt in frothing, filthy dubhabhain in response.
  #11  
Unread 10th of July, 2009, 10:33
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Segement 12 Part I

A black wave of rancid furs and filed teeth washes across the clearing. Ghostface hurls his two head sized rocks, managing to stagger two of them before the rest crash upon their small island of stone. Bedlam erupts in the human surf as the dubhabhain screech and flail about in mad bloodlust.

Darting around the off balance shaman, Gorm drives a shoulder into a club wielding savage, pitching him into the boulder. The hand axe in his hand feels like an anchor as he sinks it into his foe's back. Ribs shatter and blood spurts thickly as he slumps to the ground dying. A blur of movement catches Gorm's eye and he instinctively throws a wild parry. His reflexes, too slowed from fatigue, fail to divert the spear, but luckily the knapped flint tip merely scrapes across his mail without finding purchase.
  #12  
Unread 10th of July, 2009, 11:25
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Segment 12 Part II

Piletre crouches in the lee of the red rock and waits, her heavy bronze knife in one hand, a crude dubhabhain hand axe in the other. Even in the cool of Duedrin, sweat flows freely from her brow, matting her silvery hair and running in rivulets under her armor and between her breasts. Fear, pain, and exhaustion stretch the seconds into hours, and paint the scene around her in fantastic detail. The sweet smell of the spring air mixed with metallic tang of blood and sweat; the stillness of the forest pressing in on the hammering of her heart.

Only now was life at its most real.

She casts a hardened eye towards Rowan. He was taller than most of the Cyleni she had seen in the coastal villages. Even caked with dirt and dried blood, there was a noble bearing to his features; a nobility that couldn't have come from Derbolg, Cyleni or even Anrian stock, but from something older.

Something purer.

The crack of arrows against stone stops her musings. Inching away from the protective rock she steals a glance towards the tree line and spies the charging dubhabhain. An instant later Ghostface and Gorm fall into the first wave. Lightning churns in her stomach in anticipation.

The sound of leathery foot on stone catches her ear and she spins in place. A wiry figure crests the boulder and it takes a moment for Piletre to realize that its a woman, her matted golden locks betraying her Derbolg heritage. A predatory growl bursts over her pointed teeth as the fair haired dubhabhain springs from the rock, her stone war club trailing menacingly behind her.

Rowan's spear rises to meet her, its wooden tip sinking into the she-wolf's arm. Flesh and muscle rip free from bone as her weight rips the haft from her limb. Pain suffuses her thin frame and sets her already frenzied mind on fire. Snapping and spitting like a rapid dog, the woman's momentum knocks the spear from Rowan's hand and bears him heavily to the ground. The berserk dubhabhain latches on to Rowan's hair, yanking his face and neck towards her maw.

Frantic, Rowan flails against her enraged strength barely managing to deflect her bite from his throat. Needle like fangs sink deeply into his chest and he screams. With a jerk of her head she rips the meat from his ribs. Hot gobs of his own fat and blood dribble wetly from her mouth onto his face, as he watches her chew.

Last edited by -J-; 21st of July, 2009 at 03:48.
  #13  
Unread 10th of July, 2009, 12:23
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Segement 12 Part III

Soundlessly Thorik follows in the wake of the pursuing dubhabhain until they stop at the edge of a clearing. They hover in the shadows, growling and snapping at each other like hungry dogs. Finally the biggest of them, a tall, lanky limbed heshenai with one eye mutters something in their foul tongue and they ready their bows and spread out. Through the trees the dwarf catches a glimpse of their quarry standing behind a rock, his milky white skin glowing in the sun. With a grunt the leader has them loose, and their black arrows rip through the underbrush.

A distant roar tells Thorik that not all of them missed.

Smelling blood, the dubhabhain burst from the forest, the promise of dark butchery ringing from their lips. Three remain in the twilight beneath the trees. Thorik allows himself a faint smile as he slides through the undergrowth. Mortal cries echo through the rocky hills, hiding the sound of his footfall. Ten yards from his foe Thorik looses his twin axes, and breaks into a sprint.

The dubhabhain turns in time to see a dark pattern-welded axe head hack into the thews of his right thigh, snapping the bone beneath like wet kindling. The second axe sinks to the haft in his spine, driving him into the underbrush and silencing his gurgling cries.

A shout goes up to his left, followed by the twang of a bow string, and the hiss of arrow. At such short ranges even dwarven maille can be rent. Pain and battle lust explode in his mind, as the stone tipped shaft bites into his chest. He can feel the world fading, like he was looking at it from the far end of a great, bloody tunnel. Through his rage he can see them, the dubhabhain closest to him was the one that shot him. The lanky heshenai furthest from him has an arrow ready.

Two with bows is not the time...

Two with bows is not the time...
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Unread 21st of July, 2009, 05:25
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Segment 4 Part I

Piletre straddles the back of the fair-haired savage and sinks her wide bladed dagger into the frenzied meat of the cannibal's shoulder. Hot blood cuts a red channel through the layers of filth on her limb, but the wound only feeds her fury as she lunges for Rowan's neck. Dropping her axe and leaving her knife in its meat-sheath, the violet eyed half elf grabs fistfuls of rank hair in an attempt to rein in the dubhabhain's jaws.

Last edited by -J-; 30th of July, 2009 at 03:14.
  #15  
Unread 21st of July, 2009, 06:57
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Segment 4 Part II

Summoning what strength he has left Gorm pushes aside the dubhabhain's spear and counters. The spring air is fire in his lungs, his every breath coming in panting gulps. Both hands clutch the hand axe, as he throws his weight behind his blows only to see them effortlessly deflected.

He was spent, and his foe knew it.

With a guttural cry he raises his axe, purposefully exposing his stomach. Unable to resist the dubhabhain drop low, and thrusts. Fire spits from the mailled shirt as the riveted Derbolg rings hold fast. Stepping in Gorm hews the man's weapon arm off near the shoulder, sending his foe to the ground in red, spurting ruin.

And more rush in.

Last edited by -J-; 30th of July, 2009 at 08:01.
  #16  
Unread 30th of July, 2009, 03:19
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Segment 4 part III

Thorik's legs drive him forward in a tide of steel and sinew with such explosive ferocity that he is inside the archer's guard before another arrow can be loosed. The axe in his right hand spins on his palm, wide and high, drawing attention. The dubhabhain's eyes follow the deadly arc in what would be the last mistake of his life. Thorik grunts as the other axe comes up in an underhand blow, all his weight behind it, between the man's wide braced legs. It parts muscle and flesh like a ship's prow cleaving the sea, blood boiling out in it's wake, finally lodging deep into bone, high in his pelvis.

The dwarf doesn't bother checking his second axe and it chops in like a butcher's cleaver splitting the mongrel wide and wedging into his spine. Thorik levers the haft down and vertebrae pop apart in sickening staccato, as he wrenches both blades free. The mutilated carcass drops to the dark earth with the sudden rank odor of bowel and blood filling the air.

Behind his eyes, the violent tide of anger surges forward with savage force. Fury was the word men used, and for most Beordad this word was adequate to describe the furnace within - for most, but not for all. In a scattered few it was not merely fury, but a thing older and deeper, a thing far more passionate and far more primal than the controlled fire that filled most dwarves.

The dwarves had their own word for those few: Khuvarugh - those that sail on seas of blood. They took on something more than fury - not like a forge or furnace or anything made with the hands of mortals, but the terrible, unthinking rage of the earth itself. They channeled the ground rending tread of the earthquake, the explosive force of the volcano, the hell driven ferocity of the maelstrom. Even now, it was building within him, like the mother of all storms in a black sea. Such a force was not to be resisted, and so he drives forward on the red edge of the tempest, feeling the exhilaration of nature's wrath in his heart and thews. It was on that edge that the only salvation lay, to ride the terrible gale until it blew itself out or be utterly consumed trying.


(all Gral)
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Unread 30th of July, 2009, 09:46
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Segment 6 part I

Searing hot pain roars through his chest, setting his nerves and skin ablaze with torment. The savage witch rends his flesh with her teeth and greedily devours his flesh, his blood.

Rowan is scared.

He knew the Black River Tribe were monsters from his time among them. Their cruel torture of the sellswords that Rowan had purchased will forever stay in his mind, even when other parts of that horrible time are locked away in the darkest parts of his soul. These are no different. They wear the same wicked fetishes as their brethren.

Already his clothes are sticky and red. His vision swims, but the Cyleni brings his mind to bear and forces it to clear. He will not die this day. Not here; not now. Rowan fights with the raw intensity and fire of the terrified. His fingers scramble for purchase and with Piletre's help he manages to get a hold of her neck.

Life.

Death.

Predator.

Prey.

Rowan's heart slams against his ribs. His past and future are gone, ground beneath bloody stone of carnage, as his universe constricts to a pinhole.

"Rowan!" Piletre groans as her limbs shake with exhaustion, but the Cyleni doesn't hear her. He doesn't hear the dubhabhain start screaming, nor the sound of the jets of hissing steam and smoke spurting from under his hands.

Moments later her head bursts into roaring orange flames

Piletre stumbles back against the rock, gobs of hair melted to her hands, and her mouth caked with the human cook-smoke. The dubhabhain rakes at Rowan's face, her dirty nails looking for something soft to tear but finding only gnashing, defiant teeth. Her body tightens, bands of frenzied muscles rigid as steel, then her skull explodes spraying the ground with steaming fluid and bits of cooked brain.

Rowan stands slowly, the she-wolf's jaw blackening in his flaming grip and vengeance in his eye.

Beware, Black River Tribe. Here there be monsters.

Cad & J

Last edited by -J-; 30th of July, 2009 at 09:56.
  #18  
Unread 30th of July, 2009, 11:23
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Segment 6 part II

The Heshenai admires the humans' fortitude. Even in their exhausted state, they do not surrender but hold forth to the end. He hefts the gnarled tree limb he had picked up. With this club almost the size of Piletre, he moves behind and around Gorm to extend their line. The pale orc bursts forth with another roar of challenge, "I am Ghostface. I will haunt you in this life and beyond."

The dubhabhain hesitate beneath the booming voice of the Heshenai, headlong rush checked just long enough for the pale shaman to strike first. The first savage he catches in mid leap, as he folds him in half on his club. Ghostface pulls the torso-thick bludgeon free just in time to duck a stone capped warclub. Bands of milky white muscles ripple as the heshenai up roots his foe. The savage hits the dirt hard, his grunt punctuated by fifteen pounds of knotted oak crushing his groin.

But the sweetness of victory rots on his tongue as a rush of filthy brutes swarm the reeling Gorm. The human parries wildly, but a hickory warclub to his crotch brings him to his knees. Eyes bulging, he can only scream mutely as a flint spear gouges into his forehead, casting him into the blackness of oblivion.

The white giant's distraction is all the dubhabhain spearman needs. Sharp flint rips into the shaman's thigh bathing his milky skin red. The force of the impact splinters the haft of the spear, leaving a foot of broken poplar jutting from his leg.

Last edited by -J-; 31st of July, 2009 at 03:34.
  #19  
Unread 4th of August, 2009, 12:23
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Piletre stares blankly at the smoldering stump where the wild woman's head used to be. She had thought she had seen most of Louri's faces when she came to reap. She had seen men cleaved by axe and blade, and gored by arrows and spears. She had seen men crushed, impaled, drowned, boiled in tar, and even ripped in half by ogres.

But this...

The unwholesomeness of it still cakes her palate with the stink of charred skin and burnt hair. She eyes Rowan warily, but the Cyleni only had eyes for the dubhabhain at the picket.

The dubhabhain...

The sound of the filthy savages beating their way through the hastily erected palisades propels the snowy haired half-elf out of her stupor. Snatching the headless woman's warclub from the ground she spins, reading herself for their charge.

She finds herself wondering what face the Apple Orchard woman would wear for her.
  #20  
Unread 8th of August, 2009, 07:07
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Wholly taken with the lust of battle, Thorik turns his lambent eyes upon the third archer with bestial ferocity. Coppery hair flying, he charges, axes flashing like a wheel of steel about his head, blood and gore whipping from the in a ghastly rain. The rage transformed him, pushed him past mortal limitation. Flesh and bone and sinew were forgotten; he was stone and steel and savagery.

"RUGH AI HRUNDEN!"

His deep dwarven voice booms out like surf pounding on gravel, announcing for gods and men his relentless intent - blood and death. His eyes lock on his foe and those red orbs are molten pits of hell, overflowing with the rage that churned through him. It was not one lone Beori rushing forth - it was a breaking thunderhead, a tide of fury, an avalanche of death.

And they both knew it.
  #21  
Unread 11th of September, 2009, 23:56
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Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

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Segment 12 part I

The archer turns to run, his long Heshenai legs bolstered with wings of fear. Too late, for Thorik will not relinquish this cowardly object of his rage, not while he holds death in his hands. With a muscle cracking wrench he hurls one heavy axe at the broad back retreating before him. It is not a throwing weapon, too large and balanced for melee besides, but where finesse fails raw power must suffice. The honed edge takes the fleeing tribesman mid-spine, crunching through bone, lungs and heart with shuddering force and a viscous, crimson spout of blood. The Dubhabhain's lifeless body pitches forward in a great boneless heap, the embedded axe quivering with joy.
  #22  
Unread 12th of September, 2009, 11:54
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The ill-wrought blade in his muscle eases in deeper when he shifts his weight off it. Fresh blood stains the orc's right leg as Ghostface grunts against the imbedding metal. Nearly surrounded by the mad Dubhainen he looks to his companions his long straw hair matted with gore and half covering his glowering eyes. Rowan tosses aside a burnt corpse. Waves of essence ripple from the human like heat from a bonfire, and his eyes burn with a different madness than back on the beach. A Human Wizard. The pale Heshenai stands straighter so that he would tower over even others of his mighty kind.

Satisfied if it his destiny to die today along such allies, the orc steps into his fate and over the fallen Gorm closing the gap to Rowan and Piletre pushing beyond the spear in his thigh. With the roar of a wounded lion defiant he swings his rough club into the rabble of cannibals swarming them. The marble muscles in his back gleam under the polish of battle as the oaken limb connects low in the belly of one snarling manbeast. The club continues under the weight of Ghostface's Wyrd to its next target. The Dubhainen wretch loses balance as her right leg is suddenly wrenched against its socket.

The heshenai shaman looks down at her. His black eyes fill with loathing as she snarls at him with ragged teeth and decayed gums. With a deep voice he bellows to the spirts and the circling birds, "Come, Eaters of the Dead! Take their eyes, Magpie! For this feast tell the tale of Gorm and Piletre who stood tall this day! Sing the song of Rowan and Ghostface and their kills this day! Eat your fill of all our slain foes this day!"
  #23  
Unread 15th of September, 2009, 22:31
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The third dubhabhain cowers before the pale giant, his courage washed away with the strokes of the heshanai's club. The filthy savage spins to flee but impales himself on the foot of blood caked bronze in Piletre's hand. With a snarl the snowy haired half-elf shoves the blade deeper into the cannibal's torso. Black blood pours out of his liver and down her arm as she rips the blade free. A swift kick sends him to the ground in a bloody heap.
  #24  
Unread 28th of September, 2009, 14:23
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When Rowan was a child he had wander to the book that flowed near his family’s home. He sat in the dappled sunshine beneath the forked branches of the old birch that dwelled by the banks. Sprawled on his stomach, Rowan listened to the brook as it gurgled its tale of a frigid birth in the mountains. He traced his fingers along the surface of the water before letting it drift beneath. Feeling the chill seep into his flesh he watched the water swirl and run over his hand. Rowan had pulled his hand out of the river seeing the river stream and drip. He blew on his hand, watching the drops scatter through the air.

He watches the fire now, pouring off his hand and disappearing into the ether. It reminds him of that day as a boy. But when he breathes now it is not as a child that brushes off drops from his hand.

It is as the bellows that stokes the flame.
  #25  
Unread 25th of January, 2010, 12:08
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White hot flames whip down the young Cyleni's arms, hungrily scourging the dubhabhain. Hair and skin, muscle and fat; all are consumed beneath the mage's fury. The one closest to him tries to scream, only to have the twisting flames burrow down his throat and char his lungs. Blood red gouts of burning soul erupt from his rent carcass, and a terrible rush washes over Rowan. It is as if his very being were brittle kindling cast into the foundry and fanned by the breath of the gods.

He burns with raw power...

...and he likes it.

But then, just as suddenly, he is spent and his pyrexia fills with an numbing emptiness. He is dimly aware of the flames dying from his hands and a sensation of falling before blackness takes him.
 

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