Tolderas' last moon

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Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:23 am

Winds softly rustled the branches of the tall pines on the forests of Downwarren, the midday sun’s rays creeping through the fine green needles that seemed to almost murmur and hush with their graceful sway.
Under the imposing arms of the lush trees echoed the boots and hooves of a band of travelers, the dried foliage crunching under their weight as they treaded carefully, shoulders hunched. The men, though some bearing uninterested expressions, seemed to be terribly intimidated by the woods surrounding them; by the thick roof of leaves, the gargantuan roots looping outside of the earth like arches and the eerie chants of the birds that seemed to follow them, like they were talking about them.
They know of the creatures that lie deep under the cover of forests; unholy beasts that’d come from the sins of the unfaithful, who gorged on humans as if they were nothing but prey. Though many could not accept it, they were frightened.

To the head of the band were two plate-adorned men, sitting high atop the only horse mounts the band had with their eyes simply resting on the sights ahead, seemingly unfocused.
The knight to the left stirred slightly, an armoured hand holding the reins of his horse loosely, while the other rested on top of a golden embellished pommel.

They had been traveling for days; they were tired and sore from their feet to their shoulders. He had been told that they should arrive to their destination in two days, but it had been four! They had not seen a cloud of smoke rising from the forests or riders wondering the roads, not even the faded skid marks of rolling carriages on the dirt.
The nights spent to the side of the roads had been hellish. His men had been sleeping hugging their blades harder than he’s seen them hold any lass, eyes darting open when a bat glided too close to their tents or a wolf’s howls sounded a little too close. They might’ve been sent to their graves had the forests not been generous with herds of deer not two days past.
He had heard his men talk too; wondering if this village they had been directed towards had been nothing but an old wives’ tale, a traveler’s jest that had just fallen on their commander’s ignorant ears. Fools, the lot of them! If the commander speaks of this village, it is not due to some peasants’ tale! They had no idea, though.
The knight’s lip curled softly under his helmet, fingers tapping on his sword as he exhaled through his faceguard. Gods help them if they did not find a sign of Tolderas soon, he felt as though these ancient forests could swallow them whole if dusk gained on them.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:06 pm

The suns’ rays twinkled down through leaves and branches in the most elegant of ways, dotting those that passed beneath the nest of trees with drops of gold. One such traveler made his way along the beaten path with a silent swagger. A home away from home, the forests’ thick tree tops reminded him of a much too distant childhood, filled with laughter and innocence. A time ago he would run carelessly through forests and play happily among the vines and roots. It was in his nature to feel at peace in places such as these, though, as always, a hint of unease gnawed at the back of his covered neck. Childhood was a time of ignorance. Letting your guard down in the forest was a surefire way to end up as food for her roots. As he nimbly stepped over broken branches and fallen leaves, a sound twitched in his ears. Silently he added onto his previous mental statement. Being ignorant in the forest would leave you as food for much more than roots.

Once sure that the animal hidden in the forest wasn’t a threat, he continued onwards so as to hopefully make progress to the village he had heard of in a previous town. Dressed in leather boots, worn slacks, an off-white shirt that swelled at the wrists, and a pack made of softened leather, the traveler appeared to be prepared for the small journey. Truth be told, he had been walking for some time now…or so he assumed, and he was beginning to wonder if he had grossly underestimated the distance. To someone such as himself, days sometimes felt like seconds, a quick blink of the eyes. He had been walking a lot these days and it was starting to annoy him. As someone used to mounted travel, the man found it dreadfully slow to meander town through town on foot. Ah, but what choice did he have?

As he ducked beneath a large curl of root, two ornate pommels glinted in the warm sun and reflected a gleam across the dark trunk of a nearby tree. He reached up to swipe sweat out of his eye that had rolled slowly over his brow and expertly adjusted the sheaths at his side. They were tied to his waist with a dark red sash – the only pop of color on his person aside from his sun-rusted head of hair and the only sign of him not being an ordinary traveler. He glanced up between the tree tops, squinting into the darkening sun and gathering that he had about another 3 hours of walking before the sun’s departure.

With a sigh, he drudged on. There was little much else to do…there was no way in the seven Hells that he could stop now.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:35 pm

As the group came around a wide curve on the road, the knight lifted his faceguard and narrowed his eyes. There, in the horizon, a sign and evidence of civilization.
They were nearing a crossroads, its edges rimmed with small, ruined cobblestone walls and its separating roads being marked by a moss-covered signpost. Though the words seemed terribly-written and were carved like they’d done it with a knife, it was somewhat understandable. To the right “Downwarren”, and to the left “Tolderas”.
Finally!

He issued a command to his group to pick up the pace, as they could not afford to waste a moment more in these dreadful woods. As they passed the signpost, every face lifted to look at it, like they all needed confirmation from someone – something- other than their captains that told them they were going to right way. There were many sighs of relief, though some groans of distaste and annoyance. As they approached the edge of a muddy slope, they could finally see the village.

The wooden houses and huts covered a considerable stretch of land, albeit still small, and the gigantic trees seemed to spread thin and far between the closer to them they got. A small ribbon of white smoke, almost invisible, rose above the only stone-based building in the whole town, barely even the same height as the trees near it. If one kept quiet, the dim sound of iron hammering could be heard from possibly the only blacksmith the poor village had.
Though unconsciously, the band of travelers had almost came to a trot at the sight of it. Finally, refuge! Finally, their destination.

As they approached, a large lumberjack paused his task; large axe still in his hands and eyes regarding every individual that so confidently approached his village, he huffed silently.
“Good afternoon, my good man.” greeted one of the knights.
“Afternoon.” The lumberjack said simply, dropping the head of his axe onto the mud.
The knight stared for a bit, taken slightly aback by the lack of courtesy from this commoner.
“My group and I have been travelling for many, many days and seek somewhere to pass the night.” He continued, “We would be terribly grateful if you’d direct us to your town’s inn.”
The armoured man put a hand to his chest and gave a small bow of his head, but the lumberjack was unimpressed. He cocked his head to the side, looking at the group behind the knight. Twenty, twenty five men – far too many to accommodate on the inn.
“We can’t offer lodgings to all of you, ‘m afraid. Or food neither, the village barely has enough for its own.”
The knights lips pressed to a line. He was bothered, try as he might to hide it. His companion intervened for him.
“There’s no need for worry, we have our own supplies. We simply seek to escape the forest.” There were nods and mumbles of approval from the group. The burly man looked at them both carefully – they were not used to these many outsiders, and outsiders often meant trouble for them. They were told, however, never to reject newcomers, especially the night before their village’s beloved celebration.
He waved a hand, and made a gesture towards a large, wooden hut at the back, beyond the fields and sawmills.
“You’ll have to speak to Birna, she’s the innkeeper.” The man said.
“Thank you, friend.” Said the knight with a smile, then raised a gloved hand to command the group onwards.
Thus, they passed on through the village’s ruined, wooden gates without glancing back at him once. Faces turned towards them as they treaded on inside the village, heading towards the miserable-looking inn beyond the fields of drowned, raw crops.
On the square in front stood a wood statue, carved carefully and magnificently in the form of a large warrior. It seemed to be the only thing with this much care on the village, making it look almost alien from the abounding poverty covering the townsfolk and their homes. It made the knight’s stomach churn.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:31 pm

The traveler wasn’t sure how long he had been lost in his thoughts before he found himself approaching a sign post. Dark blue eyes scanned the crude scratches that spelled out human words, squinting to decipher them. He was no stranger to human tongue, as he had learned it straight from the source, but it had been some time since he had to use that dusty portion of his brain. The last thing he wanted was to be lost and in a totally different town.

“Tolderas…” His brow furrowed slightly before he shifted his pack and carried on towards the left.

The road was growing increasingly worn with traffic, much to the man’s surprise. Signs of horses and men on foot…quite a few of them if his tracking skills were correct. Crushed leaves, muddy tracks, and signs of debris from travel. How interesting. He had only started to notice the tracks when he merged onto the road a while back but he could tell they were fresh, maybe an hour or two old judging by the way the leaves sounded.

It was hard to tell if he should be alarmed or not, as most likely they belonged to the villagers themselves doing their traveling. Maybe some trade-work? He wasn’t actually sure what they did as their livelihoods. Still though, a wary man at heart, the blonde headed traveler decided to stay on guard for the rest of the way.
Mud wasn’t much of a deterrent to him, as his step held little weight as he walked. With much skill and practice, the man had perfected his ability to tread softly upon vegetation. He picked his way through the beaten path until keen eyes caught sight of a wisp of smoke in the air. Pupils contracted and grew, letting in as much light as possible. He was thankful for his night vision. Without it, he might have missed the little town. Some humans had large settlements, others – like this apparent village, were small and…glancing around at the buildings, underdeveloped. Well, it was probably still a young settlement. After all, humans were still a young race as a whole.
As he stepped past the forest trail and into the village, he looked around with feigned disinterest. Humans, for all their annoyances, were still interesting creatures to observe in their natural habitat. Their lack of magical essence was a travesty – the man didn’t understand completely how they could live without a source of mana.
He, as always, wandered into the human village with an air of entitlement and a neutral expression. The moon was fast approaching and torches were being lit to keep the nightly beasts at bay. Well, most of them.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:18 pm

Dusk painted the sky an intense orange, dark blue streaks settling in as the sun descended between the tall mountains around Tolderas as evening came upon them.
The knights and their band of men had split into various small groups, each recognizable by heavy leather or mail armour that the townsfolk didn’t boast of.
The pair of knights and a few of their men were gathered around a campfire they had built to the side of the inn, sitting on chopped logs while flanks of deer roasted over the fire.
They seemed to have ignored the arrival of the traveler, as some were already distracted by the food and the sweet mead they had been provided by the innkeeper.

One of the knights raised himself from the group, and walked towards the inside of the inn, armour clanking as he walked. Though he had removed his helm, he had yet to remove the rest of his suit - odd, for this time of the night.
He hunched over the counter inside, making a gesture to the woman behind it. She put down the damp cloth she was using to clean a puddle of cider, and walked over with arms folded.
“Could I bother you with another mug of mead?” The knight asked, nudging his empty flagon towards her. The innkeeper, Birna, gave a small shrug as she took it with a small chuckle.
“Your boys drank it all. I’m not yet allowed to uncask another barrel, sire.” She said, offering a smile. “You’ll have to wait till morrow.”
“Oh?” The knight stroked a messy, dark beard. “What happens then?” He feigned interest.
“The trial of warriors, sire.” Birna replied, a hint of pride on her voice. “We hold combats every new moon to honour our Lord. The boldest of our warriors join him in his halls.”
The man hid his mouth with his fingers, holding back perhaps a mocking smile. This was just as his commanders had described; heretic rituals and traditions to venerate false gods. Perhaps this was the opportunity they were looking for.
“And can outsiders participate in these combats?” He asked with interest. Birna stared.
“It is… uncommon. Most unorthodox.” She examined him, his armour and pose. “It would be up to the village, sire.”
“I guess we’d have to wait.” He concluded, stretching off of the counter.
“Indeed. On the morrow, sire.”
“On the morrow.” He repeated, and nodded industriously.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:40 pm

The smell of roasted venison wafted through the night air as fire danced tantalizingly close to its flesh. It appeared that the sword-carrying traveler wasn’t the only newcomer to the village. With a cock of his head he surveyed the rather large congregation of men as they drank and ate in merriment. They were a little familiar in their mannerisms, but he didn’t want to jump to conclusions. After all, human men were similar in their jubilance when it came to drinking- a trait he shared with them, as he too favored the burn of alcohol. Still though…it was a bit peculiar to see such heavy armor in the evening when most men had already dressed down for the night.

They didn’t seem phased by his presence as he grew nearer to one of their larger parties. In a way it annoyed the man, as he wasn’t used to being ignored. He narrowed his blue eyes at them and forced down his displeasure before voicing his mind with an easy smile, pleasant but lacking a bit in empathy.

“You there,” He motioned to a man mid-gulp, “I fancy myself a flagon of that.”

He straightened and fixed the armored man with a sharp gaze, as if daring him to deny him a drink, all with that forced smile dancing upon his soft features. He looked rather small compared to the lot, but obviously undeterred. If there was one thing the man lacked…it was tact. The pommels of his swords shimmered in the light of the fire as he leaned over just a bit, waiting for a response.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:18 pm

The man looked up from his mug, and offered the handsome man a smug look. Looking at him straight in the eye, he drank the rest of his mead with one gulp before he stood and walked close to him. Clearly, he accepted the unspoken dare.
"Afraid me mugs dry, friend." He said with a grin, turning the flagon downwards. "You'll have to go to that there innkeep. Perhaps she can fix something up for you."
The man pointed at the inn besides them, a hand on his hip. The rest of his companions were regarding the newcomer with care, some taking their hands close to their weapons, just in case.
Suddenly, though, the knight among them spoke and raised a hand towards the others.
"Wheres your manners, boys? You can take my mead, friend. Come, sit and drink with us." He said, scooting to the edge of the log and offering the traveler a seat beside him. "My names Heindrik. What's yours?"
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:45 pm

“That’s a shame.” His velvety voice sighed, posture lax but his gaze anything but. He raked his eyes over the men and their uneasy body language. It amused him that they were reaching for their weapons.

A voice caught his attention though and he broke his fierce lock on the men to look straight at its’ owner. A knight? He was dressed as though he was ready for a fight, what with all of his glinting armor. At the introduction he smiled and gave a tiny bow, stretching a hand out to the side while acknowledging the man before him. A few locks of his curly, blonde hair fell into his face, creating somewhat of a shadow over his features.

“Pleasure,” He straightened before plopping unceremoniously next to Heindrik, wasting no time in helping himself to the man’s mug. After a couple of gulps he flashed a roguish smile. “You may call me Andrew. Andrew Dio’metri.”
Andrew’s voice was obviously not entirely skilled with the human tongue, and he strangely used a lot of outdated pronunciations of their language, but he was confident as he spoke.

“So, Heindrik. What is a militia like you doing in a place like this?” He motioned to the armed party with the flagon he held as he leaned backwards on the log, completely making himself at home.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:23 pm

Heindrik was impressed with the outlandish feel of the man next to him. Odd accent, odd look, odd way to talk... And the name, above all. But he didn't bother to question much of him, and he simply shrugged and took his elbows to his knees.
"We are travelling to Downwarren. They said they were looking for swordsmen there," He said. "We're but mercenaries at the service of those with coin."
His men, though some had gone back to their food and chatter, often looked at Andrew with mistrust. His confident air annoyed them. The knight, though, was used to being around royalty -or self-claimed titles of royalty- and thus wasn't irked by the blonde's manners.

After a few moments passed, his companion turned up from the inn. Heindrik gave the other knight a wave, to which he responded with an odd look. Heindrik knew he also questioned the traveller's presence, but there was naught he could do. If they were to divert the eyes from them, they needed to talk with people other than their own. And Heindrik was careful to be as tactful and friendly as if he was in his own hometown, talking to his own friends.
The other knight? Much less so. He had merely observed that his seat at the log had been taken and decided to join another small group of their men, who seemed to shrink at his presence.

"So tell me Andrew," The knight spoke again, turning towards the young man. "Where are you from? You seem oddly placed among northmen. Even your leather smells... particular."
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:30 pm

“Mercenaries, eh?” Andrew rose a brow in question above the flagon as he sucked down the rest of its contents in but a few gulps. “Quite a few of you. Looks like you will be fetching a fair amount of coin.”

He couldn’t imagine why a town would need so many swordsmen… Perhaps this had something in part to do with the increasing amount of disappearances that were taking place. He felt the eyes of the crew surveying him every now and then, watching his every move with obvious wariness. So strange…what would a bunch of swordsmen have to fear from one man?

As he spoke easily enough with Heindrik, another knight made an appearance. He too was adorned in armor up to the teeth. Andrew noted the exchange between what he assumed to be the leaders of the large party. With a raise of his brows and a quirk of his lips, he too gave a wave at the other knight before the man stalked off to another of the groups. Andrew almost chuckled at the sight.

At Heindrik’s question he nodded, “Fair assessment. I hail from Edenborough, in the west.”

He flashed a dazzling smile, “Did not realize I had a scent about me…tell me, Heindrik. Is it unpleasant?”

The unusual traveler purposefully directed the conversation in a different direction, though he didn’t force it. That was the trick.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:19 pm

"That's the plan!" Heindrik said, grinning. He listened attentively at Andrew, eyebrows raised and expression flat.
Edenborough? He didn't remember hearing that name, but didn't think much of the fact. Heindrik wasn't a man of the world, and hadn't travelled much until he joined, well, this company. His most daring adventures as a knight errant had been between his home and the neighboring town.

He watched as his comrade exchanged words with the group, waving them off and hooking his thumbs on his leather belt. Heindrik wondered what they were talking about, as the other knight seemed to be explaining something to them of apparent importance. His eyes lingered on him for a moment before returning to the blonde man beside him, immediately smiling.
The knight chuckled heartedly, following the trail of conversation with amusement.
"Unpleasant? Not at all! Simply particular." He snorted, as if he wanted to remark on the scents. "Leather oft smells of sweat or dirt if it's seen much use on the roads. Most I've smelled come from my men."

Heindrik extended his arm towards one of his men's plates to steal a small scrap of meat from it, which gained him a look of resentment as the soldier scoffed and pulled his plate to the side.
He straightened with a small groan, stretching his arms and cracking his neck.
"It's getting late, we should get some rest. " The knight stood and gave Andrew a polite bow of the head. "It was a pleasure meeting you."
He walked off, though not without turning to the rest of the men around him and saying "Lights out, men. We'll leave on the morrow."

As he walked, the other knight neared to meet him with a hand on Heindrik's shoulder. As they lumbered off, they talked softly and in a low tone of voice while they aproached the inn. The other knight made a gesture towards the ominous winged statue outside the building, and Heindrik stared quietly for a while as he continued to listen; then, a nudge and a scratch of the head later marked their departure to the inside of the inn.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:43 pm

Andrew could tell that his newfound talking partner wasn’t entirely keen on their conversation, which was fine by him. The man wasn’t much of a conversationalist. Andrew enjoyed drinking and talking, this man wasn’t giving much of neither. So when Heindrik was clearly distracted by the other knight, Andrew cleared his throat. He smiled plainly through the mans’ comment about leather, nodding with a laugh.

“Ah well, it is a long way from home.” Though Andrew did find it interesting that his scent had been called into attention. Did his leather really smell all that different? What a strange man to have noticed the hide of a fae beast by smell.

The fire crackled ominously as the knight bid him farewell in favor of his party and he solemnly did the same until the man had walked off. The lone traveler stared into the fires’ depths and strained his ears to try and get a listen on the hushed conversation a few feet away that Hendrik had slipped into. A stealthy sideways glance told him of their body language, and a glance to the side of them revealed what he assumed was the topic of their conversation.

Large and bold, what stood proudly by the inn was what appeared to be a winged man. Only it seemed more beast than man…if not more vicious looking. The blonde’s brows shot upwards, how interesting! What could they have been saying about it? He glanced at one of the men nearby who seemed to be getting ready to follow the knight’s order.

“Listen,” Andrew nodded his head towards the winged statue. “Do you happen to know anything about that?”
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:16 pm

"M-me?" The soldier replied, quite surprised.
He followed his motion with his eyes towards the wooden figure, trying to gather his belongings.
"Listen, I've never been in this town before. I can't-"
"Rhyfelwr." Interrputed a villager, saying the word with reverence - it was the lumberjack from before, who'd been providing the soldiers with the wood for their fires as he came and went to the sawmill.
Seeing the oportunity, the soldier quickly slinked away hesitantly with his crewmates in a hurrying pase, eager and happy to avoid conversation. They had been told not to speak. This did not escape the big man, who followed him with his eyes as he set down a pile of logs on the side of the inn.
"He's the Lord of this village, our god of battle and war." he continued, stacking the triangluar blocks of wood. "It's said that he's been guarding Tolderas from its enemies for centuries, though none live who've seen him."
With a final thud, the lumberjack placed the last block of wood and rose to his feet, clapping the dust from his fit forearms and hands. He turned to face Andrew carrying a hard expression.
He truly disliked outsiders. Always asking questions to attack oneself with more, never to learn. The village was tired of outsiders shunning them for their customs and beliefs. The town had not rebuilt their gates - while this welcomed passersby, this also meant they had no obligation to stay. If they seeked the hospitality of this town, they should respect whatever is done here.

The lumberjack lingered for a little while, simply so he could answer any more doubts this man had so he could hopefully educate him. If not, he had much more to do before daybreak - he needed to have enough wood for tomorrow's pyre... a task which had been set back by the arrival of the unexpected 'guests'.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:38 pm

When the mercenary gruntling ran away, the blonde found himself raising a brow. Had he scared the poor man? What a pity. He gave a chuckle before returning his blue gaze to the muscular man before him. Corded muscles worked effortlessly to stack lumber and he found it interesting to watch. The man seemed to be focused on his job.

“Rhyfelwr.” Andrew repeated the name, looking thoughtful. He liked the way it rolled off of his tongue, as it shared similar syllables to his mother tongue. “It is a new name to me.”
Which wasn’t all that surprising, as Andrew was still fairly young. It would take more than a millennia to become knowledgeable about all of the deities. There were so many, after all. Especially when it came to battle and war.

“You speak very proudly of him.” It was as much a statement as it was fascination with the level of devotion. “Where does He reside?”

Andrew wouldn’t trifle with questions that would insinuate the God did not exist, for even if He did not live, He was sure to have at one point or another. There were always truths to lore such as this, though Andrew wouldn’t consider himself religious. Gods were just interesting creatures that way.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:55 pm

The lumberjack folded his arms across his chest and listened with hard-to-accept surprise. It was impressive that the newcomer spoke back with some form of respect to what he’d just explained. Of course he was proud. Most, nay, all the village but the children grew respecting Lord Rhyfelwr. And even the latter learned with the years why this respect was well due.
“None know where the Lord resides.” He replied, looking toward the pitch-black silhouettes of the magnificent trees that dotted the outskirts of the village. “And he seldom accepts offerings that are not the winners of the trial of warriors.”
Perhaps absent-mindedly, the man had walked over to sit on the log with Andrew, albeit keeping some distance between them. He continued speaking solemnly.
“Some folk claim to have found hoofprints on scortched dirt the morn after – big enough to crush a man’s chest.” He motioned with his hands towards his own rib cage, though he shrugged later. “None have seen the Lord, but samples of his presence are ample.”
But the village had never lacked of trying near everything they could to get a glimpse of their Lord. They had left torches lit near the ceremonial altar, though there always seemed to be just enough wind that night to blow them out. A villager had stood watch, once, from inside his hut – he awoke a day later without memory of the night. The lumberjack himself once heard the faint ring of chains and a breathing so deep and terrible it might’ve come from a great beast… guttural, nearly feral. He did not dare lift the cloth curtains of the windows to look.

“If,” The lumberjack began with the tiniest hint of hesitation. “You’re eager to know more of our Lord Rhyfelwr you may stay for tomorrow’s celebrations. There will be a small feast and combat come dusk.”
The invitation had slipped perhaps accidentally, but the lumberjack did little to retract. In fact, he was eager for him and the rest of the townsfolk to share this experience with someone who was interested in their beloved trails. He waited surprisingly patiently for the traveler’s answer.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:26 am

“I would love to,” And it was true, Andrew was pleased with the extended invitation. He was admittedly intrigued by the human’s recount of Rhyfelwr. Hoofprints? He didn’t know many gods with hooves for feet, though there definitely were some. Regardless, the God sounded interesting.

“Rhyfelwr sounds fear-inspiring.” His boots made a scratching sound as he shifted them across the bare dirt to get a better look at the man beside him. It was obvious that this human was used to crude labor judging by his worn hands and sun-weathered skin. “I am sure you have much to prepare for.”
He had seen the villagers attending to matters all over the place and he could only assume that every person was essential when it came to planning the upcoming event.

It appeared that Andrew couldn't have stumbled across the village at a more perfect time. He was going to be witness to what sounded like a sacrificial offering! It was such a barbaric practice and yet it resonated so well with him. Perhaps it was the dark blood that ran through his veins that made his heart pulse just a bit faster, a trait he could thank his late father for…or curse.

Andrew offered a willing smile as he held out a hand for the human to shake.
“I will seek lodging for the night. Come morrow I will seek you out so that you can teach me more about this Rhyfelwr.”

If he was going to be on the run, he might as well make it interesting.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:13 am


He gave the traveler a light nod and watched him leave, presumably towards the inn. The lumberjack crooked his jaw slightly and made a light clicking noise of annoyance – he hoped the band of whoresons had not occupied all the rooms as they had drank all the mead.
He hoped, prayed to Rhyfelwr in silence that one of them dared take arms in the trails the day after. It would be his newfound dream and desire to bring one to his knees… personally.

Silence filled Tolderas come the dead of night, the bewitching hour. Houses and huts dimly lit by candlelight turned dark and quiet as if they had been waiting for the newcomers to settle down to sleep themselves, with nothing but the continuous murmur of the wind through the trees.
Only one window continued to have a soft light that night, a room on the corner of the inn. It was the knight’s, and they continued to speak well into the early hours. Hushed whispers, grim in nature and carefully spoken that escaped the groaning wooden hut with sounds that might’ve been confused with a rising dust devil. But as they had begun, they too fell silent as the cumbersome hand of sleep crept on them, and thus Tolderas had become mute and soundless.
With time, light began to caress the treetops of the woods, peaking behind the sharp edges of the mountains and barely reaching the hillside beyond the village.
Counted men and women had already stirred from their homes and began working on the preparations for their celebration, gathering wood on a formidable pyre a few feet before the large wooden statue.
The townsfolk were visibly lively, as if they had no reason in life to worry. Today was a day to make merry and commit themselves to naught but their god and their ceremonies.

From their part, the foreign band of soldiers hadn’t yet raised – at least not many. The few that were had sauntered to the woods or coolly sat outside the tents, watching, waiting for their captains. They, however, were yet to be accounted for.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:27 am

Morning broke the dimness of the Inn’s main hall and whispered into the sleeping traveler’s eyes, rousing him from slumber and urging him to greet the new day. A few creaks and cracks sounded as Andrew stretched with a yawn, though it was hard to tell if they came from the wooden chair he sat on or his rigid joints. His mood was slightly sour as he woke, but it was hardly his fault. Most of his ire was aimed towards the other visitors that had taken up all of the space in the Inn. Faced with the prospect of sleeping outside, Andrew had pleaded with the woman in charge, asking if it was at all possible to sleep at one of the tables and chairs indoors. Birna, he recalled, was a pleasant woman.

The blonde did a quick once over of his items, silently inventorying his supplies. Sometimes his things went missing in the night. Alas, all of his items were accounted for – including the two blades he had tucked under his arms while he slept. As he rose to re-tie them to his waist, Andrew glanced around for any signs of life.

He could hear the hustle and bustle outdoors of excited villagers getting ready for their longstanding tradition and he couldn’t help but grin a toothy grin. While he wasn’t the biggest fan of humans, their traditions were quite amazing sometimes. Andrew assumed that because the town worshiped a God of war and battle, they worshiped through combat. It made sense.

As he drew in a breath and made for the door, Andrew wondered silently if they would allow an outsider to join in on the festivities. He didn’t necessarily pride himself as a brawler, but he did enjoy a good sword fight.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:04 am

A door creaked through the inn’s slim hallway, and Heindrik emerged slowly towards the inkeep, tidying himself as he walked.
Compared to the night before, he seemed quite different without his armour. For the time being, the knight wore a cutton shirt over leather-padded trousers, supple leather boots knocking on the wooden floor. He looked up towards the light-showered chair where Andrew was and raised an eyebrow. Had he slept there? That was terribly odd. Why, most travelers often came prepared with a tent to pitch, why didn’t he?
Regardless, he gave a small smile.
“Ah! Good morrow, m’lord.” He beamed with a small nod towards the blonde. He stared for a moment, careful not to be imprudent. “I see the night wasn’t kind to you… Quite unfortunate!”
The second knight rose behind the rooms’ door and walked over silently towards Birna, who offered a polite smile at the bearded man. He greeted her courtly as he fumbled a pouch strapped to his belt.
Heindrik ignored the exchange, instead raising a hand to his chest.
“You have my deepest apologies, it is quite a task to accommodate all my men in tents, you see.” The knight continued, looking behind himself towards his companion who had materialized quite a considerably large pouch of coin. Birna blinked a few times, taking the leathery bag from the knight’s hand – and then her eyes grew.
Heindrik cleared his throat somewhat silently –at least trying to be- and turned back at the young man before him graciously.
“I would be delighted if you’d let me make it up to you somehow, sir Andrew.”
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:24 am

Andrew stopped in his tracks when a voice called out in his direction, making him blink and turn around. “Ah, Heindrik.” His voice wanted to be flat and heavy with annoyance, but the traveler forced some smile into it. He blinked his slightly hazy eyes as a hand reached up to push thick, strawberry blonde locks out from his face.

Heindrik was a different man outside of his armor, seemingly more approachable – though Andrew had gathered as much the previous night with the friendly enough conversation. Despite the lack of entertainment, Heindrik was definitely more outgoing than his counterpart.

“It is quite alright,” Andrew’s easy going smile betrayed the annoyance he felt in his chest as well as the miniscule bags that had grown beneath his eyes. The only reason they were obvious was because the man’s face seemed to be devoid of any other flaws. “How is it they say? Early to rise, early to feed? You arrived much sooner than I.”

Though truthfully, Andrew had been tempted to kick one of the tenants out so that he could have a more restful night. His deep blue eyes darted to the knight in the background as a thick sack of coin was dropped upon Birna’s counter. In his eagerness to learn about the village rituals, Andrew had almost forgot to pay Birna for his stay…however uncomfortable it had been.

“You are welcome to do as you wish, Heindrik.” Scratching the back of his head, Andrew wandered over to the counter and stood beside the less-social knight. “Forgive me Birna, I almost forgot.”

He shot the woman an apologetic smile before digging into his pocket and pulling out a pretty gem encrusted locket that hung from a polished gold chain. Nobody would have seen the quick rustle of his fingers performing a summoning spell within the safety of his pocket.

“For you,” Andrew winked and placed the locket before the woman, bowing slightly.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:52 am

“Break your fast with us.” Heindrik proposed. “We still have some boar haunches we would like to share, and some of our boys bought a few vegetables off the locals. I’m sure any man appreciates a good stew.”
The mere thought of it already tugged at his empty stomach. It would be a grandiose way to begin the day, indeed!

Next to Andrew, the knight scooted silently sideways with his approach with more so a polite demeanour than that of reject – but his eyes did sweep the blonde once or twice. Heindrik had spoken about him last night, of his peculiar appearance and dignified poise. The young man quite lived up to his companion’s description. Even the smell.
He retired himself from the counter to stand next to the other knight, watching as the man offered the innkeep a locket.
In all honesty, Birna had not expected to have been given anything by the handsome man. He hardly had any shelter, and nobody could call a measly chair lodgings! She wanted to protest, but was truthfully caught off-guard by Andrew’s charm. She took the locket, intrigued, and then lifted her brown eyes back towards him.

“You’ll always be welcome here, sire.” She curtsied, a grin wide on her narrow face. “I do hope you’ll stay to enjoy the trails. There is much to entertain.”
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:46 pm

Andrew was pleased at Birna’s extended invitation and at her expression of awe at the little trinket he had summoned. Humans were such easy to impress creatures. Show a shiny bauble here or there and most of them were glad to call you an acquaintance.

“Thank you, milady.” The blonde took in Birna’s human features for a moment, noting her thin face but particularly beautiful eyes. Some specimens were much nicer looking than others, and although she was definitely not of noble birth, Andrew couldn’t help himself but to play up his treatment of her. It was his latest fancy.

As Andrew’s eyes left the woman they slid to examine the knight beside him, his expression somber. It stayed that way for a split second before a smile broke out on his face and he quickly turn to face Heindrik. “I do in fact enjoy a good stew!”

Human food wasn’t as filling as he was used to, but food was food and right now he was hungry. The smell of boar had already filled his senses, and he couldn’t tell if he was imagining it or hallucinating because he enjoyed the taste so much. It was something that made him and his kind…different, from the others.

“Come, lead me.” Andrew swept a hand to the door as he placed another on his hip. The swords at his side swayed but made no move to come out of their sheaths. The pommels were so ornate, in fact, that it was hard to tell if the swords were in fact even battle-worthy because they seemed to lack the scars of a used sword.
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:17 pm

The knights were curious about that odd form of payment. Usually golden coins or crowns sufficed, but this one paid with jewellery.  Though, by the look of this one’s swords, he didn’t seem to be lacking of riches. The traveler did not cease to impress them with surprises.
Heindrik nodded towards the blonde, and exit the inn. The village, in such a short time, seemed completely different.
Tables had already been set on the far side of the square that lead up to the fields. Though lacking food –for now, at least- it was adorned with humble-looking bronze chandeliers, silver cutlery and a tablecloth embroidered with words on Tolderas’ strange language and gold-coloured swivels.

The peasants themselves were already preparing a make-do arena on the fields; limits marked by an old rope and held up by thick sticks, and several benches being positioned around it. For the moment, they seemed to be placing some kind of banner on the arena, with the statue’s brute-looking silhouette. Fierce-looking swords crossed in the middle of the banner, and under it, in words of silver, read: “Stolt ok bardagi” . Pride and battle.

Heindrik and his companion seemed lackluster of interest and simply walked over to a group of tents on a far side of the inn. There were few men gathered around a large cauldron, stew already bubbling. Carrots, onion and boar meat had all been boiled, with the meat's grease giving the stew a heavy consistency while the olive oil and rosemary gave it a mouth-watering perfume. Beside it were stacked a few wooden bowls, likely provided by Birna to the men. Heindrik grabbed two, passing one to the young man.
The bearded knight had simply went ahead and served himself, casually walking towards a log to sip from the bowl. Spoon? Nobody needs that. Heindrik was less – primitive. Though they had been given few spoons, as most were being used on the feast’s table, most of his men were just as uneducated as his companion. He nonchalantly offered Andrew a spoon, and sat on the log.
“Enjoy, friend! I dare boast that our band’s cook is rather good.”
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by YeweLion on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:53 pm

Paying no further mind to the inn, Andrew followed suit and trailed the men out into the town square, if you could call it as such. He eyed the tables to the side and pondered what sort of feast the humans would be preparing. He remembered the lumberjack’s words and softly hummed to himself, excited but not willing to show it completely.

“Do you know much about this tradition?” Andrew watched the other knight stalk off with his stew before glancing up at Heindrik. He accepted the bowl with gusto and took the spoon as well, obviously well-learned in the art of eating with utensils. He wasn’t raised by swine. Though, he did forget to thank the man for his generosity. Sometimes Andrew just expected these things. “It appears that there will be sparring.”

Andrew didn’t know if this ‘sparring’ was anything more than what it seemed, though the way the lumberjack had spoken, he wondered if the matches would be to the death. How peculiar!

Without much thought to whether or not the knight wanted him there, the traveler plopped down next to him onto the log. Although he had spoken to Heindrik, Andrew found his gaze locked onto the make shift arenas. His bowl rested comfortably on his lap and seeped warmth through the leather of his trousers.

He finally tore his gaze away to smile at the knight before dipping his wooden spoon into the stew and bringing the mixture up to his nose. It smelled delicious and seemingly normal. He couldn’t smell any poisons or potions… Still though, the man took the tiniest of sips before deeming the food safe.

“It truly is delicious,” Andrew nodded, taking another spoonful. “Your cook appears to have some talent!”
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Re: Tolderas' last moon

Post by Wolkenser on Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:02 pm

The man nodded as he too took a spoonful of the stew and relished every drop of it. After eating nothing but deer due to how fast they cared to travel, it had been a while last he had a meal this full. Every time he took a spoon to his mouth it was pure and utter bliss. Breaking out of his tiny trance, Heindrik turned towards Andrew.

“Oh, I know not of their traditions. They seem…obscure, however, if you ask me.” He said between mouthfuls. “If there is to be sparring, I’d be delighted to participate! My commander says that you never truly know someone until you fight them.”
The bearded knight sitting to his side nodded in agreement.
A true enough statement, you can learn much from a person when you fight them. However, coming from the knights’ commander, it had a much more different meaning. During battle, creatures in hiding often showed their true nature. Monsters showed an amazingly aggressive response when faced with a silver blade, werebeings usually showed their true colors in battle as well.
In truth, Heindrik didn’t think much of the celebration. He tried not to dwell on it. It seemed appalling to him that people would simply flock to a powerful being without understanding anything of it. It irked him.

“We are intrigued by this festivity.” Heindrik said as he nudged his companion. “We’re tempted to perhaps even stay one more day simply to take part in it! What say you, Skjall?”

The other knight, Skjall, simply raised an eyebrow towards his companion and then shrugged.
“Why not?” He said calmly, a smirkish smile creeping on his lips. “Why not?” He repeated quietly, mostly to himself than anyone else as he finished his food.
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