Stone Man Pass

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » April 2nd, 2010, 4:06 pm

Whatever Maduin is doing, Sister Rose reflected, I certainly don't need the sensory enhancement to keep up with him. Quite the contrary, his passage through the forest reminded her of an experimental gadget, some sort of semi-magical tractor with a steam engine, that her unit had tested up north a long time ago for clearing terrain. It hadn't worked out -- too many magic-phobic troops -- but the "Catpilliel tractor," after the town where it had been built (or, some said, found among other dwarven artifacts), had acquired a certain ... legendary ... status when the path of destruction it created had led through, and leveled, the commanding general's personal quarters -- leaving said general exposed in flagrante delicto with one of his secretarial staff. Some soldiers who knew the tractor's operator on that memorable occasion had said that that particular target of the destruction hadn't been totally random, given that the "secretary" happened to be the operator's cousin, but who could tell ...

Rose's attention snapped back to the here and now as she produced a light source; no point in trying to move inconspicuously any more. She could hear Maduin far in front of them, snarling some magical imprecation -- who could have guessed the young man could move so fast, or cast what sounded like powerfully offensive magic? It seemed highly out of character. She'd have to take that into account in her future dealings with him; clearly there was more to the man than met the eye. Closer to the tent, Brad was out cold, but his regular breathing told Rose that there was nothing wrong with him beyond what a good old knockout punch could administer. She decided to let him be; he was in no danger sprawled there with the body, and he'd at least be out of the way ...

... Wait a minute. Were there two bodies on the ground? It looked like it, and they were both wearing a uniform that Rose didn't recognize. I'd better come back to this, Rose thought, but first things first. She resumed following Maduin as Argus fell in beside her.

But where was Drusia?
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » April 2nd, 2010, 5:15 pm

"Stay alert," Argus said shortly, extending his senses as far as possible but not picking up much. His voice was a bit muffled from the stone plate that protected his face; trial and error had taught him that perfectly covering your face with stone was too much of a pain, and you were better off with a sort of mask. "I don't how many attackers there are, but one took a shot at me before disappearing. I didn't pick up any teleportation, so it could be time magic again." Which did not make him any happier. Time-magic using bandits? Or worse, assassins? Or was it a lone assailant? Too many questions, not enough time. "Have you seen Lillith? I heard her yell."
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » April 2nd, 2010, 7:31 pm

"Have you seen Lillith? I heard her yell."

"I think she's that way," Sister Rose said, motioning toward the "path" that Maduin had created. Moments (and a certain array of defensive spells) later, they found themselves studying a most unexpected scene by torchlight. Maduin was sprawled on the ground, snoring. A tall man had the unconscious Lillith stretched across his shoulders, his eyes blinking, his mouth moving ... but he was apparently unable to do anything else. What had Maduin done to this man? Rose couldn't tell, but it seemed to have taken a lot out of him.

"Argus, can you put a magical binding on this guy?" Rose suggested as she dropped into a defensive stance. At the same time, Lillith groaned, showing signs of regaining consciousness...

... And as though on cue, Brad came crashing up the path. "LILLITH!" He raised the Lancea ...
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drusia » April 4th, 2010, 1:31 am

Damn it, damn it, damn it!

I run through the brush, dodging around trees, leaping over dead fall. I can hear him ahead of me, somewhere in the dark. The fact that he's still moving is good - it means I can keep track of him. If he stops, I'm fucked.

I hate being shown up. I hate it even more when it might fuck me over. It really is like my dreams are coming true; my nightmares, anyway. I can't believe the fucker heard me behind him. My best technique, and I didn't even come close.

We've gotta be half a mile from the camp, by now. I hope there weren't any other Einsigerum in that patrol, besides the two that got killed. And, if there were, I hope the others can handle any that are left. I'd have stuck around to help, but in the long run this is far more dangerous.

The footfalls ahead of me stop. I skid to a hault and, just to be safe, I bend space, teleporting myself about three meters to my left. Several tense seconds of silence follow.

Great. We're standing here, alone in the dark. Waiting. I'm already tired of playing outdated games.

"Hey," I say in elven, "War's over. There's no need for us to kill eachother. Especially since I think you just saved several of my companions' lives back there. So, what do you say? Shall we talk, like civilized people?"

I keep my blades readied; just in case he doesn't feel like talking.

-- Drusia
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » April 4th, 2010, 10:27 am

[OOC: PF, I hope you don't mind if I put one small sort-of-line in a certain not-yet-introduced character of yours' mouth; I think you'll agree that it fits...]

I've seen that outfit before, Sister Rose thought as she looked at the tall man, Brad now by her side (having somehow failed to impale himself on the Lancea) along with Argus. It was the same uniform as the two messily dead bodies behind her wore, minus some unmentionable fluids. And there was something about it that was striking a chord, even if the uniform itself was unfamiliar.

Lillith was definitely starting to come around now, and with this man immobilized, it looked like she'd be safe -- from him, anyway. But did he have any more friends? Rose took the chance of diverting her attention back to her extended senses; it would be nice to know what else was out there. And yes, there was something there, all right. Her ears picked up something far ahead, on the move, moving fast -- or was it more than one something? But then, a voice, speaking incomprehensibly ...

<"Hey, war's over. There's no need for us to kill each other. Especially since I think you just saved several of my companions' lives back there. So, what do you say? Shall we talk, like civilized people?">

That's Drusia's voice, Rose realized. She's speaking elvish; I can only pick out a word or two. [OOC: See Poe Notes at the end of this HKV entry. /OOC:] "War ... over ... talk ..." It sounds like she's trying to reason with someone ... not just someone, but an elf. And if that's what's going on, we'd better stay out of it.

She kept listening, though, and in a moment, could hear a very different voice, speaking that same, not-quite-Veracian language. She could only recognize about one word in ten, but that was enough to confirm her suspicions:

<"No ... war ... friends ... personal.">

[OOC: PM coming to Drusia and PF with what I think is going on here, so that some stuff can be worked out off line; if it needs to be retconned, it can be...]
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Sareth » April 4th, 2010, 2:45 pm

A groan came from Lillith. "Wha... wha..." she muttered, then rolled to land untidy on the ground with a "whoof" of expelled air. She began rolling about a bit, clearly trying to draw in breath that had been knocked from her.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » April 4th, 2010, 7:24 pm

Brad, of course, dropped the Lancea (not that it would have done him much good anyway), and rushed to Lillith's side, full of comfort and love. Good, Sister Rose thought; that'll keep him occupied while we sort out what happened here. "I think Drusia is up there, talking to another elf," she said, nominally addressing Argus, but with half an eye on the tall captive; it would be interesting to see how he reacted to this news.

The reaction wasn't what she was expecting. Actually, the man didn't seem to have any reaction at all to the talk about elves, other than maybe a brief flurry of surprise crossing his seemingly paralyzed features. But then his eyes fell on Brad's discarded Lancea ... and his face turned bright red, veins stood out in his neck, he became the very picture of silent rage.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » April 5th, 2010, 7:11 am

Argus raised an eyebrow behind his stone mask; not quite ready to release the spell yet, and walked up to the man. Whoever he was, the fellow was the very picture of silent fury, straining mightily against invisible bonds. Psychological effect? Nervous system override? Either way, he wasn't going anywhere. "It would seem we've been underestimating Maduin," Argus commented. "So what do we do with this fellow?"

Their frozen man just glared daggers. If looks could kill, Argus would be a red mist right now.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » April 5th, 2010, 8:49 am

"So what do we do with this fellow?"

"I don't know," Sister Rose answered, quite truthfully. "We should probably ask him some questions about what happened here, but I get the impression he's not going to be very responsive until Maduin wakes up. I don't know what kind of spell he hit him with, but I sure don't want him using it on me."

As a temporizing measure, she turned to Lillith, who seemed to be coming around under Brad's fervent ministrations. "What all happened from where you were?" she asked, but before the girl could answer, there was a low groan from the ground; Maduin seemed to be showing his own signs of regaining consciousness.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Porcelain Fish » April 5th, 2010, 7:41 pm

Maduin came to with the realization that he was wet, soaked practically to the bone. Every part of him ached. He opened his eyes.

The face that met his regard was hard, almost fierce. It took Maduin a moment to realize where he was, recall what had happened, how he came to be lying sodden and strengthless in a muddy road in the hinterlands of a distant land, far from polite hands and soft upholstery and gracious conversation. He tried to speak, managed only a soft, low groan as his throat flared in retribution from all-too-recent abuse.

Brown eyes flicked instantly to him.

"You," Maduin rasped.

He watched the man's expression change, horror flashing through his eyes a heartbeat before being subsumed by utter adulation as the magic fully asserted its grip, triggered by the sound of Maduin's voice even broken as it was, and realized with a sickening twist just exactly how deep his power had driven. He closed his eyes again, temples throbbing, and licked his lips, greedily drinking the rainwater that spilled over his mud-flecked face.

"Pick me up," Maduin ordered after a moment.

Strong arms lifted him gingerly out of the mud and the filth of the road, cradled him almost tenderly against a broad chest. Maduin wanted to writhe out of those hands but hadn't the strength. He let his head rest against a shoulder, aching in more than just body.

"Take me back to the tent," he whispered.

Slowly, careful not to jostle his burden, the tall man walked back toward where the faint green light of the tent was barely visible in the darkness, the muddy, exhausted, heartsick Tsuirakuan cradled in his arms like priceless treasure.
Last edited by Porcelain Fish on April 6th, 2010, 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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