Volkanenborg

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Volkanenborg

Postby Graybeard » October 4th, 2008, 2:49 pm

Morning broke at the small country inn on the Lorrel-Volkanenborg road, as the sun rose over the mountains far to the east. The smell of frying bacon wafted from the kitchen, where a plump woman was getting breakfast ready for the travelers.

It had been either a particularly quiet night or a particularly boisterous one, depending on whether your standards were those of the city or the country. The travelers had settled in without incident, at least up to the point where the animated footstool spied the property's barn cat and decided to chase it around the yard until it climbed a tree. One last lepivore had wandered into the yard but had been promptly dispatched by shots from at least 7 different guns, which was mildly interesting since the party was only known to have 6 guns among them (OOC: I think I counted this right... /OOC:), with a final magical fireball thrown in for good measure. The resulting pieces of fried rabbit had coaxed the cat out of the tree, while "Stooly" had the good (if inanimate) sense to make himself (itself?) scarce. Finally, several of the guests awoke screaming during the night, from dreams involving giant rabbits carrying guns and shooting at animated furniture, or vice versa. But that was all.

All told, not a bad night, all things considered.

The plump woman knocked on Lucas' door. "Mr. Ravvy-nail? Yew might wanna git your folks up an' movin'. The stage goin' to Volkannyburg comes through right about 9, and I reckon yew-all are gonna have some packin' up to do. There's another stage later, but yew-all don't wanna git on that 'un; it's a local that goes through Kooglehum, and I 'spect that ain't yew-all's kinda place." A grunt answered from inside, and she went back to the kitchen.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Viking-Sensei » October 4th, 2008, 7:40 pm

On the floor all around him, Lucas had placed a series of small magical lamps. In the far end of the room, the lamp furthest away was behaving normally, flickering away quietly to itself. The next in closest was alight, but was flickering wildly as if a strong breeze was blowing it away from Lucas. Inside, the next four lamps were all acting oddly - one appeared to be unshining, casting an aura of darkness around it where it's light OUGHT to be shining, another was blue and rotating sideways in a clockwise direction. The one closest to Lucas seemed to be suffering worst, as it had turned into a banana.

Slowly, with his eyes closed, Lucas began concentrating... he was never good at this sort of thing, the meditation, however this trip had already caused him to expend far more magic in a couple of days time than he'd normally do in an entire cross-country jaunt. He grabbed at the edges of... whatever it was that was wrong with him... and pulled back as hard as he could. One by one the candles started returning to normal, like Lucas was the ocean and the field he generated was the tide coming in.

"Whew." He said, coming back out of his trance. "That's getting a lot harder than it ever used to be. C'mon, Bob, let's go get everyone up."
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby AdamZero » October 4th, 2008, 9:22 pm

Marcus had been awake for the past hour. He sensed the deaths of at least three rats, a bird, and a mouse from the night's events... the cat 'Stooly' had been chasing was only one of the felines in the area. He rolled off his bed, and as he fell, went right into a short exercise routine.

"You call that a push up?" Boris said from a chair in the corner. "Come on, son, lemme see your war face!" Marcus laughed as he got to his feet. He splashed his face with water from a basin set on the cabinet near the door. Drying with a nearby towel, he grabbed fresh clothes from within Boris, dressed and hid the skeleton under the folds of his usual travel cloak. Stepping outside he saw the inn-keeper's wife knocking on Lucas's door, the smell of food wafting up from the ground floor.

"Delicious." He said as he breathed in the smoke. "Not a hint of magic-enhancements. Humane death. Very good." He progressed across the hall, nodding with a smile as he walked downstairs.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Graybeard » October 4th, 2008, 10:02 pm

Elsewhere, others were also returning to activity as the sun rose.

---------------

Layla had never been much of an early riser, but motherhood changed that. Even before sunrise, she'd answered the imperious call of her son, nursing him and changing him before putting him back to bed, happy and still sleepy. Well, as long as I'm up, might as well get on with it, she told herself, as she dressed for her morning run and let herself out of the house, being careful not to disturb the sleeping Faye.

Kugelheim hadn't changed much since her childhood, and she recognized a number of landmarks as she ran. Here was the school that she'd attended for eight years; there, the home of her childhood best friend Lexy, dead now in the inexplicable carnage of Wraiths that was going on in Veracia. She found, to her surprise, that she couldn't muster much indignation at the death; the two women had followed different paths through adolescence and adulthood (to put it mildly), and besides, no Wraiths ever became all that close, because of the all-too-real likelihood that some of them wouldn't live long.

No Wraiths except herself and Arty, that is.

She continued to note places, as she tried to get Arty out of her mind. There was the shipping-company building, where she'd have a tense meeting with the Gewehr brain trust later in the day to sort out what had gone wrong in Kiyoka. (Time enough to worry about that later, she thought; her brain was still fogged by the early hour.) Beyond it she could see the church where she and Arty had had a remarkably conventional wedding ... another thing not to think about ...

... And there, in the field to the south, was the unmarked grave bearing the body of the first man she ever slew.

That seemed like a good place to turn around, she thought, and she returned to her son (and her mother) as the sun popped up above the distant mountains.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Sareth » October 5th, 2008, 12:14 am

I gave a long stretch as I crawled out from under my blankets. I could get used to this way of traveling. So far I'd been able to spend every night in a real bed. Admittedly, it had only been a few days, but my past travels had always involved plenty of sleeping on rocks, sticks, snake dens... Well, the snake den thing had only happened once, but once had been enough. A bed every night? That was a luxury I could get used to. In fact, the idea was enough to make me wonder if it might not be bad to actually stay in one place longer than a couple of months.

A tapping on my door reminded me that the whole point of the stretch with which I had started that train of thought was a preparation for getting out of bed. I rolled, set my feet on the floor, and padded over to my clothes. "Yeah, yeah. I'm up!" I called as I began to shrug my way into my pants. The knocking receeded, allowing to finish dressing in peace.

This done, I retrieved my weapons from under the pillow. Settling them into their accustomed places I smiled. I was ready to greet the day. With a spring to my step I walked out into the hall, headed towards the source of the marvelous smells that promised breakfast.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Graybeard » October 5th, 2008, 11:00 am

Grope, too, was waking up to start the day, in his campsite in the foothills.

After the morning prayers and ablutions, he hunted -- a more difficult proposition here than in the lowlands, because the land wasn't as fertile and couldn't support much of an animal population. Eventually he managed to catch a small weasel-like predator; not much meat there, but it'd have to do, and besides, he'd been eating pretty well lately and didn't really need much food today. As he performed the Wisdom ceremony, he jokingly offered a bit of the flesh to Chippy, and was taken aback when the chipmunk accepted with alacrity.

"When the big brains made us into walkie-talkies, they also gave us an appetite for meat," Chippy explained. "Higher energy density than roots and tubers and all that stuff. That was one of the reasons for the problem with the rabbits, you see. You shouldn't believe all the chippy propaganda anyway; we'd always take a nice juicy tree frog or dragonfly if we could get our paws on one. This varmint you caught tastes particularly good, by the way; not just good solid meat, but the taste of sweet revenge ... a lot of us talking munks got eaten by things like this."

Grope decided that there were things he really didn't want to know, and let the chipmunk finish his meal as he broke camp. Rather than sticking the animal back into a pocket of the Many-Fathers-God-Wisdom-Robe, however, he let Chippy ride on his shoulder now. My tribe would faint, he thought; now I'm not just a magic-using male troll, but one with a familiar... "Please tell me more about these other trolls you mentioned," he inquired as he loped through the pines.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby AdamZero » October 5th, 2008, 2:17 pm

(ooc: I'm gonna try for the first person perspective for a spell... just to see how it rolls)

I smiled as Jamie walked down the stairs, the faint, but present, twinge of death hung in several spots with the folds of the gunslinger's jacket. Jamie was fully armed, as usual. I stifled a yawn as I nodded to a plate before the seat adjacent to myself. I'd already put a few helpings of eggs, bacon, and toast on the plate. Boris was fiddling with a metal ring puzzle I'd given him to pass the time. What he didn't realize, however, was that it was a broken metal ring puzzle. It was missing a key piece to allow it to be solved. So I had a good hour or two before he figured that out.

"Sleep well?" I asked with a smile. Jamie seemed much happier, or at least less aggressive, than during the previous morning. Most likely the minimal effect Lucas had on this inn was a pillar in that stability. Honestly I was just glad they're weren't any ghost about. It did my body good to NOT have to take in a human helping of grey each time I spent the evening somewhere.

I took a bite of toast, coated with some raspberry preserves, enjoying the taste of food that was actually grown naturally! It was sadly hard to find in cities now a days.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Sareth » October 5th, 2008, 3:05 pm

"Not bad," I replied, digging into the pile of food before me with a fork. "Lucas keeps finding us inns to stay at while we're traveling, I'm going to have to book him every time I travel."

I sat back, contemplating. I had no idea how long Lucas was planning to stay in Volkanenborg. But unless he was planning to leave right away, it was tempting to look around. It'd been a while, it'd be fun to see if some of the old sights were still there. And aside from that little incident with the Eisenfaust, I hadn't run into any Ensigerum or Gewehr since I'd escaped Kiyoka. It was probably too early to breath a sigh of relief, but what the hell? You only live once.
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Graybeard » October 5th, 2008, 3:48 pm

Grope strode easily, and quietly, through the pine forest, listening as Chippy described the other trolls he'd met in the mountains. It was hard to be sure, but it certainly sounded as if the small band was Bri'igeah and her clan, and there might even have been a birth or two. That was good, very good; they sounded like they were doing well, and that probably boded well for his own efforts to get something going in the mountains of Tsuiraku -- after he took a new mate. He listened to the high-pitched voice as Chippy continued to describe --

Wait a minute. Were those Small Ones' voices he was hearing?

They were. Motioning Chippy to stop talking, he slowed to a stealthy creep and crested the ridge. Sure enough, down below, and helpfully upwind, was a campfire, with three men sitting around it. He stopped next to a large pine tree with bark the color of his own skin, quietly assumed a near-meditative state, and listened in ...

"-- damn tired of being on the run from the damn Eisenfaust," the mustachioed man said. "I say it's time we do somethin' to take the initiative away from 'em." The other two men muttered agreement, so he continued, "I been thinking. You know that stage they run up the road to Volkanenborg? What say we hit it? Don't know that we'd make much money off of it, but it'd sure be nice to teach those cock suckers that they've still gotta deal with the Gewehr if'n they're gonna do business in these parts."

"I dunno, Clem," the smaller of the other two men said. "We prob'ly oughta check it out with the big bosses before we do anything like that. They've gotten right hinky about hittin' the Eisenfaust out here."

Clem snorted. "Yeah, and that's the problem: our leaders have turned into a bunch of pussies." The third man nodded vigorous agreement. "I don't think Peter and those guys have gotta know about this. We can just hit 'em ourselves, mebbe leave a survivor or two to tell their own damn big shots what happened. 'S long's they know the Gewehr ain't gonna be run over like roadkill, it don't matter whether our own bosses do."

The small man was convinced. "Okay, let's figger out how we're gonna do this. About four, five hours from now, that coach is gonna be comin' over that pass just up the ridge..."

"Uh, oh," Chippy murmured quietly in Grope's ear. "Excuse me for a minute." He jumped off the troll's shoulder and raced up the tree. Moments later, a high, chattering sound came from the treetop, to be repeated by another in the distance, and faintly, another that was farther away still.

"Sorry, had to pass the word," Chippy said as he alighted again on Grope's shoulder. "Can't have the stages into the amusement park getting waylaid by robbers; bad for business, you know. I had to put that into the comm system, and I mean had to; they hard-wired that kind of thing into us. Got a problem with that?"

"I don't think so," Grope said, thinking that he'd always thought of those chattering squirrels and chipmunks in the trees as simply complaining about his own intrusion into their territory. He'd never see them in quite the same light again...

-------------

It was barely half an hour later that Faye walked into the living room where Layla and Zachary were playing patty-cake. "Sorry to interrupt, Layla," Faye said, "but Peter just called. He's got a job for you."
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Re: Volkanenborg

Postby Viking-Sensei » October 5th, 2008, 7:33 pm

Lucas came down into the large common room of the inn, armed with his big notebook full of maps and directions, and started spreading things out on one of the back tables.

"Ok, things have gone a little... sideways on the original plan, sinse Volkanenborg wasn't originally on the agenda and we're now far further inland than I'd been planning on going... so once everyone gets up, we're going to have to decide which priorities are which and re-map based on that."

"Now, as I said, Volkanenborg is a little out of my normal circles... for reasons which hopefully don't become clear... but I did some recon and brought out whatever info I do have from my past travels right here in this book, as well as programmed into Bob's database. Also, I checked with the innkeep last night, and the amusement park Jamie wanted to go to is only open on the weekends right now, since it's the off season, so we've got a nice attack-by-flying-rabbits-ghosts-upstairs-dead-policeman-assassins-shooting-at-us-free day to wander around town and explore."

"I'm taking Toivo out to hit the local agricultural center and collect some of those rare exotic northern Farrelian seeds like 'corn' for his botanical collection... we'll return this afternoon. Until then... er... Jamie, you're in charge. Don't shoot anyone."
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