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Classic-Castle Roleplay: December 2005

LEGO gaming, including group role playing games

Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:21 pm

Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:“See?” said Hans, “That wasn’t too bad. Now it’s north to Meritimus!”

Unfortunately, neither Hans, Adrian or Cate knew just how far north Meritimus was…

Grid: M-7
Location: Nearing the Wolfpack Fortress of Siastrakahn

Meritimus, it turned out, was quite far north. Far enough north that it warranted a several days walk from the Trio had broken upon the coast.

“I-I-I’m moving south.” shivered Cate, “F-f-first chance I get.”

Hans sighed, blowing snowflakes off his nose. He closed his eyes, fantasizing.

“Palm trees, soft sand, drinks with little pink umbrellas, tanned babes…”

Cate bent over, scooped up a handful of snow, and threw it at Hans. It missed and instead splattered on the back of Adrian’s head.

“What was that for!” he demanded, glowering.

“Hans!” said Cate, as if that was all that needed to be explained.

“I can’t control what Hans and his dirty mind does.” grumbled Adrian.

Hans made a noise that sounded like an iced giggle.

They finally reached Meritimus on the third day. Meritimus was a wholly unremarkable city, looking like any other Forestdweller port in winter. The Trio managed to book passage upon a Forestman flatboat that was heading to Sharpfang Port.

“Might as well snap skis to ‘er and slide ‘er across the Fell.” said the captain of the boat, a portly man wrapped in furs, “Sea’s just ‘bout frozen over. It’ll be tricky navigatin’.”

The Trio and the rest of the passengers kept relatively silent as the man skillfully piloted the flatboat through the icy waters, dodging ice floes and burgs. Every once in a while they spotted a black or brown something pop out of the water and flit away from the flatboat.

“What’s that?” asked Cate.

“Northern seals.” said the man, scratching his beard knowingly, “They usually stay in the north seas, but when the Fell gets extra chilly they come south, where the fish is plentiful and there’s less danger of hunting. Black Falcons loves to hunt seals, but us Foresters less so.”

It was late afternoon when the flatboat docked at Port Sharpfang. The trio paid their dues and spent the night at a local inn. The next morning they set out for the Wolfpack fortress of Siastrakahn.
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Postby Formendacil » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:25 pm

Grid: M-9
Location: Farburg

Formendacil wrote:"I thought you just didn't want to sit with the ladies for two weeks," said William.

"You're wise in the ways of the wild," said Sir Dractor, "but you are quite naive about some other things, my friend."

The journey from the Royal Knights on was little better than the first leg of the journey, until they passed through northern LEGOland, and into Crusader territory. Here the freezing wind and rain finally petered out, and was replaced with a thick snowfall. Just as cold, perhaps, but more insulating and less windy.

As they travelled through the northern Crusader countryside, they noticed the villagers decorating for Yuletide. In these northern parts of the realm, filled with the scragly bottom end of the great Forestdweller forest, the favoured decorations were boughs of fir and spruce, and tall, garlanded spruce decorated town squares, common rooms, and private homes.

Sir Dractor was reminded of the massively large pine that the Forestmen had chopped down and hauled in to Drullen Bell's great hall the year before, and hoped to make it back in time to direct the tree-gathering expedition once again.

Everyone was ready to reach Drullen Bell by now, the wind and cold and the closeness of each other having by now succeeded in making the journey extremely wearisome. It was with great anticipation that they arrived in Farburg, just south of Drullen Bell late one mid-December night. While the others were ensconced in an inn, Sir Dractor and Thomas sought out a merchant willing to buy the carriage, and then found horses and tack enough to ride over to Delvarden Gard and Drullen Bell.

They returned to the inn to find Sir Yves and William enquiring about the roads north.

"It's snowed over, all right," said one of the men they were talking with, "but it's still passable. Better sheltered, too, out there in the trees."

As Sir Dractor approached, the two of them broke off their conversation to turn to him.

"Well," said Sir Dractor, slumping into a barstool beside William. "We've got everything we need." Then he turned to the bartender, "something to warm up the extremities would be good."

"Then we're set, I guess," said William. "But what I'm wondering is whether Miss Merina will be able to make it. Is she up to a half-day horseback ride out in the cold?"

"She's been doing fine lately," said Thomas. "No bad coughing spells, her strength's up."

"I'm afraid that the ride will probably set her back again," said Sir Dractor, "but there's no getting a carriage through north of here, and I think she can handle it."

"I hope so," said William. "I'm more than ready to get to somewhere big and warm and hunker down for a few months."

"A few months?" laughed Sir Dractor. "Maybe for you, my friend, but I think most of the rest of us will be taking off in the new year to get Estella down to Orion."

"Well, don't look at me," said William. "I'd just as soon stay up in Drullen Bell with Miss Merina, since I don't think you plan on taking her to Orion."

"No," said Sir Dractor, "I don't."

"Then it's settled," said William. "You go south and freeze, and endure Miss Estella's romantic delusions, while I sit up in a big old Forestman castle by the fire, with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a mug of ale in the other."

"I suspect that the ale mug will be dry long before the hot chocolate," said Sir Dractor.

"You know me well," said William, draining the ale in front of him.
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Postby Formendacil » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:28 am

Grid: M-8
Location: Drullen Bell

Formendacil wrote:"Then we're set, I guess," said William. "But what I'm wondering is whether Miss Merina will be able to make it. Is she up to a half-day horseback ride out in the cold?"

"She's been doing fine lately," said Thomas. "No bad coughing spells, her strength's up."

"I'm afraid that the ride will probably set her back again," said Sir Dractor, "but there's no getting a carriage through north of here, and I think she can handle it."

The snow was gently falling early the next morning as Sir Dractor and his companions bundled up and saddled up for their ride to Drullen Bell. Sir Dractor had hired a half a dozen young Crusader lads to transport the trunkfulls of goods belonging to Estella or Merina.

They set off northwards, out of Farburg, and over the Forestman border into the woods. Merina, Sir Dractor noted, was holding up well, but definitely finding the strain of riding and the weather to be aggravating. She was coughing more than she had at the inn, and the coughs were once again sending ripples throughout her body, something they had not done almost since Iadoraz. Sir Dractor decided that she was definitely seeing a druid as soon as possible.

In the mid-afternoon they reached Delvarden Gard, and began making their way across the city, careful as they went over the icy bridges across the channels of the delta.

It was late afternoon, and the sun was starting to set once they crossed the last bridge and into Drullen Bell Keep. The guards let them through immediately, and sent the news of their arrival ahead, so that even as they were dismounting in the great courtyard, Bjarn and Gonderin had come down from their offices to greet their guests.

"Aethelred, old friend!" exclaimed Bjarn, embracing his friend as he dismounted, "Where in Dametreos have you been? Gonderin said that you went off to Lion Island after the campaign!"

"So I did," said Sir Dractor. "And an interesting adventure it was. Bjarn, allow me to introduce William Jorgenson, a tracker and hunter of Fendor's Field."

"A tracker and hunter, you say?" said Bjarn. "I used to be one of those."

Meanwhile, Thomas was helping Merina dismount from her horse, which a Forestman servant stood waiting to lead away, when Gonderin came up behind him.

"Welcome back to Drullen Bell, Master Thomas," said the elf. "You've picked an excellent time to return."

"Gonderin!" said Thomas, delightedly, turning his head, while still bracing up Merina, who was coughing slightly, and standing unsteadily as a result. "It's good to see you! How goes things?"

"Quiet," said Gonderin. "The international scene has been quiet since the death of King Sirion, and with winter set in, there are no great doings in the north. And our internal affairs have been quiet. But tell me, Thomas, who is your charming companion?"

"Gonderin," said Thomas. "Meet Merina Valenti. Merina, meet Gonderin, Chief Lieutenant of Lord Bjarn."

"Charmed," said Merina weakly, having just finished coughing, and she gave a small curtsy.

"Let's get you in out of the cold," said Gonderin. "I'm sure you've had enough of that."

"Quite," said Thomas, gesturing for Merina to follow Gonderin.

Meanwhile, Sir Yves and Estella had dismounted and were being introduced to Bjarn.

"Sir Jayko Falconensis, you say," said Bjarn. "I seem to recall meeting the young man slightly at the Ball in Orion. A nice fellow."

Estella blushed, pleased.

"But come!" said Bjarn. "There will be time enough in the coming days to chill in the snow! Come in, we have fireplaces enough to spare! I'll send down to the kitchens for some hot chocolate."

"And some ale, if you wouldn't mind," said Sir Dractor. "William and I are of like mind regarding the virtues of ale over hot chocolate."

"I'll make that three," said Bjarn cheerily as they headed indoors. "I tell, Aethelred, it's good to have you back! I hope you'll stay a while."

"Over New Year's anyway," said Sir Dractor, "but I have to get Estella to Orion after that."

"Pity," said Bjarn, "but Yuletide is going to be great! Want to direct the tree-hunting operation again? You did a splendid job last year."
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Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:37 am

Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:The next morning they set out for the Wolfpack fortress of Siastrakahn.

Grid: M-7
Location: The Wolfpack Fortress of Siastrakahn

On the steeds given to them by Willem Blackcloak, the trio made swift progress through the Wolfpack woodlands. Snow had blanketed the Forestdweller realms, but not as heavily as Fell Isle, and the tall pines had kept the ground relatively clear. The air was crisp but not frigid, and Hans, Cate and Adrian were it relatively high spirits when the came across the border city of Siastrakahn. Siastrakahn was surrounded by a large, sloping wall. A single, snow-peaked tower reached up to the gray sky.

“I wonder if they ever found them.” said Hans out of the blue, looking up at the tower.

“Huh?” said Cate.

“You talking about Sheath and Yariyikah?” asked Adrian.

“Yeah.” said Hans.

Adrian turned to Cate to explain.

“A while ago Siastrakahn was overrun by two mysterious men. No one really got a good look at them, but somehow their names were remembered. It was supposed to be an epic battle.”

Cate sighed.

“How do you learn of all this stuff?”

Hans and Adrian shrugged, smiling.

“We just…do.”

Cate rolled her eyes.


As they neared the gates of Siastrakahn, which were closed, two Wolfpack guards stepped forward gruffly.

“What business do you have here?” one asked.

“We wish to do some research in the Siastrakahn archives.” said Adrian, “We have this.”

He handed over a document. One guard looked at it then showed it to the other.

“You’ve got grand connections for one so young…and foreign.” said one guard, handing back the document.

With some difficulty, the doors were opened, and the trio was allowed to enter.

“Man, getting the signatures of all these kings really pays off!” said Adrian, stowing away the permission slip signed personally by Willem Blackcloak, King of the Throne of the Three Daggers.

“Totally.” said Hans, “Now, to the archives…”
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Postby Formendacil » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:49 pm

Grid: M-7
Location: Siastrakahn

Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:With some difficulty, the doors were opened, and the trio was allowed to enter.

“Man, getting the signatures of all these kings really pays off!” said Adrian, stowing away the permission slip signed personally by Willem Blackcloak, King of the Throne of the Three Daggers.

“Totally.” said Hans, “Now, to the archives…”

The Striastrakahn library was easily the most dusty and dingy of the three Wolfpack archives they had visited. The bulk of the room was filled with old, untended shelves of papers and books that dated back to the city's time as the Wolfpack capital. Only a much smaller section near the front of the archive was ordered and well-tended. Here were kept the books and papers that had been deposited in the Archives in recent years, mostly copies of books and papers found in other, more prestigious archives.

They approached the archivist, an old, tired looking man who was thoroughly as dusty-looking as the worst parts of his collection.

"Nathaniel, Earl of Wells, you say?" he said, peering over his dusty spectacles. "I can't say that I've ever heard of him. He doesn't sound Wolfpackish..."

"He was a Classic," said Hans.

"Do you have records of where documents stolen from the Dark Foresters would be kept?" asked Adrian. "The document we want would be in there."

"Let me see..." said the Archivist, slowly getting up, with audible creaking, from his place, and leading them to the back of the Archives, ending up before a row of shelves over which hung a wooden sign carved with the words "The Spoils of War of King Alden Greyback".

"I think all these shelves are what you want," said the Archivist. "Sorry, there isn't a catalogue for them..."

"Thanks for nothing," said Hans under his breath as the Archivist slowly returned to his desk, leaving the three of them to face the large task of sorting through the documents.

They set to it with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, compared with their previous archive visits. After four strikes in Drullen Bell, Hemlock Stronghold, Daggerfall, and Ostrakahn, there was a very distinct fear in their heads that the knowledge of the One Brick's final resting place might be lost to history.

That first day turned up nothing related to Earl Nathaniel, but as they had only made progress through a third of the documents, they returned again the next morning, still faintly hopeful. Around noon, Hans uncovered a very dusty paper, bearing the seal of the Dark Forester Council. At the top of it read:

Personal and Miscellaneous Documents of the Drullen Bell Archives, Copied by A.C.E. Ballantine & Sons for the Government of the Kingdom of the Dark Forest, according to the terms of the Jewel Reef Council regarding the division of the League of Forestmen..

Underneath this formal-looking document was a five-volume set of thick, encyclopaedic-looking books. Adrian eagerly opened the first, and found the same inscription on the cover page.

"All those odd documents that were just loose papers in the Drullen Bell Archives were copied in here when the kingdoms were separated," he said. "Neat!"

Hans had grabbed Volume V: Miscellany, and flipped it open to the table of contents.

"Hmm...." he said, scanning the columns. "We don't want failed wart-removers, or scribbled notes about crenellation-sharpening. Is there a treasure section in here?"

"I've found it!" said Cate, who was browsing Volume III: Personal Letters. "A letter from Nathaniel, Earl of Wells, to his cousin, Symbia Argul."

"But we're looking for a clue, not a letter," protested Hans.

"Just a second!" said Adrian, who had grabbed the book from Cate, and had opened to the right page. "I think we've got it!"

"Lemme see!" said Hans, grabbing for the book. Adrian lifted it out of reach.

"Well, what does it say?" asked Cate. Adrian lowered the book, and read:

My dearest cousin Symbia,

It is with deep sadness that I have returned from my perilous journey to Ikros only to find my family scattered to the winds. All the dear cousins, with whom I spent such a joyous youth have grown and scattered throughout the realms of Dametreos, never again to reunite in splendid reunion in that manor where we spent so many a blissful summer.

"Ugh! How soppy!" said Cate.

"It's just the style of the times," said Hans, "now hush up!"

Imagine my surprise, continued Adrian, at learning you had eloped with a Forestdweller! I would never have thought it of you, dear Symbia, who was always so fond of the pleasures of city life, to abandon it all for the woods of the north. Yet I think you have chosen well, and the years have certainly matured you, for is not love a more precious thing than all the diamonds, gold, and precious silks that can be found? In any event, Jeremiah is a good man, and well-respected as the Lord of the League. I am sure you have a happy life.

I would ask you to place the following message in the Archives of your husband's people, as a safeguard against the future of Dametreos, which I fear to imperil lest a great treasure given me by the Ikrosian King should fall into wrong hands:

"As the weapon of Ikros dost cut both ways, against the good if held held by evil, and against the evil if held by good, so too do thee, self-proclaimed defenders of light, fight wisely under good, and evilly under wrong. In thy capital is held the double-bladed weapon."

I thank you very kindly, dear Symbia, and if Chodan is willing, I hope to see you and Jeremiah in this coming summer. I trust I shall see you well then, and we may recall our happy childhood memories, and regale each other with our adventures since.

Your loving cousin,

Earl of Wells.

"Apparently Symbia didn't see any point to copying out that little clue," said Cate, "and just put the whole letter in the Archives."

"What does it mean?" asked Adrian. "The weapon of Ikros that cuts both ways is obviously the One Brick, and clearly it was hidden in the capital of those "defenders of light", who cut both ways, but who are the "defenders of light"?"

"Lemme think..." said Hans, who was silent only for a moment before smacking his head.

"The Crusaders, of course! That's how they got their name, for leading the fight 'for light' against the Fright Knights and Dragon Masters. We've got to go to Port Crowne- back to your beloved dirt."

"Well, hopefully it'll be dirt and not snow," said Cate. "I'm sick of snow."

"Come on!" said Adrian, "it's perfectly Yuletide-y outside."

"Yuletide," said Hans glumly. "That is a bummer. Here we are, stranded in Striastrakahn, and Yule not even two weeks away."

"If we leave now, we can spend it in Farburg," said Adrian. "Although I doubt we could make it to Port Crowne by the holidays."

"Right," said Cate, "like we really want to spend Yule in either of those places. I want to spend it somewhere with people I know, and somewhere where we aren't getting lost, getting cold, or looking for obscure documents."

"Drullen Bell is right to the north of Farburg," said Hans. "I bet it would only take three or four days to get there from here. I bet that Bjarn would be happy to host us for Yuletide."

"And Gonderin's there," said Adrian pointedly.

"And just what are you saying?" said Cate so sharply that Adrian looked abashed.

"Erm... nothng," said Adrian.

"Good!" said Cate. "Now let's go!"

"Hold it!" said Hans, "I want to make a copy of this letter, to add to Dad's collection of family documents- and for future reference on the road."
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Postby Robin Hood » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:48 am

Grid: G-8
Location: Good old Castleton

After a couple days travel in the snow, Sir Theodore and Sir Valric, along with Aiden and Kae-Os, reached the capital of the Royal Knights. Theodore immediately led them all to see King Lego XIII.

"Sire," he said as he entered Lego's office. "I have finally returned."

"Theodore? Where the tyco have you been?" cried Lego, getting up and clasping the knight. "I haven't seen you since you left for Orion months ago." To Theodore's eyes, the new king looked very tired and seemed to have aged ten years since he had last seen him, before Kjeld had been murdered. Clearly the strain of his father's death and his new responsibilities weighed heavily on him.

"It's a long story, Sire."

"Well it had better be a good one. A knight general needs to have a good reason to up and leave his duties for several months."

"Well I was repaying Sir Valric here." Theodore gestured to Valric.

Lego nodded at him. "Repaying?"

"Yes sire. You may remember this summer when a strange being was terrorizing the locals of a small village south of here. Well when we fought that thing, I would have died if Valric hadn't killed it."

"I guess you have reason to repay, but how does one take several months doing so?"

Theodore gave a brief account on what had happened since the ball.

"Well, I guess I can't blame you, but I'll leave a note on your record." Lego looked at Aiden and Kae-Os who had remained in the doorway. "And who might your companions might be?"

"Two people we met on the road here. They wished for an audience with you."

"Well, what can I do for you?"

"Sire, we came to give you news about your father's killer." Said Aiden, who nearly wilted at the sudden change of mood in the king.

"What?" Came the tense word from Lego.

"We killed him."

Lego's change of mood was less quick, but just as noticeable. He froze as the information registered. "How can I be sure of it? Looking at you two, I find it hard to doubt you, but I need proof."

"Then your majesty," replied Aiden, "If you will call Robert, the guard who hired us, we can give you proof."

Lego sent for Robert and in a minute he came in the room. "Sire," he said snapping to attention.

"Robert, do you recognize these two men?"

The guard noticed Aiden and Kae-Os for the first time. He started at the sight of them. "Aye sire. I hired them several months ago to hunt down your father's killer."

"They claim they killed him."

Kae-Os pulled out a small vial from his pocket. "Do you remember this?" Inside the vial was a small amount of red blood, still slightly sticky.

"Aye, you put some of the murder's blood in there. I see it still hasn't dried up."

"Aye it hasn't." Aiden then pulled a long something off his back. It was wrapped in a cloth. "You agree that this is the killers blood?" He pointed at the vial.

The guard looked closely at the vial. "Aye, I believe it is."

Aiden pulled the cloth back. On it lay his two rapiers, each stained with sticky blood. "Now compare," said Aiden, "the two samples."

Robert looked carefully at them both for a while. Then he said, "They are the same Sire."

Lego breathed, and in that breath came his frustration and his anger at Cloak. Finally his father could rest in peace. After several moments while the king fought back tears, Lego said, "Robert, what is the current reward for the capture?"

"10,000 marks your majesty."

"Pay them, and give them 5,000 more. And give them a place to spend in the castle for as long as they wish."

He turned to look at Aiden and Kae-Os with gratitude and respect in his eyes. "Thank you. My father can finally rest in peace. Please go and rest. Sometime you will have to tell the full story of what happened."

Robert led the two out. Sensing it best to leave the king right now, Valric followed them. Theodore bowed and turned to leave, but stopped at the door. He turned to the king. "You wish you had been there to hunt him, don't you sire?"

Lego looked up from the floor at which he had been staring. "Yes," he sighed, "I do."

"Your father would not have wanted you to neglect your duties just for the sake of revenge."

"I know," Lego said slowly, "but I just can't help but feel that I did not do enough for him. That I betrayed his trust in me somehow."

"Ah," said Theodore. "You’re thinking about leaving to see Valin and all those trips to the border during the war. I'll be frank with you sire, you were reckless, headstrong and less than caring for your health, but I don't think you betrayed him. I think that secretly he was proud of all you did. He was only concerned for your safety and the future of your son."

Lego looked at the knight in slight surprise. "Your right Theodore." He clasped the general's arm momentarily. Then Theodore left.

"He was right," mused Lego, "I guess that deep down I knew it too." The king of the Royal Knights breathed deeply, at last, not only his father, but also he himself could sleep peacefully.
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Postby Formendacil » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:13 am

Grid: M-8
Location: Drullen Bell

Formendacil wrote:"Over New Year's anyway," said Sir Dractor, "but I have to get Estella to Orion after that."

"Pity," said Bjarn, "but Yuletide is going to be great! Want to direct the tree-hunting operation again? You did a splendid job last year."

Supper was soon polished off readily, and then Sir Dractor and his company retired to an evening of chocolate, chess, and storytelling in front of a large, blazing fireplace in one of the larger studies.

"Your ability to fight dragons is apparently as good as your ability to fight catapults," said Bjarn with a wry smile, as Sir Dractor ended his tale, "but you appear to be slacking in the chess department. I believe that is a checkmate."

Sir Dractor squinted at the board, and scowled. Bjarn had, indeed, caught him. He toppled over his king.

"You win," he said. Bjarn started to reset the board.

"Another game?" he asked.

"No," replied Sir Dractor. "Not tonight. It's been a long journey, and I'm ready to turn in. I've got enough to do tomorrow, what with the tree hunt and all, and I want Merina to see a druid as soon as possible."

"I'll have one sent up from Delvarden Gard as soon as possible," said Bjarn. "We still haven't found a druid able to take Bella's position as the live-in healer druid here in the Castle."

The next morning, Sir Dractor rose early, and met Merina, Thomas, Gonderin, and Bjarn for breakfast. Gonderin and Bjarn were preparing for yet another day in the life of the Forestmen rulers, but Thomas and Sir Dractor were merely up to keep Merina company.

Following the meal, they headed down the corridors to the infirmary, which Sir Dractor wryly remembered as his first place of visit in Drullen Bell. A young druid from the city was there waiting for them. He led Merina into the examining room, and after ten minutes or more of being closeted with her, he returned with her, looking a bit perplexed.

"Sit down," he said to all of them, taking a seat behind the desk, and waiting as they all drew up a chair.

"Well?" asked Sir Dractor. "What is her problem?"

"It's difficult to say," replied the young druid. "The first thing that my tests revealed is that the illness from which she suffers is not one that magic, be it herbal, earthen, or Mana, can heal. That's a rarer trait in the more serious illnesses, but it's quite typical of most common colds.

"However, what Miss Valenti has is clearly not a common cold. The coughing she is enduring is a good deal stronger, and a good deal more painful, than anything a cold would inflict. Furthermore, it seems to be tied to a waning of her stamina. And there is, of course, the unnatural length of the illness, which she has had for over four weeks, you say, with no apparent strengthening or weakening.

"At the moment, I have no idea what sort of illness is causing this. I know that a magical remedy will not work, and I am completely unable to identify any sort of herbal medicine that would help. I'm going to prescribe lots of rest, no travelling in the cold, wind, or rain, and some Essence of Lipton for the easing of the cough.

"I can't impress upon you just how serious that coughing is," said the druid. "The lighter coughs are not seriously, but the body-wracking ones are directly tied in to the weakening of her stamina, and as I have no idea how to reverse the illness, it is important that she not weaken further. Do you understand?"

"Yes," said Sir Dractor, just as Merina said "Yes, I do," and Thomas said, "Yes, we do."

"Excellent," said the druid. "I'll be back shortly after Yule, before the New Year, to check on her. If anything changes, call me. Good-day."
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Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:20 pm

Formendacil wrote:"Good!" said Cate. "Now let's go!"

"Hold it!" said Hans, "I want to make a copy of this letter, to add to Dad's collection of family documents- and for future reference on the road."

Grid: M-7
Location: Leaving Siastrakahn

Hans grabbed a spare piece of parchment and carefully jotted down the entire letter. Then they left the archives and Siastrakahn. Traveling under the pines and oaks, the trio made good progress across the Wolfpack lands that day. They passed by the derelict city of Dernhal in late afternoon, and spent the night in and inn that was built on the bank of the Hemlock River. The next morning they crossed the river via barge and entered the lands of the Forestmen.

“Now,” said Cate firmly, “We are on the right road to Delvarden Gard?”

Hans squinted at the map.


“Good,” said Cate, flicking her reigns, “I don’t want to be made a fool of again by wandering off the main highway and having to be rescued by the Lord of the League himself.

As Cate and her horse trotted forward, Hans leaned over to Adrian and said, “Tall elves, on the other hand, she’d most willing be rescued by.”

Adrian snickered.

As the trio traveled south, they passed several Forestmen and women, who greeted them with a cheerful “Merry Yuletide!”.

“People are so much friendlier here.” noted Cate as they passed a sleigh full of red-faced and smiling children.

“It’s the Forestmen’s nature.” said Hans, “They’re not Dametreos’ most peaceful faction for nothing.


“Hey,” said Adrian, “Check it out.”

Hans and Cate looked ahead. Planted in the middle of a crossroads, surrounded by snow-laden pines, was a solitary lamppost, glowing brightly.

“What an odd place to put a lamppost.” said Cate.

“Totally,” said Hans, riding up and peering at it closely, “Right in the middle of nowhere, too.”

“Well, it as good a place as any for lunch.” said Adrian.

Tying the horses’ reigns to the lamppost, the Trio ate a quick and quiet lunch. At the end, while they were packing up, Hans suddenly said, “I just realised something. Bjarn and I could be related!”


“Yeah,” said Hans, “Nathaniel’s cousin married the Lord of the League. And Bjarn was the cousin of Issac, who could have been the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great or something grandson of this Jeremiah.”

Cate snorted.

“That was nine-hundred years ago! You could be related to anyone! Heck, you could be related to Reno! Or King Barbod! Or Lord Void!”

“Or Cate.” said Adrian.

Cate and Hans looked at Adrian sharply. He continued, “Think about it. You Classics are so interrelated. You’re probably great cousins eight times removed or something.”

Hans and Cate looked at one another.

“That just sounds too weird.” said Cate.

Adrian laughed.

“As you said, it was nine-hundred years ago. We’re probably all related in some way.”

“Probably.” said Hans, “Well, if this map isn’t lying and I’m not reading it wrong, Delvarden Gard is about twenty miles away, so if we want to reach it by tonight, we should get going.”
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Postby TheOrk » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:19 pm

G-8 Castleton

Valric looked around grumpily. The last hour was a blurr to him, a complete and total blurr. All he knew now was he had taken a wrong turn in the keep and was unable to find his way out. Most of the castles he had been in were of equal size or larger. Every passage looked the same. Valric would have asked someone in which direction the exit or least where the great hall was but he saw no one and that’s what disgruntled him the most.

“Hello?” He called out.

His voice echoed down the deserted hallway for what seemed like hours.

Muttering under his breath, he began opening every door he saw in the hopes that it would lead him out. Not even the dungeons of Castle Dracul were this hopeless. Every door seemed to reveal two or more winding passages or was just a closet. Valric began to grow suspicious, a castle this big with or without being a capital would have dozens of servants bustling about.

Starting to lose his temper he flung open the next door he saw. The hallway was as dark as night. Suddenly an white lance of pain hit Valric in his wound. Cursing, he clutched the wall for support, he had a feeling in his gut that this would be the way out. Faint whispering started to reach his ears, coming from the darkness. Coming from all around him.

“Who’s there!” He yelled angrily.

There was a faint rustling, before Valric could clasp his sword hilt in reassurance, a bloodcurdling shriek filled the still air. Flying out of the darkness on all sides was a living wall of bronze and silver shapes. Valric gasped and tried to bring his arms up to defend himself from the demons, but he knew it wouldn’t do any good.

Gasping, he fell out of his bed. Shivering he looked around frantically for his sword. He didn’t need it, Castleton wasn’t crawling with those…things. Sighing, he wiped the sweat off his forehead. It was the morning after Theodore and him had arrived at Castleton after their eventful journey. The sun was just up over the hills and a fresh layer of snow had fallen. Muttering under his breath, he fumbled for a fresh pair of clothes and pulled on his boots.

He walked out of his guest room dizzily. The hallways of Castleton in real life were not as long or as dark as the ones in his dream. To put Valric at ease, a pair of red and white liveried servants walked by and greeted him. As he moved towards the great hall, he saw a dozen other servants and a couple men at arms. It was still quite early, Theodore as well as the king were not awake yet.

That was a good thing in Valric’s opinion. His wound throbbed painfully as if on cue. He began to move quickly, he had a single piece of unbuttered toast and then strapped on his armour. Walking briskly, he went straight to the stables and got a horse. It wasn’t a very good horse, he was taking it without permission, but he deemed it important enough. Besides, he should be back before the others had woken up. Taking, a stringy, wobbly brown horse, he began to gallop away from Castleton…
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Postby Formendacil » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:30 pm

Grid: M-7
Location: Drullen Bell

Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:“As you said, it was nine-hundred years ago. We’re probably all related in some way.”

“Probably.” said Hans, “Well, if this map isn’t lying and I’m not reading it wrong, Delvarden Gard is about twenty miles away, so if we want to reach it by tonight, we should get going.”

Hans was correct, and it was nightfall by the time the three companions had reached Drullen Bell. Of course, as close to the Winter Solstice as it was, nightfall was quite early.

They had the good fortune, when coming in, to be met by a large, loud, happy party of Forestmen, hoisting an enormous blue spruce on their shoulders.

"Hey!" said Hans, "isn't that Sir Dractor over there?"

Cate and Adrian peered through the dim sunset light at the company of Forestmen, and agreed that the armoured figure near the front certainly bore a striking resemblance to the big knight.

Sir Dractor caught sight of them as the Forestmen and the three companions converged near the Drullen Bell gates.

"Hans Lentawl!" he called. "What brings you and your friends to Drullen Bell?"

"Yuletide!" replied Hans. "We've been all over the Forestdweller lands on a quest for a valuable weapon, and we finally found it in Striastrakahn. It's too far to anybody's home, so we thought we'd drop in on Bjarn for Yule."

"A quest for a valuable weapon?" laughed Sir Dractor. "I don't know whether to believe you or not, but it's good to see you! My thanks to you and Master Adrian for the research back in Orion. It proved its worth. I see that you're still wearing the swords I found you. You haven't had to use them, I hope."

"No, not once," said Adrian, almost disappointed. "They aren't much use against getting lost or getting cold."

"Or getting hungry," said Cate.

"Yeah, that too," said Adrian.

"Well, you'll have to tell us all about your adventures," said Sir Dractor. "Or perhaps 'misadventures' would be a better word. But right now we've got a tree to set up and decorate. The sooner the better, because the kitchens won't feed me or my men until this thing's all decorated."

"So what have you been up to?" asked Hans, as they fell into step beside the Forestmen. "Bjarn said, when we were here a couple months ago, that you'd gone off with a fleet. I didn't think that the Forestmen even had a fleet."

"They didn't before," said Sir Dractor, "but they now have two Ikrosian battleships. The rest of the fleet was decommissoned after the battle."

"Two Ikrosian battleships?" said Adrian. "Sweet!"

"You can probably see one if you visit the Delvarden docks," said Sir Dractor. "One of the ships is based here, while the other patrols the Fell Isle coastline."

"Oh, warmth!" said Cate, as they entered the Drullen Bell gates, and exitted the wind. After quickly passing through the great courtyard, they were in the halls of the great fortress, and Bjarn was coming down with a crowd of the fortress-dwellers to meet the tree as it came in.

"Bjarn!" called Sir Dractor, "look what lonely urchins I found in the cold! They said they were seeking Yuletide cheer. Have we got any to spare?"

Bjarn looked, amused, at the three young questors, and smiled.

"I think we can find them a room or two," he said. "Welcome back, my friends! Did you find your One Brick?"

"No," said Hans, "but we did, finally, find the document that should have been here."

"Excellent!" said Bjarn. "As soon as we find a few moments, I'll get you to tell me more, but for now we have a tree to decorate."

"And set up!" said Sir Dractor. "This thing isn't going to turn upright on its own."
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Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:27 pm

Formendacil wrote:"Excellent!" said Bjarn. "As soon as we find a few moments, I'll get you to tell me more, but for now we have a tree to decorate."

"And set up!" said Sir Dractor. "This thing isn't going to turn upright on its own."

Grid: M-7
Location: Drullen Bell Keep, Delvarden Gard city

“We’ll help!” said Hans eagerly, jumping forward to grab a branch. Adrian did the same. Cate, however, hung back, clearly not eager to fumbling around with big, scratching, sticky tree.

“Cate, dear,” said Bjarn, smiling leaning forward, “Could you help an old man with some boxes? My back may not support a tree anymore, but together I think we can deposit the ornaments.”

“Alright.” said Cate, also smiling. Together the began to unpack boxes and boxes of ornaments. There were all types: little brass bells, wooden figurines, even bits of colored glass that caught the light in magical ways. Cate held up what looked like a tin cup.

“What’s this?” she asked.

Bjarn peered at it.

“That, I believe, is a candlestick holder. We used to hang them from the tree, and light all the candles. It was a wondrous sight…but we stopped after the incident of ‘88.”

“What happened?” asked Cate.

“We burned down the entire tree.” said Bjarn ruefully, “And the great hall nearly went up in flames as well. The Druids were able to put it out, but we lost the tree and all the ornaments. These here a relatively new. Why, hello Tom.”

Cate looked up. Thomas Valt, Sir Dractor’s squire, was coming toward them. A pretty woman a few years older than Cate was leaning heavily upon his arm.

“A merry Yuletide to you.” greeted Thomas. He smiled at Cate.

“Cate Slacs-Sicl! Greetings!”

“Hello, Thomas.” said Cate, smiling, but looking at the other woman wearily.

“This is Lady Merina Valenti.” said Thomas, “Merina, this is Lady Cate Slacs-Sicl.”

A third woman, dressed finely in the clothes of a Royal, also came over.

“And this is Lady Estella Tendarl.” said Thomas, “Of the Royal Knights.” he added, “This is Lady Cate Slacs-Sicl.”

The three ladies greeted one another politely, cautious and cool. Ladies of the upper class were often wary of their own kind when first introduced. Within five minutes they were close allies or bitter enemies. Thomas suddenly realised the possibly explosive situation he had put himself in.

“Well, er, perhaps you three ladies can just talk and sort through the ornaments while I…help with the tree.”

Thomas almost ran off. Estella looked huffy. Merina coughed. Cate awkwardly fiddled with a miniature faerie.

“So…” said Bjarn, “Uh…Cate, tell us of your adventures!”

Meanwhile, Hans and Adrian were entangled in their own uncomfortable position, though it was more physical than verbal.

“LIFT!” bellowed Sir Dractor, “Come on, LIFT!”

The knight, twenty Forestmen, one Crusader and one Classic heaved with all their might, but the tree remained stubbornly horizontal. With a collective “Oof!”, they set down the tree.

“Next year,” panted a Forestman, “we’re downsizing!”

“How’d we get last year’s tree up?” asked another.

“Mostly luck.” sighed Sir Dractor. He wiped his brow.

Adrian tried to scrub sap off his hands as he walked away from the tree.

“Yuck.” he grumbled, “Sheer force isn’t going to work.”

Hans nodded. He was squinting up at where the top of the tree should be.

“We need…some rope.” he said slowly.

Several Forestmen looked around. “Huh?”

Adrian looked, squinting, to where Hans was looking.

“That might just work.” he said.

Hans nodded eagerly.

“Totally. Yo, Sir Dractor!”

The big knight came over.

“Get any brainstorms, young scholars?”

“Actually, we have!” said Hans.

“We gonna need rope.” said Adrian, “lots of rope.”

They told Sir Dractor their plan.

“You know, that might just work.”

Sir Dractor sent off two Forestmen to fetch a bow and quiver and a length of rope. When they returned, Sir Dractor, took the large yew longbow and firmly tied the rope to the end of an arrow. He also broke the head off the arrow. Aiming carefully, he shot the arrow high into the air. With the rope trailing it like the tail of a kite, the arrow arched over one of the thick crossbeams that braced the ceiling and then fell back to earth. Several Forestmen went forward and at once tied the dangling rope to the top of the tree. At that moment Thomas came forward.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“We couldn’t get the tree up,” explained Adrian,

“So we’re using that beam as a pulley.” finished Hans, “With luck, we’ll be able to hoist the tree upright."

Sir Dractor and the other Forestmen has already gathered around the rope. Hans, Adrian and Thomas squeezed in and took hold.

“AND…HEAVE!” bellowed Sir Dractor.

They heaved. The rope grew taunt. And almost at once the tree began to tilt upward. The Forestmen cheered, but Sir Dractor yelled, “Keep pulling!”

The pulled. With much scraping and groaning, the tree slowly tipped upright. Quickly, other Forestmen leapt forward and braced the trunk with rocks and dirt. Then, cautiously, they let the rope go loose. The tree remained upright. The Forestmen cheered.

Hans gave Adrian a high five.

“DUDE!” he said.

“We, like, so totally rock.” grinned Adrian.
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Postby Formendacil » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:11 pm

Grid: M-7
Location: Drullen Bell Keep

Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:“Thomas almost ran off. Estella looked huffy. Merina coughed. Cate awkwardly fiddled with a miniature faerie.

“So…” said Bjarn, “Uh…Cate, tell us of your adventures!”


Hans gave Adrian a high five.

“DUDE!” he said.

“We, like, so totally rock.” grinned Adrian.

Adrian and Hans remained quite pleased with themselves for the rest of the evening, and Cate rejoined them the first moment she could get away from Estella and Merina.

"They're NICE enough," she said, "but it was so horribly awkward. No one knew what to say, and I got the feeling that Estella and Merina don't like each other. Bjarn tried to keep things going with some talking about our adventures, but they sounded so trivial that I almost DIED! Then Estella goes talking about being a dragon's captive... and oh, Heavens, it was embarrassing!"

"Here," said Hans, "have an ale."

"Hey!" said Adrian, "is that a pint? I should go get one. Looks like you've had a whole half already."

"Lots of Yuletide toasts, you know," said Hans.


It was quite late before the three friends turned in to their respective beds, and quite late when they rose the following morning. After a late brunch, they headed out into the courtyard, well-bundled, which was covered in fresh snow.

On the other side of the courtyard, unbeknownest to the three travellers, Thomas Valt was hidden from sight behind a statue of Jethro Argus Tahmyll.

Thomas had awoken that morning, seen the new-fallen snow, and been reminded of some very memorable snowball fights with the Korvalt boys. The four of them had been the terror of the village on the days when the snow was right. Thomas particularly remembered the one time that they had managed to scare half the village girls into fleeing to the safety of the schoolhouse, while they kept up a barage preventing anyone from leaving. Mistress Maeghan, the pretty young teacher, had been furious, of course.

With such reminisces on his mind Thomas had gone to breakfast. Abandoned by Sir Dractor and Bjarn's early departure to take a look at the Ikrosian battleship in port, Thomas had wandered out into the courtyard to discover the perfect snowball snow. A mischievious thought rose in Thomas's mind. Soon he was hidden behind the statue, snowball in hand, and a pile of snowballs ready beside him, waiting for the perfect victim to come along.

Even as the three travellers were coming into the courtyard from the one entrance, William Jorgenson and Estella were coming out another. Making a quick decision, Thomas lobbed a snowball at William and Estella, quickly following it up with another.

The first snowball whizzed right past Estella, causing her to shriek, but the second one thudding home against William, dripping snow down his back.

"Estella!" shouted William. "Where do you think you're going?" for Estella had started to flee the courtyard. "Grab some snow and help me get him."

William finished rolling a snowball, and chucked it at Thomas, who jumped back to safety behind the statue, retaliating with a snowball of his own, which caught William in the leg. William jumped behind a tall, barren flowerbed for cover.

Hans, Adrian, and Cate had seen all of this, and Adrian, the native of Lion Island, soon found himself covertly making his own snowballs, while Hans and Cate just watched the battle. Cate and Hans were taken completely by surprise when Adrian lobbed two snowballs at them, and then dashed for cover with Thomas behind Jethro's statue.

"Traitor!" shouted Hans, even as Cate screamed loudly. The only response from Adrian was another snowball, which thudded against Hans' chest. Hans and Cate took cover behind the flowerbed with William.

"I haven't hit him yet!" complained the outlaw, "although the little sneak's go me half a dozen times!"

"They're too well covered," said Hans.

Suddenly, there was a cry of surprise from behind the statue, and the two mischief-makers leapt out, shaking the snow out of their tunics. Estella, forgotten in the battle, had snuck up behind them, and dumped a handful of snow down their backs.

"Quick!" said William, "get them!"

Three snowballs found easy targets in Thomas and Adrian.

"Truce?" Thomas asked Estella. She gave him a glare, then nodded, and sent an unexpected snowball that grazed Cate's neck, sending shivers down her spine. Adrian, Thomas, and Estella retreated behind the statue.

The battle went on for some time, with the Forestmen either shunning the courtyard, dashing across it to avoid the crossfire, or tossing a few of their own snowballs at the entrenched defenders.

Around noon, Bjarn and Sir Dractor returned from their naval inspection, only to each receive a round of snowballs as they unwittingly crossed the courtyard, having been very tellingly uninformed by the guards of the hazards of doing so.

As soon as the initial shock had worn off, Sir Dractor and Bjarn each picked a side, Sir Dractor joining Hans, Cate, and William, and Bjarn hiding behind his grandfather's statue.

As Sir Dractor packed together a snowball for a particularly hard shot under Jethro's arm, Bjarn prepared to shoot his old friend with a curveball. Bjarn's shot hit Sir Dractor just as the big knight was throwing. His aim totally skewed, Sir Dractor lobbed the snowball way into the air, smacking the wall several storeys up.

As a face peered out from the nearest window, Bjarn and Sir Dractor got the same mischievious thought.

"Truce!" called Sir Dractor, and soon the eight combatants had gathered in a huddle in the middle of the courtyard.

Meanwhile, Gonderin was sitting in his office, working on the eternal load of paperwork that constituted running the government. All of a sudden, his concentration was interrupted by a loud THWACK on his window. Getting up, he opened the window, and peered out, only to receive a freezing snowball right in the face.

Wiping the snow off, he caught the sight of eight grinning figures lobbing snowballs at the windows around the square. He wasn't the only one who had been hit.

Forgetting the paperwork for the moment, Gonderin jumped onto his windowsill, leaped down two storeys to the parapet above the courtyard, scooping up a handful of snow, packing it into a snowball, and chucking it down right into Sir Dractor's face.

The soldiers on the parapet got into the act too, and soon the eight conspirators were cowering for cover in the courtyard, surrounded.

"To me, men!" shouted Sir Dractor.

"And women!" said Cate.

"And women!" said Sir Dractor.

And with a charge, they dashed through the snowball fire around them, and into the halls of the fortress, racing up the stairs, and bursting out onto the parapet, where Gonderin and his men were waiting.

When it all ended, half an hour later, everybody was shivering, cold, wet, and having a thoroughly good time.
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Postby TheOrk » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:43 pm

G-8 Royal Knight Territory

Valric spurred his horse on a fairly fast pace. He rode down the frosty highway for several miles, passing the occasional hamlet or cottage. Then he found his goal, Arral. The small, sleepy little village was nestled right at the edge of a huge forest. Valric thought it was called the Forest of Restless Spirits or something along those lines. Either way, the name was fitting.

The memorable little village was covered under a thick blanket of freshly fallen snow. It seemed everyone in the land was still asleep. Valric brought his horse up the half snowed in “street” that snaked it’s way through the town. He had the feeling that some of the residents were watching him, but none seemed to want to come out into the bitter cold and have a talk with the big imposing knight.

Valric looked up to see the forest edging closer and closer, his eyes wandered over to an old frozen well. The Forest of Restless Spirits was shadowy and imposing looking, Valric didn’t have any doubts that he couldn’t get lost in there. In the deepest places, the trees even without leaves, would probably be able to block out most of the sunlight.

Jumping off his horse, he sank about two feet into a snow drift, grumbling he tied the horse to a crooked fencepost. Drawing his billowing cloak closer, he proceeded up the gentle slope leading to the treeline. He didn’t have a clear idea of why he was coming here. It just seemed right at the time. He had a feeling he wasn’t quite done with the knight who was buried here. He had gone to Castle Dracul, seen Pythos die a gruesome death and watched the place go up in flames. Taking with it whatever other unspeakable evils that festered within it’s depths.

The barely healed wound in his side throbbed painfully, it seemed to Valric that the soft snow around him looked so much more inviting. Shaking off the feelings of dizziness, he through back his cloak and brought his sword into the sunlight. Whatever doubts he had about the place were put to rest, the blade had a faint but noticeable glow to it.
“Weigraf!” He called out uncertainly.

The name echoed through the silent hills and trees for several moments. Walking a few steps into the forest, Valric shouted the knight’s name out again. The silence spoke louder then him. Sighing in irritation he turned to walk away. He didn’t know why, but the knight that once haunted the sewers of Orion had taken up residence in his dreams. If not him, then what had created him instead. He thought he could have gotten the answers he wanted from here. But he guessed he was wrong.
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Postby TheOrk » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:03 pm

G-8 Forest of Restless Spirits

Valric walked around that general area for several minutes. The deeper regions of the forest seemed to beckon to him, like he could find the answers to his question within. He had already made up his mind not to go in deep enough to get lost. A good few dozen nightmares had engrained that message into his mind. Seeing no reason to stand, he sat down on a huge moss covered boulder.

Once he had let his guard down, did it hit him. A blast of wind sent him flying off, sliding across a patch of ice. Emerging out of the morning mist was a sight he half expected to see. Gasping from his wound, he tried to stumble away from the exposed ice. His foe, the black silowhet of a knight, gliding from tree to tree.

Before Valric could stumble to relative saftey, a blast of wind struck him full in the chest. He tried to raise his sword, but it went flying and embedded itself in a tree. Seeing it’s advantage, the silent figure moved glided closer. Adapting, Valric drew the painfully sharp dagger from a his boot and threw it straight and true. It buried itself into the knight’s jugular with a sickening lack of sound. The knight continued walking towards him without stopping. It didn’t even seem to regester the fact that it had virtually a short sword through it’s throat.

With no other weapon available, Valric put his boot on a half buried branch and broke it off. Once the horrifying spectre drifted closer, Valric swung the branch so hard it shattered into splinters. In a blurr, the knight grabbed Valric by the throat and slammed him into the tree behind him. Gasping for breath, he booted the thing in the stomach repeatedly, he had known brick walls that were softer. The knight made no sound, but Valric got the impression it was laughing at him. It drew it’s gauntleted thumb and forefinger closer together. If he didn’t put a dent in it soon, it might be his best Yule ever.

“Weigraf!?” He stuttered.

The knight made an audable gurgling sound “You pathethetic fool! That one is dust as you soon will be. All will be dust, from the lowliest stud to the mightiest castle, the poorest slave to the Emperor himself. You and your whole wretched world will crumble before me, starting with you. You have interferred with my genius for the last time. When you slew Weigraf, I should have dealt with you then, but I never thought that a fool like you could have caused so much trouble.” Came a harsh hissing noise.

“P,pythos?” Growled Valric, who became aware of a cracking sound.

“You might have destroyed my body, but in order to bend Weigraf to my will, it was nessecary to place a small portion of my immortal soul in his armour. He was never in command, it was only by an accident that he was able to break free. If Dametreos, Ikros, Sikaron, Orkania and every other wretched hole in this world is to be mine, I will have need of a new body. This feeble shell is worthy of only a puppet!”

A horrible thought entered Valric’s mind, his kicks were in vain, but maybe there was something else he could do. Then he saw his dagger, one quivering hand tried to get a grip on it. He stopped for a split second, that time he heard an audable cracking sound. Looking down, he noticed Pythos, if that had a name, was standing on a thin sheet of ice. A moment later, it broke, sending the startled knight into the waist deep water.

Valric rubbed the red marks on his neck and stumbled off. Hopping amongst the rocks, foilage and cracked ice, he made his way to his sword. Drawing it, he whirled around to take the knight while he was down. Pythos growled and pointed his sword at him. Valric dived out the way as a blast of air flew by him, shredding the landscape around him.

Taking his glowing sword in both hands, he brought it down as hard as he could on the knight’s helmet. The frosty metal caved in under the blow, releasing a foul black liquid and steam. Pythos’s blank eyes met Valric’s. Swinging again, the helmet and the misty nothingness inside it came flying off.

A billowing mixture of gases and liquids spewed out of his armour. In the space of a second, the suit seemed to age a thousand years. Crumpling in on itself, it sank into the water. The helmet laying in the snow, seemed to go up in flames, scorching everything around. A horrible, unearthly wailing sound filled the air and then it was gone.

Valric brushed some snow off his shoulder and walked back in the direction of Arral. With any luck he might be able to get a half hour’s worth of sleep before anyone else woke up…
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Postby Sir Kohran » Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:08 pm

Sir Kohran wrote:"Gaeth, come with me. I'm going to the harbour. We've got some business to do."

Wordlessly, the ranger nodded, and followed Callomir towards the docks.

Grid: E-11
Location: Port Jozef

Though the Royal Knight was used to it by now, Callomir still couldn’t stand the decay of the Port. A dozen different smells, each with their own unpleasant flavour, combined to form a single ugly reek that made its home in every part of the city. Callomir bore the stench as best he could, but it was still a burden. At one point, he even put his visor down to try and block out that dreadful stench. Tyco Port Jozef! he thought. Even the stench of the corpses after we re-took Castleton wasn’t this bad.

Callomir and Gaeth both spoke very little as they traversed the narrow, cramped streets. They were both the sort of men that didn’t speak much; Gaeth believed that actions spoke louder than words, and Cal had always believed that for some reason, words were precious and had to be used only in a way that made them count. It had always been that way.

All of a sudden, the dark, rugged scenery of the city receded to the more open, yet just as crowded scenery of the docks.

Cal paused for a moment, scanning about as Gaeth came up. The docks were a typical scene, with ships from every part of Dametreos, whether it was Dragonar, Ninjara or LEGOland, sailing in and unloading an endless variety of goods, from spices to Katanas. There was a scattered mass of buyers, each trying to grab a good bargain.

However, there was a noticeable feeling in the air, a sense of uneasiness that Gaeth could detect. There seemed to be fewer ships in the harbour, and less valuable goods, something that struck Cal, even though he had only visited the corrupt Port Jozef a few times.

“That’s the right ship, over there,” Cal said, pointing towards a tall, sleek ship that bore the Royal Knight insignia on its flag above the crows nest.

“Why are we going there?” Gaeth inquired.

“Because we need a ship, and it’ll take far too long to wait for the King to send us one. We need a ship now, so that we can catch up with those raiders.” Cal answered. “And the man on that ship should be...reasonably easy to persuade.” Cal added, with a slight smirk touching his lips.

Gaeth simply nodded. Then he frowned. “Hold on. I have to check that.” he said and strode off to a nearby stall.

As he waited for the hunter, Cal couldn’t help but overhear a conversation that was occurring between two brawny sailors, who were unloading a heap of barrels.

“So why is it we had to march half o’ this stuff across the land?” the younger one asked.

“Not entirely sure, but I think it’s summat to do with that raid they reported yesterday, yer know, the one what destroyed the village just north o’ ‘ere?

“Oh aye, I heard,” a third sailor piped in. “Apparently, there’s also been some other raid, on the Jellybeans in t’ south, an’ one of the survivors said the leader called ‘imself Boregeir or somethin’.”

“Coldn’t care less about tyco jellies, but what if they come after us Crusaders?”

“Ah, quit yer whinging. Say, speakin’ of jellies...”

At this point, the conversation degenerated into something about some Easterner Knights, who had vanished alongside a strange man in grey several months ago. One of them, Viktor something, had been known to the Crusaders, and another name was there, Santis, but apart from that...

Cal shook his head. He had to stop eavesdropping, before it became a habit.

At this point, Gaeth strode up, his stern face focused on something in his calloused hands that was all too familiar to Cal.
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Sir Kohran
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