Private Tales Ashlanders: After the Red Mist

Mabess

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It was a holy triduum a month ago when the first seeds of doubts were planted in the minds of the Ashlanders. What has been considered a time of happyness and bonding quickly succumbed upon the bad fortune foretold by the elder shamans on Roshkamae's naming ceremony.
The readings however, were muddy and unclear, nobody would be quite certain just how bad it could get.​
Some even doubted the acuracy of the fortune. Kinstrife was certinaly in the air regardless of what people thought.
On the morning after the last holy day of Starry-Eve, Dormak challenged Mabess for the right to command the whole army of the Ashlanders. Winning in the ritualistic battle, the Blackhawk Chief became the new Warchief of the Ashlanders. Such exchanges of positions were rare when most were content with those currently in charge. And the old Mav Stormcaller and her diplomatic nature no longer were favoured when most pined to have action taken against the opressors of the orcs.

First week of of Aftereve, Roshkamae
Perhaps the most telling of the woes foretold was the sudden death of the oldest orc in the village and Shadowrever chief, Shorhuul. Found in his hut in the early morning still and stiff, great grief swallowed the tribe as the respected elder passed on peacefully in the night.
Behind he left two promising pupils: Mk-Garul, his sucessor which most of the shadowreavers liked and the more experienced Sha'vorr, who had been tainted by the folly of arrogance.
The death burial and procession was grand and the pyre made for him was the largest among any death pyres made. While usually the emotions of the orcs were mildly somber during such time, the fullfilment of bad fortune took it's toll on the minds of the populace.

In the following week, Mk-Garul had been chosen as the new Chief for his bright mind, yet some other elders consider him too green behind the ear. He only had 19 years to his name afterall.

Last week of aftereve: https://chroniclesrp.net/threads/those-beyond.815/
A strange, corrupting mist appeared in the valley, west of the great inland sea. Towards the change of months, warbands were sent to investigate after the shamans found no answer to the strange emergence of thick fog.

The now

Hollow Month, Roshkamae, Northern Hunter's Callendar The moot has been assembled.

Every single orc that could spare their time wanted to know what was going beyond the red mists, settled in the open ceremony field in the center of the communal winter town of Roshkamae. There was lots of loud chattering among the orcs, most talking about the worsening of the bad fortune and what horrors some of the investiragters briefly spoke of when they returned...
The chiefs and their advisors of each tribe stood on one end, between them and the tribe were the three warbands sent out to investigate the red mists and any other orc or non orc affiliated with any sort of expedition to try make sense of the whole ordeal.
On the helm of one of the warbands was Mahhor, who led one of the two parties that were devoured by the corrupted stone.

»And we are certain that the portal stone was the source of corruption?« Spoke out the young Mk-Garul, still young and green, thrown into the mists of conflict to prove his worth. »Why would a portal stone suddenly be here, the only one in the whole of the reach was in Belgrath!« Muttered Silvermane.
»If Shorhuul were still with us, he would have known more than any of us.«

Silvermane stood up briefly: »Bless Shorhuul's soul, may he rejoin us soon,« the void left behind the passing of the wisest orc was apparent, his guidnance and experience would have certianly be needed...

»Tell me again now, what have you seen on the other end of the mists,« growled Dormak as he gazed upon the warriors, shamans and hunters assembled before. His party never went deep into the mists and thus stayed on Arethil, while the two parties led by Mahhor, Mabess and Mk-Garul did.

OOC

Mainly set up fo ashlanders, and any orc currently visiting within the ashlanders and any other character that tagged along the ashlanders after the pandeminum rp.
Inquisitive natures welcome, question and debated. Heho.
 

Dragox

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Dragox and his wolf riders were restless. They had remained behind with their mounts to defend the tribes. His brother, Mahhor, had led the warbands into the mists and had yet to return. Dragox ran his fingers through Balshadnox's thick mane while he stood on the front line, watching the mists intently. The dire wolves were restless as well, the unnatural mist putting them on edge.
Dragox got the sinking feeling that his brother needed him, but right now his duty lay with defending the tribe.

He took a handful of Balshadnox's mane and pulled himself up on his companions back. He rode the dire wolf up and down the battle line checking on his wolf riders. Everyone felt the same as he did, the mist was still making progress but it was still miles away. One couldn't cut an evil mist with and axe or shoot it with a bow. And an ambush inside would decimate a platoon of orcs if they were not prepared. Dragox knew his brother, they would be prepared. But still, it's already been too long.

When the mist finally disappeared Dragox was relived to soon see the warband returning. His brother was mortally wounded though, but had returned non the less. Now everyone in the tribe had gathered and of course, talk was about the mist and the future of the tribe with respected key members now gone from them.
However, Dragox was far more concerned for his brother and stayed by his side in the medicine tent. But he kept his ear out for what else was being said.
 
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Hath Charosh

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Hath snarled and snapped at the shaman, but several pairs of strong hands kept him pressed into the snow.

"Its out," said the shaman firmly. Even as he held up the sharp of obsidian it started to deteriorate. It was the same shape as a delicate feather, yet as hard as steel. That monstrous creature that had barred their path had flung them in all directions.

A moment later and it was dust on the wind. Hath couldn't help but feel that he was glad that it didn't done that when still lodged in his bone and sawing into muscle. The stitches felt like blessed relief after the shard had been tugged free. He lightly tapped one of the hands on his shoulder to let them know that he no longer required restraint.
 
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Mabess

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In the medicine tent that was eracted rather swiftly for the warbands wounded, some of the novice healers would seem perplexed over the shape and traces of some wounds...these were not made by any animal of the known lands. »Look at these...nevermind, fetch the herbal water and thread,« loudly donned one.

As Hyorhall was set upon the padded leather cover, he spoke out to his brother. »I have not expected to see such beings. I did not expect to be sent to a land different than ours...«

From outside the tend, one could hear the masses talk further.

»It was an atmosphere of dull gray, it was...unreal and the hair was foul. It was hard to breathe.«
»When we were there, the monsters did not attack, many were weird creatures, some as big as glaciers!«

»What did they look like?«
»Hard to describe...odd amalgamations- « »-one creature reminded of a griffin though!«
 
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Hath Charosh

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"The portal stone looked just as ancient as the others," Hath said as he returned to the group.

The ache was a dull throb now. Every orc was a story told in scars and thus was one he wouldn't forget. Just like an arrow that feather had embedded in bone and taken two orcs to remove. There was no pain like it but it was done now.

Hath was keen to know if this new warchief had a plan and whether it amounted to any more than sending his fighters charging at the rock until it opened up to let them fight the demons hand to hands.

"We should see if it works like the others."
 
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Mabess

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The rabble had gone quiet as the foreigner spoke out. Glances among the chiefs were exchanged as if they spoke my thought alone.
The portal stone looked ancient.
»Yeah, we returned by portal stone...« One of the soldiers remarked.
»Think there is a chance that it might still pose a threat to us? Is a return to that realm possible?« then querried the shadowreaver chief.
 
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Hath Charosh

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Hath fell silent. It seemed they were going to ignore him regardless. That didn't come as a surprise to Hath; his own tribe ignored him most of the time. He took a moment to consider if that was even true. When he thought back he found that his uncle had simply kept him some distance from anything like this.

Perhaps it would have been better not to speak at all, he thought, but adrenaline was coursing through his veins now after the agony of having the spine pulled free from bone.

"A stone has a symbol on it. A marker," Hath said. He had used the pair to cross the channel north of the savanna several times. It was quite simple really. The shaman provided a token that could be used to cross. On the south side you touched it to the symbol of the one in the north and vice versa. It stood to reason that it would work the same with the stone in the demonic hell scape.
 
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Mabess

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The head shaman tapped his chin. He did see the symbol, at least got to inspect it a little, but on his end there was little to draw from. Especially since ashlanders had little use of portal stones, considering there weren't any in the reachable vicinity and those that used them were too engulfed by wanderlust.
»Well, do you think that marker is of any significance?«
 
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Hath Charosh

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"Every portal stone has a ring of symbols," Hath explained. "They are for the other stones. They are how you move between them. But it needs a key. The shamans of my people can make them."

If it worked like the others then perhaps it could take them back to the realm of demons. Hath also realised that it meant he could return to the stone at the coast north of the savanna. It would take months from his journey home.
 
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Mabess

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Mabess was able to use one of these portals to ease the travels towards the savannah on the great rites. So some of the specifics were not lost on her on how they got there and back.
Mabess nodded, »the body then shifts between the designated portal...yet. We don't know what to link to the plane of the demons, or how to even call it.«

The greeneared shaman would caress his chin, however Dormak spoke out before the shadowreaver could: »And if we strongarm it?«
 
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Hath Charosh

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Hath, perhaps not thinking sensibly after the pain of having the obsidian shard pulled from bone spoke up.

"And how would we do that?" he asked, not quite meeting Dormak's but trying to seem as if it was a question for all.
 
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Mabess

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Dormak leaned back, scratching his chin.

Mk'Garul then finally spoke, having some more sense to his words.
»Well I suppose it might be impossible to travel back. It must've been a kind of external magic at play that activated these stones, for we had not interacted with a portal stone when we switched worlds the first time around.«
 
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Hath Charosh

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"It is said that some people who use unknown symbols never come back," Hath said. "If you can make a key we could try every one until we found out if we could find that place. Many would die."

It was a grave option indeed.

"Maybe," he said, Not making eye contact with the tribe leaders. "It would be safer to post a watch on it."
 
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Mabess

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Dormak stood up.
»Alternatively, we don't need to risk a man or waste time at all if we move the tribes further north,« this was a very true prediction, soon the tribes would be splitting up again as they'd take their leave from the summer settlement. »And even if the trouble occurs, it is none of Ashlander business.«

Mabess then rose her voice, annoyed, likely old wounds from the conflict weeks ago resurfacing when her altruism seemed more like a fault than virtue to Dormak. »We need not to risk our people, but It is not only our problem, but of the whole world. We've seen people of various lands and creeds equally lost amid the corruption. It is a small miracle that we returned the way we entered and not halfway across the globe.«
 
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Hath Charosh

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"We should watch it at the least," Hath said. "It is not just demons who could use a stone. The magic is not complicated to use. Human slavers or blight orcs could come from that stone," Hath replied. He did not look to Mabess, but he had very much put a mark in the sand on whose side he stood in the discussion.
 
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Mabess

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»Not if we stay together year round, we've vanquished the Blightlanders before and shall do so in the future« Dormak began with his donnering voice. »No beast nor enemy could touch us.«
»Now, this is not the matter of the discussion,« cut through the air the voice of Silvermane like a clearing wind.

There was a brief silence before a random soldier broke it.
»There was a tall ugly woman that beckoned us to...ascend, whatever that meant.«
 
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Hath Charosh

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Hath paused at the timely interrupted. He, as well as several other orcs, slowly turned towards the speaker.

"Well...there was..." the orc seemed to say in protest to the incredulous stares.
 
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Mabess

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The orcs that were not part of the two parties collectively gazed from one soldier to harth.
»Yes, I've heard it too, « Mabess leaned back, crossing over her arms. In fact, she's probably heard more than anyone else of the orcs.
 
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Hath Charosh

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"Some of them did seem to want us to stay..." Hath murmured. Some of his memories felt quite hazy. It had all happened in a rush. It had been chaos, carnage and now it was all hidden behind a wall of pain.

Odd how having the obsidian feather removed hurt far more than everything he had experienced at the time. That was the difference between adrenaline and anticipation.

At least, he thought to himself, it was over. The skin would slowly heal around the stitches.

"The size of that...thing...and magic..."
 
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Mabess

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»It looked like a gryphon...but not quite,« an orc from behind Hath spoke out. And slowly more and more began to utter words of their experience while a few shadowreaver recordkeepers assembled various messages via intricate bead strings.
»We've killed him...dropped something odd but a girl took it. «
»The air was noxious as well... «
»Our muscles gave in, even the beasts got tired.«
»How could the monsters live there so...easily? « One of the many soldiers eventually asked.
 
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Hath Charosh

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Hath shook his head slowly. He didn't want to try and dig through the entire experience right now

"In my tribe we had stories of humans and dwarves summoning monsters with their unnatural alchemy and magic," Hath said. "But nothing passed down that sounds anything like what we saw."

Stories were important to their people, especially with no written documents being passed down. There were many tales of spirits and monsters, but none he could recall of an orc being taken to such a place.
 
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Mabess

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»Would have humans ever summoned demons from such a plane?« One of the shamans from the party pondered.
»Whatever it was, it looked more like they 'summoned' us...For some reason, they wanted us to ascend...the creatures theat moved there seamlessly...lived there, were those the 'ascended'? So I assume at least.« Mabess spoke out, leaning her head to her side.
 
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Hath Charosh

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"Humans summon all kinds of shit," Hath reflected. He wished Scabhair were here to provide a view on how the human scholars worked. He was running off stories passed down over time. He knew that they were lessons as much as history and so the stories may have changed over time.

At the very least they were reckless with their magic. They had little respect for how the world had been. They only saw how they wanted it to be.

Hath felt a very different kind of fear. Not the slight flutter on nerves before a battle, or the anticipation of a hunt. It was staring into the face of something far beyond his comprehension and knowing that it had plans for him and his kind.

"We should watch the stone," he repeated.
 
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Mabess

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Do'Ras Silvermane finally openly spoke his opinion. He'd been quiet for so long, mostly listening to all these opinions, no matter how insignificant, stringing them carefully up in his mind. The old Warchief was still a very respected man, and his words held more weight than either o the other chiefs.
»That is the best course of action, « he nodded to Hath, finding a strange familiarity with the outlander, akin to that of his former students. »Permanent barricades and a hawktower have to be erected in the comming months, I see it might dela migration.«
The other chieftains nodded untill the Waarga, the rarely outspoken Silverstone chief spoke out in a somewhat distrusting tone: »I reckon you'd inform the non orcs of the land as well?«
Do'ras slowly dropped his head at her. »I understand what you meen, Waarga-«
»-But with what we've seen we cannot afford to face such a power alone,« Mabess leaned towards her.
 
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Hath Charosh

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"Who would help?" asked Hath. It was a question born both of his naivety of local politics and his distrust of the other races. Neither the elves nor the humans near his own tribe treated them with much respect. Certainly neither City would come to the aid of the migrating orc tribes of the savanna.

He noticed movement out of the corner of his eye. Someone paying attention to him. Just beyond the circle of elders stood Ghaavel, hopping from foot to foot. He clearly wanted to approach but did not want to interrupt the elders of his tribe.
 
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