Open Chronicles Redemption

  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

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Brynneld

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A L L I R I A

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It was another day. Brynneld had started scratching the days into the wall when he had arrived. After covering two entire stones in markings he had given up.

There were not many prisoners here. Having been one of the Allirian rangers for over a decade he knew what happened to most. Crammed into squalid cells for a few nights and released, punished or executed.

Footsteps. Not unusual. The guards walked a consistent beat around the cells. Brynneld canted his head to one side. After being here and entire year he knew the cadence was not one of the guards meandering along the corridor. Someone was marching with purpose.

"Garleth," Bryn greeted, recognising the man at the door of his cell. "Thought for a moment it was the hangman."

"No the merchant's council and Commander are still arguing about who should decide what to do with you," Garleth replied. He was a plain looking man. Grey hair and almost no distinguishing features.

"So I'm not being executed and not released then..." Brynneld said, trailing off. This was the most he had spoken in months. His throat felt parched even though his thirst had been quenched.

"She's back."

Silence followed. Brynneld hadn't expected that.

"I've answered every question."

"I'm not here for information. You're coming with us to stop her."



TWO DAYS LATER

News travelled through Alliria through word of mouth. Whilst more of the richest merchants had started to learn to read and write, it wasn't common for hired muscle to be able to read letters.

The Allirian Rangers wanted help. Leituenant Gareth Krim of the Rangers was taking a small force of Rangers and a handful of paid mercenaries into the Reach to the town of Usingtahn. They were meet in an empty market square and set out.

Rumours were abound that the town had been sacked by a force of ogres and a powerful sorceress. The rangers weren't orderly like soldiers, there was nothing uniform about their equipment.

In the corner of the square, far from the others sat Brynneld. He carried no weapons, shoulders hunched forwards. He looked like a man waiting to die.
 

Pretty Boy

Man’s Best Friend
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Pretty had found a new purpose. Evil didn’t wear ugly faces, not all of the time. Occasionally they were corrupted elves who slaughtered entire families. Pretty was guilty of the same, of being sucked into Hahnah’s evil and her senseless quest of destruction. Thankfully, he had extricated himself from her. The minute he’d disobeyed her, she had ignored him, and he’d been able to come to
the realization of who had been wrong. Pretty had done evil killing humans just because someone had asked him to.

Perhaps that was what she had meant by sin. This terrible weight in his barrel chest, and the dreams of the people in the Pond that had screamed out for mercy. He had sins to atone for, and when he heard the rangers calling for help with monsters, it piqued his interest. If it involved helping the innocent, he would help. He would aid in either convincing these ogres not to harm people, or kill them. Perhaps they’d even been bewitched or lured in by promises of friendship like he had.

Pretty trotted into the town square. Six feet at the shoulder, weighing more than a draft horse, with tusks that would make an elephant green with envy. He had his oblong head up and proud, bay coat shimmering in health, and his claws freshly sharpened. The Devourer was a hard creature to kill, and winter had been fortunate to him. He’d managed to find game, and keep his muscles toned.

The Devourer noticed the man slumped in the corner of the town square and paused. Well, the rangers had spread the word to meet here. Had this man lost someone to the ogres? Did he need help?

Pretty approached him, tilting his head. He nudged him carefully with his soft, velvety nose to get his attention, and scratched into the stones at his feet. Human hurt? He asked, looking up at Brynneld. Where rangers?

Brynneld
 

Tol

Follower of The Swamp
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When it came to Allirian Rangers Tol had mixed feelings towards them, depending on where Tol encountered them and who was in charge of the group he encountered he would have different interactions. Rangers who patrolled the Shallows and edges of the Bayou generally were seen as no problem for Swamp Trolls and both sides normally refrained from giving the other side trouble as there were more dangerous things in the swamps and sometimes the Rangers would hire a few trolls has guides or bodyguards if they needed to go deeper within the Bayou. However the relationship between Swamp Trolls and Allirian Rangers was drastically different the further away from the Bayou a troll would go. A Swamp Troll travelling up to the Shallows is rare but one traveling even further is another thing and those Rangers who don't have any real knowledge of Swamp Trolls would consider them just as dangerous and barbaric as a Reach Troll and wouldn't hesitate to eliminate them.

Despite the dangers of Tol encountering and working with Rangers far away from the Bayou Garramarisma he decided to take this job to not only increase the amount of shiny pebbles the more "civilised" world loved to trade so much but also to improve the Swamp Troll image with Allira and spread the Word Of DA SWAMP.

Tol would enter the town and head for the the market square only to be stopped by a few rangers with their blades pointed towards them. Tol would put his hands up to show that he was no threat to them and spoke "Tol hear of Mersory job. Tol here to help"
With that the Rangers in front of Tol put their weapons away and moved out of his way and one of them whispered "Don't try anything stupid troll" the ranger would have a quick glance at the large dog like creature and then look back at Tol "If you monsters do well you can guess what will happen"

With that out of the way Tol would find a nice spot to sit down and await for any orders or what ever he was meant to do for this job. Tol would also watch the massive dog like creature wondering what it was since it was bigger than most pets Tol had seen human beast masters have.
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
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The word had spread far and wide: The Rangers needed fresh meat for a rather difficult operation, and that meant any able bodies in need of some coin were welcome. Surely if the ranks of the Allirian Rangers weren't enough on their own, this must be quite the undertaking? It made one wonder just what type of mess they'd gotten themselves into, and why they'd need such help.

After all, help could come from very strange places.

Through the eyes of the one who called himself Orion, he stood bare-fleshed in a lush field of green grass. His face tilted towards the sky, he felt the gentle breeze of summer lap at his rugged skin, blowing his messy raven locks against his closed eyes. He could smell the pollen in the air, blown from some faraway flowers, across rivers and seas, mixing with the ocean's salty scent.

He was free of pain, devoid of sin or of conflict. Every beat of his heart spread peace through his veins, and every breath was one of content. There was no wrong in Orion's world, and here and only here could he truly find rest.

But then, Orion would open his eyes.

The field that surrounded him was naught but falsity, a product of the same magical energies that slowly drove him towards the approaching end of his life. The Illusion Mage could fool his withering mind into thinking he was at peace, but it would not change his reality. The reality was that Orion's mind was dying, slowly being ripped apart by his own talent. Why was it again, that he had come to this place? The raven haired man looked about the square of Usingtahn, where he'd truly been standing since the morning hours.

Since he had entered his trance, several new faces had appeared in the square, now seemingly waiting as he was.

Ah, The Rangers job. That was why he now stood here, only his head and feet not concealed by the black cloak he wore over shoulders, stitched with odd symbols and runes, with silver baubles hanging from it's neck. He now recalled his journey here to the Reach, lured by a particularly curious call to arms.

Out of all of those who presumably now gathered here to answer said call, there were two that stood out to him. He recognized the both of them: A Devourer and a Swamp Troll. A small smile spread across his lips as he begins to approach The Devourer, prodding a frightened looking fellow. He keeps a fair distance, and remains silent, addressing the two of them with only a smile.
 
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Kalia Oro Khastan

The Alzaaeim
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This was a pretty run of the mill job for Kalia, he'd done several like it in response to bounties and contracts. As a freelance adventurer he'd helped plenty of villages with monster problems, bandit problems, villain problems, though the aspect of a sorcerer being involved in this monster problem was an interesting twist.

He showed up at the meeting place and looked around. He painted an imposing picture, a giant amid these little men, a masked man with bronze armor and weapons from the Kalitian desert. The painted eyes of his mask scanned the gathering in frozen contemplation. Some nearby visibly tensed at his arrival and stared suspiciously at the huge man... That is until he spoke and his boisterous voice echoed from behind his mask and called out to the group.

"Hail friends, and well met! I assume I've come to the right place to answer this ogre threat? Perhaps I can be of some service to you."
 

Brynneld

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Human hurt? He asked, looking up at Brynneld. Where rangers?

Brynneld looked up from the scratches. That the beast was not someone's mount but an intelligent creature had shocked Bryn, but not the strangest thing he had crossed in the wilds.

"Does anyone here read?" he called out. Most of the Rangers did not seem very interested in taking to him today.

The Rangers had a basic notation for sending written messages, however it was based around basic glyphs. Symbols for different species at threats and needs, arrows for direction and bars for distance in days of walking speed.

"Do you read?" he asked Orion directly.



Leituenant Garelth Krim had a table set out. Onto that he was laying out small stacks of silver coins. Each was a month's wage for a Ranger. Passed out to mercenaries for just a few days of work. It irritated him, but it had to be done when they needed specialists.

"Gather round and we're going to talk about the job!" he caed out.


TWO DAYS AGO

"I won't help you," Brynneld growled. He lowered his gaze.

"You will."

"I won't, I already made my choice and..."

"And that's why you're here. You chose you lover over your family. But you will help. Because if you come with us there's a chance you can talk her down. If you don't then we will have to kill her."
 
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Pretty Boy

Man’s Best Friend
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Pretty Boy had encountered quite a few humans who couldn’t read. It was rather unfortunate. Devourers had to learn to write to communicate with two-legs. Of course there were some of his kind that declined to learn in favor of viewing humans as food, but Pretty wasn’t one of them. He was actually getting quite good at writing. He startled for a moment when he saw the swamp troll, keeping the creature in his sights.

He hadn’t the faintest clue what that thing was, but it was the biggest two-leg he’d ever seen by far. It also stank. He sneezed and shook his head, hoping he didn’t spray the sad-looking human too much. It looked like he had enough to worry about. The human called over another two leg, who was smiling at them.

Pretty knew how to smile! He opened his mouth a bit and pulled back the corners. It looked a bit demented, as he had to bare his teeth a bit to smile. He hoped it looked friendly enough.

The devourer looked back at a man calling out to them. Needed to talk about the job. Right, the ogres. He hoped the rangers knew how to read or this was going to be another game of charades and pictures on walls. He didn’t fancy that. He came and sat in front of a coin pile, leaning down and lipping at it. His first currency! Humans, indeed most two-legs, used chips of metal to get food and other things. He never had before, but this was the first step to fitting in to their world. He couldn’t resist taking one in his lips and fiddling with it a little. They were a fun shape. He flipped one up on his nose and balanced it there, then let the cool metal slide back down to the table.

Pretty grinned at the rangers.

Brynneld
Orion
Kalia Oro Khastan
Tol
 

Tol

Follower of The Swamp
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As Tol waited for orders he saw even more intresting looking characters enter the square. It made Tol wonder what was the reason for their coming, was it for the shiny pebbles, the chance to fight some ogres, a higher calling or maybe something simpler or complex. Tol's train of thought was interrupted by the larger than normal masked man. Tol had not seen such a strange creature before and wasn't even sure what species it was

Finally the Ranger that Tol assumed was incharge called everyone over and offered each merc a bag full of shiny pebbles. Tol wondered how much shiny pebbles was in his pouch not that he could count, Tol had a quick glance at the other mercenaries to see their thoughts of the shiny pebbles but then got distracted by the dog creature doing a trick with the pebble. Once the beast finished its little trick Tol decided to clap and let out a loud chuckle.
 
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Orion

A Living Illusion
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Things were certainly progressing at a rather quick pace, weren't they? He'd known such a mysterious call to action would bring souls from far and wide, but the odd giant behind a mask was an unexpected addition to their little cavalcade. He runs his fingers back through his hair, calling to the large fellow in a way that seemed to disregard his enthusiasm. "Tell me, friend... Does one usually see a Swamp Troll and a Devourer in the same place under normal circumstances? I think it's safe to say you've reached your destination." Walking past the abnormally tall man, he collected his payment, closing his hand around it tightly. When he opened it once more, the coins were gone.

The Troll, for his part, seemed much more complacent to count his earnings. That was quite fine. Orion had a suspicion few if any of these people would end up trusting him, and most Trolls had nasty tempers to boot. But then, Orion had his own reasons for being here, so that was in fairness. He slowly paces past his fellow 'muscle' for hire, looking them each over in turn.

The Devourer here was displaying behavior he'd never encountered from his kind before, pawing at money as eagerly as any street urchin, and pulling his lips back into what Orion could only assume was an attempt at a smile. Against common sense, he reaches up and pats the creatures side, a brow raising in amusement before continuing on.

Coming to the man who now addressed him directly, he again offered a small smile, if not one touched by obvious madness. There was a darkness to even his kindest of looks that he could no longer control, a hint of what lie beneath the surface barely contained. He bows his head, his raven locks falling down his broad shoulders.

"I am versed in many languages used in Arethil and the kingdoms beyond. What is it that you require read to you?"
 
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Brynneld

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"I am versed in many languages used in Arethil and the kingdoms beyond. What is it that you require read to you?"

"Whatever this is," he said, poking his toe towards the scratches.

"It not likely that any of the Rangers will be able to read so you might need to translate for that...for whoever that is," Brynneld said, nodding his head towards Pretty Boy.

He didn't know the species, but given they could write he decided it was probably more fair to call them by name. He simply did not know it. Bryn turned his head to watch Garelth watching the devourer.


"The job is straightforward," the ranger called out, remembering that he was supposed to be explaining and not gawping. "Harfield is a motte and bailey town three days west. We find out what happened, we secure the keep.

"Rumours have come second hand of giants or ogres pushing down the gates. Might be a mage too. One we've had trouble with before. Questions?"
 
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Kalia Oro Khastan

The Alzaaeim
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"Tell me, friend... Does one usually see a Swamp Troll and a Devourer in the same place under normal circumstances? I think it's safe to say you've reached your destination."
Kalia chuckled in agreement, a deep hearty sound that echoed behind his mask, "Ha ha ha! You're quite right sir! But making assumptions has gotten me in trouble before, so one cannot be too careful as I'm sure you understand."
The man had moved on past him and collected his pay, obviously thinking the conversation to be over. But Kalia was in a good mood... if the word "mood" could be used to describe his mental state... He followed the dark cloaked magic user to the table as well and selected one of the stacks for himself.
"You seem well traveled anyways. As am I. Perhaps we could teach these younger men a few old tricks?"
He placed the money in his pouch.
It was far less than his regular fee, this was why he preferred to work on a contract basis as a freelance adventurer, but in actuality he didn't care about money when the only thing he could spend it on was food he couldn't eat and goods he didn't need. But by this point he was fairly wealthy and he was far more intrigued by the job, so he ignored the paltry amount.

He took this opportunity to examine the two strange companions more closely. Certainly there were many creatures in northern and southern Arethil that he'd never heard of, being from the sands of the Kalitian desert, but the four legged creature that could apparently read and write took the cake. He had nothing to compare this creature to except a horse, lion, and warthog mixed together.
Trolls he was more familiar with, he'd even faced this particular type of troll as well in the past. In spite of the right or wrong of it, villages often saw them as a danger and adventurers would be hired to exterminate them, and he would often be called on to do the same. But he felt no animosity for this creature.

Among the rangers he saw all kinds, experienced men, some with emotional weights on their shoulders carrying heavy burdens, but one stood out as almost outright haunted. At a glance he might have assumed the dark skinned man to be of the Kalitian sands as well, but he could be wrong.

The briefing of their mission was... well... brief.
"The job is straightforward, Harfield is a motte and bailey town three days west. We find out what happened, we secure the keep.
"Rumours have come second hand of giants or ogres pushing down the gates. Might be a mage too. One we've had trouble with before. Questions?"
Kalia raised his hand, "Yes. If you've faced this mage before, perhaps you can fill the rest of us in? What are they capable of, their strengths, and what's their history in this area? The more knowledge we have about our prey can only serve to increase our chances of success. Also, is our purpose to capture these subjects, or are they to be silenced permanently?"
 

Rebecca Fourtuna

The Bone Eater
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A bone rattled against her cage as it smacked one of her metal bars with a crunch.

The ogres were feasting it seemed. “Oi! Throw the monster another pig! It eats em whole! Her mouth cracks double wide!” He said dropping a small pig between the bars. His companion waited with baited breath as they watched the little swine move around for a moment.

The cage was set in the middle of the large hall. Once a fire pit it was now its prison. “Huh..” The other ogre said after a few more moments of watching the little pig run around oinking. “Maybe they aren’t hungry.” He said reaching in to fish out the pig. “Wait don’t-“ His companion was too slow to stop his friend reaching between the bars.

A flash of angry red and a rattle of chains would leave the monster missing every bit of what he stuck in. Blood and curses streamed from him as his friend beat a hasty retreat with him in tow. Rebecca sat and watched the cute little pig with a smile. He was a cute little guy. She picked a finger bone out of her teeth and spat it out of her cage flying between the bars.

The magic lady was the one that caught her a few days ago. She had been moving to gather an army and after Rebecca killed 10 for food well. The woman had made her a priority.

So after being forced to help take the keep she now sat here. She sighed as the pig approached where she was huddled in her corner. His cute snout booping her shin gently. She would pick him up gently and hold him close. “Just me and you now huh porky..” She said with a pained smile living his left ear a scratch before he seemed to curl up inside her grip satisfied with his position.

“I’ll get us out of here..” She reassured more her to herself than to the pig but maybe he heard her too.
 

Pretty Boy

Man’s Best Friend
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Pretty looked at the troll as he clapped. Well, at least he’d made one friend? He wagged his tail and took the coins in his lips, tucking them neatly into his throat pouch. At least he had the most thief-proof coin purse around! He listened to the human who seemed to be the leader of this group, disseminating information that there were not only ogres but perhaps a giant and a mage.

He asked for questions, and one of his new companions asked one that was very much on Pretty’s mind. Were they to kill the ogres or speak to them? He nodded in agreement, and lifted a claw. He scratched on the table, having no other medium to write with, squealing over the wood.

Maybe mage enchant ogres. Maybe ogres not want this. He pointed out, patting the table with a paw. If anyone ignored the message (and he doubted they would, he’d dug deeply into the varnish on the table), he’d make a noise to get their attention. Something between a goose thrown down a mine shaft and one being set afire.

Pretty lifted his paw again. Tell more about mage? Villagers alive? Had they done any sort of scouting around the area? If so, people could be in immense danger from the creatures. He glanced at the long haired human who had touched his side reassuringly. Well, he liked pets but this was hardly the time. Maybe they wouldn’t notice if he scooted his rear closer to Orion for attention. Pretty was still learning the ways of two-legs and their relentless insistence on taking everything gravely. Resisting a good scratch from those heavenly spider fingers was proving to be a big road block.

He looked at the troll and pawed at him to get his attention. You speak ogre?

Brynneld
Orion
 
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Orion

A Living Illusion
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Showing little regard for the ghastly noise the act created, Orion peered down at the message The Devourer had clawed into the wood. If none here could understand him, Orion would have to interpret himself. Lowering his head, allowing his hair to mask his expression, he spoke.

"The Devourer wishes to address the possibility that the Ogres are acting against their will, by way of the Mage in question, perhaps?" It was a valid theory, but Orion personally doubted the others would care much for the free will and life of Ogres. Moreover, it was the mage that the Ranger had mentioned that caught Orion's attention more. He tilts his head, a smirk playing at the corner of his lips.

"The large fellow makes a point. If you have intelligence on this mage, it would be in your best interest to provide it. There are many disciplines and facets of magic, and knowing which one your opponent will utilize can be the difference between survival and demise." Orion himself specialized in Illusion and Mind Magic; If the mage they were to face held powers similar to his own, it would decrease his natural advantage.

He stroked the unshaven stubble on his chin as he paced once more, his form almost seeming to glide with his cloak hiding the motion of his feet against the ground.

"Do we have any reason to believe there are innocents still drawing breath? A hostage scenario would call for the cut of a scalpel, rather than the slice of a blade. What about method of travel? Three days is a long hike to take on foot."
 
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Brynneld

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Three days is a long hike to take on foot."
There was a ripple of chuckles from the rangers in the group. Not an overt dismissal, but a soft sound in the background. The rangers spent hours and hours every day walking or running all across the Reach. Many could barely afford good weapons and armour, let alone horses. Garelth gave a slow nod as he soaked up the questions. With grey hair and weathered features, he looked like a Ranger who had to be coming to the end of a career scouting the wilds.

"Haven't got enough horses for everyone, ride if you have one, but we travel at the pace of the group and scout ahead on foot when we're close. We don't know if there are prisoners. We will find out.

"The mage is known to us. An elven sorceress called Seryana. Years back she was well known to Rangers in the area and was friendly. She has been increasingly hostile to humans in the area over the last decade. Increasingly extreme in her actions. We nearly captured her last year but she had...inside help."


His eyes briefly turned towards Brynneld.

"We thought she was gone. She is a powerful enchantress and I do not know the limits on her magic. I might be able to find out more before we arrive. I don't know if she is coercing these ogres to help. Word of mouth on the attack on Usingtahn comes from panicked peasants. That should be enough for you all to decide if you are coming or not. Other questions can be addressed on the way."

He stayed in front of the mercenaries, but the Rangers were quick to start packing their gear. A few pack mules were carrying water and other supplies for the wilderness.
 
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Tol

Follower of The Swamp
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Tol disliked the fact that the town was three days walk since three was a big number and that means he would be walking a long time something most swamp trolls dislike doing. Tol would just have to bare it for he already took the shiny pebbles and he would not dear disowner Da Swamp by denying her most holy quest.

Now the large dog was scratching something on the table which took Tol a few seconds to realize were letters and words. If only Tol actually understood what words said but alas he was illiterate something which wasn't an issue back in the Bayou but the further Tol traveled away from his home the more he would find that he wished Da Swamp taught him thr language of words. On the good side it aleast made Tol realize that this giant dog was actually a very smart creature and one thing Tol learnt that very few swamp trolls know is that smart people are powerful im their own way.

Luckily one of the humans knew how to read and refered to the giant dog as "The Devourer". This surely meant the creature earned this name by devouring its enemies so not only does he have a smart ally it must also be a strong ally in the brawny sense. According to the human The Devourer believed there was a chance the ogres were mind controlled or something which Tol personally didnt believe but then Tol isnt the smartest while The Devourer was so this must be the case.

Now the topic was moved to how powerful this mage or enchantress was. Tol understood perfectly the dangers of a spellcaster and magic itself as he himself uses the arcane arts or well in his case the holy powers bestowed upon him by Da Swamp. As long as this mage doesn't have fire magic Tol believed he would be able to beat her in a duel for his faith is strong.

As for The Devourers attempts to ask Tol if he spoke ogre sadly Tol couldn't read and looked confused trying to figure out what the creature wanted him to read. Even if he did understand what The Devourer wrote he would not be much use in that aspect as Swamp Trolls have what many would consider a very basic language which is just growls, grunts and roars and even if ogres had the same type of language a grunt might mean a differant thing to a Swamp Troll and Ogre.

Now was the time to march and Tol stayed around the back as he was one of the slower members of the group. Tol would attempt to sing a tune while they marched but as one can guess it most likely sounded horrible atleast to anyone who wasn't a troll.
 
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Pretty Boy

Man’s Best Friend
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Pretty Boy nodded. Three days wasn’t long to a Devourer. They were nomadic by nature, and he trotted easily at the front of the group. To his mind there was much to be talked about with this elven mage. Perhaps there was a reason she was aggressive toward humans. Pretty didn’t think much of humans. They were foolish herd animals that were simultaneously aggressive and meek. They killed first, asked questions later, were needlessly violent and held grudges. If they didn’t understand something they thought to kill it first then dance about it in fear before finally either repurposing or abandoning the carcass. They were wasteful, angry, foolish, damaging creatures.

Pretty had a soft spot for their puppies, however, being quite cute creatures not yet affected by their parents’ bloodlust. He investigated the mules, sniffing one. Were they mounts? Food? Probably food. His stomach was rumbling and he experimentally got close to one. Ah. No reaction. Good, humans usually raised food beasts not to be reactive.

Pretty reached over and grabbed the mule’s head in his mouth, yanking the animal off its feet. The mule bugled and kicked. Pretty eyed it’s harness. Well, there were some things there bound to give a Devourer indigestion. He shook the screaming mule a bit. Huh. It wasn’t falling off. He worked the animal’s head and part of its neck down his throat. He was no stranger to eating things alive, but that harness was going to be annoying and he couldn’t digest the buckles.

How did the snacks on this trip work anyway?

Brynneld
Tol
Orion
 
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Brynneld

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Brynneld walked off to one side of the group. Rangers he had used to know so well did not want to talk to him. He felt more comfortable a short distance from the group. The merchant council didn't know what to do to him, but some of his fellow Rangers had strong views on the matter. As far as they were concerned, he had betrayed them all.

Garelth meandered away from the group and towards him. The ground wasn't even away from the beaten path, but he matched Brynneld's pace easily.

"You should have this," he said, holding out a long bundle.

Bryn looked down at the sword and them back up at Garelth. "You're really going to give me that. My sword. The one you know she enchanted."

"Consider it a token of trust," Garelth replied, narrowing his eyes. He might have been a plain man, but he wore his expressions well. The lines of experience etched into his face accentuated everything he did with it.

"Can I range ahead of the group?"

"Not that much trust Bryn. Stay within sight."

Brynneld unwrapped the bundle. The scabbard was still attached to the leather straps. They had been looked after as - he found with a quick inspection - had been the blade. He didn't know what to make of this so gave a grunt and sped up to get ahead of the front of the group.

Pretty reached over and grabbed the mule’s head in his mouth, yanking the animal off its feet. The mule bugled and kicked.

Bryn was not as easily spooked as the younger rangers of the group. This was still an unexpected sight. The Devourer could apparently write, so it was not stupid.

"If you're going to eat that," Bryn called out, "best be ready to carry its load the rest of the way."
 
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Kalia Oro Khastan

The Alzaaeim
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Satisfied for now Kalia fell in with the group as they left the village and began their journey. His long stride kept up with the best of them but he decided to keep pace with the group, it mattered little to him, he was tireless and could travel through the night without stopping and arrive in half the time. But now that he was among people he had to pretend to be alive and therefore limited in his endurance.

Everyone here looked to have a story, but so far only the inhuman among them seemed willing to share. So Kalia decided to fall back with the troll to strike up conversation.
They were probably closer in height if vastly different in shape.
"Greetings friend, my name is Kalia. What brings a troll such as yourself to these parts? I can't say that I'm all that familiar with your kind."
 
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Rebecca Fourtuna

The Bone Eater
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“She wants it in her throne room.” “Well I’m not going in there to get it! Three of us died getting it in there!” “You drew the short straw hogspit now grab its chain.” The larger of the two ogres shoved the smaller inside the cage were he scrambled to grab the chain. Rebecca was on him in an instant.

“Hel-!” Was all he was able to squeal before he disappeared down her gullet. She was about to lunge at the second when her eyes glowed not the red they had been before but a deep blue. “That’s enough.” A voice cut through the darkness. An enchanted collar around her neck glowed.

“I warned you.” Was all the voice had to say before an etherial chain seemed to spring to life. As suddenly as it appeared it was yanked taunt. She choked and struggled as it began to drag her up the vertical wall of her pit.

The bars above were pulled free as she slapped to the floor gratefully. This gratuity was not to last as she was now being dragged even faster across the flat ground. By the time she reached the throne room she was bloodied and beaten. Laying in a heap she could barely look up but the collar forced her to. The figure was shadowy. Her ears unable to make out a real tone, but the word was clear.

“Sit.”

She spat out a bony hand with bits of flesh still clinging to the slowly meting bone covered in her saliva. A low angry growl escaping her throat before she lunged. Or at least she meant to. What happened instead was a arc of total agony racked her body. The growl turning to that of an pained panthers screech.

“ You were a find.” The voice spoke. “And your aid in taking this place was a boon from the underworld. Some still speak of your ferocity.” The compliment hung in the air as Rebecca landed in a heap once more.

“But a tool unwilling to obey is a tool that is broken and must be cast aside. Is that what you wish?” The voice continued. Rebecca slowly rose to her knees and shook her head. “Then you will sit.”

A hand still shrouded pointed at her left hand side. She crawled up onto all fours and made it to where she had been beckoned. Sitting she felt the cold hand pet the top of her head. It took all she could not to recoil. She hadn’t spoken since her capture. Better they think her a dumb animal of some kind than an intelligent being capable of real thought. It was the only real advantage she had. No one ever knew what she was.

A twisted monster of old was what was generally assumed and she kept it that way. The hand pulled away to Rebecca’s relief. Only the touch of her true master or true friends brought her comfort. This person was neither.


“So. When will you decide to speak to me demon?” The voice asked suddenly as it resumed stroking the top of her head.

“I don’t bite you know.”

A finger lifted her chin as she finally got a good look at her captor. Her eyes met Rebecca. “Unless you lie.” She said simply. Rebecca had no doubt she meant every word.
 

Orion

A Living Illusion
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Orion met the laughs of the other Rangers directed towards his question with a smile, closing his eyes. His concern hadn't been with him. They were a large group, bigger than the normal caravan one would see on the road. Being out in the open for three days, no matter how well prepared one was, would draw attention. They would be spotted easily. He would keep his opinion to himself, as their little ragtag group prepared to set off. They all seemed to have their own interests... The tall fellow immediately moved towards the Troll, The Devourer was being scolded for attempting to ingest one of their mules.

The one who interested him most was the human he'd spoken to, now being handed a blade by the one who'd delivered their orders. They spoke in hushed tones, the tension between them palatable. There was more to this mission for the two of them; Something that lie unspoken was brewing in that one. He would be watching with interest.

He withdrew his arms into his cloak, and set off with the rest of the group quietly. It was rare he worked with others, and for a time he'd wondered if it had been a mistake to set off on such an arbitrary quest. As they exited the town onto the main road, the muffled sounds of idle chatter and heavy footfalls echoing in the back of his ears, he paid a thought to Seryana. A Sorceress of elven descent, specializing in enchantment...

The story they'd been given didn't add up, and he wondered if he was the only one to realize it.

Elves were fickle and temperamental at times, but they weren't prone to randomly deciding to acts of violence. If she'd once been peaceful, there was little doubt that something caused her behavior to change. Seeing as her violence was evidently directed at humans, he had a few ideas...

Quickening his pace to reach the front of the group, he matches pace with Brynneld, tilting his head to look at him.

"You seem to have history with these Rangers. Tell me, is their cause one you would define as noble?"

It was a strange question, but one with a purpose. Not waiting for an answer, he would continue.

"On my trip here, I witnessed something strange. I saw an elk, cornered by a wolf along a rocky outcropping. Of course, I knew to keep my distance from a hungry predator. I did watch however, curious as to how long the elk could avoid it's fate."

He raised an eyebrow, one corner of his mouth curling into a smirk.

"Do you know what happened? The elk, cornered and out of options, killed the wolf. It used it's antlers, the symbol of it's beauty, to pierce the wolf's flesh and tear it apart. Backed against the wall, the peaceful creature became a threat to it's predator."

Brynneld
Tol
Pretty Boy
Rebecca Fourtuna
Kalia Oro Khastan
 
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Tol

Follower of The Swamp
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Tol let out a bellowing laugh as he witnessed The Devourer attempt to devour one of the mules, even Tol understood they were not food and instead meant to carry supplies so clearly the beast was not as smart as Tol originally thought. This gave Tol some hope that if a stupid creature like The Devourer can learn to read and write then surely Tol would be able to learn how to read at a later date also. Such a thought put a smile on Tol's face.

Tol then noticed the big strange looking human walking over to him, or atleast Tol thought he was human but wasn't sure and the clothing the person wore didn't help Tol at all at figuring out if he was. The person introduced themselves as Kalia and even called Tol a friend. Well now Tol knew this walk to where ever they are going won't be too boring

Tol would straighten his back and try to improve his posture to make himself look a bit more presentable
"Name is Tol. I serve Da Holy Swamp and it want me to spread swamp across da land. Once quest complete all know swamp troll and respect swamp troll"

Tol would then stare at Kalia Oro Khastan's mask intently trying to figure out what it was before asking "Is dat face or fancy helmot"
 
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Brynneld

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"You seem to have history with these Rangers. Tell me, is their cause one you would define as noble?"

Bryn waited for the rest of the tale before replying. He let silence play out for a few strides after it was done. He wasn't sure if it was a casual observation or a warning for what was to come. He quite enjoyed it, regardless of intent.

"People tend to call a cause 'noble' when they've got enough money and time on their hands to fuck around playing with swords. The Rangers aren't noble, they're necessary. The roads around Alliria would not be safe without them."

"And where we're going now...we might be trying to back a lion into a corner. There won't be much of a stand off."
 
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Pretty Boy

Man’s Best Friend
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The Devourer heavily considered Brynneld’s words, and sighed. He didn’t want to be some sort of dray beast. That answered the question of what the donkeys were for. He spat out the shivering, terrified animal, and nudged it to rise. After a few seconds of breathing in horrified shock, the donkey stumbled to its feet. It flicked saliva off its ears and blinked, wobbling as it trotted after the group. Pretty kept an eye on it for a moment, but caught up.

He wandered over to Brynneld and the human who had translated his scratchings before. It was difficult to talk when they were on the move like this, but he could listen. He nodded safely about the story with the elk. Elk were indeed dangerous, but the way Orion spoke...perhaps he wasn’t talking about the animal itself? Perhaps the ogres they sought were the elk, backed into a corner by the mage. Perhaps it was the mage herself, cornered by humans. Pretty could believe this last one. He’d encountered a woman before gone so mad with rage she’d leveled a town.

He’d left her there, burning inside a building. Gods, Hahnah had been a horrifically twisted creature, formed by hatred itself. He shuddered to think of her. Hopefully this woman would see reason. He lipped at Brynneld to stop him a moment, scratching quickly so they wouldn’t lose the group.

Nonhumans talk to elf mage first. Maybe stop conflict. If hate humans so much, see humans starts a fight. He looked at Orion to translate, making a distinct honking noise and patting at his words impatiently.

Orion
Tol
Brynneld
 

Kalia Oro Khastan

The Alzaaeim
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Kalia chuckled metallically behind his mask.
"Forgive me, master Tol. I had no idea I was in the presence of a priest! Please accept my apology."
There was absolutely no satire or mockery in his words. If there was one thing he had a keen understanding of it was the realms of the gods, and "Da Swamp" this troll worshipped was very likely a real entity.

"So you hail from a swamp? I must admit I've never been in a swamp, though I've heard it described. Where I come from a swamp cannot exist, the sun is so hot that water turns to vapor and is sucked right out of the earth!"

As they walked along the troll also asked about the mask, a question Kalia was used to and always had a ready answer for.
"For now it's both, my friend. It's a fancy helmet that serves as my face because my true face, and my whole body in fact, is severely damaged.
Are you familiar with fire breathing dragons? I suppose you could say I was one of the lucky ones..."

A lie to cover up for his lack of flesh entirely, but such things had to be done for survival.

His acute hearing caught much of the conversation around the group, as he talked with the friendly troll he stored away any details he caught about the sorceress.
"What of this Swamp then? What message does it bring to the rest of the world through its priest?"
 
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