Tales Something Amiss

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Lia, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    As the morning drew by and everyone was left to their waiting, Kaska stood and carefully made her way to Saul. She said nothing at first, words caught in her throat. She dismissed them, swallowing hard and glancing to him, finally speaking.

    "It's a half a day's walk to where my people are. And from there, about a half a day more to the fortress," she informed him bluntly.
     
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  2. Saul Talith

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    Saul Talith Templar

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    "Alright." Saul said calmly, fastening the last of his plate before he turned back to Face Kaska.

    "Think you can make that?" The Templar kept the smirk from his face. "As I understand it Ranger's tend to let their horses do most of the work when it comes to travel."

    That was of course distinctly not true, in fact it was probably the opposite way around.

    Not that he would admit knowing that.
     
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  3. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    She smacked at his armored chest, making a face at him. "I'm not the one laded down by that stupid armor. You know one wrong rock of the boat and you'll be drowning in that water." She crossed her arms, raising a brow.

    "And then your men will go after you ... and they'll drown too... and I'll have to go back to Arillia empty handed and explain to your Commander why a full unit of his drowned in a river.Typical Templar." A good eye roll was added into the works.
     
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  4. Saul Talith

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    He shrugged. "We've marched hundreds of miles in this."

    Saul knocked against the chest of his plate-mail.

    "This will be easy." That wasn't a brag either. There was a reason they fought in their armor, there was a reason they trained and sometimes even slept in it. For them the heavy plate was just a second skin. It was important in their fight, particularly against the undead.

    One vampire bite and you were turned. One scratch from a ghoul and you were infected. One cut from a Draugr's blade and you would find naught but insanity.

    The armor stopped all that.

    "Just don't lose your way." He told her. "We'll take care of the rest."
     
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  5. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    Kaska sighed, shaking her head. As she turned to leave, she caught Leane's gaze. Her face cracked into a grin, attention shifting back to Saul just to sass, "The girl fights better than you."
     
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  6. Saul Talith

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    "With a sword." Saul corrected as he stepped up behind her.

    The ship was slowly crawling towards the shore, a sign of their arrival.

    "She's the best." With a sword anyway. Even Ana couldn't beat her with just a sword. That was something well known among all of them. "I assure you my skills lay elsewhere."

    As would be shown when they fought the Lich.
     
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  7. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    "Mmm, that verdict is still up for grabs," she mused under her breath. She glanced to her right, reassured by the presence of the other Ranger pulling up besides her. Adam, was his name? She couldn't actually recall, she had somehow skimmed the weeks never needing to call out to him.

    She frowned at herself.

    "Adam..."

    "Yes, ma'am?"

    Her eyes darted to him, but his expression was neutral, genuine.

    "Just-.... call me Kaska."

    "Kaska."

    She gave him a dead pan look. He grinned a little, reminding her of how fresh he actually was. She sighed and started carefully. "If things in the next few days go south... I want you to depart from the group and ride straight to Alliria. No stopping. No talking to others. Go straight to my father and report what happened here."

    "Ma-"

    "That's an order."

    Silence descended between them. They ship jolted as they hit shore. She grabbed his arm, keeping him in place. "Am I understood, Ranger?"

    "...Yes, Ma'am. --Ahh. Kaska." He crinkled in face in distress. "Yes."

    She nodded and released him, the flow around them disembarking.
     
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  8. Saul Talith

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    A few short, terse words were shared between the Templar.

    None of them needed any real reassurance, nor did they have a conversation about what to do when they got there. Each and every Templar had trained for almost their entire lives in order to get where they were today, and most of them knew how to take on a Lich all on their own.

    In a band of thirty? They worked as a unit, quick to act and with diligence that could only be attributed to the finest military units in the world.

    As soon as the boat landed and the Rangers departed onto the shore the Templar followed after. Their armor made no noise, silenced by cloth shoved between the plates. They made land quickly, each one ready to fight just in case an ambush lay around the corner.

    "Take me to your leader." Saul told Kaska, his face hidden behind the odd horned helmet.
     
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  9. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    Kaska's lip quirked, amused by the line. "Famous last words..."

    And somehow a group of 30 plus heavily armed soldiers managed to creep through the underbrush of the woods, Kaska briskly guiding them up towards the cave she left Lia in. It was heavy dusk by the time she saw the fabled marking-- a large bolder shaped like a cat's ass.

    No really. It was.

    She held out a hand to stop everyone and keeled, picking up a rock. While she was sure they were already spotted by a scout, that scout was not in the cave. She did not care to risk startling Lia and the ones within. They were all rather adept at bows.

    She tossed the rock at the boulder and whistled, their old bird look-out whistle.
     
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  10. Lia

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    Lia Allirian Ranger

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    Lia whistled back.

    She'd been waiting for nearly two weeks now, though in truth it felt like more. Time had seemingly passed by slowly, and that was mostly due to the activity within the nearby fortress.

    They had concealed themselves well, and thanks to Sarah's skill as a scout they'd managed to keep a good eye on just what was going on with the Lich. Since Kaska had departed the creature had raised another score of undead, and more bandits had arrive don top of that.

    The creature now had nearly a hundred within his thrall, most of them undead but near a third being bandits.

    When the Ranger Sergeant stepped out of the cave she couldn't help but breath a slight sigh of relief at the sight of thirty armored soldiers. She had expected ten at the most, and although the odds still weren't great...they were at least better than she'd thought they would be. "What took you so long?"

    She asked, her face impassive.
     
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  11. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    Kaska rolled her eyes, standing up and striding forward. "A lack of portal stone?" She sassed, only then remembering she had about 30 sets of Templar eyes taking in their dynamic behind them. She amended a touch more respectfully, for Lia's sake than actual regret, "I didn't stop at all spare last night. We cooked you food."

    Out of range of Liche attention.

    "Thought you could use it."
     
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  12. Lia

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    Lia Allirian Ranger

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    Lia let her lips quirk for a second, though it disappeared quickly as she cast her gaze towards the Templar behind Kaska.

    None of them were particularly familiar of course.

    She recognized the armor, the unique pattern of platemail that she used to glimpse around the different corners of Alliria throughout her childhood. They all had their unique little quirks. Some carried just swords, some spears, some sword and shield. One wore a red cloak around his shoulder.

    Lia assumed him to be the commander. "You best come inside. There's room enough for all of you."

    The Sergeant glanced up at the sky.

    "He's been using Crows as watchers." A frown touched her face. "Dead ones."
     
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  13. Kaska

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    Kaska's face contorted in detest at that, glancing back to gesture Saul could order his men in.

    She waited until bodies had piled inside, leather creaking, Ranger's standing in sudden alertness, before she caught Saul's arm as he lingered close to her presumed leader and made introductions.

    "Lia, this is Saul. Er. Sergeant Lia. Commander Saul. But not like commander, commander. Gods if I brought one of those here to die I-"

    In that moment Saul would have seen her more talkative than ever, spare that card game. And in that moment she was realizing just how much she shouldn't be saying.

    "....Yeah, no, I hate formalities." She finished off lamely, throwing out her hands. "He's in charge of them. He can help." She cross her arms over her chest, unconsciously tugging at the color of her shirt to keep it flared up.
     
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  14. Saul Talith

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    "Saul Talith." The Commander said simply, pointing towards the cave. "You're right, we should go inside."

    Crows?

    The technique was one he'd seen Liches used before, though generally only when they were forced to do so. Raising the dead required energy, and that energy was usually not to be wasted on animals. Perhaps paranoia had settled into the bones of this thing. Though that seemed odd.

    One by one the Rangers and the Templar both filed into the cave.

    Though the entrance was only large enough for two men to fit through abreast, the inside of the cavern turned out to be far larger. Opening up it seemed that almost the entire mountainside was hollow, with space enough for a hundred men. Two fires burned slowly, ventilated by the sheer size of the cave.

    As they stepped inside Saul quietly motioned for the others to set up a camp, pulling Leane aside as he approached Kaska and Lia.
     
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  15. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    Kaska remained with her arms cross, eyes skimming the familiar faces of her comrades. "Did you guys skim by without trouble?" She could be heard murmuring, concern pinching in her features. She had worried. More than she would ever admit, she had been frightened to find no one here. She wanted to hug Lia in relief. Instead she stood there stiffly, barely acknowledging the approaching Templars.
     
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  16. Lia

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    Lia Allirian Ranger

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    "They haven't noticed us, if that's what you mean." Lia answered calmly, glancing to the Templar for a moment.

    She still wasn't entirely sure about bringing them in, but...well they were here now, and without them they might as well have thrown themselves at a spiked wall.

    "The Lich has been busy gathering his forces." She sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose. "If it wasn't for Sarah we would have been spotted, but she noticed the crows before the Lich started sending them out regularly."

    A hand ran through her hair. "We've been careful about leaving the cave, a few of us haven't bathed in almost a week."

    Her nose scrunched.
     
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  17. Kaska

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    Kaska's nose scrunched in equal sympathy.

    "I only hope we didn't alert any on our way to you then." She whipped a sweaty palm on her pants, turning then to glance over the two Templar in full. It occurred to her in that moment how much she had accepted and even respected them. A strange twist of events, she never pictured herself causally introducing Templar to another Ranger in any circumstances.

    "Anyway, as I said. This is Saul. And that's Leane. Apparently the liche magic can't even touch them. So there's something to be thankful for. Has he done anything since I've left? Besides the crows, that is."
     
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  18. Lia

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    Lia shook her head. "Not much."

    How exactly did she break this to them? Including the Rangers she had brought with her on the mission initially and the Templar that had now come they had a little over forty soldiers. The Lich had twice that and then some, not something she could easily put into words.

    "Well.." The Templar stared at her, the one with the cloak taking off his helmet. His eyes were expectant, almost as if he knew what was coming. "The Lich has raised more undead, and gathered more forces to him."

    The Templar stared.

    "How many?"
    Lia cringed. "About a hundred now."
     
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  19. Kaska

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    Kaska Allirian Ranger

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    Kaska cursed, growling and stepping back. "This is insane." She rubbed at her face, pinching her nose. "All of this, it's like a nightmare in the making. Can you get more men?" She asked Saul abruptly, turning to him, face full of fury.
     
  20. Saul Talith

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    "In another two weeks." Saul said simply, shrugging and letting his arms cross over his chest. There was a look of consideration on his face, his eyes wandering over the Rangers for a brief moment before he slowly began to speak once more.

    "The numbers may not be as much of a problem as you think." At least, in theory. "The undead he raised...they're ghouls?"

    Lia nodded slowly. "Good."

    Ghouls, though dangerous, were not the equal of a trained soldier. Hell, they barely were the equal of a man with a pitchfork. Even an idiot could kill three before being felled himself.

    "They'll die when the Lich does." He explained. "No doubt he's bound them to himself for easier control."
     
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  21. Kaska

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    There was some relief in that. She nodded, turning to Lia now, asking the next pressing question. "And the bandits? What's their numbers at?"
     
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  22. Lia

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    "A little less than us." Lia explained quietly, frowning slightly. "They are not well armed, but...Sarah saw about a dozen of them leave and head north over the Sayve a few days ago."

    Needless to say they had not returned.

    Lia had been tempted to send someone after them, but she hadn't known when Kaska and the Templar would appear. They would need their whole number to take on the Lich and the forces he'd gathered, and it was best not to risk discovery of any sort. Still, it did not sit easy with her. "I suspect they're meeting up with the liches Master."

    Both of the Templar's nodded at that.

    "Do you have any information on that?"
    Lia shook her head.

    "It's just a theory at best." Drawn from a scrap of paper and nothing more. "I was hoping we could trap the Lich and get him to tell us bu-"

    "That won't happen. Even if you managed to capture him the Lich would never speak. There is no form of torture that would work, and even our...skills couldn't do it."

    The Ranger frowned, clearly not enthused about being interrupted.
     
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  23. Kaska

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    Kaska turned on a dime, eyes skimming the dark cave for a sight of Sarah's too smooth face. Not here, she quickly presumed. Out watching. The priss.

    "Where are their water stores? Do you know?" She asked Lia, clearly falling back to her old plan of poisoning the live ones to cripple them to better numbers. "How often do men come in? Could we send in one of our own?" Came the string of questions.

    For someone that once hated planning tactics, she had sure grown comfortable spouting out her own now.
     
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  24. Lia

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    "There is a well under the fortress." She explained quickly, thinking back to the last few weeks. "The men come in bands of ten or twelve, though only once or twice during the last two weeks. I doubt we can have anyone pose as a stragglers."

    All the bands seemed to know one another and it was risky to send someone Into the unknown. Lia wouldn't risk it with her men, and she doubted very much that the Templar would want to do so with his own.

    She frowned a moment then went on. "I think our best bet comes from scaling the souther walls. We'll be able to go in undetected and strike when they least expect it."

    Lia glanced at the Templar for a moment, waiting for him to speak.

    "He'll have set wards no doubt. If not set scouts. We can break them, but it will alert him of something being there."

    For a moment the Templar stood in thought.

    "Can we draw him out? At least a portion of his forces. Draw his attention to a defensible location while someone else strikes."
     
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  25. Kaska

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    Kaska couldn't help but to zone out, their words muffling thickly against her thoughts. She felt abruptly exhausted, not from travel or the demands on her body, but from the seemingly never ending stress of the last few months. Facing this moment felt like an impossible feat.

    100 men to their 40-50? They were outnumbered and outmatched, at least where the Liche was concerned. Kaska scanned the faces around her and felt sure she had led them all to their death. If the Liche had anything up his sleeve, anything at all, they were done for.

    She resisted the urge to reach out to Lia and turned away from them both, leaving the leaders to do what she herself was not inclined to do-- plan. Try. Lead. Lia wanted this position so bad, well now she had it.

    Pray to fucking Gods she could lead them through this right.

    She found a spot in the cave, a surprisingly easy thing to do in a space as large as this, and laid her stuff out.
     
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