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 Run To The Hills

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33rd Caucasian Mage

Posts : 105
Join date : 2009-12-22
Age : 42
Location : Mage's Tower

PostSubject: Run To The Hills   Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:51 pm

(This thread was rescued from the old forums)


"Man came from the sandy sea...
He brought us pain and misery...
He killed our tribes, he killed our creed...
He took our home for his own need..."

Zandra stopped singing, she had gotten lost. Somewhere around here was the man her employer wanted dead. Somewhere in the middle of a vast swamp. Zandra could bear the humidity, the massive rainstorms, and even the swamp whelps. She couldn't stand the need to fly beneath the heavy foliage of cypress trees. The trees made it hard to fly straight for more than a few seconds, and at times she had to fly so low that the tips of her wings touched the water. At least when she got back she would have enough money to buy an ostard. Ostards were delicious...

Ahead, almost hit a pillar. What is a pillar doing out here? It's a building of some sort. No... It's a cave. Half orcs lived in caves sometimes. The man she was hunting was a half orc. She circled back towards the pillar and landed on it. The pillar was part of a wall, poorly made, probably of hobgoblin make. Waiting... waiting... sleepy. Could use some rest. The half orc would be loud... sleep...



How she had envied the creatures living with more than just the rocks, the darkness, and the silly gnomes worshipping both to keep you company...
Limbs aching and mind weary but still keeping a steady pace, Se'Lune traveled across the swampy landscape.

What kind of adventures lie ahead ? What kind of places would she visit ?
What kind of people would she meet ? ... Would she survive ?
Trying to calm her racing thoughts, she stops. While rubbing her tired eyes, the gnome leans against a nearby rock. She had to set her mind straight.

"Somehow living out here hasn't turned out like I thought it would.."
Sighing, she tilts her head back against the rock, looking at the sky.

This rock has quite an odd shape..

Heheh.. the tip of the rock is even slowly moving..

Rocks shouldn't move.. right .. ?

She jumped up and quickly scurried away from the rock.

A bird ..? No..
It looks more humanoid...
Maybe a.. ? No..

She took a deep breath, stood up straight and pointed at the creature.
"You. What are you ?"
No response.

Quite annoyed, she took another deep breath.
"Hey! I'm talking to you!"
No response.

She grabbed the nearest rock and chugged it at the creature whilst yelling at the top of her lungs.
"Listen to me !!"
A direct hit.


Zandra started falling from the pillar...

Ground rushing towards face. The harpy quickly used her wings to flip her head away from the oncoming ground, then slowed her fall with a few beats of her wings. She landed softly and looked around. Short gnome--well not short, about her height, but short for the standard being--ahead, not a half orc... Zandra brushed herself off and took a step toward the gnome, arm extended.

"Hello! I'm Zandra. Did you happen to see a half-orc?"

Wait... what how long had she been asleep... did she fall off the pillar herself immediately after going to sleep. Probably. The half orc should still be in the cave or nearby. She glanced around before hearing a response from the gnome. No movement in the bushes, and the cave was quiet... Bummer.


"Hey ! I'm asking the questions here ! ...Rude"
She twitched her eyebrow and clenched her fists as if insulted.
"I'll ignore the fact that you have no manners at all..."
Again, she was pointing at the creature.
"But I still want to know what you are !"

The sound of a stomache growling.
The gnome, maintaining her pose, broke her long stare by looking away shamefully.

Another growl.
This one alot heavier..
The gnome poked her stomache questioningly for a while before realizing that last one wasn't hers.


Damn, damn, DAMN! Jump back, look around, bow on back, unslung, fire.
There wasn't an arrow in the bow. Zandra quickly withdrew an arrow from her quiver and nocked it. Loose the arrow? No. She brought the bow up to aim at the half orc's neck. It was about a ten foot shot, so it shouldn't be too hard. If she pierced a carotid artery the half orc might die quick enough without a fight.
That shot would require some luck. Loose the arrow, flying, flying, hit, not enough blood.
She thought it would hit an artery but it obviously didn't. There wasn't enough time to make a closer examination but Zandra thought it probably hit the trachea. That wasn't a lucky shot, half-orcs had a build up of heavy cartilage around the trachea. It was a stupid shot, but the gnome was in trouble! Step, beat wings, step, beat wings, not going to make it in time.
This entire event had only taken about five seconds.


She could feel the air rushing past her.
Everything happened so fast...
Looking up was the creature beating its wings.
Looking down, she could see the ground moving.

"I'm... I'm... flying..."
It felt good.. the wind..
A feeling worth a smile..

However, realizing what was going on, the smile was instantly wiped off her face.
Flailing her arms and legs , she started yelling.
"Who told you you could ju- ! Le-.. Let me go ! Put me down !!"
With the gnome thrasing around, the creature had trouble maintaining its grip.
"H-.. Hey !"

The air still rushed past her, but something was differe- SMASH !
Arms.. head.. legs.. everything hurt as she rolled through the muck and the dirt. SLAM !
Crashing into a dead tree, the gnome finally came to a halt.

Clenching her teeth, she slowly got up.
She had stretched her arm, staring at her open hand.
A purple, blazing ball formed in the palm of her hand.
She quickly turned around and flinged it at the flying creature.

A painful scream.

Startled, she looked.
"-No !"
It was lying on the ground. Did she hit it ?
It moved. It's okay. Did it dive to dodge it ?
If so, who screamed ?


Zandra instinctively moved out of the way for the fireball, singing the tips of her fingers while trying to manoeuvre out of the way. She landed, one hand on her dagger, she was sucking on the other hand's burnt finger. The half orc had been hit by the fireball, it was nearly dead. With the dagger she made quick work to assure the half orc was dead, rummaged through his clothing, and found the piece of identification she was looking for, and orcen good-luck charm. She quickly pocketed it and turned back to the gnome with a menacing look on her face.

"You little runt! Do you know what you did to me?!"

She sheathed her dagger, closing in on the gnome with her claws extended... and grabbed the gnome under her arms, bringing her forehead to face level and kissed it.

"You made me rich!"


It was close... The creatures face was really close !
Blood rushed to her face.
"Wha-.. whe-.."
Shaking her head heavily, she stomped the creature in the stomache and fell into the ground once more.

After getting up and chugging another rock at the creature, she dusted off her torn clothes.
"Hmhmdarn.. I liked this outfit..."
Straightening her hat, she turned towards the creature, sounding rather calm.
"You're a rude, ill-mannered barbaric bird, you know."
Obviously it must be some weird type of bird...

She sat down on a nearby rock and stared at the dead half-orc, rather uninterested.
The sound of a stomache growling.
"Get me something to eat..."


Zandra, still giggly, dug through her small pack. Each item of food was lined up beside her.

"Hmm... Two apples, an onion, and a handful of seeds."

She looked up at Se'lune and studied her openly. Obviously in deep thought.

"Do gnomes eat apples?"

As if it were the next great philosophical quest she stared at the apple a long time, then at Se'lune. She slowly reached for an apple, then changed her mind and took the seeds. Each seed was treated the same: cracked, eaten, shell spit out. She decided to start some conversation with her guest.

"I normally only carry seeds, they're light enough to fly easily with and last a fairly long time. But one of my friends gave me the apples before I left to go trash that orc, and I couldn't very well say no... Then, um, yea, I was about to leave and my suitor stopped me, he told me something about... uh, eating healthy, told me to go get some vegetables and meat from the house, ended up the onion was the lightest thing there and... then I left. Probably should have just left the onion and apples, but now you're here. It's sorta like if this was all planned out. Right? Imagine if our lives were actually being planned out like that... our very thoughts and actions, think of how depraved those people would be, playing with us like marionettes... pulling the little s-"

She stared at the gnome, who was looking slightly annoyed. She had been rambling. Bad Zandra.


What an annoying, loud bird..
With her stomache no longer growling, she stood up and looked around.
"Hmm... where to now...?"
Making up her mind, she started heading north, ignoring the fact she was leaving behind Zandra.
Now that she had eaten, she should be able to cover ground alot faster than before.
What would she eat tomorrow ?
She stopped, pondering.
She looked over her shoulder, Zandra was still sitting there looking at the gnome, somewhat confused.
She sighed, turned around completely and walked up to her.
"Where did you say you were going ?"


Zandra was delighted that the gnome came back, she was such a cute sidekick. Sure, Zandra couldn't fly now that she had a wingless companion, but she had somebody to talk to now! She could even sing to her!
"We're heading north mer'sen! I have this bounty on that orc that's going to be in Duneguard, we'll probably rest up there and get some supplies for you, then we'll find a bounty and head off again. It'll be fun!"

Zandra pointed north and grabbed Se'lunes hand firmly. She began to head towards the northern horizon, toward the desert, and the small bits of civilisation left this far east.


High walls on the horizon...
They had arrived.

Se'Lune collapsed when she finally saw the city, letting out a big sigh of relief. This hill was the last she had to climb...
Even if she ate regulary and had someone to talk to, the travel hadn't been a pleasant one. By the time they had found their way out of the marshes her clothes were heavily torn and covered in dirt, which didn't make the rest of the road a fun trip either.

Glaring at the harpy, she got up again whilst grabbing a handfull of sand.
Turning around quickly, she flung the sand at the harpy.
"Hah ! That's for dro-Pfwah" *cough*
The wind had blown the sand right back at her. Her companion burst out in laughter.
She clenched her fists, turned back and continued walking, trying to spit out the sand in her mouth.
"Damn bird.."


"Hey, it's not my fault you kept struggling right over a body of water."
Zandra continued through the gates and down the main street of Duneguard. It wasn't a busy town, just some soldiers and mercenaries. Perhaps once or twice a goblin, but they avoided human settlements.

The buildings were made of stone and loomed over her. Most of them were built to withstand an attack; reinforced doors, little or no windows, and parapets on the roof. Zandra never minded, she liked the castle feel.

She stopped and looked over her shoulder. She had passed up the guildhall. Oops. "Back here." Zandra headed back to the entrance of the guildhall. Zandra owned a room here, which was convenient. She picked up most of her jobs here and they had a pleasant inn, aimed to serve guild members and guests. She headed directly past the guild bondsman's room, she would explain why she hadn't opted to return the orc alive later. The inn seemed ideal for this time of day, it should be nearly empty.

Zandra pointed to an open room with a few tables and a bar. "Sit down, I'll see if they have anything warm, don't talk to anybody... if you have to talk just say Zandra brought you, don't look them directly in the eyes, don't piss them off... if I have a choice would you rather stew or soup... never mind. Stay here."
She disappeared into another room.


Lyra walked into the Inn and looked around. Her blonde hair spun around her shoulders loosely. She was dressed in basic leather tunic and breeches, only parts of her hard leather armor were attached to her. She carried a small amount of supplies and the rest of her armor wrapped in a deerskin. She smiled at the gnome and, upon seeing no one else in the room she went over to the table where she sat and bowed her head to the gnome.

"Hi there, may I have a seat?" she asked. Her voice was warm and precise.


Se'Lune carefully inspected the woman. She didn't look all that special..
She glanced at the doorway. Still no sign of Zandra..

Bah.. Who is this ?.. And why is she even talking to me ?..
Sighing, she got off her chair.
"Take it."
Se'Lune followed Zandra into the other room, leaving the woman behind.

---Garganium on Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:49 am

Zandra re-entered the hallway she had left by, a large plate that hid both her arms. When she saw Se'lune she started to speak in a fake whisper,
"I told you to stay still. The others would throw a fit if they saw you wandering the halls al- Come on. I have the food and some good news."
She pushed Se'lune back into the 'dining' room, saw Lyra, and approached the table she sat at. Zandra set the plate onto the table,
"Lyra, how ya doin'? Hungry?"
Sitting down, Zandra motioned for Se'lune to do the same.
"Sylun, this is Lyra. Lyra, this is Sylun."
The plate had an assorted combination of foods--mostly preservable--at varying ages. It would appear that Zandra could not find anything that had been cooked in the last hour, which happened to be fairly common in the guild. Salted meats and dried vegetables made up a significant portion of most travellers' diets.


Se'Lune took some food from the plate and sat down next to Zandra.
Pushing me around like some kid..
She turned away from the other two and took a bite out a wrinkled vegetable.
Just because I'm a gnome doesn't mean they can ju- Mhey.. this is good !
After quickly snatching all the similar vegetables, she had nearly emptied the plate.


Lyra blinked at the odd behaviour from the gnome. Then turned her attention to Zandra.

"Yes we... Met. And yes, I'm famished, I haven't eaten since we got to the guild this morning." She smiled. and slid the bag of supplies off her shoulders and onto the floor beside her chair. She helped herself to some of the vegetables and began idly cracking her knuckles.

"So what's the story with you and this very kind gnome?" She asked wryly. "...And are you looking for any bounties latley? Madorn has been urging me to find something, and I agree. We're very thin on gold lately..." She drifted off, running her hand along the leather money pouch on her waist.


Zandra picked a fruit of the plate and took a throwing knife from her robe. While peeling the fruit she began to respond.
"Reh, maybe would could go after Voristomp? Bloodcrusher? That Neverandi Princess? Gilead? Yea, Gilead, we're paid by the Eremans if we get him..."
The knife cut her, leaving a small a bead of blood on her thumb. Zandra yelped and brought her thumb to her mouth. After a moment of confusion Zandra laughed and picked up the knife to resume peeling. She looked from Se'lune to Lyra, "What do you two think?"


How could she awnser if she hadn't even heard anything about them ?
She gave Zandra an honest shrug.

Her life had surely taken an interesting turn when she met the harpy.
Bounty hunting.. It had a nice ring to it..


"Paid by the Eremans? That would probably be some good sum..." She taps her finger on her upper lip. "Who is this Gilead person anyway?"
Before Zandra can answer the floor boards behind them give a loud creak and the three of them look to see Madorn ducking under the doorway. He walks into the room and smiles at Lyra warmly. He removes his thick brown wool coat and drapes it over his massive arm.

"Hello friends, Zandra, It is good to see you again after so long." He bows his head slightly and straightens, bumping his head on the ceiling. He grimaces, rubbing it.

"Hey Madorn," Lyra smiles back. "This is Selune, she is a friend of Zandra's," she explains nodding to the Gnome. "Come grab some food, we were just talking about some jobs. You ever heard of Gilead?" She asks him.

"Nice to meet you Lady Selune. And I am afraid I have not heard of a Gilead, sorry." He replies.


Se'Lune stared at Madorn in awe, mouth wide open.
She tugged at Zandra's clothes and pointed at the giant.
"He's huge !! What is he ?!
Without waiting for an answer, she hopped off her chair and started walking around Madorn, inspecting him carefully.


"Gilead is some merc captain who is charged with the murder of three Ereman soldiers, solid pay by the Ereman government..." she glanced down at her broken claw. It had chipped during the fight with the half orc, she believed her bow had hit it wrong or something. "Actually... why don't we go after that Neverandi Princess? I have the info from Guildmaster Orrun, she'll be an easy catch, just have to take a boat down to Port Valorous, or persuade a guild mage to teleport us there." She removed her robes and threw them into Se'lune's empty chair. "One moment, I'm going to go sweet talk Zamir into powering up the portal. When you see Se'lune and your brother tell them we'll be leaving soon, so pack up and what not."

She headed off in the direction of Zamir's quarters, a little flirting and some gold would probably be enough convincing for him to help them out. The guild was particularly notable for linking their guild houses together with portals, with only minimal effort required to open them and let people through. Most of the guild houses had a handful of wizards and possibly a sorcerer on standby for enchantments, healing, and opening the portals. The Sandarian Guild had Zamir. One lazy half ass wizard who didn't know two things about magic... which was good. It kept him from being busy when Zandra needed assistance.

(Go ahead and enter the thread Syntax, we'll be hunting the flat chested mary sue princess down shortly.)
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103rd Eldritch Abomination

Posts : 33
Join date : 2009-12-23
Location : Passed out in a ditch. Why? I DON'T KNOW!!! ;_;

PostSubject: Re: Run To The Hills   Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:09 pm

It was difficult to breathe the scalding air. Illari hadn't had water in a long time, and her tongue was beginning to swell. How long? How many endless days, and freezing nights had she spent alone with the sun and the moon? It didn't matter. The faces of the blazing sun and the frigid moon blurred together as the days passed. They were both going to kill her. They're both bastards, she thought.

She lumbered across the torrid sand and did not bother wasting the strength to watch where she was going. There was no use looking; there was sand everywhere. The landscape never changed. She held her warm, jingling tiara and pushed on. Her make-up smeared crudely across her face and ran down her neck with beads of sweat. Her braided hair was becoming messy and undone, and her silk dress clung tightly to her stinking, filthy, skinny body.

Right foot drags forward, left foot drags forward. Over and over she trudged onwards like an exhausted slave. Despite her repetitive, haggard stride, her tired mind raced.

"Mind so clouded. I look into the future, and only sand. More and more sand. But I know I cannot see far... the heat, it's breaking my will."

Illari hadn't realized she was mumbling to herself in High Nevarandi.

"Tried everything. The magic can only go so far... so this is how it ends, dear princess. Luck hasn't changed. Father is dead. Everyone is dead. The city fell into nothing. The sand became blood. So you run for dear life, across the Serpent King's river and don't turn back. Didn't even bother to collect some water. Ran, like a coward."

Her dry tongue stuck to the top of her mouth as she miserably uttered a weak prayer.

"Gods above, turn to me your mercy. Turn to me your mercy. Give me water. Do not judge me to die in the wilderness."

She lumbered to a clumsy halt.

I am the princess. The royal bloodline is wasting away in the desert and nothing can be done. This did not happen to the accursed outsiders from foreign places. This did not happen to shiftless, lazy peasants. This is happening to me, she thought angrily.

She hesitated, then hurled her tiara as hard as she could and screamed her frustration. Gone was the royal stoicism. She clawed savagely at her matted hair and clawed at the ceaselessly burning sun. She tried to scream curses at the world around her, but could only blather out weak, unintelligible nonsense. The sand gave way quickly as Illari fell to her knees and wailed dryly.

The sun was unmoved by her childish performance.

Illari picked herself up, stumbled, and stood. She shuffled awkwardly to where she had thrown her tiara and picked it up. It gets heavier with every passing hour, she thought to herself. She shook the sand from her sandals, and plodded onwards through the Nevarand Wasteland, utterly lost.
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103rd Eldritch Abomination

Posts : 33
Join date : 2009-12-23
Location : Passed out in a ditch. Why? I DON'T KNOW!!! ;_;

PostSubject: Re: Run To The Hills   Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:37 am

The sun burned at the sky's zenith and the land swam and coiled before her eyes while her head pounded. Illari shuffled ceaselessly to a dilapidated ruin of a town in a large break from the burning dunes. Her feet had bloodied and blistered in her worn sandals, but she could hardly feel the pain.

Little Meena, her caretaker, trotted before her. The hazy-looking gnome tossed her a kindly smile before skipping ahead into the town.

"Meena, wait... for me," Illari tried to plead. Her words issued from her lips as a dry hiss.

Meena waved soundlessly from a clearing between the buildings. Illari did not bother studying her surroundings; her focus lay upon her friend. "Meena... You came back... You came back..," she rasped. Meena gazed serenely at her, smiled, and pointed up.

The princess craned her head up and saw the well.

She stared in confusion for a moment. A bucket hung limply below an aging windlass over the well... then reality crept forward. Illari lunged at the crank of the windlass and turned it hurriedly. It gave little resistance, and the bucket creaked down until a faint splash emanated from far below. She sobbed with joy as she turned the crank again to retrieve the bucket.

Her body burned with pain as she struggled to turn the crank. She did not know how long she'd been without water, but dehydration and exposure left her weak and half-mad. She put every bit of weak effort into raising the bucket. It's so heavy... it's like trying to lift a camel...

When the bucket had raised, she snatched it. Clear, cool water lapped over the sides and felt shockingly cold upon her soft, heat-worn skin. Illari raised the bucket to her mouth and greedily drank.

Then she choked. Her tongue had swollen so much that there was hardly room to swallow the water in large gulps. She dropped the bucket - spilling water all over the ground - and grasped her neck and coughed. She fell to her knees and heaved, but a pocket of water was still trapped. Her sight blackened and her jaws cramped as she rejected the water. When her breathing cleared, she picked up the bucket and cried dryly. A tiny puddle of water remained; she brought it to her lips again, and let a tiny stream of water trickle down her throat. It was so difficult to stop from swallowing. She brought more water up from the well and slowly sipped more.

Overwhelmed with exhaustion and nausea, she crawled into a nearby stone building, and fainted on the dirt floor.


She awoke to a dull pain throbbing throughout her body. She slowly picked herself up, limped to a corner of the building, and relieved herself. Her head throbbed as she stepped outside and gazed at the warming dawn. How long have I slept? she wondered. Her stomach ached as she sipped more water from the well. Her swollen tongue had not subsided, but did reduce in her sleep.

Meena is dead, she remembered gloomily. I saw her yesterday... but that's impossible. She's dead... I must have gone mad to see such illusions.

She peered into the water in the bucket, and gazed into her reflection. Her lips looked cracked, her violet eyes shined, she was covered in sand, and her hair was matted and slovenly. Who am I? She wondered. She gazed at the face in the water and tried to remember her name and who she was, but a fog had settled in her mind. Shaking her head, she replaced the bucket and looked around.

She was surrounded by worn buildings. The town looked abandoned for quite some time, and broken signs hung limply in the windless air. The etchings on the signs had worn away. She peered into windows and through doors half-filled with sand. The buildings and houses were utterly empty, save for a few bits of debris scattered about. At the edge of town, she studied her trail of footprints leading off into the horizon. She frowned in thought. I remember a beautiful, magnificent city. I remember a palace, slaves, baths, feasts, and perfumes. I remember a man, the emperor. I was close to him, but... why? She wondered. And where am I? Why did I come here? She looked at her hands, and felt a strange energy flowing through her veins. I know magic. I shall see my fate. She raised her hands in the air and hesitated.

Rituals and spells remained lost behind the fog in her mind. Her frown deepened and she curled her lip in frustration as she reached for that knowledge, but only the elusive fog was within her reach. She sat down upon a rough stone dais at the edge of the town and combed through her memories. She tried to quell a growing sense of dread from within. I remember royal wizards. I remember them teaching me lessons, I remember enduring magical tests and trials... but I why can't I remember what those lessons were? She shook her head as a deep sadness overcame her. She remembered Emperor Desai and the gnome Meena fondly, but did not know why. "Gods help me," she uttered as she stood and turned.

A name was carved into the dais before the town.

It said "Amonsis".
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