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D&D Campaigns => Threshold => In Character Discussions => Topic started by: Johan on January 17, 2006, 01:48:30 PM

Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 17, 2006, 01:48:30 PM
Recent events had energized Jarmok, but they had thoroughly drained him as well.After watching Kossuth settle beyond the westwall he went into his cabin and lit a fire, settling into Mercer?s chair comfortably. He fell asleep early in the evening.

The morning of Duthash Zinnyas Fehy [8 May] came early. It was only false dawn, but Jarmok felt thoroughly rejuvenated. His evening fire was nothing more than a pile of ash and a lump of charred log that hadn?t been completely consumed.

Jarmok stretched languidly and stepped out onto his west-facing porch. Sythus smelled?alive was perhaps the best way that he could put it. He gathered his gear and went out on his morning patrol to meet Kossuth as that fiery orb climbed above the eastwall.

The morning was quiet and Jarmok lived for the solitude of that hour. Nothing stirred in or around Threshold this morning, and Jarmok greeted Kossuth from his perch above the Fortmount, as he was wont to do, eating of the young red and black berries that grew on the brambles in that area. Watching night turn into day solidified the learnings that he had enjoyed only these last couple of days. Change was everywhere in nature; such was the random order of things.

People started moving like large ants in the town far below him. Carts silently rumbling northward towards Little threshold, people barely seen through the mists of the morning Fogveil began going about their daily business. Maal entered the Thornhedge.

Then an odd thing caught his eye: Ashe was out and about, carrying a heavy-looking pack on his back. Ashe usually emerged a little later in the day. Seeing his mentor?s old friend, Jarmok remembered the Ring that he wanted to see. He wondered if Ashe knew anything about it.

One way to find out. He thought as he picked up his bronzewood battle axe and bounded down the hills that surrounded the Fortmount to intercept the old herbalist. Jarmok was running along the road from the area of Julius?s house and approaching the Wolfsong just as Ashe was beginning to cross it. He noiselessly padded up behind the herbalist and drew along side him.

??morning.? He greeted the elder.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 03, 2006, 02:04:28 PM
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 03, 2006, 02:01:54 PM
The End?
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 03, 2006, 01:50:07 PM
"Ung." Jarmok patted the older man's shoulder and did as suggested.

How odd, he thought, that folks should get so excited over water.

It was a strange occurrence, to be sure, but this was the beginning of the warm season, one must think that these waters are fed from somewhere, which in turn would be fed by snowmelt, which would be present this time of the year.

Of course, Jarmok knew that Mahiya must be overly happy today because of the planting that he had just witnessed. He was glad to not have to face those townsfolk. He retreated into the forest and melted into it as best he could, the thunder of the shrine muting the voices of the curious left behind.

Even in that crashing din, Jarmok found greater peace and tranquility than in the quietest of taverns...he imagined.

Slightly chagrinned with himself, he thought that sooner or later he would have to immerse himself more thoroughly with the people of this town. Mercer had many times asked Jarmok to accompany him to the Hunter's Lodge. That would likely be as good a place as any to start. Probably better than most.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 03, 2006, 01:09:27 PM
Jarmok and Ashe crossed the Angelhawk Bridge. To their left they could hear the rush of water similar to the excited founts at the Ring. Ashe looks glances over and says, "It looks as though this watery shrine to Istisha is also excited today!"

Jarmok looks over and could see that the normally sedate fount within the rocky culvert was gushing well higher than the cliff that surrounded it. The stream that lead away from it was rushing by as though it were intent on getting somewhere. The trees and cliffs were wet from the spray of the geyser and Kossuth's light danced with Istisha's water to create a brilliant rainbow over the shrine.

Ahead, many of the villagers and visitors had gathered to see the fantastic display. On the cilff above the residents of the houses up there were looking in amazement as though they'd never seen this happen.

One Villager looks over and says to the crowd, "Maybe Ashe the herbalist can explain it! Ashe..." the villagers start to walk quickly towards Jarmok and Ashe.

Ashe closes his eyes and sighs in frustration and says, "Great Grandtree, now I'll never get breakfast. Jarmok you better slip away now and avoid the hassle of..." Ashe points to the oncoming crowd, "...that."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 03, 2006, 12:39:42 PM
"Hrung." Jarmok nodded his comprehension.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 03, 2006, 12:25:20 PM
Ashe nods and says, "The disease that Rawling had made him resistant to weapons of certain metals. The bronzewood is special in the way that it's wood that is better than metal. Many creatures have a way of resisting certain weapons. Against bronzwood they have no resisitance."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 03, 2006, 11:46:13 AM
Jarmok was growing more and more confused by the moment. He had the feeling that Ashe was trying to say something to him, but the herbalist was so cryptic, his meaning eluded Jarmok.

The Festival of Trees was a long time off yet, so what bearing that had on this day's events - or other recent events - Jarmok couldn't tell.

He hearkened back to that snowy night when Mercer had introduced Jarmok to Ashe. After Ashe had left Mercer had said that his old friend often spoke in mysterious ways, and you might not understand what the man was saying for some time. This appeared to be one of those times, Jarmok thought.

"Only weapon that hit Raw-ling." Jarmok said, shrugging and pointing at his axe. He wasn't aware that there was anything unusual about that man with respect to weapon damage, although now that he though on it, there was a surprise on Rawling's face when Jarmok's axe had dug into the villain.

Why they were talking of trees, Jarmok didn't know. At least, were they to have such a conversation, one would think that it would be in regards to the new Vallenwood.

Jarmok smiled and nodded, drowning in his own incomprehension.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 03, 2006, 11:33:38 AM
"The bronzewood, when it is crafted as a weapon, succeeds in combat where other metals fail. When you fought Rawling you might have notice that your axe damaged him better than any other weapon. This is the power of the wood."Ashe says holding the axe.

He swings it around with ease and says, "Not to mention it's lighter than metal too. My scimitar is made of bronzewood. Like the axe it was a gift from the folks of Threshold for those that they honor."

Ashe hands the axe back to Jarmok and says, "Once a year on The Festival of Trees I allow them to take one tree to be used for crafting. The trees among us are a precious gift from Mahiya. Sometimes people we know are too. Your a good soul Jarmok...a very good soul."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 03, 2006, 09:19:58 AM
Jarmok was just beginning to settle back into himself as they approached Threshold and Ashe uttered the odd request. He was sure that his face betrayed his incomprehension as he pulled the axe from its resting place over his shoulder and handed it blade down to the herbalist.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 03, 2006, 08:47:00 AM
"Sure..." Ashe said reassuringly "...whenever is good for you. You'll like Hunter's Lodge. The people there are much like Mercer and myself." Ashe smiled warmly at Jarmok to comfort his shy friend.

The two walked down the dusty road towards town. The peace of the woods flowed around Jarmok and Ashe. The birds were flitting about and rabbits scampered across the road. The morning mist had just about burned away allowing fingers of light to reach through the leafy canopy above.

"May I see your bronzewood axe?" Ashe asked as he pulled out his scimitar of like craft.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 02, 2006, 04:26:45 PM
Jarmok's eyes shifted nervously as Ashe suggested a breakfast. He shook his head perhaps a bit too vigorously. "No." He said. "Need return home. Not there much, need catch up. Next day, maybe?" He suggested.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 01, 2006, 04:47:28 PM
"Maccabeus, I know you'll take care of the little one. Some day your selflessness towards it will return to you..." Ashe says. The two departed into the forest.

The two passed through the forest and over the living bridge and back onto the road. Ashe looks at Kossuth and says, "Hmm...the day is early yet. Although I feel like an entire day has passed! I still have yet to eat breakfast. I wonder what Kym is cooking at Hunter's Lodge...Jarmok, have you been to Hunter's Lodge yet?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 01, 2006, 04:30:41 PM
"I think not." Maccabeus said to Ashe's suggestions. "I need to think on the opening of the Ring. Some alone time to meditate upon it, I think."

"Ung." Jarmok grunted his assent. "I go home." He said. "Walk back with you." He breathed deep in through his wide nose, smelling the rich air. Mahiya, he thought, was a marvelous crafter.

"I'll show you out at any rate. Maccabeus said. "Give me a chance to acquaint myself with this new configuration of the Ring." The little gnome led the quartet southerly, along a slight path that was parallel to the fiery-looking water. As they trod along, Jarmok began to see that the waterfall that he had seen though the tumult was in fact a spewing geyser. The air became cool and misty as they walked along that line.

Jarmok could not take his eyes from the fount that was in the small clearing at the end of the small babbling stream that now fed the acorn. There was in this place an odd paradox at work, he know; the fount sounded like water, but looked like fire. It was really a bit unnerving.

Jarmok lagged a little behind the others as Maccabeus led the way more southerly through a broad opening in the brambles. A trumpetbloom-lined corridor whose walls stretched up six or more men tall on either side. The floor was thickly carpeted by lush grass, and birds flitted among the fronds, fearing approach of neither man nor beast.

Then, abruptly, they were beyond the confines of the sanctum. Ashe plopped down to replace his boots while Jarmok looked longingly back towards the Ring of Mists.

"Travel safely, friends." Maccabeus said. "Jarmok, it was good to meet you this day, and based upon Ashe's words regarding your station here in Threshold, please feel free to visit us here in the Ring at any time."

"Hmmpg." Jarmok gruffed and took up the little man's outstretched hand. "Will come see." He promised.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 01, 2006, 04:01:35 PM
"I have strong ties with the farmers here. I will explain...some of the situation here. They will no doubt see it as a sign of a good year for crops. They've probably never seen a Vallenwood outside of the Valley. It will be quite special to them." Ashe says.

"I'm actually ready to head back to town now if you want to come with me. This little tree of hope needs time to sleep now...newborns often do. Jarmok, I'm heading back...would you like to join, if Maccabeus comes?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on February 01, 2006, 03:44:29 PM
Jarmok paid close attention to Ashe's words, but internally he wondered at what the old herbalist was saying. This talk of the void made no sense to Jarmok; Why would any intelligence actually want to live outside of Mahiya? He wondered. Ultimately, it didn't matter. He had taken on the burden of protecting Threshold to the best of his abilities, and he would see that through the coming seasons, and that was that. As long as his enemies could bleed, he would be there to see to it that they did just that.

Maccabeus, for his part, became very somber as Ashe spoke. "Yes, I realize this of course." He said. "The greater part of me tells me that this is a holy place, like any temple, and that all must be welcomed here. Still, there is that little protective part that would stand vigil over these founts and this youngling to protect it, and isolation can often be an effective defense." He stroked the new leaves of the young Vallenwood tree affectionately, humming in tune with the tree's song.

"I will be dwelling upon this in the days to come." He said with a sigh. "Of course, the farmers in Little Threshold will want to see, and they will want answers today, not in days to come. Can you help with those people? Can you address the farmers and the lay folk in the surrounding land?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on February 01, 2006, 08:41:55 AM
Ashe nods his head at Maccabeus's words. staring at the sprig in the ground he says, "Jarmok you have been given the honor that my friend Mercer once had. He felt you that you were worthy of taking his charge here. Because of that I'm warning you of an approaching storm. Not a storm of Mahiya but of a kind of Void. A force that is opposite of Mahiya in every way. Mahiya through it's own enigmatic ways is the giver of life. The void is the consumer of it. I just thought that you should be warned of what's to come."

Ashe then turns to Maccabeus and says, "My little friend, you are the steward of this sacred place. I need to tell you that outsiders will want to visit this place. They will want to see that which has been lost to time and is of mysterious legend. Other druids will come to see the founts and the Vallenwood and the Ring...the naked beauty of the brambles and it's flowers. It is up to your judgement as to how to handle the pilgrims."

The geysers relaxed their jubilation and the singing of the sapling continued. The drops of water on the flowers and thorns glitterd back the morning light. The streams leading from the founts to the baby tree were steady in their intent and whispered in watery gurgles. The little tree, drinking the waters, sprouted a bit more right before their eyes.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 31, 2006, 04:44:57 PM
"Grow fast." Jarmok observed. "Pretty sing." He shrugged then, fully aware that he was comprehending less than either of his companions, perhaps even less than this enormous, beautiful wolf did. There was a lot more going on here than one might imagine. He wondered if other parts of the world were as active as this one was.

Was there a man in a forest on his home island, perhaps, spinning like an idiot in a glade with two associates who just planted a shrub or caught a fish? Ultimately, this tree was a good thing, he thought. What it would bring, might not be so good, though. Time would tell. "Mahiya like." He said simply, pointing at the growing tree.

"Mahiya likes it indeed." Maccabeus chimed in happily, sitting up, mud splattering his little form. "It is a glimpse into the past, the future, and into the hearts of the Divinities. Wolf and I will grow with this youngling, as will Mahiya." He looked at Ashe then. "I can't say that I've been awaiting this moment for any length of time, save for since last night." He said. "But it seems that this time has certainly been awaiting for me and us. It is a privilege to be banded about this banner, Zyxu and his master had best be ware...he shall be crushed." The little gnome said ominously.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 27, 2006, 10:19:55 AM
From where the dirt jumped appeared a sapling with bright green buds. The sapling as compared to others was enormous but still relatively small.

The thirst of the sapling seemed to be insatiable as the water from the founts kept feeding it and it kept drinking. The whispers turned to songs in the ears of Maccabeus and Ashe. Jarmok again could barely hear the joyous voice. The singing was so beautiful and soothing that it was outright enchanting.

Ashe was spinning to the voice in reverie. He stopped turning around and wobbled a little from dizziness and he looked at the infant tree and said, ?I look at this tree and I see hope. Hope for many things. It?s ironic that many come here to start a new life?or a new life starts for those that come here. This Vallenwood is a new life and is the embodiment of hope for everyone here methinks. This tree symbolizes many things for me...too many to speak of. What do you two see or feel when you look at this little tree??
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 25, 2006, 01:55:41 PM
Ok, it was a peaceful morning. The thought invaded Jarmok's mind even as he tried to keep his feet. A gale had leapt up from nowhere, and the sudden motion of the brambles and the gysering of the until-now hidden founts threw a cacophony into the morning that must have been heard for spans in all directions.

Once again that odd part of Jarmok's mind that made odd observations at odd times spoke to him. It is change! It said. Everywhere and everything was changing to suit itself. As bright multi-colored lights flashed amid and through the boughs of that great bramble, the bush itself moved swiftly, opening sun-speckled passes through which Jarmok could see what at first he thought were waterfalls, one to the north, one to the south, one east, and a final one west.

There were no hills or mountains nearby to create those falls, however, so Jarmok stumbled in confusion for the moment. Nevertheless, this was confirmation as to the nature of Mahiya: she could change when she wished. Even stones could change. To Jarmok, this was solidifying evidence that his changing was nothing more than Mahiya shouting in his ear.

Mahiya settled down at length, or at least lessened the thunder of her work. She sculpted shallow channels in the ground from each of those four falls to the area where the four had just planted the mystical acorn. Water chased the sculpting along those channels, threatening to drown the seedling, and it was not ordinary water that flowed in those channels.

One was writhing in frothy orange, looking for all the world like liquid fire. Another flowed sapphire blue, and a third was as green as the verdant grasses upon which the companions now stood. The fourth one, which flowed in from the west, looked as though it carried with it the dirt of the world, murky and brownish as it was.

A few paces from the center where the acorn now dwelt, Mahyia sculpted a moat of sorts; a circle that ringed the acorn from a small distance. Each of the four waters poured into that ring and melded together. Jarmok wondered how each of the waters knew in which direction to flow, but as each one flowed into that ring they turned leftward to flow around the small mound of churned-up soil, mixing as they circumnavigated the acorn.

When the waters had mixed, turning into a clear moat and forming an eyot upon which lay buried the Vallenwood acorn, small clear rivulets formed from the moat to nourish the newly planted babe.

The raucous din abated nearly as quickly as it had birthed. The wind died to a pleasant breeze once more, and Mahiya settled, perhaps surveying her work with her own critical eye to ensure that it pleased her. Ashe was spinning, his arms held wide and his face to the sky, like a small child at games. Wolf sat, perhaps uncomprehending (as much as Jarmok felt) while Maccabeus lay flat on his back, laughing and crying, in the wettened turf. Jarmok could only stare uncomprehending.

He looked to the undisturbed mound of the acorn and a small puff of soil leapt into the air, accompanied by an abrupt outrush of air. It sounded oddly like the release of a well-fed man after dinner.

It was once again a peaceful morning. For the moment. Jarmok reminded himself cynically.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 23, 2006, 04:46:07 PM
Ashe wipes a tear from his eyes and says, "I've been waiting for many years to plant this acorn and now it's done. It's almost like sending a child away for his own good. I know it'll grow to be strong and that it will soon have acorns of it's own. Still...I guess when you've held on to something for so long it's hard to let it go."

After Ashe spoke the brambles started to move. Even Maccabeus wondered what was going on since he did not ask the brambles to shift. Wolf was startled by the severe motions of the brambles and moved closer to Maccabeus. Jarmok looked about in confusion as this place was very new to him.

The brambles shifted in a confusing pattern. the trumpetblooms released their pollens and the their scent was almost intoxicating. the path from the Ring to the burial of the acorn became direct and wide.

The rough obelisks to each of the four elemental deities began to glow in their respective colors. The pool of water surrounding the center stone sparkled on it's own. The medallions that Maccabeus has placed on the center stone shot out blinding rays of light. The pools of signature waters burst forth as geysers and began to move along the ground towards the acorn.

Ashe began to laugh with impassioned joy. The pools settled in a formation opposite of the element stones in the Ring though the distances apart were the same. The four of them stared in wild wonder at the events taking shape. The marks on Maccabeus's and Ashe's chest began to glow but not burn.

The founts continued to stream upward covering the four viewers in an oddity of liquid spectrums. The ground parted slightly from each pool towards the seed.  The waters from each pool flowed to the resting place of the acorn and met as one unified spring. The water was clear like the waters at the central stone of the Ring.

The ground was around was wet but not saturated and muddy. Like a child Ashe began to twirl around in a dance of uninhibited joy. Ashe realized that the noise of the geysers was loud and it would be difficult for the others to hear him so he shouted, "Do you have any idea just how lucky we are to see this? Right now we're the four luckiest beings in all of creation! No one ever gets to see something like this...NO ONE!! HA-HA-HA-HAAAA!!!"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 23, 2006, 02:35:59 PM
As Jarmok touched the great seed he cocked his head to the side and looked about for the source of the whispering. He then looked to Ashe, then Maccabeus.

"He hears it too." Maccabeus remarked to Ashe as they both studied Jarmok.

Then the whispering died away, left by the sounds of the birds, running water, and a slight wind whispering through the varied bramble. He shook his head a little. "Gone now." He said sadly.

Ashe ceremoniously turned the babe over to Maccabeus, who seemed dwarfed by the great acorn. The little man had to cradle it in both of his arms, like a youngling with a large pumpkin.

Maccabeus was much stronger than a youngling though, and he brought the acorn gently to the hole that he had prepared. He placed the acorn in to the hole and scooped the rich fertile soil into the hole after it. Jarmok and Ashe both got down on their knees and assisted in the burying of the seed. Even Wolf came over to push dirt into the hole for the little seed.

"Is good thing." Jarmok observed.

"Indeed." Maccabeus agreed. "We four guardians of Mahiya ringing in a new era." He began to sing lightly in a language that Jarmok didn't understand. His voice was surprisingly agile as he spoke that rhythm, and the four found themselves digging in time with the little man's lilt. Ashe joined him; the language sounded a little like the one that was whispering to Jarmok upon touching the acorn. It was pleasant, and decidedly ancient. Jarmok hummed along. Softly at first, but gaining in courage as Maccabeus's and Ashe's smiles bolstered him.

The Great Cycle is our birth and our death
Death to a new birth, birth to a new death
Our hands aid this youngling to it's towering height
This youngling aid our hands to their powering might
We help to show the way
You help to guide our voyage
Provide you now our gray
Provide us then your foliage
The end shall come one year
A beginning shortly after
Lend me now your ear
Then you become the master

It was a peaceful morning.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 23, 2006, 02:17:12 PM energy like that of a cool water start to flow up his arm. The inner pulsing glow of the acorn grew bright and faster. Jarmok felt inspired and protective of the acorn. He swore that he could hear trace whispering with his peripheral hearing (thanks for that phrase Johan). But at last the whispering seemed to fade away.

"Maccabeus," Ashe says, "Believe me when I say that I don't know what will happen once this little guy gets planted in a holy place such as this. It'll be drinking of the special waters and rooted in holy soil. As if the acorn isn't remarkable on it own it gets this unique opportunity! I knew I held onto this seed for a reason!"

He hands the gigantic acorn to Maccabeus and says, "Go ahead Maccabeus...It's now in your charge."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 23, 2006, 01:31:11 PM
Jarmok tentatively touched the enormous acorn, first with a long finger, and then placed his palm gently on the seed.

He felt...
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 23, 2006, 01:27:22 PM
"Oh, I'm sure it will be big enough Maccabeus...not to worry." Ashe says.

He turns to Jarmok and says, "This is an acorn of a Vallenwood Tree. It'll grow to be very tall and strong. Y'see Vallenwoods are very special to Mahiya Jarmok. They think and have feeling like you and me. Priests like Maccabeus and myself can actually hear them talk. They teach us and they whisper the wods of Mahiya itself. They are the lords of trees. This acorn is just a baby...a seed of a Vallenwood. Go ahead, touch likes it."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 23, 2006, 01:13:13 PM
Jarmok studied the acorn without touching it. "Ung." [Shook his head negatively]. "What is?" he asked.

"Wolf and I have already made a nice deep hole in the soil." Maccabeus indicated a hole about twice the size of the acorn. "Bramble was kind enough to move roots out from under this area. Will that be large enough?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 23, 2006, 01:08:08 PM
Ashe says, "Hmmmm...yes. This IS a good spot. It's also right in line with the Ring...a good spot indeed." Ashe pulls his backpack off and unties it. He pulls out the large, glowing acorn and holds it out for Jarmok to see. "Have you ever seen something like this before Jarmok?"

The glow of the acorn pulsed like a heart. The glow was far brighter and quicker than it had been the previous night. The acorn seemed to be happy. To Maccabeus's and Ashe's ears the acorn was singing. Ashe realized that this sentient plant child knew it would now have the chance to become the mighty Vallenwood it was destined to be.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 23, 2006, 12:57:46 PM
"Bramble and I made the perfect spot last night." Maccabeus exclaimed exuberantly. He led the way at a brisk trot (allowing Ashe and Jarmok to follow at a comfortable pace) through the Ring itself and down the north(?) passage towards the four shrines.

There, between the shrines to Akadi and Istisha, Ashe saw a pathway that was not there the previous day. Maccabeus led the way down that path to a clearing where a small fire burned, Wolf's deer off to the side (some of it hanging over the fire, some remaining raw for Wolf to enjoy).

"Right here!" Maccabeus boasted. "This area is right in the middle of the four founts and the Vallenwood can draw nourishment from each of the Divinities!" Maccabeus stood hands spread apart.

Casting about the little clearing, Jarmok noted that the weasel that Maccabeus had spoken of was back, gnawing upon the carcass of the deer. Littered seemingly randomly about the area were what could only be Maccabeus's few belongings - a bed roll with a heavy blanket, a leather bag, and a spear. These were not actually strewn about, Jarmok knew. It was merely reflective of the way that the little man would be using them. Very functional, although more organized folk would no doubt call it a mess.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 23, 2006, 12:43:10 PM
Ashe soon came upon Maccabeus, Jarmok, and Wolf. "I don't think that I'll ever be bored with this place! I just saw a bunny rabbit sitting there eating the grass...and it didn't even run away! So, Maccabeus, where is it you wanted to plant the little guy?" he askes as he wiggled his toes into the soft carpet of grass. "Oooo....that feels soooo good on my feet."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 23, 2006, 12:26:55 PM
"Hung." Jarmok walked slowly into the tunnel that had been created into the Ring. It was truly a remarkable sight, as though the bramble had been tended for this purpose; the grass was thick and lush and flowers lined the wall of the long tunnel. The smells were nearly overpowering to him, and he was brought back to the previous morning and his time spent as a wolf.

In that form, the normal smells of the forest were vibrant and enlivening. He wondered how Wolf was able to contain himself, as here and now he must be smelling a veritable cavalcade of aromas. A small rabbit bounded across his path, not more than a few paces ahead of him. It fixed him with his beady eyes, but there was no fear in the animal either from the presence of Jarmok or of Wolf. it sat and chewed and sniffed at the grasses happily while Jarmok walked past. Jarmok looked up at Wolf and Maccabeus beyond; the pair reflected what Jarmok was sure was a large goofy smile painted upon his own face.

"Safe place." He suggested.

"It is that." Maccabeus answered. "While outside we all acknowledge the need for the predator, here there will be no hunting. All animals seem to know this readily, although how I can't say. Of course, nothing much larger than that rabbit can get in unless it flies in. Last night when I got back I had to share Wolf's deer catch with a browning mink. Not even Wolf minded, though. This is a place for rest and to help."

The two looked back to see Ashe following along the corridor.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 19, 2006, 04:48:14 PM
Ashe started at his little friends sudden excitment. He realized that he had nearly forgot the original intention of this visit. Ashe looks at Jarmok and says, "Wait until you see the Ring...fantastic." Ashe sits down and begins to take off his boots so to feel the soft lush grass on his feet.

The scent of the trumpet blooms was nearly overwhelming. As Ashe took off his boots he marveled at the wall of flowers crimson and purple flowers. The bells on the flowers were the shape of the fanfare horns used to announced the entrance of important city folk.  

Wolf poked his head from around the corner of the bramble path to see what was taking Ashe and Jarmok so long.

Ashe says to Jarmok, "Go on ahead if you like...I'll catch up. I just want to take off my boots. The grass feels good on my feet."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 19, 2006, 04:29:49 PM
Quote from: green:7467eca9c5
You know, I hadn't considered that parallel at all - I've fallen rather neatly into that paradigm, didn't I?  :) [/color]

"Understand good." Jarmok objected, seemingly a little annoyed at the herbalist's assertion. "Try talk better too." He added, perhaps a little sad or embarrassed. "Forest talk easier. More sense."

Maccabeus smiled at them then. "You know," he said happily. "I had the same thought, that they must have met already, but given the way that Wolf has accepted so many folks here - Julius, yourself, Kym - I figured that all of the folks around here must just be good. Wolf is an excellent judge of character."

"Met." Jarmok interjected as he crouched comfortably near Wolf. "Yestermorn in forest. Looking for Ring then too." He added meaningfully.

Maccabeus was shaking his head at this revelation, absorbing the blatant coincidence in the situation. "Oh!" He jumped as Jarmok mentioned the Ring. "Ashe, wait till you see the perfect spot that Bramble and I picked out! Bramble opened up a special area where I and the Vallenwood can live together! Come along!" He turned and trotted back into the bramble. Jarmok looked to Ashe for guidance on what he should do. Wolf rose and bounded after his diminutive friend.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 19, 2006, 03:05:00 PM
Ashe was quite amused at the severe lack of understanding between Jarmok and Maccabeus. It was quite likely that their mutual affinity for Mahiya would become the initial bond of a lasting friendship. It reminded him of his freindship with Mercer that lasted the greater part of his life. Ashe missed his friend but found a joy in watching these two who were about to embark on a similar relation; Jarmok the forest warrior and Maccabeus the forest priest.

Ashe looks at Maccabeus and says, "Maccabeus, he's not originally from around here. So, he has some difficulty with the language. It helps if you motion certain key words to strengthen his understanding." Ashe looked down at Jarmok and Wolf playing around, "He seems to have no trouble talking to Wolf though does he? Is it me or have these two met before? Their body language would indicate so...don't you think?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 19, 2006, 01:45:44 PM
Jarmok wasn't sure what to expect, this being a time of great uncertainty. Nothing was as solid this week as it had been only a week earlier. Still, when the little man and his enormous wolf friend - whom Jarmok instantly recognized as the wolf he had met only the day before - an image of Jarmok's cave in the hills immediately came to mind.

The tracks that were there when Jarmok arrived had told him that a small person and a large wolf had been there only the day before. Those tracks couldn't belong to anybody other than these two. The thought of how closely they had been dancing around each other brought a smile to Jarmok's face.

Jarmok knelt down and cautiously addressed the great wolf. He rumbled deep and cordially, confirming to the animal that the two had met already. He then whined lightly to further confirm that they were friends.

The large beast stepped up confidently to Jarmok and licked his chin and face. Jarmok suffered the treatment happily, understanding the nature of the animal.


Maccabeus was very happy to see that it was indeed Ashe who approached Bramble, but was surprised that the elder would have brought another so early.

The man who stood next to Ashe looked like a son of the wildlanders, and put Maccabeus on edge slightly. He was short for a wildlander, and his facial features were different from a human's - this man's head and face were round and his eyes slightly bulgy. But the man wore badly worn and mis-matched leather, as was often (but not always) the way with some wildlanders. He was rough in many areas, although he was lean too. The twigs that clung to his thick black hair, which was pulled tightly behind his head, bespoke a certain familiarity with Mahiya.

Maccabeus was about to greet the new comer when the man did something rather odd: he smiled an ugly sort of smile, then dropped to his knees and started to grunt and growl, and then whine, at Wolf.

Wolf reciprocated immediately, welcoming this fellow warmly. Were it not for the events of the last day or two, and the images of so many strangers being welcomed so readily by his faithful friend, Maccabeus would have concluded that this man and Wolf must know each other - but that was foolishness, of course.

"By the Blessed Four!" Maccabeus exclaimed. "Does everyone around here speak wolf?!?!"

Jarmok backed away from the large animal slightly and apologized. "Sorry." He said. "Happy meet." He held out his hand to this new-comer. Upon first seeing this man, he had assumed that he was one of Laren's folk. Upon closer inspection, however, he could see that there were clear differences. They were almost identical in size, but Laren's dark eyes were wider than this man's sapphire ones, and this man's nose was far more pointed. Still, Jarmok supposed, they could be from the same sort of people; Humans were as varied as the differences between Laren and this Maccabeus.

Maccabeus laughed as Wolf continued to greet the new comer. He reached forth with his little hand and grasped the arm of the wildlander, in the manner of his people. Jarmok appeared a little confused by this, but he adapted quickly. No doubt he doesn't see too many Dale Gnomes or wildlanders here - I wonder if he came here with Maal? Perhaps they are related? They're both ugly enough. He thought as he accepted the man's hand. "'tis a pleazure t' meet ya." Maccabeus said, trying to make Jarmok feel a little more comfortable. "Wolf seems ta think yer onna level, so tha's good enuff fer me."

Jarmok blinked a few times; this little man sounded more like Maal than like Laren. "Good wolf." Jarmok observed. "Smart. ?ummm, not speak wolf [thumb to chest]. Just like animals?easy to under-stand." He nodded approvingly at the great animal. He then turned to Ashe and asked "How bush move? Like trees at river?" Listening, Maccabeus blinked at Jarmok's clear lack of mastery over his tongue. The little Dale Gnome looked questioningly at Ashe, his brain stuck on why this man seemed so odd, and not really thinking about the wildlander?s question.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 19, 2006, 09:28:57 AM
Quote from: green:4e30665f5e
So am I...stay tuned. :)[/color]
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 19, 2006, 09:07:10 AM
As Ashe was about to explain the brambles sentient nature when the two could hear voice from within the brambles. The voice was excited and and welcoming.

The brambles opened up for Maccabeus leading to the rear of the sacred place. Quickley it opened to reveal Ashe standing with Jarmok who seemed a somewhat puzzled by the current activity.

Wolf poked his head forward and sniffed towards the two. He then turned his head to the side trying to understand the familiar scent but not the familiar form of Jarmok.

Ashe says, "I brought someone you should meet, Maccabeus. His name is Jarmok. He's a protege of my good friend Mercer. He is now the recognized protector of Threshold." Ashe looks at Jarmok and continues, "Jarmok, this is Maccabeus. He is the steward of the Ring of Mists and its' protector. It seems you two have some things in common. Oh, and let's not forget Wolf. He's Maccabeus brother in spirit."

Ashe was eager to see how this meeting would turn out.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 05:17:21 PM
Jamok looked at Ashe quizzically. "Bush wants know?" It was clear from the furrows on Jarmok's round face that he was not understanding. He worked his mouth, but in the end he found that he didn't understand the question at all, let alone how to answer it.


"Aha!" Maccabeus jumped from his thick mossy bed. "Ashe is here at last, isn't he friend?" He was so excited for the planting that he ran through the floral tunnels towards the rear of the ring to greet Ashe, leaving his gear, boots, and shirt behind at his new den. "I can't wait to show him the perfect spot that Bramble and I chose for the planting of the Acorn!"

He jogged into the tunnel that would lead him towards the rear of the bramble ring. Bramble had agreed to leave it half formed to aid the little gnome in his comings and goings, but the final several paces were still sealed shut to protect the Ring from intruders, incidental or not.

"Ashe!" He called as he ran. "Is that you? Come see, come see! We've found such a great spot for the seed!" Only after he had called out did it occur to him that this might not be Ashe at all, but might rather be enemies. Or even just another stag, although Wolf would not be ready for hunting again just yet.

He cursed his impulsive nature for not having his sturdy spear with him. Well, he thought, we're here now - let's see what we're here for. Wolf put him at ease a bit; the big animal did not seem agitated, but was excited in the manner that one gets when expecting friends.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 03:56:18 PM
"It'll let us in. The thorns are...well...they move. And they are also flowered with trumpetblooms. Come, you'll see."

Ashe and Jarmok moved through the thickening brush towards the thorns. As ashe set foot near the thorns they began to move aside and rustle in agitation. Ashe began to talk in a strange language that Jarmok had never heard before. Ashe looked back at Jarmok, "The brambles want to know who you are. What would you like me to say?"


Wolf jumped with quick bark of warning. He looked to the southern end of the grove with interest. Rainsing his head in the air he began to sniff hoping to catch a scent of something. He looked back to Maccabeus, who was sitting on a soft bed of moss eating part of the deer that Wolf had caught the day before, for some sort of explanation.

The fire that was used to cook the meat was not at all discouraged by the brambles; they just simply moved out of harms way allowing Maccabeus to roast without worry.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 03:39:31 PM
"Is big bush, like Maal says." Jarmok said. "Smell good too. How get through bush?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 02:59:16 PM
As they stepped off of the bridge the branches and undergrowth writhed back into place. "The Ring of Mists is a very sacred shrine of Mahiya and it's four element children. You'll see. I have no doubt you'll understand as well. It's a place of such beauty that I tear..." Ashe moves his finger from his ey down his cheek knowing that hand motions help jarmok understand the language better "...when I see it. I had waited a long time for it's revelation. From here you might be able to see the wall of brambles that guard it. Look..."

Ashe pointed into the forest. Jarmok looking acutely could see a recipe of purple and crimson beyond the yellow green of the baby sythus leaves.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 02:50:18 PM
"Maccabeus?" Jarmok tried to repeat the name that Ashe had just uttered. He did not know anyone by that name as yet. Thinking on it, he recalled that Maal had used that name only yesterday - she called him a nome, whatever that was. Perhaps they would meet this new outlander at the Ring.

"What is ring?" He asked, tacking the conversation.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 02:43:49 PM
"The bridge will reappear when we...when I or Maccabeus step up to the bank. If Maccabeus so wishes for you to be able to have special access to the Ring by this way then he will have to grant you that privelage. He is the caretaker of the Ring and it is his decision. At some point he'll have to decide whether or not to let regular folks into the Ring itself. But that's another conversation..." Ashe says.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 02:35:45 PM
Jarmok stared incredulous as the fronds and vines twisted and knitted a sturdy-looking bridge that Ashe trod upon with confidence.

Jarmok leaned close to the floral edge of the bridge and inspected it; it was no more than wood and bark. He laughed out loud. "Bronzewood majik?" He asked gleefully.

Jarmok stood upon the span and gingerly padded to mid-river. There he kneeled down and peered over the side of the bridge. He pushed his hand under the walkway to feel for supports, but there were none. "One-dur-ful" he breathed. "How I do?" He asked as he gripped his bronzewood axe. He was a little ashamed to admit that he hadn't seen Ashe do anything with his bauble, but the bridge grew just the same. "How long stay?" He also asked. "Will be here when we go home?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 02:29:50 PM
"Oh no...not everyone that has bronzewood can change. Mercer couldn't change yet he had much bronzewood. The field workers are very curious right now. Going in through the front would draw suspicion that is not ready to be dealt with. So, special friends go through the back. Watch..."

Ashe stepped up to the bank of the Fogveil and the trees and undergrowth began to twist, bend and weave together to form a living bridge across the river. "Shall we...?" Ashe asked motioning his hand towards the spanning vegetation.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 02:17:50 PM
Jarmok studied the area for landmarks and signs that might in the future indicate where he was. Thinking on it, they had to be but a few bowshots south of Little Threshold.

"Anyone with bronzewood can change?" He asked as he surveyed the area. "Get into Ring from here? Maal said in field?" His voice reflected the confusion that had become a bit of a hallmark for Jarmok of late. He watched Ashe closely.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 02:05:28 PM
Ashe smiled as he had so many times talking to Jarmok. He loved to answer questions about things he had such a passion for. "The bronzewood has qualities that act as magic. You could say that it is magic without the magic. It's sort of Mahiya's blessing on Threshold. You've no doubt seen the Goldleaf Trees on the ridge. Well that's where it comes from...those trees."

"I remember when I changed for the first time. I felt like my head would explode!" Ashe laughed. "As with anything it just requires practice...Ah, here we are."

Ashe stood at the side of the river away from the bank. Jarmok could see nothing that would indicate they'd arrived at any special location.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 01:53:24 PM
Jarmok stared quizzically at the bronzewood trinket that Ashe held up. He held his bronzewood axe up in response.

"Is majik in bronze-wood?" He asked. That made sense, as much as anything, he supposed. That would be why, as Mercer had said, it is only given to a trusted few, and why it is so difficult to work - it had great magical properties.

"Can control now." He answered as he followed Ashe through the underbrush. "Get ache [holds the sides of his head] and bad feel [palms to stomach]. Need rest after. Try bear, perhaps, and cougar too." He suggested.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 01:48:46 PM
"Let's walk...not too far down the river to...well, you'll see. Is it normal for your people? I don't know. It's apparently normal for you. Normal for me too. I know that with those of my...kind..." Ashe holds out his bronzewood carved holy symbol, "we change as we learn to get closer to Mahiya. So too it may be with you. As you learn to melt into your surroundings your surroundings and the creatures within them melt into you. You become at one with them. Does that make sense? If it doesn't now it soon will. Can you control the change?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 01:30:21 PM
Actually, I meant that Ashe would likely be turning off the road to get to the "back door" of the Ring about now. But, this works too. :)

"Having dreams." Jarmok started. "Am animal. Wake up in tree, on wood pile, in forest...[head bobbing a bit].

"Raw-lin' very fast, [points thumb into chest] can't keep up. Then, I...change to wolf." Jarmok tried to gauge Ashe's response, and by the herbalist's raised eyebrows he knew that this was either not normal for his kind, or that Ashe had never known it (correct me if I'm wrong here).

"Went away for two [two long fingers held up] days. Can make change. Was bird, saw lights at Little Threshold. Then, was wolf. [Shrugs] Can change." He reiterated. "Is normal for my people?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 01:21:51 PM
Ashe looked up and down the road for any travelers. Quickly Ashe darted into the forest. Jarmok noticed that he moved through the underbrush with an ease and silence the likes of which he'd never seen.

As they got out of eyesight of any passer-byes Ashe says, "Okay....what do you mean...change?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 01:15:53 PM
Ashe began to wander off the road as the two spoke; Jarmok pulled up suddenly. "Off road." [Pointing at the ground]
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 01:14:27 PM
"Change? Change how?"Ashe asked with great curiosity. Ashe enthusiasm was enough to almost enough to make Jarmok a bit edgy.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 01:12:30 PM
Jarmok listened and grunted as Ashe spoke. His people appeared to be a tragic one, and Ashe's story corroborated largely what Sasha had told him. Neither told him what at this time he truly wanted to know, however.

"I am changed." He ventured, glancing at Ashe sidelong. He then looked about to ensure that no one else was in earshot as he spoke. "Wonder if normal." [Looking about again].

"You know if my people change too?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 01:06:18 PM
Ashe cleared his throat, "Your kind come from an island to the north. Where it is I'm not exactly sure as there are so many islands out there. The reason I'm sad for your kind is that the they've been routinely enslaved for a very long time by the power of Xanthakos. They think nothing of the value of the lives of your people and are quick to eliminate any threats that they might present." Ashe's voice went faint, "The slavelords, from what I've come to understand, usually take the young ones of your tribes so that resistance is lessend and they grow not knowing any other life. In other words, they're bred to be slaves."

Ashe continued on, "I hope that someday Xanthakos will come crashing down and your people can be free...Ragnor's too. His people suffer the same fate as yours. There's nothing so precious as freedom Jarmok. You're very lucky to be here...and Threshold is lucky to have you here."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 12:40:02 PM
Jarmok wrestled with that a bit. He was curious about his people, if not necessarily about his own past. It was odd to think on what was intriguing to people. One would think that your personal past would want to be known, but that didn't interest Jarmok as much as who and what his people were. The way their conversation was leaning, Jarmok was unclear as to whether Ashe had information about his people, or about him particularly.

It was also odd, that Mercer, despite Jarmok's pointed question, had indicated that he had no real knowledge about Jarmok's people. His old mentor had said that he had heard of such beings, but never seen them. Ashe said something a little different.

At length, Jarmok concluded that there was only one way to get to the information that he was looking for, and that was to get a lot of additional information, and sort though it for his points of interest.

"Ung." He grunted. "Tell, please."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 09:59:30 AM
"You must be terribly confused." Ashe says. "What I'm going to tell you may not be easy for you to hear. If you want not to hear it I understand and will keep it to myself. The choice is yours."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 09:54:09 AM
It was Jarmok's turn to let out a long, low sigh. "Big story." He said. "But little tell."

"Not know before Brak [points thumb over his shoulder]." He started. "Woke up broken [points in turn to his arm, his leg, his eye]. Cut too. Gypsies help. Heal fast [thumps his own chest], Istisha's cycle is longer. Gypsies scared, tell me go. I go. Walk, find cave, Mercer find." [shrugs].

"Is all I know."
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 09:44:14 AM
Ashe was surprised by his question and asked, "How did you come to this land Jarmok?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 18, 2006, 09:39:29 AM
"Sound sad." Jarmok observed. "Gypsie sound sad too. Why?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 18, 2006, 09:02:29 AM
Ashe let out a long sigh of sadness. "I do. I saw your kin many years ago. Mercer was with me that day."

In the distance the road ahead faded to white from the mist of The Fogveil. The birds were singing eloquently as if to give a voice to the scent of wild flowers filling the air and to praise the strengthening warmth of sythus.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 17, 2006, 04:48:45 PM
That's the direction that this post is heading...stay tuned!

Jarmok grunted deep in his throat and he picked up his pace. He opened his mouth to talk, but though better of it. Then he started again, but once more stalled.

The pair traversed the Angelhawk and trod northerly before Jarmok again tried to speak to Ashe. "You know my people?" He asked rather suddenly.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Griznuq on January 17, 2006, 04:11:24 PM
Is... Jarmok about to meet Maccabeus?? This ought to be interesting to say the least!
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 17, 2006, 03:18:29 PM
Ashe again smiled sheepishly and says, "Please do. As the carryer of the torch you should see what is going to happen...and where it happens."

At that moment a group of laymen passed by and each one eyed Jarmok and Ashe. An under breath comment was made and the group burst out in laughter as the group entered into the Cliffside Inn.

"Let's get moving before people get curious. There's few things that irritate me more than simple looky-loos asking me questions to which they'll never understand my answers. Come, haste be made...Jarmok. "
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 17, 2006, 03:09:20 PM
"Hnnng." Jarmok shook his head negatively.

"I come?" He asked.
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 17, 2006, 02:57:28 PM
Ashe smirked in guilt of his knowledge of the recent turn of events. He knew that he was lucky to have been witness to the changes of the past few days. Although few others were even aware of the discovery they had a significance that only one with Ashe's wisdom could truly appreciate. In some ways he wished he could could look upon these events with innocent eyes. Indeed he was pleasantly envious of Jarmok for the innocence that he still had.

"Well, as your luck would have it I'm on my way there now. Maccabeus and I...have you met Maccabeus?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Johan on January 17, 2006, 02:46:42 PM
"Sorry." Jarmok apologized as he fell in step with the elder. "Have question." He looked at Ashe, who raised an eyebrow in acceptance.

"Was out two [two long fingers held up] nights past [points a thumb over his shoulder]. Many lights, big wind, like storm, but no storm. Maal says majik ring at Little Threshold." He took a breath, trying to articulate himself a little better. "Is where lights...were. Can't find ring or path, though Maal says is there. You know?"
Title: A New Day Dawns
Post by: Wildfire on January 17, 2006, 02:30:29 PM
"Oh! gave me a bit of a matter. How have you been?" Ashe asked. "Come, let's walk as we talk."

A fine mist hung in the air above the town and undulated with every slight breeze. The howling wolf statues at the bridge were darker than ususal from the dew left from the night. The smoke from the armory and forge to the left was starting to billow up as a sign of the day's work to come. It was a ritual that Jarmok had seen for many days and was evidence that although many things do change there are some things that remain fairly consistent. The idiosyncrasies of the waking of Threshold was one of those things.