Griznuq Gaming

D&D Campaigns => Threshold => In Character Discussions => Topic started by: Wildfire on March 13, 2006, 08:12:58 PM

Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 13, 2006, 08:12:58 PM
Duthash Dracum Voldyn (May 13th)

Wolf gives a quick growl of warning waking Maccabeus with a start. The bubbling water continues to churn and feed the young Vallenwood. Looking around, Maccabeus realizes that he's held aloft in the branches and leaves of the tree! He looks down and sees that he's nearly two humans high. Wolf is on the ground looking up at him quizzicaly.

In the druid tongue he hears, "Worry not, friend of the wolf...you are safe within my care."

Maccabeus can see that the leaves of the tree are full spread and of a brilliant green. The bark is a reddish brown with a tint of greenish blue to them. It is a most unusual color bark that Maccabeus has never seen on a tree before. The branches are unusually thick for a tree of its' limited height and age. Then again, for a tree that was planted so recently, the quick growth of this one was equally unusual.

Wolf extends his thick neck up and stares expectantly at Maccabeus.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Dray on April 14, 2006, 12:32:11 PM
Poopies!

Damn Session interrupted a perfectly fine ICD.

Ah well.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 14, 2006, 10:20:34 AM
Sher...totally.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 13, 2006, 06:02:57 PM
The morning passed as Maccabeus listened to Ashe explain in laborous detail about the various herbs. Maccabeus was impressed that the man could know so much about...so much!

Towards early afternoon the three of them went outside to enjoy a bit of the day and share a lunch. Ashe and Maccabeus spun stories of adventure that the two had taken. It was delightful!

Shortly after they went back inside there was knock at the door. Ashe dashed to it to see who it was. He opened the door and with great relief saw that it was Jarmok. The Protectorate had returned.


The End?
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 13, 2006, 05:46:58 PM
The morning passed?
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 13, 2006, 12:29:02 PM
Ashe replies in a tongue that sounds fluid and smooth to Maccabeus's ears. "In Istishan, or as others would call it Aquan,that means, 'We'll have to heal that wound in your knowledge'."

"So, this herb...", Ashe began to explain the various properties of some of the common herbs found in the Threshold vicinity. Occasioanlly he would throw in a word or two of Istishan hoping that Maccabeus would, by association of the words around it, understand it's meaning. He thought it efficient to teach him two things at once.

Wolf was fantastically curious, as he had been before, about the nature of Ashe's house. He was sniffing in every corner and walking the edge of rooms to make sure everything was as it should be.

After some explaining of the contents in the jars Ashe said, "I do have some books that I've written on all of these herbs that I'm explaining to you. You're welcome to borrow them at just about any time, if you like."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 13, 2006, 12:08:46 PM
"Oh, no thanks. That breakfast was quite enough for me for a long while. I'd be interested in talking herbs and languages, though. Can you teach me Istisha's language first?" He asked, a bit excitedly. "And as for herbs, is there a good rule of thumb that suggests a plants properties based upon its height, or color, or fragrance, or some such? I'm really quite ignorant about such things."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 13, 2006, 11:09:21 AM
"Great! Now, if you'll excuse me I have so may other things to do." Julius said and off he went down the road.

Ashe looks at Maccabeus and Wolf, shrugs his shoulders and, takes out the key to his house. As he opens the door the collective scent of the herbs billows out into the late morning air.

The three walk in and Ashe says, "As always, make your self at home. Can I get you anything to drink?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 13, 2006, 11:01:34 AM
"Of course." Maccabeus answered, still a bit rigid. "Wolf and I will do what we can to ensure the safety of the Protectorate and of Threshold."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 12, 2006, 04:58:14 PM
Julius shook his head, "Please excuse me, Maccabeus. So much has been happening these last few days. I've been getting dozens of questions regarding the incident the other night. With the other councilers returning my mind has been spinning to inform them of all that has happened since they left. Suffice it to say that I've been busy."

"Would you and...the wolf be willing to look for the others should that be necessary?" Julius asked rephrasing his question.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 12, 2006, 04:50:28 PM
"He's not "my" wolf, just so you know." Maccabeus was a little disappointed. Julius had until now been more or less understanding; it was clear now that the councilor was either under stress or not as keen as Maccabeus had first thought. "We'll be relatively close, though."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 12, 2006, 03:22:10 PM
Julius snickered, "Sorry, of course he could...my silly question. I think I'll follow Ashe's advice and give them a little more time. But should the need arise I'll be calling on you and your wolf to perhaps lend a hand...and a nose. Okay?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 12, 2006, 03:16:16 PM
Maccabeus blinked confusedly. "He's a wolf." He answered. "Of course he can track by scent. We can follow their trail right now, if you know the route they took and if there hasn't been too much traffic since their departure."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 12, 2006, 02:51:06 PM
Upon closer viewing Maccabeus and Ashe could see that it was Julius. "I guess it was good thing I didn't say that too loud, eh?" Ashe joked.

Julius approached the three of them, "Ashe...Maccabeus...wolfie...I haven't heard from the Protectorate yet. I'm getting worried. They're obviously not with you. So where in Avernus are they?"

Ashe nods his head and says, "Calm down my friend. I've warned Zarion and Kym and they'll be talking to Stormhunter. Obviously, they encountered something in the Shadowrider camp. If they're not back by nightfall those three will look for them. You must have faith in their skills."

Julius purses his lips then says, "I don't doubt their skills but neither do I underestimate the Shadows. Who knows what they found out there?"

Julius looks to Maccabeus and says, "Maccabeus, Your Wolf...he's been around the others before. Do you think he could track by scent if the need arises?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 12, 2006, 02:37:07 PM
Maccabeus trailed after Ashe, curious to see who awaited the elder, and for what.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 12, 2006, 11:00:56 AM
Ashe nodded, "Yeah, they could return anytime. I'll show you my collection of herbs. Y'know, I have hidden gardens all over the place here. Still, I like to go out and look for them. It makes me feel less domestic. I'll teach you some things about each herb. come..." Ashe picked up his walking pace a bit but not so much as to leave Maccabeus behind.

Down the road Maccabeus could see Ashe's house and a patron waiting at the door.

Ashe says, "Ugh! What in the blazes could they want?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 12, 2006, 10:51:58 AM
"Nah. Not for the moment, at least." Maccabeus replied. "We should be on-hand if the others return. I'll go there another time."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 12, 2006, 09:53:44 AM
"Uh-huh...we have grapes here. Ghost Eye has a winery right over there." Ashe points across the river valley and towards the Temple of Shadows. "Look just to the right of the dark temple and the first building there is the Grape and Vine tavern."

Ashe smacks his lips and continues, "That's only a small grove of vines that he has there. He's got lots more out in the fields. The grapes grow big and plump out here. We can stop there on our way to my house if you like. Ghost Eye is a nice sort of fellow but he can come off as arrogant. But he does know how to make a good wine!"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 12, 2006, 09:43:20 AM
Maccabeus breathed deep of Sythus. "This place could use a good grape vine and a honeysuckle one as well." He remarked distantly.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 12, 2006, 01:33:03 AM
"Let's go back to my place. I'm sure that once they return they'll head straight there...they usually do." Ashe said lightly. "Maccabeus, do not feel sad. All that we are experiencing is part of the great cycle. Sometimes it may seem a cruel mistress but look around you" Ashe waved his hand. "This is all part of that cycle as well. The Ring of Mists, the great Vallenwood, the flowers , the water, the wind...I think all of this is worth the possibility of pain."

Ashe put his hand on Maccabeus's shoulder, "Sometimes we have to risk all  that is dear to us in order to save it. But in the meantime, enjoy the today!"

Ashe and Maccabeus walked through Threshold. The rosewalk brodge today was indeed aptly named. The bridge was teeming with dark red roses. honey bees were flitting from on blossom to the next gather nectar for their honey. The scent of the roses was enough to send anyone briefly into their own heaven.

Stepping onto the island known as the foot the three passed by The Cliffside Inn. Ashe pointed to it and said, "That place is run by a gnome, Lander Leofric, He's about as opposite of you as I could think another gnome could be. He also flirts with any female that enters his inn.

As they step onto the Wolfsong Ashe says, "This bridge was actually built to honor your grandsires friend and Kym's great father Orion. That's why it's called the Wolfsong. Because he was said to sing with the wolves."

Passing the smithy Ashe points, "Should you need any weapons just talk to Stormhunter. He's by far the best smith anywhere."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 11, 2006, 10:48:52 PM
Maccabeus nodded sagely. "Where to now?" He asked, his customary gaiety gone.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 11, 2006, 05:15:37 PM
Ashe snorted slightly and said, "It's nothing that hasn't happened before. Still,  It is a beautiful place. I believe that the dusty wasteland you passed while coming here was a far worse scar upon this land."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 11, 2006, 05:00:25 PM
"An ugly thing to happen to so lovely a place." Maccabeus remarked quietly.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 11, 2006, 04:38:20 PM
"You know them well." Ashe said, "They're much more dangerous than most folk know. Pair them with riders on their backs and suddenly they're organized when they'd normally they'd act for themselves."

Ashe continues, "The councilers that were found were attacked by a squad of Shadewolves and their riders. They barely saw them coming until it was too late."

"Little Threshold I think is in more danger than the town. There's livestoack and their defenses are not nearly as strong as here. In wolf fashion they'll nip and bite until eventually their prey is tired...then they'll go for the throat. You my friend, as will we all, will be considrered their prey."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 11, 2006, 04:11:28 PM
"I know my talk sounds like bravado regarding shadewolves." Maccabeus said seriously. "I do know them well, and have studied them at length. I do not, however, take them lightly. I know full well (even if the player does not) how dangerous those foul things are. I do not wish to be among a horde of them nipping and clawing at me, but I will do what can be done. It is a shame that such foullings would descend upon such a place as Threshold."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 11, 2006, 01:21:55 PM
Ashe and Maccabeus left Hunter's Lodge and began to walk down the road to the rest of the town. "The rest of the Protectorate went out yesterday to investigate a Shadow Rider camp. They haven't returned yet and Julius is concerned. If they don't come back soon we'll have to look for them. I hope they didn't...I just hope."

"Your time to battle Shadwolves is drawing near, Maccabeus. Many things are converging...like the moons at the start of the year." Ashe said
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 11, 2006, 01:13:43 PM
Maccabeus furrowed his brow as he went out into the morning air. "What's going on, Ashe? Should I be concerned?" He asked, concerned at the exchange between the elder and Zarion.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 11, 2006, 12:08:22 PM
Kym winked ans said, "I'm telling you...you'll have to take me there someday!"

Maccabeus, Wolf, and Ashe were met at the door by Zarion. He whispers to Ashe loud enough for Maccabeus to hear, "Ashe, any news?"

Ashe looks down to Maccabeus then back at Zarion, "No, not yet. They should be arriving today or tomorrow. If they don't we'll need you and Kym to look for them. Perhaps Stormhunter as well."

Zarion nods his understanding and returns to finish his fish.

The day was glorious! Birds were chirping and the leaves of the trees had grown large. Flowers were in blossom and Kossuth was making the Fogveil sparkle like a fluid diamond.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 11, 2006, 10:57:41 AM
"Excellent." Maccabeus said. He took up another piece of the fish and a chunk of bread and went to join Ashe at the door. "It's always a pleasure to meet new bretheren. I honestly feel more at home here than I ever did in most of the Dale. Except, perhaps, at the Gnarcheons Long Night's celebrations at the Grove of Needles."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 10, 2006, 06:36:32 PM
Kym blinked...twice. "Well, that sounds divine. Meet me here tonite and we'll run with the pack. I'll be sure to have them here."

Ashe, standing at the door gently cleared his throat.

Zarion stood up to walk with Maccabeus and Wolf.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 10, 2006, 06:06:25 PM
"In this business, you never really have a day of, eh?" Maccabeus observed. "Ah, nonetheless, we should make a plan here and now. I should be finished with Ashe later today; what say that I meet you back here tonight, and we'll go to the Ring, and then hunt from there? If you can't make it tonight, Wolf can come and fetch you there tomorrow night? What say you?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 10, 2006, 05:19:38 PM
Kym comes back over to the table and says, "Dad, it seems to me that he's following the same path as his Great Sire, wouldn't you say?"

"Aye that he is, my girl. Aye that he is." Zarion replied.

"Well, they're not actually MY pack. They hunt with me almost always. Perhaps it's because I reared the pack leader when he was a pup. I found him cold and freezing in the snow when his mother was slain. I took him in and he regards me as his mother and part of the pack. Sweet, huh? I love that guy...he'll always be my baby. To answer your question though, I'm sure they'd howl at the opportunity! Even just to be in the company of your devilishly handsome brother over there! I'm sure that more than a few of the she-wolves in the pack would entertain his...affections. When we go hunting I'll bring them...by. Actually,...well, I don't know where the Ring is. Maybe in the next few days you could take us there so I know the way? THEN I'll bring them by. Or I could call for them right...no. That's probably not the best...Dad? Would it be okay to call for them?"

Zarion looked at Ashe who was standing by the door. "Ah, well...not now. Maccabeus and Ashe have some things to tend to. A few days from now would be better."

"Okay." Kym looks back to Maccabeus and continues, "A few days from now would be better. Or tomorrow if your not busy...or whenever is best for you. Sound good?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 10, 2006, 04:21:07 PM
"Absolutely." Maccabeus agreed enthusiastically. "In fact, Kym, did I just hear the local wolf pack referred to as "your" pack? I ask because I was just talking to Ashe about the possibility of inviting the pack back to the Ring, where they might be able to help Wolf and me protect that area. They perhaps could use the area as a den of sorts, and range through the forest from there, but in times when I have to be away, it'd be a warm comfort to me to have such a formidable and honorable guard to leave behind. Do you think they'd feel welcome enough to visit Wolf and me and talk about it? I'd probably need your help in talking with them; I can do it, but I'm really very limited in my ability to communicate with them. I can only do so for a short while each day before my voice gives out."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 05, 2006, 02:25:34 PM
Zarion laughed heartily, "It's fresh water catfish."

Zarion peers around the table and sees Wolf licking the plate his food was on. "Ah, that should fill the belly of the boy! He is truly spectacular, Maccabeus. He must make a fine companion and brother."

Zarion took a few bites of his fish and a drink of water. A few of the patrons came down from their rooms and sat at a table on the far side of the common room. Even in the day the room had a dusky appearance and the features of the folks were hard to distinguish.

Kym says, "Well, that's my cue. Sorry gentlemen, but I must tend to business. Maccabeus, don't forget that were going hunting, okay?"

Ashe then says, "Yeah, Zarion, we must be going to. The rest of the Protectorate may be arriving some time today and they may need Maccbeus's and my help."

Zarion replies, "Well then, do what you must. Maccabeus, please visit us again as you are always welcome here. By the way, would it be too much trouble for Kym and myself to visit the legendary Ring of Mists? Ashe tells me that you're it's protector...that's quite an honor."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 05, 2006, 01:12:25 PM
Quote from: wildfire
Zarion looks to Maccabeus, "And how are you finding Threshold my wolf brother?"


"Well," Maccabeus swallowed a piece of fish and picked up a crust of bread. "I generally get to the road and bank southerly." He chuckled at his own joke.

"Actually, my exposure has been somewhat limited, but the places and events that I've borne witness to have been truly spectacular. Threshold seems to be one of the most blessed places in Elsenban. For instance, I've never encountered such delectable faire; what type of fish is this?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 05, 2006, 12:28:59 PM
OOC: Well, I'll boost it along...

Zarion came out from the kitchen. Ashe was always amazed that such a large man with rough, wolf related features could prepare food of such a delicate nature. "Zarion," Ashe says, "the fish is worthy of the gods!"

"I'm glad you like it" he replies "Kym cought them this morning. She's a much better hunter than a fisher...normally. Of course when she hunts she has the help of her pack. They've taken quit a liking to her ever since she was belt height."

Zarion looks to Maccabeus, "And how are you finding Threshold my wolf brother?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on April 05, 2006, 11:21:39 AM
Not really sure where this wants to go...
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on April 04, 2006, 10:39:08 PM
Johan?
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 31, 2006, 02:44:50 PM
Ashe scooped a big forkfull of fish into his mouth and savors the taste of it. "MMM...this is perfection! Zarion, get out her before you fish goes cold!"

He takes a large gulp of water and says, "Yep. we're talking about my bear. I have reservations about bringing him into town so I have to go see him. People might get nervous if he roams around here."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 31, 2006, 12:50:17 PM
Thanks! To be honest, Macc is developing as I go along. He's starting to get so much back material, I'm going to have to sew it all together just to make sure that details work well together.

I'm also hoping for an alt session that he can participate in with your alt.

After Kit is dead, of course, but that doesn't seem long in the coming. :twisted:
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Dray on March 31, 2006, 12:23:03 PM
[Note #1: Plainstrider reference was perfect. Note #2: What an incredibly vivid and beautifully detailed character. You have given me a new respect for the race of gnome. Well done.]
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 31, 2006, 11:07:05 AM
"As you say 'hibernation', I would hazard a guess that we're talking about a bear, yes?" Maccabeus asked innocently. "Otherwise I might have thought he was a skunk, but technically speaking, they don't hibernate." He grinned impishly at the elder as he stuffed a piece of fish into his mouth.

"Ummm..." He mumbled around the food. "This is wonderful. What kind of fish did you say it was?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 30, 2006, 08:12:04 PM
Ashe sat and listened to Maccabeus utterly mesmerized. He knew that he was indeed in the company of great lineage. He didn't know how to respond to the little fellow's tale.

"You must be very proud of your heritage. As well you should be. It is no accident that you set out at the divergance of Istisha and that it again diverged upon the revelation of the Ring of Mist. All things are connected in one way or another. Some are subtle and secret...others not so much. She sounds as if she's wise beyond her years."

Ashe sees that Kym is bringing out four plates of fish and plate piled high with meat.

"Well, I hope you boys are hungry. There's enough food to feed the army of Kurr here."

She sets the plates down and immediately places one in front of Wolf who begins to greedily eat his food in large bites. Upon smelling the fish, Ashe's stomach grumbles so that everyone hears it. Wolf actually stops for a second and looks around for where the noise came from.

Ashe looks about innocently surprised and says, "Sounds like there's a clan of dwarves making a fuss outside the door!"

"Someday,"Ashe says picking up his fork to start eating "I shall have to introduce you two to my large furry friend. He is to me as Wolf is to you."

Kym perks up and says, "How is the big bruiser anyway?"

"Oh, he's doing okay. He's getting older though. His hibernations last longer now. By the way Kym, I'll be needing to bring him some spare bones and meats and such. He's about due to wake up any day now."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 30, 2006, 05:04:48 PM
?Well, as I had mentioned briefly before, when you become one with Mahiya ? when you answer Her call, you are not of a clan anymore; you are Mahiya's Gnarcheon - her favored child. Brothers like you and I, and sisters like Shankaria no longer hold any clan affiliation, so in that respect Shankaria is not ?my clan?s? wisdomspeaker.

That said, she is indeed wise, and she is often council to all Gnarcheon throughout the Dale. She is considered by many to be Torqaniq, which is the most revered of all Gnarcheon and sort of serves as the Dale?s most holy mortal.

You know how a true leader will simply do what they think needs to be done, and people just follow naturally? It?s not like any specific person or body has proclaimed that this person is the leader, it is just widely accepted that they are? That?s how it is with Torqaniq. No one actually says ?from this day forth, ye shall be??. It just happens when everyone in the Dale is in agreement that you are Torqaniq. The only people who think that Shankaria is not Torqaniq are people who have not met her.

She is the most learned person that I have ever met. I once was with her in the north reaches when we stumbled upon a shadewolf attack upon a smallish clan of the mudfoot tribe in progress. She turned me into a tree, then turned herself into a fireball and killed the entire pack of shadewolves in no time at all. She then came to stand in the middle of the victims (there had to be nearly two score of them) and healed them all at the same time! She was then able to actually regrow one of the fellow?s legs that had been shredded by one of the foullings.

Within a quarter hand, that little clan of gnomes went from obliterated to perfectly hale. It was truly one of the most amazing things that I?ve witnessed in my life. The Divinities whisper in her ears.

As to how it came to be that I was apprenticed to her, I did ask her that once. From my perspective, my grandsire had simply said that when it was time, it would be so. And so it was. It never occurred to me that it might not come to be. Shankaria would never speak of it really, she just said that it was so, and so it was.

But I?ll tell you my thinking: I think that she and my grandsire are wed. I think that Shankaria is my Grandmatron. You know how when you know someone, and they talk about certain things, you can read their emotions as well as hear their words? Well, in the few times when Shankaria spoke of my Grandsire, her words were non-committal, but her body spoke loudly of deep love. And she knew things of my family and lineage that you would only expect of family members. I?m not saying that she couldn?t have known otherwise, but I do have that strong suspicion.

And it makes sense to me. Between my Grandsire and Shankaria, I?ve been taught by the greatest mortal hunter the Dale has ever produced and by the greatest and most revered Gnarcheon as well. The investment that was placed in me is different from any others from the Dale. Gnarcheon are usually inducted earlier than I was. I was taught to hunt, which Gnarcheon are not. Not only to hunt, but for the specific hunting of the foullings. My grandsire spent many cycles teaching me the ways of the shadewolves and how to best kill them. Shankaria had mentioned once that it was unfortunate that this training had eaten into the time that I might otherwise have spent learning to be closer to Mahiya, but that it couldn?t be helped. She had murmured (although I heard her before she realized that she was speaking) that Istisha had a different plan for me, and that my Grandsire?s skills needed melding with hers.

It seems to me that this is why she told me to come this way last Rynnyx, after Istisha had veered from her course. We were atop a ruined tor on that night, and after Istisha?s divergence, Shankaria looked to me and said ?It is time, Maccabeus. Istisha calls for you. Follow the mountains southerly until you and Wolf come upon the town of Threshold. Take my teachings and my love.? Then she kissed me upon my forehead and simply vanished into smoke. Or steam. I was so flustered that I didn?t have the opportunity to check, she had simply dissipated.

And, a season and a half later, here I am.?

?Goodness, listen to me go on!? He exclaimed. ?Such a long answer for such a simple question. I am sorry.?
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 30, 2006, 03:24:18 PM
I haven't forgotten about it, I'm just trying to figure out:

1) The answer
2) How to provide that answer with fewer than 17,000 words
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 30, 2006, 01:58:41 PM
Ashe has been waiting to ask that question for a while. He just happened to get caught up with other things...
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 28, 2006, 04:50:45 PM
E-Gads, Man! I have to go bake for a while...
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 07:56:20 PM
Kym says, "Oh no, that's okay Maccabeus. Thanks for offering though. I've got everything under control."

Ashe says, "Wolf would almost arruredly be welcomed by the local pack that roams these parts. I'm sure that Zarion or Kym could take you to their resting spots. And you're right in that the four-legged are generally wiser than people. Their ways make more sense than the ways of many."

Ashe continues, "Speaking of wisdom, Your mentor, Shankaria, sounds like the wise one in your tribe. Tell me, what's she like? What made her choose you as one to impart her knowing upon?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 27, 2006, 05:25:50 PM
"Do you need any help?" Maccabeus called over, hoping that the answer would be "no".

"I think it's a good idea." Maccabeus continued. "If we could bring some of Wolf's genes to the pack down here, we'd have that much more of a force to fight against the shadewolves. I'm not too concerned about letting the wolves into the Ring; four-leggeds tend to be more wise than people, especially in the ways of Mahiya. They wouldn't disrupt the peace of the area. I'll think on it, and maybe talk to Wolf."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 03:45:02 PM
"Well, it's up to you my friend. Remember that the bramble will only allow those you want to enter. although I'm sure Wolf might entertain the idea of some similar company." Ashe says.

"Kym chimes in, "Well, sure you can come hunting with me too Maccabeus. I sort of figured that was understood...but I never actually said it did I? Pardon my oversight. Anytime you want you just let me know and the three of use will go on a hunt. It'll get you more famialiar with the area. We'll have to stay on the west side of the river though. Julius has said that the east side is a bit dangerous right now."

She wnaders to the back where the kitchen is and yells out, "Dad, is the fish ready yet? Ashe, Mac, and Wolf are here for some breakfast!"

From the back is a reply, "Yeah, it's almost done. Bring them some cider or feyjuice or something...bread too...I'll be out shortly."

Kym returns with three mugs and a bowl of milk. She places the bowl in front of Wolf and a mug in front of Ashe and Maccabeus. She then gets a decanter and pours a levendar colored juice into all three of the mugs.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 27, 2006, 03:18:45 PM
"If it's not too much bother, Wolf and I can both join you. I'm a fairly capable hunter myself; most Dale gnomes are, actually. As for she-wolves, I think Wolf can make those introductions himself! He's not really shy when it comes to such things, but he also doesn't want to join a pack, nor interrupt one. At least, that's my sense."

Maccabeus's eyes went narrow a bit then. "I wonder if we can't convince a small pack to take up residence at the Ring?" He looked to Ashe, so as to have his idea reflected to him. "I've been antsy about letting all manner of people traipse through the Ring, but that might make me a little more at ease. People would only come along if they are in true need, and any foullings that happen along would be met with a fair guard. Not only that, but Wolf could have his pack too, and when I must be away for some reason, there would always be some of Mahiya's blessed remaining to protect the Ring." He raised a pointed eyebrow at Ashe. "Jarmok might be able to help enlist them?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 02:16:38 PM
"I'd love to run the wilds that Orion and the Antlered Giant once ran. Unfortunately my Dad says, that I'm still young to be doing that alone...even though I've proven myself time again as capable hunter. I think he's just protective of his only daughter. I take it as a compliment. someday though..." Kym opened the door to the lodge and let everyone pass in.

"Hey, maybe Wolf would like to go hunting with me someday..." She crouches down and scratches behind both of his ears, "would you like that you big baby?" Kym then starts to speak in a series of growls whines and body movements. Maccabeus recognizes some of the wolf language but can't fully understand what she's saying to him.

Ashe just starts to chuckle at Kym's playful, puppy-like manner. "Come on you silly girl...let's get some food!"

Before getting up Kym winks and says to Maccabeus, "Y'know, there are some beautiful she-wolves that I know that would probably love to meet him."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 27, 2006, 01:52:44 PM
"Unfortunately, no." Maccabeus answered. "At least, not at first. The wolves likely would, and that would be of help to you, but people are people, and our minds tend to occlude the perception of our spirits. They'd believe once it was pointed out to them, though."

Maccabeus considered the girl for a moment. "Perhaps one day I'll take you there." He said. "Distance is really the only excuse for not meeting them."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 01:47:57 PM
"I imagine he must! Someday I'll have to eat with your tribe Maccabeus. If my grandfather knew your grandsire then I don't see much excuse for not meeting your people. Do you think they'd recognize me after having known him?" Kym asked. Maccabeus could hear her lineage echoing through her voice. Wolf seemed to pay close attention when she spoke as if she was speaking his language too.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 27, 2006, 12:55:46 PM
"Sounds like a spread to be yearned for." Maccabeus said, his own saliva starting to flow. There's a giant flightless bird that lives in the dale; we call them Plainstriders. Some clans have domesticated them and use their eggs too. They're eggs are near the size of my head, so you can feed the whole clan off of just a few. Mix in some of the fungus that grows at the foot of our trees, and a jam made from the sap of a maple tree, and you've got a regular feast!"

Maccabeus walked the last few steps to the Hunter's Lodge with a spring in his step. "I didn't realize just how hungry I had become!" He observed. "Wolf must sense the wolf in you, m'lady. He never likes anyone as much as he likes you!"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 12:36:35 PM
"Ah, Maccabeus I can see you've been teaching the old crow here something of manners towards a woman, eh?" Kym winked at him and gave him a big smile. "Too answer your question though, many people here raise chickens for their eggs and use them for breakfast. Others eat salted pig or venison. Myself, I prefer fish...fresh from the river. And on the side some of Belshazzar's buttered bread...with feyberry jam, of course. Oh, I forget to mention a mug of cider...unfermented. How does that sound to you? I was downright lucky in catching some extra fish this morning...eight to be exact...which is eight more than I usually catch! Dad's cooking 'em up righ now. Seeing as to how a few of the others are out hunting right now we'll have the meal all to ourselves."

Kym walks out to greet Wolf. Wolf, usually staying near Maccabeus, runs out to meet her. Maccabeus reads Wolf's body language and knows that he's taking a fond liking to her. Moreso than to even members of his own tribe in the Dale of Wolves.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 27, 2006, 11:53:56 AM
Quote from: wildfire
Ashe was surprised at Maccabeus's casual way of mentioning hunting the shadewolves. "They are tough creatures...not entirely natural either. They carry an esence of shadow with them. Hence the name...shadewolf."


"My grandsire taught me much about the shadewolves." Maccabeus said ominously. "He learned from the Great Hunter himself, and during his rearing of me he taught me continuously. Just before I went to apprentice under Shankaria, my grandsire brought me out to see how well I had attended his lessons. He followed me while I tracked and killed ten of the filthy beasts. That was when Wolf and I first met, if you take my meaning. I'm no great hunter, but I know those foullings well. Better than most, I'd wager. It's thier teeth that adorn my spear." He held up his spear and showed Ashe where, hidden along the shaft, were a number of overly large canine teeth worked into the wood, and nearly invisible.

"Dammit!" The splendid voice of Wolfjaw's granddaughter brought Maccabeus's head up from the ground, and his mind out of his past. He watched on while she and Ashe bantered slightly. Kymberly was the most magnificent human he had ever met, not that he had met too many of them.

"That's no mere flattery he speaks, lady." Maccabeus heard himself say. "Truer words I've not yet heard." He smiled grandly, wondering what he had just uttered. "Ah, what's customary for breaking one's fast in these parts?" He asked.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 09:46:17 AM
Ashe was surprised at Maccabeus's casual way of mentioning hunting the shadewolves. "They are tough creatures...not entirely natural either. They carry an esence of shadow with them. Hence the name...shadewolf."

The three of them drew closer to Hunter's Lodge and the smell of food made them all the hungrier. Maccabeus could see that Wolf for a while now was growing anxious at the smell of the food. Beyond the Lodge could be heard the dull roar of "The Hammer". It was named such because of it's relentless pounding oon the rocks below. The tributary river that feeds The Hammer is called the chisel for the cut that it has made over the years into the rock of the hills.

Noticing the saliva dripping from Wolf's mouth Ashe remarks, "Are you looking forward to the plate of meat again? I would be too if I were you."

Kym was standing on the porch and seemed to be wilding a block of wood. Suddenly she shakes her hand and says, "Dammit!" As she puts her finger in her mouth she looks up and sees the three approaching. "You just couldn't stay away could you?"

Ashe smiles and says, "With a beauty such as yours how could any man?"

Kym bliks her eyes and coyly retorts, "Ashe, you flatter me so. And flattery will get you everywhere. What are you three hungry for this morning?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 27, 2006, 09:27:14 AM
"Various ways." Maccabeus answered off-handedly. "But from a distance preferrably. It's interesting that you note that you've heard the shadewolves lately. Wolf and I heard them the very first night that we were here. I was more or less hoping to have left them behind, you know? They're fairly vile things."

"Still, we've only heard young ones thus far." Maccabeus continued. "Once we are truly settled, I might just take to hunting them again, before they come to adults and are all the tougher then."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 27, 2006, 08:52:22 AM
"Giants almost never come down here." Ashe says, "they mostly stay in their high mountains. There used to be all sorts of watchtowers with garrisons around here back in the days of the Old Kingdom to keep the giants away. Eventually the giants just moved on or gave up trying to plunder. Shadewolves on the other hand roam the tortured lands north and east of here. They never come to Threshold though. Although I've been hearing them in the distance the last few weeks."

"How do your people deal with the ginats and shadewolves?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 23, 2006, 03:08:14 PM
"Change them into rats?" Maccabeus reflected. "That's not so common a disease that we run into it very often, but neither is it so rare that it's not heard of. Shankaria told me that there used to be a vast den of fox-men a day's trek north of our clan, but when they started into preying upon the Dale gnomes, my grandfather went up and beat them all dead. That was quite some time ago. Before I was born even, and there's been nothing seen nor heard from them since. Our big nemeses are giants and shadewolves. Is that kind of thing common here?" He asked curiously.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 23, 2006, 02:38:45 PM
"Stagdrake liked you. He'll see teaching you the art of leathering as a challenge. Y'know, just before you came here his son had a disease that would change him into a big rat. Has anything like that happened in your dalehome?" Ashe asked.
 
The three of them started up the incline that lead to the cliff overlooking the town. Travelers still stopped in Threshold on their way to the Valley but with the massive exodus Threshold seemed quiet by comparison to just a few days ago. The rediscovered space within the confines of this river valley was a breath of fresh air to the townsfolk. Ashe was visibly more comfortable today than he had been in the brief time Maccabeus had known him.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 21, 2006, 04:42:31 PM
"Stagdrake seems a kindly fellow." Maccabeus observed as the trio climbed the hill towards the Hunter's Lodge. "He certainly got a bit of entertainment out of my poor attempt at skinning, didn't he?" Maccbeus laughed at himself. "I told him I wasn't any good. I hope to take him up on his training, but that's really a secondary concern. Right now, I'm hungry."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 21, 2006, 10:52:30 AM
"I think that would be a good idea. That skin is starting to stink!" Ashe chuckled and the two walked on towards the Threshold. Along the way they passed several farm hands and all of them either nodded or gave their verbal acknowledgments. Ashe whispered, "They know me as the man that helps their crops grow with 'green thumb'. If they only knew that I actually work the blessings of Mahiya to make their crops grow the way they do. It's why I shroud my identity as a druid. I don't want to be celebrated for my divine connections and I want to keep the peace that I've earned in my service through the years." Ashe said quietly nodding and waving to the passer-bys.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 21, 2006, 10:41:54 AM
"A-ya." Maccabeus replied. "Breakfast sounds good. Do we stop by Stagdrake's first?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 21, 2006, 09:28:13 AM
Ashe smiled and placed his hand on Maccabeus's slight shoulder and says, "Worry not Maccabeus...you'll do fine. Even I do not know when my time will come...but it will eventually. Yours will too. We return to Mahiya's fold when we have nothing left to learn and nothing to left to teach in this life. I still have much to teach and even more to learn."

Ashe looked out to the sky and took a deep breath. "I could do with some breakfast at Hunter's...how about you?" Ashe bends down to Wolf and scratches behind his ear. "I'm sure Wolf would love to have some more of that venison that he had the other night. Wouldn't you boy?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 21, 2006, 09:14:09 AM
Maccabeus watched the Great Stag bound away, his eyes peering after it well beyond the time when it was gone. He continued to stare as Ashe spoke to him.

"I usually speak my mind." He said. "Sometimes I speak my heart. Today the Divinities have moved me to speak my soul. By Mahiya's will, I do hope that you remain for a long while yet. I've too much to learn, and apparently precious little time in which to learn it. Mahiya has blessed me with many gifts, but swift maturity is not one of them." He smiled widely as he said that.

"We share several honors, you and I, it seems. May we tread carefully and purposefully to the beat that Mahiya sets, that Her will be done, eh?"

Maccabeus peered about, as if seeing where they were anew. "A-ya." He quipped, lapsing into his native brogue. "'tis of certain a luvlee land tha' we b'long ta."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 21, 2006, 08:48:16 AM
The stag's eyes twinkled again with the fire of Kossuth as it looked at Maccabeus. It reared up upon its' hind legs it's great silver antlers and golden hide shimmering from the light filtering down through the trees. It then bounded down the road and faded away becoming part of the mist.

"Those are powerful words my little friend." Ashe remarked. "They are also pure and honest. Your passion will carry you through many trying times. I'm honored that you will be my successor when I have gone to Mahiya's great forest."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 20, 2006, 05:36:09 PM
"Your message is as water upon the bloom of my soul." Maccabeus said to the Great Stag. "My belief in the Great Cycle is reaffirmed, and my dedication to the Balance is reinforced. As it has been, so shall it be. I will hunt the vile and protect the true children of the Cycle. As my forebears swore, so too do I swear to act upon the bidding of the Divinities and their chosen ones. I will act with honor in the best interest of the Great Cycle. I will protect those in need, and punish those of foul deed. Let the will of Mahiya be my wisdom. Let the villainous followers of the nameless one be upon Grummish's anvil that I might whelm them with Akadi's maul, cleanse them with Kossuth's fire, and wash them away with Beloved Istisha's  essence. Let the foul ones quiver with fear."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 20, 2006, 02:01:40 PM
A twinkle flashed from the eyes of the stag as he looked at Maccabeus. Although the stag had said nothing, Maccabeus came to inherently understand its' message. Maccabeus suddenly felt that he had a special purpose in being here. He had a mission to help protect Mahiya and its essence...the essence of life.

He felt connected in a way that he didn't fully understand yet but would soon enough. He knew that the agents of Zyxu would seek harm upon his beloved Vallenwood friend and that the Valley would once again be threatened. To his unexpected realization he knew that one day Ashe would pass on and that he was chosen to take his place. He came to see that Wolf considered him a member of the pack and would gladly die to protect him. The insight that Maccabeus came to understand was bittersweet. Knowledge of the future always is.

The stag lifted it's majestic head and looked to Ashe. Ashe also stared into the eyes of the stag. It seemed that he was becoming hypnotized. He stared wide-eyed and soon Ashe nodded his head apparently understanding his message.

The stag looked back to Maccabeus as if it wanted to say something.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 20, 2006, 01:40:39 PM
A deep and abiding calm settled upon Maccabeus. As the Great Stag drew near Maccabeus held his hands wide, palm up, in supplication. He breathed deep of the icon's sweet breath.

"Praise to Mahiya and her Divine Children." He murmured his greeting in the ancient tongue. "I am Maccabeus, born of the Dale, child of the land, friend of the beasts and of the plants, Servant of the Divinities. He pulled open the collar of his heavy shirt, revealing the sacred symbol there. A small light glowed from the four moons.

Maccabeus felt the pulse of the Vallenwood then, beating up from the ground, through his legs and buttocks, upon which he still sat. It seemed as though the lifeblood of the forest drummed in his ears. He was indeed a child of the land...
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 20, 2006, 12:07:45 PM
The stag approached Maccabeus, Ashe and Wolf. The size of this magnificent creature was gigantic. Ashe was barely as tall as the lower part of it's shoulder. Maccabeus looked all the shorter by camparison.

The Stag walked up to Maccabeus. Wolf, although normally defensive, allowed the great stag to approach closely. The stag lowered it's head to Maccabeus and sniffed with curiosity. It's black nose was the size of Maccabeus's face and Maccabeus could feel the warm breath of the creature. The nose was so close to him that he could see the light shining off of the moisture of it.

Ashe looked up and down the road. The light poked through the leaves and cast the silky mist into a white glow. Oddly there were no field workers on the road when normally there would be at this part of the morning. Ashe considered that circumstance a blessing by design.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 20, 2006, 11:35:19 AM
Maccabeus crept back to consciousness. Something was amiss, but the cobwebs in his mind forbade him from grasping it. Wolf was licking him solicitously.

"I'm awake." He protested weakly. He noted through bleary eyes that they were not at their increasingly familiar campsite.

"Come, come." Ashe was speaking. Maccabeus sat up with effort, remembering the skin tied to his back, and Wolf backed, looking at the disoriented gnome. They were on the road, but exactly where eluded him. "Turn around, already." Ashe spoke urgently.

As he cast about, looking for whatever threat might be looming, he saw the Great Stag. Much like what Ashe had looked like on that eve of Istisha's Blessing, except this one bore no markings upon its chest, as Ashe had when he had taken this magnificent form. Now, like on that night, Maccabeus's heart quickened and his mind swam, trying to come to grips with his fortune at being witness to such a profound array of holy events and rites. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he thought that all of Elsenban must now be on the brink of a new Age. An Age where the legends of old might pass their legacy onto a new generation.

A generation of new Vallenwoods. A generation of new hopes. A generation of new servants of the Divinities. Tears brimmed over the lips of his eyes as he looked into the deep, soulful eyes of the Great Stag.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 18, 2006, 10:59:09 AM
Wolf immediately came over to investigate the situation with his 'brother'. Ashe looked over upon hearing the *thud* of the impact. He then moved to help Maccabeus up and Wolf stood over him defensively with a fixed stare at Ashe.

"Oh Great Grandtree! I'm not going to hurt him. Just lick his face and wake him up...he won't want to miss this...neither will you. So be quick of it"

Wolf poked at Maccabeus with his large nose revealing his face. At once Wolf began to bath him with his wet, invasive tongue.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 17, 2006, 04:42:25 PM
Maccabeus's world turned black as he swooned and fell flat to his face.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 17, 2006, 04:25:19 PM
Ashe smiled wide such that his mouth hurt! "Somehow I knew you were going to ask that. That's a grand idea Maccabeus. Soon enough we will go...perhaps for The Day of the Valley...perhaps sooner. Either way, to see the Vallenwoods spread out once again would be a sight...a sight that even Zebulon would weep at."

Suddenly Wolf began to sniff the air. Maccabeus could see that he was curious to the scent and that he did not feel threatened as he so often is. Maccabeus and Ashe could hear something moving through the growth of the forest. The leaves were big enough that there was enough concealment to block any extended views.

Ashe lost his breath and immediately bent to one knee and began to chant while keeping his eye fixed ahead. Maccabeus curios as the devil tip-toed to see what Ashe was honoring and there it was, a golden stag. It looked much like what Ashe appeared as to him that glorious night. Only this time there was no symbol on the chest. The antlers were silver and the fur was gold. It was as tall as five gnomes and it's antlers were nearly as wide. Ashe quietly says to Maccabeus, "This is an actual golden stag... the ones as seen by your people. It's not one of my brothers...no symbol on the chest."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 17, 2006, 03:56:25 PM
Sythus had a firm grip on the forest this morning. Kossuth filtered in through the branches, which proudly displayed their newly grown, brilliantly green leaves. "We speak of the vallenwoods as trees." Maccabeus observed as the trio traipsed through the forest on towards the river and beyond. "But if this one is any indication, these are not trees in our traditional sense. It seems a bit of a shame that it be alone amongst us, so to speak; do you think it possible to travel to the Valley and try to return with another acorn to plant so that our friend might have company of its own sort?"

In the pit of his mind, Maccabeus assumed that these acorns must be rare indeed, since reproduction was seldom a consideration if one were immortal, but the quest seemed admirable, and the thought ought to be pursued.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 17, 2006, 02:24:44 PM
"Lead on Master Maccabeus!" Ashe says. As they walked through the bramble maze Ashe remarks, "You know...The deer carcass being consumed like that makes me wonder if there is an influence on Vallenwwod. It's certainly not normal growth for a tree like that."

The three continued walking and reached the edge of the maze and entered into open forest. Behind them the brambles moved and rustled to a close. "The Vallenwoods in the Valley are quite ancient. In fact, unless they're cut down, Mahiya forbid, they'll live forever. Well, at least no one has ever seen one die of age. They could very well be the oldest living beings anywhere."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 17, 2006, 02:09:28 PM
"Stagdrake." Maccabeus echoed. "Got it. Stagdrake." He cocked his head as he tied the last thong around the boar pelt. "One wonders at the origin of such a name. The marriage of the Stag clan to that of the Drakes, perhaps."

"In any event, if he likes to work with bones and such, antlers and tusks one might think more than bones, but we can certainly bring them along from future kills. I think this one was a little young. But look around you...you will note that the deer that Wolf brought in the other day is gone. Bramble breaks things down at a remarkable rate."

"I had gone to sleep on night wondering upon what I might do with the skin and the bones, sinew and such, and it was gone in the morning. Bramble said that he consumed it, much the way Mahiya's children would elsewhere, only much more quickly. Of course, Bramble was kind enough to allow me and Wolf to have our share, but the corpse is gone nonetheless."

He stood up and pulled the rolled skin onto his back, drew up his staff, which he would use to help support his weight on this trip. "Shall we?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 17, 2006, 12:49:11 PM
"It's a good thing he's bringing that skin to Stagdrake other wise in a day or two folks in Threshold would be able to smell it..." Ashe thought

"I'm sure Stagdrake..." Ashe emphasized, "Will be gratetful for the hide. He might even be able to make some gear for you from it if you ask. He was always making Mercer stuff from his kills...the Wolfjaws too. He also likes to augment his stuff with bone carving and such. So if you were able to keep the tusks intact he'd make you a necklace from them."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 17, 2006, 12:16:08 PM
"Well, the boar itself was fairly small, and if it were only me eating it then yes, it would take some time. But Wolf eats a lot...he's a bit of a glutton that way." Maccabeus smiled mischievously.

"I can carry the skin though, tied in a roll and across my back. I'm not a very adept skinner though. Perhaps Mr. Sagebake can teach me that as well. He'll likely get minimal usage out of this pelt, but some nonetheless."

Maccabeus wandered over to his little camp next to the vallenwood tree as he spoke. He knelt beside the haphazard pile of leather that was the boar's skin and began rolling it as tightly as he could. He bound the whole bundle with parts of itself, enough that he could sling it across his shoulders to carry.

Ashe noted that Maccabeus had a fairly accurate opinion of his own skinning skills. Mercer would likely be having conniptions were he to witness this travesty.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 17, 2006, 11:48:31 AM
"Oh, yes, of course. I got lost in the carvings for a while there...you understand. How much of the boar do you have left? That could be quite a hefty load to carry...especially for you." Ashe replies.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 17, 2006, 11:42:22 AM
"A-yah." Maccabeus replied. "Unfortunately for both of us, I think that we likely need to go. I'll pack up the skin and we can head on into town?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 17, 2006, 10:57:37 AM
Ashe continued to murmur the words upon the stone. As Maccabeus had been single minded in his meditative dance so to Ashe was trance-like in his absorbtion of the ancient etchings.

The murmuring of Ashe sounded much like a bass fluid hissing with an occasional gutteral 'pop'. If the fiery fount could talk it seemed that this would be it's language. The words and sounds reminded Maccabeus of any given tribal circle fire that he had sat at.

Maccabeus suddenly realized that there was a tremndous heat radiating from Ashe. So much that he started to sweat. Oddly enough, the green carpet of grass upon which Ashe sat was unharmed.

Ashe blinked and jerked his head in different directions taking in his surroundings. He was surprised to see Maccabeus standing there. "Ahem...oh,..er...uh...Maccabeus...did you say something?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 17, 2006, 10:39:29 AM
As invariably happens to even the most satisfying of events, Maccabeus's dance came to an end. It was a bittersweet moment; it was always in the back of his mind that he could dance all day and live only in that euphoric world where he was in such close proximity to Istisha, her siblings and her parent, the end was never truly welcome. But at the same time, he knew that were he to stay there, its allure would wear away and he would take it for granted. This was a clash of heart and mind where both need to win and lose.

He breathed deep, settling his pounding heart, and bade farewell his beloved mentors until Kossuth should ride the sky anew.

Looking about the grove he found himself at the Ring, near Akadi's stone. He heard a subtle mumbling from near by and peered around the stone. There, his face close to Kossuth's stone, his eyes squinting painfully, Ashe studied that small tor and his mouth echoed what his eyes took in.

Despite his intense concentration and the painful look of his weathered old face, it was clear to Maccabeus that Ashe was extremely happy. And who could blame him truly? The historian in the elder blended in this place with the priest and the sage. This was one of those times when a man was blessed to have the juxtaposition of his own personal inner triad. A rare moment indeed. Maccabeus ruefully broke the elder's moment.

"Ashe?" He ventured. "Is it time that we be off?" Half of him hoped that it was not. Although Ashe would be able to teach Maccabeus of the various herbs and their properties, he would also be able to teach the gnome of these cryptic languages that are etched upon the stones of the Ring. The secrets to be gleaned from these stones. Maccabeus mused to himself.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 16, 2006, 02:34:51 PM
Ashe watched maccabeus in his meditative dance. He admired Maccabeus's freedom of his self expression to something that he held so dear. His raw tribal energy was testimony to the baser instincts and needs that Ashe felt was in everyone. He could easily imagine a tribe a gnomes dancing around a fire in the night offering all they had to give to a spirit and unity that they shared.

After a few moments Ashe decided to go and study the stones of the Ring. Each one had carved scripture in the language of the element that it represented. He was guessing that no one would have gone through the trouble of carving it if he didn't have something to pass on. Besides, Ashe had been waiting much of his life for this kind of opportunity and he wasn't going to squander it.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Dray on March 16, 2006, 12:56:11 PM
This has been an intriguing thread thus far, due to items revealed and still yet hidden. Well done. I anxiously await the next post.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 16, 2006, 10:46:33 AM
Maccabeus wrung the water from his hair and pushed it in a somewhat tangled mass to the back of his head. "Getting rather long..." he mused quietly.

"Actually, I tend to meditate all over this place. I might start here, but finish there...it's not really a prescribed ritual. But, could you give me some kind of hint as to what we might be going into? As you say, if my balance be put to good use, it might be helpful were I to meditate upon how Mahiya might do whatever it is that we are setting out to do."

Ashe says, "Well, Julius came to me this morning and informed me that our friends at the Thornhedge haven't returned yet. I suspect that when or if they do that they'll need some healing. Depending on how many are injured...if they are...I would like some assistence in patching them up. It would be a great way for you to learn about some of the herbs and their capabilites. I usually heal them with herbs and not Mahiya's blessings. It helps them build their resilience and it maintains my cover."

"Ahh, well there you go." Maccabeus responded. He placed a small hand palm down upon the Vallenwood's rough bark and listened to the rhythm of the growing tree. Breathing in time with that rhythm, he stretched his lungs and rocked gently into the beat.

Dancing had been taken to a more intimate level for Maccabeus since he discovered the Ring of Mists, and since he and Ashe and Jarmok had planted the Vallenwood. He used to dance to commune with nature, now he was more alive somehow during this holy rite, as though he were no longer just speaking with the Divinities, but had become one with their breath.

He capered and whirled, humming along with the Vallenwood and with the pulse of the Ring. He splashed barefoot into each of the rivulets and spread the sacred liquids upon the lush grasses. For a while, Wolf danced with him as Kossuth strove higher in the sky as though to witness the inane patternless semi-squatted spinning movements of the Dale gnome.

Many people would say that during meditation they leave their body and become oblivious to the world around them, but for Maccabeus, he descended deeper into his body and became aware of the world around him far more acutely. Not so much aware of where stones and birds were, but aware of the tendrils of life power that infused his body and connected him solidly to the life that surrounded him. The trees, the grass, the birds, Wolf, Vallen, even Ashe on this day lent Maccabeus their life energies and soused his being with a unique combination of pleasant sensations that reinforced his relationship with all of those beings and critters as well as with the Divinities.

This was in large measure what reaffirmed Maccabeus to his love for the Divinities, on any given day there might be different birds or people, or animals that might lend him their power and perspective. As much as people strove to place order on themselves and the world, Mahiya was a random entity. The bubbling nature of the founts demonstrated that as readily as any river or waterfall did. Thus did Maccabeus model his life on this fine day among a lifetime of fine days.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 16, 2006, 10:05:25 AM
"Oh please...by all means, meditate. As a matter of fact it'll probably come to good use later. But don't think on that right now. Do as you will Maccabeus. Where do you like to meditate...in the Ring or next to Vallen and the founts?" Ashe says.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 16, 2006, 09:31:58 AM
"Umm?alright." Maccabeus agreed. "Why do you need me now?" He asked as he started the largely autonomous task of readying himself for the day. "I've only just awakened, so if you could bear with me a moment whilst I soak my head and gather my staff?"

Maccabeus knelt on all fours and dunked his head under the water of Istisha's rivulet, allowing the crisp liquid to wash the dust from his hair and the cobwebs from his mind. He rubbed his scalp vigorously and then came up for air.

"I've also not yet meditated...will that be an issue? I never feel completely right without my morning meditation; I'm sure you can relate. But if where we're going won't be too long I can do that later this morning. It also doesn't need to be done here, but this is a more perfect spot than any I've ever encountered. The energies are far more palpable, especially now that Vallen sings with me. He's got a wonderful rhythm. It's like singing with the chorus that first graced the lands and introduced the language to the world, you know? I realize that this is not a unique opportunity for some, but it is for a lad from the Dale, I assure you."

He looked up at Ashe then. Both the elder and Wolf were staring bemusedly at Maccabeus and he realized that he was rambling again.

"Sorry." He said embarrassedly.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 16, 2006, 09:10:10 AM
Ashe chuckles, "I think he would be...but not if you call him Stagcake! Stagcake is something you step in out in the forest..HAHA! I'm sure his son's would welcome you as well. Stagdrake is also a butcher don't you know. So If'n you like we could go talk with him right now. I need you to come with me anyways. So, we can swing by and see what he's up to."
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 15, 2006, 04:16:44 PM
Maccabeus smiled in egotistical satisfaction as the big hawk shimmered and Ashe alit on the fertile sod of the Ring. "Kossuth shine bright for you." He greeted the elder.

"A-yah." He said, lapsing slightly back into his Dale brogue again. "Vallen seems as happy here as Wolf does and as I feel. There is indeed some magical something that permeates the soul here." Maccabeus inhaled deeply of the moisture saturated air. It was a magnificent warm sythus morning. "Would you care for something to eat?" He asked his guest. "I've a bit of wild boar that Wolf brought for me the night before last. I spent all day yesterday cooking it. I'm thinking that I need to send the hide to that leatherworker in town." He furrowed his brow in thought for a moment. "What was that name, Trogsteak? No...Stagecake...that's it! He would be able to put it to some use. I've been thinking of trying to get him to teach me how to dress a hide, do you think he'd be willing to teach his craft?"
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 15, 2006, 02:54:21 PM
As Maccabeus asked his question he could see on the crest of the magnificent hunter bird the same symbol that was upon his chest and Ashe's. The bird let out a great powerful cry and extended it's great broad wings. It leapt from it's stoney perch and glided towards Maccabeus. The feathers gleemed in the morning light and cast a golden hue upon Maccabeus's body.

As the great golden hawk approached it extended it's legs as if to land. Almost at once the hawks shaped transformed into Ashe in mid-flight and Ashe came to Maccabeus in a slowing stride. "Well, hello Maccabeus! I needed to stretch my wings so I went for a soar. I decided to stop by and see how our wooded brother-sister is doing." Ashe glances beyond Maccabeus and says, "Great Grandtree! It's grown quickly! There must be something in the water, wouldn't you agree?" Bending down Ashe greets Wolf with deep scratches on his neck and ears.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 15, 2006, 01:56:01 PM
"Mahiya's roots!" Maccabeus breathed.

The raptor reminded Maccabeus of the giant stag that had visited him that night before Istisha replenished the Ring. That stag was also golden with silver accents.

Ashe had later admitted that he was indeed that stag, and his later words echoed in his mind then; the elder had said that at length, we could all take whatever form we chose...Shankaria had said much the same thing, but had mollified it a bit acknowledging that some never are blessed in that fashion, though all in Mahiya's service are graced to the best benefit of her service.

In any event, the suspicion that this was indeed Ashe come to visit swelled in his mind as he looked on.

"Hail, friend." He said tentatively, climbing down from the Vallenwood and alighting next to Wolf. "What brings you this morning?" He asked, hoping that if this weren't Ashe, still it would understand him.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Wildfire on March 15, 2006, 01:37:07 PM
"We have a visitor...a friend of ours. I sense that it is over there upon the rock of our mother-father." The tree said to Maccabeus. Looking over Maccabeus could see the Ring of Mists crowned in a mystical fog. On the top of the center stone was a hawk as large as Wolf. It had gold feathers laced with silver.
Title: Calling upon a Friend
Post by: Johan on March 15, 2006, 01:03:21 PM
"Ummm..." Maccabeus stammered for a long moment as he tried to collect his mind. "I...don't think I'm as much alarmed as surprised, youngling." He managed at last. Being high up in a tree was not a new experience for Maccabeus, but awakening in one when he had slept upon the ground was a new experience for the little dale gnome. He was equally stunned by the size of the tree, it having been planted but a handful of days before.

Maccabeus had watched in fascination as the Vallenwood had grown from a seedling to a sprout to a sapling in just a few days. The little tree had a gift for music too, it seemed, as it had drummed an ancient rhythm or two in Maccabeus's mind over those days. This was the first time that the tree has actually spoken to the gnome, however, and it was the first time the Maccabeus had awakened cradled in the strong limbs.

It seemed that the Vallenwood had grown a full gnome's height in the last night.

"Uuhhbllph...Good morning." He said simply at last.