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Offline Wildfire

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Once Home
« on: September 30, 2008, 06:55:32 PM »
Once Home

Duthash Gyth Basque VY. 237 (May 29)

Laren woke before Kossuth breached the horizon. He was in a well furnished room with a private bath and enough artwork honoring wolves to fill a large chamber in a museum. The four post bed was big enough to fit a dozen halflings his size. The pillow cases were enough so that he could us one as his own sleeping sack.

His sleep was restless however. Random visions of madness and destruction plagued his usually carefree dreams. Memories of his father and mother came back upon him. Behind every thought were the subtle, alien whispers from the Eye; that cursed thing.

On the road to Kurr it seemed as though eyes were all about him, watching, waiting. Indeed there was something…a dragon-like man that swooped in on him…him. It was as though it knew him or was seeking him.

It was the not knowing what any of recent events meant that perhaps bothered him the most. Then again, things were moving so fast and randomly that he barely had time to make sense of it all. And here he was back in the city that his changing times began. He was in Kurr, the place that was once his home not so long ago.

The Protectorate was here on a mission to escort those of faith back to Threshold and route the mystery of Sayers lost transcripts. Laren well knew that being here was, perhaps, dangerous. Crimson, his father’s probable assassin, might well be here. If that was the case, The Protectorate could be in more danger than they even knew. Shrugging off the thoughts, Laren lit his bedside lantern.

Opposite his bed was a set of double doors that led out to a balcony. In the distance he could see the vast lake that Kurr settled along. It was calm and still enough to look as smooth as glass. The waking sky echoed off the soothed waters with its deep, cool colors and in the great distance Laren could see the Dragonteeth Mountains that cradled Threshold.

The sky then began to darken and a tongue of lightning struck in the distance. Slowly the morning light began fade and silhouettes of dragons emerged from the clouds. The ground became black with dots of fires mixed within it. It was a damning vista.

Laren closed his eyes and rubbed them not believing that he was witnessing a living scene from his night’s visions. He dared to look again and found that it was once again the serene morning he was trying to enjoy.

Casually glancing around the room to ensure his own safety, Laren could see the azure glow from the Eye of Portence; that cursed thing.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 04:24:53 PM »
OOC: You know, I always pictured the eye as green. Not sure why...

What the hell... Laren though sourly. it wasn't the first time he wondered if he could dig these visions out with his blood hook.

More aggravated than anything else, Laren pulled closed the doors to the outside world and locked them. As he turned back into the room he clenched his eyes shut and rubbed his temples. His head hurt, and he was tired. It had been a very long time since he'd had a good night's sleep.

He suited up and stuffed the belt pouch that held the damned eye into a cargo pocket on his leg. He looked down at his leg and saw the feint blue glow of the eye coming through, or more accurately surrounding his pocket. He knew his friends couldn't see it, and he hoped that only he could. He wished he could ask Ashe.

Perhaps a good breakfast would do him some good. It'd been some time since he'd been to the Half Pint. They had good fare.

Despite the aching head and being ...inconvenienced by that little hallucination, he was in a fairly good mood.

Walking toward the washbowl his reflection caught his eye. He started at himself in the mirror. His once jovial face now were a frown. "You don't look like you're in a good mood," the Halfling told himself.

He forced a bright grin, reminding himself he was still one handsome bastard, but it looked just as it felt: Forced. He dropped the smile and let his face hang in the scowl he'd become used to.

Staring at his face staring back at him, he decided that at least he'd be less recognizable. This was a good thing, what with Crimson wanting him dead and all.

It'd been a few days since he'd had a good shave, and the stubble was almost a full beard. Running his knuckles across the bottom of his chin, he thought that perhaps some facial hair would be a good idea.  

A second thought struck as he noticed his hair was approaching shaggy status.

In his left hand, he took a firm grip of his little mane. His right hand slowly dragged the razor edge of his bloodhook across his scalp. Ten minutes later, the little fellow was bald as a rock, and had the beginnings of a goatee.

"Perhaps an earring or two," he said to himself. "... or three..."

Admitting to himself, that he really didn't look anything like what people remembered of Laren anymore. Now he just needed a new name.

Perhaps one of his comrades could help. He left to look for someone from the team. Maybe Sayer. Laren had developed a liking for him.

=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 05:52:32 PM »
Laren remembered that when they arrived in Kurr, Sayer had practically disappeared into his world of his advisory role to the Arch-Duke. In fact, Laren had not seen Sayer since their arrival to the Keep.

Still, to his Halfling mind it never hurt to poke around and maybe find him. Laren stepped into the hall. He could hear echoes of footsteps from various directions but most sounded like they were moving away from the guest chambers. Who knew what other guests might be dwelling behind the doors…diplomats? Nobles? Anyone could be here…almost anyone. As he stepped into the hall he noticed a stairway leading down and and out to the rest of the keep (he knew this since this was the way he came to the room) to his left further down the hall was another hallway cutting to the right. Unless he jumped the balcony, these were his only options.

The hall, Laren noticed, had various tapestries and statues- some rather crude and others exquisite. The rug under his feet ran the length of the hall and had a curious sheen to it. It was a tartan rug with green, black, and gold color scheme laced with gold tassels. At the end of the hall was a massive symbol of a wolf head wreathed with a sunburst. It was carved of a variety of stonetypes and the eyes of the wolf were shimmering emeralds. It was one of the finest pieces of art Laren had ever laid his eyes on. Clearly it’s diameter was twice- if not more- Laren’s height. As if winking, one of the emerald eyes glinted as Laren admired the sculpture.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 04:04:00 PM »
"Boy, someone sure likes wolves," he said outloud to himself.

Laren decided his belly couldn't wait. He hadn't been to the Half Pint in a long time, and he was craving the "Happy Traveler's meal" they had. Bacon, Eggs, fried potatoes, and a pancake. He wondered if Rosalee still worked there. The thought of her sent a chill down his back. He hadn't thought of her beautiful face in months. He could feel his ears turning red and managed a weak grin in spite of himself.

"Sure," he said quietly. "No problem slipping a blade between someone's vertebrae, but the thought of a pretty girl still makes you blush."

Laren shook his head and headed for the exit.
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 06:16:49 PM »
Laren descended the carpeted stairs. Echoes of distant footsteps came to him but were no where close. Chandeliers laced with candles hung from the ceiling and torches were held  in lupine sconces from the walls.

At the bottom of the stairs was a resting room and library. Books lined the walls and there were several sitting areas defined by plush chairs and couches. The upper part of the walls and the ceiling were carved in relief and arched as though to look like a stony forest. At first Laren could have sworn he saw a bird move among the branches but on closer investigation it was the play of light and shadow dancing with a statuary bird. Shrugging, Laren continued.

He soon found himself at the main door to Vallensun Keep and before him was the expanse of Kurr. Eagerly, he stepped out into the open air and was immediately greeted with deep bass voice. “Hello good man.” Looking over, Laren saw a giant red bearded man four times Laren’s height. With a wide gleaming grin the giant continued, “Not many wake this early…the merchants haven’t even woken yet. This could be the best time to see the city no doubt.”

Three other giants of similar look nodded their agreement and regarded Laren with a soft smile. Laren had seen these guards before on only rare occasions. Once he had seen their prowess in breaking up a rowdy mob that had gathered and broken into violence. With little time at all, the four of them had beaten down the crowd of four dozen and then stopped at the nearby tavern for a few drinks. Had they gotten really angry it would be no stretch of imagination as to what they could have done.

Yet here in the serene hours on the verge of day break they were as calm and gentle looking as young deers. Were it not for their massive weapons and armor, one might almost believe they were no other way.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 07:07:47 PM »
Laren decided that he'd be overly nice, as he didn't ever want to be on the bad side of this crew. He searched his mind to figure out if there was anything that they could be of particular use for. Nothing good to gain by being curt, but was there anything good to gain by being extra friendly?

Laren craned his neck to look the fellow square in the eye. "Why hello good sir!" he exclaimed in an extraordinarily friendly tone.  "I've been looking forward to exploring the town for quite some time! Of course, I'm sure you'd be able to see much more than I, being so tall!"

Laren smiled widely. "The name's Neral, pleased to meet ya!" The halfling held out his hand in a gesture of greeting.

=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2008, 05:46:59 PM »
The behemoth reached down…way down…and took Laren’s hand with two fingers and a thumb and shook his hand. Laren could feel the strength of the giant even in just that short greeting.

“Well Neral, it’s a pleasure to have you here with in Vallensun Keep. My name is Mirak and these other three goons you see are my clan-brothers.”

One of the others, spoke up begrudgingly and questioned, “Goon?! Who are you calling a goon?”

“He’s calling you a goon, you goon!”

Extending his arm and poinying at the one that had been standing with Mirak, the first said, “He’s the goon…why he drinks all the ale and gets into brawls!”

“I only get into brawls with you because you’re such a goon!”

Mirak looked down at Laren and shook his head while rolling his eyes. “AHEM!” Mirak cleared his throat intentionally loud. “Guys, I’m sure Arch-Duke and Duchess Vallensun are still asleep…keep this up and they won’t be, eh?”

The playful arguing stopped all at once and the three jovial guards stood back at easy attention.

“Now Neral, I’m sure you’ll have a bouncing good time in Kurr. If this is the first time you’ve been here I might recommend the Half-Pint tavern…you’ll find that many wee-folks such as yourself make that a common place. But, of course, there are many other sights to see as well…The Temple of the Valiant is a most remarkable place.”
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 06:43:27 PM »
Laren laughed a bit, they were truely amusing.

he realized a little late that these fellows probably knew his name already, as they were the personal protection of the arch duke.

"Well, truely, my name is Laren, but people call me Neral sometimes, cause they say I'm ass backwards!"
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 05:52:31 PM »
OOC: I *just* got that Neral was Laren spelled backwards...

The four guards laughed such that Laren could feel his bones shaking! Mirak knelt down (which still put him at twice Laren's height) and quietly said, "I'm glad you told us. For at least now we won't have to pretend we didn't know." and a winked knowingly. "Worry not goodling, your identity is safe with us. "

Mirak stood up and stated, "Now, I'm sure that you want to start your day before the bustle of the city begins. Besides, you don't want to be seen with goons now do you?"

The other three guards suddenly alerted and hoseplay chatter began once again drawing a hearty laugh from Mirak.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2008, 11:27:29 PM »
Seen with goons? Laren wondered to himself. Would it matter? Look who I'm here with as it is!

"Oh, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't be seen at all.. and believe me, with you guys around..." Laren paused dramatically before adding softly, "Nobody's lookin at me."

"So, I assume you're aware I'm actually from this place, yes?" he asked.

Laren wanted to know just how much these guys knew about his history in Kurr. He supposed that it was possible that they knew anything that the Arch Duke knew. ...but what did he know?

Laren took a quick look at their hands, to see if there was a hawk ring anywhere to be seen. His hopes were low.
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2008, 06:05:57 PM »
Mirak rubbed his copper haired chin thoughtfully…a puzzled look on his face. At once Laren seized the chance to spy his thick fingers noticing that not one had any ring about them. He did happen to notice at that moment that the black steel bracers this behemoth wore were gilded with curious runes.

After what seemed like a long moment of contemplation Mirak replied, “That, little man, was something I didn’t know.” Mirak continued with a chuckle, “I suppose it would be silly of me to recommend any place in the city though, eh? Odds being that most likely you know it better than all four of us put together!”
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009, 10:36:13 PM »
Laren was satisfied that the brutes knew his name, but not who he was. If they had, they’d have known he was home.

Laren chuckled, “It’s possible,” Laren said with a shrug, and then added grinning, “but that’s probably only because I fit into the much smaller places you don’t get to see.”

Laren patted his stomach. “Well fellas, I think I need to eat something, I can’t afford to lose any weight. I remember some pretty stiff winds around this part of the year. Wouldn’t want to get blown out into the wild! If anyone asks, tell them I went to the library. That’ll be good for a laugh!”

Laren was cool on the surface, but his stomach roiled. He was desparate to keep a low profile, yet here he was yucking it up with a bunch of bigger / louder than most folks in the wee hours when people were trying to sleep next to open windows… And then it struck him: What better way to keep from attracting attention, than being right out in the open?!

Crimson was looking for someone she presumed was hiding… Someone who was hiding… and had hair. And no tattoos. And a male! Laren was suddenly disappointed that he’d cut his hair.

Eh. All the better. If I can’t come up with a good enough disguise short of going girl, I might as well just give it all up right now.

Laren knew that the Brotherhood would help him. They were probably all well aware of what had happened between his father and Crimson. They would be just as eager to keep him and the eye safe, no doubt.


=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 05:40:58 PM »
The sprawl of Kurr lay before him. The massive lakeside city was a center of commerce and culture. It was also a focal point of the faithful with many having made trips from distant places just to see The Temple of the Valiant- a massive and ornate cathedral to Paladine.

Kurr had it’s underworld as well. Secrecy and intrigue was in all the corners no one looked or dared to walk into. There were many secret societies across Elsenban and nearly all of them made home in Kurr. Of them, the most influential and feared was the Order of the Hawk. Few things happened anywhere without the Orders knowledge of at least something in regards to it. They were a brotherhood that commanded profound respect from Nobility and Commoners alike.

Laren’s father, Alton, often took his draughts from The Half Pint- a tavern often frequented by Halflings. Gibble, the owner and frequent tender, was a close friend of Alton’s and typically had dish on everyone. Gibble knew Laren well as Alton would take Laren to the bar on numerous occasions. To Laren’s recollection, The Half Pint was almost always open for breakfast…a standard that Laren had become used to with The Mushroom o’ the Stump.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2009, 11:21:09 PM »
With a hand on his now-rumbling belly, Laren set of to the Half Pint, wondering exactly what to say. Clearly he would order some food, but how do you greet a friend like Gibble after everything that's happened?

Before he knew it, he was pushing open the door, and peering into the familiar eatery.

OOC: It looked like: {insert GM Description}
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2009, 07:34:11 PM »
Even at this early hour the place was far fuller than might have been expected. Many of the terraces and balconies were occupied by the Halflings, Gnomes , and Dwarves for whom they were specifically built. While the tavern was not socially prejudice, it was designed with the smaller being in mind.

As Laren looked around he noticed some familiar faces- shortkin his father knew in a casual “tavern folk” way. Among them was Gibble, the tavern proprietor. Gibble was an older Halfling that wore the badge of age at his temples with graying hair and crows feet at his eyes. He was a pleasant fellow who always seemed to have a wry smirk on his face as if he knew something others didn’t.

A raucous bout of deep laughter came from further in the common room. Looking towards it, Laren noticed a gnome barmaid conversing with a band of stout dwarves. The barmaid departed from them with a coy wiggle of her fingers and proceeded to other patrons. To Laren’s amusement, the four dwarves all wiggled their fingers back to her. When the barmaid stepped into better light he could see that she was a good friend of his fathers, Winnie, who had been waiting on patrons here ever since Laren could remember. It seemed at least there were people here he could trust in these times where trust was rare.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity