Author Topic: Following the Trail  (Read 3474 times)

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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 12:47:10 PM »
Jarmok was reaching for his leather armor even before the door had closed fully. He donned it, as well as the rest of his gear (leaving nothing whatever in the room) and all but leapt at the door.

Inside the huge manor of the Arch Duke Jarmok became a bit disoriented. He found himself wondering whether this was a palace, or what Jullian sometimes referred to as an 'estate'...or what the difference was, exactly.

It didn't matter though. What mattered was getting as quickly and quietly as possible to the gate where Corwynn suggested that they meet. He could see it quite clearly in his mind's eye, from when the company of the Protectorate had yesterday arrived. But since then, they had been led in a number of different directions to waiting chambers, baths, audience chambers, and ultimately to their assigned sleeping quarters. Being in the city itself was bad enough, but when once Jarmok was inside this labyrinth, he couldn't even see the sky to help him know his way.

He fumbled for too long among the corridors of the building. One path looked very much like another. He took a very narrow stairway that led down, knowing at least that he'd eventually have to get to the ground-level floor. The stair left him in another very odd corridor that looked very different from anything that he had seen up to that point. This passage was narrow and very bland, where most other passageways had been wide, tall, and well appointed by what Jarmok was coming to think of as "city standards".

One thing that this little hallway did have, which had been non-existent in the other hallways that Jarmok had been passing through, was a window. It wasn't opened, but that was easy enough to change.

Once his feet touched the ground outside he felt immeasurably better. In the pre-dawn morning the thick grass was wet with dew that, Jarmok realized, was probably the cleanest water in the city just then. He couldn't resist running his hands along the thick grass, skimming it to collect a handful of water before moving on.

At this point, it was a small matter to circumnavigate the manor (or palace, if that's what it was) to get to the gate. Naturally, Jarmok chose the longer way around the building...
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2012, 07:12:00 PM »
Though it was difficult for Jarmok to tell the exact size of the Keep he knew it was big…bigger than any building in Threshold including the Fortmount. The Keep looked to be a series of buildings of various shapes built into each other as though they were built at different times for different reasons. Judging by the ramparts Jarmok had seen in the past it was not a building built to withstand a siege- that’s what the outer wall was built for.

The high outer walls seemed to loom over Jarmok and appeared more as a prison than shelter to his sensibilities. No wonder the Duke wanted to get out as much as possible! The walls were guarded by armed soldiers pacing back and forth on the torch lit walls though from this distance Jarmok could only see their silhouettes against the soft purple glow Kossuth cast on Akadi and the occasional glint of torch light on polished steel weapons. The inner courtyard was still quiet and Jarmok could see the various utility shops snuggled into various locations. Soon all would be awake and bustling, just like Threshold. Mercer once told Jarmok that everything had a sort of predictability…races especially. They were all so predictable. They longed for whatever passed for comfort. This was not a bad thing he would say as it’s their nature. He would also say that nature is not always predictable and that once you believed it to be, it would kill you. The way of the Ranger is to overcome and adapt to Mahiya’s tests of unpredictability. The way of the responsible Ranger is to guide others on how to do so as well.

Jarmoks eyes had no trouble adjusting to the dim torch lit courtyard to make his way to the entrance of the Keep. As he rounded the corner of another wing he saw what could be considered an uncommon sight in a walled monstrosity of human engineering: a flower garden. Here amidst all of the stone work, industry, beaten dirt and cobblestone was a delicate and wonderous flower garden.

As the cat-like Ranger took in the full sight he heard, “Hold! Who is over there!?”
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2012, 08:51:00 PM »
Jarmok was caught by surprise by that authoritative voice, and its proximity. This city threw his senses off a bit, it seemed.

Sayre had explained enough to Jarmok of living in this foul place that Jarmok could at least guess the source: city guard. Or perhaps a palace guard? No...this was no palace, Sayre had been careful to explain.

Whatever the case, this was a guard - a person much like Jarmok himself, except a city one.

Jarmok stood straight up and spoke clearly. "Is Jarmok." He said. "Am look for front gate."
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2012, 08:40:22 PM »
Jarmok instantly saw that there were four guards cautiously approaching him. Two had clubs in their hands and one had a sword and one carried a torch. Each of the guards were fully armed. Their armor was polished scale mail and they wore black tabards embroidered with a silver wolves head on the front.

One of the guards who carried a club appeared older than the other three and the one bearing the torch looked to be the youngest- barely a young adult- and seemed to be uneasy at the encounter. The other two, though probably had not seen real battle, seemed a bit more confident. It was the guard with the sword that asked, “You think maybe he was thieving, Sergeant?”

The older guard, clearly the leader, replied sarcastically, “Yes, private…he’s a thief. That’s why he introduced himself to us and isn’t running away.” The other two guards visibly restrained their laughter. The guard that asked the question lowered his head in embarrassment.

“Front gate, eh?” the squad leader, a sergeant by rank, asked rhetorically, “Well, keep walking the way you were going ‘round the keep and you’ll be sure to find it. We can escort you if you like.” The sergeant had been briefed earlier by his captain about the visitors from the south who had been accompanied by the Duke’s advisor Sayer. Judging by the respected company Jarmok arrived with the sergeant he had no intention of letting his soldiers hassle them. In fact, he was glad that he had come across Jarmok in the hopes that maybe a favorable mention might be made on their behalf.

The leader extended his hand to Jarmok “My name is Sergeant Radmun. And these three are in my squad. The one with the club is Pyter, the one with the sword is Fredik, and that youngling back there holding the torch trying not to wet himself is Mardel.” A wide smile came over his face, “You’re friends of Sayer, yes?”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2012, 09:13:14 PM »
"Hng". Jarmok acknowledged the Sargent. "Am Jarmok." He repeated. "Sayer friend am here with." He extended his own long hand to receive the sergeant's. He was glad to have met city folk who would be helpful; for some reason, he had expected them to be adversarial. To hear both Laren and Kit talk, he assumed that there was nothing buy villainy to be had in these cities.

"Am not live in big build-ins." He explained. "Escort welcome, please."
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2012, 01:44:14 PM »
The Sergeant cocked his head trying to understand Jarmok’s broken common and place his unusual accent. He knew for certain that Jarmok was not from anywhere within the city-sates but also knew for certain he didn’t know where he was from. Instead of trying to guess at the exotic ranger’s origin he would find out through conversation.

Sergeant Radmun nodded sidelong at his troops to stay their weapons back in a peaceful carrying position. He smiled again at Jarmok, a reassuring smile, and nodded at him glad that his offer had been accepted. Sergeant Radmun motioned for Jarmok to walk with him the direction that Jarmok was going. “Come my friend, it’s not too much further to walk.”

The escort took them through the gardens that seemed quite out of place in the stone surroundings. It offered a slight bit of comfort for those that found the walls confining and barren. Although with Kossuth continuing to wake Jarmok did notice that much of the walls were covered in ivy. During the walk in the garden Jarmok’s could hear one of the guards whispering something about his bronzewood axe and the rarity of such an item.

“So, Jar-Jarmok?” The Sergeant asked making sure his pronunciation was correct, “If I may ask, where are you from? You’re accent I can’t seem to place.”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2012, 08:47:55 PM »
Jarmok was grateful for the escort, though in the back of his mind he had to also keep sight of the fact that he did not know any of these people; he kept his ears closely on those who followed behind.

He also understood what Sargent Radmun was getting at, and he hoped that he would be able to avoid the protracted conversation that would no doubt follow. "Threshold." He answered. "Am try protect Threshold."
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2012, 07:06:17 PM »
Sergeant Radmun wasn’t sure if Jarmok understood the question given his loose common speech but didn’t want to make the honored guest uncomfortable with what he knew to be invasive questions. During the initial encounter with Jarmok Radmun did notice that Jarmok’s axe was of a peculiar make. Perhaps that was a more appropriate angle to question from.

“Your axe. Nice weapon indeed…looks to be made of wood. Is that a special metal that looks of wood?”

The troop rounded a corner of the keep though it seemed there were many corners given the various additions to it. Jarmok could only tell given the difference in angle from which they turned. Again it struck Jarmok as unnatural how devoid of flora this keep seemed save the ivy and the garden that was now well out of view. Not too far away Jarmok could hear the animated steps of a horse.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2012, 08:50:54 AM »
"Hrung." Jarmok responded, nodding in simultaneous confirmation. He was grateful that Sargent Radmun had found a new focus for his curiosity. "Is Bronzewood. Is special axe made at Threshold. Is gift."

As they made their way around the wall, Jamok perked up noticeably at the sounds of the horse. He sniffed at the air to try to determine whether a stable was near by, or was this a singular horse. He tensed up a bit, not sure of what to expect...horses, while children of Mahiya, were under the control of men, and men were not necessarily children of Mahiya.

A slight growl escaped his throat.

BTW, is this clopping on cobble stones, padding on sod, or jingle of harness...?
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2012, 12:52:33 PM »
Clop clop on the cobbles
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2012, 02:07:05 PM »
Duly noted. Thanks. Your serve. :)
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2012, 07:53:48 PM »
The sound of the hooves on the cobblestone was a common din in the city during the day but at this early hour it was far more distinguished. The lower rank guards looked around to see who it might actually be. “Bronzwood! A nice gift indeed!” remarked the officer excitedly. “You must have done a great ser…” The sergeant continued to say though his attention was abruptly pulled.

Jarmok could plainly see what was stealing everyone’s interest. Riding up on his horse was the Duke. He was plainly dressed as before but with the addition of a plain hard leather tunic. The horse was perhaps the most massive horse Jarmok had ever seen. It was a magnificent black steed that stood clearly a full head above other horses. The one distinguishing feature the horse had- aside from it’s size- was the snow white mane that hung off of it’s think neck.

It was immediately noted by the observant ranger that the Duke rode his horse bareback, an odd thing for city folk and villagers. The horse was not without trappings on it’s back though. Corwynn had leather strap bags and sheathed weapons hanging against the horses flanks.

“Sergeant, I trust you’ve treated our honored guest fairly with no trouble, aye?” The Duke inquired. Jarmok could hear the slightest zephyr of an accent coming from the Duke.

“No trouble at all sir…no trouble at all.” Sergeant Radmun replied as he stood at attention. The other guards remained as still as statues with eyes forward and head firm.

“Excellent. My thanks to you for escorting the good Jarmok this far. I shall see him out from here.” Corwynn replied with a smile as he dismounted his horse landing with a subtle thud. “That will be all Sergeant. Good work tonight.”

As one, the four saluted the Duke and Radmun stated a final offering, “Thank you sir, and may Paladine watch your back on the road”.

Jarmok stepped forward when the soldiers were dismissed and grasped the Sergeant's hand as he had seen done in these parts. "Is thank." He said to the officer. He turned then to Corwynn and said, "Is good man."

The Four Troop walked back the way they had led the escort while Jarmok and the Duke continued forward. Glancing back at his charger Corwynn remarked, “His name is Fionndougal but most just call him Tempest…which isn’t short for his actual name mind you. It’s because when he was younger he had a temper unlike any the trainers had seen before.” The two walked on further. “It took my wife to sooth his spirit. She has way of her. She kept calling him Fionndougal…Fionndougal she would repeat. Sometimes she would simply whisper it in his ear. For weeks she was the only one who could approach him. Fionndougal she would say.”

“Of course, I had to ask her what the word meant. She said it meant ‘the white dark stranger’ in Wildlander speak.” Corwynn related.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2012, 11:03:20 AM »
"Hrung. Good horse." Jarmok admired the animal. He wasn't necessarily a great judge of horseflesh (as he had heard stable hands refer to it), but there was always a difference in an animal of quality as compared to others of its kind. Jarmok noted in that odd moment that the same was really true of people.

You might not know a person, but still be able to spot in a person whether they are a person of quality. It was something in their bearing. The Arch-Duke Corwynn had such a bearing. Jarmok didn't know the fellow really at all, but he sensed something in the man that told Jarmok that Corwynn was a man who knew how to be a friend. He hoped he was right.

Jarmok looked up at the pre-dawn sky. They might have a hand or so, he guessed, before dawn. "Where go?" He asked.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2012, 08:48:18 PM »
“It’s not too far from here” Corwynn replied. “We’ll need to walk to the city walls and from there it’s easy travel.” The duke was now aware of Jarmok’s restlessness in the city and tried his best to enforce the idea of breaking out of it’s binds. He could empathize with this feeling because he felt it too in his own way. The Arch-Duke loved his people and his city but there were times when he wanted to not bear the responsibility of it. He did not at all regret having the city under his charge but there were times he just wanted the freedom of the hunt. Parents may love their children, but time away from them is sometimes required.

Jarmok and Corwynn soon arrived to the front gate under the watch of a 4 Troop. They were similarly dressed and armed as Jarmok’s escort and saluted upon seeing the Arch-Duke approach. Corwynn nodded and two of the guards pulled open one of the doors.

The Duke cleared his throat in part to get Jarmok’s attention but also in part to speak. He offered a sidelong glance and smirk pointing his head forward towards the open door. “I tell ya, with those Azgaard Clan pansies watching the place I’m amazed that the gutter rats haven’t taken place!” Corwynn barked forcefully but not too loudly.

From beyond the door Jarmok could hear a deep voice, “See, I told you that you would wake him with your goon calling while we spoke with the little fellow. And here he is…awake.”

Corwynn walked quickly through the door with a hearty chuckle prompting Jarmok to follow. “Bah! Don’t let him push you around…I’m an early riser!” The Duke proclaimed truthfully. “Boys, this is one of our guests from Threshold, Jarmok. He’s here for a few days as an emissary and guide for the others.” He said looking at the ranger with reassuring smile. “Jarmok, these are the elite guards of the Keep.” He pointed at each as he sounded off their names. “Mirak, Bjornin, Varhuk, and Sven of the Clan Azgaard.” Each of the guards stood tall, about twice the height of Jarmok, as the Duke introduced them.

The four behemoth guards were an impressive sight of raw muscle power. Their arms alone seemed as big around as Jarmok’s mid-section. And although they wore studded leather armor the could be no doubt that their chest were nothing but muscle. They wore the tunic of the city and each of their weapons were crafted with runes entwined with lupine images. Each of them had copper hair of various hues with braided beards and hair. It was almost as though some one took four dwarves and made them quadruple their size. They all looked at Jarmok each having a wide inviting grin as they held out their hands for a friendly shake.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2012, 08:27:38 AM »
Jarmok recognized the banter that the Arch Duke shared with the four giants; he had seen similar play among the residents of Threshold routinely, especially in watching (from a distance) the brothers from the Hunter's Lodge. He recognized it, but he didn't understand it. That was one of the many things that made Jarmok feel very much outside the normal population: everyone else seemed to understand this play, and many used it often, but to Jarmok it was a mystery. This was also one of the reasons that he was so fond of Maal: the young wildlander lass seemed to be more of a kind with Jarmok in this regard.

Upon introduction, Jarmok grasped the closest hand in greeting. "Am Jarmok." He said simply. "Am honored meet." He added as he moved through the rank of elite guards. As he greeted them, each in turn, something from Threshold entered his nose. He sniffed at the air.

"Smell Threshold." He said, with an odd look on his face.

I think that Jarmok's next feat is going to be "Scent"
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