Author Topic: Following the Trail  (Read 3421 times)

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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2013, 07:43:37 PM »
As Jarmok approached, Corwynn said, “Look to the south my friend and behold the magnificence of the mountains. They always take my breath away. The two taller peaks there? Those are the entrance to the legendary valley. My great-by-eight grandmother helped free that valley from it’s evil long ago. Please, come warm yourself by the fire and enjoy some breakfast.”

Jarmok could see the two snowy peaks rising above all others. They ambitiously reached for the sky and the very tops of the peaks were barely being kissed by Kossuth. It was a meeting of the four elements in one dance. The surrounding mountains looked sharp and jagged like earthy fangs. It made sense that this stretch of mountain spine was known as the Dragonteeth Mountains. Some of the rumors that Jarmok had heard in Threshold was that the range had it’s name for more reasons than cosmetic ones.

The lake was smooth and looked as soft as silk and offered a chance to see the toothy range twice. It reflected the mountains, sky, and trees perfectly. By the size of the lake it was difficult to see the other side with any ease. It would often prove to be a treacherous body of water in an angry storm although it seemed inviting right now.

It was a serene scene and a vision of peace that Jarmok came to know at his own cabin in Threshold. The smell of the food and the fire begged Jarmok to take comfort.
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2013, 12:29:46 PM »
"Hrung." Jarmok replied as he approached the fire...and the food. "Thank." He said, his head bobbing as he sat.

He gazed southerly towards the peaks that the Arch-Duke indicated, and felt considerably at ease and content. He could remember last year when, homeless and wandering still to find a safe place to land, as it were, he had spied those sky-reaching peaks and something in them spoke to him. It was a scene very much like this that urged him southerly at that time.

"Is home." He said gesturing towards the mountains as he selected a piece of meat, which he married to a bit of cheese. "Is same, but different looks distance." Most everything looked different from a distance. Jarmok's usual morning had a very different vantage to look towards those peaks, and his attention was more usually in the easterly direction, not south. But they were the same nonetheless. He mind knew that even if his eyes didn't.

"Was south little of here, think, last year when saw first mountains." He breathed deep into his nose, appreciating the mixture of forest and lake in mid-sythus. "Was late Rynnyx." He smiled at the memories. "Smelled cold wet."

He considered the memory for a moment. "Is two talls [pointing to the two peaks that Corwynn had indicated] drew me south. Mountains thought should have shelter." His morning run had left him ravenous and he stuffed an over-large piece of bread into his mouth, washing it with his water skin.

"Thank." He reiterated.
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2013, 08:27:49 PM »
The mystery of the ranger sitting next to him grasped and squeezed the Duke’s curiosity. Between his exotic appearance, broken common, soft demeanor, and obvious foreign origin, Jarmok was fascinating to him. There was an innocence about him that Corwynn admired. Being the ruler of a city state, innocence was not a trait that Corwynn often witnessed in the politics he often dealt with.

Corwynn understood Jarmok to be a private individual not indulging in detail either because of his loose grasp of common language or because that was his personality. Still, he had to know more; he had to be sure.

“Late Rynnyx…that’s a tough bit of the year to be wandering especially towards the mountains. More notably, towards those mountains.” Corwynn bit of a huge hunk of meat and chewed just enough to speak without his words getting garbled. “How did you survive that harshness of the season in the mountains? Many expert woodsman wouldn't dare do what you did for fear their skill was wanting and they'd perish.”
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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2013, 08:47:34 AM »
A small shudder shook Jarmok's lean frame as  smile touched his mouth and eyes. "Ignorant." He said. "If knew better, maybe not go." He laid a few pieces of meat on one of the stones that ringed their little fire so that the meat might warm up a bit (not that it had gotten cold between his chambers and this cabin). He then cut small slices of the cheese and laid them carefully atop the meat so that the cheese might melt.

While doing this, and cutting a thin slab of bread besides, he answered the Arch-Duke's question more properly.

"Food find, specially Brak...Rynnyx. Venric early though...harsh. Have cave, fire easy...warm...water lot. Food harder and harder, go deer north, have steal to sheep." He was clearly not happy with himself for having to do what he had been forced to do to survive, but he reminded himself that it was survival after all.

"My Mercer find and help." He shrugged rather simply. "My Mercer give home. Easy after."

Jarmok had begun to busy himself by putting his sturdy tin cup into the embers at the edge of the fire and filling it with water. Then, he picked up a nearby pine frond and began stripping it of its green needles, which he put into the heating cup of water.

"Is Mercer Tea." He told the Arch-Duke. "Help healthy and en-ur-gee."
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2013, 03:47:05 PM »
Corwynn grinned warmly as he chewed the spiced meat. Hearing Jarmok speak of Mercer was just the sort of reassurance he needed as he wasn’t ever confident in Julius’s judgment in character. Corwynn should have known by the axe that Jarmok carried that he was worthy of trust. It was, after all, the axe that Mercer had carried.

“I know well of Mercer. He is as an uncle to me…a close friend indeed. I see you have the axe he once carried. That is a sacred trust methinks.” Corwynn said as much to himself as to Jarmok.

“I welcome you to my cabin Jarmok! I come here to relax and think away from the city.” Corwynn professed. “Not that I hate the city mind you…but sometimes it’s good to get away. I’m glad you thought of it truth be told. It’s a nice way to spend the morning.”

“I assume that Mercer has taken to the wilderness now…which would be why you now carry the axe. He spoke once of doing that. Only he needed someone worthy of taking his place. You, my friend, have earned the respect of one of the finest foresters of this age by carrying that weapon.” The copper haired duke stated.

“It’s because of that imparted trust that I must ask something of you.”
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2013, 04:29:29 PM »
Jarmok perked up when Corwynn noted that this was his cabin; he hadn't expected that such an august person might have a humble cabin in the forest, though he was beginning to sense that more of these city folk were children of the forest than he might have imagined.

"My Mercer left." He affirned Corwynn's guess that the old hunter was gone. "Not know where." Jarmok couldn't be too sure of his own worthiness, but he was all that Mercer had at the time. All the outlander could do was his best.

"Hrung." He assented to his host. "What need?" He asked.

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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2013, 05:59:12 PM »
“Somedays the adversaries we face are more elusive than the ones on the battlefield.” Corwynn said to Jarmok in a tone that was the most serious. “They have plans and schemes and often strike from the shadows. Somedays they are the shadows. Worst of all, they could be ones you’ve trusted.”

The Duke turned to Jarmok and handed him a cold mug of water. “I need for you and Sayer to follow the trail of deception in my court. My letters never reached Sayer in Threshold and his never arrived. Clearly there is someone cutting communications. What worries me further is not knowing how long it’s been happening.” Corwynn admitted. “The good thing in all of this is that they didn’t anticipate that Threshold would come here. If they were smart they would have let some of the correspondence through and we would not have known just yet.”

“For me to track this myself would betray the veil of ignorance they believe surrounds this matter. Not to mention that my presence would shy people into lying for fear of punishment. It must be Sayer and yourself that reveals the betrayal. You both may have insight that isn’t blinded by the want to trust.” Corwynn confessed. His tone was both one of anger and sadness. Jarmok could see that he obviously pained by the situation of not knowing who he could trust. The mere fact that he was putting his trust in someone whom he met only a day prior was testimony to his desperation in the matter.

“If you decline my request I’ll understand. I’m a self reliant man and so I’m loathe to even ask you. My wife reminds me that discretion is the better part of valor. So I ask you with humility. Please, help me find the deceivers.”
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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2013, 08:49:46 AM »
"Hrung." Jarmok indicated his understanding. Jarmok took the proffered water, but did not drink of it just then. He listened intently to the Arch-Duke's request, and when the weary ruler had finished, Jarmok briefly scurried on haunch-and-hand about the camp fire to collect a cubit-long stick and then clear a patch of dirt where he could draw.

"Is first traitor." He said and he swiftly began sketching out the Ambush Site that only a fortnight ago he had inspected. That trip had been much on Jarmok's mind during the intervening weeks; the site was fair etched in his mind at this point. As he drew the north-south road and the cut-off where the party had bivouacked for that fateful night, and the protected hollow, and all the elements that made that site, he spoke rather tersely.

"Councilors from Rivercliff tell story. Ambush at night. Find place and look...old, but many tracks. Much learn." He didn't look at Corwynn as he spoke. He was busily creating something of a battle map in the dirt.

"Is road, Threshold [drew an arrow] long day, maybe two short days. Kurr [another arrow]. Party camp here...hill..hill...tree. Good place for camp. Enemy [drawing arrows indicating that the enemy forces that surrounded the little camp came from various directions, as if coming to a meeting at the sound of a call], man and shadewolf, on hill, on hill, arrows to kill soldiers."

Jarmok began digging in his satchel for a moment, but continued to speak animatedly. "Councillors say dark. Not just night...dark [with emphasis]. Am think shade wolf dark. Found [holds up the claw that he found at the ambush site so that Corwynn might inspect it, if he so wished]"

"But arrows only hit soldiers, not Councillors. Is aim good."

"Is traitor on horse." He stated somberly. "Is only one horse in Kurr company. Find horse prints here [pokes the dirt], here, [poke], and here [pokes the south hill side], on top of hill. Shadow Riders not ride horse. Horse from Kurr." He stated firmly. "Rider up on hill is signal to Shadow Riders: come kill, think."

"Am yesterday Sayer told...when get to Kurr...man on horse is back, say, 'all good... Councillors at Threshold'. Is lie. Is traitor."

Pleased with his battle map, and his narration, Jarmok sat back on his haunches and drank of the cup that Corwynn had handed him. He made a few minor additions to his map.

"Man on horse is traitor." He reiterated. "Who is?"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2013, 12:44:56 PM »
As Jarmok told his unembellished tale, Corwynn's fears came to fruition. A trusted soldier was now a traitor. When Sayer spoke of a discrepancy (Game Log-Session 14 Part 2) it was likely that he would face this moment. “Sergeant Farkus was the officer to escort the Councilers back to Threshold.” Corwynn said somberly. “Are you sure there were no others…that it was a man on horseback? There can be no doubt on this if I’m to pursue a course of action on this matter.” Corwynn thought quickly on the situation. Even if Sergeant Farkus wasn’t directly responsible for or witness to the death of the squad of soldiers and the napping of the councilers he was somehow involved. Why else would he return claiming their safe passage? He was guilty in some way and that was enough reason for the Arch-Duke of Kurr to unleash his lawful, merciless wrath.

Having convinced himself of Farkus’s guilt, Corwynn moved on to another concern without Jarmok’s confirmation of a mounted rider. “The couriers…they concern me as they do Sayer. All correspondence is overseen by Herald Sabine. Given that no one in my court can be trusted except for Sayer and my wife I think that the inquiries should start with her and follow the course of logic and instinct.” Corwynn believed that despite logic and instinct being opposites, they could work together and achieve a mutual goal.

“Sayer and Sabine have worked closely in the past and they are friends so I’ll ask that you keep an objective point of view. This is not to claim that Sayer won’t but only to ensure that prejudgments are mitigated.”
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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2013, 01:47:08 PM »
"Hrung." Jarmok indicated his understanding. "Can't tell on horse who." He admitted. "But one horse at site, shadow riders not ride horse, think." He reiterated. "Am logic Kurr soldier. Am sorry." He felt a point of irritated disappointment that he must bring news of such betrayal to anyone, and the Arch-Duke seemed kind indeed.

"Can Sayer help answers find." He assured Corwynn. "Answers find. Questions too. Always questions find."
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2013, 08:36:17 PM »
Corwynn found a strange amusement in Jarmok’s broken use of the common tongue. It wasn’t a mocking fascination but rather he saw it as an honest attempt with an honest intent. He sensed that Jarmok was far more honest with his limited ability than many others with a fluent ability. Jarmok had no means to twist words to manipulate anyone and that fact alone brought Corwynn comfort.

“It is an unfortunate thing, Jarmok, when you find someone untrustworthy…find them a betrayer. The open eye is better no matter what it sees. Speaking of which, Sayer can definitely help you find answers. I would not advise for you alone to try and follow this trail.” Corwynn surmised. He knew that Sergeant Farkus was guilty for his part. How deep did the deception go? “Sayer will be able to help you as he knows…things. How he knows I’m still mystified by. He has a way of him…it’s what he does and who he is.”

Kossuth was now elegantly splashing across the mountains and the boats had set out on Vallensun Lake for their daily haul. Around them was the melodic chirping of birds and the comforting smell of an open fire. Distant sounds from the hamlet occasi9oanlly mingled with the birds. Behind them they could hear Fionndougal eagerly munching away on the clovers that carpeted the ground.

“The village is called Adryanna’s Landing. T’would be a nice place to live methinks.” Corwynn said to himself as much as he did to Jarmok as he gobbled up another piece of morning feast meat.
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2013, 09:45:48 AM »
"Hrung. Is pretty lake...good spot, but close." He looked about significantly, and sniffed the late spring morning. "Sayer know yet request?"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2013, 07:58:50 PM »
“I was not able to meet with Sayer on this yet.” Corwynn replied. “I have confidence that he’ll want to get to the end of this as much as I do.” He continued as he tore a piece of meat off with his teeth. Though he was nobility he was the sort of man that had little need for pomp in his daily life. Jarmok could clearly see that, at heart, the Duke was a man that preferred the wild expanse- Fionndougal as well.

“Well talk with Sayer later this morning. For now, enjoy the quiet scenery and good food my friend for soon we will be heading back.” stated the Duke.

Off to Jarmok’s right was the not too distant sound of boats casting off onto Vallensun Lake for their daily netting of fish.
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Offline Johan

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Following the Trail
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2013, 12:48:00 PM »
Fin?
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Offline Wildfire

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Following the Trail
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2013, 06:13:21 PM »
fin
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity