Author Topic: The Sorrows Can Swim  (Read 183 times)

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Offline Wildfire

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The Sorrows Can Swim
« on: July 06, 2006, 01:07:10 PM »
The night was still and quiet. A cool mountain breeze tickled the trees and they laughed with their rustling. Thick fog was rising from the river in ghostly fingers and hung over the slumbering town. The flame from the Spike of Fire made the fog glow slightly with a golden light.

In the distance Laren could see the large lanterns of the the two bridges connecting The Foot to the rest of the town. Ahead of him he could see a luminous purple mist along the stretch of road that passed before the Temple of Shadows. It was thick and menacing and looked almost exactly like the purple mist in his dream.

To the north end of Threshold, Laren could see smoke echoing the light of the moons. It wasn't a conflagatory smoke like the other night but rather smoke from a chimney. It seemed to be wafting up from The Stump. Apparently not everyone was sleeping this night.
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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 12:50:21 PM »
"Let's hope," Laren said. "Putting restrictions on one's self for the sake of a nobility that will remain unseen sounds like opting for failure." He allowed a little discouragement slip through in his voice.

"But who knows. I'm just a halfling with an aparent aversion to simplicity."

He wanted to slam the door behind him, but he knew he'd regret doing so later. He pulled the door closed quietly behind him.

The morning Dew glistened on the leaves of the feyberry bushes. The air was misty, but at least it wasn't purple. He'd seen that purple mist somewhere before he though, but it just wouldn't come to him.

There was still an hour or so left before dawn, and the elixer he'd drank at Ashe's made his two hour nap feel like he'd over slept.

Perhaps Ashe was still awake. The annoyed little rogue made his way along the road. He decided to go a different route than the one he'd taken earlier. No sense thinking dealing with a purple mist if one didn't have to.
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 12:37:33 PM »
As Laren opened the door to exit Julius said, "Someday it may make sense to you. Travel well and take heart."
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 12:14:40 PM »
Laren considered his hand as well as the discussion subject matter. Fighting an uphill battle when there was a path to level ground was just plain dumb.

The whole thing was just irratating to Laren. So much so, that he could feel his ears turning red. How something got done was far lower in Laren's importance meter than if or why.

The way Laren saw things, the enemy held the upper hand, and they'd already lost. The only way for them to win anything would be if someone on the other side did something to make themselves lose.

Laren stood from the table and said. "So to win, we must make them lose." He placed his cards face down on the table, making his hand dead.

"I should go," he said. "Lots to do." He bid the folks farewell and took his leave.
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2006, 09:07:15 AM »
Julius smirked and said, "The short term plan, which is all we can run with right now, is to find the traitor, interrogate for information, and then...bring justice. If justice falls short then maybe vengeance."

Eldan laid down his cards and revealed a smattering of cards that amounted to absolutely no prestige. "You always deal me a terrible hand...next time I'm dealing!"

Garret cast a devious smile at Laren.

Keltan Laid down his hand saying, "How fitting that the innkeeper has a full house..."

Garret sighed and shook his head and said and acted distressed, "I'm so embarressed I'm flushing..."

Eldan rolled his eyes. Keltan smiled at the antics of the twin halflings.

Julius sipped his wine and laid his cards down such that they made a flapping sound and cracked his knuckles. He had a straight.

Once again all eyes turned to Laren.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2006, 04:53:47 PM »
"Well, what's the plan then?"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2006, 04:42:07 PM »
Garret tossed Laren a new card; it was a 5 of hearts.

"It may seem silly.." Julius stated "and it may seem like they hold all the cards. But the deck has not yet been fully dealt."
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2006, 08:04:57 PM »
"I'll take one" Laren said, throwing his 7 face-down on the table. "I need a fifth ace, if you will." Laren's sly grin drew a chuckle from the folks around him.

"I don't know, it seems silly."
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006, 05:02:02 PM »
"...to do otherwise would make us no better than them." Julius said finishing Laren's statement.

Keltan put three cards on the table and nodded. Garret gave him three new cards. Keltan picked them up and stoically arranged them.

Eldan laid down two cards and Garret supplied him with two more. Picking up his new cards and outwardly groaned.

Julius kept his hand just as it was and sipped from his wine glass.

Garret looked at Laren expectantly as if asking him what he wanted to do.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2006, 04:46:23 PM »
His first instinct was surprise. He had played many card games with his father over the years, and he knew that there were only four of any card in any given deck... Or that's how it was supposed to be.

"So let me get this straight... We're 'playing' by the rules here, whereas they are not. The fact that we have to 'play' at all, is only because they are forcing us to... And instead of leveling the 'playing' field, or doing anything to make this process easier, we're going to do things the hard way, just because..."

He looked up from his cards.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 07:51:40 PM »
"Good questions." Julius said.

"Any one want a refill?" Eldan asked

Garret replied, "By all means yes! All this talk is beginning to sour my mood. Make it some of Thunderfists Dwarven Dark. That should numb me up for a while."

Keltan said, "Sure...surprise me."

"Laren, you want a...of course you do!" Eldan said excitedly

Julius simply pushed his wine glass forward.

After Eldan filled all the tankards Julius continued, "Most people that come here...even the children of Takhisis...are very mindful and even respectful of what the Valley is. It is a place for everyone as we are all part of it. To claim any sort of ownership with walls and boundaries would be to upturn the very foundation of the balance of that Mahiya is. While some seek to claim the Valley for themselves through their lust for power, there are those that seek to maintain the respect for it."

Julius sipped his wine. Garret broke out a deck of cards and started to deal them out to everyone.

"Walls are not built because it is not our place to determine who has the right to it. All and none have rights. Others do not play by these rules and that is the difference between us and them. It sounds like the battle is in their favor, doesn't it? Nevertheless, that is the way it is. There are those, like the dark priest Severen, that move out of passion. I spoken with him and he so absoutley detests The Shadow Riders because they seek politcal gain through worshipping practice. He sees it as an abomination to do one's selfish bidding in the name of one's divine patron. He sees them as unpure."

Garret finished dealing out the cards and the others picked up their hands. Each began to arrange their five cards in an orderly fashion.

Laren picked up his cards and could see that he had four aces and a seven of spades.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2006, 01:09:21 PM »
Laren raised an eyebrow. "Okay, well, this place isn't exactly exclusive as to who comes or goes... why don't they just walk on through here and into wherever they're heading?"

"And if it's so important to keep them out, why doens't someone build a Keep or a wall or something??
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2006, 01:00:12 PM »
Julius smirked and cast a gaze around at everyone and simply said, "Laren, this town is the threshold to The Valley of Mist."

To further explain what that meant Julius continued, "If my memory of Ashe's explaination serves, The Valley is believed to be the cradle of the gods. The place where Mahiya breathed spirit into the balance of the divine. There is a temple there that has some influence over that balance. Whoever has control of the temple will have some control over the balance. In the scheme of the world this influence is trivial. But for us it's felt in great ways."

Julius cracked his knuckles and was privately proud of himself for his explaination. He rewarded himself with a sip from his wine.
Wildfire

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Offline Griznuq

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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2006, 09:00:55 AM »
Laren found himself at the bottom of his beer mug and sighed deeply.

"You'll forgive me if none of that seems to make a difference at this particular time. It's late - or early rather - I'm cranky and in a bit of a mood."

Laren refilled his mug. "I'm sure I'll wake up tomorrow - or... later today... and for some reason, everything will seem like it's worth it again."

He tipped his mug back again. This time he realized that he had grabbed a mug made for larger folk, and the far side of the rim was touching his forehead. He made sure to wipe the foam from his eyebrows when he put the mug down this time.

"Figures," he said. "Biggest rant of my live and I've got suds on my face." all he could do was shake his head in spite of himself.

"To be quite honest, the only thing keeping me around is the hope that Crimson does actually find me. The thought of yanking my blood hook from her still-twitching corpse," He paused looking off at nothing in particular, and then he shivered slightly "just makes me all warm and fuzzy."

Laren realized his blood thirsty grin was just a little more disturbing than he'd realized, when he looked around the room. Garret was preoccupied with an imagined spot on his mug. Eldan scratched furiously at the back of his head while he examined the beams above him. Keltan seemed to have a splinter in his thumb that was suddenly bothering him.

Julius was the only one still intent on Laren. His gaze was almost bothersome.

Laren let his grin fade to a stern look of serious business. "I'm glad the three boys are alive and with their families, and I'm happy the townsfolk have someone to look up to. I appreciate everything you've all give me... Us... "

He finished his latest mug. "You wanna know what I think? I'll tell you... I think there's a lot we don't know yet. I think I want to know why everyone seems to want a piece of this place. You were having problems before we showed up, so it's not the damned eye. What are you all hiding here that every damned dangerous thing seems to want? I'm sure that pain in the ass lizard/dragon/whatever thing didn't want this place because of the view. What are we really here to protect?"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2006, 02:46:12 PM »
Julius drew a deep breath and sighed. "I'd like to say that all answers will be come to you in time but that may not be the case. Although let me assure you that I do speak with the townsfolk and they do appreciate The Protectorate and all of it's members. The three boys you all rescued? They're glad to be alive. Their parents? Well, they realize how precious their children are to them. You helped give them that. Being a parent myself, I understand their feelings."

Keltan spoke up and added, "I hear whispers of admiration at the inn about the actions of all of you from a few nights ago. 'Is that them?' they ask 'Is that the group that beat them back?'. And I answer, 'it sure is but allow them to eat in peace' I tell them."

Garret interjected and said, "The lose of your father was, no doubt, an arrow through your heart. He was as close to me as Eldan is. I feel an emptyness too. Not having lost my Dad or my Mom I can't truly say I understand your thoughts. I understand that it's a bit much to process with all that's happening. I do know that your Dad wouldn't want you to give up in despair...he never did. It's easier to turn away and ignore. It's easier to drown than swim. The mere fact that you're in this struggle and seeking the answers is testimony to the courage you have in facing challenges. Lesser men would turn away and ignore."

Eldan chimed in, "We each walk our own way. Sometimes it's up hill, sometimes it's flat, sometimes it's downhill. Regardless, it's our trail. Fate has a way of exercising us so that we are prepared for the future. We don't have all the answers...no one does. Except for maybe Ashe...he's a sharp thorn...but that's beside the point. The point is that finding answers requires patience...assassin like patience."
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity