Author Topic: Wolves on the Hunt  (Read 5295 times)

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Offline Wildfire

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Wolves on the Hunt
« on: June 27, 2006, 08:25:11 PM »
Duthash Dracum Arkus 237 VY (May 16)

Kym had woken early. It had been days since she had hunted and the need to run had overtaken her. It was a few hands before Kossuth would rise but the birds had already begun their morning song. She descended the stairs in her hunting clothes to see her father, Zarion, sitting at a table eating breakfast. The lantern was dim and it cast an eerie glow on his face. His long slightly grayed hair, extended sideburns, and  predacious features made him look particularly wolfish. As he took a bite of food from his fork Kym could see markedly pointed canine teeth. She had always known they were there and she too shared this trait but she took keen note of them this morning. It was a sign of family heritage and she was suddenly overwhelmed with pride that she was her father?s daughter.

?You?re up early.? Zarion said.

?I was restless?couldn?t sleep.? Kym replied.

Zarion looked up, ?That?s the night calling you. You?ll get used to it.?

?Dad, when is Mom coming back?? Kym asked.

?When the time is right. Her work is very important, as you know. But I miss her too.? Zarion said trying to convince himself.

?She been in Kaaryn?Zyth for so long I figured that she?d have returned by now.? Kym said with a bit of questioning in her voice.

?She?s safe. If anyone in Mahiya is safe it?s her. Worry not, Kymberly.? Zarion looked upon his daughter and said, ?You look like your going out to hunt.? Zarion said. ?Are you going to run with your pack??

Kym smiled as her worries were alleviated and said, ?Yep. And if I could borrow your bow?I?d sure like to.?

?You know where it is. Don?t hunt on the east side of the river. It?s very dangerous right now.? Zarion warned. ?By the way, have you gone hunting with Maccabeus and his brother yet??

?Actually, that?s where I?m going right now. The ring is?where is the Ring?? Kym said with a furrowed brow.

?South of Coryndar Fields so I?m told. It?s surrounded by brambles that may not welcome you. So be careful. Call to him first. I?m sure he?ll hear you. If he doesn?t, his brother will.?

?Okay Dad. I?ll be careful.? Kym had hesitated for a long time asking her next question but couldn?t hold back any longer, ?Dad, have you seen the Blood Tear??

Zarion took another bite from his fork and said, ?That?s why I?m awake.?
Wildfire

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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2006, 07:43:31 PM »
Kym looked at Maccabeus as he spoke and back at Ashe for the answers.

"Good questions..." Ashe said "...the point of any rite involving the Ashlords and the nameless is to eat the life of Mahiya. That one singular thought consumes them...it drives their very existence."

Ashe knelt down and picked up a hand full of ash and let it slip through his fingers. "The ritual was a success. The ash around you is proof of that."

He then went to the center stone and picked up one of the decrepit symbols and held it up. Pieces of the symbold flaked away in his hand and he said, "And yes...we have an enemy among us. One far more vile and sinister than the Shadow Riders could ever dream of being. Even they are not safe." Ashe crushed the symbol into a fine powder with little effort."

"As for any particular place that they are drawn to...well, just about anywhere suits them. Holy places are of particular interest though. You first saw them at the Ring of Mists. The Ring is the entrance marker for the Valley. I believe it is the the life of the Valley that they seek."

Ashe looked from one dangling body to another and cracked a smile, "You be assured that the Shadow Riders never saw this coming."
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2006, 01:08:50 PM »
"So what's the point of this rite?" Maccabeus asked. "Did it succeed? Do we have a new enemy in our hills? What do we do from here?"

He didn't truly expect clear answers to these queries, but they needed to be asked.

"Also, do these rites need to take place at particular places? What makes those spots suitable? Can we find those spots and make them unsuitable? If we can get there ahead of them and sanctify those spots so that they are no longer useful to the Ashlords, then perhaps we can cut their feet our from under them." In the little dale gnome's mind, there was the flavor of merit to this seed of an idea.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2006, 07:29:54 PM »
(Johan, page 4 post 11 has other detailed descriptions of the bodies that may have some bearing on further posts)

Ashe glanced from one impaled body to the other and said, "I've seen the effects of this rite before. As a matter of fact, the man that became Zebulon had also seen such defilments at the Tower. It's doubful that these men were willing subjects of this. The brands on their hands mark their loyalty to Takhisis. The symbols are usually made of tempered blackened steel and yet they're flaking apart." Ashe picked up one of the symbols from the center stone and crumbled it in his hand.

"Whether these soldiers were willing or not, the Ashlords make no distinction between divine factions under Mahiya. All they Know, all they feel is the void that is ever hungry. A greed that cannot be sated. Not unlike the greed of the Eye."

Ashe knelt down and scratched Wolf behind the ear. "I cannot say for certain when this occured except that it was recent. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it occured the same night as Kit's...episode...all my herbs destroyed...damnit..." Ashe shook his head. "I've seen far too much in my life to cast events to coincidence. I'd be willing to bet that this happened the same night."
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 08:57:09 AM »
"I'm not sure exactly how you make that conclusion." Maccabeus admitted. "I have heard that those symbols are those of the Shadow Empire, but I can't be certain that they were put there voluntarily or not. Jarmok told me that there was a number of soldiers who were taken when the councilors were abducted. Did we ever find those bodies? I would have figured that for this sort of rite they'd almost prefer the sacrifices be hostages. And, since I can't distinguish any details of the armor itself, I can't say for certain what empire these men hailed from."

He considered for a moment. "As usual, all I'm really certain of is that I don't know." He shrugged lightly for emphasis. "As for what this truly tells me, I can't say that either...what was the point of this rite?"

Maccabeus stood rigid for a moment, his brow furrowed in thought as he appeared to count something internal. "Let's say that this event happened not last night, but the night before...that's when you and I were struggling with Kit, wasn't it? Some fairly momentous things happened that night, did they not?" he looked sidelong at Ashe. "Coincidence?" He asked conspiratorially.

Too bad that thread isn't completed eh? Dray?...
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2006, 09:37:47 PM »
Ashe smirked as Maccabeus's keen assessement. "You're partly right except for..."

Kym was looking at one of the bodies hanging stuck on a pike when she interjected softly to finish the thought, "...except that the symbols with the eyes are symbols of Takhisis. These soldiers were Shadow Riders...much like the ones that attacked the the town the other night."

Kym turned around to face both Maccabeus and Ashe and said, "What in the hell is going on here?"

Ashe pursed his lips a bit and said, "Hell is far too kind a word."
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2006, 05:14:40 PM »
Maccabeus hated tests like this one. It was too common that what was to be told pendulated upon the observer's knowledge of his enemy, and while those who held their sacred rite here were enemy to Maccabeus, he had yet to learn more than the merest shreds about them. He was woefully prepared for this kind of test.

Still...he looked on the grisly scene and detached himself from it, as his grandsire had taught him.

"These soldiers were likely not willing participants in this rite." He suggested. "The rite has sucked the life from the soldiers, and from the land; what we have here is a miniature version of what you have described to me as the blasted land north of here." He coughed again, his throat running dry once more.

"It seems to me that the power of this foul rite is likely all but spent now. I note that the bodies of the men, and even their armor, are rapidly disintegrating into nothing. I would guess that those performing this rite used these eyed pentagrams as the vehicles, and further used these soldiers as their source of power, to invert the presence of life in this area. As the sources become spent, I would expect that the propagation of the null-area to cease. That is, this circle of non-life will grow no further for the time being, since the implements of the rite will have been consumed."

"Unless I miss my guess, I'd say that there is some significance to these fellows facing inward towards the stone with the eyes...I'd say that there was a significance to facing the void, or seeing eye-to-eye their own destruction. Other than that, I would say that these are obviously agents of Zyxu, as much as those who violated the Ring were. I would also suggest by the speed that these fellows are decaying, that this event didn't happen very long ago. This very morning or last night perhaps."

He trailed off, looking around the death circle, and finally at Ashe.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2006, 07:30:18 PM »
Ashe cleared his throat of the choking grit in the air. "Now, If you look at this scene is says much about what exactly happened here. Look about"

Maccabeus looked around and could see that the people stuck on the pikes were all facing towards the stone in the center of their circle of death. Upon the stone were blackened steel symbols of pentagrams with an eye at each point and wreathed within a circle. Some of the symbols had decayed into powedr while others were quickly meeting the same fate even before Maccabeus's eys. Most of the clothes and, what was probably armor had grown brittle and fallen away from withered corpses who were once, in all likelyhood, soldiers.

Roughly carved upon the bald stone was the bull head symbol that Maccabeus had come to know only shortly after having just arrived to Threshold.

Having attuned himself to the land Maccabeus could usually feel the life energy that it gave. Here there was none. The devestation of whatever had happened here ran wide and deep. Not a trace of anymovement could be found since the dust was was very fine and even the slightest breeze would have masked any possible tracks that might have endured. though the air now was still and silent.

Wolf set about attempting to sniff scents but was only greeted with annoying ash going up his nose. Several times he snorted and gave up.

"What does this scene tell you?" Ashe asked.
Wildfire

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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2006, 01:21:05 PM »
As soon as I can.
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 12:23:27 PM »
Can you describe that area where Macc is looking? The one that Ashe had indicated?

Thanks
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2006, 08:15:40 PM »
"Hmm." was all Ashe sounded. "That's interesting. Now, if you look over..."

Kym interupted him, "Interesting? That's all you can say?!" her tone betrayed her significant annoyance with his answer. "Look around! What's happened? You obviously know something that you're not telling us! What is it? Stop with the riddles and stop..."

"Kym! You stop! You think this doesn't bother me? You think me so casual over this? You're wrong. I'm just prepared for it! Don't confuse casual with expectant."

Kym began to protest once again when Ashe continued, "This is simply the beginning. The beginning of something that's been happening for thousands of years. My whole life has been spent fighting this...every single day. So don't think me so casual. You have no idea what you're talking about. Do you understand me?"

Kym was suddenly humbled. The usually cheerful girl of Hunter's Lodge looked down with a sad frown. "I...I'm sorry Uncle."

"Both of you must ask yourselves something as this unfolds. What drives your passions about this? The destruction of something you love or the destruction to something you hate?"
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2006, 01:53:26 PM »
Maccabeus moved carefully over to where Ashe was looking. "I had a vision of a man who looked like you, and of a tower on top of a waterfall." He explained as he went. He scanned the area as he went, looking around, trying to sort Ashe's prints from any others that might be present, and trying to estimate the edges of the ashen devastation (Spot: Modified 27...a natural 20!!). "The man looked right at me, like he could see me, and he said: 'Soon.' That is all that I remember."

He peered at the area that Ashe indicated.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 12:54:24 PM »
Ashe was crouched down and was studying the rough makeshift alter and hear a question snapped out of his thoughts, "Huh...Tower...What?"

He stood up and said, "What do you mean? I've been in town all day except to come here."

Ashe waved Maccabeus and Kym up to him, "Come...take a look at this."
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 10:46:42 AM »
"My head hurts." Maccabeus admitted as he hauled himself to his feet, using Wolf as a crutch on one side and Kym on the other. "It's still a little stuffy too, but that will clear I'm sure." He readjusted the mask that he had been wearing; it had moved as he drank.

"Ashe, was that you I saw after the tower that was over the waterfall? Where were you?" He walked gingerly, still holding Wolf for support, coming into closer proximity to where Ashe was mulling.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2006, 08:43:41 PM »
Kym stared at the Dale gnome who, at this point was sitting up on his own, and said, "You passed out. You started speaking in your natural tongue and that tattoo on your chest began to radiate like the light of Kossuth itself! Then you fell into the dust unconscious. You really scared me Maccabeus. I had to calm Wolf down. It if wasn't who Iam i don't think he would have let anyone near you...he's very protective of you, you know."

Ashe continued shifting about through the grove kicking up the fine ash into the air. He seemed outrageously occupied with the grim scene.

Kym said, "Can you stand?"

Wolf stood there overseeing his dirt caked brother making sure that Maccabeus was indeed okay...at least by his standards. Alpha was with Ashe following closely by his side with great interest at his side. Kym knew that Alpha was very fond of Ashe as he was always treated by him with profound respect not usually seen outside of the Lupine circle.

Still the bodies hung on the pikes as an effigy would in front of a mob of angry people. Their lifeless bodies revealing only a pain in death rarely ever witnessed.
Wildfire

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