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Author Topic: Chapter 2B: Emerging from the Shadows  (Read 22827 times)
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Tasuli Rose
Duke of Chylikis
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Half-elf Ylfferhim / Erpheronian


« on: January 07, 2006, 01:51:23 PM »

The sun rose upon a dreary morning, the rain having finally ceased only an hour ago. A thin fog hung low to the ground, obscuring the vision as wisps of fog seemed to swirl with a life of their own. Despite the constant downpour of the night before, the sky remained clear without a cloud in sight. Even without clouds the light of the sun remained pale, its light barely illuminating the shadows.

The silence of the morning was broken as hoof struck stone, two mares gracefully walking into the courtyard as they were lead by a stableboy. As day contrasts night, so too did the hues of these mares differ. The first mare possessed a dull white coat with grey splotches upon its rump. With a grey mane and tail, she should have been beautiful yet seeming to be only skin and bones she was simply lanky. Appearing darker than even midnight on a cloudy night, the second mare was a solid black, having a nor’sidian coat. A white mane descended down the back of her neck, and a white blaze decorated her forehead. Both mares were of Centoraurian stock, though only the dark one was a fine specimen of its breed, and seemed to be intended for the two female half elves.

With a loud neigh a roan stallion galloped into the courtyard, his hoofs seeming to strike sparks against the cobblestones. Frantically two stableboys rushed after him, attempting to grab the lead rope that trailed behind him. As he turned in midstride, they became the ones being chased as he reared up on his hind legs, his front hoofs flashing at them. With a loud snort he came down and stomped one hoof against the courtyard as if to ascertain his dominance. The sensible mares merely rolled their eyes at the antics of the opposite gender. For the moment, the stableboys let the stallion be, hoping he would calm after a while. Each horse was already saddled with saddlebags bulging with provisions. An incredibly long snake slithered from the stables without a single man to lead him as none dared to approach the large reptile. He coiled his fifteen ped serpentine body in one corner of the courtyard, apparently falling asleep.

The halls were empty except for the servants that hurried as they sought to accomplish their morning chores. Each one was dressed in gold and blue, the livery of the Duchess. One particular servant knocked upon the doors of the guest rooms occupied by the strangers. With brown hair and matching eyes he was nondescript and easily forgotten by those that met him. As the strangers emerged from their rooms, blearily wiping the sleep from their eyes, he silently guided them through the halls of the castle and down a broad flight of stairs with gilded rails running alongside. After a few moments they were standing at the front door of the castle. With one fluid motion he opened the double doors and stood to one side to allow the strangers to pass through into the courtyard. Neither the Duchess nor Duke were anywhere to be seen, and it could only be assumed that at least one of them will make an appearance in the courtyard momentarily.

Edited by: Tasuli Rose at: 1/7/06 8:13
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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2006, 09:07:23 AM »

Luca had been up well before dawn, having cracked open the small window and absently admiring the view and the fresh air. She liked being clean, having washed herself and her hair the night before, even giving her shirt a quick a soak before slipping off to bed. Not liking how light her mop of brown hair felt, the half-elf pulled one of Pick's black and crimson hued feathers from her bag and braided it near her temple, admiring how the color accented her hair. Her wandering throughts were shaken from her mind from a soft knock at the door. Quickly slipping her ragged skirt back on and, after short deliberation, grabbing the rest of her things, she poked her head out the door. People were leaving, it seemed, and Luca, hastily doing up her heavy leather belt as she walked, wasn't about to be left alone in such a place.

Silently for once, the thief strutted through the halls, idly admiring the various art and displays of craftsmanship that adorned the structure. Vases, sculpture, ornate carving. As far she was concerned, they were eyesores, but the young woman couldn't help but reckon the price they'd fetch at any bazaar.

The morning air was crisp as she stepped out, admiring the courtyard. It took a moment but, glancing up and around a few times, Luca came to the bitter realization that she had been dangling above that very spot the night prior. She began tracing the ground near the wall, bold brown eyes on the ground in curiosity if anything had dropped in her escapades. Suddenly, there was a snap, a tug and a cry of pain as Luca flailed desperately to escape the clutches of whatever horrible apparation had affronted her.

It took a few moments, but the half-elf came to the slow realization that there was a horse attached to her face. With a quick slap to the face, her hand landed firmly on the beasts snout which withdrew, chewing idly on the feather from her hair.

"Bloody wretched scoundral," she muttered, grabbing the horse's muzzle in her grasp and pulling it forhead to forhead, staring into it's glazed over and very unintelligent eyes the size of cherries. They blinked once, twice, before the horse's long, offensive tongue slathered up across her cheek. Luca cried out again and initiated yet another screaming match, despite the apparent absence of participation on her opponent's side.


Contact me: faye_004@yahoo.ca or all us admins: rpg@santharia.com

Edited by: Luca the Thief at: 1/10/06 1:08
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ratdragon
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2006, 06:17:23 AM »

Ratdragon woke from his deep sleep at about an hour before dawn. The elf started his morning with some basic stretches and excercises, made sure his hair was styled, and washing up in the wash bowl. By the time the knock was heard, the elf was well prepared.

Stepping out of his room and following the others quitely, Ratdragon eagerly awaited the quest. Stepping into the courtyard, the elf watched Luca and her encounter with a dim-witted horse. Chuckling slightly, the elf turned his gaze to the serpent coiled up in a corner. Striding over to the reptile, Ratdragon flicked it's nose. The reptile woke up, blinking it's large, yellow eyes. Seeing the elf, the serpent nudged him gently as Ratdragon searched his saddlebags.

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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 01:29:23 AM »

Elen, as usual, woke before the sun rose. It was cold as she stepped out of bed, momentarily displaced in senses before she remembered the happenings of the night before—too many incidents, too many thoughts—she stared out of the window and breathed in the fresh air, letting the breeze against her face clear her mind. She needed to think.

She could not refuse the Duchess’s request, not after she had angered the Duchess the night before. It seemed inevitable that she would have to serve the Duke on this impossible quest. She needed to prepare. Her belongings, little as they were, were in the other room that she occupied. She washed her face and made haste to get them.

She went down the series of hallways and upon entering her room, changed into more comfortable clothing, her traveling wear—slightly worn but definitely presentable—and picked up one change of clothing, her book recording her songs and writings and lastly, a flute which she had bought just recently from her painstakingly earned wages serving the Duchess’s household. She placed everything into a bundle and made her way back to the guest room where she assumed further instructions would be given.

She did not have to wait long for someone came knocking soon enough. She followed everyone to the courtyards and stood aside, waiting for her cue as to what to do next.  


The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...


Elendilwyn Gwaihir

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Tasuli Rose
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Half-elf Ylfferhim / Erpheronian


« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 09:18:23 AM »

OOC: After the boardwide loss of posts.

Duchess Sera

Tasul'i awoke to the incessant shaking of his shoulders. Alighted with fury were his eyes as his hands grasped the wrists of the one foolish enough to awake him. With a strength gained from years of training with a sword, his grip tightened as a sharp cry of pain erupted from the throat of his mother. Upon realizing whom she was, he quickly released her yet no apology was offered. As he swung his legs off his soft and luxurious bed, his green eyes glared at her as he awaited her departure. Without speaking, Sera left his room, not daring to converse with him in such a foul mood. Her own thoughts focused upon the plight of her son, and she wept softly as she passed through the corridors of her home. Each servant looked away as she passed, knowing that it would not be proper for them to see their mistress in her current condition.

Her cheeks were yet damp though she was no longer crying as she gracefully strode through the double doors and into the courtyard, the doors having been held open by a nearby servant. Bruises were forming on her wrists from the pressure previously applied on them by her son’s grip. To hide the bruises from those standing before her, she held her hands down by her skirt, lifting it so that she may walk without its hem brushing against the courtyard. The Duchess was resplendent in her silk gown seemingly woven from shafts of sunlight, its golden hues glowing in the sunlight of the early morning. Upon her feet were crimson slippers whose tips were inlaid with gold, and her hair was held up by golden pins set with flawless rubies. With a melodious voice she spoke to the adventurers as she stood upon the steps that descended to the courtyard below.

“Last night I asked that you all take time to consider the plight of my son and the considerable rewards offered to those willing to accompany him. I would hear your answers now as we stand beneath the sunrise, an eternal symbol of hope. Only one detail was withheld last night, and I reveal it now. My son is seeking a renowned healer in Vezash, one rumored to be capable of healing even maladies of the mind. Tasul’i would have you and the residents of this castle believe that he is well, yet from your encounters with him surely you know this to be false. It is at my beckoning that he goes, for even if he does not find this healer perhaps he will finally mature into a man and learn to restrain his ever changing emotions.”

Her azure gaze focused upon each of the strangers, pausing on each of them for only a moment. Luca at first stood with her back to the Duchess as she addressed the two males standing before her, yet she had turned as Sera began to speak. The guard known as Malik stood facing the doors and had been the first to notice the approach of the Duchess. Hard leather armor was worn over his gold tunic and black breeches, and anyone familiar with the Kuglimz would recognize him as a member of the Helvet’ine tribe. Blonde braids encased in iron rings fell to his shoulders, yet his beard was too short to braid, descending for a couple of nailsbreadths from his fair cheeks. Being slightly taller than two peds, he towered over everyone standing in the courtyard, including the elf. None knew how the Kuglimz mercenary came to serve the Duchess in Chylikis, as he would not speak of his homeland. He appeared calm despite having nearly been struck by lightning only moments ago, and the mage responsible was no where to be seen. The elf stood slightly behind and to one side of the human, only a few fores from his enormous snake. Arriving only moments before the Duchess herself was Elendilwyn as she stood to one side, slightly apart from the others.

The stallion seemed to have calmed, yet his baleful gaze focused upon the Duchess as she spoke. Clearly it was the calm just before a storm, as chaos would erupt if any were to attempt to touch him. Yogi seemed to be content to follow Luca, apparently fond of the half elf already. Her dumb gaze seemed unfocused as she nuzzled against Luca’s hair, taking a few strands into her mouth and chewing slowly as she did so. Elegantly Valencia walked to where Elendilwyn stood, nuzzling against her shoulder in greeting. The stable hands seemed to have disappeared as their help was no longer required, nor were any of them willing to stand anywhere near the stallion.

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ratdragon
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2006, 11:36:23 PM »

Ratdragon listened to Sera's speech, and contemplated the arrogant Tasuli's condition. The elf highly doubted that he could be cured, but he wasn't an expert in the ways of healing.

Bowing low before the Duchess, the elf straightened and replied, "I will escort your son Lady, though it'll take all my strength not to strangle him. I'll make sure no harm comes to him."

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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2006, 01:48:23 AM »

Elendilwyn watched the Duchess stroll into the courtyard, elegant as always. She listened to the words that followed with a composed face, for a large part unreadable except for her eyes which never fail to give her away. Elen was apprehensive about the whole arrangement. With so many live-wires in a traveling group, it is unlikely that anyone is going to have a smooth journey. She did not bother to answer the Duchess for she knew she had no say in that matter—let river run, where the roads go, she will follow.

Her thoughts were soon interrupted by the soft nuzzling by her shoulder. She turned to look at the beautiful beast that had walked up to her, returning the gesture by stroking the soft mane that fell down its neck. For a moment, Elen was lost to the world, her attention only on the horse.

“You are so beautiful… what’s your name pretty dear?”


The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...


Elendilwyn Gwaihir

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Tasuli Rose
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Half-elf Ylfferhim / Erpheronian


« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2006, 09:42:23 AM »

Malik

With interest the mercenary listened to the Duchess as she spoke. His only loyalty was to Duchess Sera, and he cared naught for her son. Yet he would gladly endure anything if only to ensure the happiness of the lady he served. He decided ere she finished speaking and was walking toward the steps upon which the Duchess stood as the elf voiced his consent. In one fluid motion he knelt, only a few fores before the Duchess, holding a fist to his heart as he spoke.

"My Lady, I would serve you by escorting your son. Please, consider my request as my skills are indeed valuable."

Duchess Sera

Sera smiled as Ratdragon accepted her offer, relieved that Tasul'i would have at least one warrior to protect him from others and from himself. However, her expression became one of puzzlement as Malik strode toward her. The mercenary had always been incredibly loyal to her since the day he had first arrived years ago and would obey any command she gave. Sera only hoped that his loyalty was born of a respect for her position and not a desire for her as she belonged to another.

"Rise Malik and saddle your horse. A warrior of your mettle is valuable on any journey." Her gaze swept over the courtyard, focusing upon the elf for a moment. "Ratdragon, while your service is greatly appreciated, I ask that you restrain yourself in the presence of my son and not allow his words to nettle you. Words cannot harm anyone, yet the dangers of this journey are indeed real."

A slight frown came to her face as the silence of the two females bothered her. Taking their silence as consent, she turned to re-enter the castle as the doors flew wide open. Standing there was none other than Tasul'i, fully dressed in his finest silk. The half elf seemed dressed for a ball and not for a journey of several days. Without a word to his mother he walked past her, ignoring everyone gathered in the courtyard. Rowan reared on his hind legs as Tasul'i approached, causing the half elf to cower in fear for a moment before regaining his composure. The stallion seemed calm enough as Tasul'i reached his side and mounted him without any further incidents. The scowl upon his face seemed to take in everyone gathered before him, as if their very presence displeased him. With a kick to the sides of the horse, he galloped from the courtyard, racing through the gate hurriedly opened by dazed servants.

The frown had only deepened upon her face as she watched her son leave, the worry for him only intensifying within her mind. As she descended the stairs, Malik emerged from the stables mounted on his Kev'lor warhorse, having gone to fetch the horse only moments before Tasul'i emerged from the castle. Her gaze focused on each person for a moment as she looked at each of them. The worry she felt for her son was conveyed in the tone of her voice as she spoke to all of them.

"Please, follow him and keep him safe. The worry I feel for him will be lessened by the knowledge that he is accompanied by honorable folk, each possessing unique talents." With a few graceful strides, she walked to where Elendilwyn stood with her horse. "You have the honor of riding Valencia, my mare. Treat her well, and she will serve faithfully. Please, care for Tasul'i in my stead and ease a mother's worry."

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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2006, 01:57:23 PM »

Valencia… that was the name of the mare she was supposed to ride—the thought of riding such a magnificent creature filled her with an unspeakable sense of elation. At that moment, she felt the sense of adventure stirring within her, a spark of flame that lies dormant beneath her façade of propriety.

She turned to the Duchess and said, “Thank you for entrusting me with the care of your son. I will do my best to serve all within the group” and smiled, sincere and genuine. She only hoped she did not speak too fast for this did not look like an easy group to serve but she would do what she could.

Still seeing the worry on the Duchess’s face, she instinctively reached out and placed her hand on Sera’s shoulder in assurance. “Don’t worry. All will be well.”


The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...


Elendilwyn Gwaihir

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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2006, 06:13:23 AM »

Luca listened to the duchess' task and nodded slightly to herself, her brow furrowing in curiosity. Luca had learned long ago to take all threats seriously and to judge only the person that gave them. And, in the given case, the half-elf judged that Tasuli's father would not hesitate to have her head should she disobey.

The mare nudged Luca's cheek with it's damp pink muzzle, stepping up closer to the thief and nearly trampling her toes. "Stupid thing. Might as well put some use to you," she muttered, scanning the courtyard as the noblewoman conversed with some of the others. Neatly tucking her bottom lip, a curt and sharp whistle sounded with a quick burst of air. The mare rocked it's head back and in an action that would have been majestic had it not been for the mangey state of her mane, tossed about before allowing Luca to hop on. The half-elf swaggered on the saddle, after all her days still preferring dirt between her toes to a swift mount.

The half-elf ignored the reins and tooks the horse by the mane, steering her over to trod up near the duchess. "Your boy's an idiot and I'm figured due for a word with him. Thanks for everything, Duchy." she said with a nod, tossing her head back in a queerly similar manner before tromping off after the brat.


Contact me: faye_004@yahoo.ca or all us admins: rpg@santharia.com

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ratdragon
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2006, 06:27:23 AM »

Ratdragon nodded to the Duchess, replying, "Do not worry lady, I shall restrain myself." Turning, the elf muttered under his breath, "If only barely"

Running his slender fingers over his mount's scaled head, the elf leaped into the saddle. The serpent slowly uncoiled itself, yawning widely. The elf let out a shrill whistle, sounding like the call of a predatory bird. Answering the call, Ratdragon's golden eagle could be seen in the skies. Kicking the serpent in the flanks, the elf sent Rip Fang speeding after Luca and Tasuli, the eagle following closely behind.

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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2006, 01:10:23 PM »

From the corner of her eyes, Elen saw everyone get up on their horses and with a smile, she withdrew her hand from the Duchess’s shoulder and proceeded to get onto her mare. It has been a while since she rode a horse but Valencia was patient and Elen just needed a bit of time to remember. With a soft nudge, Valencia went after the others—what an impatient lot—but was pleased with the fresh breeze that caressed her face as she fell into pace with the steady rhythm of Valencia’s canter.  

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Tasuli Rose
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Half-elf Ylfferhim / Erpheronian


« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2006, 06:05:23 AM »

Malik

For a moment, Malik relaxed in his saddle, his gaze focused upon the Duchess, as the others rode away. Even he did not know the source of his loyalty, yet he would do anything upon her request. With a silent nod to Duchess Sera, as if to say that he would protect her son, Malik turned Mystrume Geinar with only his knees, and with an uttered word, the horse galloped after the others, the power contained in his legs evident with each stride. A quick glance behind him revealed the Duchess yet standing upon the steps, her azure gaze focused upon the travelers that were her son's only hope. Malik averted his gaze before she turned to enter the castle, not willing to watch her leave. In his mind at least, she would always watch over them as they traveled, blessing them with her angelic presence.

Tasul'i

Rowan raced ahead, clearly enjoying this morning's run, yet the other horses were slowly gaining on him. The kicks to his side were of no avail, as he was bred for endurance and not speed. With a sneer evident upon his face, Tasul'i watched the people as he rode through the cobbled streets of the city. Stone buildings rose up on either side of the street, their condition worsening the farther one got from the castle of the Duchess. Every so often, a building crafted of wood was evident between those of stone. The best of these were resplendent in their beauty with every beam seeming to gleam in the morning sun. Yet there were also hastily constructed shacks that lasted only a season before collapsing.

Anyone who dared to approach the roan stallion received a stern kick from Tasul'i, and the way he held a handkerchief over his nose made it apparent that the stench of the city offended his delicate senses. As there were not many people about at this early hour, Rowan was able to continue his gallop through the city without any impediments.

Without warning, the stallion reared on his hind legs as the stench of smoke invaded his nostrils. Only barely able to hang on, Tasul'i kicked him forward as a burning building came into view. Flames could be seen through the broken windows, and smoke poured from every door and window. Screams could be heard from those trapped within, and Tasul'i blanched in fear upon hearing them. A sign hung above the tavern's door, declaring it as the "Dancing Boar". The scene depicted upon the sign was of a boar on its hind legs with a flute held to its lips, its legs atwirl in a dance. The stallion neighed loudly before rearing once more as a startled Tasul'i was dropped from his back. Without another sound the stallion galloped away, racing past the burning building. The others   were closing in by this time, and Tasul'i ran toward them, his crimson locks flying behind him as his face held a look of utter fear. Instead of halting to greet them, he raced past them, not sparing a glance for where he was running, and fell flat as he collided with the kev'lor warhorse. By the groans emanating from his lips, it was apparent that he was unconscious yet unharmed.

Edited by: Tasuli Rose at: 2/7/06 12:01 am
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Yarg Anklebiter
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2006, 09:24:23 AM »

Yarg woke up earlier than most people this morning. Walking down from his room in the 'Dancing Boar' inn. Despite the fact that it was early, Yarg's customary cheer was evident in his little smile, and the small bounce in his step. Coming down the stairs, and into the main room, Yarg sees that very little has been done to clean it since last night. Alcohol graces the floors liberally, while scatter mugs are found at all tables. Even the large man from the night before, who called himself Bahren, or Boran, or something like that, was still here passed out over a table. Yarg decided to go talk to his drunken friend.

Yarg sits down at the large man's table, and realizes a problem with the aforementioned 'talking plan'. The man was passed out. Using his walking stick as a poker, Yarg promptly jabs the drunk in the ribs, to no avail, other than a muffled groan. Yarg then notices that the large man still holds a metal flask in his hand, and a mischievous glint sparkles in Yarg's eyes.

Reaching into a small pouch, Yarg pulls out a small amount of sulphur, and gently puts it over the flask, being very quiet, so as not to disturb the drunk man, even though he could have been quite loud and the unconscious brute would not have heard a thing. Once the flask was thoroughly coated, Yarg concentrates on it, casting his spell Injeran Touch. He focuses on more heat, with less duration. The effect was instantaneous, and much amusing to Yarg.

Superheated to unbearable temperatures, the flask burned the drunken man's hand, and immediately snapped him out of his stupor. Crying out loudly, the large man threw the flask away from him, much to the now laughing Yarg's amusement.

Unfortunately, the superheated flask landed in a large puddle of the alcohol that was carelessly left on the floor. The liquid instantly ignited, creating a large fire that grew by the second. The fire ignited the entire floor, which had puddles of alcohol all over it, and behind the bar, igniting the numerous bottles of booze kept there, causing dozens of small explosions, and spreading the fire further.....

Whenever I see a Fire, I try to put it out. 'Cept unlike the usual methods, I use OIL!!

- Yarg

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Bahran the big
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2006, 03:31:23 PM »

Visions of Sugarplum danced in the big man's head as he laid there, sprawled out on the rather comfortable tables of the Dancing Boar. Out of all the barroom tables he had ever been sprawled out on, Bahran found these to be amongst the most comfortable. He had been sprawled out on this one table in Marcogg one time and that was awful. When he got up his neck was stiff and his back ached, the whole nine peds. He complained about that table for several weeks, much to the chagrin of his listeners. But, this Dancing Boar had some nice tables.

He had been having a nice dream, starring a “tavern mistress” named Sugarplum he had met before passing out. Bahran was running through the forest with the woman (although some might call it “chasing” Bah wasn't one to split hairs) when one of the limbs reached out an poked him. He found that rather odd, but continued to dream nonetheless. Unfortunately, just a short while later, the big man was awoken rather rudely.

The flask flew across the bar involuntarily. His vocal cords also seemed to be moving involuntarily, as were all the nerves in his hand, which seemed to be yelling at him in unison. Bahran got off the table just in time to be bombarded with the broken glass from numerous exploding bottles. The room started getting rather warm rather quickly and the big man thought it might be best to get out, but there was a more pressing matter to deal with first. He had heard the hobbit laughing when he had first jumped up, and he'd be damned if he took that from a hobbit.

The big man reached down and grabbed the hobbit by the vest and pulled him up to eye level. But, before he could say anything he felt extreme heat in close proximity to his left foot. He tucked the hobbit under his arm and bolted for the door, jumping over a few small fires before leaping out the door into the morning sun, hobbit in tow.

_____________

"Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication."
- Lord Byron

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"Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication."
- Lord Byron
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