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1  Santharian World Development / Miscellaneous / Re: We heard what she said.... on: 08 February 2010, 04:35:16
Gean, your recognition may stem from the fact that the song is based on an old 'after game' rugby song which has been adopted by various groups.
2  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: The Silent Watcher: A Tale (updated) on: 08 February 2010, 02:21:43
Visions of the Injera beating down upon him from a cloudless desert sky began to invade the comforting blackness that had shielded him from the world outside since he had taken the healing draught. In his dream he urged his weary legs to carry him swiftly to cover before the skin was burned from his very bones, but the faster he tried to move, the deeper he sank into the blistering sands. He kicked out, trying to climb out of this premature tomb, an animal cry of fear, anger and defiance rattling unbidden from his parched throat as the cloying sands dragged him deeper still. The noise was cut short as the scorching grains finally reached his head and began to slowly pour into his silently gaping mouth like dry acid.

The sound of screaming woke the Watcher, causing him to sit bolt upright in the sweat-soaked bed, eyes wide in panic, his heart trying to pound a hole in his chest. His eyes quickly scanned his surroundings, basic instincts taking over, seeking an escape route.
Wait…..wha….? It took his brain several moments to make sense of what his eyes were seeing. Instead of the sucking desert sands, all he saw were his legs entangled in his cloak and a heavy quilt. Where before had been the Injera, now all he felt was the warm glow of the fire crackling in the hearth beside him, casting dancing shadows across the furniture and walls.
He was almost fully awake now, and his heightened senses were beginning to soothe. His heart, however, would take a while yet to calm…….A stray thought drifted through his mind like a whisp of smoke. Quilt, it said. Nothing more, just….quilt.

He disentangled his feet from the sodden material and swung them onto the carpeted floor, stretching his massive arms towards the ceiling and yawning widely as he pondered the word. Deciding it was too early to be taxing his brain thus, he continued his morning ritual by scratching long and hard at first his stomach (which he swore was taking longer each day), and then his backside. A small smile of extreme pleasure curled the edges of his mouth.
Yawning again, he stood, tensed his whole body, and farted long and loud. As the rasping-rumbling tailed off to almost nothing, an extra clench added a shorter but equally powerful blast. A few timeticks later his smile broadened as he congratulated himself on the strength and longevity of the stench that now permeated the room. ‘Y’never loose it,’ he thought.

Bending over, he searched around under the cot until his hand closed around the cool handle of a chamber pot. He carefully slid it out from its hiding place (well, you could never be too careful, could you?). Taking careful aim, or as carefully as he could considering the dim light and his fading eyesight, the Watcher began to relieve himself for the first time in over a day, his smile changing to one of blissful contentment as the room was filled with a sound that can only be described as equine in origin.

Just as the noise was reaching a crescendo, it stopped as suddenly as a tap being turned. The Watchers eyes opened wide and his mouth rapidly followed suit. QUILT! His brain screamed at him. QUILT, YOU BLOODY IDIOT! You lit a fire, you drank your medicine, you got in bed, you wrapped yourself in your cloak, you fell asleep. WHERE DID THE FLAMIN’ QUILT COME FROM?

Hardly daring to breathe, he turned his head slowly and examined the room through half-closed eyes, thinking that whatever he might see wouldn’t look half as bad that way. Bed, wall, wall, parchments, floor…..nope, nothing that way.
He gulped, then turned slowly in the other direction. Bed, wall, floor, parchments, luggage, chair, desk…..Whoah, whoah! Back up a bit. Desk, chair…….luggage.
His eyes squeezed themselves shut as they recognised the travelling bags of his old friend, Dwarvenmistress Judith, MasterBard of Santharia. K’han’uck’s breeches! She must have returned sometime after I fell asleep. Oh Ye Gods, in her bed, to boot! It was her who put the quilt on me, surely.

His mind was racing, trying to find excuses and ways out of the many different troubles he was in right now. Forcing back thoughts of the MasterBard’s razor-tongue slicing him into little strips, he returned to his examination of the room. Luggage, chair, his eyes strained to see faster than his head was turning in the hopes of giving him fair warning about what lay around the corner. Carpet, stack of parchments, ‘Arrrggggh!’ his brain screamed, ‘Sensible shoes! Oh Gods, she’s really here! She’s goin’t’kill me, ah know’s it.’

Realising that it was to late to hide, he turned his head the rest of the way around with eyes clamped shut. When his chin was touching his left shoulder, he gritted his teeth and slowly opened one eye. There was a mound of bedclothes on the floor in front of the fire. It was rising and falling slowly and emitting quiet little snoring noises.
‘Phew!’ he silently breathed his relief.

As he stood there wondering what to do next, the pale rays of dawn reached the window behind him, crept across the slumbering figure on the hearth, up the far wall and illuminated the large, dusty mirror above the MasterBards dressing table. Reflected in the mirror was the naked body of a paunchy orc.
Looking down aghast, as if to check what the mirror was showing him, he quickly grabbed a floral scatter cushion from the chair beside him and covered his modesty. Panicking again, he quickly cast about for his clothes.

‘Aha!’ he spotted his shirt on the floor beside the sleeping Bard. Carefully, quietly, he edged his way forwards until he could stretch his leg out and drag the crumpled garment towards him using his toes. Once it was within reach, he quickly threw the cushion away, bent down, picked up the shirt and pulled it over his head, all in one swift movement. Another silent sigh of relief blew from his lips.

‘Now then, pants?’ His eyes darted about the room, looking for a tell-tale scrap of dirty blue cloth. There! Up by her head. He’d have to be very careful here, unless he wanted to wake her.
Carrying the high-backed chair in front of him as a shield, he shuffled his way around the back of the desk in a wide arc, negotiating the teetering piles of dusty parchments, watchful eyes straining for any signs of wakefulness from his friend.
Had he but used one eye for that purpose, he may have used to other one to see the open pack-sack the Bard had dropped on the floor during the night. As it was, he didn’t realise his error until one foot was ankle deep in dirty laundry of a most personal nature, and the other was ensnared in the carrying strap. He lurched sideways and, not having enough hands to hide his nether regions, grab the desk, untangle his one foot and remove something black and lacy from the other, he fell to the floor in an untidy heap.

He lay there for what seemed like ages, hardly daring to move or breathe, waiting for the Bards head to appear over the desk. He strained his ears, listening for the slightest sound. All he could hear was the slow, rhythmic breathing that told him he had been lucky. ‘By all that’s Holy,’ he thought, ‘she sleeps like a bear in Winter!’
Carefully picking himself up and removing his feet from the Bards undergarments, he continued his stealthy shuffling until he was within a ped of his comatose friend. He knelt down and slid his arm under the chair, gently feeling around until he found one leg of his breeches. Softly, gently, he pulled until he had one half of a pair of pants in his hand. Feeling very satisfied with himself, he reorganised his grip on the other half and repeated his gentle coaxing until the material tightened and stopped moving in his direction. Another tug, firmer but still gentle, failed to improve the situation. Bending his head down to the floor, his heart sank when he saw what was causing the obstruction; the Bard had placed her pillow on top of his pants, and they were trapped beneath her head!
Curses! Why is it always me? he asked the heavens. He slumped back onto his haunches and tried to think of a way out of his predicament.

As he pondered, his eyes absent-mindedly wandered about the room until they fell upon the means of his salvation. There, hanging from a nail in the wall outside the door to the small scullery, was the Bards cooking apron. Quick as a flash, he was across the room and was soon sporting a very fetching knee-length frilly apron, painted liberally with bright yellow sunsmile flowers. Looking at himself again in the mirror, his heart sank as he realised just what he looked like. ‘Still,’ he thought, “beggars can’ be choosers,” and right at this precise moment in time, he was a king amongst beggars.

Having managed to finally make himself half decent, he began to relax. He moved quietly around the cluttered room, standing up everything he had knocked over or dislodged and generally trying to hide any evidence of his clumsiness. When he had finished he took a step back, hands on hips, and surveyed the room. It looked even worse then before, especially in the strengthening light which was by now pouring in through the small open window.

Then it struck him. He knew how he could make amends for breaking into the Bards private chambers, sleeping in her bed, burning her chair and, and…..well, everything. He set about his task immediately and with his usual single-mindedness. Taking care no to rouse the slumbering heap of quilts, he moved around the room as quickly as he dared, tidying, straightening, dusting, wiping and polishing every surface and object he could lay hands to.
One notch of a time candle later, the room was shining like a GoldBard.
The same could not be said of the orc. His hands, arms and face were filthy with black dust. Worse, he had been using the apron as a cleaning cloth, and it now looked more suited to a smithy’s workshop than a kitchen. He needed to get himself and the DwarvenMistresses best cooking apron cleaned up good as new before she woke up. Although, considering that she hadn’t so much as flinched since he arose, it may not be as urgent as he thought.

Picking up the pitcher atop the washstand, he poured the contents into the basin. Nothing. It was dryer than a Shendar sandle. “Why am ah not surprised?” he muttered to himself. “Ah mean, after all, why should thur be any watter in th’ chuffin’ thing? Nowt else ‘as gone reet f’me so far, why shud this be any diff’rent?”
He tiptoed into the small kitchen out back and tried using the hand pump the Bard had had specially designed and fitted by some Dwarven inventor of her acquaintance. The iron hinges squealed in protest and the empty pipes beneath the floorboards began to bang and rattle their anger before coughing out a cloud of dust and spiderwebs.
His temper flayed, the orc grabbed the pipe and squeezed, throttled and twisted it like the neck of a taenish. “C’monnnn, ya bloody thing! Jus’ gi’me enough t’swill the muck off, fer K’han’uck’s sake!” But it was useless, as was the pipework now that he had wrestled it into submission.
There was only one thing to do, he realised. He would have to go outside to the courtyard and fill the jug with water from the fountain. Back in the main room, he leant across the bed and peered out of the window. At last! The Gods were on his side this time. It was still early, despite the height of the Injera and the clear blue sky, and only a handful of students and messengers were up and about their chores. If he was quick, he could be there and back before anyone saw him.

Tucking the jug under one arm, he checked that the Bard was still sound asleep, then quietly let himself out of the front door. He peeped slowly out of the short hallway that led to the main corridor and looked both ways. Excellent! It was deserted. He half walked, half ran the length of the stone passage to the narrow back stairway usually reserved for the cleaning staff. He spiralled his way to the ground floor, his bare feet slapping the cold stone as he went. Listening intently at the door to the courtyard, he satisfied himself that the coast was clear before quickly slipping outside. Without stopping, he ran across to the fountain and without pause scooped up a jugful of the crystal clear water, turned on his heels and dashed back to the door and safety. At least, that was the plan.
On reaching the door, he found to his dismay that it had swung shut behind him, locking him out and leaving him exposed, in more ways than one.
While he was rattling the doorknob in an effort to scare the lock into opening, and unseen by him, a trio of young delivery girls had turned into the yard on their way to the kitchens. They were chattering excitedly about whatever young females chatter about when they came upon the orc frantically tugging, kicking and swearing at the door. Their chattering came to an abrupt halt as one girl dropped her baskets and screamed, another fainted and the third just stood open-mouthed, pointing silently at his bare backside. He turned aghast, water sloshing from the jug and soaking the front of the apron. The screams of the first girl were echoing around the high stone walls, and faces were appearing at windows trying to find their source. He raised his free hand in a gesture meant to calm the girls, but he only succeeded in making them worse. “NO, no! Sssshhhhh. Sssshhhhh! Ye Gods, please ssshhhh.”

His efforts to placate them failed miserably, and soon curious heads began to appear around doorways, and it wasn’t long before the Gatekeeper, a miserable cur at the best of times, heard the ruckus and began to walk over towards the screaming girl, who by this time had recovered enough of her faculties to begin pelting the orc with  eyren from the basket she was carrying.
With time running out before he was set upon by the approaching crowds and arrested for any number of transgressions against common decency, he spotted his one chance for escape. There beside him, hidden behind the foliage in a freshly planted flowerbed, was an open window. It was narrow, certainly, but he was sure he could squeeze through if he breathed in.
Ducking through the tall stems he lifted the window as high as he could and, lying flat on the dew-soaked soil, wriggled and twisted until he had most of his body inside the room beyond. Unfortunately, just as he was about to haul his legs through, the cords which tied the apron around him snagged on the window catch, leaving him suspended upside down with his legs and posterior still on the outside in plain view of the rapidly approaching crowd.

Hearing the baying of his persuers coming ever closer, he kicked and wriggled for all he was worth until, with a ripping noise, he fell headlong onto the stone floor below. Quickly reaching up, he slammed shut the window and pushed the catch into place before sliding down the wall in a panting, sweaty heap. “PHEW!” he said to himself, “Tha’ were lucky.”
After taking a few moments to calm his breathing, he looked at his new surroundings and saw, to his delight and uncommon good fortune, that he had landed in one of the many laundry rooms scattered throughout the lower floors of the building. With a little more luck, he might find some proper clothes more suited to one of his bulk, or as he preferred to think of it, stature . He stood up and made his way to a large wicker basket on wheels that stood beside a row of stone troughs full of water in varying stages of scummyness. After scrubbing himself clean of the yolk and soil of his escape, a quick rummage through the mound of laundry in the basket saw him fully dressed in reasonably fitting clothes which, if not entirely to his taste, at least covered the bits you really shouldn’t reveal in polite company.

Having spilled the entire pitcher of water during his acrobatic escape, he now refilled it from the clean water trough, stuffed the Bard’s rolled-up, filthy apron underneath a pile of dirty clothes, and made his way out of the room and up the spiral steps outside which, if he remembered correctly, would lead him all the way up to the small maintenance door not a dozen peds from the Bard’s private chambers.

Within the drip of a candle he had run up the steps and was now edging his way the short distance to the Bard’s door, the water jug held on one shoulder to shield his face from the view of the many students and researchers who were noisily making their way to wherever they were going. One young human female walked past him with a large bunch of freshly-picked flowers hanging precariously from her satchel which was slung casually over her shoulder. With practised ease, he managed to slide them out of the bag and inside his shirt without anyone noticing.
Back inside the rooms of his friend, he found her still sleeping soundly. He shook his head and smiled wryly at her ability to block out everything around her.

Daylight was now streaming through the small window next to the alcove bed, and he moved to open it to allow the fresh morning air to circulate through the room. Well, he had to try to get rid of the lingering smell of orc farts before she awoke or she’d never forgive him, and he was probably in enough trouble as it was.
As he reached out for the window latch, he spotted several eyren, a small chunk of bread, a flaggon of milch and a hard, stinky piece of cheese which had obviously been picked at. He also spotted his cloak which, he suddenly realised with a groan, he could have worn instead of the backless apron. Cursing himself as stupid, he picked up the foodstuffs and took them, along with the pitcher of fresh water, into the small back kitchen.

A dozen or so timeticks later, there was a clean vase of flowers sat atop the fire mantle above the MasterBard’s head, spreading their subtle perfumes around the room, a pot of water boiling over the freshly stoked fire (well, he had to get rid of the rest of the chair somehow. You never know, she might not notice it missing), and several rough slices of the bread were skewered on his sword and toasting nicely.

As he knelt beside the fire, turning the toast, he looked down at the sleeping face of his dear friend. Strands of her dark hair, tinged now with slivers of grey and dusty from the road, had fallen across her cheek and were stuck to the dried spittle at the corner of her mouth. Smiling lovingly, he brushed them softly away with a fat, calloused finger. His mind took him back through all the adventures the two of them had shared with the many friends he had met since his first day at the Compendium, and for the first time in a very long time, his heart felt at ease. He felt a tickle move slowly down his cheek to his unshaven jaw-line. He wiped away the tear and told himself to stop wallowing.

Returning to the kitchen, he set about preparing tea for the Bard and himself. She would undoubtedly be thirsty when she eventually awoke. He heard himself whistling a random tune (no easy task for one with tusks!), and mused over what had caused his sudden happiness after such a Gods-awful start to the day. Ahh! he had it! It was the very fact that he had had such a terrible morning that had uplifted him. At last, things were beginning to get back to normal. Or at least, his kind of normal.

He continued to whistle his tuneless tune as he busied himself with preparing the fastbreak crockery.  

3  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Hello All! on: 06 February 2010, 22:01:22
Hail, Snatchron, and welcome indeed to our Dream.

You certainly seem like a very enthusiastic scholar and I, for one, look forward to hearing of your plans.
We don't have a mentor scheme, as such, in Santharia. Everyone here is happy to help you devise, create, refine and present your creations. Each Forum has it's dedicated Moderators who will guide you through the process, but every Santharian citizen is welcome to comment on anyone else's posts, even Newbies such as your good self. Just be polite!

If you find an area you are particularly keen on, find the person/s who specialize in it and ask questions. Plenty of questions!

My advice? Research, research, research!

Have you read the 'Help! I'm a Newbie' thread? (Top right of this very screen)

When you feel ready, pleae post your ideas in the 'Development Ideas and suggestion' Forum and someone (probably several someone's) will drop by and give their advice.

So, again, Snatchron (which will, no doubt, become either Snatch or Ron very quickly!) Welcome, and above all, enjoy!

*Clomps away to prepare for the night's festivities*
4  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Cort'Mangar- Masterwork on: 06 February 2010, 06:27:32
See how out of touch I am? Whoever I choose, they need to have been in the area a loooooong time ago.

Now let's stop hijacking this thread.
5  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Cort'Mangar- Masterwork on: 06 February 2010, 05:43:16
I think that's a fair assumption, Val. That's how folklore gets distorted, the further away from the source of the events you are, the less likely you are to get the true facts.

As for the Epheronians, I'll wait to see what you do with them here before I make any solid plans.

I still need a Dwarven leader to ally with them over the Gates, though.
6  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Re: Rose (Overview) WIP on: 06 February 2010, 05:40:07
By special request of the exceedingly average Sordoc the Great.

Crush his neck beneath our toes.....our toes,
then feed his eyeballs to the crows.....the crows,
gather his works and collected prose.....his prose,
roll them and stuff them up his nose....his nose,
when his lifeblood from his ears it flows.....it flows,
we'll finish him off with a rain of blows.....of blows.

7  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Cort'Mangar- Masterwork on: 06 February 2010, 04:46:28
*Hastily scribbles down copious notes for the Gates of Hell'wrung entry*

Orcen oral history is kept by story-tellers who are revered in a similar way to shamen. They are highly respected members of the tribe, and are exempt from fighting etc.

I actually created one in a field report sent to Azzy by Ishmael Valaire. I'll se if I can find it. It's in the Library somewhere.

Epheronians, eh? Sound like prime candidates for building the Gates, if you ask me! And that would tie-in nicely with your entry as well, Valan. Give some extra history and length to both our tales.

I've been a bit out of touch Santh wise, as you know, but feel free to ask me any orc-related posers, as well as Azzy. I'm sure we can bash something out between us!
8  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: Special Site Update 24-02-2010: Awards 2009 on: 05 February 2010, 21:38:30
Yes, hearty congratulations to all the winners, and to the nearly-winners for their stirling efforts.

As Talia quite rightly said, if you didn't win anything this year don't be disheartened, it only takes one single flash of inspiration to create a winning entry!
9  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Cort'Mangar- Masterwork on: 05 February 2010, 21:35:42
I agree with evrything said so far. Good work, Valan.

In the dim and distant past when I was given my Masterwork approval, I decided to create a place further south, about half way up Caaehl'heroth, which would be another large settlement built around the Gates of Hell'wrung.
It was built by an ancient human/Dwarf allied army to hold back the encroaching orcen hordes.
Long story short, they failed miserably and the Gates have been in orcen hands ever since, apart from short periods when one army or another managed to wrestle them away.

I never actually got round to starting the project properly, but if you want any more info, just PM me and I'll see what I can do.
10  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Artimidor! on: 05 February 2010, 03:35:59
20,000 posts eh?

Sheesh, where does the time go?

Congratulations Artimidor, here's looking forward to your 50,000th! clap2 clap2
11  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Re: Rose (Overview) WIP on: 04 February 2010, 06:46:30


May I humbly suggest that we

Crush his neck beneath our toes.....our toes,
then feed his bones to the crows.....the crows,
gather his works and collected prose.....his prose,
roll them and stuff them up his nose....his nose.
12  Organization and General Discussions / Non-Santharian Stuff: Life, the Universe & Everything / Re: Cookie ALERT!! on: 04 February 2010, 06:39:46
*Peeking through the writhing foliage like a Japanese sniper, the Watcher noms his own stash of cookies and whispers*

What we waitin' for, Mira?
13  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: Masterwork Permission for Deklitch, Shabakuk and Valan on: 04 February 2010, 04:18:35
Who sir, me sir, no sir, the very idea sir.
14  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Herbarium / Re: Mold (Overview) on: 04 February 2010, 03:34:51
some of our dear orcish brethran might use it as warpaint for example,

Being rather well acquainted with a certain bothersome orc, I feel able to tell you that lichens, mosses etc are used to create dyes for cloth (Ashz-oc) and tattoos (various tribes). As Dek quite rightly mentioned, body paints would also make use of these ingredients. Mould (which has not been included in the Tattooing, scarifying and Body Modification entry AS YET) would almost definately be used in any of the practices above, especially if they are of an unusual colour. Good catch, Dek.

If you want to mention body painting attached to any particular race/tribe, drop Talia a line. I was going to include it in my Body Mod. entry, but she already had plans to do something along those lines. She may have a better idea of who would or would not use this practice.

Good luck with the entry, Kel.
15  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: Masterwork Permission for Deklitch, Shabakuk and Valan on: 04 February 2010, 03:20:05
I was wondering when that little topic would rear its head. *sigh*

Tharocs answer would probably be "Wot's wrong wi' bein' green? Ah likes bein' green." And to an extent, I tend to agree with him.

My answer, however, is rather more complex and personal. Sorry.
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