Old November 5, 2008, 02:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Dolwoods] Ranger Hall

 


The Dolwoods are a mysterious place. On the one hand, like all other forests they are the home to a wide variety of Carmelya's wonderful creations: the animals, birds, plants and trees. Druids are amazed at how sensient the forest is; that it speaks to them in so many mysterious ways as to keep druids themselves amazed at the magic glens and even paths which suddenly appear as if some unseen hand has drawn and colored them with magic.

Approximately one kilometer from the gates of the great dwarfen city of Zerdargia, a permanent path, no wider than to accomodate a copulant dwarf, winds for a couple of kilometers into the forest. At the end of the path you will find what is left of the great corp of Zerdargian rangers.

The wooden structure is made from the logs harvested in the forest, and Ranger's Hall stands proudly as a testament that the Rangers have not deserted their charge, tho' the City had recently fallen about their heads. Zerdargia had been rebuilt, but the Rangers moved their permanent home out here among the beauties of Nature, they have sworn to protect.

New officers have been appointed out of the meagre amount of Rangers left after the war. Their voices can be heard booming out instructions to novices who are just learning the arts of survival, druidism and archery, the core strengths of the Rangers.

The beauty of the surroundings are designed to build in all new rangers the deep and abiding love they must have to protect the forest.

Pedtl Goldbrick is the Commander of the new Corp. of Rangers of Zerdargia. Commander Goldbrick is a Master Elementalist, and is a master shortbow archer and survivalist. The dwarf is of middle age, with brown hair, which he braids in one plait which reaches to his waist. His beard is reddish brown and is neatly trimmed as short as dwarfdom will allow. This is to provide the ranger with no hindrances in battle that would interfere with his marksmanship. The darkening sky burns with fire in the Dolwoods.


The Rangers know that they are blessed with Carmelya's blessing. The Dolwoods accept them as protectors without hindrance. Elfs, however, who have wandered into the Dwarfen territory are told bluntly to withdraw from dwarfen land, and unless they are druids who have permission, are escorted off of the premises. The feud between the elfs and dwarfs burns brightly still, and although they do not shed the elfs' blood willingly, the rangers will react with stern measures if their banishment is not observed. Very rarely will a stray elf wander in twice.
 

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Old November 5, 2008, 03:31 PM   #2 (permalink)

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Mid Aperitus, Spring, Era XV

It wasn't that S'Lon was unfamiliar with dwarfes, there were a fair number in Sheria, nor that he was unfamiliar with the Dolwoods because he'd spent time in Acumin, but there was something about this place that was different.

The city walls were somewhat battered, but they weren't battered in the sense of being in disrepair, instead they positively glowed with strength but it was in the sense that steel was stronger than iron because it had been through the forge. The Dolwoods too, as he walked his horse down the trail were markedly more, well, alive was the only way to describe it. It reminded him of parts of Natura, but it was wilder here without the sense of restraint and order he'd sensed there.

She was strong here. He could feel Her presence in the Dolwoods and it was both a comforting and an exciting feeling. It was almost as though the hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end and he ran his hand down there unconciously.

The Hall was solid, unusual in it's construction and he paused to stare at it. None of the graceful and careful nurturing of the druids here, instead the Hall stood proud, unashamed in the naked timbers which made it more like some farmers hall. He quite liked it, he decided. It was unpretentious and down to earth and he felt comfortable there. He hoped that the rangers would be the same, but only time would tell.

He fished his sash out of his pack and looped it out over his head and shoulder. He always felt self concious wearing it but it marked him for what he was and nothing more.

Leaving his horse to graze he went in search of someone who would know what was going on.
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Old November 7, 2008, 12:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rose Pedtl sees a Stranger

Commander Pedtl was the person who saw S'Lon coming up the path walking his horse. He saw a young human male who appeared to have a ranger sash draped on him. He wondered who the man was, and what he was doing Dwarfen territory.

As he walked toward the young man, Recruit Jamie Burk came running up to him, a parchment in his hand. "Commander I have just returned from Dargis. The Studdard Brothers have just posted a reward for the person or persons who have been attacking caravans along the road from Dargis to Zerdargia!"

The young dwarf was out of breath and after giving the Commander his missive, bent over and held his knees, trying to catch his breath. The commander opened the parchment. "Yes, I see, I was wondering when those merchants were going to go after that thief, he's been doin' a lot of mischief. Even petrified some dwarfs doing it."

Turning to S'Lon again, he sighed, "what can we do for you? If ye're lost, then ye need to turn around and take the path back to the main road, Zerdargis is about 1 kilometer south."
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Old November 7, 2008, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)

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S'Lon didn't think that he'd ever been in quite such a dwarfen presence before, something that seemed almost contradictory. The dwarfes he knew were practical people, prone to getting to the bare truth of something, by dint of physical effort if need be, and yet the place felt in a way he'd only previously associated with elves. Odd, indeed, but he wasn't really given time to consider it much as he was passed by someone who must have held a fair turn of speed and he gently pulled on the halter to keep his horse in check.

He didn't catch the entire exchange, but what he did was intruiging. It almost seemed impolite to ask about it, so he kept his curiosity in check at least for a moment.

"Lost?" He smiled, "well I hope not, I try to avoid it when I can. The name is S'Lon and I was hoping to take lodging here in the Hall at least for the darkening, if not longer and stabling for my horse while I'm here."

It was no good, it was going to come out sooner or later. "Of course I expect to return you a service in return. I had come here because of something I read in the Herald, but by the sound of it perhaps there is something else I can help you out with. Perhaps a fresh eye on that merchant situation might prove fruitful?"

A reward would be a nice bonus. One of the reasons that S'Lon was here and not back in Zerdargia was because he didn't have a crown to his name. If he was refused lodging here then he'd be back to doing what he'd been doing on the journey which was to sleep rough and eat what he could find.
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Old November 7, 2008, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"We're not accustomed to strangers, out here, 'cept an occasional elf, who wanders in, and escorted out immediately," the crusty old dwarf replied, "but I'm old enough to know that many humans were there fighting right beside us in the great war, so so'long as ye're here ta earn yer keep, aye don' mind ye helpin' us out. We're short of hands and these new recruits know only enough ta get themselves killed."

"This is the office and hall, and behind are the barracks and stable. Take ye time bunkin' in and we'll meet for dinner in a candlemark."

Hailing a recruit he yelled, "Dobby take this man back and see to his stabling and a bunk in de barracks. Go' on now I got ta take care of somethin'."

Dobby took the reins of S'lon's horse and motioned for him to follow. "There's the stable, just find an empty stall for yer horse. Them's the barracks," he pointed to another log structure which was almost as large as the ranger hall. "Tha's where ye'll bunk, just take an empty bunk. It's pretty simple," he said, so don' expect somethin' fancy." He turned to leave, his kitchen duties awaited him and the cook would box 'is ears if he was late.

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Old November 7, 2008, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)

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It seemed that he'd been accepted which was quite a relief though he tried not to show it. As a Ranger he ought to have been received well enough but he didn't take anything for granted in these brightenings.

He wasn't so worried about himself, another darkening out in the woods wasn't a hardship, but he had a responsibility for the horse and no matter how he mistreated himself and allowed himself hardship, it wasn't fair on the horse to do that. He'd owned the horse for a while now, but he was still in two minds about it, for all the advantages in speed of getting from one place to another such as the trip he'd just made, the horse was a considerable inconvenience at times.

He nodded his thanks to the commander, noting that he'd have to get his name at some point, unless perchance he liked to be addressed by his title whatever that was and allowed the recruit to take the horse.

The place seemed simple enough and he thanked Dobby, noting the name for future reference. Strangers were often received with caution by those who didn't know them, but at least this recruit would be a point of contact.

He settled the horse in, taking his time since he had a candlemark to kill, dropped his gear on a bunk, happy enough to be sleeping somewhere other than the ground for a change and then wandered around to get his bearings before seeking out the Commander again.
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Old November 7, 2008, 07:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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S'Lon could see that the setup for the ranger station was very clever. Native tres had not been cut unless used by the Ranger Station. The practice fields were narrow, for archers to minimize their impact on nature. Everywhere he looked he could see that the Rangers loved the forest they protected. At the end of the barracks was an infirmary where herbs were stored in water proof jars with neat labels as to their healing power. From the ceiling bunches of herbs and wildflowers were hung upside down to dry.

From the looks of the bunks, approximately 12 rangers lived on the premises, that was probably the recruits, for there was another building behind the barracks which S'Lon rightly assumed were the officers' quarters.

When the dinner bell rang, S'Lon moved into the Ranger Hall and found the dining room easily. Tasty smells came from it, of hot buttered bread, steaming vegetables and barbequed venison.

There was one long table which sat about 30 men. There were actually only 15 men there, mostly recruits. Commander Pedtl looked up when S'Lon entered. "So ye'er all settled in, are ye, recruits and Sgt. Dugal, this is S'Lon. S'Lon just have a seat, My name is Commander Pedtl Goldbrick of Clan Goldbrick of Zerdargia."

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Old November 8, 2008, 11:22 PM   #8 (permalink)

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Late Aperitus, Spring, Era XV PF

After about a one kilometer stroll from the gates of the great dwarfen city of Zerdargia, along a narrow path, Oinos found the present Zerdargian Ranger Hall. The structure itself and the surroundings were just what he expected. It seemed to be a part of the forest. The forest itself was what Carmelya bestowed to those who were dedicated to ensure it was kept the way she meant it to be.

Oinos looked around as he walked, expecting to see one of the Rangers. He was on foot and carried no weapons except for that old rusty dagger.
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Old November 9, 2008, 05:00 AM   #9 (permalink)

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The Hall wasn't large and it was obviously new, but S'Lon loved the way that the buildings and ranges had been integrated into the forest becoming a part of it even while being fully functional. He could have spent quite some time poking about and he was itching to try out the ranges, it had been a while since he'd had the chance to use such a facility and he was sure his skills could do with some refreshing.

What drew his attention most of all were the herbs, which might have struck many as odd, but he'd not spent any time working with herbs since his time in Narim. Since then his arcane studies had tended to replace his herbal knowledge, but living out in the wilderness had highlighted to him the need to broaden his base of knowledge. Arcana was one thing but it was just a tool and he'd be a fool ignore the bounty that She had provided. Then too, herbs could be tasty, and that was something that he was desperate to know more about.

The bell struck a note with his stomach and his feet carried it in it's direction while his mind was still musing over the labels on the herbs and wondering just where he'd seen them growing and if they were the same thing. One thing he had learnt about herbs was a good deal of caution. They weren't quite as bad as mushrooms but nearly so and a misidentification might be the last thing he did.

The smells of food allowed him to easily find the dining room though it seemed that his tardy entry had allowed everyone else to get there before him, proof if he needed it that the food was as good as it smelled to him.

He nodded at the other rangers as he was introduced, glancing around curiously. It seemed odd that the Hall used military ranks but he recalled hearing of another Hall that was the same, so it wasn't a complete surprise.

Commander, thank you for welcoming me into your Hall he replied and found himself a seat close enough to have conversation with the Commander if he was so of mind.
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Old November 10, 2008, 07:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oinos

Dobby was outside the Ranger Station raking up leaves and branches which a storm had deposited on the archery range. It was still raining slightly, the warm air of Spring chilling under an especially violent and wet Spring storm. The sky was dark and lightening and waves of thunder rumbled scaring the rangers dogs which were cowering on the porch of Ranger Hall. As Dobby made his way back to the hall, he saw a dwarf approaching on foot. He didn't recognize him so stood still on the porch until the dwarf was close enough to hail. "Howdy, stranger, are ye looking for the rangers? Come in out of the rain, it looks like ye're soaked. We're about the only ones here in the forest here abouts."

S'Lon

S'Lon sat down and began heaping his plate with food, like the others. The portly dwarfs ate like they hadn't eaten in a week. This was their normal eating habits, however, and after a good meal, loud belches, and a copious amount of Zerdargian ale they were quite noisy talking and laughing at the latest mishaps of the new recruits. S'Lon listened then as Commander Goldbrick pushed away the dirty dishes, he said to S'Lon, "This is the time of day when we relax and talk. Why don't ye tell us a little about yer'self, S'Lon, and why ye're here. We could use a little help at the moment, seems like there's a bandit stealing shipments from caravans and wagons traveling from Dargis to Zerdargia. I only got three men here, most are out looking for a poacher who got loose in the Dolwoods, killing animals and skinning them for their fur."

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Old November 10, 2008, 11:42 PM   #11 (permalink)

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Oinos saw an individual outside the Ranger Station raking up leaves and branches. Not a pleasant job to do while it was still raining a bit. It must have been real important to get it done right then, rain and all. The air was chilled by the wet Spring storm. The sky was dark and there was still lightening and thunder. The dogs did not like the weather a bit, they were cowering on the porch of Ranger Hall. The dogs had enough sense to stay out of the rain.

While the Dwarf approached, the man with the rake made his way back to the porch of the Ranger Hall; he then saw Oinos, greeted him and invited the Dwarf to come in out of the rain. The invitation was most welcome and the wet, chilled Dwarf stepped onto the porch. Oinos stood a bit away from the Ranger and shook himself, getting excess water off his garb. That done, he walked over to the Ranger and said, "I'm Oinos Grapesmasher, just ambled over from Natura. I heard about this Ranger place and figured I'd pay a visit. It was a wet stroll but nothing much happened along the way."
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Old November 12, 2008, 07:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Onios

Dobby led Onios into the Ranger hall. The hall was large with many tables and chairs. "Wait here and I'll get ye Commander Goldbrick." Dobby went through another door, which looked like an office. In a few minutes Commander Pedtl Goldbrick came through the door and motioned Onios into his office. "Come right in here and tell me wha' ye're business is."
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Old November 13, 2008, 12:12 AM   #13 (permalink)

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Once he stepped into the Ranger Hall, Oinos was a lot more comfortable. No more rain, no more wind, just that he was still wet. However, that was nothing that a Dwarf could not handle.

After they got in the Ranger Hall, Dobby told him to wait and then went through another door, which looked like an office. While he was waiting, Oinos checked out those in the Ranger Hall to see if there were any attractive female Elf Rangers there. He could do with getting warmed up by some friendly company. Unfortunately, he did not see any. In a few minutes a Dwarf came through the door and motioned Oinos into his office. Oinos stepped in, briefly looked the place over and then turned to other Dwarf. "Serale, I'm Oinos Grapesmasher, a winemaker. I've come to see if I might get along a bit further with my winemaking. Maybe set up a grape grove and end up with a Winery. I've also had a hankering to be a Druid. I thought this would be a good place to see if I can get any of that done here in Dwarf country."
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Old November 13, 2008, 09:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Onios

"Sure, and then, ye're awanting to be a druid. Well, we have a druidess who teaches the lads and lasses. I could teach ye, but never know when we be called out on assignment. Her name is Dagma. But with the weather so bad, ye need to stay here until it clears. So I'll be gettin' ye a bed in the barracks. Supper's in 2 candlemarks, Dobby'll show you to it."

Dobby was a 3'4" dwarf. portly like most other dwarfs, though shorter. It looked like he had a bit of growing to do, and had barely a bit of a red beard. He had been standing outside the door when he heard his name. Motioning for Onios to follow him he led him outside once again and into the barracks behind the Ranger Hall. "I'm Commander Goldbrick's nephew. Aye's live here too, gonna be a ranger some day, but now I just kinda take care of the little things need doing. Most of the recruits are back here, the weather's been bad so's ye can bunk with them in the barracks." Dobby led him into the barracks where about a dozen recruits were cheering as two dwarfs struggled in a wrestling match. Betting on the outcome seemed to be the sport of the day. There was a bunk that was empty Onios could see.

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Old November 13, 2008, 11:11 PM   #15 (permalink)

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Well, that was all settled quick enough. A good part of dealing with another Dwarf is that seldom was time wasted. There will be Druid training, a place to sleep and and supper before long. All that suited Oinos just fine.

It became obvious that Dobby was a youngster who was helping around at the Ranger Hall until he was old enough for training. He seemed a helpful enough youngster. Once taken to the barracks by Dobby, Oinos found a bunk that he would be able to use and just as important, it was a dry comfortable place to rest himself before mealtime.


He ambled over to where about a dozen recruits were cheering as two dwarfs struggled in a wrestling match. He enjoyed watching the lively competition.
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