Old January 21, 2009, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gift Pretender to the Throne? [Adventure](open)

Last Cycle of Ioannes, Summer, Era XV

A lone dwarf staggered through the Enchanted Dolwoods not too far from his native Dwarflands, or so he thought. He was not sure he remembered the way, and all the paths changed on him. He was weak, illness having wasted his normally rotund frame. He had been kept somewhere for a long time, was it eras or only months. He didn't seem to remember now, his memory was dim though his hair and beard showed he was only middle aged. His usual flaming red hair was dull and coming out from malnutrition. His beard was scraggley and unkempt. No doubt he had been somewhere for the past 400 or so ordinations of his life, but where he did not know.

The fallen leaves under his feet were green. It was summer then, he guessed, faintly wondering when was the last season he remembered.

Finally, it was dark behind his eyelids, and unconsciousness overtook him. The fallen dwarf lay where he fell. His clothes were tattered and filthy. His possessions were meager. A stone was clutched in his hand, an ordinary piece of polished grey granite with runes on it, or was it letters from a strange alphabet. Beside him was an ancient sword hilt, so worn it was almost smooth. The blade made of bronze was broken. From almost immeasurably faint indentations one could tell there had once been carvings on the bronze hilt, but they were so worn away, who could tell what they once were.
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Old January 23, 2009, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)

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There were not so many who spent their time in those strange lands by choice, lands where a path that had been known and worn by the passing of many might unaccountably shift during the darkening, or at least appear to shift.

It was a place of dark dangers and yet also of surprising beauty, a place which deserved more attention, yet it was also a place of battles of old, indeed it's very birth was bathed in bloody warfare and so as a result it wasn't surprising that it was still a chancy place. Yet the ranger enjoyed it, he trusted in Her gifts to give him a degree of immunity to some of the tricks that the forest played and rarely was he in a hurry so it was not so easy for the simpler tricks to fool him.

This brightening though the forest produced a surprise beyond his expectations for a dwarf lay sprawled in a place where his kind were less wont to go by choice. Casting around quickly in case it was an ambush the ranger decided that the danger was minimal and approached closer. He cared little for the ragged appearance or for now for the things that he carried, but clearly the dwarf was ill, not just sleeping. Just what was wrong with him was not clear and the ranger sat back on his heels for a moment, perplexed.

Closing his eyes he concentrated, slipping slowly yet easily into clara and fashioning the spell he sought. Placing a hand on the dwarfs shoulder he cast Heal. What effect it would have he knew not, but there must be wounds there he reasoned. He watched closely, waiting to see any changes, slipping back into clara.
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Old January 25, 2009, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)

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A stroll through the Dollwoods was refreshing, though sometimes surprising. It might take longer to get from one point to another than was anticipated. Then again, it might take much less time. It was not a place for the faint of heart.

Then much to his surprise, Oinos came across a Dwarf lying on the ground. Bent over him was S'Lon, with a hand placed on the Dwarf's shoulder. He trusted that whatever S'Lon was doing was right and proper, so he simply stood back and observed. The Dwarf was obviously in bad shape, he did not seem to be conscious. Though he was not old, his hair was dull and some had fallen out. The beard was scraggly and unkempt. No self respecting Dwarf would end up looking like that unless he was sick, very sick. His clothing was even in worse condition, tattered and filthy. Oinos noticed a broken sword next to the Dwarf. Something was very wrong.
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Old February 3, 2009, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When S'Lon cast his spell, the dwarf roused a little. It looked like his main problems might be starvation and thirst, "Water," he cried in a weak gruff voice, as if he hadn't talked for a long time. The faint whisper of "please," then came out even weaker.
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Old February 3, 2009, 06:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Carnasch came upon an odd sight in the road through the Dollwoods. Two dwarfs, one of which appeared to be sickly, and a human crouched over that one. He thought to keep going, but he decided against it.

Instead he guided his dark chesnut colored Mellan, Gus, nearer to the trio. They might notice that there was no saddle on the massive mount, which topped seven feet in height at the top of its head. There were also no reigns, so it must have been that the man was controlling his horse through his legs, or else some sort of Arcana. Considering the man riding it, the size of the horse was understandable, because when he dismounted from his horse he stood only a little shorter than the horse he rode. Being of Vagaran decent, Carnasch was both massive in height and bredth, and weighed almost 300lbs without an ounce of fat on his body.

His perpetual fitness was due to his lifestyle, always traveling, alone until he aquired his trusted steed. He approached the trio on foot, clearly not trusting, asked, "Whats wrong with him? If you know that is. Perhaps I can help." He looked the dwarf up and down for a moment until he moaned for water. Carnasch instantly offered some of his own, saying "I have a skin in my pack, just a moment and Ill get it." He slung his pack from his back, and pulled out a leather skin of water and some strips of jerky. "Here," he said, handing it to the other human, "this should help..."
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Old February 4, 2009, 06:59 AM   #6 (permalink)

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The forest was busy that brightening it seemed with help coming from every quarter and some of it unlooked for. He nodded to Onios, glad of the dwarfs company for it would reassure the strange dwarf who might panic at coming to with a strange human bending over him.

The vagaran was something more of a surprise. Some might be afraid of the size of both man and horse, but S'Lon was of Vagaran stock, if a somewhat distant relation and he understood them well enough. He took the water, nodding his thanks and offered it to the dwarf, holding it to his lips. He motioned Onios over, "here, I'd expect he'd be happy for a friendly face."

With the dwarf hopefully taking care of his fellow, S'Lon took a pace back and closer to the newcomer. "Serale," he said keeping his voice low so not as to disturb the patient. "Thank you for the water, my name is S'Lon." He eyed the mans horse which might come in useful in transporting the dwarf, assuming the man was willing and that they could lift the dwarf up there.
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Old February 4, 2009, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just then Commander Pedtl arrived following Drucilla. No much in the forest got by the curious leopard. "What's this we got, a man down?" Pedtl yelled, appraising the situation instantly. Looking at the giant humans and Oinos, he recognized them as recent visitors, two at least. "Don' know yer name young man but S'lon why don't you help him onto the back of that steed. Then follow me back to the Hall. Need to get him fixed up afore he dies on us."

The line of men and dwarfs then strode the kilometer or so back into the Center of Peace Sanctuary. Drucilla led the parade since she knew every path though the wilderness area. Finally upon returning to the Hall, the dwarf was carried by the men into the infirmary where herbs were. "S'Lon why don't ye see what we have that will help the man recover. I told the cook to bring milk from our shegoat. That and tea should rouse him enough to get something down his throat," he said The dried herbs in the dispensary should provide some herbs to help the man. "Don' ask him nothing til he rallies, the poor man seems to be out of his head."
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Old February 5, 2009, 12:05 AM   #8 (permalink)

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Oinos took hold of the water flask that S'Lon held to fallen Dwarf's lips. He agreed with a nod that when the sick Dwarf regained his senses, he would would feel more comfortable with the proximity of another Dwarf.

Then when Commander Pedtl arrived along with Drucilla, Oinos got out of the way so those who were taller could put the sick Dwarf on the horse. He walked alongside the horse so he would be there in case the Dwarf needed something.

Once they arrived at the Hall, Oinos remained with the sick Dwarf as others went after things for aid and comfort. He turned toward the bed there in the Infirmary and took heed not to disturb the patient just as Commander Pedtl said. There would be time enough to find out what this was about after the Dwarf got a bit stronger and more coherent. This was already in good hands.
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Old February 5, 2009, 11:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Carnasch also agreed that the dwarf might feel better in the hands of one of his own, although he didnt say anything. When the other human stood he recognized him as a fellow vagaran, and took a step in the direction of his horse. Most beings felt companionship towards thier own, Carnasch felt loathing towards them.

Once the Commander arrived and started spouting orders, Carnasch aloud them to bustle the dwarf onto Gus, and he mounted as well to make sure he wouldnt fall from the large steed. The poor dwarfs short legs were almost doing the splits trying to straddle the massive horse. Carnasch rode behind the dwarf until they needed to get him down again, when he dismounted and as gently as possible pulled him from Gus' back and handed him to the soilders under Commander Pedtl.

When S'Lon, the other vagaran, left, Carnasch relaxed a little. He didn't mean to despise his country man so, but it had been bred into him from childhood. Either way, the dwarf was safe and he could be leaving soon. He never stayed long in one place.
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Old February 10, 2009, 04:58 PM   #10 (permalink)

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The arrival of yet more people in the suddenly crowded forest made the ranger smile, and he simply followed on with the bustle.

Back at the Hall, he remained giving simply helping. Since he was a member of the Hall it was his place to help so he hurried down to the kitchen and after a brief word collected the warmed milk and tea. The Commander seemed to have everything in hand and whatever the mystery was about this dwarf, it didn't appear that it was going to have a resolution any time soon.
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Old February 10, 2009, 11:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The ministrations of S'Lon and the herbs, revived the dwarf a little. "Thank you for finding me," he said, looking around at all the men. He recognized no one. And, the huge humans would have intimidated him at any other time, he thought, however. now they were interested in helping him.

But the dwarf''s head was fuzzy. He couldn't remember anything, not even his name. He had the sense that he lived with other dwarfs, but a long time ago. The milk and tea felt warm in his stomach, and blood began flowing into his extremities, but he was so tired he could not move. Just then the dinner bell rang in Ranger Hall. One of the infirmary's rangers looked at the men. "Why don'cha go eat, with da others. I'll keep getting some fluids down da stranger and ye can come back later when he might be able to talk."

Pedtl was already in the hall at the table with his other rangers. S'Lon and Oinos had been there before. They could help the others get comfortable. The table as usual was loaded with hame, lamb, and lots of fruits and vegetables and bread.

The Commander had brought back to the hall the items he found with the dwarf.
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Old February 11, 2009, 12:44 PM   #12 (permalink)

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The Hall was set out for ease of use, the hosting of strangers was commonplace where rangers came and went so nothing was hidden. Taking the Vagaran with a nod of his head, he showed him through to the Hall, found him a seat close enough to the Commander that he could see what was going on and sat next to him.

The objects that had been found were strange to him, strange at the least in that he suspected there was more to them than was apparent at first glance. They meant nothing to him at least, and one dwarf seemed no stranger than any of the others for they were all a peculiar breed.

Knowing that there was little to be done until the dwarves had eaten, he waved Carnash at the food and helped himself.

"You are passing through?" He asked the question of Carnash quietly into the rattle of plates and cutlery.
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Old February 11, 2009, 01:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If the rangers offered Carnasch a meal, then who was he to turn them down? However, he doubted that Gus would be quite so welcome inside the mess hall. He caught the attention of one of them and asked where the stables were, so that he could take care of Gus. Once that was finished however, he followed S'Lon to a seat near the front, and the two of them sat next to eachother.

The items that the little dwarf carried were of no true interest to Carnasch, but the food was. As soon as the others started eating, Carnasch dug in as well, loading his plate full of meats, fruits, breads, and a few vegatables. He also slipped a few apples away to his pockets for Gus.

Carnasch was interupted by the other Vagaran, who asked wether or not he would be staying. Carnasch ignored him except a quick, "Always." inbetween bites. Carnasch was not always so brusque, but of all the races on Telath, he hated humans the most, and of all humans, he hated his own the most, the Vagars.
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Old February 11, 2009, 11:42 PM   #14 (permalink)

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Oinos left the regulars to fend for themselves but brought some additional platters over and set them between Carnasch and S'Lon. Once he felt sure that there was enough for those two big fellows, he seated himself and attacked the vittles within his reach. He kept an eye out to ensure empty platters were refilled.

By being a bit helpful, Oinos felt fully justified in taking advantage of the usual hospitality in the Ranger Hall. Of course he remained curious about the Dwarf S'Lon found but that did not slow down his appetite. This was a far cry better than the ham and old bread that he ate regularly at home.
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Old February 18, 2009, 02:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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After appetites were satisfied, after duly noting the giant humans appetite was as hearty as a dwarf, the men relaxed talking about the curious ailing dwarf.

Pedtl sat back in his after supper pose patting his ample belly, "Good food, good ale and good company," he said. "What do you suppose happened to a dwarf found in his condition. Never seen a dwarf in that condition in all me days, except greybeards on their deathbed. Even then most dwarfs 'd rather ye run 'em through with a sword then end up malnourished and out of his head."

He actually wanted some input on how the men thought a dwarf could end up like that. But then there were some strange going's on in the Sanctuary lately like the missing shipments and petrified dwarfs.

Pedtl turned to S'Lon and Oinos, "I think I told ye about the strange goings on here on yer last visit, maybe you could fill Carnasch in on what yer thoughts are. Have ye heard anything new?"

ooc: I was waiting for any more adventurers but they can come directly to the Ranger Hall or meet up with the group later. I'm not going to keep you guys waiting so we can move this along.
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