Old May 13, 2009, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Disaster Hits Drucilla Plantation

2nd cycle of Immanis, Era XVI, the everlasting winter


Drucilla was restless. Something was wrong, she just didn't know what. The weather was not what it was supposed to be at this time of year. All day she had been laying in the warm sun of early Spring. The buds were beginning to burst from the cherry trees Oinos had planted. The grapevines were showing their first green since being planted cycles ago by Oinos. The bees were beginning to become restless, however, they had not yet ventured from their safe hive for the early Spring flowers, which was strange.

As she paced back and forth uncertain as to what to do, she felt the first blast of frigid air rush in over the mountains. Looking up she saw in the near distance the high peak of Mount Aelyria. It was covered with snow. Alarmed, she watched as a flurry of snow begin to fall, which within a quarter of a candlemark had become a blizzard. She ran off into the forest, as she sensed Dagma had become alarmed also and raced to beat the snowdrifts to be at her side.

By the time she and Dagma were together, the nearest peak, Mount Juno was covered with snow, also. By the time they had raced back to Oinos' home, Drucilla Plantation, the grape vines were frozen solid and the entire farm was covered in six feet of snow. It was too late to save the vines and trees, but Dagma used her considerable power to beat back the elemental forces, which were driving the blasts of frigid air. Covering the hives with a warming spell, she saved the bees, however, she knew she had come just in time.

The force of the storm was unlike anything she had encountered in her many centures of life in the Dolwood. Briefly it crossed her mind that it could be arcanically caused, but who or why caused it was a mystery for her. She would work to save her little portion of the Dolwood from the destruction of this storm, however, until it blew over.

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Old May 16, 2009, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Oinos returned from the Games to Drucilla Plantation. He had hoped to find buds on the cherry trees and the initial green foliage on the grapevines. He also expected to see his bees active.

Before Oinos got there he felt the unusually cold air. Looking up he saw in the near distance the high peak of Mount Aelyria. It was covered with snow. There was snow in the forest, in fact there were snowdrifts. The nearest peak, Mount Juno was also covered with snow. The entire Plantation was covered in six feet of snow. He could see the roofs of the two cottages and the newly constructed Outbuilding, but not the walls.

The first order of business was to check the Outbuilding and see if the horse was still alive. Hopefully the surrounding snow insulated the building sufficiently to let the horse survive.
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Old May 16, 2009, 01:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1st brightening, 3rd cycle of Immanis, the longest winter, Era XVI

Oinos was met at Drucilla Plantation by Dagma and Drucilla. Dagma waved her hand and the snow melted immediately, the wind picked up and she yelled at Oinos, "get in the cottage before I send all this melted snow out into the forest with wind." When Oinos was safely inside, she made the wind blow until all the water from the melted snow was gone and the grounds were dry.

"Ye can come out now," she said. Drucilla ran up to the cottage to get Oinos, who saw the miracle the Druidess had done with the farm. "Yer bees are all right and so is the horse. Made sure he had enough hay."

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Old May 16, 2009, 01:40 AM   #4 (permalink)

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The initial shock that numbed his mind was wearing off as Oinos used his hands and arms to clear an opening to the Outbuilding door.

Here was his work of many cycles, in fact several months buried in the snow. The residual cold made it evident that survival of any of the grapevines or cherry trees was highly unlikely. Except for the honey and the mead that was now fermenting in Old Zerdargia, all of his work was for naught. As far as the winemaking was concerned, he was back to the day before the grapevines were transplanted. In fact it was worse that that. Undoubtedly this cold snap hit the neighboring Dolwoods as well and would have destroyed any other vines that he might seek to replace those lost.

He was not ruined but except for the honey and mead everything was gone. It repeated itself in his mind, it is all gone. The work was all wiped out and nothing was accomplished. When he finally cleared the snow all the way to the doorway of the Outbuilding, Oinos reorganized his thinking and stopped feeling sorry for himself. Time to take it like a Dwarf. When you get knocked down, you get up and start anew.

Oinos opened the door to the Outbuilding.
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Old May 16, 2009, 01:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Dagma came up to him as he opened the stable where the horse was. "It came up 6 brightenings ago, Oinos. It was here in a moment and covered most of this area of the forest. It then hit Pedtl's place and he and I have been doin' what we can ta drive it back. We got it stopped for the moment but its stiill snowing in da mountains. Ain't never seen anythin' like it before." The old druidess was as flabbergasted as Oinos, and Oinos could tell.

"All we kin' think of its just a freak of nature, but somethin's not right, I feel it. Its like the Dolwood's tellin' us somethin'. Jus' don' know what yet. Hopefully, it'll pass. The bee's 'er gonna run out of honey soon. Ye got some ta feed them 'til this passes?"
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Old May 16, 2009, 10:00 AM   #6 (permalink)

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The fact that Dagma did not know how or why this came about added to Oinos' uneasiness about the whole situation. However, her presence was reassuring. She was the the stable part of this confusing situation. The sudden fierce storm was an anolamy that was not fully understood by even the Druidess.

Fortunately not all the area was affected but the Ranger Hall was hit hard as well. From what Dagma said it seemed that she and Pedtl were able to stop it before it got even worse. That was no small accomplishment. Since the storm was still there in the mountains, all this might not yet be over.

When she mentioned that the bees would soon run out of honey, Oinos replied, "I can handle that. Just recently I got a large amount of sugar, enough to last the bees quite a while. Should this weather stay with us, there's some extra honey. Also got honey set aside for the ale that could be given to the bees if need be."

He the entered the Outbuilding to see if the horse survived.
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Old May 17, 2009, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Geyser was happy to see Oinos, and from the stinky stall, had profusely peed his way through the storm. Dagma had made sure his water was unfrozen, by magical means it seemed, and fresh hay was in the racks overhead his stall.

Still the horse whinneyed and shouted his greeting at the dwarf who alleviated a little of his concern. At least he would not be shut up in this stall forever. He was impatient to get out, but most of all to get out of the storms battering against the barnsides.

Dagma followed Oinos into the barn. "Me an Pedtl been called into the Council of Four's meeting next brightening. If I were ye, I'd get yer horse outta here and take him to town. If another storm like this hits COPS afore we have a chance ta find out what's behind it, can't guarantee we'll be out here ta help. Ye can give yer bees enough ta eat fer a couple cycles, then why don't ye take Pedtl an' me back to town in yer wagon. That way we'll be wid ye in case a storm comes up along yer way. 'Ders a warmin' spell on da beehives so they won't freeze afore we cain get back here."
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Old May 17, 2009, 05:58 PM   #8 (permalink)

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Oinos placed his hand atop Geyser's mane and pulled his head down a bit. Then he placed his cheek against that of the horse and rubbed the side of his neck. Having observed Dagma before, he just happened to have an apple in his pocket and gave it to the horse. "We'll be getting out of here in a bit Geyser". Oinos was so glad to see that Geyser was in good condition, he did not even notice the stench caused by the horse.

He made his way to the larger of the two cottages where he kept the supplies. Once there, he got the sugar ready and placed an adequate amount in each hive. He was glad to have had an ample amount of sugar and resolved to always keep a good supply on hand. He was appreciative that Dagma put a warming spell on the hives.

Once all that was done, he returned to the barn, harnessed Geyser and hitched him to the wagon. Before departing, Oinos checked all the doors to be adequately secured. He climbed up on the wagon and while he waited for Dagma to get aboard, he looked in the direction of the Vineyard and cherry tree grove. There was a lot of work to do when spring finally arrived.

He rode on slowly toward the Ranger Hall to pick up Pedtl and then head on into town.
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Old May 17, 2009, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Down the road aways, they picked up Pedtl who was waitin'. "Don't want ye ta get stuck down a da hall, Oinos. Ain't got an idea what's goin' on, neither does Dagma, and she's ready ta be an archdruidess, ain't ye?"

Oinos was left to wonder what was going on if these two mages, who were notably more experienced than he didn't know what to make of the freak storms.

"There was some storm activity in Zerdargia, they said during da games, Pedtl," said Dagma. "We came in once ta clear da field, but nothin' serious. We been a waitin' ta hear something from Dwae but ain't heard from her for a while, don' know what's going on wid' her. Don' go around now that me training is finished, ready to ascend ta Archdruidess. Jus' waitin' fer me collegues in da Kingdom ta assemble. Hear' they wanted ta be here and help me on me way. Ain't never had so much attention, not never as long as I remember ... um 600 ordinations 'er more." Dagma did like to talk when she had someone to listen.

As they approached town, they saw in the distance the dark clouds still over Mount Aelyria, and snow caked on the entire mountain range. "Got ta make sure we get back soon, Pedtl, if there's a sudden thaw, we're gonna have flooding in the whole of da region ... must be several hunder'd feet of snow fell."
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Old May 17, 2009, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)

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Oinos was even more concerned about the weather when Pedtl said, "Don't want ye ta get stuck down a da hall, Oinos. Ain't got an idea what's goin' on, neither does Dagma, and she's ready ta be an archdruidess."

He wondered what was going on if these two mages, who were notably more experienced than him did not know what to make of the freak storms.

As they approached town, they saw in the distance the dark clouds still over Mount Aelyria, and snow caked on the entire mountain range. Dagma warned, "Got ta make sure we get back soon, Pedtl, if there's a sudden thaw, we're gonna have flooding in the whole of da region ... must be several hunder'd feet of snow fell."

All of that made him wonder just what he would be able to do to get things in order when these two were uncertain about it. He simply kept on going toward Zerdargia and tried to make sense of what was going on.
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Old May 20, 2009, 02:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
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After they passed though the gates, Pedtl and Dagma left Oinos but not before Dagma asked Oinos if she could see him later in the brightening. "Need ta tell ye what's goin' on. Where ye gonna be? I could meet ye in Cetheron Common, and tell ye what's going on in town. It looks like another storm might be brewing ta the East. Don' know what's goin' on."
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Old June 7, 2009, 02:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That afternoon Dagma met Oinos in Cetheron's Common. "I'm a wantin' to teach ye yer apprentice spells. Seems ta me ye been using your magic a lot lately and yer ready for learnin' more. Besides I have a funny feelin' about dis weather, ain't natural, ain't at all. If its magic we'll be needin' to find out who's doin' it and why. Ain't likely we'll be able to find out quick though. Could be comin' from anywhere. Don' expect it ta last but ye never know. Seen some strange thin's in me life. Over 600 ordinations I think, stopped counting centuries ago."

The old druid then sat down on one of the park benches. "I'm gonna tell ye all the spells and how ta do them one at a time. No play dis time, too serious and ain't got no time for messin' around. Da spells are:

Ally with Animal
Entwine
Gust of Wind
Obscurement
Purify
Rock Skin
Tree Form
Trip
Warp Wood

Da first one is pretty simple. See them squirrels over there. Right now they're confused cause the weather hasn't changed and their nuts are running out." She pulled an acorn out of her copious pockets and handed it to Oinos. "Use the ally with animal spell concentrating on that little gray squirrel there comin' over and allyin' himself with you. Then give him this acorn."
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Old June 7, 2009, 06:31 PM   #13 (permalink)

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Oinos was certainly ready to get more spells under his belt. He felt ready to advance on, finding himself comfortable with what he had already achieved. The fact tha Dagma was not satisfied with her understanding of the weather caused concern by Oinos. He felt that she had full understanding about all things of that sort. The fact that she seemed anxious to get these spells taught was not lost on Oinos. Obviously, even someone with his limited skills could well be useful in dealing with the problems associated with the weather.

Nine spells were not all that many, they seemed fairly interesting as well. Ally With Animal caught his attention and that was going to be his first one. He looked over at the squirrels she pointed out. They did seem to be confused and a tad agitated and rightly so. With their food stash likely near depletion and no new sources of food evident, they had reason for concern He took careful note of the little gray squirrel she mentioned. He took the acorn from Dagma and closed his hand over it. He achieved Clara and went through the usual steps in preparation for spell casting.

Once he was ready, Oinos fixed his gaze and thoughts on that little gray squirrel. His own mind was receptive to whatever contact the animal chose. He sent gentle probes towards the squirrel. Oinos started with friendly thoughts and slowly worked his way to mutual assistance. His basic attitude toward animals made it easy for Oinos exhibit the desire for a friendly relationship and then follow it with a desire to be helpful and protective. He did this with imaging that showed their proximity with the little gray squirrel on Oinos' lap, yet free to leave. He topped that off by imaging the acorn he held in his closed hand.
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Old June 8, 2009, 08:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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As Oinos connected his mind with the squirrel's, the little gray squirrel looked at him with the interest one shows when one is perplexed, turning his little furry head to the side before making a decision. Once that decision was made, he ran over to Oinos and jumped on Oinos' lap. Looking up at him, he seemed to ask him why he was summoned. When he stuck his cold wet little nose in Oinos palm, he saw the acorn and grabbed it. Turning to Oinos with the acorn in his little hands, he said quite clearly, with a little squeaky voice, "Thanks, mister," as he devoured it. When he was finished he jumped down and joined the other squirrels in the park who started all chattering together. Before Oinos knew it he had 20 other squirrels around his legs. They were all hungry.

Dagma pointed to an oak tree which was bare, no leaves showing on the its cold and lonely looking branches. Within a moment the tree had burst into leaf and then two other trees, which were loaded with nuts. "See what you can do for the little guys when you've studied and worked hard at being a druid. Now they will have food for a while longer."

Dagma then launched into the next spell without saying anything about the talking squirrel, so Oinos could only sit there and wonder. "The next spell is "Entwine". Basically you just call on the vines and plants of the area and instruct the vines and and roots to entangle a target. Natural flora, such as bushes, shrubbery, and even trees can join in to immobilize; the duration of the ensnaring increases as the Druid becomes more proficient with this craft."

She stood up and looked at plants which were dormant from the winter and tapped her staff. The plants were green again. "Now try and entwine them around your feet, making sure, of course, you don't cause yerself ta fall down."
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Old June 8, 2009, 09:56 PM   #15 (permalink)

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Sure enough, the spell worked and the little gray squirrel came on over. It didn't take long for it to find the acorn either. What surprised Oinos most was when it said quite clearly, with a little squeaky voice, "Thanks, mister," as the acorn was devoured. After it was finished the squirrel jumped down and joined the others who started chattering together. Soon Oinos had 20 other squirrels around his legs. They were all hungry.

Then Dagma took care of their needs by rejuvenating a couple of nearby oak trees to the point that they were loaded with nuts. That should suffice the whole groupd of squirrels for a few cycles.

Without any comment about what she had done or the talking squirrel, Dagma explained the Entwine spell to Oinos and told him to go ahead with it, targeting his own feet. When he listened to her warning, he remembered how he got carried away with the Bark spell.

She stood up and looked at plants which were dormant from the winter and tapped her staff. The plants were green again. That made it more likely to succeed because there he was amid the green plants.

He was now ready to cast the spell. Oinos achieved Clara and went through the usual steps in preparation for spell casting. Once he was ready, Oinos fixed his gaze on the plants in his immediate vicinity and concentrated his thoughts on them. He sought to establish a link with them. He then imaged those plants growing and sending the new growth to the ankle of his left foot. He took care to exclude the calf of his left leg as well as the right ankle. Once he saw that there was a degree of entwining, Oinos stopped concentrating on the spell.
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