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Old May 27, 2015, 05:43 AM   #1
Calaban
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[Heartlands] To Riparia or bust (GM Indefinite)

Timestamp Tempris Post Fractum XXII

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As the suns rose and the first light of dawn crept across the gates of Primus Gaudeo, a groggy-eyed Calaban stood and lightly dusted himself off. While the particular hardship of sleeping on dirt and rock was nothing new, the tantilizingly closeness of so many fine inns and taverns and the comforts they provide being so close made the impromptu camping session of the previous night that much harder to bear.

Cal kicked at one of the stones at his feet, one of many that had helped serve to make his sleep that night a little more restless than he cared for. The plan had been to set out for Riparia early this morning. Cal had left word at the Silver Drake of his untimely exile from the Capital and at this point there was little he could but wait and see if the others still arrived as planned.

He also hoped Rhystlin had made out better than he had with the Governor. Hard to imagine she could do any worse. The fact that he spent the night alone under the stars gave him some hope that she had succeeded where he had failed.

with time to kill, Cal decided to check his traps for any game. A hearty breakfast would surely ease some of the misery from his sleep in the woods, and a full stomach would most certainly make for a profoundly more enjoyable trip to Riparia.

A quick scan of the perimeter revealed two hares and a field rat. Elated that he wouldn't be needing to rely on charred field rat this morning, Cal discarded the rodent and made his way back to camp with a hare in each hand.

Upon his return to camp, Cal quickly went about the business of preparing today's catch for the fire. Camp was positioned far enough off the main road so as to not attract too much attention, yet still close enough to hear the comings and going on the main road.

As Cal started to fry his meal for the morning, the sound of everyday traffic through the nearby Phoenix Gate seemed to be picking up. At this point all Cal could do was wait and see if Ulfgar, Rhystlin, Raz and the Twins would indeed arrive for the journey to Riparia.

At the very least, he wouldn't be waiting on an empty stomach.
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Old May 28, 2015, 05:29 AM   #2
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And indeed, Miyako made her way to the camp. She had given her word that she would help and help she would. There was no doubting it in her mind, that was simply how things were. She did not know or care about the politics of what was happening, that was for someone other than her to worry about.

So, this morning saw her arrive, wearing her sturdy black trousers and high black boots, a black traditional Zinn'Sunnese top tightly belted over it. At her waist were twin blades and she had with her a backpack which contained some traps and some basic alchemy equipment. Her long black hair was tied back and, when she caught sight of Calaban, she made her way to him and bowed her head. "Good morning" she said, seriously. "If you still wish assistance, I am here and willing to give it." Looking around she seemed somewhat surprised that she was the first one to turn up, but then she turned back to him and waited to see what he said.
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Old May 28, 2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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Where Razu had been dressed as a somewhat shabby looking merchant upon their first encounter, his attire had undergone a rather apparent change when the young man made his way towards the appointed place just outside the city he was trying to consider his new home turf. This morning, he wore a leather chest armor over his regular clothes, and had a leather helmet dangling at his belt. Adding to that the crossbow that was slung over his shoulder, Calaban would perhaps change his mind about Razu's use on a battlefield.

A set of travelling supplies completed the preparations that he had made, acquired after he'd been caught out in the cold and dark too many times before. A bedroll and a means to start a fire were essential, he'd found after a freezing night in Carmelyn.

The swindler/entrepreneur first noticed the smoke, then the smell of Cal's breakfast, and then noticed the two people who had gathered there before him. Once within earshot, he greeted Miyako and Calaban. "Enjoy your meal," he added, directing himself to Calaban. Razu had filled his stomach on his way from the inn he was staying at, and although the hare smelt quite good, did not invite himself to a piece.
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Old May 29, 2015, 12:14 PM   #4
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Rhystlin arrived on foot, uncertain as to whether the others might have bothered with a mount. Regardless, the trek to Riparia would probably take at least a brightening, going around the southermost tip of the Great Mountains. Her pack was slung over her shoulder and held rations and camping equipment, her weapons strapped to her typical set of light armor in case they encountered trouble. Something told her they probably would.

She was unsure as to where Cal might be along the main road, but it wasn't long before she caught whiff of smoke and cooking meat. She stepped through the underbrush and lifted a hand in greeting to the group, offering Calaban a sympathetic smile.

"Not a politician, are you?" she said, "Well, neither am I." It was meant in jest to try and lighten the burden he may have been holding. "Howeeeeever..."

She paused for dramatic effect, hoping Calaban might find the news positive, "The governess has agreed to help with supplies if we will scout the ruins and report their state to her. While she may not have the resources to move in and occupy or rebuild just yet, she would find it helpful to know what to expect."

She took a moment to assess the small group that had formed so far. When she spoke again, her tone was solemn. "There's no way we could clear out a large city like Riparia... not on our own. And she would prefer that we not even try, anyway. We're a scouting party, nothing more. It'll still be dangerous to go poking around, especially if we want a thorough look at what's taken up residence there."

She then placed a gloved hand on Calaban's shoulder. "I can now how intimidating the Concordia Incola can be. I can only hope that the experiences I shared with the governess softened her opinion of you."
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Old May 29, 2015, 06:08 PM   #5
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When the gathering at the Silver Drake had broken for the darkening, Ulfgar sought out his Sergeant immediately afterward to propose his accompanying Calaban to Riparia. He based his proposition on the venture being an extension of their current task, informally assessing the military strength and capability of Centripaxes other forces. While the Sergeant was supportive of the idea and pleased with the initiative it showed, he was unwilling to let the Veldar become involved in a task that strayed from their original remit. He was, however, willing to allow Ulfgar to take leave immediately to pursue his interests in Riparia and made it known that any information gleaned would be received favorably once the Veldar soldier returned to his duties in Zerdargia. Of course, any actions undertaken by the soldier were his own and did not reflect upon the Veldar any way – good or bad.

The following brightening saw the first of Telaths suns cresting the horizon but Ulfgar had been awake long before then. He had been packing his belongings and making ready for the journey that lay ahead. To venture to Riparia from Primus Gaudeo there were two routes. The first was cutting a direct line through the mountains that lay between the two cites, potentially dangerous but potentially quicker. The second was longer but less arduous, skirting the mountain ranges to Natura before heading North West to Riparia. Calaban had not indicated which route he wished to take and Ulfgar being naturally diligent prepared for either eventuality. He had purchased a garron, a short, stocky horse noted for its hardiness and work capacity that was aptly named Trekker. Ulfgar could not ride but he would use pony as a pack animal, carrying his and others equipment. Aside for the usual items required for a long journey, he also bought with him his weapons and armor – a spear in hand, an axe and dagger at his waist, his crossbow, scale hauberk, helmet and round shield.

Before he left Primus’ gates to meet with Calaban, Ulfgar said his goodbyes to his Sergeant and the other members of his detail. He handed in his uniform, telling them he would be back for it soon enough with any knowledge he could gain about the current state of Riparia. He felt oddly less of a Dwarf without his Veldar blue uniform, as if he was unwillingly divested of a duty, though he knew this was foolish and put it to the back of his mind as he nodded to the gate guards and led Trekker to where he was to meet the group. A little way off the main road he discovered Calaban had already been joined by Miyako, Razu and Rhystlin. None had bought a mount or pack animal and he would be happy to let anyone load Trekker with whatever belongings they choose so as not to encumber themselves on the journey. ”Serale.” he offered in greeting and nodded to Calaban and glanced at the roasting hare. ”That looks better than hardtack and wormy cheese.” Ulfgar tied Trekker to a low shrub as the pony began cropping the grass at his feet. ”If you wish the pony can take some of your provisions.”
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Old June 2, 2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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Miyako, Raz

Miyako and Raz were the first to arrive, Cal was grateful that the message directing the group outside the gates had been successful. Cal greeted the pair and offered them both some charred hare, as a polite host should. As they struck up a conversation a third figure emerged into the campsite, a shapely half-elf that needed no introduction.

Rhysltin

Cal arose to greet Rhystlin, he mockingly gasped innocence at her politician remark as if he couldn't possibly understand what she meant. As the mercanary continued to explain her own far more successful encounter with the Governor he was in awe of her accomplishment. Cal was certain the self serving Governor with an ego that could match the size of Centripax itself would never agree to aid their expedition. In this particular instance he was more than delighted to be proven wrong.

"Well done Rhystlin, though I must say I am shocked that you weren't tossed out of the city at the mere mention of my name. Diplomacy was never really my thing, anything you have done that might have soften the Govenor's opinion of me is greatly appreciated. Though I suspect my currently standing of blacklisted, insubordinate, selfish exile, still stands., Cal gave Rhystlin a wink, a subtely indication that such a designation didn't much seem to bother him.

"Scouting party it is then, nothing more. There is some hare leftover if you haven't had breakfast, its a little overcooked, though that is how i prefer it.", Cal offered with a smile. Cal hoped his reassurrance that he would do nothing to jeopardize Rhystlin's promise to the Governer would put her at ease. Reclaiming the ruins of Castle Phoenix was important to Cal, but so was Rhystlin's friendship. At this point in she might possibly be the only person left in Telath that he could count as such.

The ancestrial home of the Phoenixclan wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Ulfgar

About that time another of the party arrived, Cal's face beamed as Ulfgar made his way, pack horse in tow, into the camp. When they had parted company yesterday Cal wasn't sure the Veldar would be able to accompany them. Having the dwarf along for the journey was great news indeed. If no other reason then he would have someone to trade Setik stories with.

Cal had very little supplies of his own, but he figured others might be able to make use of Ulfgar's offer. As the dwarf settled in, Cal immediately noticed something didn't quite seem right with Ulfgar,

"Has the CIA enlisted you to work undercover on their behalf? or perhaps you have gone rogue?", Cal mentioned in reference to Ulfgar's being dressed in his Civies.
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Old June 3, 2015, 10:36 AM   #7
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Rhystlin looked confused when Cal said he was surprised she wasn't tossed out. She offered a shrug as she proceeded to remove her gloves.

"I was honest with her. She actually seemed to be a reasonable woman, from what I gathered...." Of course, that might have sounded silly to a man who had just been exiled from the city, but no matter how much Rhystlin was convinced that Calaban was a good person, she couldn't help but wonder just what he had said towards the end of his meeting with the governess. Surely Tiyribi could have simply refused him the land and sent him on his way? She felt that she was missing too much information to make a judgment on that particular scenario.

She tilted her head as he went on to put emphasis on a few choice words, wondering if Tiyribi had actually said those things or if they were Calaban's assumptions of what the woman saw him as. She opened her mouth to say something, but seemed to think better of it. She had hoped things could be smoothed between the two, but if Calaban's "joke" was any indication of how he had taken his banishment, it was better to let the topic go for the time being and perhaps approach it later. His wink suggested lightheartedness, but his words, in her opinion, spoke otherwise. She offered him a smile and swiftly changed the subject.

"I'm curious... when is the last time any of you have been to Riparia? Would you remember much about its layout, its landmarks?"
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Old June 4, 2015, 07:41 PM   #8
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Miyako watched everything that was going on, but she said very little. She refused the hare, but she thanked Calaban most sincerely (she could not and did not eat meat) and she watched the arrival of the others. She listened to the conversation which went on and she said nothing, simply watching and observing.

"I have never been there" she replied. And she waited to hear what the answers were to the question that Rhystlin asked from the others.

ooc sorry for short post. But figured a short post was better than three paragraphs saying the same as those three lines above!
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Old June 5, 2015, 08:08 AM   #9
Razumikhin Neculai
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Not too familiar yet with those joining the expedition, and only little aware of either Calaban and Rhystlin's purpose with the Governor, Razu was content to listen to what was said as he ate some of the meat that he'd been offered. A scouting party was not what he had pictured, but given the apparent situation in Riparia it made sense. It still offered the young entrepreneur a chance to see whether the dilapidated city held any opportunities for him.

"I've never been there," Razu answered when prompted, realising that it wasn't the most helpful response. "I expect it will either be filled with decent folk trying to pick up their lives, or fill to the brim with bandits and thugs. I guess we should prepare for both." Unless any of the others had more specific information, that was probably the gist of the matter. Either way, Razu expected profit, be it from business connections or loot.
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Old June 5, 2015, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
"I expect it will either be filled with decent folk trying to pick up their lives, or fill to the brim with bandits and thugs. I guess we should prepare for both."
Cal nodded in agreement, his thoughts were that the later was far more likely.

"It's been a long time since I was last in Riparia, long before the Xet invasion, and even then things were not well in Riparia. The Thanes mansion had been destroyed and the thane had taken refugee in the Abandoned Castle Phoenix. The city rests at the base of a Volcano, Aslan's Forge, outside of the main stretch its mostly just farms and rowhouses."

Before we could help the Lady thane track down the people behind the threat on her life, she sadly perished."


Cal's face showed the anguish was still present, their failure to protect Lady Koven Sono had long haunted both Kace and Calaban after the thanes unfortunate murder.

"Shortly after the thanes murder I was recalled to Zerdargia, and that was the last time I set foot in Riparia."
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Old June 6, 2015, 02:51 PM   #11
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At Calaban's mention of the CIA Ulfgar furrowed his brow slightly, not knowing who or what the CIA were, before shaking his shaggy bearded head at the question of "going rogue" "Nay. I wished to see Riparia and help however I could. So I have taken leave for the duration. But I’ll be back in the Veldar ranks once we have accomplished what we can." The group then fell into a silent lull. Only Calaban and Rhystlin were previous acquaintances and none of the others seemed to be great conversationalists but Cal then asked if they had been to Riparia. None of the others had, neither had Ulfgar; despite its relative close proximity to his clan home or Zerdargia. ”Nay. I’ve never been.”

The soldier listened to Calaban recount a tale from his past, of a Lady Thane that was murdered while under his protection. The torment at his failure was obvious, wrought on his face for all to see. Ulfgar was not certain whether it was the Thanes death or the failure in his duty that was the cause of this, but he remained silent. The return to Riparia could in some way be a form of repentance and this was an admirable quality that too few humans possessed these brightening’s. ”We’re waiting on one more? Your companion, Lady?” The question was directed towards the poised but silent Miyako.
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Old June 8, 2015, 04:35 PM   #12
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Miyako looked at Ulfgar and shrugged, slightly "My brother" she said, softly. "I do not know, he was not there when I woke this morning. He had gone hunting. It is up to you whether to wait for him or not" she said, to Calaban, her expression serious "But he would not expect you to. I trust that answers your question" she said, earnestly.

oocI dunno! I believe the player is coming back, but maybe try and leave it open for him to join if he does?
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Old June 11, 2015, 12:46 AM   #13
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Ulfgar

"The Centripax Intelligence Agency", Cal replied to Ulfgar's puzzled look. Top secret agency in the province, supposedly have their nose is sorts of everyone's business. Not sure if its myth or not myself, but you hang around the barracks enough, you hear stories."

Miyako

Their last member of the party had not arrived, and from Miyako's explanation to Ulfgar it seemed she wasn't too worried about his whereabouts, so neither was Cal.

"Well he knows where we are heading, if he has a mind to catch up along the way, it shouldn't be too difficult. There is after all only two ways to Riparia.

With that in mind, and everyone that was in now arrived at the impromptu campsite, it was time to get this journey started.

"My thought was that we might be better served to cut straight through the mountain pass near the old Observatory."

The group all seemed a capable lot, and Cal's previous trip through Enamoria had taught him that these dark days, the roads and the wilderness are both rather perilous. Brigands and lawlessness seemed to be running rampant in the void created by the Xet Invasion.

The path would also give them the best sentry position of Riparia as they cleared the other side of the range, approaching directly from the south would offer no such benefit.

Cal doused his small cooking fire, and gathered the few things he had layed out around the camp, the shadow of the Phoenix Gate behind them as they made their way west towards Riparia. Cal couldn't help but wonder if he would ever see the inside of PG again.

Ever the cautious type, Cal again made sure to offer up guidance for the group as they formed a line and broke camp. Cal was certain that Ulgar and Rhystlin were more than capable in a tight scrap, he was less certain of Miyako and Raz.

Cal offered to take point as they marched on, suggesting that Ulgar bring up the rear of the group. With two men battle tested and trained by the Veldar Elite at either end of the column what could possibly go wrong

This formation would leave Raz and Miyako in the middle of the group with Ulgar's pack horse, providing the most protection and allow Rhystlin to slot in as needed, the half-elven merc having already proven herself incredibly versatile and skilled with either the sword or spell.

Cal hoped that he would get a chance to further speak with Rhystlin as they marched. In a very short time the two had been through quite a few tight spots together and having her along for this trip helped put his mind at ease.

All they needed now was another Giant, where was Gorl when you needed him Cal thought to himself, an amused chuckle escaping for just a moment as the image of Gorl popped into his head.
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Old June 12, 2015, 09:32 AM   #14
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With the last member of their group either joining later on, or not joining at all, it seemed they were ready to depart. "I'll take you up on your offer, Ulfgar," he told the dwarf, happily transferring the pack on his back to the pony. It may not be a long trek, but Razu still preferred to get the weight of his back. He readjusted the crossbow that was slung over his shoulder, and then followed Calaban as the soldier took the lead.

Taking up his place in the middle, which suited him just fine, Razu made sure that kept the pace up. He looked around, curious about the route they'd be taking. When the circumstances allowed for it, he'd walk alongside Miyako rather than behind her. It felt strange to undertake the journey with a group of strangers, and Razu felt the urge to learn a little more about his companions.

"How did you become a spellbreaker and an alchemist?" He asked, remembering the description from their previous meeting back in Primus Gaudeo.
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Old June 13, 2015, 08:29 AM   #15
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"I do not doubt that he will do just that. I believe that setting off is the most sensible course of action" she said to Cal of her brother, quietly and with a most serious expression on her face. She nodded and moved to where she was put, quite happy to go there. Right slap bang in the middle of the group worked well as far as Miyako was concerned and she nodded her head in compliance to Cal's suggestion. She walked, quietly and apparently thoughtfully and she made sure that she was not walking too fast or too slow, ensuring that she kept up in effect. And then Razu spoke to her and she looked at him with a slightly raised eyebrow.

"I was taught spellbreaking" she said, thoghtfully "I sought out a teacher and they taught me. I was taught alchemy as a young teen in order to be able to mix drinks in the camp where I grew up" she added. She looked at him and wondered if that was quite what he meant. Probably not, she thought. "And I learnt gadgeteering in Demios a short while ago." Shrugging she considered carefully "The three skills seem to compliment each other very well to my mind. I believe I will pursue them. What of you? What brings you here?" she asked, politely. At no point did the serious young woman smile, she merely asked her question and then awaited his answer.
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