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  #91  
Old 08-05-2009, 06:26 PM
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Still inwardly chuckling from watching Q deflect ‘cloakey’ so that he hit the beam, Shey knelt to check the armour covering his right knee and winced as his glance drifted from inspecting his armour to seeing the half a yard wide and several inches deep gouge that he had caused.

‘Please don’t let that barmaid see this before I leave’ he thought whiningly to himself. He knew if they asked him to pay for the damage he’d be washing plates up and being the stable boy for several months. ‘The pay of being a low-rank Cavalier doesn't cover anything…’ He mused

Just then his Partner Blizz decided to send him a mental nudge through their link. ‘You know the only reason the pay doesn’t cover anything is because you’re always getting us into trouble and we have to use that cash to fix everything up again. It’s your own fault the Quartermaster back at headquarters won’t ever give you more equipment from stores…'

‘Let’s not go back over that ground again Blizz…’ He sent back warningly. ‘I may have to replace a few things now, thanks to you throwing me in the trough outside…’

‘Well what other way was I to shut your snoring up then, first you fell asleep in the saddle which is bad enough as I’ve got to listen to you talk in your sleep. Second were the things you mumbled about…including a certain lady’s name from a few towns back… and finally you had to slump forward, use the back of my head as a pillow and start snoring….loudly, into my ears I may add…'

‘That’s no excuse; I mean the water trough….’ The cavalier complained, his face stained a faint but obvious shade of crimson from embarrassment upon finding out he’d been mumbling his secrets in his sleep again.

‘Well you always did like making an entrance, oh holy and saintly cavalier…’

‘Indeed you know me too well, which as why as a present you’re not getting any oats or carrots tonight, just grain for you…’ He chuckled inwardly as the shade of their link changed to an angry deep hue of red. “Besides, if I have to work to pay things off, you’re going to be loaned out as a plough horse…”

‘A pox on you…’ Blizz quoted back.

‘Yes I know, but that pox is also on the horse I rode in on…’ He said letting the point sink in.

A string of colourful invectives then proceeded to fill the link between himself and Blizz, before his partner cut off the link. Smiling slightly, he turned his gaze back towards the others and was now confronted with an entirely different situation. ‘Cloakey’ still lay on the floor beneath where his heavenly flight earlier had connectedly solidly with the more earthly beam of the tavern, but the situation had now reversed in a somewhat weird sense of irony. Chon now had the gem and was facing Q, whose features were now set in an angry expression.

He had allowed himself to be distracted by his partner’s chat, but shrugging off the usual mental kicks he would have given himself, he strode back towards the Lady and the Dwarf, a puzzled expression evident on his face.
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  #92  
Old 09-05-2009, 03:24 PM
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“I wouldnae understand…“ said Q

“Wot would ye truly know about death, dwarf?”

”Even alive, I am but a mere instrument of death. He uses me as he wishes and I cannae have it do the same to ye…it‘ll consume ye and leave ye nothing‘ more then an empty shell. A vessel-like Arn.”

”God‘s forgive me, but some of us ‘ve no choice….” She said with an unmistakable look of sorrow, ”Wotever ye think the rock kin do…it wouldnae work. I won’t let ye…”

”A’h been ta this place… this Citadel…Ye said so yerself - the place is evil. Why would ye trust anything that comes from that forsaken place?”

“Wot would ye truly know about death, dwarf?” she said finally.

Chon gritted his teeth as a renewed blaze of anger swept through him.

“Death...” he cried, his eyes narrowing and his brows furrowing, “An instrument of death ye’ say! A follower of death like the rest of your Deadlander brethren I’ll wager. Worse still not just followers of death but admirers of it, you seek it and presume to use it to your own ends.”

He took a step towards her,

“Death ‘ay” he said looking down and shaking his head, a distant look in his eyes. “What would I know of death? I know enough about it, that’s what I know.”

Chon raised his head now, his eyes locking with the girls as his knuckles turned white, his grip tightening around the lava cannon which was now radiating a menacing red glow from its barrel.

“I’ve rained it down on countless hundreds on the battlefield without a thought for them and theirs. I’ve visited it upon all those, man or beast, who stood in my way or sort to harm me. Aye, I know enough about death,”. he paused for a moment to consider his words

“... and I’ve brought death to those closest to me as well, to the person who meant more to me than life itself. There is little about death I have not had the misfortune to taste in my lifetime.”

Chon’s grip on his weapon relaxed with these words and unnoticed by him, the glow from within his weapon flickered and disappeared. He continued, his voice slowly losing its stain of anger,

“I hate death and I surely don’t admire it, I don’t seek to flatter it and I certainly have ne’er been so arrogant as to think I could use death and bend it to my own ends, at least not until now.”

He slowly took a step away from the girl, moving backwards closer to Arn’s prone body and the stone. Behind him, Chon could hear the cavalier moving towards him. He grimaced, realising this would force him into action. He realised he could no longer avoid a fight and began to turn, raising a conciliatory hand in the direction of the cavalier hoping to buy himself a split second and an advantage. The glow returned to his weapon, more intense than ever and he gripped it once again. Suddenly a thought crossed his mind, something the girl had said caused him to pause...

“Wait...” said Chon, turning back to Q again. He raised one bushy eyebrow quizzically as he absentmindedly allowed his weapon to fall behind him once again, “You say you’ve been to the citadel... Ha” he snorted, “Is this some sort of trickery girl, d’you take me for a fool? Is this some sort of ruse to get the stone?”

He took a step closer to her again,

“I’ve been there, to the citadel, many years ago now. But I could never breach the darkest recesses of the damned place, nearly died just to get a look at the place to be honest. Many great adventurers, the greatest, have tried to uncover the secrets of that place and no-one...” he paused momentarily, “no-one ever has and most have died trying.”

Despite his suspicions, genuine curiosity and excitement were creeping into Chon now and he found it increasingly difficult to hide it.

“So tell me Q, are you saying you actually found a way in?”
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  #93  
Old 09-09-2009, 12:49 AM
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Most have died trying…

The girl silently bit her lower lip cutting of her own response. Hoping her face didnae give her emotions away, the girl listened as Chon continued to speak, lowering her gaze onto the ground. A part of her was relieved the fray had not given away her facade, keeping her true identity secreted a little longer… but how long would it be till he realized and turned upon her once more?

His voice continued to echo vehemently in the silence of the tavern, and his words stung the young lass. Indeed, it was a voice filled with passion and pain - t’was obvious the man had suffered through much heartache in the past years. She listened through his whole speech, her hands quietly clasped before her, the silver bracelet gleaming.

Nay, she could not tell him what she truly was.

The Citadel…

Even with her gaze firmly upon the ground, the girl was unable to prevent the slight shiver of fear from raveling down her back… at least, t’was fear the girl convinced herself and not excitement…

To her knowledge, the name of this forsaken place often evoked the same emotions for other adventurers. There was something about that place that drew countless individuals to its calling. Even the girl found herself inexplicably drawn to the crumbling walls, listening to the soft lull of the dead whispering in the distance. The very air seemed to pulsate with promises, beckoning her to come closer…

The girl snapped to attention, her aquaria eyes staring into Chon’s.

”No!” The girl blurted abruptly. Too quickly. Taking a step back, her legs met that of a bar stool and she found herself stopping once more. ”I-I must be mistaken then… as ye said… tis impossible to breach the Citadel walls.”

The image of the tunnel flashed once in her mind and the girl laughed nervously, her finger tucking her hair behind her ear. The girl couldnae show the dwarf the tunnel…

It’s mine…
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  #94  
Old 09-22-2009, 02:20 PM
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Chon stared at her unblinking, his features frozen momentarily. He raised a leathery hand and scratched his right temple while leaning slightly closer to the girl. She was clearly uneasy and he realised that if he called her bluff, she may well spill her secrets.

“I get the feeling Q...” he said, squinting slightly, “...that you’re a terrible liar”

He edged closer to her, though he still wasn’t absolutely sure she was deceiving him.

“Aye, aye... you’ve been there,” he said slowly, nodding, “now’s no time for games lass. If you found a way in there you’ve done something no-one else has managed to pull off, at least not without losing their hides in the process”

He felt a sudden pang of guilt run through him. He knew what it was to have secrets and felt downright horrible for forcing the point but this was something big, he could feel it in his bones.

“If you do know a way in, there’s plenty of unsavoury folk out there that’d kill ya to find out” he paused, remembering the toothy smile she had flashed earlier, “well... they’d try at least” he said sheepishly as a huge grin spread across his face, despite his best efforts to suppress it.
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  #95  
Old 09-25-2009, 12:38 AM
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Rattling his way over towards the two, he paused momentarily, as Chon’s armament seemed to glow ominously, which combined with a vague hand gesture by its owner aimed in Shey’s general direction caused him to stop mid-stride. However, as quick as the dwarf’s attention seemed to be aimed in his direction, it reverted just as quickly back to Q.

Not certain of what was transpiring between the two, Shey started to move towards them again but this time he moved towards them slower, caution evident in his movements and made more evident by the serious set of his features which were now sombre and closed, where once before they had been open.

The conversation between them became clearer as he approached…

“You say you’ve been to the citadel... Ha” he heard Chon say “Is this some sort of trickery girl, d’you take me for a fool? Is this some sort of ruse to get the stone?”

‘Citadel!!! Which citadel could they mean?’ He thought to himself, his curiosity peaking causing him to miss the following part of Chon’s excited exclamation at Q, although there was no mistaking the animated way that the dwarf was now addressing her.

‘Something about this citadel means a lot to Chon…’ He thought even as he took in her stance and the naked blade that she now held down by her side. ‘Whilst meaning just as much to Q…’

Just as he was preparing himself to play the part of the ‘well-meaning but ignorant acquaintance that can break up the tension by asking the most annoying but obvious question’ when Chon brought the conversation to a head even as the Cavalier drew level with the pair…

“So tell me Q, are you saying you actually found a way in?”


”No!” The response came back quickly. ”I-I must be mistaken then… as ye said… tis impossible to breach the Citadel walls.”


“I get the feeling Q...” Chon paused “...that you’re a terrible liar”


Shey stayed quiet as the dwarf continued to press his point and then waited for Q’s reply, the cavalier was now the silent third wheel in the heated conversation between the two of them.
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  #96  
Old 11-10-2009, 03:14 AM
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Chon was so intently focussed on Q, waiting for a reply, he forgot momentarily about the cavalier Shey who was moving behind him. “I’ll have to be careful how I play this” he thought.

He turned now so he had Q to his right and Shey to his left and in front of him was Arn’s prone body. He reached down slowly and retrieved the mysterious stone. He had reached slowly, half expecting some sort of energy to jump to his fingertips, dropping him on the spot... instead... nothing. He was stunned by the lack of power he felt from this stone. It felt no different to any number of ordinary stones he had held. As an earth sage he had developed a real knack for finding and working with all kinds of extraordinary gemstones and rocks. This one had drawn his attention the moment it had entered the tavern, such was its uniqueness and raw power. Disappointment ran through him, causing him to clench his fists and inhale deeply. It was definitely the same stone but something had happened to it – something no doubt related to Arn’s present condition – had perhaps drained its power.

Chon looked at Q then turned to Shey,

“If this stone is any indication, there’s amazing riches out there just waiting for some adventurers brave enough, and smart enough, to grab it. Riches no one has been able to get their hands on before... no one”

His thoughts jumped to his wife again and he quickly tried to put her out of his mind, hoping not to give away any signs of his true intentions.

“The stone made me say some crazy things earlier Q, and I’m sorry, but what I say about this citadel is true and if you do know a way, if you can guide us there... well... what an adventure awaits” he said smiling broadly in both their directions “... who knows what we may find there - we could all be rich!” He exclaimed as he tossed the stone to Q.

“So, what say you” he said looking at Q, “will you guide us there, to the citadel? And for that matter, if she...” he turned to Shey “if she agrees, will you join us, cavalier?”
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  #97  
Old 11-16-2009, 11:59 PM
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"Well now, this certainly sounds promising!"

It was the first sentence that Elrin had spoken out loud since ordering his drink. No doubt they had mostly forgotten that he was there, between the scuffle with whatever spirit had possessed the cloaked fellow's body and the sudden fascination with the rock. Elrin was no expert on rocks. All he knew was that particularly shiny specimens were worth small fortunes on the market.

But a long-lost citadel in the Blight, full of traps and monsters and, most importantly, treasure...Now that was something to get excited about.

The young Storm Lord rose from his seat and stretched his limbs momentarily before approaching the other would-be adventurers.

"Elrin Windheart, Storm Lord extraordinaire, at your service." He feigned a courtly bow.

"Sorry, but I couldn't help overhearing these plans of yours." Not a lie, but a slight stretching of the truth; he had used some minor magic to carry their whispers over the distance separating them from him, but they didn't need to know that.

"In my professional opinion, the Blight is no place for a young lady, even accompanied by the most skilled of dwarves, to be going without just the slightest bit of additional help. Fortunately, I can promise my superior arcane skills to your cause...in exchange for an even share of all findings, of course."
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  #98  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:45 AM
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”I’m not-”

The girl broke off when the dwarf suddenly tossed her the stone. Her jaw dropped and the girl fumbled a bit, her blade swinging wildly as she caught the item in her cupped hands. For a moment, the girl stared dumbstruck at the returned item, then quickly shook herself awake. Within seconds, she had fished out a worn leather pouch and dropped the item into the dark gap, pulling the straps together tightly.

Clearing her throat, the young girl straightened and faced Chon once more. She sheathed her sword, but just because the stone was restored in her pocket, didnae mean she was complacent to his request. Her mind flashed back to the image of the cave and the girl shuddered once, straightening herself to give the men her final answer.

Before she could open her mouth, a new voice boomed into the air, and she turned her bewildered gaze towards the stranger who made his way beside the odd group.

”B-B-But…”


Dazed, she looked at all three faces surrounding her and threw her hands in the air. ”I never said I was gonna take ye there. This is preposterous,” The girl continued, lowering her voice till she was muttering to herself. ”First the stranger with his cloak… then this. I honestly dunnae know wot people want these days…”

She pulled her shoulders back and stuck her chin in the air indignantly.

”I’m not goin' ta waste my time here no longer, ye fools will get yerself killed if ye visit the Citadel… that much I promise ye,” She said adamantly, before brushing past the dawrf and Shey. She kept her back as straight as possible and held her head high, as she sought for the entrance with hasty footsteps.

It’s the stupid stone, She scolded herself, when she reached the entrance and pushed her way through the doorway. The sun fell against her unadorned head and her dark hair gleamed gently from its warmth. Though the stone was safe in her pocket now, she could still feel the sharp object pressed against the thin folds of her pocket. Uneasily, she wondered if t‘was a bad idea to keep it. For all she knew, the rock could have harmed her in the same way it harmed the cloaked man.

I have to return it! She told herself fiercely, stopping in the middle of her tracks. She had to find her way back to the underground tunnel and restore the stone in its original location. Then… one way or another… Qtchi was going to find a way to seal that cave entrance forever.
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  #99  
Old 12-08-2009, 12:44 AM
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He just watched as Chon quickly reached down and grabbed the stone, before standing up once again and addressing the two of them.

“If this stone is any indication, there’s amazing riches out there just waiting for some adventurers brave enough, and smart enough, to grab it. Riches no one has been able to get their hands on before... no one”


But before Shey could respond, the dwarf quickly turned his attention to Q and apologized to her before turning his speech into an invitation for them to journey together to the citadel, even as he threw the ‘gem’ into Q’s hands.


Momentarily, diverting his attention to dodge Q’s sword as it moved outward in response to its owner catching the gem, Shey was unable to respond to the dwarf’s invitation before a stranger then addressed the group as a whole.


Opening his mouth to speak, he was again too late to voice a reply as Q, reacting to the turn of events, left him gawping like the slack-jawed bumpkin that the other students often called him at the academy. The ‘jeers’ of that time started forward to haunt his waking moments even as they haunted his sleeping ones but these were shaken from his mind as she threw her hands in the air in one sudden outburst and said vehemently…


”I never said I was gonna take ye there. This is preposterous,” her voice then descended down quickly to a mutter, even as she drew herself up and then continued.


”I’m not goin' ta waste my time here no longer, ye fools will get yerself killed if ye visit the Citadel… that much I promise ye,” She stated even as walked past them, leaving the cavalier dumb-founded as he watched her leave the tavern.

Finally remembering to shut his mouth as the tavern door closed, he remained staring at the door even as a quirky smile came to his face. Turning to face both Chon and the Storm Lord he said “I accept your invitation and I will journey with you to the citadel, although it seems that Milady Q wants to prompt the journey to that place by example more than by invitation”, humour evident in his voice as he finished his statement and moved towards the door.

Finally remembering to sheathe his sword as he got to the door, Shey pushed it open and let it shut firmly behind him as he saw Q a short distance off with her back to him. Actually relieved, to a certain extent anyway, he found that the exertion inside the tavern had dried him off somewhat and he could now enjoy the sun warmly.

‘For once in a while anyway’ He thought to himself even as he sent an annoyed glance in the direction of the stables. Transferring his shield to once again hang on his back, he started to approach Q.

“Milady Q, perhaps I may be a fool for wanting to go with you on this journey to the citadel, but who better to take on a foolish journey than a chivalric fool. If not just for company than for laughs at my poor attempts of good humour and wincing at my bad puns.” He said stopping two paces away from her, awaiting her answer.
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