Ender's War

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Post by Guest on 15th June 2011, 10:55 pm

The calendar marks it as the year 128 F.D (Feudal Divide). The Great War of Kallum is in the past, but now the neighboring kingdom of Dar'shun has gone silent. Dar'shun, a kingdom of mountains and of great strategic value, had been allied with the Kingdom Val'sarak for over forty years. Its sudden silence was staggering, how could the two kingdoms, on such a united front, be torn asunder with such little cause? What had happened to their peace meetings, their promises of marriage for the next generation, how had their relations suddenly ended like this?

The only news available from Dar'shun was a scrabble-minded messenger. The messenger, Tod Kalrum had served for twenty-three years in the Legion, how anything could crack him was beyond the physicians and medicines were not helping either. He had been confined to a cell after being treated for a wound on his shoulder. All day he rocked back and forth on, whispering, and sometimes shouting, "The darkness..."

"Ten years, it has been ten years since the last war. I had hoped to see at least another twenty years of peace before the next, hoping my son would be able to lead the kingdom through the next challenge," stated king Talos Vas Valgraf as he slowly paced back and forth across the War Council room in the Upper Keep of Castle Val.

Legionnaire Commander, Salverik Kon Vallos watches the king patiently for a few moments and then speaks up, "Sire, we cannot wait to act any longer. We must evacuate the residents closest to us to the city and begin to prepare for what is to come. We do not have any time to spare, we must protect the people."

King Talos turns abruptly, looking directly at Salverik, "Do you think I do not know what is best for my people Commander? I know this, I just wish it did not have to come down to this. Send the fastest guardsmen you can. How fast can they reach Ar'lys and the outlying villages?"

Salverik, startled by his King's reaction is taken aback for a moment, but answers firmly, "It will take 6 to 7 days to get to Ar'lys in this rainy season. The roads will be thick with mud and any messenger knows that a horse with a broken leg is useless. In fact, it will take roughly 11 days to get to Corinth in the downpour outside. The closest villages, such as Saris and Faranci and the cities on the main trade routes, can be reached within 2-3 days, and can begin to be evacuated, but cannot be expected to arrive until at least 5 days after they are given the signal to evacuate."

King Talos, stares at his Commanding Officer defiantly, "You will have those citizens here within one week. That is ALL we can afford. The citizens to the north are going to bear the brunt of this invasion, if invasion it is, they cannot stand on their own. Send the 37th division up there, on the double."

Salverik stares blankly at his King, "The Calvary, sire? You know as well as I that if their horses are lost and we do lose the entire division that when the Dar'shun army gets here we will be at a disadvantage. We already know that their army rivals ours, losing a division could mean life or death to the entire city."

King Talos shakes his head slightly, "If it comes down to that, I am willing to step down. I do not want to see anymore unnecessary bloodshed if possible. If we can save the villages to the north from being completely overrun, it will be worth it. At the very least send out half of the 37th mixed with the 32nd. If we cannot send the full company, we should at least give them some ground support."

Salverik nods, as if in approval, "Very well Sire, I understand your sentiments greatly. We shall send the entirety of the 32nd and the 37th and have them split at the fork so as to make it to both Ar'lys and Corinth on time. We shall pull through this sire, I know we shall."

~*~
2 days later in Ar'lys
~*~


A man wrapped in clothing from head to toe, his face covered, his cloak black and covered with grim and mud steps into the village, his weight heavily on his cane. Several of the guards train arrows on him from the treetop guard posts. In fact, most of Ar'lys is built into the very forest around it, houses in the treetops and in the hollowed out holes around the base of the roots.

The man slowly unwraps his face, looking around at the startled peasants, who had seen no one come from the north in nearly 5 months. The man stares, his left eye a dull grey, but his right a vibrant searing orange. He opens his mouth slowly, as if to say something, and then collapses onto the ground.

A guard jumps out of his tree-top post and rushes to the man.

"He's just dehydrated, quick someone bring some water."

A peasant fetches a pitcher, quickly rushing the the strange man's side. The guard manages to pour the water into the strange wanderer's dry mouth, dumping the rest on his face. Shaking awake, the wanderer looks up at the guard, his orange eye searching the pale blue's of the guards and then he whispers.

"The darkness... it.. comes."


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Post by EphPhoenix on 15th June 2011, 11:19 pm

[Attn: Open]

Sparrow waited for it as he flipped into the air. Almost there, almost there...there! He pulled his body out of the somersaults and straightened his body, spreading his arms wide. He enjoyed these few seconds of weightlessness, where gravity and his upward ascent met equilibrium and he was truly flying before gravity reasserted its dominance on him.

With a reckless smile he descended back down to the earth, slapping his arms down to his sides and speeding down like an arrow. Immediately, he shot his arms out and grabbed a thick tree limb, swinging off of it, hooking another with his knees, flipping, then landing on the ground deftly.

Sudden clapping alerted him that he wasn't alone. He looked to see Daryl, one of his closest friends, emerging from behind a tree.

"Why thank you, kind sir," Sparrow said with a laugh.

"Your father was right," Daryl said with a grin.

"Oh?" Sparrow replied, his mirth rising.

"Yep," the man said, "I believe his words were, 'That free-spirited dreamer will probably be out to the southwest swinging amongst the trees. His mother's blood has him in a hawk's death grip, it does.'"

Sparrow laughed. "Yeah!" he agreed cheerfully. "That sounds like dad!"

Daryl's expression grew serious. "Rich wants you back home fast, Sparrow," he said. "He sent me to find you. I guess it's lucky you didn't stray too far."

Sparrow's expression grew curious. "What's wrong?"

Daryl's shook his head in confusion. "Damned if I know," he answered. "Some strange man comes from the north talking about darkness."

"The north?!" Sparrow exclaimed. "That is something! We haven't heard anything from there for two months now!"

Daryl nodded agreement. "Yeah," he said, "but this guy...something's off. Your dad and the others sent a few people out to find anyone straggling in the forest. He says he doesn't want to take any chances and needs all able hands ready. Just in case."

Sparrow grimaced. "Sounds like my dad," he said. "Practical to the bone, and cautious to a fault."

Quickly, he shimmied up a tree and looked down at his friend. "C'mon," he said looking to Daryl, "Let's stick to the treetops and keep it quiet. If there is need for caution, it'll be a lot harder to get us up here and a lot easier for us to spot it."

Daryl waved a hand dismissively. "To hell with that," he said with a grin, "we can't all be born monkeys. I'll walk on the ground if it's all the same to you, thanks."

Sparrow shrugged. "Suit yourself."

With that, they began the journey back to their village.

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Post by Guest on 16th June 2011, 12:06 am

"My name is Varrick. Varrick Ishmael la Lezarick Alsona Nikaf. I am originally from the village of Kal'lesto in Dar'shun. However... lately the sun.. has not shown for many days. I traveled here to escape that sunless hell. The people.. oh god.. the people."

Tears flowed out Varrick's orange eye, yet nothing escaped his left. It wandered around the village, as if watching the peasants go about their daily lives. He looked up at the guard who had gave him water and thanked him deeply.

"On my life, I swore I was dead. I had walked so far, so far without stopping. My water and my food, they ran out four days ago. I did not stop to try to find anything to eat, I knew that the effort of doing so would only drain me more. I just kept walking and now, you have saved me. I am saved. Thank you kind sir, thank you."

The guard that had jumped out of his post looked down at Varrick, blushing slightly, "It was nothing really, I only did what I thought was right. What I know to be right. But... what is wrong with your left eye? And.. what did you mean by the darkness?"

Varrick looked up at the guard, sadness written all over his face, "I was born with my eye like this. I am blind, my right eye is the only eye I can see out of. I was told that my eye would never be healed, but as the light fades away I out of it again. The darkness... oh god.. the darkness is coming, it is coming again."

Varrick's eyes close and he faints. The guard, not knowing what else to do, has him carried to a bed in the inn, which is sturdily built into a tree with small windows and stairs from the base to the top.

~*~
Meanwhile, in Saris and the South West/East most villages
~*~


A legionnaire on horseback rides into the square of the town. Upon his or her horse, s/he pulls out what looks to be a scroll and begins reading it silently to his or her self. Then as members of the villages begin to notice him or her, s/he looks up and calls out in a loud and clear voice, "All ye peasants, merchants, farmers and others. A decree has been issued. All must begin to pack their essentials immediately. An evacuation of the area is in order. If ye have wagon or cart, share with ye neighbors and take what is necessary, no more. The evacuation is to take effect immediately. All those who wish to be under the safekeeping of his Majesty the King, must evacuated now to the capital of Val'sarak. This is not a drill, these times are growing dark and the King does not wish to see innocents lost in what may come to be a time of war. Please, all of ye who value your lives heed this decreed and begin to pack immediately and head for the capital. Do not panic however, for order is still held in this kingdom. We are preparing for what is yet to come, a necessary evil. If ye have crops growing, pick what is in season and bring it along, all shall help in this evacuation, even I."

The legionnaire in each city dismounts and looks out at the crowd before him or her, "In this time of great need, we shall all help each other as our great Majesty King Talos wishes to look after us himself. We shall begin with the evacuation now."


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Post by EphPhoenix on 16th June 2011, 12:29 am

[Attn: Open]

"Halt! Who goes--oh, it's you Daryl."

The guards lowered their bows that they had trained on the man. Daryl shook his head.

"I swear," he grumbled. "Sparrow is right. People don't really seem to notice you in the trees as easily as on the ground. You're lucky he's not an enemy or you'd be dead."

"What are you--"

Daryl pointed. "Look behind you, you great lumps."

The men looked behind them and jumped, leaping back as Sparrow broke out into laughter. He was hanging upside down above them on a tree branch.

"Spirits preserve us, you devil!" said one. "I wish you'd quit doing that!"

"And give up this fun?" Sparrow said through chuckles. "It's not my fault you still have yet to learn to look up!"

"You're a different case," complained another.

Sparrow rolled his eyes. "Let's not start that again. Son of the village's greatest stalker, I may be, but I tripped and made a few loud noises up there you affected not to notice. Speaking of my old man, where is he?"

"Heading up the guard post that watches the north," the third answered. "He's edgy, he is."

"Wouldn't you be?" said the first. "First that one psycho comes, and now after two months of silence we get another crackpated lunatic traipsing through our forest."

"I see," said Sparrow. "Thanks, gents."

With an annoyed farewell, Sparrow made his way to the northern guard post. There, he found his father keeping a steady eye out the window to the north, his vision as sharp as it ever was. He was a well built man, and tall, wearing buckskin pants and jacket. He kept his hair short and Sparrow had to fight another eyeroll as he was sure that he would have to endure another lecture about the impracticality of long hair for a woodsman. His hair was sandy, which is where Sparrow got his from--his eyes were his mother's--and he had a well-trimmed beard.

"Glad you could make it, son," Richard said without looking.

Sparrow grimaced. His father remained the only one he could never sneak up on. Not that he had been trying--well, not very hard, at least.

"So I hear we got some activity?" Sparrow said by way of answer.

"Yes," Richard replied. "Everyone wants to write him off as a lunatic, but all seem quick to forget the messenger that had come not too long before. Something's off, and I don't like it."

"You think we're gonna be attacked?" Sparrow said, leaning out to look to the north alongside his father.

"That, I don't know," Richard replied honestly. "But I'd rather not get blindsided from carelessness."

Sparrow nodded, but said nothing. His father then spared him a glance and a smile.

"How far this time, freebird?"

"Only a couple of miles," Sparrow replied, returning the grin.

"You've got your mother's free spirit, you do," he said, returning his gaze forward. "How about you go see her so she doesn't worry?"

Sparrow sighed and nodded. "Okay, father."

With that, he turned to leave.

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Post by Guest on 16th June 2011, 12:57 am

Varrick awakens in the inn on a bed that is as soft as a bed made out of wood can be. The sun glares in through his window causing a shot of pain to glaze over the left side of his face as his blind eye shudders, feeling but not seeing the light. He begins to sit up, noticing his heavy clothing has been taken off and washed, freshly laundered in a chair not far from the bed. A youth peeps into the room and then rushes off.

A few moments later a young woman looks into the room, "I'm sorry if he woke you. He is just curious is all, we haven't had anyone come in from the north in months. We are all just a little spooked out by you coming here, what with the dead silence from the north and all. Quite surprised, right we were. If there is anything we can get you, just let me know honey."

Varrick sat still for a moment, looking the woman over, "Stew? Anything that has meat in it would be welcome. I have not had anything for days and my stomach is starving. I can feel it though.. the darkness as it moves. It's coming closer. It will be here by nightfall, please.. please if you could get me some food.. then let the people know.. let them know it is coming. They are all in great danger."

Varrick stands up abruptly, the sun hitting his blind eye again. His body is pale and covered in what appear to be scars.

"A warrior, perhaps," the young woman thinks silently to herself. She is shaken, his confidence in the coming the darkness worries her. She sets about making him some food, bread and pork chops and a bowl of hardy beef stew. She sets it on the table just inside the door and looks at his muscular, but scar back.

"I'll go let the guard know you are awake again, they wanted to ask you some more questions. I'll let them know you are still tired if you want me too, you look so pale."

Varrick turns to her silently and nods, then says, "The darkness will be here by nightfall. I do not have time to rest yet, not yet. Let the guards come, they need to know. How to fight it, how to ward it off at least for a little while, until they are prepared, truly prepared to face it, the reality."

With that said, the woman leaves the room, allowing him his privacy to eat and get dressed. He quickly slips back into his heavy clothing, wrapping himself from head to toe once more, but leaving his face mask open so that he can eat. He looks at the food and sits beside it silently, picks up the bread load and looks it over, then puts it down and begins to eat the stew, slurping it down, taking the time to chew the meat fully, then grabbing the pork chop and ripping into it, he chews viciously at the meat, swallowing large chunks. After devouring the meal, he stares at the bread and carves into it the words "It comes."

He stands, leaving the room and heading towards the inn's door. Upon entering the sunlight outside he closes his face mask and covers his left eye, finding a bench hewed into the wood, he sits down and waits, feeling the darkness move, slithering beneath his skin.


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Post by EphPhoenix on 16th June 2011, 1:13 am

[Attn: Open]

"Off flying around, my restless heart?"

Sparrow smiled as he embraced his mother. "Only a little," he replied.

His mother was easily considered the most beautiful woman in the village. Once a famous acrobat, she had left that life behind to pursue the life of a wife to a woodsman. Sparrow, to this day, still didn't understand how she could leave it all behind. She smiled knowingly at him, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking.

"I wish you could find you a nice girl and settle down," she said with a wistful sigh. "But," she added with a raised hand to forestall his protests, "I know you aren't interested in such things. Yet. At least I hope, yet. I've known men in my lifetime that were stones that always rolled. I just hope your wanderlust won't be the last I see of you."

"Oh, come off it, mom," he said with a grin. "You know well something would find a way to bring me back."

"Hopefully with a wife carrying my future grandchild," she muttered. "Now," she said briskly, "you should return to your father. That man's intuition is seldom wrong."

"Yeah," Sparrow replied. He hugged his mother again. "Be well, mother. I love you."

"And I love you, my dear restless heart," she said.

"Hey, Sparrow!"

Daryl approached him. "You see him over there?" he said, pointing at a strange man wearing a mask. "That's the guy! I hear he's gonna talk to the guards!"

"I think I'd like to hear what he has to say," Sparrow said. "See what crazy sounds like."

He walked over to the man, an orange eye focusing on him behind the mask. "Good day to you, sir," he said politely. "Um..." he couldn't resist adding flippantly, "did you escape from the tundra?" He gave the man a smile to let him know it was good-natured. "Anyway, I hear you're the one that came from the north. I would like to hear what tales you can spare. I've led a man or two that way, but have since been forbidden to since this business with the messenger a couple of months back."

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Post by xenolion on 16th June 2011, 1:34 am

{Attn: Open}

Evelyn stops her buggy outside the village gates waiting for the guards to approach. She converses with the mercenary. “That had to be the worst forsaken trip to Basicul I have ever experienced.” She reaches down to her purse at her waist taking out some coins. “Thank you very much I appreciated your help this time.” She handed over the remainder of his payment plus a few extra coins. The mercenary leaves the buggy.

Evelyn leans back in the seat. She looks down at her mud soaked clothes. The ride down to Basicul was perfect. The rain had started just before she left, and what is normally a half day trip was almost doubled. Through all the hardship a smile still remains on her face. The trip was a complete success, for she had sold everything she had taken with her.

When the inspection was done she nods at the guards as they step back to allow her entrance. She drives her buggy to her small house, parking it in the back. She enters her house to change her clothes and wash the mud she can off her. After that is done she looks around her house. She is too tired to cook for herself, so she grabs a small purse attaching it to her belt and walks to the local inn.

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Post by Guest on 16th June 2011, 1:41 am

"It is good, that you have come guard. I will not last much longer in this sun. Tonight, tonight the moon will be black, the morrow no sun will rise. They... come. The night is when they will take hold, this village. I can see it, feel them. They close the ground quickly. Yes... yes. It will be tonight, as the moon is suppose to rise it shall not. A pit of black despair will await instead. Ward them, ward the grounds. Lights, fire. Much is needed. But.. the air.. it.. it is moist. I.. I cannot stay here. I must go, they come, they come. They call. I must."

Varrick stands abruptly, his orange eye glares into Sparrow's eyes as if seeking. He looks deeply into the eyes before him. His arm tinges and he collapses to the ground, shaking with fear and anxiety. He slowly curls into a ball. On his back is an empty sheath, as if the man once carried a sword, now long gone, the leather still treated well though, as if the man had meant to return the sword soon. His body shivers, even with all his heavy clothing on. His eyes close and it appears as if he were screaming, yet no sound comes out.

The young woman from the inn comes outside, seeing the man on the ground she cries out in terror and then glares at Sparrow, "Why did you take him out of his room! He is not in any condition to be up and about, he has scars all over. Some of them looked fresh still. There is no way he can be up and about right now. Get him back inside into the room."

Noting the surprise in Sparrow, she looks him over again and then hands him a piece of bread with words carved into it. Then she bends down, "It is going to be alright sir, I'll get you back inside. You can rest there."

She looks back up at Sparrow, "There you got what you came for, didn't you? Take it to who ever you need to take it too and leave the poor man alone. It'll be alright sir, it'll be okay, just come with me."

She slowly helps Varrick to his feet, draping his arm over her shoulder and neck and helps him walk back into the inn to the room she had made ready for him. She feels him shiver through his clothing and pills his mask off. She feels his head for fever, but feels not heat, no warmth coming from his face at all. She lays him down and puts blankets over him, gets a wet rag and places it over his forehead. She stares at him, confused, not knowing why he had no heat coming off him and why she had never seen symptoms like this before. She didn't know what to do, so she whimpered behind him as he suffered.
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Post by EphPhoenix on 16th June 2011, 2:02 am

[Attn: Open]

Both Daryl and Sparrow stand their dumbfounded. More so, Sparrow is shaken. He had only been in jest when he had spoken of crazy. Well, the man was obviously mad, but Sparrow had the impression it was a madness caused by terror. The kind he'd seen in the woods when the prey had been harried long by the hunter. This man had been hunted as surely as the wolf hunts the stag.

Daryl, trying to find something to turn this around, elbowed Sparrow. "That Saryn's tongue is as sharp as ever, eh? Dude was absolutely barking! What's that bread say? It comes?"

Sparrow looked down at the bread Saryn had given him. Carved into it was just that, "It comes."

After a moment, he shook himself. This was no time to be acting like a rabbit caught between a bear and a wolf. "C'mon," he said to Daryl, "we'd better report what he said."

He relayed the events to Geoffrum, captain of the local guard, then promptly found his dad and relayed the information to his father. His father was silent afterward, more silent than Sparrow had ever remembered him being.

"Take your mother and head south," he said finally.

"What?" Sparrow said dumbfounded.

Richard turned to regard his son directly. "You heard me, boy. Get your mother and start heading south. Now. While there's still daylight."

"You want me to leave the village?" Sparrow asked again. "On the words of a lunatic."

His father grimaced. "You didn't see the state of the last messenger that came from the north. In just as bad a shape, if not worse. And now another, after two months of silence. And listen."

Sparrow did as he was told. "I don't hear anything..." he said after a moment.

"Exactly," Richard replied. "The forest is as silent as death. You, as a hunter, should know the trouble that can spell."

Sparrow did indeed. "But dad!" he protested. "If there is trouble coming, you're gonna need all able hands--"

"Son," Richard began, "I've no doubt in my mind you're a brave lad, and your eyes are second to none in this village. I should know, I taught you. But you're no warrior; that's not to say you couldn't hold your own if the need arose--and if that man's insanity was any inclination, tonight would be such a night--but this is not the time."

"But I can shoot a bow better than anyone!" he protested again. "Well," he amended, "anyone except you..."

His father clapped him on the shoulder. "Sparrow Farshaw," he began, "have I ever steered you wrong in any time you can remember--save that bar wench in Corinth?" Sparrow shook his head. "Trust your father, now. Get your mother, and get her out of here. She's a right stubborn piece of work, but if you have to, throw her over your shoulder and run. I'll hear no more arguing, is that clear?"

Sparrow sighed. "Yes, father."

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Post by JerriLeah7 on 16th June 2011, 2:21 am

[ATTN: Evelyn]

Jazen can't shake the feeling, no matter how hard he struggles with it. He knows, he knows that something isn't right. He's sitting at the bar, a nearly full glass of mead in his hands and they are still shaking.

At first, he noticed all of the odd glances he kept receiving from the other patrons. As odd as it may be to wear full uniform and be fully packed and armed in an inn with a paranoid expression, Jazen still couldn't go in without them. It made him too nervous. So here he is, ignoring the rude stares of the others around him, drinking away his misery. Well, the misery never goes away, but that doesn't mean he can't try.

He watches his hands shake as he stares down at the table in front of him, blocking out all of the pleasant noises around him. There's some sort of flute in the background in the back corner and people are chattering loudly, each customer trying to be heard over the next.

It isn't until a hand waves in front of his face that he zones out of his paranoia and realizes that someone is speaking to him. He looks up to find the Inn Keeper.

"I know you've got a home here, so you won't be staying a night. Is this one drink the only thing you'll be buyin'?" The Keeper asks.

"Yeah." Jazen says shortly, looking back down at his hands once again.

"Great. Two silvers; you know the drill." The keeper states, holding out his hand, palm up. Jazen reaches down into his pockets, fiddling within and making a loud clanging noise as the coins rap against each other around his hand.

The Inn Keeper walks away satisfied as he takes Jazen's two silver pieces and heads back to the front. Jazen moves to lower his head again when he notices Evelyn the Seamstress walk in.

He calls over to her as she enters, a smile appearing on his face for the first time in days. He raises his hand to catch her attention, hoping the woman can get his mind off of this horrible feeling. Who knows? Perhaps she'll bed him...

"Evelyn!" Jazen calls, "Over here! I haven't spoken to you in a while, yet! Care for a conversation?"

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Post by xenolion on 16th June 2011, 2:47 am

{Attn Jazen}

Evelyn enters the noisy inn and scans the room looking for a quiet table in the back perhaps. She really isn't in the mood for a conversation. All she needs is some food in her stomach before going to bed. She sees a legion member in full uniform waving her over. She smiles at him and heads towards his table, suddenly not minding some company.

"Hello there Lance Corporal and how are you on this fine day?" She asks, smoothing her hair. "What brings you to this fine establishment? " She sits down in the chair across from him. The inn keeper returns to the table. "What can I get for you Ma'am?"

"I will have some shepherds pie and a glass of your plum wine." She says not even looking at the menu.


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Post by Guest on 16th June 2011, 3:01 am

Varrick wakes up again, the sun still on the horizon. His dreams keep waking him, the sun slowly starting to lower in the distance, the smell of moist air in the forest. It did not bode well, not at all. If the rain started, if it started here, fire would be useless. Small flames did nothing, He remembered, his village, all gone. They were the last, the most South, the closest to the border. Out of seven hundred people in the city, he was the only one to make it out alive. He could taste the blood in his mouth still. His body ached all over, but he felt strangely better. His mask was off again though, his blind eye feeling the heat of the sun, lingering over it, longing for that heat. He shook his thoughts off, looking up. The young woman who was taking care of him, dozing slightly in the chair near the bed he was on. He slowly sat up, listening to the silence, the gentle intake of breathe from the woman, the sounds of people moving outside.

Then it all crashed down, he felt it the sun was going to go down in a few hours, they would be here. He felt around for his mask, put it on. At the sudden rustling, the young woman woke up and almost started out of her chair, she had been sure the man had passed away. His heart had stopped beating, or at the very least she could not find a pulse earlier. He was still pale, very pale. and cold to the touch. She was sure he had died in his sleep.

"Sir, sir, what are you doing, you should not be moving around so much with those injuries. I cannot let you go out with them, you're far too bad off. You need to rest to stay still. I have a little medical training, but only so much. The physician was going to examine you in a couple of hours when he had the chance to drop in."

Varrick turned, dumbfounded by the girl. She was still sitting there, still there. Why was she not fleeing, why did she not leave. It was coming! It would be there soon. So very soon. It crawled beneath his skin, how close it was. His orange eye looked her over gently, she was sweet, tender, a delicate morsel at that dear age. She might have been someone's daughter, or someone's mother. She could have been his own daughter. He slowly reaches back, feeling for the hilt of his sword. He would do her this one kindness, she would not have to experience the hell, the torment he had faced. He would save her, keep her safe from what was to come. She would not feel pain, no, she would receive his gift, his gift of salvation before it came. He gripped for the handle of his sword.

"What!? What!? Where was it, where was his sword!? Where, where, he needed it, he needed it now, he had to save this young soul, keep her from the harm to come, then he would use it, use it to fight "them" off, he would flee, keep fleeing to the south. He would get away, he would. He was the last, the very last. Dar'shun was gone, it would never be the same. That darkened sky, it would never be home. He couldn't stay."

He looked down at the girl now, "My sword! Where is my sword!? I must have it, I need it. Without it, they will get me, they will come soon. They are coming now. I must have it, need to have it, give me my sword! Did the guards take it, did they take it away!? Where? Where is it!?"

As he spoke, his voice got louder, clearer. The girl looked at him, frightened. He was mad, completely mad. She needed help, she needed to get away. She stood up, backed towards the door. He stepped towards her.

"My sword!?"

She spoke quickly, "You didn't have a sword when you got here. I helped carry you to the inn myself and put you in the bed. It wasn't there. The guards didn't see it either. I inquired about it to them while you were sleeping. I knew you would need it, for.. for whatever is coming. Please, please don't hurt me. I don't know where it is!"

Varrick was stunned. He sat back on the bed, he put his hands on his face and began weeping, "My sword.. my sword is gone.. is it lost? Where.. on the way here? Where? I need it... it's the only way.. I.."

He looked where the girl was, she backed away again. His eye gleamed lightly, tears running down his face once more, "I'm sorry, but.. my sword. I must have it.. I need to go.. I need to find it."

The young woman stood there, she had picked up the knife from the food tray she had brought earlier for the pork chop. Hiding it behind her back in case he threatened her. He wept and she felt sorry for him. She said gently, soothingly, "Sleep now, I'll go try to find your sword."

Varrick looked up, if his mask did not hide his face, she would have seen a smile, "You will? You promise? Please.. Please.. before nightfall." He laid back into the bed, and closed his eyes, "Before nightfall, wake me, torches, they need torches.. everywhere."

With that, he fell asleep. The woman left the inn quietly, walking toward the main guard post. Upon arriving she inquired about the sword, found no answers, told the guards what he had said about torches and also inquired if they could post a few guards outside his door. She then left, escorted with 3 guards, to the Varrick's room, where they found him sleeping peacefully in full clothing, yet his skin still deathly cold.


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Post by EphPhoenix on 16th June 2011, 9:41 am

[Attn: Open]

"Sparrow Raziel Farshaw! You desist this moment!"

Sparrow cringed. When his mother began using his middle name--after his grandfather--there was going to be trouble. He prepared for the tongue-lashing he knew was to come, but he didn't stop packing. All the years he'd spent wandering the forests and occasionally taking trips with his parents gave him the knowledge of what his mother always packed that she considered essential. Her life traveling with a troupe had her an efficient packer who always traveled light.

"I will not have you and your father herding me off like cattle! Do you hear me, young man! Oh, you answer me, now, or grown or not I will twist your ears off!"

"Take it up with dad, mom," he said, never stopping. "I didn't want to leave either, but you know how he is when he puts his foot down."

"Some lunatic comes into our town and suddenly I need to be harried off?" she growled. "I'll not stand for it! I'll--"

"Mom!"

He turned and rounded on her, frustrated. She looked taken aback--it wasn't often he yelled at her. He breathed a sigh.

"Sorry," he apologized, "but I don't want to leave, either. Dad was adamant, though, and when has dad ever really steered us wrong? Better yet," he added, remembering some of dad and mom's courting stories, "when has not listening done you any good?"

That took the fight out of her. She stared at him quietly for a long moment, then broke into a small smile.

"At least I know you'll be able to stand up to your future wife," she said, shunting him over as she looked at her pack to see what he hadn't done.

She looked down and checked it, then gave him an appraising look. "My, you're an observant one. You packed it exactly as I would have."

"Who do you think taught me?" he said with a smile.

"Who, indeed," Lydia commented with a grimace. "Took me forever to get your dad to wear a pack. Before that, he would take no more than what he could carry directly on his person. He looked at me like I was some kind of magician when I showed him the benefits!"

It was an old story, but it always made him laugh. Practical dad not having the practicality to use a travel pack.

"Come, now," she said. Now that she'd come around, she'd act as if it had all been her idea. "You should get yourself packed up."

"Already am," he pointed out. "I was supposed to lead some physicians coming here tomorrow through the forest so they could get a few of their herbs. Looks like that isn't happening, now."

Lydia nodded. "Okay then, let's be off. You know how your father hates when we dawdle. We have a few hours of daylight left and we should make use of them."

"We sticking to the treetops?" he said with a smile. He loved it when it was just him and his mother traveling for that very reason.

She looked at him as if he'd asked if water was wet. "Of course, you silly goose," she answered. "It's faster, quieter--well, if you'll keep all that hullabaloo and flair under control, it is."

She smiled at him, she knew how much he enjoyed it ever since she taught it to him. She shook her head patted him on the shoulder, and they were off.

"Going on a trip?" the guards at the south post asked.

"Indeed," answered Sparrow.

"Be safe, you two," he called. "And may good weather swift you back to us!"

"I hope so, too," Sparrow said honestly.

He took one last look back to the north where his father lay. Lydia slapped his arm.

"None of that," she said. "You'll get me feeling nostalgic. We'll go to Sarin, wait a day or two, and then come back and laugh and I can finally enjoy your father being wrong for once."

Sparrow smiled and nodded. However, there was an ominous feeling in the air and he didn't think his father would be wrong.

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Post by Holsety on 16th June 2011, 12:33 pm

Lucy had been out hunting since early that morning. There wasn't much to hunt, unfortunately, but she had managed to snag a couple small animals. The orphanage had enough to keep it going for a while, so she wasn't too worried. She whistled an upbeat tune as she headed back to Ar'lys.

When she got there, however, something seemed off. She walked into the village and felt a strange atmosphere surrounding the place. She saw some guards nearby who were whispering among themselves.

"What's going on?" she asked them.

The guards looked at her for a moment, then slowly explained to her about the strange man who had appeared in the village saying "the darkness" was coming.

"He entered from the north? That's strange... Maybe there is some merit to what he's saying," Lucy said, rolling it around in her mind.

If something was going to happen, she needed to make sure the orphanage was safe. It was her family, her home, and she cared for those children like they were her own. She hurried to the small tree where the orphange was located; it had been carved into the very base of the tree. She entered through the rear.

The back entrance took her straight to the kitchen where the head of the orphange, Marisa, spent most of her time. The woman was in there now, cooking away. She turned and saw Lucy there.

"Hello, Lucy," she said. Then she noticed the look on Lucy's face and said, "Is there something wrong?"

"A severely injured man came to the village. He entered from the north and has been talking about a 'darkness' that's coming," Lucy replied. "I'm concerned for the safety of the children."

Marisa's brow furrowed. "I don't want to scare the children or move them unless there really is something going on. Lucy, could you go out into the village and try to get more information about this?"

"Of course," Lucy said, nodding. She dropped off the animals she had caught, then went back out. She went to the guards and began asking more questions.

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Post by Guest on 16th June 2011, 4:09 pm

The guards stare at Lucy, slowly as if trying to figure out how to say it all. The guard on the left looks at the other guard, then starts whistling and wanders away, shifting the responsibility all on the guard that remains standing there dumbfounded. He shifts his weight back and forth, then looks her directly in the eyes.

"This is all we know. A man from the north came to the village, collapsed, and told us something was coming. He called it "the darkness." He has been raving about it every time he has woken up, telling us it is getting closer. It is making everyone a little edgy. We do not know much more, but his story does match that of the crazed man who came through a few months back. Except, this one seems to predict it coming here, tonight. He said we needed to prepare, torches or something. We still don't know what to think, but there are only a few hours of light left. I suppose we will see if he was right or not when the sun sets. At any rate, I need o get back to my duties. If you want to see the man for yourself, he is resting in the inn. Just try not to wake him, he seems to be really unstable."

With that said, the guard leaves Lucy standing there to go about his rounds. The tension in the village was picking up, women and children were entering getting inside. The men were gathered around the guard station. A few men were building a makeshift gate to close off the North. The sun would be setting soon, just a few more lingering hours till it dropped below the horizon. Overhead, clouds began to move, swirling quietly overhead, making the sun's light grow dim. The rain would come soon.
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Post by Vye on 16th June 2011, 4:21 pm

Afilado quietly sat in his chair, reading one of his favorite books. He had just been teaching several students about blocking, and they were all outside doing practice. Afilado closed his book and looked out the window from inside his house. He watched the students practicing their parries along with their jabs. Afilado smiled and stepped outside where he exclaimed: "Good work, everyone! You're all doing well!" He casually walked along his yard as he watched each student, but it was easy to tell his eyes were focused on each move the students made.

Afilado stepped over to a pair that was sparring and gently grabbed one of the student's arms before he had struck with another jab. "Don't let your arm waver as you strike. If you keep attacking like that, your accuracy will be unsteady." He spoke firmly, but not in an intimidating manner. Afilado lightly clapped when the student corrected his mistake and nearly struck his partner square in the chest, only stopping just inches before the rapier made contact.

Even though Afilado was happy that his students were doing well, he still felt uneasy due to news about rumors of a spreading darkness. Still, rumors are rumors. Afilado stood at the porch of his house and continued watching over his class.

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Post by EphPhoenix on 16th June 2011, 4:39 pm

[Attn: Open]

"We'd better stop."

Sparrow held out a hand to halt Lydia. She instinctively looked to the sky, but with the rain coming down, it was impossible to tell the exact time of day. However, it was getting close to dark.

"We haven't made that many miles, dear," Lydia pointed out, "what with the occasional dead tree, then this damned storm."

"I know, mom," Sparrow replied. "But imagine how little progress we'll make in black darkness with it wet. The forest trail is about four miles off that way," he added, inclining his head west, "and that's as roundabout a way of doing things when we can easily go straight to Sarin this way. But not in pitch darkness."

Lydia considered, then nodded. "You're right, of course. Come on, then, dear heart, let's climb down--"

"Ohhh no," Sparrow interjected. "We're staying up here. See that nice copse? Notice how the trunks are dry. It's because they're so closely spaced together they're making a makeshift roof. We'll be high and dry there, as well as well hidden."

Lydia smiled at him. "You are your father's son, indeed," she said with a proud smile. "I'll follow your lead."

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Post by Holsety on 16th June 2011, 5:29 pm

Lucy decided she would try to visit this man at the inn. As she turned to head there it began to rain, so she broke into a run. The sky had a very ominous look about it; it was almost believable that something was going to happen. She got to the inn and quickly entered it.

When she got there, she looked around a bit, then saw a door with some guards outside it. She approached them and asked, "Excuse me. Is this where the traveller from the north is resting?"

She suddenly felt anxious, but she needed to find out what was going on.

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Post by Guest on 16th June 2011, 7:03 pm

The guards look at Lucy, but block the entryway to the door. They are unmoving. Peeking through them, Lucy could make out the figure of a man on the bed, covered head to toe in clothing. A young woman sat beside him, tending to him as he slept. Lucy knew the woman, the hostess of the inn. She looks back up to the guards, who continue to block her entrance.

"Look, he is sleeping now. Saryn had some trouble with him earlier, he was asking about his sword, which no one has seen. She fears he is unstable, that he might try to take his own life or attack someone to have them kill him. There is no telling what the man has seen, or what he has been through, so please, just let him be for now. Maybe if he gets enough rest he will be able to tell us what happened to him, maybe his mind will come back. However, right now, we cannot let you in, Saryn has forbidden it. All are to let him be until he is recovered."

Another guard, sitting at a table in the corner calls over to Lucy, "If you want to speak to him, you'll have to wait. You might as well sit down until he wakes up, or come back sometime later. He was talking in his sleep earlier, saying something about nightfall. Don't worry though, if anything is coming, our spotters will see them before they come over the rise."

The guard at the door looks at the guard at the table, "Malakai, you know full well that none of our spotters even made HIM out on the horizon before he entered the village. It was like he just appeared at the gates and stumbled through. There has been a dense fog building out towards the mountains since mid-day... if anything comes, we won't know until they are right on top of us. Plus, all the rain outside, we couldn't hear a military march if we wanted too. You're too calm, tense up a little, boy."

The guard, Malakai, glares at the guard at the door, "And you Forge, are far too tense. It is just the ramblings of a mad man, there is nothing coming. Even if there was it would probably be a small pack of wolves at best. We've seen others act like this in the past, running from the mountain range and forest being chased by the packs that roam the area. This is no different."

From inside the room, Saryn calls out, "You're wrong. This man was not chased here by a mere pack of wolves. His wounds and scars are too fresh and they look nothing like the bites of wolves. They are too clean, as if precisely itched into his body, but they aren't tattoos either. I don't know what to make of him. His body is freezing as well, I had to redress him once I tended his wounds, I'm afraid he'll die from the chill with the way he feels. I also can't seem to find his pulse, but he isn't dead... he moves, he speaks."

~*~
City of Corinth
~*~


The sky grows darker, the light of the sun hidden behind the clouds. Rain begins to pour down on the village. Most of the people on the streets get indoors or head to the inns and bars to drink away their misery in the stormy evening. The sun was setting before, but now its is hard to get a good sense of what time in the afternoon it is for the sky is so dark, the clouds spread thick throughout. This is not the kind of weather one would travel in if they could help it. Flashes in the sky, low rumbling. Yeah, definitely not an evening to be out on. A thunderstorm a'brewing.

~*~
Village of Las Tres Brujas
~*~


A young man, about the age of 23 comes in on the road. His face and hair rugged, as if he had been traveling for a while. His skin and clothing soaked through by the rain to the north. Heading into the nearest inn, he asks who lead the village, Basicul needed some manpower.

"It has been raining most of the day, the rain got heavier as I got here, but we really need some extra men down at Basicul. If the rain keeps up the lake is going to flood. We have a few of our healthy guys out there digging trenches to re route the water if it floods and others are attempting to raise the edges of the lake. It has been a long, long time since we got a storm this bad. If you have anyone you can spare, can you please, please send them down to Basicul. We've had rumors wafting in from Ar'lys and Corinth over the past months about something, but whatever it is it isn't near as bad as the possible flood damage. You guys are the only ones out here on the higher ground. If the lake floods its going to fill the basin up and Basicul, Araneth and Corinth are going to be in for some trouble. Though Corinth might not have it as bad, being up higher on the basin. Still, Basicul and Araneth will both be hit pretty bad. We already know that the river's current out of the lake has been moving fast. The bridge to the south might end up breaking and cutting off Bali, but at least they will still be able to harvest their crops. At the rate the lake is filling here, we'll be underwater by the end of the night..."


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Post by JerriLeah7 on 16th June 2011, 7:38 pm

[ATTN: Evelyn]

Jazen chuckles as Evelyn orders her meal, shaking his head without surprise. "Some things never change, do they?" He asks her. The rain begins to fall and the clouds darken as he finishes his question and he frowns.

"It's not really a 'fine day' anymore, now is it?" Jazen says, "It seems my mood is just going to worsen from here on out. So much for cheering up."

He looks down at the table, removing his hand from the mead as he decides he has lost his appetite for it. His hands are still shaking, so he places them into his lap under the table, hoping that Evelyn doesn't notice.

"I really feel wrong. I mean bad." Jazen says, shaking his head, "I really feel like something is wrong. Have you ever felt that way? This ridiculous storm isn't helping with it, either. If you need an escort home through all of this weather when you're finished up here, I can help you."

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Post by xenolion on 16th June 2011, 8:10 pm

{Attn: Jazen}

Evelyn looks at Jazen with concern on her face. "Are you alright Jazen, I've never seen you this shaken...Well not since that trip."

She takes a sip from her wine and watches as some more people enter the Inn. "Looks like I will be unloading my buggy in the rain after all. I was hoping to avoid that."

She smiles at Jazen charmingly. "It would go faster if more than one person was doing it. Is there anyone you would suggest? You did recommend an excellent mercenary for this last trip. Although I think that will be his last trip with me."


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Post by EphPhoenix on 16th June 2011, 8:21 pm

[Attn: Open]

Their treetop camp set up, there was nothing for it but to sit and wait out the storm. The cluster of trees did an excellent job of keeping out the worst of it and keeping them relatively dry.

"This storm is fierce," Lydia commented, leaning against the trunk of a tree.

"Yeah," agreed Sparrow, "it's starting to become a thunderstorm."

Lydia watched the skies quietly for a moment before nodding agreement. A particularly loud peal of thunder gave it a sense of finality.

"You get some rest," she said, then. "While my knife skills are second to none, you're better than I with a bow, and if, indeed, there's trouble coming tonight, we'll need you sharp and alert."

Sparrow looked at his mother and nodded agreement. "Take first watch, then," he said with a laugh.

He leaned his head back and soon drifted off to sleep.

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Post by JerriLeah7 on 16th June 2011, 8:23 pm

[ATTN: Evelyn]

Jazen's mind wanders to dirty things as she speaks of "it" moving much more quickly if more than one person is doing it. He is about to imagine stripping her with his mind, but he stops himself, chiding himself for being so ridiculous when he has such a deep pit of dread in his stomach.

"I'm fine...I think." Jazen answers, "I just feel like something bad is going to happen. I dont know why, but I do."

Jazen shuffles over in his chair, holds up his finger to signal that he'll be right back, and moves up to the Inn Keeper. "What's her tab? I'm paying it." Jazen asks. The Inn Keeper names his price, Jazen digs out his pay, and hands it over.

He then returns to his chair at the table, his legs now shaking as well. He continues to try not to fidget, trying to hide his discomfort. Then, his mind wanders again as he looks at Evelyn. He smirks.

"I'd be more than happy to help you, Evelyn." Jazen says, "No lady should have to unload a cart in a storm. Especially not by herself."



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Post by xenolion on 16th June 2011, 8:54 pm

{Attn: Jazen}

Evelyn watches as Jazen gets up. She takes the opportunity to finish the rest of her pie. He comes back and offers to help himself. That makes her happy...very happy. "Thank you, I appreciate your assistance. I will be right back and we can make our way to my house."

Evelyn walks over to the Inn Keeper only to find out that her tab has already been taken care of. Jazen is such a wonderful gentleman. She returns to the table. "By the way, thank you for taking care of the tab. You really didn't have to do that. I am ready whenever you are Jazen."

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Ender's War Empty Re: Ender's War

Post by JerriLeah7 on 16th June 2011, 11:38 pm

[ATTN: Evelyn]

"It's not a problem." Jazen says, "That's what friends are for. "And bed buddies." So, let's get this all out of the way, shall we? We don't need you to get any more wet than you have to."

Jazen stands up and takes his pack up and puts it on over his shoulders, making sure that he has all of his supplies before walking towards the door. Then, he smiles a small smile while holding the door open for her.

"After you, my lady." Jazen says.

A man from the back whistled and clapped his hands, laughing for a moment before he called up to the two of them. "Don't get too rough with her, Jazen, ya hear?? A woman in bed isn't the same as fighting an army!"

Jazen shakes his head and responds with a joking tone while rolling his eyes, "Don't be such a pervert, Nims! Don't make me come back there and sharpen my blade on your skull!"

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