Quest Annihilation

Alea, Shadowfang

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A village cut off from the rest of Mizahar by the Valterrian, slowly reestablishing contact with the outside world.


Postby Alea Davenport on December 14th, 2012, 8:59 pm

As Hehk cooked their various kills, Alea thought on what he had said. In truth, she was glad he had some ideas, especially since that meant that he was willing to help. The last thing she had expected on this expedition was to be put in charge, and so it was a relief when the Svefra offered his advice. Certainly, trying to pin down where certain landmarks had been before was a better idea than wandering around at random. If only she had a map...

It was only then she remembered, she might not have a map, but she did have a compass! She had gotten so used to wearing it on the chain around her neck that she had completely forgotten its purpose. She pulled it out and idly flipped open the ornate gold cover. It was too dark to see the needle, but between the glow of the fire and her Gilding, she could just barely make out the inscription on the cover. Not that she needed to read it; she wold never forget what it said. Denvali Forever.

How was it that those words meant so much more now that Denval was gone? When she left, she told herself it was to see the world, though she knew now that she was just running away. Still, somewhere in her mind she'd always assumed she would go back, maybe contribute to Denval in some way that was slightly more adventurous than fishing. Well, she'd gotten half of her wish, and the adventure was a lot harder than she could ever have imagined. But somehow, that made it even more important. The city may be gone, but Denval lived on in its people. If there was the slightest thing she could do here, or recover from the wreckage of their old home... maybe it would feel less like she'd abandoned Denval.

The smell of roasting meat pulled her out of her thoughts, which were getting much to heavy for her taste. "I like Hehk's idea, and I have a compass which should make it easier," she said, cleverly not bringing up any doubts she might have about the accuracy of her memory or her ability to use a compass. She drew a few lines in the dirt at her feet, creating a painfully vague sketch of what she could remember of where various buildings had been. She would have to recreate it in the morning, but she wanted to start refreshing her memory as early as possible. "The lighthouse would probably be easiest to find," she mumbled, half to herself, drawing an x on a piece of squiggle that jutted out a bit from the rest of the "coastline" squiggle.

She fiddled with her "map" as she ate strips and chunks of roast creature. The flavor of the meat was unusual, but Alea thought that, given time, she could grow to like it. Not that she planned on sticking around that long. She thought she remembered the relative locations of a few more buildings, starting with the ones Hehk had mentioned. She also added the Academy, the Chapel, and the Market, having been to those more often than other places. As an afterthought, she added the great Road on the far edge of the sketch. She doubted there was anything there that would give a clue to what had happened to Denval, but it would be interesting to see if the efforts to carve a pass through the mountains had survived in any form.

Having run out of buildings she could remember, Alea stared into the fire. Her eyes glazed over a bit as she began to drift into a semi-sleep; the day had been an exhausting one. As her mind floated along in a haze of half-dreams and memories, she began to recall something her mother had told her earlier in the season.

Captain Astrid ordered the evacuation of Denval. But why evacuate Denval? How did they know it was going to be destroyed? Was it that crazy storm? No, that had happened earlier, and Denval hadn't gone up in smoke until partway through spring. But the storm was related somehow... it was full of wild djed, which had...reacted somehow. With what? Where in Denval would there have been enough magic to create an explosion big enough to wipe the city off the face of Mizahar?

She blinked as she snapped back into full consciousness. That's right, her mother had told her of Captain Astrid warning of a cache of artifacts in the city's Arsenal that was the likeliest cause of the explosion. She frowned, poking at her map drawing, trying to remember where the Arsenal had been located. After a few chimes, she gave up, thinking that a good night's sleep might help her remember.
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Alea Davenport
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Postby Shadowfang on January 8th, 2013, 3:23 am

Shadowfang sat the furthest distance away from the fire, looking everywhere but the light of the fire and munching on the gooey red chunk of meet in his hand. He much preferred his food raw. It was much more delicious and juicy that way and had no chance of burning his mouth. This meat though was somehow... significantly less juicy than he was used to, as if the creature had been drained of lots of blood when he had found it or simply did not have much blood to begin with. Still, it was better than the alternative. He would never understand why humans preferred their meat burnt, hot, and tasteless.

Wiping away the last bits from his mouth and licking up extra juice from his hands, he turned his attention back to the other two. Hekh did not interest him at the moment. Alea, however, was writing something in the dirt, mumbling about things called a "compass" and a "lighthouse." He did not quite like the sound of the second one.

Curious, he crawled closer to the Denvali on all fours until he was crouching just beside whatever it was she was writing. Or at least he thought it was writing. It was a bunch of seemingly random squiggles and X's. Maybe it was Alea's native language? Well he had figured out Common, maybe he could figure out whatever this was. Against his better judgement, he scooted over next to her, trying to see what she was writing from her perspective and stared intensely at the marks in the dirt. He slowly realized that it was not actually writing, but more of a drawing. There was one big squiggle and some X's, but nothin resembling words.

He watched her add more marks to the drawing until she stopped. Dropping down to his hands and knees he looked at it for what seemed like the longest time, long after Alea had gone to sleep. This is... a map. The realization hit the Zith like a speeding wagon. If this was a map, then that meant that big squiggle was something important in their immediate area, like maybe mountains or a beach. He rushed over to the girl and shook her awake. "Alea! Heh... Hek... Human man! Come!" He crawled back over to the map and pointed down at it. 

"This is... map, right? If this is not where... we are..." he pointed a claw to the X resembling the lighthouse. "And if the line is... the beach, then I can fly up and... find out where we are because of... the shape of the beach!" His voice was filled with barely contained excitement. If there was one thin he loved, it was figuring something out for himself. He felt like reading maps might become his new favorite thing to do when he was bored.
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