Quest The Hatching (Closed)

15th - A heavy warhorse with a dead Syliran Knight strapped to it gallops into town. It's covered with blood.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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The Hatching (Closed)

Postby Gossamer on June 12th, 2016, 4:43 pm

The crowd quieted as Ialari gave out her insight and offered her opinion on what was going on with the knight and his steed. Her hand blessed with Dira’s mark soothed the passing of the horse’s spirit in a way that the crowd probably wouldn’t be aware of. Death was no stranger to Dira’s children, and it was rare that one acknowledged something like a horse and its passing as equally important as a sentient person passing. Death was always a sharp knife slash across the lifeline of the living when it arrived, especially when it was unexpected. Seeing it first hand in Riverfall wasn’t unusual. Standing by and being unable to do nothing was. Ialari offered her services even as Vypec’s commander approached.

The Akalak was able to give his report to his commander and his restraint was notable against other curious onlookers who came closer and examined despite his presence. Vypec was honest in his assessment of the levels of danger involved and his forthrightness about the dire situation. Three of his squad members left, but one returned within fifteen chimes and had a fully loaded packhorse with him. Vypec would recognize one of the emergency supply packs the Kuvay’Nas kept up at the lodge. They were standard issue with a ten man tent, bedding, a basic camp kitchen setup, and food supplies. The horse also had rope on it and what appeared to be extra weapons… a bow and quiver of arrows, two swords, and a brace of daggers. Delric also patted what appeared to be an extensive first aid kit that had been hastily added to the burdened creature. The man grinned, handed over the lead rope to Vypec, and was gone again just that suddenly. Knowing the man like he did, Vypec could assume he might have even tucked up some extra goodies on the pack animal. It wouldn’t be something out of character for the man. Vypec was handed the lead rope before his fellow warrior vanished, making sure to go help secure the city.

When Kaie removed his helm, Ser Rodham or Douglas as people had known him, looked peaceful and serene. It was almost as if making it to the outskirts of Riverfall, he’d felt a sense of safety he hadn’t fleeing whatever had plagued him. Kaie searched on. If she looked closely at the empty dagger sheaths though, she’d find a tuft of paper sticking out of one. Closer examination would reveal it was a folded, refolded, and much refolded again map. It showed a route out of Riverfall and on south past where many people traveled and out onto a coastal location that was more Sea of Grass than Fringe Forest. It was miles from Riverfall, perhaps fifteen or twenty, as the map was marked irratically and hand drawn by someone who was no cartographer. But there were landmarks to follow and something someone with less than stellar navigation could easily use.

Between it and the blood trail that would obviously grow bigger the further away from Riverfall the party went, there should be no question of the group Vypec gathering being able to retrace Douglas’ steps.

As Amunet made her requests and then later initiated her Pathfinding, a thin trail of djed whipped away from the scene. It was weak and barely traceable, but there. Amunet might understand that it would not linger for her since she was yet a relatively untrained Pathfinder. But it was indeed there. It might be picked up sporadically in patches, but to her eye currently it wasn’t a solid trail. It would still work. What was more important was her expertise on the Grasslands and in surviving outside the city. Her words, however brokenly delivered, tried to convey that to the group. It would be up to them to listen. She might, being Drykas, even know of the creature who was Ser Rodham’s undoing when more clues were forthcoming.

Eosi’s question to the crowd drew a small discussion. One of the older Akalak males nodded and gestured south. “The Kabrin Road ends here of course… it goes just a bit south of the city to a staging/camping ground for caravans to form up and then it ends. That’s still in the shadow of Riverfall’s gate. To the south there’s no trail, no road, and even the Fringe Forest thins until the Grass runs right up to the cliffs and the world turns into hot desert sand. You have perhaps ten miles of forest south of here then grass, then grass as far as the eye can see. Desert starts a hundred miles south. There’s not much there but grass and Drykas and more grass.” The older Akalak said. “To the east are ruins, but they are off rivers and places that make sense. You’ll be hard pressed after twenty miles to even find regular streams south of here.” He continued. Others agreed, some calling out additional details, but nothing specific enough to assist the newly forming party.

With that, Vypec had his volunteers. Several stepped forward from the crowd as well. Two strapping warriors and another woman that looked like she was Chaktawe. They introduced themselves as Brahn, Valnar, and Teressa. Teressa worked at the boarding stables and offered to run to fetch them mounts for the trip – those that had none. If Vypec took the trio on, she’d hurry off to bring back horses.

Ooc: If the map is found and examined, I’ll provide a physical one for you to follow. :P

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The Hatching (Closed)

Postby Ialari Pythone on June 13th, 2016, 4:31 am

When Vypec asked Ialari her name, Ialari looked up at the Akalak; the warrior towering over her comparatively tiny form. She continued her efforts to soften her accent as she responded. It wasn't as much for the sake of those she spoke to but more because she found repeating herself distasteful. "My name's Ialari Pythone and yes, I'll look for anything in the man's writing that might help." Still feeling Dira's fleeting presence at the passing of the knight and his steed, Ialari found the calm and clarity of thought that followed rather refreshing. She normally found large gatherings of non-isur to be somewhat annoying at best. Yet, the peace found in death, given form by her bond with Dira, made the current experience tolerable.

With a number of Akalak joining the gathering and a more militaristic aura filling the area, Ialari hung back a bit and tried not to stand out. While it may have been possible for others nearby to do such a thing, Ialari still felt rather out of place. There were so few Isur present in Riverfall and as far as she knew, she was the only one of her clan. Chances are she didn't stand out at all, especially with all the focus on the dead knight and a possible threat to the city. Such minor nuances of interacting with living mortals still escaped Ialari however; something she was still trying to adjust to now that she was spending a bit less time in her Dominion.

While she tried to hold on to the death-inspired calm that she was feeling along with juggling the awkwardness of group gatherings, Ialari tried to shift her attention more toward the odd collection of nearby individuals. The Akalak who she had spoken with, he had some authority over the scene. His purple skin was an oddity that Ialari still had some difficulty getting used to. Since arriving in Riverfall during the previous Winter, Ialari found the unique skin coloring of the Akalak to be both fascinating and distracting at teh same time. There physiques, while comparable to the Coglias clan of isur in bulk, still dwarfed the isurian warriors in height. Ialari casually observed the giant of a man, noting any details in his appearance, mannerisms and movements that may tell her something useful about him.

While she waited for the gathering of Akalak to decide the next course of action, Ialari continued to study the others. One of the women, the bronze-skinned one with long hair, seemed to carry herself with a bit of instability of emotion and at the same time, a sense of confidence. Although Ialari was uncomfortable with groups of people, she did enjoy studying them, observing them and learning everything she could about them. Whether it was the predatory influence of the snake for whom she held such a strong affinity for or the soul-echoes left within her by the ghost of the master morpher, Amir Berliotz, Ialari couldn't help but embrace the need to learn of others.

There was of course the two red-haired women. One looked like she was of the plains. They were a people who Ialari had seen a few of in and around Riverfall. This woman had a gentleness to the way she carried herself but Ialari felt like there was something more to the woman that she couldn't quite put words to. She was a person that Ialari would need to study further in order to uncover whatever secrets lie within.

The other red-head, the one who seemed a bit too open and assuming while at the same time appeared to be a bit detached from what was going on around her. She had earlier stepped into Ialari's personal space which, for Ialari who was not used to such close mortal interactions, felt threatening. While Ialari took this woman as being a bit foolish at first, their was something strong about her. The way she showed no concern over approaching a complete stranger like she did, while still quite foolish, also showed a lack of fear. Regardless of what drove that lack of fear, it was something Ialari would pay attention to.

Ialari turned her attention away from observing the odd collection of people who seemed to quickly be turning into a quickly thrown-together search party. It seemed that preparations were quickly solidifying for an expedition of sorts to find whatever had attacked the knight. Three more individuals stepped forth to join the rag-tag group, a couple men who looked like the more combative type and a woman. As the group came together and prepared to set out, Ialari realized that she was not exactly prepared for an extended outing like this was shaping up to be. She had only the clothes on her back, her dagger and staff. She didn't have a horse although she preferred to walk anyway. Having spent a bit of time on her own without the comforts of civilization and definitely without the luxury of a mount, she'd learned to make do with what was available to her. She also found that she was more comfortable not being weighed down by a lot of gear or constrained to the back of an animal. With things progressing so fast, Ialari was beginning to feel no small amount of excitement at another chance for discovery. Also, she couldn't help but wonder who would be the next one to be blessed with her Goddess' presence.
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The Hatching (Closed)

Postby Vypec on June 14th, 2016, 4:37 am

As their party formed at the gates of the city Vypec surveyed the volunteers before him. He tried to stifle the anxious feeling in his stomach. The thought of leading an expedition through the Sea of Grass was eating away at his nerve. Delric's manic grin as he handed over the reigns of one of the Kuvay'Nas pack horses did not help. The volunteers all seemed to have potential though, and Vypec told himself they would not volunteer if they did not have something to offer. What if they were simply being brave because it is needed? A small voice in his mind said. Vypec ignored it.

This is going to be more dangerous than anything we've encountered in the past. Vypal's cold, emotionless voice rang in his mind. We should get more information about our companions before continuing.

Just as he said it though, more people stepped out of the crowd. Two huge Akalak warriors and an exotic woman he could not place. It was the woman who spoke first, in a lilting accent that hinted at the south. "I can provide mounts for this journey." Vypec knew he was expected to make decisions, but making them with confidence was vital. Kazma had once told him that when you didn't feel confident or brave to simply act like you did. Vypec had told him that seemed idiotic. The squad leader had shrugged and said bravery and idiocy were often the same.

"Yes, horses are needed." Vypec said in rough common. He nodded to her and made a quick headcount. He and the two Akalak, the foreigner, the tow red heads, the Myrian, and the other woman made eight. "Bring... " He did not know the word, so instead held up seven fingers. Though he did not know how to ride, he felt that when whatever it was that attacked the knight was eventually found, he would be willing to try his hand if it meant life.

He did not partake of the additional weapons, being armed with his gladius and Lakan already. "You all are welcome to arms." He gestured to the packhorse. "Archers... At all?" He said, looking hopefully at the gathered volunteers. It would be good to have a ranged attacker. As the Akalak pulled the shaft of the bow free he noticed another rawhide pouch tucked underneath. He recognized Delric's belt pouch and opened it, wondering what manner of devilish tool the Cerulean had left for them. After inspecting the pouch he straps it to his own belt and turned to Eosi. He pointed at her and walked over, his fist still wrapped around the bow.

"How you know what's out there? You are tracker?" He inquired. He was already getting somewhat of a sense of the usefulness of his new companions. The one called Ialari could read, which was a god-send. Who knows what else she could help with besides the knight's journal. The red haired woman who had calmed the horse seemed to have some nerve, approaching an agitated warhorse. The other, the one he had questioned now was presumably some sort of tracker, to state with such certainty the state of affairs outside the city. Vypec appraised the tan woman. Well anyone could see what she was good for.

When the Chaktawe woman, Teressa, reappeared leading the horses Vypec sighed. It was nearing the time for action. Even here, in the shadow of the city he called home, the Akalak warrior felt exposed. "Alright, who can fight? We need two at the back, one with me in lead at least." He said, waving the short bow in his hand. "Archer too. You, tracker, want to help us up front?" Vypec looked askance at Eosi.

As Vypec surveyed the wide expanse of the Sea of Grass, it almost seemed a weight of foreboding lay heavy on the horizon. He wondered what exactly it was that they were setting out to hunt.
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The Hatching (Closed)

Postby Kaie on June 14th, 2016, 7:00 pm

The odd little group of brave investigators was forming quickly and methodically before her eyes. The Kuvay'Nas was outfitting the chosen leader of the expedition with a healthy serving of provisions and equipment, while an Akalak with knowledge of the landscape beyond shared after a general prompting from one of the red-heads. Three more volunteers stepped forth while the Myrian lingered in wait. The Myrian couldn't help but silently appraise the pair of obvious Akalak warriors with delight, and found relief in the black-eyed woman's offering of mounts. Best to be on four legs than two, though that didn't seem to do our knightly friend much good, she pondered darkly as her amber eyes surveyed those she would be officially working beside. Of those that had outwardly introduced themselves, she did her very best to commit their names to her memory.

Vypec, the de facto leading Akalak, offered the resources and information provided in Riverfall only by the strong Kuvay'Nas. Ialari, the tall blonde, toted some sort of journal she had found in the deceased's possession and had made excellent deductions about the circumstances of the knight's downfall. The red-haired woman named Eosi seemed to enjoy some strange ability Kaie did not understand, and was presumably familiar with the lands outside Riverfall due to her work with some body called the Antiquities Society...whatever that was. Then there was the kind Drykas woman who dubbed herself Amunet, graced with Rak'keli's blessing and a native to the unknown the Myrian was about to embark into. Each brought something valuable to the table. Then there was simply Kaie: a head-strong savage with a couple sharp toys at her disposal. The best she had been able to offer was her life and some nonsense about missing daggers. Whether it was insecurity that drove her or the desire to escape the explainable "withdrawal" she was experiencing, the foreigner decided that the least she could do was ensure the missing weapons simply didn't slip from their sheaths when the knight lost his seat.

As everyone began to prepare themselves for the trek ahead while waiting for Teressa to graciously return with the horses, Kaie began to search for the misplaced weapons. Her gaze began near the gate where the knight had first emerged, as it seemed the most logical thing to do. Gradually, the Myrian had wandered back toward the blood trail, scanning the ground, until her search brought her in vain back to the armored corpse. She pressed her lips together and turned back toward the expedition group. Perhaps someone stole them, or he lost them long before now. Or maybe I'm just shyke at looking. The subtle sound of disturbed paper halted her advance and brought attention back to the corpse. Her brow furrowed and she crouched back beside the fallen hero. There! How could she have missed the discovery before? Sticking out of one of the dagger sheaths was a tuft of paper. Slowly, Kaie reached down and procured it from where the knight had safely stowed it away. She began to unfold the worn paper, which seemed as though it had evidently been well used in the past. The Myrian studied what laid upon the paper for a chime before she resigned to wander back toward her group.

"Vypec?" Kaie extended the paper out toward the Akalak military figure to take from her possession. After all, she knew very little of the specifics regarding Riverfall and what laid beyond. She had no navigation background, and if there had been writing on it, she would not have been able to decipher their meaning. If Vypec could not understand the significance of the map-like drawing, perhaps Ialari or one of the others could. Besides, it wouldn't hurt for her companions to be distracted while she made a fool of herself reorienting herself upon the saddle of a horse in future chimes. "Maybe what's on there will help you understand some of what's in that journal?" Kaie gestured between the map she had forfeited and the journal the tall blonde held onto. She looked back at Vypec and gestured toward her spear. The length of the weapon while atop a mount meant she could ride up and dispatch trouble quickly if need be, while remaining out of the way of those that actively knew how to navigate and track. "I'll ride at the back." It was all she could do to attempt to keep them all as best prepared as possible for what was to come.

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The Hatching (Closed)

Postby Amunet on June 15th, 2016, 12:17 am

Her expectant eyes at her offers and request were wide with anticipation as she looked from one person to another. Those wide eyes slowly shrunk as one by one seemed to mostly ignore the Drykas woman. She slid a small part of her lower lip between her teeth as the hand that started to reach for the book in hopes the Blonde short lady who was now known as Ialari kept it close to her form. The little hand retract to be placed in front of her yvas waiting as concerns became more and more settled. The feeling of isolation and distance became like a wall. There was a polite smile that crossed the face that in as much figured she was mostly there to keep the party healthy and cared for.

That was what she normally did but even the purple Akalak who seemed to not hear her words about her knowledge of the Grass caused the wall to thicken more. He looked to the other red head as a tracker. She wasn’t a tracker but Amunet knew the Grass. The announcement of weapons available made her face cross to some indistinct expression. The poor girl swallowed hard as two more of the Riverfallean giants came to the scene. The girl squeezed her knees slightly together, pressed her bend in with a slight turn of the hips as a gentle pressure of her heel had the mare backing up a few steps and turning off the road and down into the grass. It was at that point she used that strange magic. The gold dust in her eyes shimmering as she tried to focus on the weakened slight trail. Those ribbons came up in a nice lovely blue color. The girl theorized that the ribbons came up that held a base of the personality of the person though she may need to write this stuff down to track it to see if it would be born true. This Syliran Knight was about truth and justice, maybe that is what the blue color meant.

The ribbons came up in pieces and seemed to have no place and no direction. It was very weak which made sense considering the life was no more. Amunet screwed her face in effort to focus more to try and bring these week pieces together till her head started to edge into that pain that has become a familiar stopping point. There was a sigh that escaped the woman as she rubbed her temples to relieve some of the discomfort and wondered if it will ever stop hurting like that. The ribbon trail fortunately more or less gave an indication that it meandered along the blood trail. The girl looked over her shoulder at the noise of hooves coming to the assembled group to see a well laden pack horse. It was not too long after that when a chaktaw woman went off and returned soon with horses, mounts for those who didn’t have mounts which was everyone else besides herself.

Amunet looked off into the grass to look for signs of stirrings or predators. It was a calming action as well. The movement of the grass as Zulrav moved against it and the grass waved in his wake that rippled throughout the grass was a soothing thing. Those sky light blue eyes returned to survey for sign of animal mineral or vegetable that might be something these outsiders would need warned of. They didn’t know the Grass and its mercurial ways. It was at that point with a heel pressure that the tall Strider was brought around as she surveyed her new companions. Well, she better note a baseline in case she has to heal them although she had no knowledge of their biology except the fellow red head who was named Eosi.

The horse walked back closer to the group as Amunet did not offer her observation of the Grass and likely not unless asked or something was of imminent threat. As the strider casually walked back to the group she looked up to the sky to gauge a time they should camp. She wasn’t in charge so that probably was not her decision. There was that indistinct look on her face again. Her eyes fell on the Isur. Ialari looked to be very fit and there was a calmness about her that was comforting in a way. The red head couldn’t put a finger on it. The purplish arm that seemed to be thicker than other parts was a curiosity, maybe if she had a chance she would ask about it.

The other red head she smiled at as her energy was infectious and The Healer liked that. The girl wondered how she got her knowledge of the Grass and the word antiquities were lost on her. She looked to be quick and responsive to things that happen. The smile earlier that Eosi provided was also something she appreciated. The tanned skin of the fierce tall woman seemed erratic but she chose to take rear guard which was fine. Amunet did not know a thing about Myrians but she hoped she can learn what they need to be healthy. Maybe some knowledge can be obtained while with this expedition. Those eyes of hers was avoiding the Akalaks but invariably it fell on the purple one. He looked healthy and she hoped he would remain so. On one side there was the red flags to keep a distance from these large men and the other side was wondering what they needed to be healthy as well. Those two sides fought with each other as the party assembled and readied to head out into the Grass. The Healer took a flanking position purposefully keeping a distance from the Akalaks. The little red headed healer rode in confidence out into the Grass.

Those who lacked riding skill she would swivel towards that person and give pointers in her broken common as best as she could. She knew nothing about the tack they used but she can guide them in their seat and to keep out of the horse’s mouth with the bit. Amunet knew that non Striders needed the saddle and bridle but she never sat in one. A seat was a seat on a horse, though and that never changed.
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The Hatching (Closed)

Postby Eosi on September 25th, 2016, 3:58 pm

Eosi listened intently to the discussion around her, offering no comment. South of the city was unfamiliar to her. While the information wasn't much, anything they could offer was more than she already knew. For a brief moment she closed her eyes, imagining the trail of blood as it ran along the forest floor. Considering loose stones and low-hanging branches, it was astonishing that both horse and rider had made it back to the city at all.

"Thank you," she offered, before shifting focus. The man named Vypec addressed her. He asked after her abilities, called her a 'tracker.' Eosi rocked back on her heels, wearing a thoughtful expression.

"You can call it that if you like," she began, choosing her words carefully. She wasn't about to reveal all her cards, not out in the open.

"What I do is a little different, though. Let's just say that I can tell you if something is coming or going in our immediate area, provided the skies are clear." Hers was a rough description, but it'd do. Sooner or later there would be questions. Later would be best.

With a small shrug, she hefted the bow up into a more comfortable position. Riding at the front was nothing new. Eosi offered him a nod and waited, the mark the base of her neck radiating a powerful warmth. She indulged, basking in the purifying rays of the sun and opened her sight once again, projecting into the wide blue firmament overhead.

If the land beyond the gate was as still as it had been before, she simply watched and waited. The blood would be easy to follow, at least for the first stretch, but beyond that it was uncertain if it would remain true. It was best they get some kind of map if possible or in the very least keep their eyes open for clues.

An actual tracker would be valuable in this instance.

To an onlooker, it almost looked as if she were meditating. She appeared serene, save for the way her brows were knit. Something about the entire situation made her uneasy. Too many variables seemed out of place. She couldn't say exactly why, because the fact was that she didn't have enough information. But Eosi had her intution. The feeling sank like a stone in her gut.

Her ears strained for the approach of hooves. If there was no further business once the horses arrived, she'd be ready to ride. The sooner they were underway, the sooner it'd be over with.
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