May 6 2014

The Expedition written by Archaaz-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hi All, Lord Baldrith here with a story by Archaaz.  This story was Featured on Community Spotlight ~ Tales of the Underworld from last year.  Excellent story by the way Archaaz.  Two female voices, hmmmm, hope you can tell them apart :)…My versatility in Female voices are fairly small.   Here is the link:  https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=25589#more-25589

 

Here is the text of the story:

The Expedition

Noor sat silent and still upon a high outcropping overlooking the town ofNiverale, nestled in the distant valley below. The sun had not yet pierced the horizon, and the world was still bathed in the gray miasma of early morning. A sudden late autumn breeze whistled down from the mountains above, and she pulled her woolen cloak tighter against the chill.

Her perch afforded a splendid view of the town, spread out along both sides of the narrow valley, split by the gentle river Vuryn- a river that would slow to a frozen trickle with onset of the winter snows, and swell to a raging torrent with the spring thaw. Smoke from a hundred chimneys curled upward, dissipating wistfully into the pale, predawn sky.

Noor had come to this town, to this world, a little over a year ago, by her calculations. She reflected on the world she had left behind- friends, family- lost to her now. The recollection brought with it the faint ache of mourning, for in that bygone world she had loved and been loved, had harbored great dreams for the future, had amassed an endless collection of cherished memories. Yet, the longer she remained in this new land, the dimmer those memories became, the weaker her ties to that previous existence. She was happy here. As strange as the notion seemed, she belonged here. She thought of that first day, the day of her sixteenth birthday, when she had gone to sleep in one world and awakened in another, and, as always happened when she recalled that time, her thoughts turned to the old gypsy woman-

“You’re early.” The words roused Noor from her reverie. It took her some moments to recognize the voice of her friend Jansa, dressed in the soft brown robes that marked her as an apprentice of the Mages’ Guild.

“I wanted to watch the sunrise.” said Noor.

“Wish granted.” said Jansa, gesturing toward then horizon as the first blinding sliver of sunlight broke above the distant mountains. The two friends stared in rapt wonder as the golden orb made its leisurely ascent, igniting the clouds in a dazzling conflagration of violet, crimson and orange.

“Any trouble getting away?” asked Noor.

“None whatsoever. My studies are finished, for a time at least. Two blessed weeks of freedom.”

“And what do they teach you, all cloistered away in that tower?” Noor had not seen her friend in the three months since she had been inducted into the Mages’ Guild, and was curious about her new life.

“Magic, of course.”

Of course, thought Noor. But Magic? Real magic? The idea was too ludicrous to entertain- her own situation, and the events that had brought her to this world notwithstanding. “Can you pull a rabbit out of a hat?”

“A rabbit from a hat?” Jansa‘s eyes widened a bit as she rubbed her chin in contemplation. “That is indeed powerful magic, though of perhaps dubious practical use. I am afraid we have yet to begin our lessons in conjuring. Is this what the wizards of your homeland practice, then? Rabbit summoning? Yet you are no mere Rabbit Summoner, Noor of the Southlands, but a warrior, born and bred. ”

“Me a warrior? Hardly. Why would you think that? You know I am but a poor farmer’s daughter.”

“What’s this then, at your side?” said Jansa, indicating the scabbard affixed to Noor’s belt.

“Oh, this.” Noor blushed. She had forgotten the sword. “If you are determined to go through with this insane plan, I thought I should have at least some form of defense.” She had borrowed the blade from her foster father, Estan Burwood, the blacksmith of Niverale, though she had neglected to tell him quite yet, about either the sword or this little adventure. Under his guidance she had even assisted in its forging. It was a fine, sturdy blade with few frills, but balanced and keen.

“Prudent, indeed,” said Jansa. “But a sword is only as useful as she who wields it. Have you any experience with such a weapon?”

“I have been practicing with Roderic in the evenings, when his duties are finished.”

 “A finer teacher could not be hoped for,” said Jansa. Noor thought she could perhaps detect a hint of jealousy in the young mage’s tone, but could not be certain.

“That’s what I keep telling her.” A man’s voice. “For her sake, I hope she doesn‘t believe me.” The pair turned to find Roderic himself ascending the trail toward them, his strong, broad-shouldered frame clad in a lightweight suit of chain mail. His own sword, far superior to Noor’s, hung at his side in a fine scabbard.

“Ah, Sir Roderic.” said Jansa. “The final member of our little excursion.”

“Not sir,” said Roderic.” Not yet. Just a humble squire.”

“Humble…hrmph. Speaking of lessons perhaps you could stand a few on humility from your pupil.” Noor blushed at the praise and stared down at her shoes.

Roderic smiled at Jansa’s teasing and Noor‘s embarrassment. “I would no doubt benefit from such tutelage. Alas, my duties are many, and the days are short. And besides, I have other qualities that might be hindered by the addition of humility. Do you have the map?”

“Aye, that I do.” Jansa produced a scroll from her robes, and unfurled it to reveal a map, copied in her elegant, meticulous script. “It was no small feat procuring this copy. The High Mages do not readily part with their knowledge. The original was secreted away in a forbidden section of the library. Fortunately, a young scribe owed me a favor.”

The map revealed that the distance was not long, but the way was steep. It took them some time to root out the trailhead, which was had long ago fallen into disuse and was overgrown, nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding forest.

The group ascended the narrow trail, following Jansa’s map. As they climbed, the dense forest gradually turned to scrub, and finally the landscape grew barren, dotted only with sparse clumps of grass and the occasional lichen-covered boulder. Roderic took the lead, playfully slashing away at invisible enemies as he practiced the various attacks, parries and feints of his craft. Still more boy than man, thought Noor as she admired the strength and precision of his movements.

At length the path evened out and crossed a stone bridge above a precipitous chasm before rising again on the other side. Jansa stopped at a small grouping of stones, the ruins of an ancient shrine. She knelt, placing one hand on the shrine. The other she brought to the small pendant she wore on a simple length of string around her neck. She appeared to utter some words, though Noor could not make them out, and then rose and followed Roderic across the bridge and up the sloping path. As she passed the crumbling monument, overgrown with the weeds of neglect, Noor saw that it was marked with a series of unfamiliar runes, worn smooth by time and the barely remembered caresses of untold pilgrims.

At last they came to the narrow mouth of a cavern. A well worn stone stairway lead down into impenetrable darkness.

“I don’t like this,” said Noor, peering into the gloom.

“Sir Roderic, make note of the Lady Noor’s trepidation.”

“Trepidation noted.” said Roderic, not bothering to look up from his work. He had laid out three torches from his pack, and was busy lighting one with his tinderbox. After some strikes of flint on steel, the torch flickered to life. He handed a torch to each of his companions and lit them with his own.

“Remember, Noor,” said Jansa. “You are a warrior.” With this the mage disappeared into the cave and down the stairs. Roderic trailed her. Turning back to Noor, he mouthed the word ‘warrior’ with as serious a look as he could muster.

Noor sighed and followed her companions into the narrow grotto and down the staircase into the bowels of the world.

The stairs descended some hundred feet, ending in a long passageway, which in turn branched into a number of winding tunnels. Jansa marked the walls with various runes, thus leaving them a path back to the surface.

As they meandered through the snaking cavern, Noor’s thoughts returned to the day of her arrival in this strange new land. She awoke in a dewy meadow, the morning sun still low in the sky. Disoriented, perhaps still thinking herself in the throes of a dream, she cast about for any sign of habitation. The wind carried the faint strains of music. As if in a trance, she followed the sound, through the meadow, across a dusty road, and into a copse of pines. There, in a small clearing, she found a camp of brightly painted, covered wagons. The music drew her to the largest of the wagons, which she entered through a small door.

Inside the wagon, at a small table, her face illuminated by a single candle, sat an elderly woman. She beckoned Noor to sit and offered her a cup of tea. In a voice like faded parchment, she explained to Noor that her old life was over, and that she was never to speak of it to anyone. She announced that they would invent for her a new past. She had been the daughter of farmers from the far south whose homestead had been overrun by bandits. Noor had been the only survivor.

Noor accompanied the caravan north, to Niverale, where the old gypsy introduced her to Estan and Stredda Burwood, who took her in as if she were their own child. In parting the woman kissed Noor on he forehead with thin, velvety lips, reminding her silently of her promise to keep her past to herself.

Since that day, Noor had thought on more than on occasion that she recognized something familiar in the face of a passerby, a secret connection, though she had kept her promise and not once revealed her true history. She recalled the ranting of a man some six months ago, claiming to have come from another world. He was never seen in Niverale again.

Noor’s thoughts returned to the present as the group rounded a tight bend, and the passage opened onto a broad platform. Closer inspection revealed it to be a ledge overlooking a vast abyss. What they saw next struck the three of them mute with awe. In the middle of the void, suspended by unknown means, floated the remains of an ancient fortress.

A cursory examination failed to produce any means of bridging the gap between the ledge and the fortress. Further inspection was delayed as a terrible cry rent the still air of the cavern. From out of the gloom emerged a creature Noor could not have imagined in her most horrifying nightmare. A great bloated head rested on a squat, powerful torso, its hide matted with coarse, black fur. In one knobby hand it held an enormous club riddled with cruel spikes. With a fierce roar the creature raised its mighty weapon and lunged at Noor.

The beast was fast, but Roderic was faster. In an instant he had positioned himself between Noor and the creature. Shield upraised, sword drawn, he prepared for the assault. The creature swung, even as Roderic ducked, the mighty club missing the top of his head by mere inches. Roderic retaliated, striking the creature a glancing blow to the shoulder, unable to penetrate its thick hide. Enraged the creature swung hard, splintering Roderic’s shield and sending the young squire hurtling through the air to land in an unmoving heap on the cold stone floor.

Noor cried out as her companion fell. Its attacker dispatched, the creature refocused its attention on her. She was aware of a faint chanting behind her as she fumbled for the sword at her side. The voice was undoubtedly Jansa‘s, though the words were in no language Noor had ever heard. As the beast advanced, the acrid smell of sulfur filled Noor‘s nostrils. A ball of brightly colored light exploded near the creature‘s head. It shrieked as if struck, bringing it’s clawed hands to its face to ward off the burning in its eyes. Blinded, it stuck out wildly in all directions, narrowly missing Noor with a broad sweep of its club. She at last managed to draw her sword, but stood terrified, transfixed by the flailing beast.

As its blindness wore off, the creature turned again to Noor, raising its club high over its head. Her heart sank in her chest. Her knees buckled beneath her. More spidery chanting from behind, the fetid breath of the creature replaced by the smell of garlic and a nauseous odor she could not identify. Noor closed her eyes, bracing herself for the coming blow that would, in all likelihood, end her life. The blow never came. After some moments Noor dared to open her eyes. The creature stood in the same pose, club upraised, face frozen in a snarling grimace of rage.

“That’s much better than a rabbit from a hat.” she muttered, her voice weak from a mixture of fright, awe and relief.

“Quickly,” cried Jansa, her own voice ragged with exhaustion. “Kill it! The spell’s effects are but temporary, and I do not have the energy to cast another.”

Despite Jansa’s warning, Noor hesitated. She knew that she should strike while the beast was still vulnerable, yet a certain reluctance stayed her hand. She had never killed anything, much less something in such a state of helplessness. She forgot momentarily the dangerous beast of a few minutes’ past, and instead focused on the flesh and blood reality before her.

“Damn it, Noor! What are you waiting for? Strike. Even now I can feel life returning to the beast’s limbs.”

Still Noor hesitated. Her grip on her sword tightened. She glance back at Roderic, unmoving, possibly dead. With an act of will, she quieted the pounding of her heart, stilled her mind, summoned her courage. She could hear Jansa shuffling toward her, and thought she saw the creature’s nose twitch.

“Strike!”

Noor’s indecision shattered in an instant. She thrust upward with both arms, burying her blade to the hilt in the soft flesh of the creature’s neck. Shocked by the suddenness of her action, the finality, she released her grip on the sword. Reeling backward, she slipped on a slick patch of stone and sat down hard upon the unforgiving cavern floor. She sat in the flickering of the torchlight, awaiting the gush of blood that must surely follow such a wound, yet the creature stood frozen, her sword jutting from its neck.

Suddenly the spell expired, releasing a surge of foul smelling gore onto the ground and splattering the front of Noor’s tunic. She was surprised to find that the blood was red, like her own. The creature, quite dead from the wound in its neck, and freed of the spell’s effect, lurched forward. Noor leapt out of the way, narrowly avoiding being crushed as the creature fell heavily to the ground.

With the beast slain, the two young women rushed to the barely unconscious Roderic. Jansa examined his wounds, determining that the pain in his ankle was the result of a sprain rather than a fracture, and that, while his shield had absorbed the brunt of the impact, his arm was quite bruised and swollen, not to mention a bloody mess. She fashioned a sling for his arm from a bit of her robe, and applied a poultice to his wounds.

The condition of Roderic’s ankle made walking impossible, so Jansa and Noor supported the young man between them, each offering a shoulder. Though they strained under his bulk and the added weight of his chain mail, they managed to lift him. Noor held the single remaining torch. As they passed the fallen creature, Noor spied something glinting in the torchlight. Leaving Roderic in the temporary custody of Jansa, she bent to investigate and discovered a small pouch filled with gems and gold pieces, which she stuffed into the pocket of her tunic.

Slowly, cautiously, the three young adventurers made their way back to the surface, hoping all the while that they would not encounter another of the creatures- or worse- amid the winding tunnels. Jansa’s runes glowed a faint silver, easy to follow by torchlight, though supporting Roderic between them made negotiating the narrow passages a tedious, awkward affair. Hours passed as they inched their way ever closer to freedom.

They came at last to the staircase, and ascended into fresh air and sunlight. Relieved, they rested on the sparse grass. Jansa checked Roderic’s bindings as Noor prepared a hasty meal of cheese and stale bread she had brought from home.

“It appears you were right after all,” said Jansa. “This was little more than a fool’s gamble, born of the wild recklessness of youth. And dangerous besides. We could have- should have- been killed down there.”

Noor’s thoughts were still far below ground, lost among winding subterranean passages, lingering among the ruined glory of the underground fortress. They had survived the adventure, if not entirely unscathed, at least without permanent injuries. The treasure she had taken from the creature, even split three ways, was a small fortune. She could repay, at least in part, the debt of gratitude owed to her new foster family; a new bellows for the smithy, a heavy winter cloak for Estan, a fancy new dress for Stredda- and for Leana, her young foster sister, a new doll. She held a particularly large ruby up to the sky, admiring its radiance in the light of the afternoon sun. “Next time,” she said. “We will be better prepared.”

Her companions looked at her in surprise. “Next time?” they said in unison. The trio’s laughter followed them down the valley, toward the distant rooftops of home.

Cover

May 3 2014

Once Upon A Time Lord (Part 1 of 3) Written by Gabriel Nightshadow and Time Lord-Narrated by Lord Baldrith, Amber Raine as Chariya

(Note From Stile Teckel)
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone involved in this project. Its a fairly large piece of work and what amazes me the most about it is how FAST those involved put it all together. Wow!!! A Thanks to Time Lord and Gabriel Nightshadow for your work in writing this please and allowing us to use it. Also to Amber Raine for her guest appearance! I have something else to end at the end of this. Last but not least, Lord Baldrith for continuing to partner with me in this project!
(End note from Stile)

Hello everyone.  Lord Baldrith here with the first long story written by community members Gabriel Nightshadow and Time Lord.  Very awesome and exciting story here.  I do the narration and male voices and Amber Raine does the voice of Chariya.  Also, I produced the story so that it sounds decent (Hopefully) 🙂  Hope you enjoy it!  There will be 3 parts.  It is around 50 minutes for all 3 parts.

Here is the text for this first part:

Once Upon A Time Lord…

By Gabriel Nightshadow and Time Lord

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University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, October 14, 1980, 4:00 PM

“WAKE UP, Professor Graham!”, said the young, college student as he shook the dozing Time Lord.

“What…oh, I must dozed off while grading these exam papers.”, said Time Lord as he raised his head off his desk and put on his black framed glasses, “Sorry about that!”

“I just wanted to stop by and say how much I’ve enjoyed your course so far, Professor.”, said the young man, “Although my true love is computers, I’ve always had a special interest in astronomy. One day, I hope to actual make it up into space.”

“I see.”, replied Time Lord, “I’m glad to hear that you’ve found my lectures to be interesting. As you know, this is the first course I’ve taught since coming to this university.”

“I found your work on Ohio State University’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program to be quite fascinating.”, said the young man, “Do you think we will make succeed in finding concrete proof of extraterrestrial life in our lifetime?”

“Of that I have no doubt!”, replied Time Lord.

Noticing the Celtic Dragon doublet poking out of his backpack, Time Lord said, “Ah, I see you have an interest in medieval culture! By any chance, do you belong to the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism)?”

“Why, yes I do, Professor.”, replied the young man, “In the SCA community, I am known as Shamino.”

“It might surprise you to know that I, too, belong, to SCA.”, said Time Lord, “Unfortunately, since moving here from Ohio, I’ve been too busy to keep up on the latest SCA events.”

“Well, as a matter of fact, we’re holding a tournament here in Austin this weekend. Here’s the time and location.”, said the young man as he scribbled the details down on a slip of paper and handed it to Time Lord, “By what name are you referred to in SCA circles, if I may ask?”

“I am known as Hawkwind, the bard.”, replied Time Lord, as he slipped the slip of paper into his vest pocket.

“I hope to see you there, Professor.”, replied the young man.

“Thank you for the information, young man, but forgive me, I seem to have forgotten your name..”, said Time Lord.

“That’s quite understandable, Professor.”, replied the young man, “It’s such a large class. I wouldn’t expect you to remember everyone’s names. My name is

Richard Garriott.

“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Garriott.”, said Time Lord, as he rose and shook Richard’s hand, “I will endeavor to regal you and the others with exciting tales of the past at the evening banquet.”

“I look forward to it! See you in class on Thursday, Professor!”, said Richard as he turned and left “Professor Martin Graham’s” office.

He did not see the big grin on Time Lord’s face.

Time Lord pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time.

“Oh dear, I’m going to be late for my appointment with Dean Hardman!”, said Time Lord.

Time Lord straightened out his rumpled, brown tweed suit and ran out of his office, slamming the door behind him.

As he raced across campus, Time Lord failed to notice the young woman exiting the campus library. He collided with her. Both of them ended up sprawled on the ground.

“I’m so sorry, miss, I should have been watching where I was going.”, said Time Lord, extending his hand to help her up, “I…”

As soon as Time Lord got a good look at her face, he was suddenly left speechless. Who was this heavenly creature?

“That’s all right, Professor.”, replied the young Thai woman, as she took his hand and he pulled her up, “No harm done.”

“Do I know you, miss?”, Time Lord asked, “You face seems awfully familiar. You’re not one of my students, are you?”

“No, I’m afraid not, Professor Graham.”, replied the woman, “I really wanted to take your class as an elective this semester, but the registrar’s office said the class was full.”

“That is most unfortunate.”, said Professor Graham,” I really do wish to make this up to you. I’m on my way to an appointment with Dean Hardman right now, but perhaps I can buy you a cup of coffee later at the Star Café?”

“That’s not really necessary. Professor Graham.”, replied the woman, “… but I really would like to hear about your work on Ohio State University’s SETI project. How does 5:30 PM sound?”

“That should do nicely. I should be done with Dean Hardman by then.”, said Time Lord.

As the young Thai woman turned to leave, Time Lord said, “Wait, miss! I forgot to ask you name!”

The young woman turned and said, “My name is Chariya Campbell.” She smiled at Time Lord, then turned and walked away.

*******************************************************************************

The meeting with Dean Hardman was all a blur. Time Lord couldn’t wait

to get to the Star Café to see Chariya. As he entered the café, she beckoned him from a corner booth.

“I’m so sorry for being ten minutes late. My meeting with Dean Hardman ran longer than expected.”, said Time Lord apologetically.

“That’s OK, Professor.”, replied Chariya,”Let’s order.”

Chariya summoned a waitress over. The waitress’ name tag indicated that her name was Gerta. She looks awfully familiar, Time Lord thought to himself.

“What can I get you two?”, asked Gerta, with a pleasant smile on her face.

“Well, Professor, I understand that you’re from Cardiff, Wales. Don’t you normally have tea at this time of the day?”,” asked Chariya.

“Indeed I do.”, replied Time Lord, “A cup of Welsh Brew tea, please. Plus a slice of your wonderful apple pie.”

“I’ll have a cup of Jasmine tea and a slice of apple pie as well.”, said Chariya.

“OK, I’ll bring your order to you shortly.”, said Gerta, who winked at Time Lord as she turned to leave.

Chariya began asking Time Lord questions about his research related to the SETI project at Ohio State University, which Time Lord gladly answered in great detail.

During the course of their conversation, Time Lord was able to find out many things about Chariya’s personal life. She had been born in a small village in Thailand, but lost her entire family in a flood when she was only an infant. As the sole survivor of her entire village, she was dubbed “The Miracle Baby” and taken to an orphanage in Bangkok, where she was adopted by a wealthy investment banker, Charles Campbell, and his corporate lawyer wife, Helen, and taken to their home in Dallas, Texas. As an only child (because Helen was unable to conceive or carry a baby to term due to medical complications.), Chariya had often dreamed about tales of dragons and knights in shining armor saving damsels in distress. She developed a interest in medieval culture and became an active member of the SCA, where she was known by the name Caitlin O’Dell. An excellent chef, she was quite adept at preparing medieval dishes and was a pretty good medieval seamstress as well. Chariya also had an interest in astronomy and hoped one day to travel to the stars. She was pursuing dual Master’s degrees in Asian Studies and Business Administration here at the University of Texas at Austin.

The more that Time Lord learned about Chariya, the more he realized that she was the one he had searching for his entire life. Although Time Lord had been with many women in his 5,000 year existence, he had yet to find one whom he wished to share his life with. Chariya was the one!

Time Lord and Chariya did not realize how long they had been talking. Two hours later, they were suddenly interrupted…

“Hi, Chariya!”, said a friendly voice.

Both Time Lord and Chariya turned their attention to the young fellow who had stopped by their table.

“Hi, Trevor!”, replied Chariya, “How goes the preparation for tomorrow night’s debate against the University of Texas at Dallas?”

Time Lord recognized the preppy. He was Trevor Montague, head of the University’s debate team. A handsome fellow with blond hair and blue eyes, he was the son of James Montague, a billionaire oilman, and major donor to the University. Time Lord suddenly had an uneasy feeling as Trevor flashed his pearly whites and spoke.

“Just fine, Chariya.”, replied Trevor, “But remember, I may be the captain of the debate team, but you are clearly the smartest member of our team. I was planning on having a late night supper after the debate at Chez Zee. Care to join me?”

“Thank you for the invitation, Trevor, but I have to study for my biochemistry midterm after the debate.”, said Chariya, much to the relief of Time Lord, “I’ll just grab something quick at the dining hall.”

“OK.”, said Trevor, who clearly looked disappointed for a moment.

He smiled again and said, “See you on stage tomorrow evening. The debate begins at 7:00 PM sharp!”

“See you then, Trevor.”, said Chariya.

After Trevor left, Time Lord was greatly relieved.

“Chariya, my friend ,Richard, told me that there’s an SCA tournament being held here in Austin next weekend.”, said Time Lord, “Would you do me the honor of accompanying me to that event?”

Before Chariya could answer, they were interrupted by Brad Thompson, the handsome, muscular captain of the Univeristy’s football team.

“Hey, Chariya!”, said Brad, “After this weekend’s game, me and the guys are having a victory party at Kappa Sigma fraternity house. Care to join us?”

Time Lord was starting to feel really insecure. How could he hope to compete with all of these handsome, young men vying for Chariya’s affections? Sure, he was wiser and wittier than these young studs, but still…

Much to Time Lord’s surprise, Chariya said, as she winked at him, “Sorry, Brad, but my boyfriend and I have other plans this weekend.” She reached out and put her hand on top of Time Lord’s.

“What?”, said a stunned Brad, “You’re not telling me that this old geezer is your boyfriend?”

“Hey…”, said an indignant Time Lord, but he was suddenly interrupted by Chariya’s gentle kiss!

“Uh…I’ll see you around, Chariya.”, said Brad as he turned and walked away.

After Brad left, Chariya smiled and said, “I would love to accompany you to next weekend’s SCA tournament, Professor!”

“You don’t know how glad I am to hear that, but please stop addressing me as Professor. You’re not my student.”, replied Time Lord, “My name is Martin.”

“OK, Martin!”, said Chariya, as they continued holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes.

Time Lord was on cloud nine!

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A large field somewhere near University of Texas at Austin

Saturday, October 18, 1980, 9:00 PM

“Christopher leapt onto the demon’s neck and drew his Dragon Katana. Plunging it deep into the demon’s skull, he pulled it straight down his neck and spinal column. The demon roared out in pain. Christopher quickly sheathed his Dragon Katana as the demon’s eyes turned white and its lifeless form began falling. Christopher jumped and fell a short distance before landing right in the saddle as Kuroseth swooped in to catch him. The demon’s body crashed into the river with a loud boom as the cheering villagers, who had heard all of the loud noise and come out of their homes to observe the entire battle in the sky, greeted Christopher and Kuroseth as they landed nearby. Christopher explained to the villagers that the demon was the true culprit and that Kuroseth was a friend. Christopher’s wife, Katherine, and his five-year old son, Michael, came running. Christopher hugged them both. Michael walked over to Kuroseth and patted him on the nose. Kuroseth smiled.

And that is how Christopher Nightshadow met the great black dragon, Kuroseth, and became the First Dragon Lord.

In time, Christopher Nightshadow would gather together eight other knights who had bonded with the remaining eight dragons of legend and formed the Great Council of Dragon Lords based in Castle Genar. They would help their liege preserve the peace for the next 150 years, but that is a tale for another evening, my dear friends. The hour grows late and all of the wine has been consumed. So ends this tale from Hawkwind, the bard.”

All of the SCA members clapped after Time Lord finished his tale. Later, Shamino approached him, and said, “That was a fine tale you told us this evening, Hawkwind. I look forward to hearing more about these “Dragon Lords” in the near future.”

“Many thanks, Shamino.”, replied Time Lord, “Have you met my companion, Caitlin O’Dell?”

“No, I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure.”, replied Shamino, as he bowed to Chariya, “Pray tell, how did the two of you end up together?”

“Well, you could say it was love at first sight.”, replied Chariya as she held Time Lord’s hand and exchanged glances with him.

“Hawkwind, you are a very lucky fellow to have such a fine woman as your companion.”, said Shamino, “Do remember to treat her right!”

“Indeed, I shall, Shamino!”, replied Time Lord, “Good evening to you!”

After young Richard Garriott had taken his leave, Time Lord turned to Chariya and asked, “Did you really mean what you just said?”

“Of course, I did silly!”, answered Chariya, “I would very much like to be your girlfriend.”

“Oh, you don’t know how happy I am to hear you say that!”, replied Time Lord, as he took her in his arms and passionately kissed her.

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Once Upon A Time Lord (Part 1 of 3) Written by Gabriel Nightshadow and Time Lord-Narrated by Lord Baldrith, Amber Raine as Chariya.

Cover

(Another note from Stile Teckel)
Time Lord has been amazing (as have many more such as Gabriel Nightshadow) in supporting Lord Baldrith and I since we have started this project. I just wanted to share one of his latest posts of encouragement and say thank you!

I actually wrote that, thinking I was writing it as a Privet Message …. when I realized that I had placed it here on you thread, I thought to myself hmm… “it’s just as well here as it would be there, so I’ll just leave it”:p you all seem so very busy in the PM with it all happening around me.

I hadn’t had to sit and watch my mother’s stage performance since I was a very little boy, for lack of a baby sitter o_O She was the lead singe actress of many different off Broadway plays back then which all are now so old many here may have never seen or heard of them. One of which was called “The Rainmaker” which went through so many transformations and eventually became one of Hollywood’s Movies starring Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn…. Yet I had the privilege to have seen in it’s original stage production which ran for some years after the Movie had been made. I was only 2-4 years old at the time. The stage manager, actors and choreographers would all stop by me between their breaks and ask their only audience member “Time Lord-mini-me:p” how I was enjoying the performance and what I thought about it thus far. I can’t say that I enjoyed it all that much as I had to sit quietly alone there by myself through so many rehearsals 🙁 but when I got to see those plays with the audience all there, I was truly fascinated seeing everyone so dressed up and all applauding at my mom 🙂 on stage. I had to do the same for many of her plays until I was around 8 or 9 years old.
I eventually went on to become a small time child cowboy actor through my teens, but the production of such westerns was nothing much more than riding a horse every now and them, waving around a gun or 2 and maybe a small part in a shootout. But it was all quite natural to me having grown up in the theater watching my mom:)
Those were the end of my acting days as I began my adult life entering the US Army Infantry at age 18….

So, those were very dusty and dusty eyed memories I had while watching you all, reading all your posts through the Production PM 😀
And I must say, you all played your parts there”very well”! 😉
*A Very Grateful Standing Applause*
~a nostalgic ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:

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May 3 2014

Islug Has A Mishap Written by Sir Stile Teckel-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Lord Baldrith here with another Adventure from Islug written by Sir Stile.  Awesome stuff!  I hope there are many more to continue our fun series on Islug.

Here is the text:

Written by Stile Teckel

Title: Islug has a mishap

OOC note: A comedy piece about doing timed delivery grind quests in online games as well as poking a bit of fun at in game travel methods.

Islug walks over to Minstril who is studying hard and drops some papers in front of her. She blinks and looks up. “What is this may I ask?”

Islug crosses his arms “Tis all the ways I ave ta travel speedily from place ta place, and these stupid things that various practical jokes competing taverns want ta do to each other. They want it done in an hour. I want ye to figure out how I do that.”

Minstril looks at the paper and looks back up “One at a time?”.

Islug shakes his head “nae, I want to do them all at once. I ave other things ta do ye know. Yer funding isn’t free!”.

She sighs and nods and begins working. Later she hands Islug a piece of paper “That should do it fer ye”.

Islug grabs it and runs off and begins following the instructions. At one point he realizes that she used a stable he doesn’t know how to get to and he grumbles and picks an alternate route on the spot.

Eventually he gets to the last drop-off and looks at the location and groans. “Well, I cin get ta Eastreach Gap an Ride, but I cin nae get to that stupid camp any other way. Travel rune isn’t ready yet due to that detour… Port Graff.. .. er something like that, In Drachvald.. in 17 minutes?!!!” He goes to the nearest stable outopst and begins riding fast to the north and east. He makes a left turn on the path going down some mountains instead of a right and realizes he’s at a cliff face.

“Argh.. an I ave no time to back track” After thinking for a moment, Islug takes out his cloak, spreads it out, gets on his horse and jumps….

A few minutes later he wakes up at some stones with a several broken bones and a dead horse. He quickly crawls to some stables to the north. “I need a horse, quick!”

A few minutes later he delivers the ale with a bit of time to spare. He grunts “I am going to ave to go visit that one stable so in the future I need ta know how to get there so that does nae happen again!”.

He pens a note to the Stone Mug “Please send 2000 silver to the Stableman of Eastridge Gap . Expenses incurred fer doing yer errands!”.

He pens another note to a stable in Brittany “Please send me a replacement horse. I know it’s the third one this month! Bill the Bear Tavern fer it.”

Later that night in the Tavern, Islug wrapped up all over in bandages… “Aye I tell ye, was a Troll in full plate armor!” Takes a swig of ale. “But ye see who won don’t ye? Im here and it isn’t! Ha!”

 

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April 30 2014

Islug Needs A Bath Written by Sir Stile Teckel-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hi All, Lord Baldrith here with another wonderful story from the world of Islug by Sir Stile.  I am really enjoying this series.  Some very humous female and male voices here.  I hope it’s not too crazy, but at least it’s unique :).

 

Here is the text:

Written by Stile

Title: Islug needs a bath

Usara whispers to Eldirk and Minstril “Are you sure he will be here?”

Eldirk responds “Yeah, I’ve been spreading rumors that right underneath these falls have been a great place for Salmon”.

Minstril leans over “How do you know he will be here today?”

Usara whispers back “Mud just had a new fishing pole delivered. Master crafted from the best materials that can be found in New Britannia”.

Minstril and Eldirk nod with a knowing smile on their faces, being careful to avoid the branches in the thicket the three of them are hiding in.

Eventually whistling is heard as Islug makes an appearance to the side of the stream, right below the waterfall. They watch him as he seems to carefully search the ground around himself and looks in the general area as if concerned for his safety. Seeming to relax he unwraps a beautifully crafted fishing pole with gem inlays and boar skin wrap for a good hand hold. After baiting the hook and tossing into the stream in right past the waterfall, Islug drops onto a small pad he brought with him and lights a pipe. He seems content and half sleepy as the bobber spins lazily in the water and smoke rings circle his head.

Once he has been at it for a while, his three servants look at each other and nod. Eldirk whispers “Let me go first since I’m not as noisy as Boar in the woods. Lets do this just like last couple of time’s and we should be fine.”

Slowly Eldirk moves towards Islug, his feet seeming to fall in between every leaf and twig along the way. There is a rope in his hands ready to for some sort of unscrupulous use. The others hang back but clearly ready to run forward and assist.

Suddenly Eldirk pounces! Wrapping the rope around Islug’s wrists! Islug startled from his lethargy, his pipe dropping to the ground lets out a bellow “Nae, not again! What the ell is wrong with ye three?”

The others at Islug side now help Eldirk. Usara begins pulling off Islug’s clothes while Minstirl and Eldirk hold him still. All of them trying to advert their gaze. Eldirk is the one that responds “You Stink! We have to live with you! We told you, if you won’t take baths we will give them to you!!!” Islug thrashing responds “Damn ye, tis nae natural! If yed leave it be yed get ta like the smell. Fine tabac and Ale lad, what kind o person are ye? The Alchemist I cin understand but nae…” His speech trails off as Eldirk stuffs a piece of cloth into Islug’s mouth and mumbles “Should have done that first”.

A few minutes later sees the three of them trying to hold onto a naked Islug in the fast flowing water while he sputters (the gag having loosened) when they dump another bucket of soap and oil’s on him. Suddenly Usara’s foot goes flying out from under her as she steps on Islug’s new pole and lands on her back! Out of reflex the other two try to grab her letting go of Islug, who is promptly carried down the rapids bobbing with his hands loosely tied and a piece of cloth half hanging out of his mouth, his words barely heard “Hmph..Pay..Hmph… Kil..Hmph..Pole…”

Usara stands up slowly while the other two watch Islug going down the stream at a pace to fast to hope to catch up to. Eldirk leans down and picks up the pole looking at it “Well, it’s well made. Not a scratch on it at least”.

The other two glance over at it and then back to the rapids. Usara speaks “What are we going to do if he doesn’t survive this?”

Minstirl shrugs “Find another job?”

Eldirk grimaces “Where else are we going to find someone stupid enough to gives us room, board, materials, and a gold a week and that thinks he’s getting the best end of the deal?” The others visibly wince.

Usara begins gathering up Islug’s fishing waders and jacket and glances over at Minstirl and says “It may help calm him down if you figure out how to make that Rose dye he’s been wanting to dye these with”. Minstril just shrugs. The three wander off looking a bit forlorn.

Later that night finds Islug in a little tavern in a small village, wrapped with towels and shivering a little before a fire. A bowl of stew in front of him and 5 or 6 empty tankards. Children surround him giving him his full attention and eyes big, listening to his every word.

“That’s right, it had ta ave been at least a 150 pound Salmon! I’ve pulled in those around 60 or so they say are the biggest with nae a problem before. But this one was hugggee!” Islug holds up his hands as wide apart as he can, the towels falling to the floor and the kids eyes widen at the spectacle. “I was just sit’n there with me new pole, when BAM next thing I knew my face hit the water!” He picks up and downs another tankard in one gulp. “By the way, thank ye again for fishing me out at that bridge, did nae think I was gonna make it. What with my hands getting caught up in that rope I had brought along fer a stringer an all. Hundred an Fifty I tell ye! Reminds me of that time…..”

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April 29 2014

Islug 2 Written by Sir Stile Teckel-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hi Everyone, Lord Baldrith here with the 2nd story of Islug.  I love doing this comedy…Very good writing to practice my comedic voicing on!

Here is the text version:

OOC NOTE ON THE ORIGIN: This is a piece making fun of how sometimes NPC’s can be rather lacking in conversation and that sometimes game bugs can put coin back into your pocket.

Islug walks out of the leatherworking shop after a long day of study with the trainer. Whistling to himself, pleased with the new skills he has learned. Suddenly he stops and a grin spreads on his face as he sees a tavern. He stops in, has a few drinks (depending on your perspective) and ends up sleeping in one of the upstairs rooms. Next day as he’s smiling to himself with thoughts of the lovely Wench from the previous night as he is about to see to the days hunting, he notices his money pouch seems a bit heavy. Looking inside his eyes go wider as he sees five gold coins in it. Now knowing that before he paid for his latest training he only had 5 gold coins he begins to think back as to whether he had in fact actually paid. On thinking about it he clearly remembers paying! “Hmmm, must’ve gave it back me being famous an all. Just ave to keep it”. Few minutes go by an he’s about to head out for the hunt and he’s thinking to himself “Well, nothing for it, I ave to go give it back, cant face guild mates knowing I stiffed some trainer”. Heading back into the shop he notices no one is around except the trainer so heads straight over to him “Excuse me lad, but I appreciate ye giving me this back, but I can’t take it. Services rendered an all that”. Islug holds out the pouch. A few seconds go by “Look lad, its okey really, take it.” Few more seconds go by “Lad, this is nae funny, will ye take the damn gold?” Few more seconds go by “Least say something lad.”

Few more seconds go by “LAD IM GETTING”G REALLY ANNOYED HERE!! TAKE IT OR SAY SOMETHIIG!!!” Islug starts shaking his crossbow at the vendor “LEAST YE CIN DO IS AVE THE C…” *THUNK*. Islug’s crossbow is now empty, and the trainer falls to the floor with a pool of blood running around him. “Ermmmm….oops?” Islug looks around quickly to make sure no one noticed him, shrugs and leaves the building as he says to himself “Well, glad that’s taken care of”. LATER THAT NIGHT Drifting inside the local tavern, you clearly hear Islug yell “That’s right, drinks on me tonight!!!”.


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April 26 2014

The Cavern Written by Vandigeth-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

(Edit note From Stile – A personal thank you to Vandigeth who gave permission to allow us to do this piece for a podcast).

Hi Lord Baldrith here with a great Story by Vandigeth called the Cavern.  Also seen on the community spotlight last year.  I am doing some voicing of multiple characters.  It’s a big challenge to remember who is who 🙂  Here is the link:

https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=25591#more-25591

 

Here is the Text version of the story:

 

The Cavern

She stood on the rocky precipice looking out upon the dense rock that filled this cavern. The sound of water filled the air before her; its smell gave what little freshness there was to be had in this dank place. A humid mist permeated the air and diffused the light across the cavern.

Jumping down from her precipice, she rejoined her companions across a small wooden bridge over the sheltered river. The stalagmites and other cavernous formations spoke to the absolute timelessness of this place. To her left was a modest waterfall, an obvious inlet of moisture from the surface far above this place.

The tread of one’s shoe was important here unless great care were taken. Moisture put off by the river both beautified the cavern but acted as a deadly host to her earnest companions. A simple mistake with one’s footing could result in a fall into the river below, or gravity between the rock and one’s head. However, she had much more experience moving through these so-called ‘catacombs’ than any of her companions.

Finally, she caught up to the companions. Two of them, both male, were a wealthier sort from the cities. Flush with cash and equipment, they hired her to guide them across the continent on a pilgrimage to a famous shrine of Honor. Both were showing their inexperience now as they began to question her about the caves to which she had become so familiar.

“Yintara, does this place have a name? It is simply incredible in its size and scope.” The one man stated with his academic urban tone. “Come now, speak girl.”

She shook her head, “Nah, ‘tis but a dank old cavern. We should move along.” The lie was to guard the secrets of the cavern. Of course it had a name, but it would do them no good.

The other man spoke up, “Think of it Jinta, we could name it after ourselves at the college back home.” A sparkle of ambition and pride filled his eyes that dwarfed the sparkling jewelry with which he adorned himself.

“A marvelous mark of discovery on our record it would be Klint.” Jinta nodded in agreement in awe of the underworld before him.

Yintara kicked some stones across the cavern floor into the river below to kill some time while the gentlemen stroked their egos and waxed intellectual about their geological knowledge. She watched as the river flowed by with a slight roar that echoed throughout the cavern. She casually listened to Klint and Jinta.

Jinta turned to Klint, “Yes, the formation over there came from the droplets of water of ceiling depositing calcium over centuries or more…” he trailed off into a diatribe of geological knowledge for a time. Klint didn’t back down, and showed his knowledgeable side too and they engaged in speculations that would challenge the Virtue of Humility itself. All the sorts of creatures that may or may not exist living in these caverns and the ecosystems they might participate in.

Klint walked over to his right to a stalagmite. It was thick, at least the width of a man, but at the base of the formation was a strange batch of white growths. They disguised themselves well as rocks, but it was a living organism down here beneath the surface. All part of an ever growing underworld taking shape beneath the feet of civilization.

“Yintara, any idea what these are?” Klint poked at one with a beautiful jeweled knife in his hand that had inlaid gemstones in the shape of an ankh. He attempted to lift one from the ground with the tip of his blade.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you.” She stated frankly without even looking at what he was doing.

Klint stopped and looked over at her. “Why not? And you didn’t answer my question.” He looked over at Jinta for some support in what could be a confrontation.

“Ya didn’t hire me to give you the grand tour, just to get ya across these caverns.” She stated as she chewed a leaf of some kind in her mouth. “Just don’t mess with it.”

Klint took some offense to her words and marched over to Jinta. “Who exactly does she think she is? She works for us, and…” Jinta cut him off before he could finish his statement.

“Don’t let it bother you. What is to be expected of folks from outside the cities but poor manners and lack of thirst for knowledge.” He said with a condescending tone, “We must remind ourselves that we are on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Honor, and it is Honor we will bring to ourselves and our home city and even mankind!” His grandiose speech seemed to effect Klint’s mood, but Yintara remained unbothered now spitting at the river below.

Klint nodded and returned to the small organism on the rock floor. “We are here for the advancement of all mankind and bring Honor!” He boasted loudly over the roar of the river throughout the cavern. Returning with his knife, he once again began prodding the little white thing on the floor.

With a sigh, Yintara turned to face her employers and watched as they observed the specimen. She looked up at the ceiling of this cavern and noted the well-known curtain shaped formations along it. The wide arches always impressed her in this place, even for as often as she sees them.

“Ya realize I’m paid by the hour, aye?” She shouted over to them in hopes to move them along.

“Shush girl, we are studying and well aware of your payment as we arranged it for you.” Jinta stated with authority as if she were a servant girl inside his island castle off the coast of his property. The jingle of coin in his purse was an alluring sound as they jabbed the strange thing.

Yintara rolled her eyes and kicked her feet as she attempted to kill more time, but slowly began making her way back to the wooden bridge. She was all too familiar with this place. Her family was from a town beneath the surface where they traded with passers-by on the highways of the underworld. A sort of black market, one could say. Her childhood was spent combing these caves and learning all their secrets. Finding employment on the surface as a guide brought extra money in for her family back home since business could rise and fall depending on all sorts of circumstances.

Her parents had taught her about the Virtues, but in her hometown none was more celebrated than the Virtue of Humility; however, in turn mostly forsaking the remaining Virtues. She surmised that perhaps the most forsaken Virtue of their town was Honesty, but that was a debate left to wiser men she thought. These companions she was guiding were committing a hubris of great scale for her and her culture, an offense not taken well by denizens of these caverns. Humility was respect. Humility was everything.

“Come, girl, we have a task for you.” Jinta stated plainly now acting as though he could simply control her as he saw fit. He hadn’t even bothered to look up at her to bark his order.

She approached a few feet but maintained a distance. “What is it?” She asked with restraint. It was all she could do to not call him ‘boy’ in return, but that would endanger her own sense of Humility.

“We want you to lift this thing off the ground for us. You must know how.” He continued to not even look at her. “Come now girl, we haven’t got all day.”

“No.” She simply stated and walked away.

“Listen here, we have hired you to work with us along our journey and…” He now spoke to her as if he were a father or some authority figure.

“No, you listen here. I’ll leave you to wander lost in these caverns for the rest of your days if you don’t watch yourself.” With that, she turned and walked some distance away to restrain the fury building inside her.

“Think of the Honor we will bring civilization with this discovery!” He pleaded to her sense of the Virtues, “Have you no Virtue, girl?!” He turned back to the specimen with disgust. “We will figure it out ourselves and you will wait for us then.”

It had become a matter of pride now for the two, she thought. They wouldn’t easily let this one go until she complied with their wishes or they figured it out for themselves. A smirk streaked across her face as she realized that things had become all too easy for this venture.

Jinta held in his hand a flat blade, jewel encrusted as well, with the mark of a chalice on it. He was now shoving it underneath the white organism disguised as a rock. He was focused on getting this thing detached from the floor now to save his pride.

Klint stood up and looked out around the cavern. Very light purple specks floated around the cavern that he hadn’t noticed before. They were few and perhaps he had easily missed them. He shook his head as he wiped some sweat from his brow after fooling with this specimen for easily fifteen minute now. Very rarely had he engaged in such hard work in his time, and watched Jinta forcefully remove this specimen from the floor.

“Pchffffffffffft.” The specimen broke off and burst open releasing a cloud of the purple spores. Jinta and Klint immediately began coughing as their lungs filled with the foreign agents. In less than a minute the cloud had dispersed and they looked around for Yintara. She had vanished into the darkness of the caverns around them.

They tried to talk or yell for her but the coating of spores in their lungs and larynx had deadened their ability to speak. Quickly the two men got to their knees and pulled out their fine leather canteens and attempted to drink and wash away the spores. The water was rejected as they spit it out onto the floor of the cavern, and dizziness began to sweep over them.

“Your hubris to the Virtue of Humility has swept upon you. Feel your punishment.” Yintara’s voice could be heard echoing throughout the chasm now. The echoes obscured her exact position from them.

Jinta pulled from under his shirt a prized golden, emerald studded miniature chalice on a gold chain around his neck. He grasped both hands around the chalice and began rocking back and forth as the weakness began to spread throughout his body.

Klint had regurgitated onto the floor and rose to desperately search for Yintara’s location. He stumbled across the bridge and around a column, searching for who he believed had all the answers and could have prevented this. Finally fatigue began to overcome him as the spores took full effect inside his body. Looking at Jinta, he finally understood and fell to his knees again. From under his shirt he removed a jewel encrusted ankh of a considerably heavy metal.

He grasped it with both hands began to mouth some kind of words or prayer. Perhaps hoping for the compassion of some deity, or the compassion of Yintara to finally descend from the shadows and end this nightmare. As they both knelt there praying the spores progressively reduced their consciousness. Soon they would be overcome by the spores, and they believed death surely awaited them.

Slowly they both fell flat onto the floor of the caverns and slipped into a deep sleep. Klint blinked his eyes a few last times and noticed a pair of shoes quickly approaching them. Hopefully Yintara had heard his plea for Compassion, he thought as he finally slipped away.

A dream began in his mind, and it seemed as though Jinta had joined him in a conscious state, both joined together somehow in this dream. A voice spoke to them from a white light surrounded by blue and then darkness. It tried to teach them of Humility to bring about some change in them. Walking them through clichéd examples of how their actions had affected others, and what they could do to help reestablish their Virtue of Humility.

Meanwhile, Yintara had found the men after they had fallen unconscious and the spores had dissipated into the stale atmosphere of the caverns with a large sack slung across her shoulder now. Her lungs and Virtue had long adapted to the spores, barely affecting her anymore, but it was always important to respect nature. Slowly but surely she methodically unbuckled, unlatched, and removed all the belongings from Klint as though she had done this a hundred times before.

She stuffed his jeweled ankh into the sack with his fine leather canteen. The fine Baron’s clothes would make a wonderful addition to her father’s shop back home. The coin purse held in excess of five hundred gold, a worthy sum for any journey. She questioned how they could be so stupid as to not have a hired an escort accompany them into the caverns, but they were not alone in this stupidity. Perhaps they trusted too much in people’s Honor, she thought.

After stripping Klint clean of valuables she moved into Jinta. Jinta’s equipment reflected a very sincere devotion to Honor and forsaken all other virtues. Almost everything, including his belt buckle, had an Honor chalice engraved upon it. His clothes had the markings of a Duke upon them, and they would fetch a fine price at the markets. Searching his coin purse, he carried with him in excess of seven hundred gold. She had really struck it rich on this venture.

Sorting through the coin purse she found a note deep inside. Unraveling it, she found written upon it “Jinta, should the girl prove invaluable I deem that we should double her pay upon completion of services rendered. It is both the Honorable, and Compassionate, thing to do. –Klint” A slight pang of remorse swept over her for a moment. To mock this note would break her own notions of Humility. The thought of leaving these two gentlemen, no matter how hoity and condescending they may be, now left her feeling sour about the situation.

She sat back and thought about it for a moment. Perhaps overcome with the sense of Compassion that Klint had, she decided that they weren’t going to get there stuff back but she wouldn’t leave them completely helpless. Reaching back into her sack she removed each of their blades and left it by their sides for when they awoke some hours later. Taking the note she found, and a piece of charcoal from Jinta’s coin purse, she drew a shoddy map to return them the way they came and left it under Jinta’s knife.

Finally feeling as though her duty to Compassion and Humility had been served, she hoisted the sack over her shoulder and fled into the darkness of the deep caverns once again. The sound of her footsteps echoed softer as the cavern became completely still. Only the roar of the river now remained in this cavern.

Klint began blinking as he awoke. He went to grab his necklace to thank Compassion for bringing them back but realized it was gone. Not only was it gone, but everything was gone except his undergarments and his knife beside him. He shook his head and slammed his fist into the rock floor realizing now that they had been robbed. He had to wonder if she had been planning it this whole time.

Looking over at Jinta, he saw that he had already awoken and was sitting on a rock nearby looking at a parchment with his knife in hand. He walked closer to Jinta and asked, “I’m guessing the spore acted as some kind of sleep-inducing hallucinogen. It was like we were in the same dream.” Klint sat down next to Jinta.

Jinta simply nodded as he stared at the paper.

“What’s that?” Klint asked trying to get something out of him.

“It looks like a map. I’m guessing Yintara didn’t want to leave us to die down here.” Jinta stated with a resigned voice. “I dreamt of Humility too; I think those spores joined us in a dream somehow. They connected us in some way.”

Klint looked around the cavern. “Well, I suppose we had better get moving. We’ve got no food or water and we won’t last long down here.” He stood up and began moving toward the small wooden bridge.

Jinta sighed and looked at Klint. “Aye, you’re right. We’d best be going.” He walked over to the organism that had sprayed them earlier. “We may as well take it for study and get something out of this trip besides a moral lesson.”

Klint laughed, “Grab it and let’s move.”

Picking up the dead organism, Jinta joined Klint by his side and they both looked down the dark tunnel from where they had come sometime earlier. “Do you think anything is down there?”

Klint shrugged, “I don’t know, there wasn’t when we came this way.”

The two began moving toward their destination with blades drawn and a wary walk. It was nearly a day’s journey to the surface from here, and that was with a guide. As they passed the threshold from the cavern into the tunnels ahead, a large shadow skittered through the darkness beside them. Unaware of the dark red eyes watching as the two passed into the dense interconnected tunnels of the system known on the surface as the ‘catacombs’. As they disappeared into the distance so did the red eyes in tow. Soon all that remained was the roar of the river in the ancient cavern known as Rogue’s Rest.

 

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April 24 2014

The Band of Bards Written and Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Here is one I wrote a few months ago as a sample.  I guess it can be included here too.  A bit creepy, wonder if we can have dark gloom scenes like that in the game!

The Band of Bards

How the gloom was tended by the will of the fallen angels. Every bit of ash in the campfire had been blown away by the wicked winds heckling through the trees. The fall of the crackling oaken branches was subdued by the angry raindrops pouring down upon the dreary shattered clearing.

The place where the tent had been so neatly sited was now just a memory in the passage of time. The darkened passaged leading to the serrated mountain was all that remained of a place once full of laughing and singing mere hours before. The small band of bards had quickly retreated from the massive droplets of water which suddenly poured on their faces like wave of cold water from a turbulent sea.

Unfortunately, the wind beaten path leading them to the mountain was also littered with broken branches, jagged rocks and pieces of broken glass from their own supplies. The wind made it nearly impossible to tread quickly to the asylum of the mountain. Some had fallen into the mud from disorientation of the water and wind on their faces. The stronger of the bards was unable to see properly to grasp the hands of distraught others, and instead stumbled into the broken path themselves. Shrieking with pain the members of the band were further terrorized by loud bursts of thunder overhead, thrashing sounds echoed in their heads from the painfully shrill cracking of the massive gale.

Suddenly, the wind became calm, and the road became clear. The band of bards struggled to stand on their feet. They staggered painfully to the jagged mountain. The darkness seemed less perilous, and for the first time since the goblets of wine had been torn from their hands, they felt a sense of hope. They all struggled towards the opening, with heavy steps and bloodied limbs, then entered into a narrow opening within the massive mountainside.

The interior of the opening was dank. The only light was dimly lit from the half moon glowing faintly through the thick clouds in the sky. All of their belongings had been lost and broken, and the only pursuit they could hope for was a freezing night mashed together in this small damp cave. With no blankets or fire, they huddled together and chatted tearfully.

One of the bards pulled a small harmonica from his pocket and played softly. The dank air lightened, and the band of bards slowly drifted to sleep.

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April 24 2014

Islug Gets A New Set of Armor Written by Sir Stile Teckel-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Lord Baldrith here with A humorous story written by our own Sir Stile Teckel!  Well, it gives me a chance to mess around with voices…Hopefully it’s not too bad 🙂

Whistling to himself with a pipe lit in one hand and a mug of ale in the other, Islug walks over to a postal center to check on his deliveries. Upon entering the Postal master gives Islug a dirty look and says “Islug, dam ye, yer taking up all my space, will ye get that delivery outta ere?”

Islug looks to where the man is pointing and sees several large bundles. Quickly draining his mug and clipping it to his belt, dumping his pipe and sticking it in a pouch he grabs the packages and runs off in obvious glee. The postal master shakes his head “Wonder what the bloody ell that was about?”

A few moments later Islug is in a crafting hosue ripping open bundles and grinning “Ye outdid yerself Lika, this is fantastic!”

Looking around Islug spots Minstril at work at shouts over at her “Min, ye ave those dyes I asked fer?”. She stops what she is working on and brings over several large bottles and hands them to Islug with a slight smirk. Islug glares at her “What ye grinning bout lass?”.

“Oh nothing Islug, just wondering when you will be able to make that stuff on your own? Also, I mentioned a pay raise?”

Muttering Islug responds “I am not this good yet! An as far as yer raise….” Islug glances at the dyes and continues “Olive? We’ll talk about yer salary increase when ye can get me the blacks, whites, and Royal Purple’s I asked ye fer!” Then ignoring the Alchemist Islug begins dumping the new armor into dye tubs and adding Olive dye.

Once the armor is dry, in his excitement Islug runs over to a mirror and beings stripping his current armor off and putting on the new pieces. Once finished he begins turning and modeling it in the mirror. A moment later all work stops in the hall as Islug begins yelling at the mirror “Y’AH WHOS THE MAN? EH? WHOS THE MAN? LOOK AT YE IZZY LAD, YER THE MAN, THATS RIGHT, YER THE MAN!!! GO OUT AN SHOW EM WHO THER DADDY IS IZZY! TIME TA KICK SOME ARSE AND TAKE NAMES!!” This is punctuated with various Fist pumps and poses.

As he turns away from the mirror the smile quickly drops from his face as he realizes the craft house has gone silent and nearly fifty people are staring at him, work having come to a stand still. Turning very red Islug points to a random direction and yells “DRAGON!!”, then quickly, runs from the house with all eyes following him.

Later that night, in the tavern Islug is heard telling a story with his pipe waving through the ear punctuating each sentence “That’s right I tell ye! Dragon in the crafting house! Must’ve been twenty foot tall and spitting flames all about it! So I was there try’n ta intimidate it by tell’n it I was a superior fight’r an all. Meanwhile everyone in the blasted place is star’n at me like I’d gone nuts! Ye think they’d pay better attention ta a Dragon creep’n bout. So I got it ta chase me with some insults and ran it outta the place!”

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April 24 2014

Letters from Barataria (English version) written by Eriador-Narration by Lord Baldrith

Here is Eriador’s Poem read in english by me Lord Baldrith.  Awesome poem Eriador!

Letters from Barataria (*Barataria was an imaginary wonderful place that Quixote promised to Sancho)

There was no enemy capable to sink your moral, or defeat that could shake your principles. You were always true to yourself, without betraying yourself because of what others said. You offered the heart in a selflessly way and there was no despise that prevented you to do it.
You charged against monsters and villains, without a minimum hesitation, to make the world a better place. You were you able to understand that an emaciated animal could be the most beautiful steed in the universe, and you demonstrated us with your nobility that the courage, the trust and the love were much more needed and piercing weapons than the most ferrous spear.

For you the life was an adventure full of dreams to realize, a continuous joust where only was defeated who believed it. We must be crazy.

You really were the true knight, Don Quixote


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April 22 2014

Special Podcast – in Spanish! Letters from Barataria read AND written by Eriador Moonstone

We have a special podcast from Eriador Moonstone for those that are interested in hearing a piece of fan fiction in Spanish. Written and read both by Eriador Moonstone!

Here is both the English and Spanish text.

Cartas desde Barataria

No había enemigo capaz de hundir tu moral, ni derrota que hiciera tambalear tus principios. Eras siempre fiel a ti mismo, sin traicionarte por lo que dijeran los demás. Ofrecías el corazón de manera desinteresada y no existió desprecio que te impidiese dejar de hacerlo.
Cargabas contra monstruos y villanos, sin el menor titubeo, para que el mundo fuese un lugar mejor. Eras capaz de comprender que un demacrado animal podía ser el corcel más hermoso del universo y nos demostrabas con tu nobleza que el valor, la confianza y el amor eran armas mucho más necesarias y penetrantes que la lanza más férrea.

Para ti la vida era una aventura repleta de sueños por realizar, una justa continua donde sólo estaba vencido quien creía estarlo. Los demás debemos estar locos.

Tú sí que eras el verdadero caballero, Don Quijote.

Letters from Barataria (*Barataria was an imaginary wonderful place that Quixote promised to Sancho)

There was no enemy capable to sink your moral, or defeat that could shake your principles. You were always true to yourself, without betraying yourself because of what others said. You offered the heart in a selflessly way and there was no despise that prevented you to do it.
You charged against monsters and villains, without a minimum hesitation, to make the world a better place. You were you able to understand that an emaciated animal could be the most beautiful steed in the universe, and you demonstrated us with your nobility that the courage, the trust and the love were much more needed and piercing weapons than the most ferrous spear.

For you the life was an adventure full of dreams to realize, a continuous joust where only was defeated who believed it. We must be crazy.

You really were the true knight, Don Quixote