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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Scatter the Pieces [IC]

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    The sunlight does not make the scene before you look any more real. The plateau and the road below are strewn with rubble. Torn down houses, broken stalls, shattered lives. The bodies of the dead are frozen in the pinkish-brown snow, snow that smells of ash and waste, blood and fear. And of course, the ruins of the tower. So many people lived within it, so many people journeyed to see it. Now it is nothing but rocks in the kingsroad, rocks across the plateau.

    Hunger has not been an issue-ethics quite aside, there is still food left, frozen in the snow. It was not a raid. So much has been left behind. Coins glittering in the snow, partially-cured meats still laying in the ruins of the butcher's shop, priceless tomes crushed into the ruins of the greatest library in Erlise. This makes everything seem even more illogical-why attack this place, on such a holy day, and take nothing at all with you?

    But you are alive. This is something. Somewhere to start.

    Somewhere else to start is the smoke and the scent of meat wafting from the ruins of the Spire.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Sorra grips her sickle with icy hands. Even in her winter gloves, her fingers feel stiff and frozen.

    She moves up the mountain road methodically, one step at a time. Normally she takes the path at a hard run, but this time she pauses to rifle through pockets and sort through ruins for anything useful, adding whatever food or supplies she finds to her sack. She takes a few coins at first, but eventually ignores them. Gold is heavy, and no good for eating.

    It was hard, at first. The first corpse had her father's face to her, and the second, but after a while something in her mind turned off, and now she moves slowly up the path without seeing the faces or understanding the wounds or the crushed homes. In her mind there are weapons and scraps of food and supplies, and a long road--nothing more.

    Every so often, she stops and drops the sack, rubs her hands together, and readjusts her grip on the handscythe. Then she picks up the sack and keeps going, eyes and ears wide for sounds of danger, though they are closed to the scene before her.

    But beneath the eerie calm that has seized her, something else stirs. While the rest of her mind sorts through supplies and listens for danger, a small part of her rages in a cold-burning fury. Sorra hears Tomas wail and sees the mad-eyed giant's face loom before her, and she tightens her grip on the sickle, fastens her gaze on the burning ruin of the Spire, and slowly, inexorably presses forward. There will be answers.

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    I don't know if I need a check for this or not, but hoping to pick up some food or useful supplies, or maybe a spare weapon, as she heads up the path. Search - (1d20+5)[13] if I do.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scatter the Pieces [IC]

    Samuel looked around after exiting the half-ruined Orders buliding, grimy and partially in shock at the sheer devastation that surrounded him on all sides. Amazingly, his stomach growled, and he realized that it had been over 24 hours since he had last eaten. He walked towards the ruins of an old bakery he liked to visit and scavenged around for some old bread that he could use to feed his stomach. Afterwards, he stood amongst the ruins and looked around, trying to find someone else that was alive in the ruined city. In the distance he notices what appears to be a girl holding some sort of weapon in her hands, though he can't tell what type from the current distance. Hoping she isn't a brigand, he makes up his mind and walks towards her, holding his hands up in the air to show he wasn't armed and, more importantly, not a threat.

    As he gets closer, he realizes she is dressed in simple clothing, and is holding a sickle in her hands, a wickedly sharp one at that. He stops 10 feet or so away from her, not wanting to provoke an attack out of her from fear. He talks loudly and quickly, not realizing he is doing so Hello! Who are you? Where did you come from? Are you a survivor like me? My name is Samuel, Samuel Kenwyck. I'm a member of the Order of Mages, defenders of this fair city, though apparently we failed in that task. At that, he fell silent, unsure as to how to proceed, deciding for the moment to let her speak and see where that lead.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: Scatter the Pieces [IC]

    Sorra's hands tighten on her sickle. She feels her lips pull back of their own accord to bare her teeth. Her mood gets blacker as he identifies himself. The knot of cold rage swells, and her hands tighten on the reassuring wooden haft of her weapon. Protector. She grits her teeth.

    ...And pushes it back down, until she is calm as ice. She breathes like the old man at the shrine taught her and forces her face into a neutral expression. She is alone, and she might need him.

    Sorra lowers the sickle a little, but doesn't move toward him and doesn't put it away.

    "Sorra Mistborn," she says. She doesn't know why she adds the epithet. Only her father ever called her that. "Farmer. Or I was."

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Starwulf's Avatar

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    Samuel senses for just an instant an intense anger from the young girl, then it disappears as quickly as it came, leaving him to wonder if it was ever even there at all. Dismissing it from his mind, he continues the conversation with the girl who has identified herself as Sorra Mistborn. "A farmer from these parts then? I'm sorry for your loss, and I'm even sorrier that I wasn't able to fight harder to protect the city. It's given me so much over the last 3 years, it made my dreams come true, and now, now, those those.." here Samuel pauses, his anger, furious and raw, burning and seething, bubbles over for a moment as he thinks of the Giants that completely ransacked the city. Then, he resumes speaking "hateful, spiteful, ignorant BEASTS have crushed everything I held dear, they crushed the entire city in one fell swoop, and why? WHY?! For fun? I have no idea, but it wasn't to loot the city, seeing as how much is just lying around. I plan on going after them soon, if I can find some others to join me. I have little left in this world, the Giants have seen to that, and all I want is revenge against them. Revenge, and perhaps" another very short pause "to find out their motive for this attack. Would you care to join me? You don't have to come with me on this quest, but for now, there is safety in numbers, and I could use the companionship of another living, breathing human being." Samuel finishes talking, then sits down on a nearby stone block that had been separated from the rest of the house it had been meant to support. He puts his head in between his hands, and sobs wrack his body as he remembers all of his friends, likely dead at the hands of the giants. He refused to believe that Navara died in the attack, she would have, should have fled the moment she heard the attack, she was smart and resourceful. Finally his body stops trembling, his sobs turn to slow tears, then finally stop altogether. "I apologize for that, I haven't really stopped to consider all that's happened since it actually happened, I guess it all just sorta overwhelmed me at once. So, what do you say, join me, at least for a little while Sorra?"
    Last edited by Starwulf; 2011-05-27 at 10:37 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: Scatter the Pieces [IC]

    Sorra watches the sobbing man in confusion, still gripping her sickle. Something tickles the back of her mind, and for a brief moment she feels a deep sadness, but then it is gone, as quickly as it came.

    She doesn't put her sickle away when he speaks again, but she nods.

    "For now," she says grimly.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    The air smelled strangely smoky. A cooking sort of smoky which alerted Magdi’s mouth of what her stomach had already told her. She was hungry. She elected to suppress it. After everything that had happened, she didn’t want to be tempted by a smell of cooking meat she had no doubt imagined. Especially when the most likely genuine source of the smell was lightly smouldering remains.

    It had to have been a good few hours since she’d lost her nerve. Her fingers were still raw from slicing through the ice and grit of the wreckage but her heartbeat had steadied somewhat. She was no longer being deafened by the pulsating rhythms of her own circulation, which was most likely a plus. Flecks of mineral in the dismantled building blocks of her city had taken on a faint yellow twinge that looked more like daylight then the reflections of embers.
    Her thoughts flicked to the guests she’d been sent to collect. Were they under, above, or beyond the rubble? She didn’t hold out much hope for them. That first blast probably would have been enough to have knocked her off her feet if she hadn’t been clinging to Blodwyn’s lead rope. The guests had no doubt been at the epicentre of that one, and they’d been right by the wall that she knew had toppled. The chances of them still being alive were slim: all the non-giant things she’d seen on her way here were dead or dying. The chances that they’d be receptive towards her after she’d fled like that were slimmer still. It had been the natural thing to do, given the circumstances and the fact that Blodwyn had bolted, but she acknowledged that she would hardly have been delighted if a guide had left her for dead like that.

    She could try going out to look for them – it certainly seemed that the giants had moved out, a long time ago now. But what could she do if she did find them? She was no cleric, so she couldn’t tend to their wounds. She hadn’t been able to do a thing for the dwarf she’d stumbled across witha keystone and part of an awning on his chest – just stand over him gawping as he wheezed, staring back at her pleadingly before the life finally left his body a few seconds later. Seconds that had felt like days. She hadn’t even been able to mark his passing respectfully, she’d been too gripped by her own blind terror and preoccupied by the gargantuan beasts striding far overhead to do anything for him, or the one’s before and after him who were already gone. Even then the giants had been on their way out. What could they have wanted? Magdi supposed that if murdering blindly was what made you feel alive, wreaking destruction on a joyful and entirely unsuspecting gathering, on an international day of peace, no less, would probably have been particularly satisfying. It seemed utterly senseless that they should have been able to do it though. There simply wasn’t any justice in the wants of the greedy supplanting the needs of the kind in such a fleeting moment.

    There was no point looking for the guests now. If they’d survived, she should have heard them. She’d heard plenty in the immediate wake of the giants’ tour of the city, but very little afterwards. Besides, loath though she was to admit it, there most likely wasn’t an inn to lead them back to anymore.

    She would have tried to sleep again if it hadn’t been for the sobbing.

    Her fragile ears picked up at the sound. It wasn’t a memory this time – or at least she didn’t think it was – it was a man’s cries, but not with the low rumbling resonance of the cries of a dwarf and not as eerily melodic as those of an elf. It sounded human, and it sounded like it was trying to stop. Could he have been sobbing for a long time? Had that been what had woken her and it had taken 'til now to realise it? These were sobs borne of grief or exhaustion – not of immediate physical pain, she noted. And if they were only tears of sorrow, perhaps there was something she could do about them. Maybe even if the sobber was in his death throes, she ought to go to him. The giants were gone and somebody in the not too distant distance was in need. She had to go to him. Providing she could get herself out of her own hiding place first…
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Motion in the corner of her eye caught her attention. She had thought herself the only one alive, but here was a farm girl, sickle in hand, marching toward the spire.

    "Hello?" Eztra called, "HELLO?"

    She waved her hands, then paused, to see if the woman had heard her. After a moment, it became apparent that she had not. Eztra could not blame her for being lost in her own thoughts--it was a scene likely to provoke heavy ones.

    She took a moment to wipe her tears on the wool sleeve of the bulky coat that she hated wearing but was keeping her from joining her teacher in a frozen grave. She looked down at his corpse. "Sorry I wasn't a better student," she whispered. She paused for a moment. "Sorry you weren't a better teacher." She took one last glance before turning and running after the girl with the sickle.

    Eztra knew how to hide from being seen. Whether it was years spent slipping in and out of her own bedroom to meet with boys who wanted little to do with her, or secret raids to free slaves with her university mates, she had developed quite a talent for moving without being seen or heard. She utilized exactly none of that talent at that moment, however, choosing instead to run through the snow as fast as her tired body could carry her, waving her hands up and down over her head and shouting, "HEY! HELLO! SICKLE GIRL! HELLOOOOO! OVER HERE!"

    By the time she caught up to the girl, she was speaking to a man sitting on a stone block. She thought the man was weeping openly, though it was difficult to tell in the glare of the sun on the white snow. She supposed that it would not surprise her one bit if he was, though.

    She walked out into the open, holding one of her mittens up to block the sunlight from her eyes. "Um, hello? Hi, uh..." Eztra flushed as she realized that she actually had nothing specific to say to the girl. She had pursued her simply by virtue of her having still been alive. Now more aware of her situation, she felt she must pose a ridiculous picture: a short, skinny teenage girl, clad in winter clothes too big for her that she obviously didn't know how to fasten properly. Her olive skin was reddened from either the cold wind or the fact that she had been throwing up in the snow five minutes ago.

    She pulled her woolen hat off of her head, so they could see her face better. "I, uh...I'm alive," she eventually managed. A simple declarative statement, perhaps, but something that very few people in the Sunspeak Spire could have said that day. "I saw you walking, and, uh, I thought I was the only one alive, and then I realized that you might think you were the only one alive, so I thought...I thought I would come over and tell you that, uh, I'm alive."

    She felt foolish and silly, and at the same time, she was so relieved to not be alone anymore that she did not care.
    Last edited by SPoD; 2011-05-28 at 08:05 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: Scatter the Pieces [IC]

    At the sound, Sorra slid a quick shuffle-step sideways, turning so she could keep the blade of her sickle between herself and both the man and the new noise.

    It was a girl. Her own age, maybe, red face, too-big winter clothes. Southern skin, and a voice like someone had taught her to speak proper.

    "Yes," Sorra said, her mind turning the newcomer over slowly. Even with the knife at her belt, Sorra's eyes kept settling on the red face and too-big, unfastened clothes. Her fingers itched with the urge to tie them right, like she always did with Tomas and Ama. The thought that she would never do that for either of them again surfaced only briefly before she pushed it back down.

    There were half a dozen things she wanted to say--and most of all, she wanted to say nothing and keep walking--but still one thing, and only one thing, spilled out.

    "You'll catch your death dressed like that," she said finally.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Eleanor_Rigby's Avatar

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    It took a lot of huffing, puffing and pathetic clawing, but Magdi's ragged mittens found purchase on the outer rim of her crawlspace a lot faster than she'd expected them to. She kicked against one of the firmer icy surfaces of the hiding place, thus launching herself upwards and outwards into the open air. Almost as soon as she'd done this her makeshift sanctuary caved into itself and closed up after her. The sobbing had better not have been a dream or the first signs of madness. She paused momentarily for her eyes to readjust to the light and so that she could get her bearings.

    There really was an awful lot of rubble and the snow was filthy.

    She spun about, one full turn to find the phantom sobber. He wasn't far away. And he wasn't alone either: two human women stood on either side of the survivor. They didn't look like they'd arrived in the city together - the furthest woman was southern, by the look of her, whereas the other two, the closer woman and Magdi's sobber, were fairer and probably northern. None of them looked particularly at ease.
    She crept towards them with her whip in one hand, trailing it behind her over the rubble and snow. Doing so comforted her somehow, she wasn't sure why, it wasn't as if being able to retrace her steps would do her any good. She picked through remnants of walls and ducked under fallen archways, keeping out of plain view as she approached. Sometimes humans weren't pleased to see goblins, and she wasn't close enough to recognise these particular ones yet. Her pulse raced a little faster as she tried to imagine who the fellow survivors might be - what they might be like, whether they'd heard news of any others who'd somehow escaped the giants.
    When she maybe a metre away from them she stopped, crouched behind a bit of masonry. She readjusted her cloak, dropped her hood and brushed some of the mortar out of her hair as she steeled her nerves.
    She moistened her throat and tried for a soothing, comforting tone:
    "Hello? Can I help you?" she croaked.

    "Can I help you?" What kind of a question was that at a time like this? She cringed and tried to shrink back a little.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by PollyOliver View Post
    "You'll catch your death dressed like that," she said finally.
    Eztra blinked, then looked down at the coat. "Oh! Yes, I...I don't really know much about the...I had a field guide who used to fix it for me, but he's..." she trailed off. He's dead, of course. They're all dead, except for three survivors. She had to learn to do it herself.

    She made an effort to unfasten and refasten the coat, her hands fumbling in the mittens. It didn't occur to her to take them off. Beneath her coat she was wearing leggings under a dress of fine violet cloth with a pattern of silver stars stitched in it—her father's cloth, of course. They always had bolts of the stuff laying about the house. She had always admired this particular fabric, but now she marveled at how flimsy it really was. It didn't belong here, in this harsh land; it had been born for fairer climates and easier tribulations. Like me, Eztra thought.

    She did slightly better the second time around, insofar as she got all of the buttons into the proper buttonholes. When she was finished, she looked back up at the farm girl. "My name is Eztra. Eztra ej Arrakeej. I'm a student here," she starts, then corrects herself. "I was a student here. Do you live near here? Are there other people still alive?"

    Eztra's question was partly answered when a small orange goblin maid appeared from behind a broken stone wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleanor_Rigby View Post
    "Hello? Can I help you?" she croaked.
    Eztra just stared at her, unable to process the simple question at first. "Help us?" she repeated numbly.
    Last edited by SPoD; 2011-05-28 at 12:33 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: Scatter the Pieces [IC]

    The other girl re-did the ties slightly better than before, but still Sorra found herself walking forward, feet moving of their own accord. She slipped the sickle into her belt and tugged off her fur-lined gloves with her teeth. The air was bitter cold, but she'd felt worse. She'd be fine for a few minutes.

    "Sorra Mistborn," she said, as the goblin came into view. Again the epithet, the one no one ever used but her father. She shrugged it away. "From down there," she said, pointing slightly down the mountain. Not that it would be visible, even still standing. There was something familiar and almost comforting about the goblin, so much so she didn't whip out the sickle once more. Sorra thought she'd seen her before, but the memory was hazy, like another life. Had she taught her a song, once?

    Sorra pushed that memory, like all the rest, away. Then she pointed at the girl and her clothes. "Can I?"

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Eztra's puzzlement at the goblin is cut short by Sorra's request.

    "Please!" responded Eztra, almost a little too enthusiastically. "I didn't even know what a..." She paused, her brow furrowing. "Coat. I didn't even know what a coat was until last week. We don't have a word for it in Hartane, you know. Arm-cloak is the closest thing. My guide gave me one of his."

    She stopped and looked down. "And the knife, too." He had pressed it into her hand before turning to go fight the giants. She had protested that she didn't really know how to fight with a knife. He had told her that wasn't what it was for. Better to die quickly by your own blade then slowly by the cold, in the end. She looked at Sorra. Maybe it wouldn't come to that after all.

    She follows Sorra's look down the mountain. "Is anyone...are they still...?" she asks. "Or is it just us?"
    Congratulations, you can link to TV Tropes. This does not mean you have special insight into the storytelling process, much less the author's mind. Stories don't need to fit into neat boxes, you know.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Sorra nodded and stated fixing the girl's clothes like she would for Ama every winter morning before they went out into the fields. The buttons were right this time, but she still had to open a few so she could get to the ties beneath, pulling each set tight enough to trap a layer of warm air but not so tight that they forced it all out. The girl was wearing truly bizarre clothing underneath, airy fabric with little stars, lighter even than what Sorra would have worn in high summer. Her hands looked smooth like a lady's.

    Sorra's fingers stiffened as she worked, but she didn't put her gloves back on until she was done. She let the familiar work put thought out of her head, until the girl spoke again.

    "There's no one down there," she said. "Most everyone was in the city for All Saints' Day. Those who weren't.... Well there was nothing left when I got back." It was strangely easy to say. Everything gone, and somehow she just felt calm.

    Without an excuse to keep her hands and head busy, she pulled her gloves back on and pulled the sickle from her belt again. She shuffled a few steps back just in case, and waited.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Eleanor_Rigby's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPoD
    Eztra just stared at her, unable to process the simple question at first. "Help us?" she repeated numbly.
    Magdi found herself oggling again. She'd been spotted, and her offer of help had been heard. What would the southerner do when she realised Magdi couldn't technically do anything? It had been a stupid thing to say. Poor girl must have seen at least as much horror in the past few hours as Magdi had and now she'd gone and belittled her by pretending she could fix it! What to say...?
    She noticed some of the girl's toggles were undone. She'd catch her death that way, especially with such dainty floaty fabric underneath. She had to be hear for All Saints, Magdi realised. What a welcome to Sunspeak that day must have been...
    The girl with the weapon stepped forward.
    Quote Originally Posted by PollyOliver View Post
    "Sorra Mistborn," she said, as the goblin came into view. Again the epithet, the one no one ever used but her father. She shrugged it away. "From down there," she said, pointing slightly down the mountain.
    She was a pretty young thing, Magdi observed - probably prettier without all that muck and blood on her clothes, but pretty nontheless. She had a pale pink face, quite round, and nice brown eyes and hair. A bit like Hywellen, she noted, but not so red, and less snooty. Magdi glanced absently in the direction Sorra had pointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by PollyOliver
    Then she pointed at the girl and her clothes. "Can I?"
    Magdi supressed a giggle. Obviously a mother, she thought.
    Then her eyes widened, appalled. Hopefully the child was at home, perhaps Sorra had come to Sunspeak to get a break from the baby: she didn't look like she was old enough to have a kid that wasn't a baby, and Magdi knew babies were loud. She'd sat for a couple, and heard people moan about more.
    She scrutinised the girl a little closer. "Sorra Mistborn" she thought to herself... "Sorra"... she'd heard it before. She'd seen the face before too...
    Magdi frowned. There had been a baby.
    Sorra Mistborn had two siblings, neither of them grown up - Sorra was the girl she'd taught the lullaby to. But where were the kids? Magdi wasn't sure she wanted to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by SPoD View Post
    Eztra's puzzlement at the goblin is cut short by Sorra's request.
    "Please!" responded Eztra, almost a little too enthusiastically. "I didn't even know what a..." She paused, her brow furrowing. "Coat. I didn't even know what a coat was until last week. We don't have a word for it in Hartane, you know. Arm-cloak is the closest thing. My guide gave me one of his."
    She stopped and looked down. "And the knife, too." [...]
    She follows Sorra's look down the mountain. "Is anyone...are they still...?" she asks. "Or is it just us?"
    Magdi stared a moment longer, trying to decide what to say.

    "There's a pony called Blodwyn somewhere around Navek by now," she murmured when she'd found her voice, "I'm Magdi, I'm from around here. You're the first..." she hesitated, glancing at Sorra. She was going to say "survivors" but didn't want to cause upset by reminding everyone of what they might have lost. "I've only come out of hiding just now, I'm afraid. I sort of... ran and hid." it was probably best to tell them the truth. She didn't see how they could blame her for it really, it had been cowardly, yes, but if she hadn't done it she wouldn't have lived to be talking to them now. That was probably obvious. "Is there anything I can do for you two?" she rose up on tip toes, looking for the man they'd been with, "Or for your friend? I'd like to help, if I can. I used to know this place quite well..."
    Last edited by Eleanor_Rigby; 2011-05-28 at 04:07 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by PollyOliver View Post
    "There's no one down there," she said. "Most everyone was in the city for All Saints' Day. Those who weren't.... Well there was nothing left when I got back." It was strangely easy to say. Everything gone, and somehow she just felt calm.

    Without an excuse to keep her hands and head busy, she pulled her gloves back on and pulled the sickle from her belt again. She shuffled a few steps back just in case, and waited.
    "Thank you," Eztra replied. "For the coat, that is. I feel warmer already." She smiled, weakly. It was both strange and reassuring to be worrying about something so fundamentally trivial as an unfastened coat. The look on Sorra's face told Eztra that she was not alone in feeling that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleanor_Rigby View Post
    "There's a pony called Blodwyn somewhere around Navek by now," she murmured when she'd found her voice, "I'm Magdi, I'm from around here. You're the first..." she hesitated, glancing at Sorra. She was going to say "survivors" but didn't want to cause upset by reminding everyone of what they might have lost. "I've only come out of hiding just now, I'm afraid. I sort of... ran and hid."
    Eztra simply nodded. She'd done much the same, so she imagined she understood what the strange little woman was feeling. Feeling guilty for living, knowing that there was nothing you could have done otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleanor_Rigby View Post
    "Is there anything I can do for you two?" she rose up on tip toes, looking for the man they'd been with, "Or for your friend? I'd like to help, if I can. I used to know this place quite well..."
    Eztra looked at Sorra, then turned back to the goblin. "Umm...I don't know. Food, maybe? I think I just emptied my stomach back behind that rock, but I'm...feeling a little better now." This was true. Having a conversation was forcing the emotions back down inside her, giving her something to focus on besides fear and confusion. She smiled at the goblin lady. "Thank you."

    "Should we look for survivors up here?" she asked Sorra, continuing their earlier line of conversation. "If the four of us lived, maybe there are others trapped somewhere?" Sorra was no older than she was, if her appearance was any clue, but Eztra felt that there was something about her that made her the one to ask. She was so centered, even in the face of all of this chaos. It was comforting—and a little intimidating, to be sure, but mostly comforting. Plus, as a local, she would have the best chance of knowing where people might have hidden themselves. Maybe there were other people, yelling for help as she had.

    The wind whipped at her newly secured coat, bring with it nothing but silence, however.
    Last edited by SPoD; 2011-05-28 at 02:57 PM.
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    After Sorra agreed to travel with him, Samuel sunk back into quietness, almost a form of shock and depression, completely unaware of his surroundings for several long minutes. When he came back to his senses, another girl, one looking suspiciously soft and almost Noble looking(he thought that last line with contempt), was talking to Sorra, and then, another person, no, a creature, a goblin maid had come up behind them, asking them if they needed help. He was stunned to see two other living creatures in what he had figured to be an entirely dead city. He stood up from his seated position, straightened his clothes out, and spoke towards the other young woman "Hello, did I hear you announce yourself as Etzra ej Arrakeej?" turning towards the goblin maid "and you as Magdi? My name is Samuel Kenwyck, Warmage and member of The Order of Mages, protectors of this once fair city" at the last, a small remnant of his crying episode earlier resurfaces and he hiccups, a tear leaking from the corner of his eye.


    Addressing everyone as a group"We should find a place to take shelter from the cold, and perhaps find some wood to start a fire, or we'll end up dying from the elements after surviving the giants." turning towards Magdi, he asks "Do you perhaps know of a safe place to take shelter? A cave or something around here? I"m not sure any of these buildings can be trusted to take shelter in, even the ones still standing have taken serious structural damage and might collapse on us.

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    "Fire would be good," Sorra said. "But not now. It won't get much warmer than this even if we wait. Food's everywhere, and cold enough to've kept." Nonetheless she dug into her sack and broke off part of a heel of bread, only slightly stale, and held it out to Eztra.

    Then Sorra pointed up at the the ruin of the Spire and its plume of smoke, face suddenly grim but no less frighteningly calm. "I don't know about survivors. I didn't see any last night. But I want answers. And I'm starting there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    "Hello, did I hear you announce yourself as Etzra ej Arrakeej?" turning towards the goblin maid "and you as Magdi? My name is Samuel Kenwyck, Warmage and member of The Order of Mages, protectors of this once fair city" at the last, a small remnant of his crying episode earlier resurfaces and he hiccups, a tear leaking from the corner of his eye.
    Recognizing a fellow countryman by his skin and his accent, Eztra bowed slightly at the man who had, a moment before, sat silently in his fugue. "<Honored Greetings, Unrelated-Male-Who-Is-Older Samuel,>" she formally greeted him in her native tongue before switching back to Erlisan. "I'm sorry...that you lost so many colleagues today." She didn't want to presume at the extent of the man's grief—was his wife among the dead? His parents? His children?—but she knew for certain that she had seen a dozen Mages lying motionless in the snow. "They fought valiantly, I thought."

    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    Addressing everyone as a group"We should find a place to take shelter from the cold, and perhaps find some wood to start a fire, or we'll end up dying from the elements after surviving the giants." turning towards Magdi, he asks "Do you perhaps know of a safe place to take shelter? A cave or something around here? I"m not sure any of these buildings can be trusted to take shelter in, even the ones still standing have taken serious structural damage and might collapse on us.
    "That's a good idea, too," Eztra replied. "What do you think, Sorra?"

    Quote Originally Posted by PollyOliver View Post
    "Fire would be good," Sorra said. "But not now. It won't get much warmer than this even if we wait. Food's everywhere, and cold enough to've kept." Nonetheless she dug into her sack and broke off part of a heel of bread, only slightly stale, and held it out to Eztra.

    Then Sorra pointed up at the the ruin of the Spire and its plume of smoke, face suddenly grim but no less frighteningly calm. "I don't know about survivors. I didn't see any last night. But I want answers. And I'm starting there."
    Eztra nodded. "That sounds like a plan," she agreed with more determination in her voice than she felt. "We can look for survivors along the way, anyway." She took the piece of bread, nodded slightly in thanks, and began eating it. It was dry and plain, but it helped settle her stomach.
    Last edited by SPoD; 2011-05-28 at 03:17 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPoD View Post
    "Umm...I don't know. Food, maybe? I think I just emptied my stomach back behind that rock, but I'm...feeling a little better now." This was true. Having a conversation was forcing the emotions back down inside her, giving her something to focus on besides fear and confusion. She smiled at the goblin lady. "Thank you."

    Magdi smiled back. She realised after having done so that she might have shown a couple more teeth in doing so than was really polite. She was nervous.

    "Should we look for survivors up here?" she asked Sorra, continuing their earlier line of conversation. "If the four of us lived, maybe there are others trapped somewhere?"
    "You said you might like some food?" she repeated, "What sort of thing would you like? There's a rather nice bakery not far from here we might be able to..." she faltered, the bakery wasn't on the skyline anymore. The mage building was still upright, but the bakery she'd had in mind was distinctly smaller... "I've not got anything on me but pony feed right now," she started again, "but I'd be happy to help you look for something. I think I saw some..." she didn't want to think about the meat frozen in the snow. Meat was just dead flesh. She'd seen to much dead flesh. She tried to start a third time. "I don't eat pony feed myself - that's not what goblins eat... not that you'd have any reason to think that was what goblins ate, of course, because you're from Hartha where people keep goblins as - I mean - um... the pony feed was for the pony. She ran off when the giants arrived. She got spooked."
    She hung her head and willed the ground to swallow her up. She felt she ought to say something about the question of other survivors, but she could hardly bear the thought of false hope. People had died in Sunspeaks Spire. All at once and every type of them. Even little children related to a person right in front of her.
    Quote Originally Posted by PollyOliver View Post
    "Fire would be good," Sorra said. "But not now. It won't get much warmer than this even if we wait. Food's everywhere, and cold enough to've kept." Nonetheless she dug into her sack and broke off part of a heel of bread, only slightly stale, and held it out to Eztra.
    Magdi watched the bread pass hands. And tried not to look hungry. She’d eat later. She didn’t want the other survivors to think of her as a dependant.

    The man Magdi had heard sobbing stood up and came into view. He was dark, like a southerner, but his hair was unusally fair, and his eyes a bluish hue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    "Hello, did I hear you announce yourself as Etzra ej Arrakeej?" turning towards the goblin maid "and you as Magdi? My name is Samuel Kenwyck, Warmage and member of The Order of Mages, protectors of this once fair city" at the last, a small remnant of his crying episode earlier resurfaces and he hiccups, a tear leaking from the corner of his eye.
    Addressing everyone as a group"We should find a place to take shelter from the cold, and perhaps find some wood to start a fire, or we'll end up dying from the elements after surviving the giants." turning towards Magdi, he asks "Do you perhaps know of a safe place to take shelter? A cave or something around here? I"m not sure any of these buildings can be trusted to take shelter in, even the ones still standing have taken serious structural damage and might collapse on us.
    Quote Originally Posted by SPoD View Post
    Recognizing a fellow countryman by his skin and his accent, Eztra bowed slightly at the man who had, a moment before, sat silently in his fugue. "<Honored Greetings, Unrelated-Male-Who-Is-Older Samuel,>" she formally greeted him in her native tongue before switching back to Erlisan. "I'm sorry...that you lost so many colleagues today. They fought valiantly, I thought."
    "The mages are dead?" Magdi found herself saying before she could stop herself. She didn't want the mages to be dead. And she had very much hoped they'd been able to magic themselves away, although she couldn't see in hindsight how they would have been able to do that.
    She went back to his earlier question.
    She curtsied slightly,
    "I am called Magdi, yes and it's a pleasure to meet you, Samuel - or do you prefer Mr Kenwyck? I'm not sure why you thought you'd find a cave here in Sunspeak Spire though. This is a city - the capital, no less - we're not exactly cavey people up here. Gathering wood's a good idea, mind. And a wizard taught me a spell once that can make things warm - I can't use it often though, so it's probably best to save it for a time of need."

    Quote Originally Posted by PolyOliver
    Then Sorra pointed up at the the ruin of the Spire and its plume of smoke, face suddenly grim but no less frighteningly calm. "I don't know about survivors. I didn't see any last night. But I want answers. And I'm starting there."
    Again, Magdi followed Sorra's extended finger. There was smoke rising from the spire. She nodded cautiously, "Yes, moving will keep us all warm. We ought to see what that is... carefully.
    She clutched the handle of her whip tightly, rolling it up with her other hand.
    Last edited by Eleanor_Rigby; 2011-05-28 at 04:06 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Stunned by hearing Etzra speak in his native language, he responds back without thinking <"Greetings to you, un-related younger female Etzra" before switching back to Erlsian ">Yes, I saw many comrades fall while fighting on the wall before I was clipped by a thrown boulder, knocked down and had part of the wall fall on top of me. I was out for the rest of the battle and actually just regained consciousness a few short hours ago. When I came to, there was all this devastation" he paused and waved his hand towards the general carnage, then resumed speaking "surrounding me. I have no idea what happened to the leader of the Order, but I find it hard to believe he would have fallen in battle. I hope that perhaps he managed to escape to find help for the city."

    Addressing Magdi "The Bakery..it's mostly in ruins, but I did manage to salvage some bread from there a little while ago, I'm not sure, but there may be a bit left. It's not much, but anything is better then nothing. The Order of Mages..."again, a pause, a sniffle, more tears and an uncontrollable shiver of pain and regret wracked Samuel's body before continuing The entire Order has been decimated. As far as I know, I am the only one left that managed to survive, though as I said before, I believe our leader, Arcidius Valkore, may have survived and gone to get help, he was a very powerful mage. I just fully joined the ranks of the Order two years ago myself." at the last, he started to fall silent, then added "Oh, and Samuel is fine. I've never been one for standing on formality in the best of times."
    Last edited by Starwulf; 2011-05-28 at 04:02 PM.

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    Magdi stopped rolling the whip and looked up at Samuel.
    "I - - I'm very sorry to hear that, Samuel. I hope you're right about Arcidius. All this... it was just so sudden..."
    Last edited by Eleanor_Rigby; 2011-05-28 at 04:05 PM.
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    Sorra stared at the confused goblin--confused herself by the other woman's words. Finally, she blinked several times, broke off another piece of bread, and held it out.

    "Not cooking," she said. "Collecting." As if to demonstrate, she bent down and picked up a small, wayward turnip, wiping it off on the hem of her shirt before adding it to her sack.

    She listened to Samuel's story in grim silence. Talk of protectors made her grit her teeth again in sudden anger, eyes narrowing dangerously, but this time she kept her face from snarling at him. What help had the mage thought he could bring if he wasn't back yet? Sorra's fist tightened around her sickle. He ran or he was dead, just like everyone else. He hadn't protected anyone.

    Sorra gritted her teeth again. And then the anger was gone as quickly as it had come. Still as clear water, said the old priest's voice in her head. She took a deep breath, ignored the mage, and turned back to the goblin as calm practicality took over.

    "Do you know which way the pony went?" she asked.

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    Subconciously mimicking Sorra herself, Magdi pointed down the slope.
    "I was meant to be collecting All Saints' Day guests and bringing them to the Gilded Steeple: I work there sometimes. Blodwyn was the pack pony, but some sort of explosion went off and she dragged me through the gates when she paniced. Owe my life to her, the silly mare, but she's long gone now, I'd imagine - she's not slow."
    She hesitated.
    "Sorry about the cooking thing: I smelt the smoke from my hiding place - I thought it was more of a cooking smell than a ... than another sort of fire," she finished sadly "with everything that's happened I was beginning to think I'd imagined it - that's why I asked." she gave a half smile to try and appear somewhat sane.
    Last edited by Eleanor_Rigby; 2011-05-28 at 04:26 PM.
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    "Oh," Sorra said, meaning the cookfire and the pony both but not specifying. She broke a small bit of bread off the piece she held, ate it, and then offered the rest to Magdi a second time. Sorra did remember her, she thought. She'd learned a lullaby. Her mind clamped down on the thought before she could follow it to its inevitable conclusion, and instead she looked up toward the heights.

    "I think the smell is coming from up there," she said, pointing again at the Spire. "And if you think there's no chance of finding the pony, I want to know what's happening there."
    Last edited by PollyOliver; 2011-05-28 at 04:30 PM.

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    "Thank you, Sorra," Magdi murmured,"That's very kind of you!" before devouring the bread in one "sitting" where she stood. She wiped some crumbs from the corners of her mouth, guiltily. "Sorry about that. I hadn't eaten before I left to pick up the..." she trailed off again. "Chasing after Blodwyn really would be a wild goose chase, yes. She's bolted before and come back but she's hardly predictable. I'd like to know what's going on in the tower too."
    The more properly-alive people they recovered, the better. She pried a frozen parsnip from the ground, sheathed it in her belt like a dagger then took a large stride in the tower's direction. She paused and turned back to check on the desolate mage. "Are you going to be alright to come with us, Samuel?" she asked in as genial a tone as she could muster. The kid was probably ten times as strong as she was, but right now, he looked like he needed propping up.
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    "Yes...yes I'll be ok, still in a bit of shock over everything that's happened recently I think. I agree with Sorra, we should check for survivors in the city proper. Be on your guard though, for all we know, there could be a giant still lurking nearby, or scavenger type creatures about."

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    Eztra swallowed nervously at the mention of giants. Logically, she knew that it was very unlikely that a frost giant would jump out of the shadows at her, but after recent events, she had a feeling they would find a way if it suited them.

    "OK, so, I guess let's head toward the smoke," she said, looking to Sorra for confirmation. She waited for the farmer's daughter to take the lead, prepared to fall in behind her when she did.

    Spoiler
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    Since we've all pretty much agreed on a course of action, let's all head into the center of the city. If it matters, I recommend a marching order of Sorra, Eztra, Magdi, and Samuel. If anyone objects, say so in a spoiler like this one; otherwise, we're heading out!
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    Sorra nodded at the other girl, gripped her sickle more tightly, and started back up the road toward the Spire, placing her feet carefully to avoid making too much noise and keeping her eyes and ears open for danger.

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    If I need any rolls--spot, move silently, whatever--feel free to roll them for me, or tell me and I'll roll them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    "Yes...yes I'll be ok, still in a bit of shock over everything that's happened recently I think. I agree with Sorra, we should check for survivors in the city proper. Be on your guard though, for all we know, there could be a giant still lurking nearby, or scavenger type creatures about."
    With Sorra and Eztra already on their way, Magdi rubbed her hands together for a little extra burst of warmth and then clapped them together conclusively.
    "Try not to worry then, Sammy" she said, patting his arm lightly before moving off to follow her leaders, "we three ladies will keep you safe from scavengers, won't we, girls?" she finished, hoping that Sorra wouldn't find the term "girl" offensive and that Samuel had meant it about being casual. She looked about her as she walked. The giants would be pretty easy to spot if they were returned, but Magdi hadn't really given the possibility of scavengers much thought before: surely any other survivors would be just as grateful to find other living beings to consider attacking them? She held both arms out as she walked, partly to compensate for the particularly uneven ground and partly to keep her spirits up. Everything was less scary if you made a joke of it afterall. Plus, if the person behind her should trip, there'd be something to reach out for and grab or, in the event that there were raiders around, he could tag her as soon as he became aware of them and she'd know to scramble and try to get the girls to cover while she ran.
    Not that she was particularly keen on running with all this detritus around. Knowing Magdi's luck she'd probably have run into something and caused it to collapse around them. Better to go slowly wherever possible, she reminded herself, fixing her eyes on the tail section of Eztra's coat.
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