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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Pieter quickly put Mr Cat in Illiiya's lap to keep her from getting up in anger at the old man's words. She was not exactly the best person to defend her race's reputation.

    "Ask Dr Reifennen if it suits you, Talberg, but he won't tell you the truth, not with his life on the line. Long story short, Ribault and his men got their hands on a document that would have been... quite incriminating to the doctor. One of the first things the knight did when it entered the bandits' hideout was to get the document and destroy it. This seemed to be the only reason why it attacked the bandits in the first place."

    His mind was working hard to come up with lies or half-truths in case he was asked to elaborate. The whole unvarnished truth would likely tear apart a village that had already suffered too much.

    "As for why we didn't speak about the knight, we didn't know of its evil nature yet. Looks like we should have interrogated that wounded bandit before hanging him..."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-09-14 at 10:55 PM.
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    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Lothar

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    Taking the knight’s hand was like gripping onto a bronze statue – Lothar would have sworn that, with all his weight on that armoured arm, it didn’t move an inch. Staggering upright, he did his best to fight down the wave of fresh pain from his side.

    He could see more, standing up. He had been lying in the slew of bodies where they had tried to pen the knight in, the earth there churned to mud by the horse’s trampling hooves. Scattered across the thin grass of the clearing, other bodies lay more sparsely.

    No Illiiya, he realised. Though his thoughts were still clouded, he could picture just where she had fallen. Her body was gone, even her spilt blood washed away by the steady rain.

    Over by the barrow, Mils’ body lay with its back to the two of them. His long black coat was tattered and shredded in a way that was horribly familiar – Lothar remembered the rats of Delberz, and the ruins they had left of their victims. Towards the trees, a rain-bedraggled crow perched on the opened ribs of what was left of Sigurd, pecking at what the Nurglings had pulled from inside.



    1

    Pieter, Illiiya & Ithelus

    Now we’re getting somewhere,” said Ricard. Before he could continue, Aloysius leaned in.

    “Hang on, there – what d’ye mean ‘incriminating’?” he asked, forcefully. “That man was treating my daughter. If he’s in league with some murderous horseman, I want to know how.”

    Pieter noticed Esther watching him. The face behind the veil was perfectly still, but he could only imagine what was going through her head. Here was a stranger, with the power to take all she had left with a few words, and all she could do without incriminating herself was keep silence.
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    The Hour After Midnight
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb
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    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
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    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
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  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Lothar looked across the field, his expression grim. "You fight well, Sir Knight." His gaze trailed back to Mils, and then Sigurd.

    He looked back to the knight. "Are you done here? Can I return the bodies of these men to the village?" He gestured with his right hand, and then had to blink away a sudden spasm of dizziness.
    Games:

    [WFRP] Ill Met By Morrslieb, as the increasingly-scarred Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart, reprising Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Hour After Midnight as Lothar Fischer, former soldier.

    =

    January 19-25 2014 is GOBLIN WEEK!

    I did writings for it! Read them here!

    =

    sext: take my hand as the bombs fall. we will engrave our affectionate shadows on the walls in dush and ash, to last a thousand years. [my twitter]

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Looks like there was no avoiding it, then.

    "The doctor," explained Pieter, "knew he would have to leave Hohlesbruck in a hurry. He sought an ally, and somehow believed Lady Verloren might be one. He wrote her a letter in which he explained his plans regarding Alexa; perhaps hoping to appeal to Lady Verloren's envy or spite."

    He spoke with deliberate slowness, taking a perverse delight in watching Esther's growing tension from the corner of his eyes. She deserved to squirm a bit. He went on:

    "Now, that was foolish of him. If the letter had ever reached Lady Verloren, she'd no doubt have told someone about it..."

    Ha.

    "...but it was stolen by Rosa Feldt, who Ribault had seduced or bribed into keeping him informed. The bandits then took the letter from her and murdered her. By the time we put together the whole story, the original letter had been destroyed by the knight." His eyes flicked to Ithelus. "We do still have the blotting paper Dr Reifennen used on it, though."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-09-15 at 11:16 PM.
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  5. - Top - End - #335
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Lothar

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    The knight looked round at Lothar.

    "Will you carry them yourself?"

    Walking back to his horse, he put one foot in the stirrups and swung himself up into the saddle with a jangle of armour plates.

    "This is a sacred place. They made the decision to trespass here; their bodies are the Plague Father's due." Leaning forwards, he gathered up the reins. "If others return here, I will be waiting. That too is a promise."

    He kicked his heels against his horse's sides. Dregs of rainwater dripping from the skirts of its barding, the great destrier lumbered forward, bearing its rider away into the darkness of the trees.

    In the silent clearing, only the bedraggled crow was left behind. Pulling a thin strip of meat from its gruesome meal, it croaked defensively at Lothar and flew noisily away.



    1

    Pieter, Ithelus & Illiiya

    Esther seemed to freeze solid. Only when he had finished did Pieter think he saw her, very slowly, breathe out.

    "That thing again," said Faulebrand. He sounded dubious, but perhaps not as dubious as before. He glanced at Esther with narrow, resentful eyes. "Alright, Mr... Hagen, maybe I was a little... hasty, before. Let's have it here."
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    The Hour After Midnight
    Threads: I, II, III
    The Lord of Lost Heart
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb
    Threads: I


    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  6. - Top - End - #336
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Lothar grimaced. Some of it was pain. The rest was for the stupidity of his question. He muttered to himself. "Return them to the village."

    He half-heartedly kicked at a patch of blotchy grass. "Sure thing, Mister Soldier, I'll show them the respect I never showed any of the living. Just because you asked me." His self-recriminating muttering sounded hollow and damp in this place, and he fell silent.

    Lothar stared up at the grey sky. The shape of it was wrong somehow, flat. His face throbbed, deep tendrils of pain into his head - so much that he felt ill. He carefully, slowly raised his left hand to the side of his head.
    Games:

    [WFRP] Ill Met By Morrslieb, as the increasingly-scarred Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart, reprising Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Hour After Midnight as Lothar Fischer, former soldier.

    =

    January 19-25 2014 is GOBLIN WEEK!

    I did writings for it! Read them here!

    =

    sext: take my hand as the bombs fall. we will engrave our affectionate shadows on the walls in dush and ash, to last a thousand years. [my twitter]

  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Ithelus looked around before reaching into a deep pocket in his coat and pulling out the blotting paper. It had not fared well in the weather, the edges were warped with damp and the ink smudged in places.

    'Here it is'
    The elf says.
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  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Lothar

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    The skin of his left cheek was sticky under his fingertips, foul with a half-clotted crust of dried blood. The marks of the Nurgling's teeth stung even through the dull veil of fatigue - his fingers brushed the injured eye, and he pulled them away in a sudden jet of pain.

    He could feel the eyelid was torn, but he could see no light coming through it. Closing his right eye, all he could make out through his left was a murky soup of red.



    1

    Pieter, Ithelus & Illiiya

    Esther made to examine the blotting paper first, but Ithelus had deliberately held it out in the other direction; Aloysius took it in his chubby fingers, squinting hard at its soggy surface. Pieter couldn't help but feel a distant spark of amusement as he saw how the miller moved his lips as he tried to read.

    Frowning in puzzlement, Aloysius sat back. "This don't mean much to me," he said, "all blurred and backwards. Can you make sense of it?" He handed it over to Ricard.

    The young man looked down at the paper in silence for some time. Illiiya saw him glance up at Esther halfway through reading it; there was an unsettled, uncertain expression on his face.

    "Some of it is legible. I see here, 'the Faulebrand girl'... 'Alexa'...". He paused. "'I have taken up lodgings with the man Flycher...'"

    He set it down. "Did you know about this?"

    "No," said Esther. She had held such a silence that now she spoke with an unfortunate speed, tripping over the end of Ricard's question. "No, nothing."

    Ricard said nothing. Still looking troubled, he looked back to the paper.

    "It's hardly enough to condemn a man," he said. The dark looks on the faces of the peasants indicated that perhaps they were not concerned with such rigorous standards of evidence. "Look, how many people did you say were ill?"

    "Eight," said volunteered Ellie, a little too eagerly for Pieter's liking.

    "Eight, right. Look, I'm not saying I like the man... but if he's innocent, does anyone want to be the one who drummed the doctor out of town?"

    He looked around.

    "He's not going anywhere in that cellar. In the morning, we can ask him about the knight. Make sure we don't do anything hasty. Right?"
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    The Hour After Midnight
    Threads: I, II, III
    The Lord of Lost Heart
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb
    Threads: I


    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  9. - Top - End - #339
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    "Yes, that'll be enough for now," Pieter agreed. "He's hardly the biggest threat at the moment. Whatever harm he could or would cause, he's caused already." He rose and found that his legs could barely support him. "I'll need a nap before watch duty or I'll doze off. Somebody wake me up in about two hours, or earlier if anything comes up; I'm in room IV. Is there something else?"

    He was mostly addressing Talberg. Although he disliked the pistolier, he did acknowledge that he was probably a better leader, for the time being, than Esther or Mr Faulebrand - more trustworthy than the former and less emotional and obstinate than the latter. Plus, Talberg knew exactly how dangerous the knight was.


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    No idea if Lothar's side of the story allows for a short time-skip in the foreseeable future. I'd hate to go to bed and then have to wait for many real-life days before the stories are in sync again.
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-09-18 at 06:40 PM.
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    Campus Vigilantes 3 - The Root of All Evil (nWoD)

    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    Illiiya watched Ester's reactions the entire time, all but CONVINCED of the woman's guilt. She hadn't the energy for another of her rants, justified or now. She felt like she was worn thin and tearing, with little left to do but go through the motions now. Lothar was gone. Sigurd was gone. Her eyes flicked to Pieter and Ithelus. They were all she had left, and she would protect them no matter the cost...

    But for now, Pieter's idea of rest seemed a good one.
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    'It's settled then, we talk to the Doctor tomorrow and see what he says.' Ithelus shoots a glance at Ester, 'and then we'll have the truth of the letter as well. Safe to say before it got wet it was enough for the Lord to place the Doctor under guard.'
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Lothar stumbled, tripping over something half-buried and mossy. He couldn't help running his fingers along the edges of the wound, flinching at the pain and returning again and again. He had done the same with the blackpowder scars on his cheek, and that time his tooth had wobbled as a child.

    He'd also seen others do it, veterans. Running fingers along the stump of what had been their fingers or their hand, numbly probing at the wound that had once been their stomach.

    The wounded soldier stumbled about the field for a time, thoughts a-jumbled, his mind a chaotic mess of grey and red and pain-riddled fatigue.
    Games:

    [WFRP] Ill Met By Morrslieb, as the increasingly-scarred Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart, reprising Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Hour After Midnight as Lothar Fischer, former soldier.

    =

    January 19-25 2014 is GOBLIN WEEK!

    I did writings for it! Read them here!

    =

    sext: take my hand as the bombs fall. we will engrave our affectionate shadows on the walls in dush and ash, to last a thousand years. [my twitter]

  13. - Top - End - #343
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Lothar

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    The battlefield gave no shelter to Lothar. The knight did not return, the crows did not stop their croaking - stumbling through a fog of exhaustion and pain, at times Lothar thought he could hear the rolling thunder of hooves, smell the stink of frightened horses and beastman blood. The charred skeleton of the barrow tree presided over it all like a gallows, stark and black against the grey clouds.

    There was a gnawing hunger in his belly, duller than the pain but more persistent. The sun was sinking in the west, and with dusk would come the cold, worse than before. Looking around, he saw two choices: the tangled tree-line, or the shadowy shelter of the barrow.



    1

    Pieter, Ithelus & Illiiya

    Accepting the plan grudgingly at best, the peasants began to disperse. Leopold followed his father out, the two seeming to have set aside their differences for now. Ricard lingered a while longer before following them out into the gathering night. By the expression on his face, he seemed deep in thought.

    Worn out by the day's dreadful events, the three survivors dragged themselves into their beds.

    Illiiya

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    Illiiya slept, and with sleep came dreams.

    The old man was working with a spade, turning over a patch of soil in the village square. The ground squelched where the head of the shovel dug into it, thick and wet like clay.

    The village was the familiar nightmare of nights before, the ruins of the villagers' cottages sprouting great twisting trees from their broken roofs. Dry bracken had twisted around fallen doorways, empty windows choked with brambles. Still the old man worked with his spade like a gardener tending a rose-garden, whistling as he worked. The tune had a dirge-like quality, but he whistled it merrily.

    "I will burn everything you touch," he said. His voice was an eerie facsimile of Illiiya's own. "I will slay any beast you send for me." Looking over his shoulder, he leaned on his spade. "How'd that work out for you, lass?"

    There was a whirring rustle of feathers as a pair of crows settled on the broken remnants of the nearest rooftop. Turning back to his work, the old man stooped to dig up another shovelful of mud. Feeling a rush of anger, she stepped towards him - seeming to hear her, he straightened up, far taller than before. Turning to face her, the sight of his face stopped her in her tracks - suddenly, she was facing down the knight, his impassive visor meeting her stare for stare.

    The ancient sword sang free of its scabbard, and Illiiya stumbled back, stopping when she felt rough stones against her back. Looking round, she found herself in the cramped confines of the roadside shrine, the village gone. Rain hissed down in sheets of falling water, and far away thunder rumbled in the clouds.

    The knight was a black outline framed in the doorway, rain breaking from his armour in a fine mist of spray. Turning away from her, he sheathed the sword again, picking up the same battered old spade. Armour clanking as he worked, he began shifting shovelfuls of mud, throwing them down this time into two open holes in the earth.

    Advancing slowly to the very threshold of the shrine, Illiiya craned her head to see. The holes were long and rectangular, half-full of muddy, yellow water. Lying motionless in one, she saw the white, motionless face of Sigurd, staring lifelessly up at the sky.

    The knight had changed back. He was the wrinkled old man again, and with one bony hand he was leading a pale figure out of the trees. Following like a child, Lothar was clambering obediently down into the open grave.

    The pattering earth continued to fall, obscuring Lothar's face and form. The trees had crowded in all around, pushing apart the stones of the shrine and blocking out the sky: watching from a tightening cage of branches, Illiiya watched worm-like roots push down into the disturbed soil of the grave...

    She woke with a start. In her sleep, she had managed to wind her sheets around her in a tight, constricting cocoon. Her nail-less fingers twinged as she loosened them - and it was then that she heard the cries.


    Ithelus
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    His exhaustion washing over him, Ithelus fell gratefully into bed. His body felt weak and flushed, dampening the sheets with sweat. Regardless, he soon fell deep into feverish, dream-filled sleep.

    The houses of Delberz rose up around him, tall and black against a starry, smoke-stained sky. Over the silhouetted skyline, he could see the orange glow of the fires, backlighting the scaffold-shrouded spike of the belltower. Snow crunched underfoot, wet and cold.

    The rats were loose. The house in front of him was a leaning derelict, its peeling door hanging ajar: seeking shelter, he pushed it open and stepped inside, closing it quickly behind him. Stepping back into the darkness, he almost fell backwards over some unseen clutter.

    Lighting a match, he looked around. Something like a cockroach scuttled out of the sudden light, hiding itself away - it had many places to hide. The floorboards had buckled and broken, twisted trees pushing up out of the earth beneath. They had pierced the upper storeys like spears; pieces of planks and broken tiles lay in fallen halos around their concertinaed roots.

    The stairs had fallen in. Taking a grip on a rough-skinned branch, Ithelus began to scale the largest of the trees, clambering up to where its leafless branches spread through the torn roof.

    The orange glow was not fire. It was a sickly dawn, spreading like a yellow bruise over the eastern sky. Brownish clouds caught the light along their low bellies, blazing like fire.

    The scene they lit had changed. The city had softened and crumbled, its buildings falling back into the earth along the low lines of their foundations. A fuzz of vegetation pushed up through its remains, crooked saplings growing among the tumbled stones. The infant forest seemed to rise and grow before his eyes, choking the icy river with its tangling roots.

    There was a rumbling like distant thunder as the remains of the cathedral tower collapsed, folding inwards like a child's tower of cards. Brown and yellow creepers were crawling up over its broken windows, twining themselves around the weathered stones. It was as if a thousand years had passed in a day, the clean masonry of von Kemperbad's cathedral as cracked and ancient as the stones of Hohlesbruck's shrine.

    With a crackle like perished leather, something moved in the fork of two branches beside him. Looking round, Ithelus stared straight at the stringy mass of rat-gnawed skin and bone he knew was waiting.

    "It was always going to come this," said Slaughter, in a voice like dry leaves. "In the end, everything falls apart."

    The sun was heaving itself above the horizon now, red and bloated like over-ripe fruit. Beyond the boundaries of the crumbled city, the forest stretched on to the horizon: the light of the sunrise painted its canopy the colour of dried blood. A warm wind sighed through the branches, and the corpse-thing stirred with a drizzle of melted snow. It had hair like Illiiya's, dry and matted, cascading down from the back of its flensed skull. The hoarse whisper of its voice was like hers, too.

    "What were you hoping would happen?"

    White rot was spreading across the trunk of the tree, blotching its trunk in leprous patches. The bough on which Ithelus was sitting gave a dry crack and fell.

    With a gut-wrenching lurch, Ithelus sat bolt upright in bed. The sheets were soaked through with his own sweat, clinging clammily to his limbs; his face was flushed and burning with fever-heat.

    The back of his throat felt as if it had been coated in glue and left to set. Shifting his position, he winced - there was an uncharacteristic pain beneath his arms, the skin of his armpits feeling chafed and sore. As he moved his legs, he noticed the same chafing pain between his thighs.


    Pieter woke slowly. No-one had woken him for his watch, but his window still too dark to be anywhere near dawn. Looking blearily around, he tried to see if there was anything that had woken him - after last night, he could be forgiven for being paranoid.

    From the direction of the lower floor, he thought he could just make out a sound. It was muffled and faint, coming in fitful bursts - but it sounded like a man calling for help.
    Last edited by LCP; 2012-09-22 at 09:12 PM.
    Spoiler: My Games
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    The Hour After Midnight
    Threads: I, II, III
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Threads: I, II
    Ill Met By Morrslieb
    Threads: I


    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  14. - Top - End - #344
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Drawn from a nightmare where dozens of rats shed their skins, revealing tiny laughing daemons underneath, Pieter woke up to a reality that was little more pleasant. A village was struck by disease, Lothar and the local lord were dead, a mad knight was still riding about with a magic sword in hand, and a man was calling for help.

    Must be Mr Hofstadter, delirious again, the initiate thought at first. Part of him was tempted to ignore it and go back to whatever rest he could get between the nightmares. But could he really take that chance? The last time Mr Hofstadter had gotten delirious, daemons had invaded the place.

    A chill ran down Pieter's spine at the thought.

    He sat up quickly and noticed that he had not even bothered to take off his boots in his weariness. Grabbing his shortsword and dagger, he hurried downstairs. Perhaps it was nothing. Perhaps he did not need to wake the Elves. Perhaps he would go back to sleep in a minute.

    After that much horror, surely he was overdue for a reprieve, wasn't he? What with the world being a just place where good always triumphed and heroism was always rewarded...
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    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  15. - Top - End - #345
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    Illiiya thrashed wildly free of her sheets, almost falling from her bed before she took note of where she was. Breathing heavily, she looked to the window of her small room, half-expecting to find the tree looming there, mocking her. Instead she saw the closed shutters that she had bolted shut before she slept.

    You can't take him from me again... She thought, desperately clinging to her resolve, All you can do now is gloat like a child who must make certain it is known that he's won for the victory to matter. Well you've not won yet.

    Her head perked as the cries reached her ears, and without much thought she climbed from her bed, stopping only long enough to grab her short blade from her sword belt from the bed's edge as she hustled out to the hall barefoot and clad only in her nightgown. If the daemons were here again, there was little more she could prepare that would affect her chances against them.
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  16. - Top - End - #346
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    Ithelus wakes with a start, still convinced that he was falling. The dream taunted him as he probed the tender area under his armpits. Slaughter is not Illiiya. Slaughter can't be Illiiya He thinks as the word still rang around his head.

    'What were you hoping would happen?'

    'I was hoping you'd leave us be.'


    Ithelus tries to slow his breathing as he drags himself out of the bed. With a curse he grabs his weapons and stumbles downstairs weakly, hoping that the daemons had not returned.
    Last edited by Exeson; 2012-09-28 at 08:59 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #347
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    He stopped, and for a while stood staring down at the corpse of Mils Verloren. Lothar was a simple man, a fisherman's son, but he could understand the concept of 'the last of a house', and knew that Hohlesbruck was now doomed to be eaten by the forest.

    If not in this generation, then the next. Faulebrand would try to use the village to build his own empire, make himself into a little lordling, a petty nob, sure, and he may even stave off the end for a few scant years. But merchants were not the lords of men, not the order of the Empire. Without the weight of tradition as a bulwark against the forest, the changelings would come sweeping in. Eventually there would be a clearing here, and oddly-coloured patches of grass would be rectangular and square in the places where his friends lived.

    Lothar pulled at his beard, looking down at the body of Mils Verloren, and wished he could take his body back to his people. He chewed his lip. He clutched his stomach and sighed and turned away.

    He wanted to go home. He wanted the salt air in his beard and to hug his mother and to eat a fish that his father caught.

    For now, he made his way - stumbling and pain-wracked - toward the tree-line and the village.
    Games:

    [WFRP] Ill Met By Morrslieb, as the increasingly-scarred Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart, reprising Lothar Fischer.

    [WFRP] The Hour After Midnight as Lothar Fischer, former soldier.

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  18. - Top - End - #348
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    Pieter & The Elves

    Pieter had made it a few steps down the stairs when he heard the elves' door open behind him. It seemed he wasn't the only one sleeping lightly since last night.

    Downstairs, the noise had died down a little. Following the muffled sounds, Pieter found his way to the vacant bar, lifting the gate and letting himself through to the back of the inn. The villagers had cleared and cleaned the kitchen of the mess it had been left in: it looked sparse now, too neat and squared-away to be in use. The only trace of their battle was the broken window, and the dark stain where the Plaguebearer had fallen. By the looks of things, the mark had resisted considerable attempts to erase it; if you stood too close, you could still catch a faint whiff of putrescence on the air.

    Over on the right, a door had fallen open, and a dark figure had fallen out. There was little light to see by; Pieter had to take a moment to convince himself it was Wulli, as the figure shakily tried and failed to rise. Propping himself against a skewed chair, the innkeeper was giving rise to the most unpleasant retching sounds.

    There was a spatter of something dark on the floor beneath Wulli's head, a string of some thick liquid drooling from his mouth. Taking one step closer, Pieter smelt the sickly smell of stale sweat rising from the innkeeper like a solid fog.


    1

    Lothar

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    The trees rustled as Lothar stumbled into their embrace. Leaves whispered and branches creaked, the cloudy night running its windy fingers through the forest. It sounded like breaking waves, or wildly running feet.

    The barrow receded into darkness, a black curtain of twigs closing up behind him. The shadows of the Drakwald were absolute, drowning the soldier in a striped ocean of blackness. Turning in the direction his weary mind thought was south, he tried to set a stride - within three steps, he had stumbled over a twisting root, catching himself against the rough-skinned trunk of an old oak.

    Feeling his way like a blind man, Lothar walked senselessly on.

    OOC:
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    This is something of a challenge for Lothar: the Drakwald is not the easiest thing to navigate in daylight, let alone by a severely wounded man in the middle of the night.

    Can I get an Outdoor Survival check, please? It's a Basic skill, so Lothar can take it at half Int.
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    The Hour After Midnight
    Threads: I, II, III
    The Lord of Lost Heart
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb
    Threads: I


    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  19. - Top - End - #349
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Ithelus hesitates for just a moment. 'Let me, I'm already sick' he says and moves past Pieter towards to wretched man. The smell of stale sweat mingling with his own.

    'Wuli, can you hear me' as he crouches next to the man, weapons still in hand.
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  20. - Top - End - #350
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    In spite of Ithelus's warning, Pieter approached the sick man to take a closer look at whatever he was vomitting.

    Is that....... blood?

    "Ith, put that weapon away, he's not going to jump at you." Then, addressing the innkeeper: "No need to speak. Nod if you can hear us."
    Games
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    Campus Vigilantes 3 - The Root of All Evil (nWoD)

    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  21. - Top - End - #351
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    He's not much longer to live.

    Her thoughts were based on no real training in the healing arts, but on what she knew of chaos itself. The fetid god released none from his clutches if he could help it, and their futile attempts at resisting him had failed. The tree had burned, but had it changed anything? She did not know.

    More horrifying to her were Ithelus' words. If this was to be his eventual fate as well, she did not know if she could bear to see it. First Lothar and now him? She felt her worry rising as she watched Wulli cough and vomit as he struggled for what might be his last breaths. Closing her eyes to shield herself from the sight... she prayed.

    Goddess.... if you can hear me... I will give all of my blood to end this. I do not know if it is within your power, but if so... please. Take mercy on them. On Ithelus, and Pieter... on the humans here. The did nothing to deserve this fate. Take the blood of the one who has spilled so much.
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  22. - Top - End - #352
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    Pieter & The Elves

    Wulli seemed to try to nod, but another convulsion spasmed through his stomach. Without a light, Pieter could hardly make out Wulli's face, let alone what he was bringing up. In the thin shades of moonlight that diffused through the windows, everything was shades of black.

    Crouching closer to the sick man, Ithelus sniffed. It smelt like blood.
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    The Hour After Midnight
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    The Lord of Lost Heart
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb
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    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
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    Chapter III
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  23. - Top - End - #353
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    Still remaining cautious Ithelus inches closer. 'Illiiya, can you get a candle?' he says softly. 'Pieter, be careful, we don't know what the sickness has done to him or who has a fist around his soul now.'

    He turns back to the poor innkeep, 'What do you want us to do? do you need help?'
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  24. - Top - End - #354
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Maybe I should go check on Mrs Hofstadter, thought Pieter.

    Or maybe that was just an excuse to spare himself the sight of the dying man. Steeling himself, he watched and waited. Ithelus was right; this may be something more sinister than any ordinary disease. Since Delberz, he could not afford to be too skeptical.
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    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  25. - Top - End - #355
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Wulli could barely speak, what sounds he could make coming between bouts of retching. An answer to Ithelus' question was not going to be prompt.

    "Water," Pieter thought he made out. "Water..."
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    Chapter I
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  26. - Top - End - #356
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    "...I'll be right back, Mr Hofstadter," breathed Pieter. "Ith, can you stay here? Don't miss a word he says."

    He went in search of the barrel of water and a tankard.
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    GMing:
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    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Ithelus nods, 'We're getting you water, just wait.' The elf edges a little closer again, still wary of what might be happening to the man. 'Illiiya.... The candle.'
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  28. - Top - End - #358
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    Ithelus, Pieter & Illiiya

    As Pieter went in search of water, Illiiya brought Ithelus his candle. Lighting the wick, Ithelus held it up to the sick man. Still heaving, Wulli seemed to flinch from the light.

    The man looked like a corpse. His skin was mottled with little dark spots, like the world's worst bruise: under his arms were great black buboes, so swollen that every movement of his arms seemed to bring him pain. All the colour had left his face, and his nose and eyes were crusted with dried mucus. His stomach convulsed, and he vomited again. Blood. It was definitely blood.

    Pieter returned with the water, and Wulli seized it. For a moment, it sounded like the man was trying to drown himself - then, with a gasp, he drew breath. When he threw up again, it seemed at least as if blood was a smaller part of what was coming up... or then again, perhaps it was the same amount, just diluted.

    The innkeeper tried to stand, but his limbs would not support him. Trembling legs giving out, he sprawled onto the floor.


    1

    Lothar

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    Lothar wandered in darkness, the forest pressing down like earth on a coffin-lid. Lothar was a Nordland boy, born of a country where the smell of the wind was all the sense of direction one needed; in the black heart of the Drakwald, his instincts were worse than useless.

    The crows were following him. Not all of them - there was food enough in the clearing for a hundred - but a lone pair, sensing a banquet all of their own. They hopped from tree to tree, feathers whirring in the branches as they moved, black against blackness. Occasionally Lothar would catch one clear in his sightline, and the creature would croak mockingly back.

    The knight was out there, somewhere in these twisted woods. He had spared Lothar's life; if he just gave in and laid down here, might he save it too?

    The part of Lothar's brain that was still thinking clearly - still thinking at all - pushed the treacherous speculation down. He remembered Wulli's words, from the night after a happy, golden-haired Faulebrand girl had celebrated her engagement: you can't expect no pity from a heartless man.

    Through a bank of thorns that Lothar hadn't even seen in the darkness, and down, suddenly down. The muddy slope dropped away in a skidding slide of leaves and loose stones. Groaning, Lothar picked himself up: up ahead, the crows settled eagerly in the crown of a stooped tree. Perhaps they were hoping he had broken his leg; it almost felt like he had.

    He had come to a halt in a shallow dell. There was a break in the canopy here, enough for him to see his own feet again: they squelched in thick mud. In the centre of the hollow was a broad pool of water, black in the faint moonlight. Sickly undergrowth choked its banks, growing thick and tall out of the shadow of the trees.

    Catching his breath, Lothar put out a hand and rested against a stone. His thumb felt a groove, and he looked down, waiting until his eyes could focus enough to see any detail in the darkness. There, just visible in the shadows, was an angular symbol carved into the mossy rock. Beast-sign.

    OOC: If Lothar wants to press on, I'll require another test, same as the last.
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    The Hour After Midnight
    Threads: I, II, III
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Threads: I, II
    Ill Met By Morrslieb
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    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  29. - Top - End - #359
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    Ithelus looks at his companions, dumbfounded as what to do next. 'Do we get him back to his bed?'
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  30. - Top - End - #360
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    "If we do, I fear he'll just drag himself out again," murmured Pieter, "but we certainly can't leave him here. I'm taking his feet, you grab the other end. Illiiya, can you fill another tankard and bring it to his room, in case he's thirsty again?"

    He tried not to show it, but he was starting to fill with discouragement. Too many things to do, too many people dead or dying, unhelpful locals. As soon as a problem was solved, another came up. Even if things went their way from now on, Pieter knew he would always remember Hohlesbruck as a failure.

    Mr Waite told us the doctor had poisoned Alexa. Why didn't we do anything sooner, proof or no proof? Everyone who dies from eating the pies will be our fault. If only that arrogant wizard had warned us earlier instead of playing his little games... And here I am, trying to shift the blame on a dead man.
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-10-08 at 01:03 PM.
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    GMing:
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    Playing:
    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer
    They All Uprose (DH) as Solomon Tark, interplanetary bounty hunter


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriaque Lamar -- Cracked.com
    Well, that's it. The written word has peaked. Time to shut down this whole "literature" thing. Please burn down your local library on the way out the door.

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