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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Ithelus nodded, sheathing his weapons he moved to help the priest. Once Illiiya is out of the room the elf lowers his voice.

    'Pieter I don't like this. I don't like this at all, but we can't leave. The knight is still out there and it seems the only safe place to be is in this village. What do we do?'
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  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Is the knight being out there the only thing that keeps you from abandoning these people? Pieter bit back with dawning irritation. But he had no right to say it. Nobody should be shamed into being a hero. Or a fool. Yet I do it to myself all the time, he thought cynically.

    "Whatever you do is up to you, Ithelus," he sighed, lifting the innkeeper's feet. "With Lothar and Mr Waite gone, it's just Illiiya, you and me. And I, for one, am staying here to finish whatever it is we began. You'll follow Illiiya anywhere... unless it's the other way around... so you really should be asking her."

    He remembered how the thief had been ready to just walk away and never look back, in Delberz, right after the disastrous defeat of the rebels. Were it not for Illiiya's determination to stop Morsleek, Ithelus would likely have gone his own way, and damn the thousands who would have died - or worse.

    Please, Illiiya, don't quit this time and take Ith with you... I can't do this on my own. I need you both.

    "We'll see if the morning brings any news, good or bad. There's not much we can do until then."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-10-08 at 06:34 PM.
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    Ill Met By Morrslieb (WFRP) as Pieter, Ranald-worshipping revolutionary
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, renegade pyromancer


    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.

  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    Illiiya was not gone long before returning with the water she was asked for. Her face was clearly one of worry and loss.

    This will do little but comfort him in his last hours. She said bluntly, emotion having faded out of her voice to leave only a bleak, jaded tone, We can't fight sickness. The festering lord always wins in the end.

    She glances to Ithelus as she spoke, the worry in her voice evident as she handed the water-basin to Pieter and took Ithelus' hand.

    How are you feeling, Ith? She asked him softly.

    You can't leave me too...
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  4. - Top - End - #364
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Ithelus seems almost taken aback, 'You want to stay here? After all that's happened you want to help these.. these humans?'

    The elf turns to Illiiya, 'I feel... terrible actually. My armpits are sore' he casts a glance to the horrible state of the innkeeper's underarms, 'But, I think I might be ok'

    Why is it that I'm only brave when she is involved?
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  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Lothar ran his finger over the grooves again, cursing softly under his breath. He had no talent for this. His little brother did - or at least he did when Lothar left the salt-soaked shores, a thousand years ago when Magnus was emperor.

    The soldier drummed his fingers against the stone, suddenly furious. Even Hagan, wind-shaken hair and all, would be useless out here. This place stank of death and loam and horned things. This was Taal's place, or it was before the Fat God came, squamous and reeking. Lothar and his family were children of Manaan, and Manaan had no place here. Even the river was too small, too fresh, no tang of brine or sting of salt for the Trident.

    There was a clink, of metal against stone.

    Lothar stopped cursing his fate and felt with his fingers. The copper ring he wore, had worn for years, bearing the mark of the Comet. Sigmar. These were not the Unberogen forests, but they were of the Empire. Sigmar had brought these lands together, and then was crowned by the Wolf God. Yes.

    Lothar prayed to his gods, then, and hoped that they still had power in this forest.
    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!

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    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]

  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Lothar

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    Lothar staggered back to his feet, and the waiting crows set up a mocking chorus. In the dark water, thread-thin larvae wriggled away from the fall of the soldier's shadow in the moonlight.

    A ragged tear was opening, however briefly in the clouds. Mannslieb was riding high tonight, a white half-circle in the night sky. Its darker twin trailed somewhere behind, nothing but a green stain of light filtering through the clouds.

    In the moonlight, he could see the lay of the trees. There was a shallow slope leading up out of the dell on the other side of the water, free of thorns and bracken. It seemed as good a direction as any.

    Rubbing his ring for luck, Lothar stumbled on.

    ~

    A broken elm stood at the top of the ridge, its roots twisting through a tangle of old grey stones. A deep wound had been carved in its bark at head-height, the crude shape of a ram's skull savagely hacked down to the quick. By the growth of lichen the moonlight picked out, it had been some time since the mark had been re-cut.

    The clouds were closing up again, stealing the precious light. Scanning left and right, Lothar saw a way downhill. He knew if he was to find his way back to the village, he had to find the river, and the river would be downhill. That made sense, didn't it?

    The hillside was crowded with stunted trees, many of them dead. Stumbling between their exposed roots, he tried to avoid tripping over the mossy boulders that fouled his footing - the forest floor was a mess of stones and broken earth, muddy ravines descending between the trees.

    Something brittle rolled away under his boot, and suddenly he was falling, skidding down on his back into a deeper pit than he had expected. Picking himself up, he leapt back like a startled hare as he found himself staring at the tip of a rusted spear. His hand flew to his sword, ready to strike.

    The spear didn't move. Its wielder didn't move either - crumpled with its back against the muddy bank of earth, it smelt of mould and rot. Stepping cautiously closer, Lothar reached out with his sword to give it a careful prod.

    Unbalanced from where it had laid to brace its back, the corpse toppled slowly sideways, the spear still locked in its bony hands. It was a creature no larger than a child, with cloven hooves and little nubs of horns sprouting from its temples; one of the un-men that followed the larger beasts. He'd seen its like in the attack on the Delberz road.

    The ubiquitous crows had been at its eyes and face, reducing its head to a skeletal ruin. Its skin stank like rotted leather, black beetles crawling through round holes in the corpse's desiccated hide. There was a deep wound in the side its shrunken belly, the mark of a lance - a deserter from the barrow battle, then, surviving long enough to crawl up here to die. Looking round at the crowding trees, Lothar wondered with creeping apprehension how many of its brothers might have survived unwounded.

    The wind whined, and the clouds swallowed the moonlight for good. Scrambling up and over the Ungor's resting place, Lothar blundered on down the slope, stones skittering away from under his boots. In the darkness behind him, he heard a receding chorus of croaks - the crows had found the body too. At least that might stop them from following him for a while.



    ~

    The wound in Lothar's side was burning like a brand every time he moved. His throat was parched, and the pangs of his empty stomach joined the aching of his legs in a kind of light-headed haze.

    He didn't know how long he'd been walking, nor where he was. He only knew he couldn't see, and he had to keep moving. If he didn't keep moving, the crows would catch up. Disjointed fragments of Sigurd's song from the stunt at the manor were rolling persistently around the inside of his head, dogging his thought.

    Morr took his soul, but left the rest,
    And ravens did what crows do best...


    "What're you running from?"

    Lothar looked up. Seeing things. Great.

    "You know running's no good," said Raffy, fingering that bloody blunderbuss. "Stand up and fight."

    Gods, he had fallen down. The world looked pretty much the same from any angle in this darkness; a scraped knee or a grazed palm seemed like one more twinge in a world of pain. He pushed himself staggering back to his feet, and mumbled something obscene at the henna-haired shade. Maybe it would be alright just to lie down for a while.

    "You're going to let them get away with this? You know Ith's itching to bolt. They need you."

    Lothar turned away, feeling his way through the trees.

    "You think this thing's too strong to fight? Jagrun was stronger than me."

    You tell yourself a story, and cast yourself as the hero.

    The hallucination took on Ilsa's face. Blood trickled slowly from the wound the Skaven had made in her midriff.

    "Kemperbad was stronger than me."

    You deny to yourself that all stories have endings.

    The shade slid between darkened trunks, effortlessly swinging back into Lothar's field of view. Of course it would.

    "This is bad business. Something needs doing about it." Marius von Brucker, the reflections of fires glinting in his immaculately-polished armour. "You'll forgive my saying so, but you look like a likely bunch."

    They died as all men die, in fear and in pain, soon forgotten and left to rot.

    "Come, m'sieur Fischer. What do you owe these people?"

    Ribault's face crouched down in front of his, looming large and pale through the darkness.

    "Some peasants are dead," he said, the words seeming to echo as they faded away. The vision rippled and distorted, taking on hints of rusted armour and a faceless visor, but the Breton's voice remained. "Hanging me is not going to bring them back..."

    With a last whisper, the ghosts were gone. Feeling the rough bark of a tree-trunk under his trunk, Lothar stopped to catch his breath.

    His legs hardly answered his head any more. Somewhere away through the trees, he thought he could hear running water. There was something familiar about this place, about the rocky gullies and mossy boulders over which he tripped and stumbled... but it was not the village.

    He was lost, and he couldn't walk any more.

    OOC:
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    OOC: Two more rolls, and we're done with the dice. An Intelligence test to recognise why this place looks familiar, and if that fails a third basic Survival check.

    Midnight has passed, so your fortune points have refreshed.
    Last edited by LCP; 2012-10-12 at 10:59 AM.
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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
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    Threads: I, II, III


    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    Want? She said, as if uncertain of the word's meaning, Ith, we could leave here and not be free. That creature could easily find us on the roads... or chaos could simply worm it's way into my dreams every night as I sleep until I am mad.

    She looked exhausted, frayed and mournful, as if she might fall to the ground and break apart into sobs at any moment... though the tears did not come. Instead, she looked to the puddle of blood and sick upon the floor and sighed.

    I... I just do not know what to do anymore, Ith. Everyone is gone but Pieter, and us. We still have nothing but guesses as to who is behind it, and you are sick. I... I barely have it in me to keep standing, let alone move on.

    Is it that... or are you waiting to join him?

    She closed her eyes, the first few tears finally beginning to creep to the surface and run down her scarred cheek.

    I don't think we're going to make it, Ith... She admitted in a soft voice, almost breaking, You should have left me in Gavinsburough.
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  8. - Top - End - #368
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Lothar

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    The stony walls of the gully provided something like shelter. Lothar's body folded into an earthy hollow at the base of the highest overhang. The pain, the hunger, the thirst: all of it was overridden by sheer exhaustion. He closed his eyes, and it felt like home.

    ~

    The waves were crashing against the base of the cliffs. The salt wind ruffled his hair, cold and sharp with the smell of the sea. Down below, the lights of Hargensdorf glimmered dim and ruddy in the twilight of early morning.

    He was standing at the top of the western cliffs, in the old garden of Morr. The first sliver of the sun was rising in the east, picking out a skein of gannets across the bay in brilliant white. Here by the ruins of the old chapel, he was still in shadow. He was almost alone; half-submerged in an open pit, an old gravedigger was working with a shovel. He looked old enough to be Lothar's grandfather, with a pure white beard and a face made out of kindly wrinkles. Straightening up, he wiped the sweat from his forehead and caught sight of Lothar with a smile.

    “Hard work, ain't it?” he said. Clambering up out of the hole, he dusted the soil from his hands. “No way to spend a beautiful morning. I imagine the boys'll be filling up the Dolphin in an hour or two.”

    Lothar's eyes turned right to the path down the hillside. Where the old sheep-track should have wound down around the rocks and into the town, it instead vanished into the dense, tangled darkness of a forest, tall-grown and old as sin. All the high moor where the sheep had grazed was gone, swallowed up by the silent trees: here on the clifftop, Lothar and the old man were in the centre of a hundred-yard semicircle of grass and heather, cut off from the town below.

    “'Course, not so many of 'em now,” said the old man with a note of melancholy, as if the presence of the dark woods was to be expected. “Not since the war.”
    Spoiler: My Games
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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 - #369
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Pieter was not sure what Illiiya meant by Gavinsborough; the Elves had never told him much about their past. Still, he could hear the growing despair in Illiiya's heart, and found it hard not to give in too.


    Despair's contagious. Must be why despair and disease are shared by the same god.

    We can't let It win.



    "Illiiya. I forbid you to say such things," said Pieter with as much firmness as he could muster. "So, what if we're losing? What do we do then? Sit on our asses and wait to die? Join the enemy so we end up on the winning side? Is that what you did when you thought Lothar dead, back in the cathedral? Because I seem to remember you went up the stairs, challenged Morsleek to single combat, and won. Whatever happened to that Elf? If she's still around somewhere, we need her more than ever."

    He addressed both of the Elves: "Walk away or make a stand, it's your choice, I can't force you. But I beg you, keep your despair to yourselves; there's enough of it in Hohlesbruck without spreading it around. If I die before the next sunset, I hope I do so with hope in my heart and a smile on my lips, just to show the Fly Lord that its victory isn't complete."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-10-14 at 11:30 AM.
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    GMing:
    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


    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 - #370
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    For a moment, it seemed she might snap. A small font of anger within her screaming to tell off Pieter in the harshest language she could muster.

    But he's right...

    As quick as it came, it passed. Illiiya slumped a bit, her body worn and weary. Did she have it in her to go on? All she knew is that he wouldn't want her to give in.

    The Druchii do not lie down and die. She said firmly, You're right, Pieter. If I die, I will die standing, and fighting... Just as he did.
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  11. - Top - End - #371
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Pieter, Ithelus & Illiiya

    The convulsions of Wulli's stomach had quietened down, the innkeeper finally falling still. He was still breathing, in a stertorous, laboured fashion – lifting him gently between them, Ithelus moved him back into his room.

    The light of Illiiya's candle revealed Mrs Hofstadter slumped in a chair, so fast asleep that she had not heard her husband's cries. There was a waxy pallor to her face that Pieter didn't like.

    The room was small and cramped. The great oak beams that held the inn together crowded low from the ceiling, forcing Pieter to stoop. On one wall, catching the glimmer of the candlelight, an old shield hung askew from an iron nail. It bore the faded insignia of a pale green cross on a red field. By the low bed, a wooden bucket had been knocked over by Wulli's clumsy escape.

    Hefting the sick man back onto the woolen covers, sour with sweat, Ithelus and Pieter stepped back. His breathing becoming a little more easy, Wulli opened crusted eyelids to look at them, as if from a great distance away.

    “y' good guests,” he managed, in a hoarse whisper. There was still blood flecking the corners of his mouth. “Y' should... shouldn't stay here.”
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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
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V

  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Lothar blinked, staring into the woods a long moment. He uttered a few confused syllables, bewildered by the ocean breeze against his face.

    "Uh. No, I - not since the war. Wars make for tough times."
    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 - #373
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyAngel View Post
    You're right, Pieter. If I die, I will die standing, and fighting... Just as he did.
    "Right. Just don't seek death on purpose... I still think it's possible to win and survive."


    Quote Originally Posted by LCP View Post
    “y' good guests. Y' should... shouldn't stay here.”
    Pieter chuckled mirthlessly. "Don't we know it, Mr Hofstadter. But I'm not leaving until all hope is lost. Believe me, I've played enough games to know exactly when to fold them and leave the table."
    Games
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    GMing:
    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


    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.

  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Pieter, Ithelus & Illiiya

    “No.” The innkeeper screwed his eyes shut for a moment, rolling onto his side. He reached out as if to catch hold of Pieter's arm. “You shouldn't stay here. Th'inn.”

    His scratchy whisper subsided into a shallow coughing fit. He rolled back onto his back. “Hanna wu'nt listen. Too stubborn. But you folks... you need t' get out. Before you get sick too.”

    “I heard 'em talking earlier. That's what it wants, don't you see?” Another cough. “Half th' village, crowded into a sick man's house. Huddled up so it can spread.” He closed his eyes. “The curse took his lordship. Now it's come for the rest of us.”


    1

    Lothar

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    ”Aye, that's difficult to disagree with,” said the old man, taking a seat against the edge of a crumbling old stone. “The war's changed this place. Everything's changing too fast these days. It'd be nice if things'd just stand still, don't you think?”

    His hands were bony and long-fingered, like a craftsman's. His wrinkled knuckles raw and red from the morning chill, he delved in a deep pocket for an apple, taking a bite.

    “Nice to see a local boy heading home,” he said, munching contentedly. “Too many people leaving lately.”

    The apple disappeared with astonishing speed. Sucking his teeth, the man threw the core over the precipitous cliff-edge, watching it tumble down to the foaming rocks.

    “Your city friends, for one.”
    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

  15. - Top - End - #375
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

    Illiiya Jaelrae

    He's right.

    Illiiya clenched her teeth at the thought. Would ANYTHING they do not play directly into the foul one's hands? With a resigned sigh, she turned to Pieter and Ith, shaking her head slowly.

    He's sick and getting sicker... Ith, you could be next... For a moment, she choked on her words, We... I don't know what we should do. But staying here isn't it. It will only let sickness fester.

    With a gentle look, she turned down to the sick man. Her voice was soft and oddly compassionate as she knelt beside his bed.

    Sir... if you wish it I can... end your pain. She said softly, It... may be better than the slow end you will find of this. Or worse yet.... you may become one of them. One of the daemons.
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  16. - Top - End - #376
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Hope I'm not ninja-ing you, Pip.


    Pieter sighed. "Illiiya." His eyes flicked to Mrs Hofstadter's sleeping form. "You'd put him down like a horse with a broken leg? He looks no worse than he did last night, and he's no longer raving. There may be hope yet. And what's this nonsense about turning into a daemon? It's... just a disease."

    Not to mention that, without the innkeeper's word, would the villagers accept that it was a mercy killing?
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-10-16 at 11:25 PM.
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    GMing:
    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


    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.

  17. - Top - End - #377
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Lord of Lost Heart (II)

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    Lothar watched the apple tumble over the edge, too hungry to avoid staring but too polite - his mother was careful - too ask for a bite.

    His attention was dragged back to the man's words after a too-long pause.

    "My- my friends are leaving? They're comin' with me. Home."
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  18. - Top - End - #378
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    Ithelus looks around lost, the innkeeper's words hitting him hard.

    'Perhaps we could take up residence at the Manor?' He looks at himself, 'Well you two should. I'm already sick so there seems not harm for me to stay here'
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    Lothar

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    His mouth closed, the old man probed the recesses of his teeth with his tongue, searching for an errant scrap of apple. He looked at Lothar with a steady, deadpan regard, and raised his eyebrows just a fraction.

    “That right,” he said. “Then why'd they leave you behind?”



    1

    Illiiya, Ithelus & Pieter

    Wulli was silent for an uncomfortable time. At last he spoke, in his croaking, worn-out voice.

    “No. That wu'n't be right.” Eyes closed, his chin sunk onto his chest, as if drifting into sleep. “N't fair on... poor ol' Hanna...”
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  20. - Top - End - #380
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    Illiiya Jaelrae

    Illiiya gave Wulli a slow nod and a look of compassion.

    All right. Sleep then. Be strong, and live on. The offer remains, if you wish it in the future. She told him softly.

    Rising from her knees, she look to Pieter and sighed. She seems weary and worn, as if it was more willpower than endurance keeping her going.

    I am... at a loss. Wherever it is you wish to stay Pieter, we should stay as well. She told him, before glancing to Ithelus, But we should all stay together, in case something happens.

    Not that we can do much if the daemons come again. They are numberless and we are fewer than before. Lothar... wherever you are, I hope you are at peace.
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  21. - Top - End - #381
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    Pieter was thoughtful. "Might as well finish our night here; no use waking up Esther or Mrs Lauf. Maybe they'll let us stay in the servants' quarters if we need to sleep another night in Hohlesbruck..."

    He found that last thought almost unbearable. Something, either instinct or just wishful thinking, told him that the end – good or bad – was near. But what if it was not? How long would he be able to remain here before he could take it no longer? The whole place now felt oppressive in a way even Delberz had not. Delberz, at least, was civilization; Hohlesbruck was but a flickering candle in a sea of darkness.

    "Ith, you may be already sick, but your symptoms look... different. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe your sickness came from the daemons, not the pies. You should still avoid the other sick."
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    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.

  22. - Top - End - #382
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    Ithelus nods, unconvinced. 'I hope so too Pieter, but I'm not so sure I'd rather have sickness given to me by a demon.'

    He looks over Wuli one last time. 'Time to try and get some more sleep. We'll tell the people what Wuli said tomorrow. Perhaps they might have some ideas that don't get us killed. Or kill us.'
    Last edited by Exeson; 2012-10-19 at 11:10 AM.
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    Pieter and the Elves

    Leaving the Hofstadters to their troubled sleep, the three quietly left the room, closing the door behind them. As they walked back into the common hall, towards the stairs, there came a knock on the front door.

    It was young Arne. Taken aback for a moment as he saw all three of them at the door, he settled his face and did his best to glower authoritatively at Pieter.

    “Watch is up,” he said. “They want you at the mill.”

    Turning away without further conversation, he walked quickly and stiffly away into the night.

    ~

    It seemed Hohlesbruck's sentries had chosen the windmill as their watchtower. It made sense: from the top of the low rise it occupied, the tower offered a view of the whole village. Occasionally Mannslieb would slip from between a tear in the clouds, painting the treeline with ghostly silver.

    Windmills were new to Pieter, city boy as he was. He didn't appreciate how this one appeared to have substituted rough old oak ladders for stairs, or how everything was coated in a fine, floury dust. Still, he told himself, as experiences in towers went, this was alright.

    At the top, a trapdoor opened into the fresh air. On his left, the conical roof pointed up at the sky, its old tiles fuzzed with lichen. He was standing on a narrow wooden ledge that ran around its perimeter, fenced with just enough of a parapet to stop someone falling unless they really tried. It would be a long way to fall.

    At a position about sixty degrees round from where Pieter had emerged, the dark figure of a second sentry was sitting by a small brazier, warming his hands over a smouldering fire. He was wrapped in a thick woolen cloak, but as Pieter drew closer, he recognised the face: it was Talberg.

    “Morning,” said the young nobleman, yawning. He didn't seem overjoyed to see Pieter. “At least, I think it's morning.”
    Last edited by LCP; 2012-10-19 at 10:51 PM.
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  24. - Top - End - #384
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    In any other circumstances, Pieter would have found a mocking or flippant answer to Arne's overdramatic glower just to irritate him, but now was clearly not the time. "Oh. Hello, Arne. I'll be right there."

    I really should talk to him about Ellie, he thought, grabbing his brown robe and leaving the inn. For now, though, relationships were really the least of their problems.


    1

    "Morning," Pieter answered Talberg politely, taking position on the ledge. The time for coldness and contempt was long past; they were ultimately on the same side, and since the young nobleman appeared to be the de facto leader of the village for now, it was better not to get on his bad side.

    He squinted at the darkness below, and spoke in a low voice: "Um. You sure it's wise to have a fire right next to us? It just blinds us and signals our presence half a mile away."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2012-10-20 at 11:01 AM.
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    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 - #385
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    "I think he knows we're here," murmured Ricard in a deadpan voice, still gazing out into the night. "The buildings give it away."

    Talberg was looking in the direction of the river, his eyes fixed on the bridge. Very reluctantly, he looked over to Pieter.

    "Put it out if you want. It'll be bloody freezing, though."
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  26. - Top - End - #386
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCP View Post
    "I think he knows we're here," murmured Ricard in a deadpan voice, still gazing out into the night. "The buildings give it away."
    "I was talking about the two of us being on this windmill - if I were it, I'd avoid sentries. Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, anything that survives a sword through the heart is an it, not a he..."

    The initiate looked around for sand or water to put out the fire, or at least a metal bucket or something similar to cover the brazier. Truth to be told, he did not plan to go very far of his way to find these things; Talberg was right, it was quite cold. If the knight planned to attack tonight, it would likely have done so already.

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    So yeah. If none of these things can be found in less than five minutes in the mill, it's not worth further trouble. In any case, Pieter is open to conversation if Ricard is.

    Quote Originally Posted by LCP View Post
    Still, [Pieter] told himself, as experiences in towers went, this was alright.
    Heh.
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    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 - #387
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    Lothar hesitated for a long moment, and then reached up with his left hand to his face. Couldn't the old man see the ragged, open wound? Or the blood, still trickling from his side? Wasn't it clear that he looked like a dead man, saved only by Shally's grace?
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    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]

  28. - Top - End - #388
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    Lothar

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    The wound was there, sticky and painful to the slightest touch. Seeing the movement, the gravedigger smiled a broad, thin-lipped smile, like a cut across a wrinkled apple. Despite his kindly eyes, there was something fearful about the old man's mirth.

    "Oh, aye," he said. "And the elf girl, how was she looking, last you saw her?" Resting his hands on the handle of his shovel, he leaned against a tombstone. "Someone took her back. They didn't take you."

    A flaw in the wind rustled the grass that grew over the broken stones of the old chapel. The cold air carried the scent of old driftwood and rotting seaweed, making the branches of the creeping forest sway in time.

    "Come now," came the elderly voice. "You're not telling me you haven't seen the way the other one looks at her. Saved her from whatever mess she got herself into, sticks by her through thick and thin - and watches her take up with you for his trouble. A human." He shook his head. "What must that be like, for one of them? Like watching your sweetheart take up with a dog, I suppose." The old man leaned forwards, fixing his dark eyes on Lothar's. "You can't tell me, deep down, he wasn't glad to leave you behind?"



    1

    Pieter

    Shinning back down the ladders within the mill, Pieter found a bucket of sand without difficulty. Apparently fire was a concern.

    Lugging it back to the roof was rather more tiresome work. Pushing open the trapdoor, Pieter clambered out, upending the bucket over the brazier. The fire went out at once, its heat waning slowly as they were plunged into darkness. Eyes gradually adjusting, Pieter saw Ricard draw his cloak closer. The man was still watching the bridge.

    There were perhaps two minutes of awkward silence, the two of them doing their best to look dutiful and alert. Then, at last, Talberg's gaze slid sideways, gazing up the hill towards the rooftops of Verloren Manor.

    "Something's not right with Esther," he said, after a long pause. "I don't like it."
    Last edited by LCP; 2012-10-20 at 11:44 PM.
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    Chapter IV
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    Pieter followed the pistolier's gaze to the manor. "Not right... As in, the way she acts?" he asked slowly. "I don't know how she is in normal times, so I'm not qualified to judge."
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    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.

  30. - Top - End - #390
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    Pieter

    "The way she's acting," repeated Ricard. "There's something she's not saying. Something eating at her." He sighed, looking away. "Damned if she'll tell me what."

    There was another long silence.

    "Mils was... a decent fellow. I don't like the idea of her sitting on her own up there. Buried in that... mausoleum of a house." He frowned. "Who knows what's going through her head."
    Last edited by LCP; 2012-10-21 at 12:19 AM.
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