The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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    Default Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    28 Sarenith, 4815 AR, Wealday

    It is a trying day for the hundred and fifty-odd people in the normally lively village in Heldren. Many villages that size in Taldor's hinterlands were placid, almost sleepy affairs, and Heldren was almost the same, if it were not for the the dubious good fortune to be near the Border Wood – so named because it lay, unsurprisingly enough, on the border between Taldor and Qadira, large, old kingdoms with nearly as ancient a rivalry. Normally, summer would be a time of work, travel and the occasional simple joys and sorrows of Taldan village life. Then again, most summers do not have a storm and snowfall in almost the heart of summer – in late Sarenith!

    Hunters from the nearby Border wood – if nothing else, the poorly settled woodland made for good hunting - first brought news of unnaturally cold weather mere days ago. The talk had barely made the rounds at the two local taverns before people could see for themselves the heavy snow that covered the hillside, turning it white in summer. The hunters who returned to their traps brought back even stranger news – there seemed to be a strange presence in the woods that made them uneasy, and new, dangerous predators could lurked there. No one knows what this might mean, and the town's soothsayer, Old Mother Theodora, claims that dark times must lay ahead as she stares towards the forest with her one good eye.

    Just yesterday, it seemed that the first herald of those times arrived. A northern mercenary claiming to be the bodyguard of Lady Argentea Malassene stumbled into the village, wounded and frostbitten, barely strong enough to stand on his legs. He told the village council that he was part of the lady's escort as bandits and strange wintry creatures ambushed them near the edge of the Border wood. The half a dozen guards and various hangers-on were overwhelmed and the lady was dragged into the woods. He had been heavily injured in the fight and was left for dead, and when he came to he came here to look for aid. This story, needless to say, makes the village folk all the more worried, and most of them look on at the forbidding wood with dread as they tried to go about their work in the unexpectedly chilly mornings and rainy days. Worries about the meanings of these strange events were coupled with worries about the harvest and if that brigand attack and the strange weather heralded something much worse on the horizon – a militant druid or troubles with Qadira.

    For a few souls that ended up in Heldren by paths of their own, however, these happenings are the start of a quite singular story. It begins as they are in the Silver Stoat, the only tavern and almost-inn in the village, and the gathering place of people who would travel through the village. It had rained heavily in the morning, but now there is just a brisk wind outside - chilly enough to make a few less sturdy souls shudder under the heavy clothes that they had not expected to wear for several months more.

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    The young-looking halfling Dorrin Fairfoot sat glumly in a small table in the corner of the tavern. His cloak (still half-sodden from the morning rains) was draped over the back of the chair, and his pack was placed beneath him as a seat cushion propping him up enough to bring the people-sized furniture to a tolerable height. He stared out the window with his chin propped in his hands, his long bony fingers wrapping his cheeks like strands of ivy crawling up a wall. He paid scant attention to the half-full cup of tepid coffee before him, occasionally stirring at it idly with the provided spoon. Sometimes he would grab the spoon and give the liquid a perfunctory twirl; then, as the coffee swirled to a stop, his hand would come off his chin just far enough to allow him to point at the spoon, sending it spinning slowly in the opposite direction. Occasionally he'd fix an ear in the direction of some of the other guests, casually eavesdropping on their conversations, though he gave no indication that he was hearing anything of interest.

    It was clear that, for whatever reason, the young fellow's recess had been canceled for the day.
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    Obler entered the Silver Stoat looking for news. His trek from Kraventus had been uneventful, but even so, the last two days news and road rumors cave cause for concern. Specifically because they involved the very wood he was supposed to be gathering rare spell components for his master in were at the center of those rumors. It seemed a drink and more information were in order.

    "Ho barkeep! A spot of Kraventus Porter, if'n you have any?" He sat down at a table close to the fireplace, which was burning warmly even though it was early in the year for it. "It's right cold out there this morning. So it's true about the changes in the weather 'round here? Or is this just a normal phenomenon?"
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
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    The door to the common room of the Silver Stoat flew open to bang against the wall. Filling the doorway was a tall, broad shouldered Ulfen. Seemingly unbothered by the wind or the sudden turn in the weather, he simply stood there a moment before stomping inside. Fully a hand and a half over six feet with broad shoulders and a wide chest that looked like it was built for single-handedly rowing a longship, the viking towered over the southerners of the small farming community. He had the pale blond hair of his kind worn long and loose which the wind had blown into a wild array. His hard eyes were grey as a thunderstorm. His full pack rode high and light across his back. He was clad in leather lamellar that showed only light use. An old fashioned, yet fashionable falcata marked the man as some kind of noble savage, yet the great round wooden shield bespiked with the telltale pitting of cold iron was a harsh reminder that while he may be more than the common man, civilization was still a stranger. That theme continued with the massive tree trunk of a greatclub slung over his back and the several axes hanging from his belt.

    Casually, he reached out and swung the door closed behind him. "Finally, a summer day worthy of the name." He said as a smile broke across his face. His voice was deep, a rich baritone with hints that it would someday sink into a craggy bass.

    The Ulfen made his way to the bar, untroubled by the damp which still permeated his clothing. "I'll have ale. Anything with bite."

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    Kira has, as typical of her for the past few days, risen early and been present in the Silver Stoat for several hours, splitting her time between sitting back to enjoy a drink and questioning anyone present who seems like they'd know more about Lady Argentea Malassene. As always, she carries her wood-and-metal contraption on her back, except for when she sets it to the side to sit down, and various bottles, leather waterskins and bandolier pouches rest either on her chest or at her waist. A half-empty mug sits on the table before her as she hums to herself, fingers tapping against the wooden table, a few silver pieces sitting before her, each meant to represent some tidbit she's picked up. She leans back, looking across the room and tugging a bit on her black hair, which is braided for the first time since her arrival in Heldren. At the giant man's comment she releases a quasi-chuckle, one of the only acknowledgements she's made of the weather so far. She slowly picks up her mug, though her attention is clearly on the dwarf and the barkeep.
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    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    “Something on your mind, little fella?Kale Garimos, the old barkeep and one half of the proprietors of the tavern, says as she passes by, bringing a large earthenware bowl with warm broth to a hungry local.It's some crazy weather, isn't it? You won't be felling any better about it with cold coffee, though, I can tell you that!”

    She turns away and nods towards Obryn. “We don't have any at present, but if you have the stomach for a bit of spice, the Three Devils Ale tends to go pretty well with most people around here.”

    Vilgeir's entrance is a lot more notable, and it provokes a mixture of curiosity and worry from the patrons. Northerners are fairly known in Taldor, but they tend to have a certain reputation. The proprietress,however, winces slightly as the door slaps against the wall, but her expression softens a bit when he closes it a lot more gently.
    “Easy on the door, fella. It's not a wild oak, to be slapped around like that. I guess you've seen some pretty bad summers, eh? We can probably help with that - what are you having?”

    On the final round, she passes by Kira,eyeing her cautiously. "What will it be, dearie? You look like you've got more than drink on your mind."
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    Kira gives Kale a nod. "I do! I've got a..." she pauses, her finger-tapping intensifying for a moment. "...The weather, and the story about that noblewoman, it's got me antsy. I'll want to look into that soon enough," she continues, briefly looking over at some of the others present. "Maybe gather up a bit of a hunting party, if anyone's ready for a nice frosty trip."
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    Dorrin nodded, somehow looking even more glum, before speaking in a soft, fairly high pitched lilt. "It is most unpleasant. The weather, I mean. Your coffee is wonderful, thank you, nothing quite like a good Taldan blend, but don't worry about me, I can freshen it if I need to. It's just... well, I hadn't properly accounted for the delays in travel, it's been slow going even to get to here, and by my calculations I should at least have made the Jalrune by now, if not all the way to Katheer, and frankly I'm running a bit lower on provisions and funds than I'd anticipated. If you have any odd jobs you might need done, anything at all? That would at least help pass the time until this blows through. If I'm taking up a table and you need me out for your other customers, I'll understand, you just let me know, all right?" With that last, the halfling gave a nervous glance out at the cold wind.

    A few moments later, as the barkeep continued her conversations, young Dorrin's demeanor perked up. He half-leaped out of his chair, striding over to the seated Kira. Looking up at her, he inquired "Pardon, miss? I'm sorry, I couldn't help overhearing you putting some sort of a party together? What did you have in mind? Where would you be going?"
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    Kira turns as the...she considers it for a moment, and decides that he's probably a halfling, or gnome, or whatnot, and not an actual child; approaches. "Probably, yeah. It'd be a hunting party, mostly. Head on out to find this Argentea, kill whatever bad guys are out there, and maybe skin some if these winter beasties have pelts worth taking," she says with a nod. "We'd be headed...well, I'm not sure yet, but we'd be going to wherever the attack was, and go from there."
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    Shira is sitting off to the side of the room, hunched over some food and drink. As a patron opens the door and a gust of cold wind wafts in, she shudders. Not because she's unused to the cold weather, but because the cold weather brings up memories of her past, and not the good ones either. Her mind wanders back to the times when she was happy, when her life had meaning, when she wasn't haunted. Shaking off the memories, Shira gets up to leave, but stops when she hears the mention of a hunting party. Curious she moves closer to better hear the conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    Kira turns as the...she considers it for a moment, and decides that he's probably a halfling, or gnome, or whatnot, and not an actual child; approaches. "Probably, yeah. It'd be a hunting party, mostly. Head on out to find this Argentea, kill whatever bad guys are out there, and maybe skin some if these winter beasties have pelts worth taking," she says with a nod. "We'd be headed...well, I'm not sure yet, but we'd be going to wherever the attack was, and go from there."
    Dorrin's eyes widened just a bit, and his breath and speech both quickened. "Wow! A real beast hunt, living off the harsh unforgiving landscape, rescuing an actual damsel in actual distress? That sounds .... really exciting! Would you help me with the fur-making and all that afterwards?" Realizing he may, just possibly, have overstepped the boundaries of the conversation just eversomuch in the slightest, he tried to puff out his chest to radiate as much gravitas as one can while looking up at someone that's sitting in a chair can possibly radiate as he continued "Er, what I mean to say is, if you're able to get a suitable group together, would you mind if I tagged along? It sounds like for something like that you'd need as many as you could get, safety in numbers and all that right?"
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    Kira nods at the small one's enthusiasm. "Sure. Worst case, you die first - oh, be sure to bring food, if you can't gather your own," she says. "And skinning's not hard, once you get used to it. As long as you're not squeamish," Kira assures him, before gesturing to a chair at her table. "You can have a seat if you want," she offers, before leaning back and taking another look around the room, eyes settling on the woman who's stood up. After a moment, she grins, pushing her chair back from the table.

    "You're more than welcome to come along too, if you like," Kira says.
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    "Now, see, that's poor thinking!" Dorrin half-shouted over his shoulder with an impish glance as he went to retrieve his belongings from the corner chair. "You let them eat me first, you only get about a twenty second head start. Good thing you'll have me along to think of these things for you!"

    By the time he returned to the table, his pack slung over one arm and the still damp cloak over the other and with the coffee cup trembling slightly in one hand, the grin was gone, replaced by a much more pensive look.
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    Obler turned and looked back towards the door, hearing the conversation behind him.

    This might be a way to get the things my master needs without putting myself at risk. Surely whatever is out there will avoid a group more readily than a single dwarf...

    He speaks to gain the attention of the others, "I'll go. I need some things that can only be found in that wood, anyway."

    After speaking, he turns back to his drink and waits.
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
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    At the mention of her joining, a smile creeps onto Shira's face. I'd like that, perhaps we can find a challenge worthy of our skill. She moves closer to the table and joins the others around the table.
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    The matronly hostess looks at the group with some concern. "Be careful, young ones. Viman the hunter has been plying the forest for over twenty years now, and he says he's never seen it like that. He came back to set his traps after the snow fell, and says the place is changed - twisted. There's more than unnatural cold in it, he said, and either mad druids or stranger things were afoot there. Every step he felt watched, as if some evil presence had come with the cold - or brought it here. I won't tell you not to go - we can sure use a hand, but best make sure you are prepared and pray to whatever gods you hold dear. You might also want to talk to the notherner... well, the other northerner," she says, casting a glance at Vilgeir. "He barely made it to the village, but he looks like he'll recover. Tough man. Got a big stomach, too."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kvard51 View Post
    Obler turned and looked back towards the door, hearing the conversation behind him.

    This might be a way to get the things my master needs without putting myself at risk. Surely whatever is out there will avoid a group more readily than a single dwarf...

    He speaks to gain the attention of the others, "I'll go. I need some things that can only be found in that wood, anyway."

    After speaking, he turns back to his drink and waits.
    Приходите сидеть с нами, друг! Dorrin replied, with a smile. "Что вы ищете?"

    Spoiler: Dwarven
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    Come sit with us, friend! What are you looking for?


    At the barkeep's words, he nodded, showing perhaps rather less fear than the hostess had intended to engender. "Fascinating! Do you know where we can find him, the one who was wounded I mean, and that Viman fellow? And where we can get some provisions? Hopefully in trade?"
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    Apologies, I couldn't get a post in last night as the phones were ringing off the hook,
    so some of my post addresses Kale's statement to Vilgeirr before your last post, Shaman.


    "Apologies, gömul kona, I didn't know. I said I'll have an ale. Something with bite." The northman's voice booming even louder as he repeats himself for the benefit of the hard of hearing barkeep.

    Awaiting his drink, Vilgeirr couldn't help but overhear the conversation at the nearby table. "A farmer lose his wife? Or was it his daughter? Either way, no need to travel into a forest. Just check the barn of his neighbor."

    As Kale drops by with his ale, the viking salutes her and quaffs the libation in a single gulp. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand he shakes his head, a wry grin on his face. "Snow falls in Sarenith and you southerners think the sky is falling. Of course, it's unnaturally cold, it's less than ninety degrees in the middle of summer! Bah! Your hunter has grown soft with the easy living and small forest animals of these lands." As he grasps the last of the innkeeper's words, he adds, "You say there is another northerner here?
    Who is he?"


    Spoiler: Ulfen
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    gömul kona = old woman (Old Norse, or Icelandic, for Ulfen)
    Last edited by drayen; 2017-11-01 at 12:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stelio Kontos View Post
    Приходите сидеть с нами, друг! Dorrin replied, with a smile. "Что вы ищете?"

    Spoiler: Dwarven
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    Come sit with us, friend! What are you looking for?

    Hearing the invitation in Dwarven, Obler turned to regard the speaker. A halfling. He had heard they were usually gregarious and open, so he decided to reply in kind, Зачем спасибо, друг Волосатый. Мой учитель послал меня искать редкую составляющую заклинания, которое он создает. Лес, расположенный здесь, является самым близким источником.

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    Why thank you, friend Hairfoot. My master has sent me searching for a rare component of a spell he is creating. The woods around here are the closest source.


    Taking his mug from the bar, Oble moves to join the others.
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
    ― Kvothe, The Name of the Wind

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    "Ооо, это звучит интересно! Кто твой хозяин, он тоже карлик? Вы, должно быть, приехали довольно далеко, если он есть, я не могу придумать ни одного города дварфов ближе, чем Пяти Королей. Какой предмет ему нужен? Может быть, мы сможем помочь вам найти его, это даст нам что-то делать, пока мы идем!"

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    Oooh, that sounds exciting! Who is your master, is he a dwarf too? You must have come pretty far if he is, I can't think of any dwarven cities closer than the Five Kings. What kind of item does he need? Maybe we can help you find it, it will give us something to do while we are walking!


    It was about that moment that Dorrin realized that most of the table -- no, scratch that, everybody in the room -- had no idea what they were talking about.

    "Oh. Perhaps we should talk so everyone can understand us. I just get a chance to practice my spoken Dwarven so rarely, that was fun! Name's Dorrin, by the way. Hey, wanna hear a joke?" Dorrin shot a meaning glance at the large braggart at the bar, making his voice juuuust loud enough that he was sure everyone including him could hear. "How do the Ulfen celebrate the summer solstice?" He paused meaningfully, for effect, before continuing "By changing the logs in their fireplace!"
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    Shira watches the dwarven transaction, understanding what they're saying just as much as she would understand written common. Looking longingly at the tavern door leading outside, she says, Mad druids, cold weather, or worse I'm sure it's nothing we can't easily handle. It will be nice to get out of this town and back into the wild.
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    Kira lets out a mix between a snort and the start of a laugh at Dorrin's joke. "Kira," she replies, then turns to the standing man. "Bit more than that. The northerner's a mercenary, was guarding a noble lady's carriage. Says they were attacked and everyone but her killed or dragged off. Sounds worth looking into to me," she says.

    "That's the spirit," Kira adds, turning to Shira with a grin."Nothing like the old bed of pines, especially if you've got company."
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    "The other Northerner? He is not from the village - from what I heard, he was a guard for the Lady Argentea. He is staying at Miss Willowbark´s home for the time being. She´s a pretty good healer, for a potionmaker, and from what I hear she know a bit about treating frostbite from her travels - I reckon she might have something else that helps for a weather like that, apart from all those infernal bottled flames she insists on making. As for the ale, well, we don´t have anything too strong, but how do you feel about something a bit spicy before leaving, hmm?" the hostess keeps chatting as she pours and delivers two large wooden mugs with a dark ale. "Five coppers each. If you want something stronger for the road, we have some applejack in the cellar. I think we may have a bottle or two of fire brandy, though I was planning to save it for an occasion. If you give us a bit of time, we can probably prepare some travel food."
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    Dorrin couldn't help but overhearing the conversation. He took a moment to idly wave a finger over his coffee cup; a tendril of steam rose briefly off the liquid's surface. He took a big (well, big for a halfling) swig of the coffee, giving a satisfied sigh as the newfound warmth coursed through his body. "Sounds like we should go talk to this Miss Willowbark and her patient, then" he offered, rising to begin donning his cloak and other gear. "I'm ready when you are." He gave the barkeep a gentle wave. "Thank you for your hospitality, madam!"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Knowledge (local) for this Miss Willowbark person? Let's see what I've picked up: (1d20+8)[25]
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    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    The blond warrior slapped down a silver piece on the bar before picking up the second mug the contents of which disappeared much as it's twin had. He nodded in the halfling's direction at the punchline of his joke. "It's good you are able to make light of such a sad situation."

    At the barkeep's telling of the Ulfen mercenary, his story and location, Vilgeirr nodded and sighed, "I had best go and listen to this man's tale. It may be that it should be repeated. Where does your brugga húsmóður, how do you say? brewmaster?, live?"

    Spoiler: Ulfen
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    brugga húsmóður = brewmistress


    Spoiler: OOC
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    I just asked someone instead.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kvard51's Avatar

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    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    Laughing a bit at the exuberant halfling, Obler extended his hand and stood to his full height. Falling into a more formal dwarven cadence, he introduces himself,
    "I be Obler of Clan Ironshield, of Kravenkus. My master be the great wizard, Barastus of Kravenkus. It is pleased I am to be making your aquaintance,
    master Dorrin!"
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
    ― Kvothe, The Name of the Wind

    Map for RotRL

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    The_Shaman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    "Oh, Miss Willowby´s house is almost next door! Head east from here, towards the blacksmith on the mound. Just past the barber, head left, her house is a bit tucked in so she has more space for her garden. She might seem a bit off, but don´t worry too much about it. She´s a good sort," Kale says with a slightly defensive expression.

    "If you do decide to head to the forest, I can only wish you good luck - and if you come back in one piece and with a good story to tell, you´d have a mug of ale on me."

    She returns Dorin´s wave heartily, as she does for anyone else who waves back.

    ((Of course, I presume you all paid your tabs - is there anyone who did not deduct the amount from their funds? ))
    Last edited by The_Shaman; 2017-11-03 at 11:36 AM.
    Mr.Shizzles avatar by The Gremlin. Thanks!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PersonMan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    "Kira, still," Kira says with a nod as her introduction, then turns to listen to Kale. Once the older woman finishes, she stands, finishing her drink. "Off we go, then," she says. "Follow me, compatriots!" She adds, with a swing of her arm as she picks up her firearm, heading for the door and then for Willowby's, either confident that the rest will follow her or not attached enough to their presence as followers for it to bother her.
    Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.

    Old-to-New table converter. Also not made by me.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Stelio Kontos's Avatar

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    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    "Ladies first, then!" laughed Dorrin. "Don't think I can get away with 'age before beauty'!" He paused at the doorway to tend the door for whomever else it appeared might be joining the group, trailing at the back of the party as it moved through the town.
    Currently DMing: Ruins of Azlant IC OOC

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Reign of Winter: The Snows of Summer IC

    The Ulfen guardsman shook his head as he stood, "Southerners..." He left the tavern, intent on following Kale's directions to find his countryman.

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