|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 06 Aug 2008 : 14:40:50
I’m going to record a Waterdeep based “campaign” here. I thought I’d start off by posting a brief description of the three main characters, their history and relationship to each other in a “story type” style before I commence the journal proper. Comments, questions and critcism are all welcome.
Human Bard Lvl 2
The thug shook his head, spat out a yellowed molar and gave Lydgate a gap toothed grin.
Damn, thought Lydgate as he backed off a few steps shaking his hand, that was my best shot.
The moon was almost full and its soft bluish light spilled over the rooftops illuminating the alley and the broad shoulders, thick neck and oafish features of the man who sought to separate Lydgate from his belongings. There was a sharp hiss as the bull necked man drew a long dagger and traced a menacing pattern in the air with its point.
Steel, thought Lydgate, how unsporting, especially since he now remembered laying his rapier and coat carefully on the sill of a window booth in the Drunken Dragon. He shrugged off the disadvantage; he was armed with the confidence of several glasses of Orduk’s second or maybe third finest wine and that would have to be enough.
He was just beginning to regret choosing the badly lit back streets as a short cut and also his apparently convincing - at least to this opportunist thug - performance of a “wealthy noble slumming it with the dross” when the man barrelled in with his dagger point held high. Lydgate intended to step aside at the last possible moment and stamp hard on the side of the thug’s knee or perhaps sing out a shielding spell. He decided on both and accomplished neither. Lydgate had time to thrust his hand out and a warble a distinctly flat high F which rose in pitch to a shriek as the long dagger pierced his palm up to the hilt. The momentum of the big man’s charge carried Lydgate off his feet as both combatants landed nose to nose against a pile of crates. His face no longer obscured by shadow, Lydgate got his first good look at his attacker.
“You!?…I stood you a round” he exclaimed indignantly.
The thug winked one bleary eye and licked spittle flecked lips.
“You stood me two, m’little darlin.” The excitement had induced a small glob of white foam to form on the corner of the thug’s mouth. He gathered a handful of Lydgate’s off-white, wine-stained, ruffled shirtfront in his other hand and heaved Lydgate onto his toes.
“Now why don’t you hand over that pretty leather scroll case to old Berto and I’ll thinks about unskewering your luvverly soft hand.” Berto gave the dagger a small twist to accentuate his point.
The fresh wave of pain almost caused Lydgate’s confidence to release itself down his leg but he held on and managed to reply in a small voice.
“What scroll case?”
“The scroll case in his lordship’s breeches” the thug breathed, leaning in close.
The man’s breath smelt of fish and wine. My wine, thought Lydgate with a sudden wave of anger.
Lydgate let out a resigned sigh and relaxed as if to capitulate, the thug took half a step back – still holding Lydgate’s skewered hand high – presumably to let him extricate the scroll case from his breeches and Lydgate took his chance.
With all the outrage of a man being mugged by someone who owes him drink Lydgate slammed his knee into Berto’s groin.
“That’s not a scroll case.” Lydgate growled, teeth clenched in pain, as he twisted the dagger from Berto’s grasp, using the bones of his own hand for leverage.
The big man’s eyes crossed and he sucked in air sharply but he didn’t go down. Lydgate pulled the dagger from his hand, damn that would hurt in the morning, and shouldered past the stricken oaf. Not bad for the second son of a baker, he thought, and he allowed himself a satisfied smirk as he staggered out into the deserted street.
The sound of several pairs of running, heavy-booted feet rang off the cobbles to the East. The Watch, thought Lydgate, undoubtedly drawn by my high F. He looked down at the bloodied dagger in his right hand. I don’t have time to explain this; I’m already terribly late. And with an impetuous toss of black wavy hair he lurched into the alley opposite and jogged off unsteadily into the night.
|6 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 22 Sep 2009 : 22:16:33
It's been a while but my FR mojo has been absent of late. Below is the first half of the intro for the third and final character of the party...
Human Wizard Lvl 2
Gabriel sat, bored, in his cluttered basement workroom. The sun shone down through the tiny street-level window creating a shaft of light which Gabriel would often track across the floor and walls, an indicator of the hours he'd spent copying - or sometimes neglecting to copy - dusty tomes and scrolls.
At present that shaft of light was shining through the mounted human skeleton Gabriel kept on a stand in the corner creating a macabre shadow on one wall. Gabriel was a tall man at just over 6 feet but the skeleton dwarfed him. Gabriel supposed that the giant set of bones had once been an Uthgardt tribesman or perhaps an Orcish halfbreed. He had bought the skeleton a few years ago to aid with his studies of anatomy and had grown rather fond of it, naming it "Reigar" and had even developed the habit of talking to it occasionally. Belaxus grumbled that keeping the skeleton was bad luck but Gabriel believed that when the spirit had crossed over bones were bones.
He was only three years into his apprenticeship to the self-styled Belaxus the Wise and already Gabriel could feel his sanity slipping from him. Three years and the old bore still forbade Gabriel to attempt magic in front of him. Three years and not a single new spell learned, although he had to admit his penmanship was now a pleasure to behold. Gabriel often pulled down tomes he had scribed to admire the uniformity of the firm, crisp, bold strokes that had taken long hours and longer days to perfect.
Belaxus Alimar was more scribe than wizard and operated a busy tome copying and lending service at the southern end of Sword's street in Waterdeep's exclusive Castle ward. Gabriel's father paid a generous yearly stipend for Belaxus' mentoring and the old scribe worked Gabriel mercilessly and taught him little.
The monotony of this solitary existence weighed heavily on Gabriel but he amused himself with composing music and ever more elaborate methods with which to reek his revenge on his tiresome tutor.
Gabriel leaned back in his chair and ran both hands across his shorn scalp. The stubble had grown to half a thumb's width and felt soft to the touch like rabbit fur. He had first shaved his chin-length ash blonde hair a few tendays into his apprenticeship after he had become sick of it getting in his eyes as he worked. Another sacrifice for my art thought Gabriel and returned to the page.
He was just adding the tin-whistle part to a lively jig he was composing when he heard the telltale click of the latch. With practised ease Gabriel slipped the sheet music under his partially completed notes on "Dwarven burial practices" and half turned in his chair to receive his Master.
"Some people call me a b*stard." began the aging wizard, striding into the room with a plate of steaming food in his hand.
"Some people call you worse than that, you crusty old sot." murmured Gabriel Brokenblade, confidently betting that his tutor's partial deafness would save him from censure.
"But I am above all things" Belaxus continued, "a fair man. Would you not a agree Brokenblade?"
"More than fair, Master." Gabriel replied, hating himself for stroking the old bore's ego.
"Indeed. It seems however that a number of our account holders are not fortunate enough to share your powers of perception. It seems they may have mistaken fairness for weakness...an all too common mistake as I see it."
The cantankerous old wizard leaned in close to list his specific grievances, real and imagined, and Gabriel's nostrils twitched as he got a whiff of Belaxus' fetid breath - it reeked of onions. This had been a source of consternation for Belaxus for some time, as the old goat couldn't stand onions and never ate them. He couldn't bear the sight of them let alone the smell or taste - he was positively phobic. Yet still the odor persisted. To Gabriel's delight and thanks to a loose-lipped serving girl Belaxus had even become something of a minor local celebrity because of his affliction. Some young urchin possessing wit and bravery in equal measure had dubbed the old wizard "The Onion Mage" and the catchy moniker had been taken up by the other waifs and strays that populated the area who catcalled Belaxus mercilessly whenever he left his small tower. As a result the old man was as confused as he was miserable and spent increasingly more time in his study, preferring to use Gabriel to run his errands. This arrangement suited Gabriel just fine, offering him greater freedom than ever before.
Belaxus paranoid ravings continued and Gabriel stoically held his breath, reminding himself that these moments of personal discomfort were a small price to pay - and he gratefully sucked in clean air when Belaxus concluded his rant.
The old man was just reaching for the door when he turned back and slid the steaming plate of food across the table to Gabriel. "Here. Do what you will with that. It tastes odd again."
"You are most kind, Master." Gabriel intoned his lips twitching slightly.
Once Belaxus had left the room Gabriel fell on the food with abandon, he hadn't eaten properly in days and with money short he didn't know when he would eat so well again. The food was delicious - despite the taint. Gabriel shovelled in the last few mouthfuls and belched quietly into his hand - the aroma reminded him of his all-important errand and he reached into the bottom drawer of the heavy duskwood writing desk and withdrew a small ink phial. There was nothing to mark it apart from the many ink phials collected in the drawer - but this one contained something more precious to Gabriel than ink.
Gabriel held the phial up to the light and judged the contents. "Time for a refill, my beauty." he whispered to the bottle and pushed out his heavy wooden chair with a scrape. He opened the latch to Belaxus' workroom and called through the door. "I'm just nipping out for some ink, Master". Belaxus grunted his assent and Gabriel shut the door.
He shrugged on his dark brown leather greatcoat and stuffed the ink phial into one of many concealed pockets as he crossed to the stairwell in the opposite corner - and then climbed the stairs two at a time, eager to be free of his confinement.
The warm spring sun shone brightly and Gabriel squinted against its glare whilst relishing the warmth on his face. Not enough fresh air and too much time cooped up in that damn box, he thought, as he made his way down Sword's street towards his destination. Traffic was unusually frequent for the early hour and more than once Gabriel had to dodge out of the way of a fully laden horse-drawn wagon as it thundered across the cobbles. After a short while he turned left into Selanter's cut and narrowly avoided stepping on the drunken form of a beggar cradling a clay jug of a foul smelling substance in one hand and a rather mangy looking hound in the other. They both slept, snoring loudly. Gabriel was immediately reminded of Lydgate and then smiled to himself - the wayward bard would no doubt be equally pleased and appalled by the sub-conscious association - he vigorously courted the reputation of a drunken sot and like most things Lydgate set his mind to he generally succeeded. Gabriel wished that one day he might set his mind to paying his share of the rent or perhaps tidying up a bit. Gabriel was roughly shaken from his deliberations as a small figure crashed into his lower half, knocking them both off their feet.
"Now look here..." Gabriel began sternly until the small boy brushed back a mop greasy black hair to reveal a face that he knew well. "Jaxen!" he exclaimed.
The scruffy waif was one of a small group that Gabriel paid a few coppers to revive "the Onion Mage" abuse when the other street kids grew tired of the sport.
"This alley is a thoroughfare, lad, not a games green" smiled Gabriel, ruffling Jaxen's greasy hair and then wishing he hadn't.
The boy's eyes were wide with fear and his chest rose and fell like a trapped hare. "Tis' no game, Master Brokenblade. They're awful stirred up. There'll be blood this time for sure."
"Blood? Who's stirred up? Speak plainly Jax."
Jaxen stiffened as he spotted movement at the far end of Selanter's cut. "No time, Sir."
Gabriel followed Jaxen's gaze and squinted into the shadows while helping the boy the to his feet and saw several flashes as sunlight reflected off drawn steel.
Gabriel straightened up, held Jaxen by both upper arms and looked him in the eye. "Run Jaxen. I'll hold them."
Jaxen eyed him doubtfully. "You Master Brokenblade?"
Gabriel smiled wryly. "Alright then. I'll try to reason with them. Now off with you."
"Tymora save you, Sir!" Jaxen called back as he jumped over the sleeping beggar and dog and disappeared.
Gabriel mentally listed the spells he had committed to memory. This was a short and unfruitful process. He then quickly scanned the ground for a makeshift weapon; nothing presented itself. He was out of time. The first of Jaxen's pursuers stumbled into view cursing in cut glass tones and slicing the air with a rapier worth a prince's ransom.
"Tymora save me indeed", breathed Gabriel, "Nobles."
||Posted - 27 Aug 2008 : 18:26:19
I'm enjoying it as well! Keep it coming...
||Posted - 27 Aug 2008 : 17:41:43
Originally posted by Kiaransalyn
I'm enjoying your journal.
||Posted - 27 Aug 2008 : 12:59:35
I'm enjoying your journal. You write well and you're economically descriptive, which is a good thing. I look forward to subsequent additions.
||Posted - 27 Aug 2008 : 12:50:22
Baroness Hetalia De Moralais
Human priestess of Sune Lvl 1
Hetalia sat up in bed and propped up the sumptuous goose-down filled pillows behind her, finally conceding defeat in her battle to get to sleep. She toyed with a lock of her waist-length mousey-blonde hair and started to braid it absently. The moon was almost full and its light spilt in through the barred, arched windows. Hetalia stared into the still night anxiously and found herself chewing on a mouthful of hair.
Another childish habit I’ve been unable to let go of, she thought, and pulled out the plaits irritably.
Hetalia slipped out of bed softly, the wooden floorboards creaking slightly underfoot, and padded across to the window pulling a blanket over her shoulders. She spared her husband a concerned glance…but she needn’t have worried - the third Baron de Moralais was a heavy sleeper. Heavy everything, Hetalia thought and almost sniggered. Olaf de Moralais lay on his back – his bulk made any other sleeping position impossible - his mouth hanging open in mid snore. She regarded him a moment longer. He looked peaceful…almost harmless. But Hetalia knew better. The man was as harmless as a sleeping dragon.
Hetalia studied her reflection as she approached the window and lifted her chin haughtily. She had once thought herself ugly but had been forced to reassess that conclusion as she entered into womanhood. The features that only a few years ago silly boys - one silly boy in particular -had seen fit to tease, silly men now fought over. She no longer fretted over the freckles that dusted the bridge of her perfect nose or the flawless tanned skin which marked her as a former farm girl; and she had learnt to live with the long limbs that while gangly for a teenager were slim and desirable for a woman. Then there were her delicate cheekbones, but people had always liked them.
She stretched languidly and pressed her forehead against the glass searching the deserted streets for some sign and then berated herself – he would not be coming this late.
Her breath started to mist up the window and she watched as the condensation spread with each breath and then retreated as the cold glass reclaimed the territory.
Minutes passed like this before she pulled the sleeve of her nightdress over her hand and wiped away the wet misty covering. As she pulled her hand away a brief movement in the distance caught her eye. A figure lurched haphazardly out of an alleyway and stumbled down the main street, keeping to the sides of buildings in what Hetalia supposed was an attempt at stealth. Her heart leapt as she recognised the reeling man and then she frowned in consternation as she caught a glimpse of the bloody pattern staining the front of his off-white ruffled shirt before he disappeared down another alley to circle around to the back gate.
“Silly boy.” she whispered to the window and padded hastily out of the room.
Baron Olaf de Moralais III snored on.
“Ilmater’s tears! What have you done to yourself now!” Hetalia demanded of the swaying figure.
“I think I’ve lost some blood…and a coat…I’m quite sure I had a coat.” The figure replied, disentangling himself from some gardening tools which he’d disturbed in the courtyard doorway.
“Drinking again, Lydgate?”
Lydgate shrugged, pulled a scroll case from his breeches and tossed it onto the table.
Hetalia ignored it, opened a polished darkwood armoire and pulled out a white cloth and a small knife.
“Sit down before you fall down.”
Lydgate slumped into a chair and affected a hurt look.
A delicate faced serving girl, a shawl draped over her shoulders, appeared in the parlour doorway. “I’m sorry, Mistress. I heard a commotion.”
“No need to apologize, Grace. One of the Baron’s couriers appears to have got himself hurt.”
“Would you like me to attend to him, Mistress?”
“It’s quite alright, Grace, I’ll do it, you may go back to bed.” Hetalia replied. “I couldn’t sleep anyway.”
Grace looked over Hetalia’s shoulder at the gardening tools and dried mud Lydgate had dragged in with him. She gnawed her bottom lip in consternation. Zella would be wanting to start the breakfast in an hour or two and the fearsome housekeeper wouldn’t brook disarray in her kitchen.
Hetalia followed the girl’s look and understood. “You had better deal with that first though, Grace”.
Grace curtsied. “Yes Mistress”.
Hetalia filled a burnished copper bowl with water from a wooden jug, carried it to the table and sat down. After shredding the white cloth vigorously into strips for bandages she washed and bound Lydgate’s wound with slightly shaking hands. They sat in awkward silence as Grace swept up the mud and replaced the tools, opening the outer door and stacking them against the wall. A cold wind blew through the kitchen. Hetalia pulled her blanket tight around her neck and Lydgate shivered in his thin blood soaked ruffled shirt.
“I could’ve sworn I had a coat.” Lydgate offered.
Hetalia’s cool exterior broke and she shook with silent laughter. She tied the bandage off with a playful tug and flashed a smile over her shoulder as she replaced the knife in the Armoire.
Lydgate felt his heart break again, but grinned back. Grace tactfully backed into the kitchen, closed the courtyard door and drew the top bolt across. Heltalia’s composure was back in place by the time the serving girl turned around.
“Will that be all, Mistress?”
“Yes Grace. You had better try and get some sleep. Zella will have need of you soon enough.”
“Thank you, Mistress.” Grace curtsied and left the room.
There was silence for a few moments as Lydgate fiddled with his bandage and Hetalia closed the doors of the Armoire.
“Are you going to tell me what happened?” Hetalia asked, her hand resting on the finely polished wood.
“I tripped and slipped on a fat man’s knife.”
Hetalia sighed and turned to face him. “I can cover for you this time, Lydgate. But Olaf isn’t tolerant of fools or failure.”
“Wasn’t my fault.” Lydgate replied sullenly.
“It wasn’t your fault that you got drunk and got into a fight?”
Lydgate shifted in his chair.
“Tell me that’s not what happened.” She demanded.
“I thought so. I’ll tell him that you were waylaid but managed to deliver anyway. He’ll appreciate that. I won’t mention the steaming drunk part.” She crossed to the chair and sat down. “You’ve got this job on my recommendation, Lyd. I told him you could be trusted.” She reached for the scroll case that lay on the table and picked it up. It felt heavier than it should. Hetalia frowned, popped the lid and emptied the case into her hand. Two silver pieces fell into her palm.
“Ah…Yes…They’re mine…” said Lydgate, reaching across the table. “I was using it as a money pouch…I appear to have misplaced mine.”
Hetalia sighed and dropped the coins into his outstretched hand. “You don’t change do you Lydgate? You never could hold onto anything.”
Lydgate frowned, examining her words for layers of meaning. But he was too tired. The protective warmth of Orduk’s second or third finest wine had long since worn off and he had bled over most of Dockward; it was now only a couple of bells until dawn and he was fit to drop. Still he summoned his best winning grin and offered –
“Poor choice for a courier then. Wouldn’t you say?”
Hetalia smiled and Lydgate felt warm again. Her hands twitched as if to touch his, but they remained on the table.
“Try to stay out of trouble will you? I need you to keep this job. Olaf will not suffer me to have male acquaintances but he will allow me to conduct business with his employees…although not usually at such irregular hours.”
“I understand…Baroness de Moralais.”
“I hope you do Lydgate.” Her eyes were wide, hopeful pools. Lydgate tried not to fall in. “Come on.” She ordered. “You had better go. You’ve already been here longer than is prudent.”
“I’ll just sleep here. Too tired.” He half slid under the table. The chair made a scraping sound as he pushed it back.
“Lydgate!” She whispered fiercely, “This isn’t my father’s house. You can’t just sleep on the floor anymore. Now get up before you wake the household. Not all the servants are as discreet as Grace.”
Lydgate dragged himself to standing position with the help of the table. “Fine man, your father.”
Hetalia crossed her arms impatiently.
“Alright. I’m going.” Lydgate crossed to the door and swayed alarmingly. Hetalia resisted the urge to go to him and he righted himself on the back of the chair. Hetalia waited until Lydgate had pulled the top bolt across and opened the courtyard door.
“Remember what I said, won’t you?”
Lydgate turned, nodded and raised his bandaged hand. “Thanks for this.”
Hetalia inclined her head. “Be careful, Lydgate.”
“You know me.” Lydgate offered a rakish grin and then disappeared into the darkness of the courtyard.
Hetalia closed the door, drew the bolt across and rested her head against the heavy oak.
“It was good to see you, Lydgate.” She whispered to the door.
||Posted - 06 Aug 2008 : 16:59:00
“That’s not a scroll case.” Great line.