[Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Weird red metals, dominions, immortals, hollow planets, invisible moons, and a lot of glorified magic zeppelins. It's all here.
The Book-House: Find Mystara products, Find Known World products.

Moderators: Gawain_VIII, Havard, Seer of Yhog, Cthulhudrew

[Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:11 pm

Continued from Thorn's Mystara:First Quest.


A sharp jab in the side snapped Jasna awake, and she choked as she drew in water with the sharp intake of breath. She coughed, sputtering, rolling onto her side.

She blinked against the high sun’s brilliance, and then it was blotted out by a shaggy long-snouted head.

Jasna scrambled back, floundering in the shallows of the lake, and the other figure leapt back, bringing a flint-tipped spear down in a ready position, lips drawn back as it growled low in its chest.

Three more growls joined it. The shaggy hyena-headed creature was not alone.

Jasna clutched at her waist. There was a hole in her tunic, where the gnoll had poked her. Her side didn’t hurt any worse than her pounding headache, so she pushed the pain aside, and gripped the hilt of her silvery-bladed knife.

The gnolls’ growling grew deeper, louder, as she drew the weapon.

“I don’t want to fight you if I don’t have to,” she said, through chattering teeth. She was soaked through, and the wind coming across the lake raked at her like a wight’s claws.

Two of the gnolls, the biggest of the group, growled and yipped at each other. Their exchange grew heated, but the larger of the pair cuffed the other’s snout, and then barked something at the gnoll wielding the spear. It pointed towards Jasna when the other gnoll hesitated, barked again.

The gnoll adjusted its two-handed grip on the spear, and sank on its haunches, further into a defensive crouch, the spear tip extended before it. It began to advance.

“So that’s how you want to play it,” Jasna muttered. She flexed her fingers around the hilt of her knife.

Then she turned, and splashed away along the lake shore.

* * * * *

Brynne blinked, spitting hair from her mouth. She brushed at the stray locks, to find that only part of it was her own hair, and that one of her arms would not move.

The brief moment of panic abated as she saw that the hair belonged to Katarin, who was also laying across her other arm.

They were curled together amidst a cluster of boulders. Brynne slid her arm as gently as she could from beneath the other girl’s shoulders, wincing as the gash in her arm reopened.

From between the rounded stones, she could see a dirt pathway, and beyond that, a lake down the winding slope. She squeezed between the rocks, hopping down the ledge to the trail below, staggering at sudden rush of dizziness. She blinked it away irritably, looking off to her right. Sure enough, there was a deep crevice in the rocks, over which hung a beak-like projection. The large stones, which Katarin still lay between were the telltale Dragon’s Nest formation.

Brynne reached up, grasping the weaver’s booted foot, giving it a tug.

“Hey. Wake up, sleepyhead!”

The other girl sat up, pushing her hair from her face. She yawned, wincing as she stretched.

“It feels like I slept on a bed full of rocks,” she said through another yawn.

Brynne pointed, and Katarin glanced up at the stones around her.

She got to her feet, brushing dirt from her gown, and accepted Brynne’s help from the ledge.

“This is--”

“Yep,” Brynne said.

“You’re hurt.”

“It’s nothing. A scratch. It will--”

A fiery prickling caused Brynne to suck in a quick breath.

“I don’t need--”

“Hush,” Katarin said. “And stop squirming or it will scar.”

Another moment of prickling fire, and then a shiver that had little to do with the cold wind sweeping down from the Black Peaks left both girls gasping for breath.

Brynne flexed her arm. She hadn’t the stomach to actually watch the healing process, but the skin was smooth and unbroken, as if the blood that soaked her sleeve belonged to someone else.

Katarin glanced up and down the trail. “Where is everyone else?”

Brynne shrugged. “Still inside the temple?”

They joined hands, and squeezed through the split in the rocky hillside, following the slope back down to the entrance to the Temple of the Shield.

* * * * *

Justin groaned, pulling his cloak closer about him, turning onto his side. A few more moments of sleep wouldn’t do any harm. He snuggled closer to the furred pillow, letting its warmth seep into his aching head. The throbbing and rush of his heartbeat pounded like a pair of dwarven hammers. He slowed his breathing, trying to get his heart to quiet, but the thrumming would not slow.

Justin blinked. He’d never owned such a coarsely covered pillow. And certainly not one that rose and fell against his cheek. Or had its own, racing heartbeat.

He opened his eyes, staring into a hazy gray mass of fur. A large round ear flicked, at the edge of his vision.

The young lord scrambled away, sending leaves and loam flying. He backed painfully into a tree, the breath rushing out of him in a frosty cloud. He fought for breath even as he wiped at his face with a gloved hand. He had rat hair in his mouth and couldn’t get enough air to spit it out.

The giant gray-furred rat crouched more or less where he’d left it, but it’s reddish eyes were open, the tail thrashing this way and that in the wet leaves and mess of damp needles littering the forest floor.

A hand clamped down over Justin’s shoulder, squeezing, keeping him from rising.

“Easy, now, boy,” came a gravelly voice at his ear. “Just you stay there, and let me and my men handle this beast.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:56 am

A rock splashed into the lake, off to her right. Another skipped across the water, closer. A third clipped Jana’s shoulder, and she stumbled.

The stone-tipped spear whistled past her ear, where her neck had been a mere moment before, and she gasped a curse, followed just as quickly by a prayer of thanks to Korotiku. She snatched up the weapon.

Though she wasn’t as good with the spear as Brynne, the bigger girl had taught Jasna a few basic moves. But she had the spear, not the gnoll. That was Koritiku’s fifth rule: The enemy’s weapon in your hand means it is not in his. She combined it with Korotiku’s third rule: The enemy that cannot catch you cannot hurt you.

She bit down on the growing pain in her side. It would not be much further along the shore until she came to the Fisherman’s Bridge. Even the gnolls would be wary of charging into the fishing village in such small numbers.

She kept running.

* * * * *

“I never thought I’d say this, but I wish Justin were here,” Katarin said.

“We don’t need him, or his lantern,” Brynne said. “You can make light.”

“You know how it tires me.”

“We’re not dwarves. We can’t see in the dark. Can’t you at least try?”

Katarin sighed. She had no affinity for the Sphere of Energy, and creating light always left her fingers tingling, and her head feeling as if a swarm of bees had decided to make it their home afterwards.

“They could be hurt. What if the statues--”

“All right!”

Katarin took a breath, closing her eyes. She supposed she really didn’t have to. After all, it was already dark. Find your focus, Magia Saoirse instructed, be it breath, the beating of the heart, a remembered note or scent or image. For Katarin, it was the smell of the village fields after the first rains of spring.

Let it be your focus, embrace it, let it enfold you, and then allow yourself to fall into it.

The first few times she’d done it without distraction, she’d been afraid, and unable to open her link to the Spheres. The threads were there, barely visible, but she could not grasp them.

She took another deep breath, ignoring the taste of the rocks and brackish tang of the snowmelt, the smell of lilacs that lingered in Brynne’s hair even after the long days’ trials.

The fields, after the first spring storm. She breathed in the earthy smell, let it spread all about her, spread her arms, and fell backwards….

There was a tingle of anticipation, as she tipped past the point where she could no longer catch herself, but she pushed that spark of panic aside.

The sense of being off balance vanished with the fear of what it would feel like hitting the uneven ground behind her. She opened her eyes, saw Brynne, standing next to her, her brow furrowed, biting her lip like she did when she worried -- and she always worried.

Glowing white filaments surrounded the girl, streaming away from her as if wisps of cobweb or tailor’s threads. The threads shimmered, red and yellow and blue and green and white, a dizzying array, each thread a blend of all the five Spheres. As Brynne breathed, the threads pulsed blue, and threads of red crisscrossed the girl’s features as she noticed she was being watched.

“Stop staring, already. We have work to do.”

Right, Katarin thought. Work. She reached out, willing her hand between the blending of threads that made up the world around her, bending her focus towards the wispy tendrils of Energy beyond the Making, drawing them through and into the Prime.

But the threads would not obey, and slithered from between her fingers.

She glanced down, her own sigh of frustration a thing of blue and red threads. And her gaze settled on the red crystal upon her breast.

She picked it up, turned it this way and that. It shone brightly, in her power-enhanced vision, the facets at once hard and smooth yet at the same time striated so finely as to only appear smooth. At once a bundle of red threads, and yet totally ordered and structured.

She stared into the stone, and rather than reaching through the Making to retrieve threads of Energy, she reached through the stone….

… as she had, she realized, when the statue had been about to attack her Brynne.

Not so much, she admonished herself. A pinch, not a great seething handful. Just the tiniest bit.

Energy sang through her, and a scent, like the earth, warming under the first sun after spring’s storm rose up around her.

She smiled.

“Hey,” Brynne said, giving the girl beside her a shake. “What are you smiling for? Look!”

Katarin blinked, squinting, willing the squirming, streaming threads from the Spheres from her vision.

The globe of light in her hand was about the size of a large apple, its light about the same color. Not a watery, wavering ball of light, but shining clear and steadily as Justin’s lamp… before it had been so knocked about.

The light fell on jagged, unworked stone, the crevice running far deeper than they remembered it when they’d entered the temple the first time.

Another five or six paces, and then the jagged crevice closed to just a finger-width crack in the hillside.

“Where is the hallway?” Katarin asked.

There was not a trace of worked stone or speaking carving to be found.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Wed May 02, 2012 9:10 pm

Justin nearly gagged on the reek of wine that spilled from the man’s lips, along with his words. The hand on his shoulder was thick-fingered, soot-stained, scarred and calloused, and he was immediately reminded of Old Padrig, the smith at the garrison.

The great rat’s tail thrashed harder, its gaze darting this way and that. Justin craned his neck, to stare over his other shoulder.

Three more men crouched nearby, dressed in dirty skins, crude spears clutched in their hands. One of the men wore a necklace of strange leathery patches and beads around his neck.

“Not quite the beastie we was looking for, but at least we won’t get back to town without supper,” one of the men said, his Traladaran accent so thick, the words so slurred Justin had trouble making out what the man said. Beneath the bushy tangle of dark hair, the man’s equally dark eyes were bleary, bloodshot.

The man hefted his spear, and Justin made to rise, but was pushed down hard by the hand at his shoulder.

“Not safe, boy! Just let Mitri take care of it and we might share.”

The man with the strange necklace -- Mitri-- drew back his arm, teetering, and let the spear fly.

It flew plenty wide, and the other men laughed.

“Should have aimed at the one in the middle!” one of them slurred.

“It moved! Shifty beast!” Mirtri’s Traladaran was barely understandable.

Another of the men drew back to throw his spear.

“No!” Justin shouted, finally pulling free of the man behind him. “You can’t!” He scrambled to his feet. The dark-haired man lowered the spear, his bushy brows drawing together. His grip shifted on the shaft-- still holding it at the ready -- but ready to be used against Justin rather than the giant rat.

“An’ why can’t I?” the man slurred.

“Because--” Justin glanced between the men. Another behind the speaker still held a spear, and Mitri, who’d missed with his, had his hand on a hilt of carved bone tucked into the wide strip of leather that served as a belt. The biggest of the men leaned against the tree, plucking at a tangle in his great red beard.

The young lord closed his hand over the hilt of his sword. At this, the red-bearded man raised an eyebrow.

“Seems the boy means to challenge you, Quinias,” he said.

Quinias feinted to his left, and Justin turned, hand tightening on his sword’s hilt. The man bared his teeth in a wide grin. He took a couple steps to his right, and Justin drew his sword.

The ring of the steel as it came free of the scabbard hung in the air between them.

“He can barely even lift that blade,” Mitri crowed.

“Well, now you’ve drawn it, you have to use it,” the red-bearded man said.

“If you even know how,” Quinias said, sneering.

“Of course I can use it!” Justin spat. “And don’t call me ‘boy.’ I’ve been Sheared. I make my own way in the world now.

“And you won’t be going anywhere near that rat--”

“Neither will you, boy,” Mitri said with a hiccup.

“It’s mine to kill!” Justin said, taking a step towards the man.

“Then you’d best turn ‘round and run,” the red-bearded man said, indicating the direction with his chin. “It’s gettin’ away.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Wed May 02, 2012 10:09 pm

The Man reeking of overripe grapes missed with his sharpened stick, and the others chattered excitedly. The iron-smelling Manling finally broke free of the Man-pack’s leader, and engaged the other Men in more chatter. He drew is long tooth of iron, and while the other Men stared at it, Petra turned and dashed for deeper cover.

The Men and Manling hooted, giving chase. But they were unbalanced on their twoleg run, had no tail to offset their gait, and wasted much motion keeping their heads high when they should be low to the ground, to taste the path ahead. They relied on their eyes rather than whiskers to warn them of dangers ahead.

The woods were not as Petra remembered them. They did not have the sickly sweet smell to them, the trees did not seem as broad or tall, their cover quite as dense. There was little foliage under which to hide, the fallen trees fewer.

She turned her nose towards the smell of water. Water and fish and stone. And… something else. Wet fur, but not the fur of her own kind. It held a different weight in the air, the spice of it tickling her nose.

Petra spotted Man-high trunk, splintered, the rest of the tree twisted at its base. There was a dark hollow beneath it. She dashed towards it. In the dark, there was safety. And maybe some grubs. Or some juicy meal worms, or even a centipede.

Even at a run, her ears twitched in anticipation.

The thoughts of food distracted her from the odd fall of shadows beside the tree between her and the shelter beneath the fallen tree.
There was a sharp ‘twang,’ and then Petra’s forward motion stopped, a white-hot loop of fire clutching her rear foot, biting deep. She squealed, in equal amounts of pain and surprise, clawing at the needles and leaves and much beneath them. She jerked her rear leg several times, but the pain encircling her foot only increased, causing her to squeal again.

The Men’s chattering came to her ears, but the pain made it impossible to make out which of them was speaking. The sharp tang of iron grew larger in her nose, and the Manling approached, jostling the others aside. The long tooth was still in his hand.

He drew the tooth back, and then lashed out with it.

More hot pain blossomed in Petra’s side, and she felt the iron shudder as it struck a rock, buried in the forest floor beneath her.

A foot came down on her injured leg, pressing down hard, and she squealed again, scrabbling at the ground for purchase, to get away, to run.

The Manling leaned down, muttered something in her ear, and then the long iron tooth withdrew when he stood up.

He turned, saying something to the Men, who chattered and made excited noises, clapping the Manling on the shoulder, wanting to see the long iron tooth.

Petra breathed as shallowly as she could, trying to keep as still as possible. The ring of fire around her foot had bitten even deeper. She could barely feel the toes of that paw, and though she was getting colder with each breath, the ground beneath was warming. She twitched, huddling in the growing puddle of warmth, wondering why the sky should be going so dark when it was just a bit past high sun….
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Thu May 03, 2012 10:18 pm

“Where did it go?” Katarin asked, again. Her concentration wavered, and the ball of light flickered once, and then collapsed, the threads falling away from her control. She let them go, felt the pull of the Spheres fall away as well, and she blinked against the sudden darkness that claimed her vision.

Brynne squeezed her hand. “Don’t.”

“I wasn’t going to--”

“You were going to poke at the Spheres again. There’s no need. There’s nothing more to see here. Now turn around so we can go back.”
Katarin sighed. It was warm, in the trancelike state of weaving. She didn’t feel the cold. Or the aches in her back and shoulders. Or the pounding of her head. Everything just felt… better there.

The winds keened, on the mountain trail, and Katarin clutched her cloak tightly about her. Brynne stepped up next to her, wrapping half of her own cloak about the girl and hugging her close, their heads nearly touching. They stared over the edge of the trail, at the lake below, the surface glimmering in the high sun’s light.

“It’s beautiful from up here,” Katarin said.

Brynne nodded, though Katarin wasn’t looking her direction. “You could almost see Tarnskeep from here. You know, if it wasn’t ruins.”

“I don’t even see those,” Katarin murmured.

She straightened, a moment before Brynne did the same.

“The lake--”

“So clear--”

“Where is the fog? The gold and blue lights?”

“Where is the town?” Brynne asked.

* * * * *

Jasna slowed, her breath coming in short, painful gasps. She’d run as if… well, as if she’d had gnolls at her heels, and put quite a bit of distance between herself and the hunting pack.

Her heart sank, as she saw it was all for nothing. The bridge wasn’t there. It was no trick of the fog, either, for there was no clinging gray mists, no flickering blue lights within. The bridge wasn’t washed out -- it would take a giant to make the arching stone bridge budge even the littlest bit. The bridge simply was not there. As if it had never been built.

Jasna gripped the spear hard, trying to remember what Brynne had taught her. If she dug the end of the spear into the ground, and held it out in front of her, braced just so, the gnolls would skewer themselves like one of those Thyatian kebabs she’d had at last year’s Festival of Lights.

Her stomach growled, and it was echoed by a growling and yipping of the approaching gnolls. Of course, they wouldn’t just run into her spear. They’d stand well back and just skewer her on their own spears, from a distance.

She squeezed the shaft tighter, blinking.

I will not cry, she told herself. The wind gusted, tossing her hair in her face, and the sweat from her exertions felt as if it were turning to a glaze of ice. I am cold, and hungry, and lost. Well, not lost. I know where I am, but it is… different. Korotiku, she prayed. Please, aid me. I’ll give anything! She reached up, and clutched at the silver pendant that hung about her neck.

Almost anything, she amended. It was pure silver. Surely, even Koroiku could understand a time might arise when she would be in need of coins.

The gnolls drew up, well within a spear’s cast of her, fanning out. One or another of them would catch her if she tried darting in between. The lake lapped sluggishly against the rise in the land, and it was perhaps a twenty-foot drop into the beginnings of the Waterolde. Even if she survived the fall into the rocky waters below, she would surely drown. She was not part mermaid, like Brynne, or part fish like little Petra.

She clutched the medallion harder. If Korotiku wouldn’t aid her, then maybe…

She closed her eyes.

Petra, she prayed. I am your handmaiden. Please, come to me in my darkest hour… even though it’s a bright winter day. Please, aid your humble handmaiden and I swear upon my life that my friends will serve you faithfully in whichever capacity you deem fit for them.

The gnolls barked and yipped among themselves, their voices rising into the chilling, keening cackling. She’d heard the adventurer’s tales. She knew that sound was usually the last thing lesser adventurers heard when facing gnolls.

Jasna sank to her knees, the edges of the medallion biting into her fingers.

The lead gnoll’s cackling stopped, mid-breath. There was a brief whistle, and then another fell silent. A third, sharp whistle, and the third gnoll gave a yelp, like a kicked dog. The last one's voice faded as it turned tail and ran back towards the woods.

Jasna peeked from beneath her bangs. Two of the gnolls lay on the ground, arrows protruding from their throats. The third lay, whining, an arrow lodged deep in its great barrel-like chest.

Slowly, the girl rose. She glanced down at the medallion, still clutched in a white-knuckled grip. Then she looked up at the sky.

“Thank you, Petra!” she cried. It was the glare of the sun that brought the tears to the corner of her eyes, she was sure of it.

From behind her, a distant voice answered.

“No thanks are necessary! Any enemy of the Beast Men is a friend of mine, but you are quite welcome, just the same!”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Sat May 05, 2012 10:44 am

The wine was quite sour, but very strong, and Justin didn’t much mind the taste after long. A lord must observe proper etiquette, after all. It would have been rude to refuse the offered drink. And the last thing Justin wanted was to anger his newfound hosts.

They were a raucous and rowdy bunch, all of them dressed in furs and skins. Had their hair been blonde rather than brown and black and red, he would have thought himself amidst a crowd of Northmen.

The group made its way to the logger’s village at the gentle first curve of the Windrush. It seemed at once smaller and busier than Justin remembered. Several large common fires burned in the middle of the makeshift village, and men, women, and children huddled about them, most holding clay cups or bowls that steamed, the smell making Justin’s mouth water.

A large space had cleared between two of the fires, and a crowd of men cheered and called various insults at two combatants within the ring. Two men, clad just in loincloths, circled each other, their wrists bound each other by a length of braided leather. Judging by the sheen of sweat gleaming from under few patches of skin clear of mud, they’d been wrestling for quite some time.

A cup and bowl were thrust into Justin’s hands, wine spilling over one hand, and hot broth over the other.

“Eat. A man needs more in his stomach than just wine after his first kill.”

Justin tasted the broth, found bits of vegetable and chicken floating in it, as well. He hadn’t realized just how cold it was until the warmth seeped into him from the soup.
“How did you know it was my first kill?” he asked between sips.

The red bearded man gave a snorting chuckle. “Boy, you would think you’d spitted your best friend, the way you looked out there.”

“I-- stop calling me ‘boy.’”

“You remind me a lot of my younger brother. He said the same thing, growing up.”

“So?”

“So his eagerness to prove himself got most of the village burned to the ground. You’ll have plenty of time to grow into that shirt of metal, boy.”

* * * * *

Petra awoke to searing pain in her side, white bolts of agony burning from just below her ribs, snaking up and down her right side. The cold breeze against her sweat-slicked face and arms felt good, as did the soft furs beneath her. She was burning up, yet shivering at the same time. The pain and hunger had her stomach tied in knots. She tried to close her hands, had no energy to do so, had barely enough breath to whimper into the fur.

A heart was beating, beneath the furs. She was wrapped in some of them, she realized, pressure along her back and legs indicating that she was somehow lashed in place.

“So you are awake.”

She felt the voice, resonating against her breast. She was being carried, then, on the man’s back. She tried to take in a breath, to reply, and the agony spiked.

“Save your strength for holding on,” the man said. He shifted her a bit higher on his back, and Petra gasped, sucking in a short, painful breath.

“I am sorry, Little One, but now I must run. You must bear with it. It should not be much further.”

Petra hitched a breath, and buried her face in the furs about the man’s shoulders. His pace picked up, and the agony poured from her side, becoming a steady stream of fire.

* * * * *

“The horses are gone,” Brynne said. “The entire campsite is gone.”

She and Katarin stood at the wide spot in the path before it doubled back on itself, where they’d narrowly escaped being overwhelmed by the goblin scouting party.

“And no signs at all of passage,” Katarin said. “It is very hard to hide a horse’s passing.”

They continued down the path. They kept their eyes on the ground, but there was no sign of a single paving stone. Brynne even went so far as to kick at the ground, but clearing away the scree and needles from the few trees only revealed more dirt.

They squeezed through the gap in the granite, the final stretch before the woods that bordered the southern shores of the lake.

A rustling and telltale rhythm of footfalls echoed through the notch in the stone ahead of them.

“That’s got to be one of them,” Brynne said, and dashed forward.

“Wait!” Katarin hissed. She hiked up the hem of her gown, and ran after the other girl.

She made perhaps a dozen steps, and crashed into Brynne’s back, causing them both to stumble forward.

Not ten steps from them, the gnoll’s shoulders nearly brushed the sides of the narrow gap in the stone. It bared its fangs, rearing back, standing even taller over the two girls, and began the chittering cackling call.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Sun May 06, 2012 12:16 pm

“Hold!”

Jasna stopped, leaning on the spear. Two fur-clad men, dark hair peeking from under leather caps, approached from the edge of the cluster of… Jasna supposed calling them “buildings” would be extremely generous.

The men kept hands on bone-handled knives in their belts, the taller of the two taking another step closer to the girl.

“Who’re you?” he asked.

Jasna looked up at the man, turning his words around in her head. He was talking like those papers that Petra insisted she read, in the Old Traladaran.

“I am Jasna,” she said, cobbling together what little of the old tongue she remembered. Brynne would be better at this. Or Petra. Well, Petra-the-younger, she supposed she’d have to start calling her. She glanced again over the sluiceway, where the dark-haired woman loped along Fisherman’s Isle, towards the natural weir at its tip, now the only way across the Waterolde.

The two men glanced at each other, then back at the girl.

“You don’t have the Northern accent. Which tribe are you from?”

“Tribe?” Jasna asked, not sure she translated the word rightly. “You mean family? I have none.”

The hands tightened on knife hilts.

“From which town do you hail?” the shorter man asked, his eyes narrowing.

Jasna pointed across the river. “Threshold, silly. It’s right over….”

Across the river, she could clearly see Fogor Island. The mill was gone, though. As were the docks. And the bridges. The walls of Threshold weren’t visible, either.
She swallowed.

“Thought we found all the survivors from Lugsid,” the man said, to his fellow guard.

“Even if we did, what’s she doing on this side o’ the river? Tiny lil’ thing like her’d be swept away like a twig if she tried to swim it.”

“Unless she’s one o’ them nixies. In disguise.”

“Oh, for Korotiku’s sake,” the girl said. “I’m tired, and cold and--” Her stomach growled. “Hungry. I see your cook fires. Do I have to give the beggar’s oath?” She knelt, setting down the spear, adjusting the dagger further back on her hip, hiding it from their view.

“Fell for that one a week ago. Lost nearly a dozen men to a skinchanging wolf. Had fair hair, just like yours. For all we know, you could be his pup.”

“Khoronus’ pity, let the poor girl through.” The woman approached, dressed in hunting leathers and a thick fur cloak, her dark brown hair plaited in a long braid down her back. A bow of ash was slung over one shoulder, a leather quiver with gray-fletched arrows over the other.

“But--”

“I will take responsibility for the girl,” the woman said. She turned, motioning for Jasna to rise. “Take up your spear. It would not be good to be caught unarmed on this side of the river, as you discovered earlier.”

She waved Jasna ahead of her, and as the girl passed, she whisked the dagger from its sheath in the small of her back.

“I know you cannot wield that ungainly thing,” the woman whispered at Jasna’s shoulder. “But this, I’m sure you are quite familiar with.”

“That is mine!”

“Not while you are among my tribesmen. Not until you have proven yourself trustworthy. And hiding this was not the best of starts for such a task.”

Jasna’s stomach interrupted her attempt at apologizing, and the woman smiled.

“Come. Let us get something warm inside you, and then the General, the Huntsman and I shall hear your tale.”

* * * * *

More howls echoed around the girls, and they turned to see two more gnolls crowding through the gap. Shadows flickered above them, and they saw two more gnolls leap from the rocks above, crouching on the lip of stone opposite two more, whose dog-like heads were all the girls could see, peering down, dark eyes bright with hunger.

“Stay low. Stay behind me,” Brynne said, turning a slow circle, her back to her friend.

“You’re -- you don’t even have a weapon!” Katarin hissed. “Let me--”

“No! Save your strength for healing.”

Brynne glanced about, snatching up a jagged stone from amidst the scree along the path. She hefted it, and cocked her arm back to throw.

“Give me that!”

Katarin plucked the rock from Brynne’s grip, took a deep breath, and fell through the tuning process, watching the world become a shimmering tangle of threads from the Spheres.

She clutched the dragonstone at her breast, letting its heat surge through her, bending the threads of Energy through will alone and channeling them into the stone in her other hand. She twitched her fingers, drawing threads of Thought around her hand, eddies of air carring away the growing heat of the stone.

Another breath, and the stone began to glow, brighter orange seams gleaming through the deep red light throbbing across the surface of the rock.

“Get behind me,” Katarin murmured, her voice distant, cadenced in the sing-song of a weaver at work.

Brynne did not argue, dropping to her haunches, bringing her arms up over her head as Katarin drew back to throw.

Another twitch of her fingers as she released the stone cradled it in threads of Thought, and she sent the currents spinning about the stone, feeding the Energy it as the smith’s bellows would feed a forge’s coals.

The glowing rock careened off the wall of the small canyon, ricocheting upward, and Katarin’s fingers moved again in another pattern, while she ducked, lifting her cloak up over herself as she turned her back.

The stone detonated with the sound of a dragon’s roar, completely drowning out the howls and yelps of the gnolls. Bits of molten stone rained down over them, bouncing off the shell of hardened air Katarin held in place.

Brynne looked from beneath her arm. A haze of smoke from the still-smoldering pebbles hung in the air. The gnolls were nowhere to be seen.

She tapped Katarin on the shoulder, and the girl gave a start, collapsing against her friend while gasping for breath, clutching her sleeve with shaking fingers.

They huddled together for several long moments, while Katarin caught her breath.

“Silva’s dragonstone helps with fire, but manipulating air still leaves me… winded.”

Brynne groaned. “If you’ve got breath enough to make bad jokes, that’s breath enough for us to get moving again.” She hauled the girl to her feet.

They were still brushing dirt and needles from their clothes when more shadows flickered above them.

A dozen faces peered down at them from the top of the ridge, spear tips poking up among the leather-helmed, bearded faces.

“Piss in the forge!” growled one of the figures -- the accent clearly dwarven. “They’re just man-whelps! She-whelps at that!”

“Doesn’t matter,” said another, his beard darker than the first speaker. “We have our orders. Take them.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Sun May 06, 2012 7:57 pm

“And how did my Lady fare?” the big red-bearded man asked, looking up as Jasna was pushed into the tent. The man frowned, but rose. He kicked one of the men next to him, and the other two men got to their feet as well. With some effort, Justin struggled to rise. The wine, and the heat of the tent made him dizzy.

“Stableboy!”

“Street rat,” he said with a nod, steadying himself with his sword.

The tall woman in the leathers stepped into the tent behind Jasna, unfastening her cloak and tossing it on the pile by the entrance flap.

“Do you recognize this girl?” she asked.

The two men shook their heads, eyes narrowed and hands on their belt knives.

“And you, General?”

The big man stroked at his beard with a thumb. “Fair hair, so she could be from the east. She’s got Antalian eyes, as well. But she’s wearing your cloth. She’s not one of yours?”

The woman frowned. “One of mine? Certainly not. Though this is very finely made.” She ran a finger over the collar of Jasna’s tunic. “Where did you get this, girl?”

“It… was given to me. At the Home.”

The woman and the big man glanced at each other, shaking their heads.

“We do not know of this ‘home,’” the woman said. “Which of the kings do you call your own?”

“King?” Jasna was certain that was the word they’d used.

“Perhaps yours still calls himself ‘Chieftain,’” the big man said.

The girl shook her head. “I am from here. From Thresho-- from Lugsid!”

“How did you get to this side of the river, then?”

Jasna swallowed. “We… we took the ferry from Fogor Island. This morning.”

“‘We?’ There were more of you?”

“Four. Plus the stableboy.”

The woman turned to Justin. “Is this true?”

He nodded. “Yes, m’lady. Well, most of it. I wouldn’t really say I know this girl that well. We actually only just met a few days ago.”

“And where might you be from, boy?”

Justin bristled, and the big man laid a hand on his mail-clad shoulder. “He claims to be from the coast.”

The woman nodded. “Yes, he has the look of Milen’s folk. Left you behind, did they?”

Justin gave a hiccup. “M’lady?”

“M’lady,” she repeated, raising an eyebrow. “You could learn a thing or two from this one.”

“Put on a skirt, and we’ll call you a lady,” one of the men said.

“What do we do ‘bout this one?” the other man asked, thrusting his chin at Jasna.

“A few more questions, I think,” the woman said. “What was your business over here?”

“We were looking for--” Jasna suddenly snapped her mouth shut. There, right behind the big red-bearded man, laying across two wooden stools, holding two large clay pitchers and several cups, as well as a bundle of rags, was a large bronze shield.

“Looking for what? Our numbers? Where the weapons are kept?”

“No!”

“Who is the elder of your town?”

“H-halaran?” Jasna said, shifting on her feet. If she was quick, she could duck around the woman…

“Sit,” the woman said, pointing to a space beside Justin.

Jasna swallowed again, and plopped to the floor.

“It is good to see you,” the young man said.

Jasna leaned away from him, wrinkling her nose. “You reek of bad wine.”

“The General is very generous.” He grinned. “That sort of rhymes.”

“You’re drunk. No wonder you’re glad to see me.” Jasna leaned further away, patting the young lord’s hand, straining to listen to the whispered conversation between the tall woman and the red-bearded man.

“You don’t even know who that is, do you?” she hissed at the boy.

“Of course I do! I pay atenshun. Those two are Quinias and Mitri. They’re the General’s right hand men. Can he have two right hand men? Maybe one is his right and the other is his left…”

“Not them! The other two!”

“They sort of remind me of my mother and father,” Justin said, and he sighed.

“They--” Jasna groaned. “We are sitting right in the middle of history, and I’m stuck with a wine-soaked half-wit stableboy. You’ve probably seen a lot more Royals than I ever will, and you don’t even recognize him.”

“I--”

“Shut up,” Jasna said. “I’m trying to eavesdrop.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Mon May 07, 2012 9:36 pm

“Well?” Halav asked. “What do you make of it?”

Petra glanced over at the two strangers. “After what happened last week, with the wolf… We can’t take the risk. We can not take them with us.”

“We can’t leave them to the Beast Men.”

“We can not afford to make another mistake like the last one. Your soft heart cost us nine men.”

“We’ll take the boy. You saw his shirt. And his sword. It’s made of the same metal. It went clean through an abominable rat, into the stony ground without losing a bit of its edge. We need that.”

“So take it, and leave the both of them.”

“That gives us one sword. Think, woman. A dead man gives up no secrets. I need to know how they are made.”

Petra pinched the bridge of her nose, squinting against the headache that had been growing all day. “Fine. We’ll take the girl. If nothing else, we can use her has leverage against the boy. But if a tool breaks, we cast it aside.”

“You don’t trust her. What of her words? Did she lie?”

Petra sighed. “That’s just it. There seemed no deceit in her answers, yet… well, you heard them. They were clearly wrong. And earlier, at the river, she invoked the Trickster.”

“The Trickster. Not the Deceiver.”

“This is no time for tricks. Nor riddles, or jest.”

“So we’ll wait for Zirchev, then. Let the Huntsman tip the balance, one way or the other.”

“What is taking him so long?” Petra asked, crossing her arms. “We agreed to meet back here near high sun. He should have been back by now.”

“Well, at least we know these two haven’t waylaid him,” Halav said.

“Appearances, my dear General. Remember the wolf.”

* * * * *

“Hold!”

Katarin stumbled into Brynne’s back as the girl stopped short, causing both of them to fall.

“Careful, there, whelps,” one of the dwarves jeered.

“She wouldn’t be so clumsy if you’d take that sack off her head! Or unbind her fingers, so she can at least catch herself.”

“And have her roast us where we stand? Not bloody likely.”

“Be glad we didn’t just give her hands a few good whacks with this hammer,” another dwarf said, hefting the great stone-headed weapon from its loop at his belt.

“Why are you--”

“Not a word, witch!” The dwarf kicked Katarin in the side, and her words ended in a muffled yelp.

Brynne gathered herself to leap at the dwarf, but the weaver leaned hard against her friend. The sack wagged back and forth. The bigger girl gritted her teeth, not looking away from the dwarf with the maul.

“That’s three,” she said.

“Keeping score, are ya? Here’s four.” The dwarf kicked at Katarin again, but Brynne lunged in front of the weaver, biting down on her own yelp as the heavy boot connected.

“Oi! Shorty, we know the difference between Beast Man wounds and dwarf boots.” The voice was human. And speaking Old Traladaran.

Brynne coughed, looking up, blinking to clear the tears from her eyes. Two men in furs and leather caps leaned lazily against stone-tipped spears.

The dwarf reached down and hauled the two girls to their feet, setting them in motion with a hard shove.

Brynne walked slowly despite the dwarves’ prodding, guiding the other girl through the ramshackle buildings. The fishing village was smaller than she remembered it that morning. The bustle was different. Men worked by the river, at a mass of logs, but they did not haul them ashore for further cutting.

“They’re making rafts,” Brynne whispered. A squeeze at her shoulder indicated that Katarin had heard her.

One of the dwarves proked Brynne, right where the leader had kicked her. “Quiet, you.”

She kept wide of the crowds around the camp fires, even though she wanted to go nearer the fires with pots boiling over them. She steered Katarin well clear of the loud circle of men watching something or other in the makeshift ring.

The dwarf brought them up short again, kicking the back of Katarin’s leg, and did the same with Brynne, sending the girls backwards into the mud.

“You two stay right there. Keep them quiet, and don’t let nobody touch ‘em. We’re getting the reward, not nobody else.” He tromped off, purposefully splashing mud over the girls as he went by, before shouting a greeting as he ducked into a large tent.

Brynne and Katarin wiggled to a sitting position, backs together. The brewer’s daughter clutched at Katarin’s leather-wrapped fingers.

“They’re so cold!” She tightened her grip, rubbing the girl’s hands as best she could with the little play the leather cords around her own wrists granted. She looked up, sure one or another of the dwarves would separate them, or punish them some other way.

But their attention was fixed on a commotion going on at the edge of the camp, from the direction they’d come. There was lots of shouting. and people were scrambling this way and that to get out of the way.

Brynne’s eyes widened. A leather and fur-clad man ran with a long-legged gait through the camps.

“Aside! Move aside!” he roared. His dark hair streamed behind him, and he clutched a large bundle of furs against his chest as he ran. Golden hair fluttered from within the folds as he ran past the girls, and he was brought up short by two of the dwarves stepping in front of the tent.

“Kurtar is negotiating,” one of the dwarves said, holding up a hand. “Nobody disturbs him until he gets his price.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Wed May 09, 2012 5:31 am

“I need the Queen’s aid,” the tall man snarled. “Now stand aside.”

The two dwarves clutched at the clubs at their belts. The other dwarves by Brynne and Katarin did the same, teeth shining through their beards.

“You heard Far. No interruptions.”

The tall man made to push through the two dwarves, but they moved shoulder to shoulder, the broader of the two slipping his club free from his belt.

“We’ve been nice, observing your little truce,” the dwarf said. “Try that again, and we’ll break it. Along with you.”

“Dwarf, if you do not make way, this girl will die.”

“Such a pity,” the other dwarf said, his voice pitched in a mournful tone. “You humans breed faster than rabbits. No doubt there’s a few of your kind working to replace that one as we speak.”

The man took another step.

The dwarf raised his club, as did two of them by the girls.

“Oh no you don’t!” Brynne hissed, and she lashed out, kicking the nearest dwarf in the side of his knee, rather than the back. It gave a hard pop as he toppled over with a scream.

Brynne had already used the momentum to gain her feet, and she bowled into the other dwarf, slamming her shoulder into his side.

It was like running into the side of the town hall. She fell away, dizzy and gasping for breath, but it was enough to distract the dwarf from striking the man from behind.

The dwarf turned to cuff Brynne, but Katarin had snatched the sack from her face, and used it to scoop up a helping of mud, which she threw to the dwarf’s face.

Choking and wiping at his eyes, gave Brynne a chance to place a kick, buckling the dwarf’s knee, sending him sprawling face-down into the muck. She dropped, an elbow cocked, bringing it down hard on the side of the dwarf’s head. Whether or not it harmed him, she pressed with all her strength against his neck, keeping his face buried in the mud.

The tall man danced backwards, away from the two dwarfs guarding the tent entrance.

A woman -- just as tall as the dark-haired man -- stepped from the tent, her expression dark as a stormcloud.

She flung an arm out at the two dwarves, fingers spread.

“You will hold!” she shouted, in a voice like thunder, and the dwarves rocked in their boots, eyes bulging as they strained against some unseen hand keeping them in place. It did not clear the snarls from their lips.

“Untie me!” Katarin shouted, holding out her hands.

Brynne made to move to help her, but had to refocus her efforts on keeping the dwarf prone.

“No, don’t!” groaned another dwarf, cradling his knee. “She’s a witch, a fire caster. She’ll burn the lot of you to the ground!”

“Petra, I need your magic to heal this girl,” the tall man said.

“And release these two?” the woman asked.

Katarin slipped through the mud, landing on her knees beside the tall man. She held her hands out. “Cut my fingers free. I can help her!”

“Don’t listen to her!” the dwarf croaked. Brynne glanced a kick off his leather helm.

“She’s a healer, not a…. a fire caster!”

“In Petra’s name,” Katarin said. “Let me help her!”

“That’ll have to do,” said the tall man, glancing over at the woman, who nodded. He hefted the bundle in his arms, which gave a sharp cry, and drew a slender bronze-bladed knife. He held it out to the weaver, who worked the leather cords about her fingers over the blade. One, and another came free, and she ignored the slashes the blade left along her knuckles. She shook out her hands, sending the last of the bindings falling away.

“Set her down. I must see how bad it is.” She looked up at onlookers in the crowd. “Don’t just stand there! You! Water, hot as you can get it. Bring it here. Go! Run!”

A balding man scurried away.

“You two. Start tearing that blanket into strips. Use his knife.” She pointed at the tall man, who dazedly handed the knife over to the two wide-eyed girls who’d been cowering nearby.

Katarin peeled the furs away from the pale blonde girl the tall man had been carrying. She sucked in a breath, biting back tears.

“Oh, Petra, we have to stop meeting like this,” she whispered, smoothing the curls away from the girl’s face. She peeled one eye open, stared into the blue-gray depths, and gave herself up to the flow of the threads of the Spheres.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Thu May 10, 2012 6:47 pm

Jasna dipped another strip of cloth into the boiling water, holding it there, watching it dance amidst the bubbles. She didn’t want to watch Katarin work, although it was somewhat satisfying to hear the girl giving orders to a Traldar queen as if she were some chiurgeon’s fetching boy.

She lifted the bandage out, laying it among the others in the steaming pile, and draped another over the stick, lowering it into the water.

“I think that’s enough bandages,” Brynne said, squatting next to the steaming pile of cloth heaped on the bronze shield.

“We wanted to see Halav’s shield,” Jasna said, wiping at her eyes. “Well, here it is!”

“It doesn’t look anything like the little representations we saw in the Temple, does it?”

“No, it doesn’t. So we went through all this for a lie.” She squeezed her eyes shut.

“Hey--”

“It’s the steam. It’s making my eyes water.”

“She’ll be okay. Katarin is in charge. Petra -- Petra! The mother of all the Wisdoms’ herb lore-- working with her.”

“Listen to you, fawning over that --”

Brynne took the stick from Jasna’s hand, raising the strip of cloth from the boiling water. “You’d best watch what you say. She is still a queen.”

“And how about that king?” Jasna said.

Brynne scrunched her nose up. “Not at all like what the tapestries depict.”

“His gut sticks out like a barrel!”

“He’s probably drunk enough wine to fill a barrel.” Brynne giggled.

“Maybe he shapes up before… you know.”

They grew silent as the big red-bearded man sauntered up to them. The dozen spearmen he’d taken to escort the dwarves from the village had dispersed back into the crowds.

“Ladies,” he said, tipping his bronze helm. Or rather, catching the rim before it could slip down over his eyes.

“Your Majesty,” Brynne said, bowing her head.

“Oh,” he said. “I do like the sound of that.” He ambled away, humming off-key.

* * * * *

“M’ladies, the General and the Queen request your presence.”

Brynne and Jasna glanced at each other over the still-bubbling pot.

“I thought you said we’d have to wear skirts to be called ladies,” Jasna said, to the two guards who’d come to fetch them.

“We saw how that one handles herself in a fight,” said the taller one, Mitri, pointing towards Brynne. “Think we’ll be treating her and her friends with all due respect.”

“You should see what she does with a quarterstaff,” Jasna said.

“I have brothers. They’re about your size. And they’re afraid of me,” the other girl said with a grin.

The two guards shared an uncomfortable look, and then gestured towards the large tent. They made sure to stay out of the girls’ reach.


The tent was stifling. A camp bed had been set up in one corner, as close to one of the braziers as Katarin could get it. The weaver sat near the bed, a small hand poking from beneath the furs clasped in her own.

Petra-the-younger lay pale, her breath coming fast and shallow, with a rattle in it much like Silva’s. Her pale blonde hair was still plastered to her head, and Katarin would squeeze and stroke the girl’s hand when she would begin to thrash, or cough, whispering in the girl’s ear until the fit subsided.

The General, the Queen and the tall dark-haired man stood apart, in the other corner, their argument heated, but carried in hushed tones. It only stopped when Jasna and Brynne stepped into the tent.

“Ah, good. There you are. We need--” the red-bearded man began.

Brynne and Jasna ignored him, going to Katarin’s side.

“How is she?” Jasna asked.

“Through the worst of it,” the weaver said. “But there is only so much I could do. Most of my effort went to repairing her lung. I did my best, but… she just does not have the energy to spare. Now I have to keep her asleep.”

“Sleep is probably best for her,” Brynne said.

Katarin shook her head. “She needs to eat. If she wakes up, she’ll change. It will undo all of my work. And if it doesn’t….” She looked over to the Three.

“They seem a bit on edge,” Jasna whispered. “Something about a werewolf.”

“She’s just a rat,” Brynne said. “She’s nowhere near as dangerous as a--”

“She won’t be in control if she changes,” Katarin hissed. “She won’t be our Petra, in there. She’ll just be a… a monster.”

Brynne shook her head. “No. She’ll still be--”

“No,” Jasna said. “It will be like in the dungeons. You saw what she did to that ogre.”

“That’s… just because ogres can’t catch lycanthropy,” Brynne said.

“No, they can’t,” Katarin affirmed. “But people can. They would not let her escape.”

“So… what do we do?” Brynne asked.

“She sleeps, until I can think of something.” Katarin said


Behind them, the tall man cleared his throat.

“My compatriots are inclined to leave the lot of you here, in the path of Flaghr’s horde,” he said.

Brynne’s fists tightened, and she made to rise, but Katarin laid a hand over hers, and the tall man held up a hand in parley.

“Be at ease, ladies. I said that was their inclination, not their decision. May I sit?”

Brynne moved aside, scooting closer to Katarin, leaving a gap between herself and Jasna.

The tall man glanced at both girls before settling Ethengari style between them.

“We will be leaving with the dawn,” the man said. “We will take you with us--”

“She can’t be moved!” Katarin insisted.

“You know this girl?”

“Of course we do!” Brynne said. “She’s our friend!”

The man hesitated, as if reconsidering what he was about to say. He glanced over his shoulder. The Queen and the General looked up from their own whispered conversation. The Queen glowered.

“I do wish we could speak somewhere a bit more privately,” the tall man said with a sigh.

“Allow me,” Katarin said. She took a slow, steady breath, her hand leaving Brynne’s to clutch at the stone about her neck. There was a brief pulse of light from it, and Jasna and Brynne both blinked, suddenly, working their jaws. Asleep, Petra gave a whimper.

“My ears!” Jasna hissed.

“You’ll be fine,” Katarin said, her voice at an odd cadence. “It is merely a Circle of Silence.” She looked over to the tall man, but appeared to be looking through him. “You may speak freely without fear of being overheard.”

“So that’s how you two do it,” Jasna muttered, glancing at the girls across from her.

Katarin’s eyelashes fluttered a bit, the corner of her mouth turning up a bit, but Brynne could not hide the blush.
Last edited by RobJN on Fri May 11, 2012 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Fri May 11, 2012 12:30 am

RobJN wrote:“Thank you, Petra!” she cried. It was the glare of the sun that brought the tears to the corner of her eyes, she was sure of it.

From behind her, a distant voice answered.

“No thanks are necessary! Any enemy of the Beast Men is a friend of mine, but you are quite welcome, just the same!”

Lol! I saw that one coming as soon as she uttered her prayer to Petra, but it was still just as awesome.

So we have some time traveling goodness - I really like the turn this has taken. I have to stop commenting now so that I can get back to reading... I need to know what Justin did to poor Petra (the other Petra... ;) ). The one good thing about being so far behind in my reading is that I don't have to wait so long for the cliff hanger to be over.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Fri May 11, 2012 4:58 pm

Looking forward to the observations and questions. :D
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Fri May 11, 2012 5:30 pm

Well, I haven't gotten any farther yet, but I've been thinking about the Traladaran 3 of course. It seems as if Jasna has met Petra, and Petra has met Zirchev... and possibly Justin has or will meet Halav... Petra mentions meeting with the General and the Huntsman so I'm guessing that refers to Halav and Zirchev respectively, which would mean that the three already know each other at this time.

However... thinking about the Cult of Halav, and taking into consideration that we very probably have a son of Karameikos in ancient Traladara... it may be too good to pass up such a connection. What if the Cult is wrong (by only one generation), and Stephan Karameikos is not Halav reborn... but one of his sons is. If Justin goes back in time, becomes Halav, and then returns to his own time, the Cult might have some legitimate claims.

And of course Aurora would have known all of this (since she was there in one form or another) - which is why she didn't want Justin to catch a glimpse of Halav's Sword and Shield... since they would in fact have been Justin's sword and shield. Steel weapons in a bronze age would be very powerful indeed.

However this would all have to mean that the "General" Petra refers to is in fact not the real/final Halav, and that at some point Justin needs to take up his mantle... but that might not be the direction you've gone. Now back to reading ;)
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Fri May 11, 2012 5:44 pm

“Perhaps we should begin with introductions,” the tall man said.

“You are Zirchev, called the Huntsman.” Brynne pointed towards the pair outside the Circle. “That is King Halav Red-hair, and his Queen, Petra of Krakatos.”

The Huntsman looked momentarily shocked, then smiled. “King? His queen?” His smile turned into a laugh. “Perhaps it is good that we sit within this circle of silence, lest either of them hear you say that.”

“But--” Brynne looked over at Katarin, who shrugged.

“Huntsman I may be, but Halav’s eldest brother sits upon the bronze throne in Lavv. And while Petra is Queen, her heart is as much within Halav’s grasp as the moon above. Their two kingdoms have been at war for generations.” He peered at the girls intently. “Anybody within two days’ ride of Lavv knows the only sharing of hearts between those two involves knives.”

“The… stories we have heard say it differently,” Brynne said.

“And you say you are from Lugsid?”

“Yes,” Jasna said, quickly.

Zirchev frowned. “I fail to see how we could have missed one girl, much less four of such… distinction among the survivors.”

“He means our hair,” Katarin said, holding up one of her wavy locks. “We don’t exactly blend in, here.”

“Your accents are not of the northern tribes.” The Huntsman leaned forward. “Speak the truth. Let me help you, or they will strand you here, and leave you to Flaghr’s horde.”

The girls stared at each other for a long moment. Petra gave a deep, ragged breath, and began coughing. Katarin rose, and turned the girl on her side. The cloth she used to wipe Petra’s chin came away a deep crimson.

“Shall I fetch the Queen?” Zirchev asked.

Katarin shook her head. “No. She has already done all she can. I have done all I can.” She looked over to Jasna. “We need Silva.”

“If there is another of your number out there, we need to find her,” Zirchev said, rising. “Those woods are infested with Beast Men… and worse things.”

“Believe me, Silva-- if she was here-- could handle a few Beast Men,” Jasna said with a grin.

“This is not ‘just a few.’ It is an invasion.”

“We know,” Brynne said, taking Zirchev’s hand. “Sit. We have a tale to tell you.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Fri May 11, 2012 6:43 pm

* * * * *

“So you weren’t lying to the Queen when you said you were from here,” Zirchev said.

Jasna shook her head.

“But you have not told me everything.” He inclined his head towards Katarin. “Her strange powers. She invokes no prayers in her workings, yet no wizard could work magics of that sort. She shows no signs of the corruption.”

“The Alphatians won’t make Landfall for another three months,” Katarin said.

“But what of your seeing stones?” Brynne asked. “You mean to say you haven’t even peeked the littlest bit into the future?”

“Stones?”

“From the Lost Valley?” Jasna provided.

Again, Zirchev shook his head.

“It’s all right. You can tell us about them,” Brynne said.

“Stones? Valley? This is the furthest north I have ever been. And I never would have come this far if Petra had not dragged me. But she insisted on wading into this war zone. Somebody has to watch her back. Imagine our surprise to find the Lavvites already on this side of the river, rounding up the survivors from Zadreth.

“You are mistaken, if you think that this was any sort of mission of mercy. The truce between Lavv and Krakatos is temporary, only lasting until we can get far enough downriver to escape the longest teeth of Flaghr’s van.”

“And what happens then?” Brynne asked.

“They divide the spoils, splitting the slaves evenly.”

Jasna leapt to her feet. “Slaves?”

“You don’t think the walls of Krakatos will raise themselves, do you? Osric has no more able-bodied men to fight for him, so he sends Halav to round up more.” Zirchev shrugged. “Such is the way of things in times of war.”

“But… but they should be fighting together. Against the Beast Men,” Brynne said.

Zirchev leaned back, laughing.

“Don’t be naive, girl,” the Huntsman said. “There is too much blood spilled between these two, too many old grudges. Besides, the Beast Men number ten of them to every one of us. It is hopeless.”

Jasna felt her stomach turn. She swallowed the moment of dizziness. She looked past the dark-haired Zirchev, to see Halav and Petra, standing nearly nose to nose, both red in the face. She sat down hard, clutching her stomach.

Zirchev put a hand on her knee.

“Do not fret, Little Jasna. I can assure you, you will be well treated. All of you will be, even the skinchanger, provided she lives. With your knowledge of future events, of weapons, such as the young lord possesses… We will not need to buy our freedom from either of those two. We can simply take it.”

“It isn’t supposed to be like that,” Jasna whispered.

Zirchev shook his head. “This is how it is. There are no heroes here. Only survivors.” He rose, turned, and walked out of the Circle, to bow towards the Queen before departing the tent.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

Yay! I'm really loving this exploration of old Traladara!

The dwarves also brought a big smile to my face. Their king at the time would be Blystar III. I believe that the Realm of Othrong is also just over the border in what will be the Shires, so this is a pretty dark time. About 60 years from now the dwarves and orcs will be fighting over that territory, so it's quite likely that there is a significant dwarven presence in the general area, and that those dwarves are very expansionist in their outlook. If the Glittering Land strives to mimic its predecessor (the Shimmering Lands) in any way, these dwarves could be very bad news. :twisted:

I'm also wondering what kind of role the hin would play in all of this. With their own people just recently enslaved, there may be a few hin freedom fighters running around out there.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Fri May 11, 2012 7:03 pm

Chimpman wrote:Yay! I'm really loving this exploration of old Traladara!

The dwarves also brought a big smile to my face. Their king at the time would be Blystar III. I believe that the Realm of Othrong is also just over the border in what will be the Shires, so this is a pretty dark time. About 60 years from now the dwarves and orcs will be fighting over that territory, so it's quite likely that there is a significant dwarven presence in the general area, and that those dwarves are very expansionist in their outlook. If the Glittering Land strives to mimic its predecessor (the Shimmering Lands) in any way, these dwarves could be very bad news. :twisted:

I'm also wondering what kind of role the hin would play in all of this. With their own people just recently enslaved, there may be a few hin freedom fighters running around out there.


Hmm, haven't had any hin heroes show up in the Chronicle yet. Thought you'd get a kick out of the dwarves ;) (pardon the pun-- you'll get it if you read further)
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Fri May 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Oh... I'm all caught up here now. Next I need to get back to Thorn.

Anyway, back to the dwarves and hin for a bit... I'm starting to think that it makes a lot of sense for Loktal Ironshield to operate in these parts around this time frame. He might start out as a mercenary commander (with a healthy dose of delusional grandeur), eventually leading up to the point where he becomes King of the Glittering Lands in BC 929.

I could see a young Loktal allying himself with the humans and hin against the "beast men" in the south, and actually playing a pivotal role in overthrowing Raurgh BC 964 and in establishing a new halfling government in the area. There he becomes entrenched in the politics of the land, lending the use of his mercenaries to whichever of the hin leaders will most bend to his will (there are still plenty of orcs around that will need to be fought off). Then in BC 938 he grabs the chance to seize power for himself directly, by overthrowing the hin government (during the time of their greatest need) and consolidates his power by BC 929. He is then able to use this great victory to propel himself to the crown of the Glittering Land. If you're taking any requests under consideration, I'd love to see Loktal make an appearance.

...Here is another stray thought. Why would a dwarf be called Loktal Ironshield during a Bronze Age era?
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Fri May 11, 2012 9:20 pm

Chimpman wrote:Oh... I'm all caught up here now. Next I need to get back to Thorn.

Anyway, back to the dwarves and hin for a bit... I'm starting to think that it makes a lot of sense for Loktal Ironshield to operate in these parts around this time frame. He might start out as a mercenary commander (with a healthy dose of delusional grandeur), eventually leading up to the point where he becomes King of the Glittering Lands in BC 929.

I could see a young Loktal allying himself with the humans and hin against the "beast men" in the south, and actually playing a pivotal role in overthrowing Raurgh BC 964 and in establishing a new halfling government in the area. There he becomes entrenched in the politics of the land, lending the use of his mercenaries to whichever of the hin leaders will most bend to his will (there are still plenty of orcs around that will need to be fought off). Then in BC 938 he grabs the chance to seize power for himself directly, by overthrowing the hin government (during the time of their greatest need) and consolidates his power by BC 929. He is then able to use this great victory to propel himself to the crown of the Glittering Land. If you're taking any requests under consideration, I'd love to see Loktal make an appearance.

...Here is another stray thought. Why would a dwarf be called Loktal Ironshield during a Bronze Age era?

I'm thinking the dwarves were an age ahead of the Traldar when it came to smithing. Not wanting to give up their edge over the humans, I could see why they wouldn't be willing to trade these secrets to the humans. Chances are, if the orcs hadn't been around, the dwarves would have spent their time conquering the humans.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Fri May 11, 2012 10:44 pm

RobJN wrote:I'm thinking the dwarves were an age ahead of the Traldar when it came to smithing. Not wanting to give up their edge over the humans, I could see why they wouldn't be willing to trade these secrets to the humans. Chances are, if the orcs hadn't been around, the dwarves would have spent their time conquering the humans.

Yes, that does seem likely. That kind of "we're going to keep all this good stuff for ourselves, even in your time of need" attitude probably doesn't endear the dwarves to any of their neighbors. On the other hand, it might also be why Blystar III is able to defeat the orcs when all of his neighbors seem to be falling to them.

I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I simply love this era and there is so much going on during this time. We have Minrothad and Oenkmar being founded 100 years before (give or take), so there are definitely Nithians around, and quite possibly a humanoid "empire" centered in the Broken Lands. Wogar's tribe rules over Atraughin. You have the Realm of Othrong, the Beast Man/gnollish invasions, elves disappearing from the Shires, dwarven expansionists, Alphatians arriving in the east, and who knows what else. It's just a lot of fun to think about this era ;)
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby RobJN » Sat May 12, 2012 6:53 am

Chimpman wrote:
RobJN wrote:I'm thinking the dwarves were an age ahead of the Traldar when it came to smithing. Not wanting to give up their edge over the humans, I could see why they wouldn't be willing to trade these secrets to the humans. Chances are, if the orcs hadn't been around, the dwarves would have spent their time conquering the humans.

Yes, that does seem likely. That kind of "we're going to keep all this good stuff for ourselves, even in your time of need" attitude probably doesn't endear the dwarves to any of their neighbors. On the other hand, it might also be why Blystar III is able to defeat the orcs when all of his neighbors seem to be falling to them.

I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I simply love this era and there is so much going on during this time. We have Minrothad and Oenkmar being founded 100 years before (give or take), so there are definitely Nithians around, and quite possibly a humanoid "empire" centered in the Broken Lands. Wogar's tribe rules over Atraughin. You have the Realm of Othrong, the Beast Man/gnollish invasions, elves disappearing from the Shires, dwarven expansionists, Alphatians arriving in the east, and who knows what else. It's just a lot of fun to think about this era ;)

I don't mind the hijacking! It's good to (finally!) get some feedback. The rest of the readership is content to just read (which is good, but feedback is always better). There is a LOT going on in the wider Known World around this time, but it feels to me like all the nations are a bit more isolated, especially in a Thorn-ized version of the world. Clerics might have the means to communicate with each other over great distances, but their concerns would likely be tied up in dealings within the individual churches. Wizards as such do not exist, and those that do are even more reclusive than the stereotypical "mad wizard in the tower." Wizards in greater numbers? Sure, in Nithia. And we'll see where that gets them in another 500 or so years....

The Traldar have pockets of dwarves crawling through the northern mountains, but the people would be unaware of them, for the most part due to those same mountains' being overrun with the gnollish hordes from Nithia.

This is probably a good thing, as the gnollish buffer between Blystar III is likely what saved the Traldar from being conquered by the dwarves as were the hin further to the west. Though nominally more Lawful than the orcs, the fighting has slanted the dwarven outlook. Furtar's mercenary band is likely working on the side, supplementing their income from Loktal's bounties by ransoming humans off to the highest bidder in the "Bronze lands." They are in some ways no better than the Iron Ring in modern day Karameikos.

It's funny you should mention Loktal, because his legacy comes into play in the main Chronicle in the coming "weeks."

I haven't precisely set the date that the Handmaidens arrive in Traldar, but it is likely closer to the middle than the end of the 40 years' war with the gnolls. Dates being approximate, I'd say this could be around 980ish? 985ish? The Three would likely be in their mid 20s.

The 960s seem a pretty pivotal decade: the gnollish invasion would be broken, as would Raurgh's rule over the halflings further west. One wonders if Loktal did not get his hands on whatever weapons the Traldar used to overcome the gnolls and use it to cement his rule over the Glittering Lands...
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter
User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
 
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Gecko » Sat May 12, 2012 9:41 am

Chimpman wrote:...Here is another stray thought. Why would a dwarf be called Loktal Ironshield during a Bronze Age era?


Maybe in Thorn's mystara he got Justin's shield? haha.

RobJN wrote:I'm thinking the dwarves were an age ahead of the Traldar when it came to smithing.


ah, definately makes sense.

It's funny you should mention Loktal, because his legacy comes into play in the main Chronicle in the coming "weeks."


oh? Might I of been right in some-fashion? I'm eagerly waiting to find out.

chimpman wrote:...elves disappearing from the Shires, dwarven expansionists...


wait a sec... are you saying that the gentle elves disappearance coincided with dwarven expansion in the hin lands in the timeline? If so I never made that connection (I thought the elves left long before the dwarves came). If so, some Interesting possibilities there - that's what I get for not knowing my Hinstory.
User avatar
Gecko
Storm Giant
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:51 am
Location: Marooned in California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Mon May 14, 2012 5:09 pm

RobJN wrote:I don't mind the hijacking! It's good to (finally!) get some feedback. The rest of the readership is content to just read (which is good, but feedback is always better). There is a LOT going on in the wider Known World around this time, but it feels to me like all the nations are a bit more isolated, especially in a Thorn-ized version of the world. Clerics might have the means to communicate with each other over great distances, but their concerns would likely be tied up in dealings within the individual churches. Wizards as such do not exist, and those that do are even more reclusive than the stereotypical "mad wizard in the tower." Wizards in greater numbers? Sure, in Nithia. And we'll see where that gets them in another 500 or so years....

Hmmm... In Thorn's Mystara, magic was twisted sometime during the GRoF, correct? So any wizards existing after that time period would have to deal with the Taint of magic. That does give a nice explanation for why the Nithians would eventually fall into corruption. It may also explain the creation of the gnolls - they were created by wizards after all, in a failed attempt to mimic the hutaaka. I could also see a struggle between the caste of Nithian wizards and the Nithian nobles (who would most likely have been clerics). There could be some great struggle brewing that would eventually lead to their downfall in BC 500.

This does raise the question of what happens to the Alphatians when they step on Mystara. Presumably the did not feel the taint of magic in their homeworld, but once they migrate to Mystara, they definitely would... and a good portion of their population is fluent in the magical arts. I would think this could have some dire (and rather immediate) consequences.

By the way, I love your take on the dwarves == Iron Ring, and I can't wait to hear more about Loktal's Legacy.

RobJN wrote:I haven't precisely set the date that the Handmaidens arrive in Traldar, but it is likely closer to the middle than the end of the 40 years' war with the gnolls. Dates being approximate, I'd say this could be around 980ish? 985ish? The Three would likely be in their mid 20s.

So let me just make sure I have my dates correct. This would mean that the Three were born around the time when the gnollish invasion first started (circa BC 1000), correct? They would have grown up knowing little else - watching their culture steadily crumble throughout their lifetimes. I'm assuming (for story purposes) that we will see some of the Progeny in this tale (but I may be wrong). It would make a lot of sense that their appearance would help to turn the tides against the gnolls

RobJN wrote:The 960s seem a pretty pivotal decade: the gnollish invasion would be broken, as would Raurgh's rule over the halflings further west. One wonders if Loktal did not get his hands on whatever weapons the Traldar used to overcome the gnolls and use it to cement his rule over the Glittering Lands...

Hmmm... you know this might relate to some things we've discussed in the past. I'm thinking especially of Shimmering Lands lore and relics that might have made their way into Loktal's hands. If the Shimmering Lands did indeed have some form of "warforged" technology (and the soulbound at the very least would probably count), then perhaps Loktal found some way to bend the Progeny to his will. Perhaps some relic/ritual allows him to place a dwarven soul into one of the Progeny Vessels. Those would be potent weapons indeed.

In fact if something like this did happen, then I wouldn't be surprised if the twins (and their ilk) secretly help the hin overthrow the dwarves when the time comes.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: [Thorn's Mystara Fluff] FQ2: Twilight of the Golden Age

Postby Chimpman » Mon May 14, 2012 5:19 pm

Gecko wrote:
Chimpman wrote:...Here is another stray thought. Why would a dwarf be called Loktal Ironshield during a Bronze Age era?


Maybe in Thorn's mystara he got Justin's shield? haha.

Heh, well that was my first thought as well actually ;) but I think Rob is right, and having the dwarves have iron age technology before their neighbors makes a lot of sense.

Gecko wrote:
chimpman wrote:...elves disappearing from the Shires, dwarven expansionists...


wait a sec... are you saying that the gentle elves disappearance coincided with dwarven expansion in the hin lands in the timeline? If so I never made that connection (I thought the elves left long before the dwarves came). If so, some Interesting possibilities there - that's what I get for not knowing my Hinstory.

That's not something I considered actually... but you may have a good point. Let me just check the timelines:
BC 1000: Elves disappear. Realm of Othrong formed.
BC 965: Orcs overthrown. Hindon founded
BC 938: Fall of Hindon. Orcs and dwarves fight over the Shires
BC 929: Dwarven rule of the hin.

So what you suggest may be caused by the dwarves... but probably only indirectly. It looks like the disappearance of the elves would coincide with the rise of Othrong circa BC 1000. The dwarves won't rule for another 70 years... but it could very well be the dwarven expansionism that pushes the orcs into hin territory in the first place.

In fact, if you want to be really evil about it, the dwarves might have had some hand in setting up Othrong in the first place. Get the orcs in there to slaughter the elves, and soften up the hin before dwarve rule. In my BC 2300 campaign setting the dwarves blame the elves for causing the GRoF, and if you carry this attitude over, then there could be ample reason for the dwarves to want the elves dead (and for them to use the humanoids to do it).
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7541
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Next

Return to Mystara

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests