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Thread: (M) The Age of the Dragon Lords: The Door of Night IC(M)

  1. #21
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    Lu had found her way across into the old portion of the elven city. Though it had grown dark and there wasn’t much firelight here, it didn’t bother her as she moved through the darkness feeling some comfort in the shadows as her eyes cast around through the moonlight that illuminated the pictures and etching upon the walls.
    Caw huddled upon her shoulder, ruffled his feathers from time to time but had remained silent occasionally pecking at strands of her tangled braided hair.
    With awe she gently caressed one of the paintings upon the wall with her fingers, trying to take every fine detail in through the pale light of the moon. She would never have dreamed to come to such a place when she was younger, and though these times were dire and much strife back the way they had come and were to go once more, she couldn’t help but find herself settling into the quiet, graceful stillness of this magical place. There was no sense of danger, and though a sense of discomfort loomed over her it rested quietly in the back of her mind as the others were far from her.
    She stepped quietly across great stone walkways caressing the stonework. There was no such works of art in mordor, carvings were crude and made carelessly, after all there was no time to waste on making something look nice but here not only was it beautiful, it was sturdy.
    She paused at another mural and could only wonder what story it was telling as she traced her fingers along the figures.

    Fen trailed the halls slowly, taking in the dusty halls and overgrown walls. The scents were strange amongst the elven home, the images strangely preserved despite the call of time. While he had gone to hunt a place to rest among nature, the halls had called to him. Knowing that this is what the Dalish could have been, architects of the lands and people, left a sour note in his mouth. Nothing about these lands they were upon seemed natural or familiar, even the trees held a different scent to it.

    His wanderings pulled him around the visual paintings and etchings along the wall, the lengthening shadows giving them an ethereal visage that etched in his mind. He paused though as a new scent caught his mind. The shifting dust and the scent of sun baked flesh and fur drew him up short. Hands rested upon his weapons as he shifted the wolf helm down upon his face, readying for anything. Was it enemy or other? Had another been drawn the mysteries and intrigue of the forgotten treasures carved into the stones. Fen shifted forward, keeping his body still as he watched the ground, waiting for the shift in shadows.
    What first caught his eyes was the visage of pointed ears and elongated snout of a wolf. Fen smirked to himself, not surprised that a creature would find its way into these halls, a cozy dry home, with more than enough room to claim as their own. He had thought first of confronting the creature first, but caution drew him short. These were not his forest kin, nor would they know his calm. A look over his shoulder told him that the people in the main city would not falter in killing this kind beast for its flesh and meat.

    Shifting the cloak over his form and lowering the helm more, he scuffed the ground, moving into the fading light, allowing his form to cast his own shadow down the halls. He would lead this creature out of the halls, back into the nearby woods.

    Lu had been sucked into the story she didn’t understand detailed on the walls before her, her steps slow as she paused every now and then to study the weather faded colors. As enthralled as she was with this place she still caught the sound of shuffling down the hall and stopped casting her eyes down the hall. In the moonlight she could make out the telltale form of what looked to be a large wolf.

    Lu quietly cursed herself for laxing her guard, She’d been so caught up in her exploration she’d all but forgotten to be wry in this place that she assumed she would be at least safe. All to used to seeing massive wargs roaming the waists of her home she could only wonder how one had made it this far into the evelen city without being spotted? Had another stray orc tribe attacked? And why did she not hear any fighting?
    Fortunately Caw remained quiet but she was certain that it had spotted her, out running a warg was impossible on foot, but they were large and graceless she might be able to lose it in the halls and forge her way back to the city to warn the others.
    Lu ducked suddenly into the shadows and pounded down the hall in the opposite direction fumbling for her dagger as she ran.

    As soon as Fen heard the pounding steps and vanishing shadows, Fen knew his plan was botched. The creature had decided to take flight into the ruined halls, and he knew letting it run free only let it get closer to the army. Giving a low grumble in his chest, Fen took off after the fleeing shadow, slipping on his metal claws quietly. Already thoughts of neutralizing the creature in hopes to bring it away from the people.

    *Cursed beast* Fen grumbled through his chest as he kept even pace with the wolf shadow, trying to gain distance over the beast without causing it to turn on him in aggresion.

    Caw flapped his wings as he clutched into her shoulder keeping himself tucked against her as closely as possible as she ran, knife in her hand. To her confusion she didn’t hear the click of massive claws on stone or the ragged breath and growl of a warg right on her heels. She glanced over her shoulder noticing the shadow following her but at an even pace.
    This was not the way of a warg, at least none that she’d ever known. Could it be a Caragor? But that seemed even less likely. But it was far too large to be a regular wolf.
    Lu ducked around a piller and made for a set of stairs leading down, half way down she made a leap off the side and into some trees and shrubs below. She landed heavily on all fours before she began to hastily pick her way through the brush. Wargs were not graceful and if it was indeed one she’d hear it crashing around behind her as she found a suitable spot to hunker down.

    Fen was surprised at how quick it had managed to keep ahead of him, the shadow his only mark to follow. He kept up his pace as soon as he heard the massive thud as a body hit the ground. Moving closer, Fen stalled at the top set of stairs, scanning the ground. Looking across what he could see, the beast had either misstepped and dropped onto the ground, or had taken an unplanned shortcut. Looking across the wall, he tested it's strength and how well he could grip into it. Gripping it, he swung his body over it, letting his weight pull him down, his metal claws slow his descent to land onto the damp ground nearby.

    "Now, where are you?" Fen whispered to himself, shifting his weight as he inched forward, his body coiled and ready. He knew how the woods worked, shadows offering sanctuary and scares. The beast, if it decided to attack him, would be able to attack from any moment, so Fen had to be ready for anything. Years in the forests prepared him for his lands, but this world was not his, so the shadows held no warmth for him. If he wanted to survive it, he would have to be alert for anything that may come his way.

    Lu hunkered in the deep shadows of the trees, knife held in front of her at the ready as she strained her ears. She cocked her head, she shouldn’t have to strain this hard to hear a warg, but what she did hear instead was the strange metallic strace against stone. She was taken back. Was it not a warg chasing her? Then what was it?

    She heard a whisper of a voice but could not make out the words. Was she being followed by a person? Lu did not move as she thought over her options. If it was a person she could wait them out. But were they friend or foe? Caw seemed to grow impatient with the quiet and picked at strands of her hair. She ignored him as she strained to hear where this thing might be moving before she’d attempt to move around it in the opposite direction preferring not to have a confrontation of any kind.

    Caw shifted his weight, beginning to bob on her shoulder not seeming to sense the tension or not seeming to care before he was swept off her shoulder by a low hanging branch. The bird burst into complaint, as he struggled to right himself from his back and back into his feet. Lu whipped around trying to locate the black bird in the dark.

    Fen stalled as the distressed sounds of a crow in the air, his eyes pivoting around the shadows. Had the wolf startled a crows nest? Had he done so while hunting his target? He tilted his head towards the tree line, looking for the source. He hunched to the ground further, coiling muscles and slowing his breath. Fen needed to be ready for anything that might strike him. He began shifting around his weight, scanning the trees for darker shades. He scanned, his ears straining for any noise outside the crow...There!

    "You're mine!" Fen growled deep as he pounced, aiming for where both the sound and darker shadows had resided. Muscles snapped apart as he directed himself, arms outstretched to catch the wolf square in the chest.

    Lu had located Caw by sound and could just make out the frantic bird though the sheen on his feathers. But before she could scoop the bird up into her protective arms she heard words she’d only heard once before when she was still young.

    Lu felt something collide with her, knocking her to the ground. A heavy grunt was pulled from her upon impact with the ground before she started flailing wildly at the heavy weight on top of her, knife glinting in the vague light. She’d survived for so long she was not about to be brought down here.

    Fen rolled off as the two bodies rolled across the ground. When he had managed to connect with the shadow of what he figured to be the wolf, feeling the flesh and muscles instead of sinew and fur. As he righted himself, he could see the silhouette of the orc woman that was with him. Fen hadn't the chance to talk with her, but he recognized that helm of hers, the shadows having made it harder to tell.

    "Ah, you're not a wolf." Fen responded as he raised his hands in a gesture of peace.

    Lu felt the weight leave and she quickly rolled to her knees, knife out in front of her. She however froze as she heard it speak. She cocked her head but remained tense. “And you are not a warg.” She responded by studying the shadow for a moment where it stood before she started to skirt around, keeping at a distance still as she made her way to the still struggling crow.

    With her empty hand she scooped up the crow, but in this light she couldn’t make out if he was injured or not, just the faint glint of his black eyes. But she made sure the stranger's shadow was always in sight as she slowly pushed herself to her feet. “You're from the far lands.” She said after a moment only relaxing a little. “With the strange Elves and men.” Perhaps that was rude, they were only strange to her, as she was to them. Against her instincts she sheathed her knife.

    "I did not mean to attack. I thought you a wolf." Fen spoke as he placed his weapons away, drawing himself upright from his crouched position. Giving a slight stretch of his body, he moved towards an open area, able to view her in the waning light. He could make out the dark clothing and the dark crow that rested in her grasp. Rolling his shoulders, he studied her even further.

    "You're one of those strange Orc people from before." Fen responded after he shifted the helm upright to see the woman orc better than before.

    Lu hesitated for a moment as he moved into a more open spot, where the moon revealed more. But after a moment she moved after him, though remained a wry distance. He wasn’t hostile now, perhaps it was a misunderstanding, she two thought he was an animal after all.

    She pushed her hood back allowing it to fall revealing her tangled braided nest of hair. She glanced at him once before turning her eyes to caw to examine him. “Yes, I am an orc.” she confirmed. It never really seemed to matter to differentiate between a full orc and a half orc so she didn’t bother as she carefully examined Caw’s healing wing. “I was not expecting anyone else to be in the ruins.” She admitted after a moment. She was glad it wasn’t an elf though, they would be less friendly with her being here she thought.

    " I am not. They are rather enticing and quiet." Fen spoke as he settled against the wall, taking in the ruins before taking in the woman. He studied the girl, taking in the dagger by her side and the crow on her shoulder. The wild tangle of her braided hair, giving her a much more wild yet human look from the creatures they had fought not long before.

    "My name is Da'lenfen, grey warden and dalish elf of the woods. I go by Fen." Fen introduced himself.

    The she orc nodded in agreement about the ruins pausing to look them over once more but pulled her mind from the tantalizing pictures in the halls and back to her company. Lu perked a little as he mentioned that he was, in fact, an elf. Curious, he had not been able to tell in the moonlight The elves she knew and these Dalish were… different.. She mulled over his name for a moment. “I am Lushak. And this is caw.” She said as the bird pecked at one of her braids as if to remind her that he was there and deserved an introduction as well.

    There was a pause before Lu leaned a little closer, but did not step closer. “You're different from the elves in these lands.” Even here there were different elves, but they all seemed to share the same high magical air about them but from a distance she’d noticed the Dalish carry themselves differently.

    "I have noted that. I am not sure what caused it, but seeing what could have been, I feel at a loss. Our lands are a vast difference from what this is." Fen spoke, nodding at Lushak at her notice of their differences, yet just as it was. There was no avoidance or distaste in her tons. Just stated fact.

    "So, why fight on our side?" He asked her quite bluntly, fixing her with a steady gaze.

    Lu blinked slowly at the direct question. A good question. “I’m not the only orc that’s fighting with the free races.” She responded. “Some tribes have an... Uneasy truce, Mordor was the first to be claimed by these wrong and they were pushed from their hunting grounds. some had at least enough sense to know they could not survive without… a fragile alliance.” She gave a shrug. “Besides that, I hold little love for my kin to begin with.” she said recalling the few she’d killed at the raid when their new allies first arrived.

    "A fight for mutual survival. I can understand that." Fen spoke with a now of his head, giving the orc a genuine smile. His only worry was how passive she was of fighting her own kind so easily. Would that lead her to joining the winning side if it came down to the wire, or would whatever honor she had keep her on their side.

    "So what brought you to these ruins? Looking for a place to rest?" Fen asked the woman, eyes wondering over caw.

    Lu nodded in return, watching his smile. The smiles between orcs and free races were vastly different, when an Orc smiled it meant something terrible was going to happen to someone, when a free race smiled it meant something entirely different. It was curious but much nicer.

    “Not really.” She said after a moment. “I was… curious. There’s no such structures in Mordor, nothing quite this… beautiful.” She admitted. Compared to all the new places she’d seen, Mordor was quite bleak.

    "I can understand that feeling. Thedas has its places, but nothing the Dalish have retained match this beauty." Fen spoke, waving absentmindedly around the place. He could relate to looking over the place for its history and possibilities. She was in awe of its looks while Fen was enjoying it for the potential that could have been.

    "We shouldn't linger here for long though. Not sure how long we'll be here, and rest would be good." Fen commented to Lu, stretching himself to his full height.

    “Yes, I suppose you are right.” Lu agreed almost reluctantly.
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  2. #22
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    As the evening stretched into night the largest Warden in Rivendell helped himself to what he could. He sampled every type of food and drink present, and a surprising number of them made his journal. Grif wandered the streets, studying the architecture and people. And when he found it, he dove deep into the library; He read those histories and journals written in the common tongue until he was pulled from the library and dragged back to the feast. The rest of the evening turned into a blur of delicious drinks and company.

    Until Grif could smell smoke and blood. And then he was in the middle of it, a massive blade cutting a swath through orcs. Shrugging off attacks that would fell smaller creatures; Around him the clash of steel and screams of the dying surrounded him. A deep throaty laugh dripped from his throat as he charged a group of foes. Suddenly he was circling the battlefield above his focus pulled from ogre below. His wings flapped and he tilted into another turn.

    Landing at the outskirts Grif felt the cone of purple flame leave his mouth, melting the flesh and metal of his targets. Charging into the conflict the dragon lunged clamping its teeth around an orc. Grif could feel the crunch and grind of the orc between his teeth. Lunging up from sleep the qunari snarled, hands ready to fight The companions he shared the bed with stirred slightly at the move.

    Grif panted as the nightmare began to fade. All doubt this was a blight was wiped from his mind. He had read of the nightmares Wardens suffered when an Archdemon roamed the world. What he could recall felt real as if he was actually the Archdemon. Even still he could feel the presence of Darkspawn.

    Griffin leapt out of bed grabbing his blades as he dashed out the door, oblivious to his naked state focused instead on the innate sense granted to wardens by the joining. The Tal-Vashoth raised his voice to a bellow as he slammed into the vague shape stalking down the street. He stopped on the neck of the creature he had charged into. The lithe shaped darkspawn twitched as it died.

    “Wardens up!” Grif bellowed, his voice joined by the ear-piercing shriek of the Darkspawn sent to assassinate the threat to the Archdemon.
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  3. #23
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    After a few rounds of fun with the woman he loved the last thing the Constable expected were nightmares of the Archdemon. But considering what they were here for those should've been the first things he expected. As he tossed and turned on his bedroll though no doubt jostling Eli as she was tormented by the same nightmares.

    Before he even heard Grif's call to arms he was up and out of his tent sword in hand and a cold wind whisking through the thin fabric of his smallclothes. They hadn't been dumb enough to leave no guards posted even in the heart of the Elvin defenders. So they must've found some weakspot to exploit which means a guiding intelligence again or inside help. But he couldn't even begin to think of anyone who would help Darkspawn into the camp. So that just meant the guards were either taken out or they had left a hole somewhere. If they survived all this they would need to fill up all the holes.

    Grabbing his shield he blocked the first swipe at his head and took the Shriek's head off with a single slash of his sword. He could hear the Rivendell Elves shouting in their native tongues followed by the ear piercing screams of dying Darkspawn.
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  4. #24
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    The archdemon was unlike any she had seen previously. The beast towered over anything depicted in paintings or even her own dreams - it was more massive than the whole of Rivendell or even Redcliff. The wings seemed to stretch across the sky, covering the horizon edge to edge, blocking out the sun and allowing the monsters to march out into the fields. Unexplainable anger and hunger for blood echoed in the golden eyes of the creature, so intelligent that it made her skin crawl. His scales were scratched and worn, holding onto the battles and memories of the past. With her breath caught in her throat - from awe or fear, Eli couldn’t quite tell - the Warden tried to recall everything she ever knew of the legends and lore surrounding the archdemon. How was it that in all their training, few spoke or cared about the origins of the monster but only about how to kill it? Purple flames erupted from the mouth and the call, the sweet and tempting call that made her tremble to her bones…

    Grif’s loud below and her lover’s aggressive movements beside her jerked her from the nightmare, her hand holding her daggers and panting loudly. The commotion outside the tent made her curse and slip into discarded garments with lightning speed, her head pounding as though her brain was evolving into something dark. “Maker save me from ever challenging these elves to a drinking game again,” the woman cursed, slipping out into the dark and immediately blending into the shadow. As hazel eyes observed the surrounding, she activated the runestones in her daggers, sending the weapons into a slight hum. Stalking in the shadows, she tried to slowly grasp what was happening though her mind remained sluggish.

    “Grif,” she gritted her teeth, watching the naked Qunari in the middle of the battle, the darkspawn attracted to him as the most aggressive - and the most tasty. Slipping between the beasts and adding a few injuries to the monsters as she passed, she attacked those trying to get the large Warden from behind, ending them in a flurry of precise cuts that barely met the eye. Panting as she ended up back to back with the taller man, she gripped her weapons in both hands. “Has your mother never taught you courtesy? There are unmarried women around!” She exclaimed, faking anger as she fought with the beasts attacking them.

    “A few of them kept me company.” Grif answered, kicking a Shriek in it’s pointed nose. His blades quickly gutted the stunned beast. “One of them even offered a recipe for that bread of theirs. I see you had time to get dressed.”

    “I had to make sure I could stand up without falling,” Eli grimased, hissing as a creature almost got her, forcing her to duck and roll to the side. Bouncing up on her feet, she finished it off in a few movements but the motion made her stomach turn. Obviously, all she needed was to discharge the content of her stomach in the middle of a fight. Would that disgust the creatures enough to go away? “I am impressed - I thought it would take you more to get the recipe.”

    Grif stabbed an attacker briefly letting go of his blade to grab another by the throat throwing the creature aside before retrieving his cutlass. “You and I never got the chance to ‘Negotiate.” Grif grunted, shoving his blade into a shriek's gut. “Seen anyone else up?”

    “Mmm, make sure Zad never hears you say that,” she grinned, wiping sweat from her forehead as the shrieks pulled back for a second, giving them both a moment to breathe. “Speaking of that leader of ours, he must be around here somewhere. The rest - I was too busy trying to save your touche.” She butted him with her own butt in jest before the fight began again. “Where did these creatures come from?!”

    “A broodmother,” Grif shrugged, his eyes flickering over the shrieks. As he turned his head he strained his ears listening for the sound of combat elsewhere. The echo of a familiar bark reached his ears, causing Grif to smirk. “Well the alarm’s definitely been sounded.” The Qunari swept his blades across in front of him causing all but one to jump back the one who didn’t being cut down. Grif than reached back and hooked an arm inside of Eli’s and pulled, swinging her towards the ones who had jumped back from his blades. Turning himself to charge at the shrieks who had faced her.

    “Such a gentleman,” Eli rolled her eyes, blocking the attacks of the shrieks with her blades and making a face as the stench of their breaths reached her. “What, oh what, would I do without you taking on the blunt of the attack?” She didn’t mind, knowing it was the most logical approach. With her short blades and close-quarters style, she was better to face off with the odd foes as opposed to a mob. She had done it before but that required more concentration and preparation than she was ready to undergo now.

    “We need to make sure that they don’t make it to the upper levels,” she called, her lightning blades burning holes in the dark flesh of the beasts. The smell of burned meat made her stomach turn and she pushed away the corpse with her leg. “We should head towards the rest of the team.”

    Grif kicked the corpse at his feet. He held up a hand in Eli’s direction and stepped back into the room he had been sleeping saying. “Hold on, don’t wanna scare everyone.” Pulling his pants on carefully before exiting the room. “Do you know where they bedded down?” He asked, motioning her to lead the way. “I was a little drunk and distracted.”

    "And here I was enjoying the view," Eli teased, cleaning the blood off her blades. Looking around, she found a water skin that was half full. Opening the top, she gulped down a few sips before offering the Qunari. "I was a bit….distracted to care." She confessed.

    “Make sure Zad never hears you say that.” Grif quoted before taking a mouthful of water. Swishing it in his mouth he spat it at the nearest corpse. He pointed in the direction he heard barking. “Sir Bartholomew is that way. He’s loud enough to gather the rest and who doesn’t show up he can sniff out.”

  5. #25
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    Wind rippled through my scales, biting cold bringing both a sense of dread and freedom rippling along my spines. Powerful wings pushed down, sending me spear-heading into the air. I angled downwards, sinews of muscles and wrong bones bracing as I dug into the mountainside, screams echoing as bodies and blood mixed into the air, talons digging deeper into the stone as I pumped my wings, body coiling as I pulled higher into the air, the cries falling into the lands as I pulled higher up into the cloud banks, the stench of burning corpses mingling with ash and..

    Azoca sucked in air with a gasp, his entire body clenching as he bolted awake. He couldn't describe the dream as the world slowly returned to focus, yet the screams didn't end. He could feel the cold air as he twisted himself free of the tangled blankets that he had been given for the night. He wiped the sweat off his body as he finally got himself upright as he finally realized that the screams he could hear were not just part of that strange dream, but real. Moments after finally grabbing his staff, he could hear the sounds of blades meeting bodies and beasts shrieking around them. Having camped up on the upper levels with the other mages, to accommodate the number of people they had with them. Most were already scrambling to join the fights, others going to shore up the weaker points and to avoid getting in the way of the wardens already clearing a path way.

    Azoca though, was at a bit of a loss as where to start. He had already grabbed his staff and was moving with his group, but there was little to help with. His only real offensive spell was too destructive for the halls they were roomed in. The other would do great for holding them off, but if he had no way to kill them off, it would be an effective bottle neck. Azoca already let his mind start to run on everything he had learned to kill shriek as fast as possible. Most involved silverlite metals and just stabbing them through the brains or chest, with the simplest being to cut them down to pieces. His staff would work for that, but Azoca had never been one for close combat fights. He had been distance fighting, and the staff was meant for a last resort.

    "Gods, why am I so useless for this. There's nothing I can do short of bashing them in the head with my staff… my staff. Wait.. that's it." Azoca smacked his head for sleep having addled his brain, having remained in the back to avoid getting in the way. Channeling some magic into the rune of his staff, he sent off a fireball into the boards of monsters, watching one stumble and shriek as it smacked away the small flames along it's chest. Azoca launched more of them as spells began to fly around him, watching monsters stumble from his spells before others took them out. He felt a small bit proud that he could still help, but it was minimal over what the others were doing to help out.

    "This is insufficient." Azoca grumbled while launching a few more volleys into the grouping of monsters. Even with that help, creatures were still piling up faster. The dead were trampled or bodies out of the way. He had an idea though as he looked to them, and felt a bit of pride swell as he dropped back, piling as much magic together as he looked towards the larger boards that kept moving forward.

    "Pull of the abyss!" Azoca unleashed the spell into the group, watching as the creatures were pulled into the center, aggravated screeches as they were pulled higher. Holding the magic with one hand, Azoca pointed his staff and sucked in as much air as possible, focusing as much as he could to keep the pull going while activating the fire rune on his staff once more. With a grunt of effort, he began pelting the growing mass of bodies with fire, their shrieks growing louder as the fire stuck, turning the shriek into a burning pile of limbs and burnt flesh. The scent was enough to turn his stomach, breaking his concentration and allowing the pile to slide more into the ground, yet the damage had already been done, and allowing the smog of ash and burnt flesh finally start wafting around.

    On the plus side the hall was much more lit than before, and it clogged up at least one of the paths for the shriek. Hopefully he had done the right thing.

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  6. #26
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    Nienor wasn’t able to sleep - the conversation she had with the newcomer kept echoing in her mind, forcing deep dark fears to surface. Her mind filled with the dead being dragged away into the shadowlands, the flight of the great dragon in the horizon and the dread filling her heart. Not bothering to try falling asleep, the young woman ended up making her way to the hidden bridge that was the secret meeting place of her ancestors. The area had been left mostly alone - the small bridge was worn with age and the plants grew more wild but the serenity remained. Pausing to take in the cool shadows of the hidden oasis, Nienor let out a sigh. What did the stranger mean - become a Grey Warden? Become like him...he said it as though he no longer was a Man but something entirely different.

    Taking one more look at the water and her own pale reflection, the young woman started back towards her rooms, absently playing with her necklace. Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t right away focus on the constant feeling of unease presently distracting her. Only her instincts, her body trained to act on reflexes, saved her - she stopped short of the corner, a dark blade colliding into the wall where her head was about to be. Cursing, Nienor grabbed for her weapons, stepping back as her eyes took in the evil beings streaming into the lower levels of the elven city.

    “You dare?!” The yell was pure anger, enough to make the creatures stop for a second and the young woman to pull out her sword. The hesitation was momentary - almost immediately all those looking for a fight turned to her body, chattering with excitement.

    As one of the lanky beasts charged at the warrior woman there was a loud twang from the left and a crossbow bolt took the creature’s head off before Jagmar charged through the others with his halberd swinging in a wide arch it didn’t kill many but it made the rest jump back a little so he could get to the human’s side. “Couldn’t sleep either lassie?” He shouted, taking the legs out from another close monster.

    “Can anyone with this ruckus?” Nienor muttered under her breathe as she swung her sword, dodging one of the creatures’ attacks. Pushing back her unruly hair, some of which ended up in her eyes, she looked around at Jagmar, inwardly happy he appeared. Judging by the amount of beasts she could see, no thanks to the dark light, it was very much more than one could handle alone. “What in Mordor’s name are these things?!” She exclaimed, using her foot to push off a dead body from her blade, having pierced the said thing clean through. The effort left dark stains on her steel, resembling dark runes she could not decipher.


    The Dwarf let out a low laugh cleaving one of the creature’s heads before he brought the put of his halberd into it’s chest sending it tumbling into one of his comrades. “On my way here, I think I saw the Hobbit asleep in an apple barrel. If anyone can sleep through this attack it would be him, I heard some of the Wardens call them...Shrieks on my way down here.” Jumping back he swung out wide again, keeping the creatures from surrounding them.

    “Gods above, more Warden nonsense,” Nienor growled as she parried a blow, wincing when her wrist echoed in response - she had blocked direct as opposed to smoothly guiding the opponent’s weapon away. Annoyed, she twisted her blade in a riposte, ending up cutting the Shriek’s body from ribcage to stomach and scrunching her nose as the fowl scent of half-rotten insides filled her space. “Hopefully that Hobbit stays hidden for the remainder of the fight, sleeping or not.”

    Laughing again the Bounty Hunter took out the last of the attacking group taking a deep breath hearing sounds of battle in other parts of Rivendell. “Ay, considering the sound the damned things make the name make sense, but doesn’t seem to do them justice. These fucking things turn invisible I’ve seen it.” Planting his weapon on the ground he wiped sweat from his brow. “Sounds like we aren’t the only ones these things woke up.”

    “DUCK!” Nienor yelled, grabbing the closest thing to her and throwing it at the face of the Shriek coming upon the Dwarf with all her might. The beautiful vase, white and blue, probably of the Third Age if not the Second, threw the creature back, breaking and ricocheting all over with sharp shards of porcelain. Raising her arm and wincing as a shard scratched her, Nienor wondered how much the Elves cared about that particular relic and how much trouble she was going to be in once the fight was over. If it ended in their victory…

    Duck was never something a Dwarf expects to hear, but he instinctively dropped his head. The creature screamed in pain as it hit the ground. Reacting, Jagmar stabbed the spearpoint of his weapon into its head, killing it on the spot. “Thanks Princess, come on we best find some of the Warden and mount some kind of defense.” Pulling his weapon free, he moved back to the woman’s side nodding up at her.

    “You’re right,” Nienor bit her lip, deciding there was no way she could resurrect the old vase and if the Shrieks had overrun the place, it would have been destroyed anyway. Looking at her bloodied sword, she shook off whatever drops she could before looking around. “I guess we should head the way Shrieks entered - would be stupid to expose the same path for a breach.”

    Jagmar nodded looking around them, the darkness making it difficult, but following the sounds of battle he could narrow it down to the hills in the forest. “Sounds like they came from the hills.” He shook the black blood from his weapon. “Did you see where that red armored man was sleeping? He seems to be the leader of the group.” Shouldering his weapon he began walking towards the area where most of the group had eaten dinner.

    Nienor let him go forward to hide her pained expression. Her mood was still sour when it came to the leader of the Grey Wardens, whatever it was they were, whatever made them different. Not wanting Jagmar to see her face, she grunted something to signify she had no idea. Letting out a breath, she got over her pride enough to give a more coherent answer. “They were camping out in the east wing. Well, camping or using the rooms, I don’t know.”

    Jagmar nodded, taking off at a Dwarvish jog. “Ha I bet the Elves loved that idea. Come on sounds like it’s centered out there. I guess whatever is in charge of these Darkspawn wanna kill the best chance we have to fight it!” Running has never been a Dwarf’s strong suit, but the old stump managed to keep up with the long legged woman well enough seeing the bulk of the Shriek’s indeed swarming on the small ring of Warden tents in the East Wing many of the Fereldens fighting naked or in their small clothes. With a loud bark of a laugh Jagmar shook his head. “Well at least we know the Wardens weren’t surprised.”

    “What a relief,” Nienor couldn’t stop an eye roll before flexing her fingers and getting a better grip on her sword. Regardless of her own mixed feelings, she couldn’t turn her back on these people at least because if they fall, Rivendell falls. At most, because she was a goddamn hero. Some days, she hated being raised as a warrior.

    With only a nod in agreement Jagmar charged into the fray barreling through the outliers bashing and slashing his way through the assassins. Marvelling at how many the Warden had slain before they arrived. Whatever sentires they had seems to have cut off reinforcements might be coming. He soon reached the half naked leader amazed at how pale he was for a human. “Hail Grey Warden I hope these freaks didn’t disturb anything more pleasant.” He joked chopping at the weirdly bent legs of the Shrieks.

    Zadkiel’s muscular body was already coated in a fine sheen of sweat when the one eyed Dwarf and Warrior Princess showed up, and despite having held his own he was glad for their arrival. “They did sadly, but we’ve had worse.” He let out a deep yell and caved a Darkspawn’s head in with his shield.

    Nienor couldn’t help being slightly impressed as the Wrong fell down, his skull crushed and mauled inward. Sidestepping, she nodded in approval, immediately throwing her hand out to slice the limb off of another creature, finishing the movement with the blade in his chest.

    No more words were spoken as the three warriors battled the Darkspawn. It was unclear what numbers they attacked with, but by the time the monsters were on the run at least ten were lying dead around Nienor, Zadkiel, and Jagmar. The old Dwarf was the first to take a knee sweat tricking off the tip of his nose as he learned against his halberd. “Tell me this won’t be a nightly occurrence Warden.”

    Like Jagmar Zadkiel was panting and sweaty, but before he answered the Dwarf he retrieved his pants and a jerkin as the cool night air began to needle at his cooling body. “I can’t say for sure Master Dwarf, attacks like this are not uncommon during a Blight back in Ferelden, but usually the Archdemon doesn’t waste it’s forces on sending constant nightly attacks. Here though...everything is new so maybe...maybe not. I would like to know what happened to our sentires.” He wiped sweat from his brow before pulling on his boots and sheathing his sword.

    “Dead, probably,” Nienor did one of the most unlady like things - she spat on the ground, wiping her mouth with her arm. The smell of blood - thankfully not her own - seemed to overwhelm the air and she could practically taste it. She kicked one of the dead bodies, frowning when she saw the face. “How are they made?”

    Zadkiel bit his lip at her question, he knew how every Darkspawn was made, but just shouting it out in the open like this might cause undo panic. “Huh it’s complicated, come with me if you really wish to know. We must check on the others, I sincerely hope the sentries aren’t all dead there should’ve been someone from Ferelden at every post and we know what to look for when it comes to Shriek’s.”

    Jagmar waved the two younger warriors on. “You two go ahead, I’ll help with clean-up here.”

    Nienor shot the dwarf a glance before pursing her lips and following the Warden. Silently, she gripped Jagmar’s shoulder in thanks as she passed him, knowing deep down that she needed to understand as much as possible about what they were fighting.

    Moving swiftly across the small battlefield Zadkiel was disturbed to see that more than a few of the Sentries were indeed dead and most of those were on the Endoran side. Many of the posts were overwhelmed before a proper defense or alarm could be given. They would need to double future guards. So much for Rivendell being one of the safest places in Endor. After a few posts were checked Zadkiel shook his head once they were far enough away from the bulk of the group. “Do you really wish to know where the Darkspawn come from?” He asked almost nervously.

    Nienor raised an eyebrow, not understanding why the man was suddenly acting so nervous. Her lips were drawn in a line though she said nothing as they passed the dead Elves, only her lips whispering a last blessing. She no longer cried for the dead - she had no more tears to spare. The irony of her name was all the bigger for it.

    Leaning against a railing he crossed his arms over his chest and sighed. “The Darkspawn come from creatures called Broodmothers. Women are kidnapped by Darkspawn and then continuously violated by them. She is then forced to only drink Darkspawn blood and eat Darkspawn flesh. Soon she is corrupted enough and becomes a Broodmother, each race makes a different kind of Broodmother and every Broodmother births a different type of Darkspawn. Human females make Hurlocks, Dwarves make Genlocks, Qunari make Ogres, and...Elves make Shrieks.” He rubbed his hands over his eyes. “We don’t know what every race in Endor would make, but rest assured if it has a female version around the Darkspawn will find her and turn her into a Broodmother.”

    Nienor’s hands balled into fists. She said nothing, only looking down at her feet, her boots covered in splatters of dark blood. It wasn’t just her boots - all of her clothes were covered in the sticky stinky substance. She simply had gotten used to it over the years. For the first time, she found herself smirking darkly, her mind thinking over what the Man before her had said. In her history lessons, they were taught that Orcs, driven mad by the ring of power, were monsters and murderers. Oh, how silly all those who remembered that time were! Just murder...just death….It was so simple. Yes, bodies were mauled and decapitated and grotesquely ripped apart but in comparison, what the Orcs of Mordor had done was pure innocence.

    Zadkiel didn’t expect her to speak, but her smile was the most unexpected thing. Still responses to learning the dark and sick truth about Darkspawn and Broodmothers were always unexpected. Giving her a small nod, he moved off the railing and went back to finishing the check in.

    Nienor watched him go, shaking her head in thought. The Wrong was infecting much more than just the land - if people knew, they would be broken, shattered. This secret and - the young woman gulped, suddenly pale - this fear has to stay with her and her alone. “I will not fall,” she whispered into the wind, persuading herself, “I will not let this fear grip me. Nor will I let it destroy me. I….I will not fall.”


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  7. #27
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    Lu's had slept sparcly that night. She'd been unable to locate Jocko when she returned from the ruins. She'd found herself seeking out a secluded height to watch the city from. She'd wrapped her cloak tightly around her and watched the starlight dance across the waterfalls. At some point she'd fallen asleep but some hours later Caw began to tug on her braids and squawk. Lu rubbed at her tired eyes pushing the bird away as she let out a yawn. The day had been long and she'd already staid up late enough but as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes and stretchered the ache out of her body she became awear of an uneasy feeling.

    the eerie feeling making her group around for her bow. Alert now she carefully got to her feet, Caw having gone quite, only the soft click of his talons as he hopped across the stone as she gingerly made her way over to the edge. And that is when the sounds of battle erupted somewhere below.

    Lu dropped over the edge, keeping as quite as she could as she turned, scooping up Caw and began making her way towards the commotion. It wasn't long before she was able to slip behind the supply crates that were brought in. Most of the commotion was seemed to be further away but she could hear the sounds of fighting all around her. She moved herself into a more suitable position to peek over the crates into the more open space beyond.

    Elves and men scattered as the wrong flooded in. The only reason she knew was because of how sickeningly unfamiliar they seemed. But worst of all the gathered combatants seemed to be having a difficult time, these things were fast, and worst of all she watched as one vanished after bringing down a man. She crouched behind the crate with a frown, hopping that Jocko was somewhere safe, or at least in a group of suitable fighters. How did one fight something they could not see? She didn't have that man from last night, Fen, to ask, he'd dealt with these things before, likely he'd have a answer. But she was one her own.

    She winced at the dying scream of another man before glancing at her bow. She couldn't hit something she couldn't see. And she didn't have enough arrows to waist on a blind shot. She huffed softly unwilling to go out Physically, close combat was not her strong suit. Her eyes narrowed however as they spotted a familier bag, Flour. She was familier enough with the stuff, but a thought accrued to her about the powdery substance. Much like the first time she'd witnessed snow and watched it settle over her fur cloak. Even if something appeared to vanish, it must still be there right? She supposed she only had one way of knowing, and knowing it was a risk, a risk she normally would not have thought of. She dove forward grabbing the bag and hefting it up.

    She turned pulling herself to her feet and threw the bag with all her might before she snatched up her bow and as quickly as she could drew an arrow. Her shot missed at her clumsy attempt to hurry, but just as she thought her attempt had failed another arrow pierced the bag causing it to burst in a glorious powder spray. Not quite like snow but good enough. She glanced in the direction the arrow had come from and gave a nod to the Elf on the other side, perhaps he'd caught on to what she was doing.

    The flour settled over the ground, and outlined the invisible forms that darted here and there, their footprints leaving marks in the substance as she pulled free another arrow and pierced the skull of an invisible beast charging her. With their assailants now visible, the small fighting force located here was able to rally and more then just men's blood began to spill along the ancient stones.

    As the numbers dwindled and eventfully the night became quite once more Lu sighed as her arms ached once more. More powder littered the area, she'd thrown 3 bags in the course of the fight as new monsters had seemed to wader into their area from were ever the main force was. She began retrieving her arrows, any that could be salvaged anyways. and as she picked up barrels and helped clean up the area she could just make out the faint sound of snoring coming from an overturned barrel on the other side of the collection of supply's and upon investigation she could only shake her head at the sleeping form of Jocko.
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