Footsteps of the Fallen

Good Night for a Deal..a steal..and a Meal

Well, well. Things are finally lookin up for o’l Geko. Got me some friends in some high places. Got me some friends in some low places. Got me a fat purse and none the wiser. Now I just need me some vits and a couple whores.

Geko skipped down the street whistling a tune he couldn’t remember the name of, thinking he was the most skilled and talented thief in the business. The thought came to mind that someone might recognize the money pouch he just acquired so he snatch another off a passerby dumped out it contents on the cobblestone (just coppers poor peasant bastard) and dumped the gold from the fine pouch into it. Then with a flick of his wrist stuffed that same fine pouch into the belt of another sorry sap that got too close.
He continued on down the lane flirting with the ladies lining the streets. Stopping for a moment with the prettier ones to test the water and their level of overseer (damn pimps). Till finally he came to the “Broken Shield” the pub he had been hearing about all over the “Footpad” district. the seediest bar in town. Home sweet home. And after a month and a half on the road with a bunch of clanks and one very luscious runeguard. It was going to be nice to have some scoundrel time, a bath and a tale or two.
Geko opened the door and stepped into the bar with a broad smile on his face. “Bartender! A Round for the house! On me!” As the door shut behind him he was consumed by pipe smoke, rancorous conversation and darkness. Home sweet home.

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Animal Companion

Adora sits on the edge of her bed. A few moments Ortan had slammed his door shut after his conversation with the man in the street. Though her body wanted sleep, her mind raced. She stood and paced quietly back and forth a bit. She sensed something was amiss but wasn’t sure what to do about it. She walks over to the window and peers out to the moon. Pulling a small bench over she kneels and peers up at the giant glowing orb in the sky. Softly she carresses the symbol of Storgg ebroidered on her shirt and begins to pray in druidic:

“Oh my beloved God. God of earth and sky, water and fire. Things have changed since I was a child, running naked in your woods. Please grant me the wisdom to make the right decisions, the same wisdom you give cunning serpant. Please grant me the strength, like that of the mighty tiger, to overcome my enemies and those who would harm those I care for, and continue give me the keen senses, like that of an eagle, to know when danger is coming. I thank you for these gifts and for continuing to watch over my friends and I as we travel.”

Adora returns to the bed and scratches Torques fur softly. “I am truely grasteful Storgg put us together,” she says smiling as he purrs loudly. “Okay,” she says, “now onto business.” Concentrating and moving her hands in a soft circle in the air, she peers down at Torgue.

“So tell me my beloved companion, what is your sense of the man whom Ortan was speaking with?”

Torque peers up at her. It has been awhile since she has spoken to him in his language. “What do you mean by sense Adora,” he says. “Did he give you an uneasy feeling, did he seem odd or strange or dangerous?” she replies. “Well, I could sense that the short one, the one you call Ortan, seemed tense while they spoke to each other.” “The other man, spoke very calmly, but I did get an uneasy feeling from him.” Concern flashes across Adora’s face. “Hmm, me too Torque, me too…” she says and scratches his head.

“Tonight we do not sleep deeply my friend,” he growls and turns a few times on the floor, laying down on his side facing the door, ear perked.

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Dwarves and their ale

Adora and Ortan sit quietly at a table in their usual tavern in Kreisk. She notices Ortan looking intently at the mug of ale in front of him. He appears to be debating with himself whether or not he is going to drink it. She has noticed him doing this a few times, ever since their return from cleansing the temple.

“So, " she says to Ortan as he finally grips the mug tightly and takes a swig, “I noticed your drinking has picked a little more since our last conversation regarding Ellena and your love of ale.” She pauses and takes a sip of her hot tea.He grunts softly and says “Well, that ale we had earlier was the finest ale of Brundicore…” his voice trails off. “yes well,” she says “What about the ale in your hand? Was it not you who told me Ellena herself spoke to you about your alcohol consumption.” Ortan replies, “She didn’t say to stop, she merely said I should, uh, cut back a little.” He takes another swig of ale. “I see,” she says.

They continue to talk for a awhile about Ellena, his family, and his love of ale. Though she may seem overly concerned with his drinking, she really isn’t. Growing up, she never drank because her mother was very much a naturalist and until a month ago, Adora had never tasted ale. She was merely curious as to what feuled his desire to drink and wished to know more about his culture. While in the Runeguard, Adora knew very few dwarves and now that she has a chance to really get to know new people without just guarding or escorting them, she is taking it.

Having his fill of ale, and her fill of tea, Ortan and Adora head out of the tavern, towards the Inn they and their companions are staying at. As they walk out of the doors, a man dressed in dark clothes, with bright blue eyes approaches them. He addresses Ortan and tells him he must speak with him regarding a matter of his family. He asks to speak to Ortan alone. Adora raises her brow and carefully looks over the man. Something doesn’t seem right. “Anything you have to say, you can say in front of me,” she says firmly. The man assures Adora that no harm will come to her friend. Adora turns to Ortan and he assures her he will be fine speaking to the man alone. She doesn’t like the situation and an uneasy feeling brews in the pit of her stomach but he is a grown man and grants him his wish…after asking Torque to stay behind and defend Ortan if necessary. The man looks at Adora and asks her to wait across the street.

Reluctantly she steps across the street, but keeps an eye on the men as they speak. At first it seems as if it a normal conversation. However, within a few minutes she notices Ortans face furrow and contort. He begins to poke the man in the chest several times and at the end of the conversation he looks frustrated and walks towards the middle of the street. Adora meets up with him and they walk towards the Inn.

“What happened? Is everything okay?” she asks, concerned something has happened to his family. “Lets just say I am going to kill every one of those damn Imperium bastards!” he says angrily as they reach their rooms at the Inn. “Is there anything I can do?” she asks. “I just need to be alone,” he says and slams his room door shut.

She sighs and opens her room and locks it behind her. She knows something isn’t right.

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Friendship

She watches intently as the cleric brings her fallen companions back to life one by one. It had only been a few days since they were slain, but she waited anxiously to have them back. Since being cast out of the Runeguard, she realized how much she needed friends in her life right now.

Upon awakening from his death, Flynn asks to be alone for awhile. Adora senses she knows why but gives him his space and awaits until the next day to speak with him.

She knows what he is going to say, before he says it, as they stand outside next to the Tavern, the sun brightly shining. He begins by telling her he is returning home and that he doesn’t believe that this is what his father would want him to do. He explains that none of the other members respect him, are making deals with criminals while he is dead, and that we are no longer a mercenary group. Adora listens. She tries to convince Flynn to stay and that the mission at hand to help the half-dragon is for a just cause. She understand his frustrations. Though she doesn’t agree with his methods of trying to lead the group, she knows how important it is to him to become a leader and impress his father. She knows certain individuals in their group think Flynn is nothing but a complete asshole but she also knows him far better than they do and knows his reasons for his behavior…even though he doesn’t go about it in the most respectful ways.

They argue for a bit about the dynamics of the group, politics, and Adora begins to become frustrated. It seems as every time they speak Flynn has nothing to say but “me me me.” Upset and emotional, she lets loose her feelings on Flynn.

“Did you ever stop to think about me if you left the group?” she asks. She appears upset and her voice waivers just a bit. She isn’t used to showing him such emotion. “Flynn, I just lost a part of my life, a part of my identity. I haven’t slept, I barely eat, and my only friend just died and was brought back to life. Did you even notice? Did you even sense my hurt, my pain?” She wipes a tear from her cheek. “Flynn you are my only friend right now,” Torque growls and nudges her hand. “Well, yes of course, besides you Torque.” She turns back to Flynn. “Did it ever occur to you that I may be upset about being banished from the Runeguard?” “And that now, my friend who I have known since I was young wants to abandon me because he doesn’t always get what he wants?” “And did it occur to you that nmaybe your father wants you to learn a different lesson, something deeper than just bossing people around.”

Flynn doesn’t speak as Adora lays out her emotions. He has never seen her like this. She has always been very calm and strong since he has known her.

When she is finished spilling her feelings to Flynn, Adora wipes away her tears and tries to pull herself together. She tells him that if he still wants to leave, she cannot stop him…but in her heart she desperately hopes he will stay. Flynn puts his arm on her shoulder and gently squeezes but says nothing. She smiles and breaths a soft sigh of relief. With that, they walk back into the tavern….Adora with her two closest friends at her sides.

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Broken

Adora lays on her side in bed, her arm hanging over the edge stroking Torques fur softly as he slumbers peacefully on the ground beside her. Even though their latest mission went well and the Inn where they are staying is quite comfortable, she has barely been able to sleep since she was cast out of the Runeguard. Her insides still ache and long to feel whole once again. A part of her is gone and though she doesn’t regret her decision she still misses the life she once had.

Though she has her companions beside her, she feels miles apart from them…lonely and invisible. She has considered speaking to Flynn about this but after his numerous negative comments about her banishment from the guard, it seems pointless to reach out to him now. Is it sad her only friend thinks less of her? Tears begin to well up and she begins to weep softly. She is broken inside…

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Druidic Prayer to Vanian

Standing with Vanian’s holy symbol in her hand, Adora looks to the ash on the ground that was once her friend…

Deep Peace to You
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

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Ash

Pain ripped through her body as she was flung into the air. Yasanna twirled her along with a few of her sister around in the air like rag dolls. She prepared for her death…

Her body hit the ground hard and her breath was knocked out of her. She couldn’t be sure if what she had just seen was real or not. The crowd stopped fighting and people stared at one another with shock and amazement on their faces. She looked at Yasanna and then to the pile of ash on the ground that used to be Vanian. He had died for what he believed in and had saved her life doing so.

She stood and tried to wipe the tears from her eyes. Nothing had gone like she had planned or hoped. She was unsure of what she believed anymore. Her companions gathered around but no one spoke…

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Is this real, is this pretend

Standing in the room with her Runeguard sisters, listening to Yasanna speak, her heart pounded. She wanted to say something but she was scared. How could she stand up to someone she respected so much. It seemed as if no one else around her had the same reservations of the Runeguard taking control of the city. It wasn’t right and she felt as if she was the only one who believed this. After several questions that she felt weren’t sufficiently answered, she began to rock the boat. Yelling out to her sisters this was wrong, she saw Yasanna approach her. Inside she was an emotional wreck but she maintained a firm appearance on the outside….though she knew Yasanna could see right through her.

It takes a brave person to stand up to someone who was powerful and highly respected. Adora didn’t feel brave, she just wanted to speak her mind. The room began to clear and Yasanna told her to choose a path. How does one choose their own destiny? She had so much she wanted to say and as Yasanna walked away, her voice wouldn’t come to her. She had failed at her chance to change what was about to happen.

She stepped up in line next to her Runeguard sisters. She wasn’t with them but she wasn’t against them. Her insides tossed and turned. She looked across the street and saw Flynn, staring at her. She mouthed the words “I’m with you” but he didn’t see her. This felt wrong. Yasanna addressed the crowd, people were becoming upset, tension rose. Her heart pounded, Torque began to growl softly. Time seemed to be moving in slow motion.

She wasn’t sure who attacked first but chaos ensued. Her sisters began to fight with the townspeople. She couldn’t move. Someone moved into attack her. His face showed a mixture of anger and fear. She turned away…she could not attack those who she once protected.

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Fallen Icons

Loyalty my myself or loyalty to my country. Women who I have known my whole life, grown up with, and respected or my own beliefs as to what is right. Maybe if I had listened to my mother and never joined the Runeguard, this would never be a choice I’d have to make. However, the decision is in the here and now…my stomach churned…

After the wave of nausea passes, I watch as my fellow Runeguards haul Vanian off the jail cells below. It didn’t feel right, using my authority to have my friend hauled off to jail, but I wasn’t exactly myself right now either. My brain was fighting with my heart and internally I was a mess.

The secret message I had received from Yasanna felt like a tiny virus infecting my mind and played with my emotions. Sharing it with my companions felt wrong but I had done it anyway. Now we were back at the door steps of the Oder of the New Dawn and I was about to share my secret with another…I just prayed this decision would be a wise one…

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A Morning Prayer...

“Ellena, when I asked you if you might be able to guide my strength to crush those Imperium bastards, I didn’t think you’d guide me into a battle of wits. Politics are for dwarves like my brother, not me,” Ortan said to the empty room.
Ortan rubbed his eyes, finally deciding it was time to wake up. As he sat up his head throbbed slightly. He had just woken from a night of drinking, which happened to be every night. His long black beard was a mess, same with his hair. He ran his hands through both briefly, smoothing them out for the most part. Laying on the bed next to him was Earthbreaker, his family heirloom, a massive headed great hammer. On the ground, his armor lay in an unceremonious pile. Priorities.
After a few stretches, Ortan began fumbling through the sheets of the bed until he found what he was looking for. A large silver flask. On the face of it there was an ornate engraving of a great hammer resembling Earthbreaker. This flask, had become his holy symbol. Granted, Ellena is not the Goddess of any sort of alcohol, but that didn’t matter to Ortan. It wasn’t the alcohol that focused his divine energies, it was the engraving. That great silver hammer.
Finding his symbol of prayer, he sat on the floor and began his morning prayer.
“Thank you Ellena for showing me your strength. Thank you for lettin’ a drunken dwarf be healed by that strength. Most of all, thank you for showin’ me where to use my strengths. When I left Stonedeep I was lost, but then you found me.”
Ortan then stopped, removed the cap from the flask, and took a quick drink.
“And one for you…” he said, and took another drink, “you beautiful lass, you.”
After screwing the cap back on he resumed his prayer, “Let me see if I can do this right… May my I prove stronger then my foes. May my hands heal those in pain. May your light guide my way. Please allow me to resist the attacks of my enemies, and my allies to resist the draws of death. With your sight I shall see that which is unseen. With your blessing I shall strike down my foe. May you also bless the stone, for it calls to a humble dwarf like me. I shall not show fear in the face of my enemies, and with your strength I shall bring their doom. Please head my call when I need your strength to restore my allies, for many battles may ail us. Please protect us from forces that may do us harm too. Amen…or something. Is that what Brother Silas always said? Oh well, you get the point.
“Ellena, I’ve been following your lead for a while now. You’ve always led me true, for that I’m thankful. When I asked to help crush those Imperium bastards I was told to wait. When I was sent to Aeroglyph and found the Gilded Blade instead, I took that as a sign. With their help we can stop these bastards from doing here what they did to Brundicor….and Dad…and…Mom. We will make them pay for the evil they have spread. I have to ask, is this political crap doing us any good? I mean, I don’t really get any of it. Just make the strongest the king and be done with it. Then we can be back to fighting the Imperium rather than each other. Oh well, you must have your reasons for bringing me into this. I think I hear Flynn flirting with some woman out there. I just hope he’s not wearing those bright pink pants again. By the way, Ellena, please don’t judge him too bad, he is a good person…I think.”
Ortan sat up from the floor and began donning his armor. Today was going to be a busy day.

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