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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 03 Mar 2011, 23:46 
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Trasil kept his ascent, working up to the head, the beast giving him long enough to affix another bomb to his spear. He took a deep breath, and lunged, sinking it into it's other eye. a scream of terror and pain escaped the creature, as Tras hung on for dear life, suddenly recalling the spear, as he swung forward... in front of the demon's face. Lightning fast, he spun the musket from his back, unloading it into the creature, as he fell to the ground, easily 60 feet up.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2011, 13:37 
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Cateline gasped in alarm as Trasil dropped from the creature's head, firing his musket as he went. How could anyone survive a fall from so high?! But it had looked like a deliberate act, so she assumed he knew what he was doing. The other thing that had caught her attention, however, was his attack with the spear. He had attached something small and black to the tip, just before hurling it at the monster with explosive results. The sight recalled to her mind the small black balls that Trasil had handed her outside the inn that morning. She had put them away without knowing quite what they were, and she had subsequently forgotten about them. If they were the same as the device he had just used, it meant she had another powerful weapon that she could use against the monster. Carefully taking both her staff and Axe's belt into her left hand, she reached into her pouch and drew out one of the balls. The next time Axe passed the worm, she would hurl it and see what it could do.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2011, 13:46 
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Nikolai saw a chance for action. He'd realized what exactly Trasil was doing barely a second before he did it, and he was that the man was free falling to the ground.

From what he'd seen, he could tell Trasil was a rather study person, and would likely survive such a fall, but no one could survive it unscathed.

He recited a spell quickly, a simmilar spell to the one he'd said before, and sent it surging forward, hoping he was close enough to catch Trasil. All he needed to do was cushion the fall for the last few feet.

Trasil visibly slowed down, and Nikolai couldn't see him well enough to see if he landed safely, but he hoped he did.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2011, 14:33 
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Axe looked at amazement at Axe's skill. He could put to shame most of the people in this country alone. He had no time to think about it however as he saw Nikolai do something to slow Trasil's fall. He decided that now wasn't the time to wonder where he was getting all of his tricks, right now they had a battle to fight.

He barely felt Cateline shift her weight and he thought that maybe she had a trick up her sleeve. He decided to risk another charge towards the creature. The creature was taking a lot of damage and yet still hasn't fallen. He was amazed and dismayed at the same time by this. The creature was so enraged it decided to do an attack Axe hadn't seen before. It reared its head back and gathered a tremendous amount of energy to it. Then shot his head forward, and with one gigantic earth shaking blast created a 5 second beam, 50 feet in diameter, straight at him. The beam narrowly missed them and the horse but caused such a quake that both he and Cateline was thrown from the horse and landed on the ground hard. He rolled for a few feet and stopped, a little bruised but otherwise unscathed. He got up shakily after a few seconds of collecting his wits, and looked for his horse and was relieved that it wasn't hurt.

He was now no more than twenty feet from the creature and staring up at it.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2011, 19:17 
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For the second time since the start of this battle, Cateline found herself lying in the mud. She had fallen hard on her back and it had hurt. But she knew she couldn't afford to lie there and recover. She was only a few yards away from the beast, and in full view. If it launched another attack, she wouldn't stand a chance. Crawling along the ground to minimise the attention she might draw to herself, she scrambled to a nearby ridge created by one of the creature's earlier blasts. But before ducking down to hide behind the piled up earth she hurled the ball that she'd kept clasped tight in her hand the whole time.

From behind the sheltering ridge she heard the explosion a moment later and risked a peek. The device had found its mark. By the looks of things it had hit the creature just about where Axe had slashed it earlier: a section of the gash was now a wide, gaping wound and was bleeding profusely. But the creature was still as active as ever, and was swinging its head this way and that, probably trying to locate the cause of this latest pain. At least she seemed to have distracted its attention from Axe momentarily. She hoped he'd be able to use the opportunity either to get in close for another attack, or to get to a safer spot.

Surely it can't keep standing up to this kind of treatment, she thought, desperately hoping, more than actually believing.

She retreated back behind the ridge again and checked to see how many of the balls Trasil had given her - she hadn't counted at the time. She had five left. It seemed woefully inadequate, considering how little serious damage they had managed to inflict so far. Even Trasil's amazing musket didn't seem to have succeeded in damaging anything vital. Did they really stand any chance of holding out long enough to weaken it?



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2011, 22:30 
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The landing was a lot fatal than expected. This of course, caused Trasil's mood to lighten a bit, even after seeing the great beast still up. He did notice however the shrieks, and roars seemed more painful now. He stood, a bit slower, and shakily than he'd like, noticing that there was a sharp pain in his shooting shoulder. Another quick move ad proven to show it was dislocated. He shot it back into place as he loaded an explosive into his musket, bracing it against the ground, as he took careful aim at the gaping wound, and fired. He vanished in the flames and smoke, as another huge chuck of it liquified. " aim at edges of wound! like felling tree!"



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2011, 12:58 
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The rain was pouring in a torrential downpour now and the wind had picked up since the battle started about an hour and a half ago. He was soaked to the bone even with his armor and clothes on. His axe was in his hand since he had picked up after losing it in the fiasco charge that he was still berating himself with. He knew full well how costly mistakes like that were on the battle field and they were even more costly now. He was just damned lucky that neither him, Cateline, or his horse had been hurt in the run. Now he was standing there looking up at it. The rain was making it nearly impossible to see the beast's head and it was piercingly cold. The mud was now around his ankles and their was pools of water everywhere. Steam was escaping from the craters and trenches that were made by attacks from the creature. It all seemed so hopeless.

He waked up to the creature, not sure what he was hoping to accomplish. He then got into a stance and swung his axe back to full extension (now more or less 20 degrees to horizontal. Then swings forward and up (slicing into the creature on the up swing), then pivoting on his left foot does a complete 360 degree spin (slicing the creature again with the cross-the-stomach swing) then takes another power 360 swing of the axe with two hands on the handle and a yell, creating an invisible cutting arc that looks like it did no damage but it cuts right through and causes you to feel the pain nonetheless.

The creature rocks as if hit with a gigantic hammer, falling to the ground but shaking it off and getting back up again with a earth shattering roar that causes a shockwave that Axe blocks with his weapon but knocks him backward sliding on his feet for 30 feet. Axe lowers his weapon and stare transfixed that that actually worked.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2011, 17:35 
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Cateline was now down to two of Trasil's black balls. She had tried her best to follow Trasil's advice and aim for the edges of an existing wound, but from this distance it was almost impossible to be accurate. Her initial strike had been a lucky chance. She was reluctant to use up her last two devices when it looked unlikely that they would make any serious difference to their chances of beating the creature. They might prove valuable later on against something else. But what could she use instead? She couldn't just sit by and let the others struggle. If they had needed healing she could have made herself useful in that way, but so far, amazingly, no-one appeared to have suffered any major injuries - this creature was unspeakably strong and resilient, but its reactions weren't fast, which was the only reason they were all still alive, she was sure. She finally decided she would use up one more of the balls and then she'd revert to magic. Hurling trees at it may have been disappointingly ineffective, but a few large objects whirling around its head might at least keep its attention away from the men while they continued to hack away at it.

One last time she emerged from her "bunker" and lobbed the little black sphere. As before, it exploded on impact and as each time before, the creature roared and thrashed but showed no obvious sign of weakening. Before retreating once again she checked on how the others were doing. Nikolai had remained at a safe distance from the beast, and had been using his magic (what a surprise it was to learn that he too was a mage!) in a defensive capacity, while the others were still clustered around its body, laying into it with all their might. They must surely be exhausted by now, she thought. Amongst her potions she had some potent draughts designed to restore the body's strength when its energy reserves were drained, but they were on her horse, and who could tell where that might be by now?

Just as she was about to turn away she fancied she saw something move somewhere behind the creature a short way further on along the track. It was hard to be sure of anything in this rain though. Maybe she'd just imagined it... But no. As she strained to make out any forms amongst the indistinct blur of light and shadow, she clearly saw a small dark patch move. And then another. Her heart sank. That was all they needed! More monsters turning up when they already had their hands full with this one.

Well, she thought, I may not be able to do much with this monster, but dispatching a couple of little ones before they try to make a meal of my fellows is one contribution I can make to this battle.

That was the moment at which one of the shadows uttered a sound. A very human, and very authoritative sound.

"Stand aside!"

At the same moment the shapes also reached a point close enough for her to be able to make them out. In fact there were three of them, each dressed in a dark monk's habit and carrying an ornate staff.

"Your courage is noble, but your efforts are in vain," the speaker called out. "This creature is one of the devil's own spawn from the depths of Hell. Nothing but the holy power of God, as wielded by the One True Church, can subdue this demon. Leave it to us and make your way to Brunston. Take shelter in the church building until all threats in this area have been eliminated."

Cateline was extremely glad that the action she had been engaged in as the group approached was throwing one of Trasil's little balls. If they had arrived a few moments later she would very likely have been caught red-handed wielding a staff and summoning up a tornado. She would have had little chance of talking her way out of that.

The worm didn't appear to have registered the presence of the church mages. But it had spotted Cateline, still standing out in the open, in the direction of its most recent source of pain, gawping at the new arrivals. It opened its fearsome maw once more to release another beam straight at her. But the three mages recognised its intention immediately and a triple blast of Holy magic was instantly fired from the three staves, straight at its head. The creature screamed as its skin blistered and peeled, but it didn't fall. Instead, it turned to face its new assailants, only to be greeted by three more blasts. Each time it prepared to attack, it encountered a new volley. This new magic was clearly having an effect: it was burning it. The blistered skin was blackening as it peeled away, and the rain was turning to steam as it made contact with the exposed flesh. The creature continued to scream and writhe; it was clearly in agony. Cateline would never have imagined she could ever feel relieved to see church personnel, but finally someone had a weapon that was making an impact. Even so, the creature was still upright. This battle would not be over quickly.

Unable to make any further contribution in the presence of these monks, she took the opportunity to slip over to Nikolai.

"Don't use magic while these people are here," she admonished, "or it'll get us all arrested once they're done."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2011, 12:00 
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Nikolai couldn't help the mischevious smile that spread across his face. No magic around the One True Church, eh? Suddenly his fingers were itching to show these people how to really use magic, but an warning look from Cateline set him straight.

"I suppose I may have a bit of explaining to do," he said, when he figured it was okay for him to talk. Though he didn't know why. He never said he couldn't use magic, and no one ever asked him. He hadn't really done anything wrong.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2011, 19:09 
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Cateline looked towards Axe to see if he would give the order to move on towards Brunston, as they had been told to do, and leave the church's specialists to deal with their foe. But she saw no indication so far, so she returned her attention to Nikolai.

"I must say I was surprised to find you can use magic too. No wonder you weren't shocked when I healed you with magic rather than potions!" She grinned at him. "But I don't blame you for keeping quiet about it until you had no choice - in these times it's hard to know who you can trust. So I'm not going to demand an explanation about why you concealed it, though I won't deny that if you feel able, I'd love to hear your story."

Although she was speaking to Nikolai, her gaze returned repeatedly to the monster. They still weren't out of danger: there was no certainty that the worm wouldn't still see them as hostile and turn on them again. The church mages were blasting it again and again with Holy magic, and she could see it was slowly weakening, but that wasn't preventing it from trying to attack whenever it got the chance and, as she watched, it did indeed manage to release a beam amidst the almost constant barrage of Holy. It found its target. One of the mages cried out brefly and then was gone. Where he had been standing, a trench in the ground showed the beam's path.

Cateline gasped. Because their magic was effective she hadn't stopped to consider that the mages themselves were still vulnerable. She felt no personal grief for the victim, but she had assumed these church people would eventually succeed against the creature. Now she wasn't so sure. Would two of them be enough? She wished she could make a further contribution to the battle and help to speed things up, but she knew that wasn't possible. Axe and Trasil however... So far they hadn't moved very far away from the creature. Were they planning on staying? Would a combined physical and magical assault accelerate its downfall, she wondered?



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2011, 00:00 
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Axe never once flinched when he saw the guy disintegrate, his thoughts were only: We tried to tell ya........ He shook his head slowly and watched to see what was happening. He wanted to attack but decided that doing so now would only cause a tremendous tactical error on their parts. He moved out of the field of engagement and found his horse standing near Cateline.

He walked over to it and saw Cateline's quizzical look and figured he knew what it meant. He shook his head slowly and walked silently over to them. "It's better we catch our breaths here. If they think they can handle things then let them. Now sir-" he looked pointingly at Nikolai without any anger or remorse, "-please explain why you met us when you did and what you are really after please. I am not here to slander whatever secrets you are hiding but you holding out isn't going to help us in the future. And we need to know what you know to better help us understand your intentions."

Then he looked to Cateline, "I am going to have you hitch with me and see if we can't either get you restocked with new inventory and a new way to carry them along with a horse to ride on. We also might get you more fitting clothes, too." He looked to Nikolai, "if you plan to travel with us then I suggest letting us find you new 'fits based on your specialty...consider it a gift." He looked to the church people..."We still have a long battle ahead of us."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2011, 14:54 
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Nikolai bit back the urge to completely ignore everything Axe just said. While what he said didn't entirely sound like a demand, he felt he had no choice but to answer. And if he was meaner (just slightly) he might have just ignored him.

He smiled charmingly. "I assure you, I have no information you might need on your travels." And he was sure he didn't. "I've already explained why I'm here talking to you. I was attacked by a creature, and was unable to do anything about the wound myself." He shook his head angrily. "Normally I have a few potions and the like, but the monster seems to have made off with them." All of his money, as well. "If you really must know, I intended to relieve you of one of your potions," he looked at Cateline as he said this, "and use it, but I decided it would be better to just ask." He was more forced into it, but it didn't matter now. "And I'm mostly just a traveller, not after anything in general." Well, he wasn't now, at least. Currently he had no reason to be a theif of any kind. "And I might know a bit of magic." Though he didn't sound believable to even himself about that.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2011, 19:34 
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Cateline looked at him askance.

"'Might know a bit of magic'?" she quoted sarcastically. That was a pretty powerful spell you used earlier. I doubt if you'd have managed that without some serious study. "Why are you so shy about admitting your magical skills? No-one in this group is going to think badly of you because of it - after all, I'm a mage myself. And your magic saved us from some serious harm."

She really wanted to press Nikolai for more information but she was pretty sure that would just make him clam up even more. Far better to leave the questioning for now and hope he'd start to feel more at ease soon and open up a bit more. Instead she turned to Axe.

"So are we taking their advice and leaving them to it while we move on to Brunston?"



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2011, 21:01 
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Axe looked to her while he was brushing his horse, "No, I am interested to see how effective they-" points to the mages "-are."

He looks over as another mage gets obliterated, by a blinding beam from the creature. He then sees a strange sight, the staff escapes destruction. It flew from the mage's hands and landed some distance away from them and the last mage who was looking worried. He made no move towards it. Instead he acts as if he doesnt see it. Making more of a opportune thing.

He nudges Cateline and nods almost imperceptive towards it.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2011, 07:17 
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Cateline followed the line of Axe's eyes and immediately realised what he was suggesting.

"If we're likely to meet any more powerful monsters, I definitely need to get hold of that Holy magic, but only church personnel are allowed access to it. But I can't take that staff. There's no way I could get to it without that other mage spotting me. I bet if I so much as walked towards the monster I'd get sent back again. And if I actually picked up the staff he'd know immediately what I was doing: no-one but a mage trying to get hold of Holy illegally would take the risk of getting up close to that creature just to pick up a staff. We'll have to find another strategy."

The last surviving mage was looking increasingly scared, but he made up for it by doubling his efforts. He was firing off magic at considerably shorter intervals than Cateline could have managed. Clearly he was a very experienced and highly skilled mage, and also very agile. The worm managed to get in a couple of attacks, but the saw them coming and dived out of the way each time.

Although the monk of course couldn't keep up the same sort of barrage that the three of them had been achieving a few minutes earlier, the worm had already been considerably weakened and each new hit took its toll. Suddenly the creature let loose a massive beam that hollowed out another deep crater in the ground between it and the mage, who saw it coming and just managed to dive out of the way, and then suddenly reared up higher than ever and plunged down into crater, boring through the ground with further beams as it went. Within a few seconds it was gone, with nothing but fading earth tremors to indicate its passage. Pursuing it would have been impossible.

The mage gazed after it into the crater, staring at the collapsing tunnel following the worm's retreat. Then, with no visible emotion on his face, he turned and went to pick up his fallen colleague's staff. He gestured with it towards Axe, whom he seemed to have identified as the leader of the little group.

"Come with me. I shall escort you to Brunston. The countryside is not safe. There are other demonic creatures at large, and this one may have been forced to retreat for now, but it is not dead. It may well return. Do not think you do not need my protection. I have authority to evacuate this region of the countryside until the church declares it safe."

Cateline looked at Axe.

"It would appear he's not going to allow us any choice," she remarked. "But if we must go, I need to collect my staff."

She began to sidle off towards the ridge where she had been hiding earlier.

"You!" the monk challenged. "Where are you going?"

"I have a sturdy staff that aids me when walking over rough terrain," she answered. It was actually true. Her staff may have been the main tool of her profession as a mage, but she did also use it perfectly genuinely as a walking aid.

"Unlike these good people I've met, I am a simple peasant. I have to rely on my own two feet for travel and a staff is a big help," she added.

"A staff?" the monk queried, a dubious tone in his voice. "Bring it to me. Let me see."

Cateline complied. Having fetched the staff, she strode up to the churchman, looking as confident as she could manage. She was very grateful that, unlike the fancy ones carried by the church mages, hers was a simple utilitarian wooden staff. There was nothing magical about it's outward appearance, and it was unlikely that he would be able to guess the commands bound to it to activate the spells. However, he was clearly a very powerful mage. There was a slight chance that he might be able to sense the magic within it.

The monk took the staff and examined it carefully, then looked Cateline up and down.

"Where did you obtain this staff?" he asked her.

"It used to belong to an old woman who took care of me when my parents died," she replied, again truthfully. "Because of that, It has a lot of sentimental value for me, in addition to being a useful walking stick."

The monk looked dubious. "Was that old woman a mage, by any chance?"

Cateline hesitated. Which might be more dangerous? If she admitted that her old mentor had been a mage, that would bring more suspicion on herself, but if she lied, and the monk could tell that the staff had magical properties, he would suspect her of hiding something. That could be worse.

"Yes, she was," she admitted finally. "But she died years ago. I know that magic is now forbidden to ordinary people. I wouldn't want to risk my soul by trying to follow in her footsteps."

She looked up into the monk's face, hiding her nervousness, and trying to guess his thoughts.

It appeared that now it was his turn to hesitate.

******

Brother Cedric peered at the young woman in front of him. He was sure this staff in his hands was a magical artifact. But what did that tell him about its owner? His immediate reaction was that she had to be an illegally practising mage. Why would anyone otherwise be travelling with a magic staff now that magic was forbidden? On the other hand, her story sounded plausible, and a child cared for by a mage didn't necessarily have to become a mage herself. And there had been no sign of her using magic when he and the other two brothers had arrived on the scene: she had been using explosives (though he wondered where a peasant like her had acquired such things - he had seen them used by some foreigners in the Holy Wars, but they were virtually unknown in this land), and her staff had been out of reach.

But ultimately, the decision wasn't his responsibility. That was the job of the Inquisition. His charge was merely to see to the safety of the local population.

"You may keep the staff. For now," he said finally. "Now come, all of you. Follow me."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2011, 12:40 
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The silence following the monster's departure was short lived, as Trasil howled in victory. Or perhaps anger, for is eyes narrowed when the monk suggested he would "escort" them to Brunston. Not at all would this settle well. He shouldered his musket, and called over Vladi, removing his formless cloak, and replacing it with a tabbard of red, with black edging, with the crest of a dragon holding a bleeding heart in its talons. Fortunately for him, he had already dispelled his spear, so he wouldn't have to kill the mage immeadately, but at the slightest sign of hostility, that agent of the False God was going to see just how adept the massive foreigner was at what he was trained for.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2011, 15:39 
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Axe didn't make any overt moves but got on his horse. He calmed the animal down and helped Cateline up behind him. He made sure he was settled, made sure everyone else was ok and then said, "alright people let's follow him."

But Axe inwardly sighed at the monk's obvious naivete, but said or showed nothing about it in return. Why give the monk the reason? In any case, it may help them to have an escort anyway. So he followed the guy away from the battle area and on to Brunston.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2011, 20:47 
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Great. More people he knew nothing about. This time, he he decided he would stay completely silent, because letting this monk know he was a foreigner might just raise unnecessary suspicion. Apparently, he had no skill with keeping his mouth shut and his information to himself. He couldn't fake any kind of accent for his life. And this time he also wouldn't watch Axe like a hawk. There really was no need for suspicion with these people. Or at least none he had seen. They had nothing to hide, unlike him.

It occurred to him that if the Monk said they should continue to Brunston, then they were relatively close. He closed his eyes and recited spells in his head, expecting to arrive at the city at any moment.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 15 Mar 2011, 19:39 
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Cateline wondered how long it would take to reach Brunston, given that their escort appeared to be on foot, but in fact it turned out that there were three horses tethered nearby. Even so, the monk led them at a very steady pace, since he was leading the mounts of his two fallen comrades. She wondered if he might offer one of them to her, as she was the only one without a mount of her own, but he didn't. She perched on the back of Axe's horse, watching the man. He rode in silence, not even turning round to check on them. It seemed quite odd to her to see a monk on horseback, but then, if they were required to move around in search of quite fast-moving monsters, travelling on foot probably wouldn't be very practical.

Despite the slow pace, they reached Brunston within the hour. The town was busy and, as they rode through the streets, Cateline overheard numerous snatches of conversation in which the words "monster" or "demon" featured. Clearly a lot of people had taken refuge here from the surrounding countryside, but whether that was because they had encountered such creatures themselves, or because they had been ordered there by the mage-protectors, she couldn't ascertain. She also, more chillingly, several times heard mention of the Inquisition. If they were here in Brunston, she didn't want to remain in the town any longer than necessary. Nevertheless, she first wanted to see if there was any chance of laying her hands on Holy magic, and most likely the only way of obtaining it would be by stealing it. This was something she had no experience of, and she felt a little guilty even considering it, but if she was already functioning outside the law by continuing to work as a mage, breaking the law in one more way was only a small step. The question, though, was HOW could she go about stealing Holy?

Her musing was interrupted by the monk coming to a sudden halt and turning to address the party.

"I shall leave you now. I have matters to discuss with my superiors." He fixed his gaze on Cateline as he said this.

"This is the market square," he went on. "For those of you who can pay to stay at an inn, there is one over there," he pointed across the square, "and another along that street. If you have no funds, the church," again he pointed, this time in the direction of a tall spire that could be seen clearly behind the rooftops of the buildings fringing the square, "can provide some simple accommodation, and should any further demons venture close to the town, you should seek sanctuary there. You will be protected there."

He fell silent for a moment before continuing: "One last piece of advice. The Inquisitor arrived here today. He has called a meeting of all the faithful in this square tomorrow. I strongly advise that you all attend. The Inquisitor might have cause to doubt the piety of any who choose to remain absent."

Without further ado he then turned and rode away from the square. Cateline watched him until he was out of sight and then turned her attention back to Axe and the others.

"If the church has trained monks as mages, I'm guessing a monastery might be a good place to find Holy scrolls, but I've no idea how we'd go about getting access. And I don't like the news about an inquisitor being here. Did you see how he looked at me? I bet it's my staff he's going to talk to his superior about. That's sure to reach the ears of the Inquisition soon. But if we leave now, they'll suspect us immediately. And I'll lose any chance of getting my hands on Holy magic. What should we do?"



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 16 Mar 2011, 17:20 
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Axe had rode the rest of the way in silence. He didn't want to arouse the suspicion of the monk who apparently had saved them from certain harm. But he was dismayed that the creature escaped once again, though he was relieved that he could get a respite from it. The country side though didn't look so good after the attack and it was cratered and trenched.

They reached Brunston and immediately knew something was up. Towns folk were buzzing, all up in arms at the recent activity. It seems the monsters were more prevalent then he thought. He Listened to the monk's departure with half a ear, as he was wondering what could have rattled the town so much as to set the town ablaze with talk and hushed and excited. He got off his horse slowly his axe on his back. He was quite an opposing figure standing there with his huge axe on his back and holding the reigns of the horse. He still had the scrolls he bought from Cateline but they were hidden away, he wanted and needed to enchant his axe with them but he couldn't do it here. He looked around the town. He watched the monk head on out and was about to start on when he was startled from his reverie by Cateline's questions.

Axe looked to to her calmly and answered simply, "Calm yourself Cateline, getting excited and causing a commotion isn't going to help matters. We shall not arouse suspicion, and we need a plan. We will need to rest as the battle has taken it's toll on everyone. And like everyone else we will show up at the behest of this inquisitor that has seen fit to grace the town with his presence." He looked and saw the Tavern that was pointed out to them. There was a chance to get what they needed but things, as it stood, weren't looking good for them. "We shall start there-" He pointed to the Tavern, "-we need a couple of rooms to house our items for now. Cateline, if I was you I would start using your staff as a simple monk's walking stick. This will likely allay most of the suspicion of who you are and it will buy us some time so we can work out what is going on here.

***

The young monk prostrated himself before the Bishop.

"Speak my son, all are equal in the eyes of God."

"There has been a sighting of a major creature today, Your Eminence."

"Oh?"

"Yes, Your Eminence, one of the larger Hell Worms surfaced again."

"Did you engage it?"

"Yes, we fought it to draw and it withdrew."

The Bishop turned away at the news, the way things were going it was going to be tough to stop this menace, it just kept getting worse, and that last one sounded like it was pretty close to where they were. Something must have set this one off as they have never before came this close to the city. The Holy Magic they had kept them at bay as a prolonged exposure to it killed them out right.

"Do you know what brought it there?"

"We do not, but two of our scouts were killed in the attacks from the creature."

"And the surviving monk?"

"Yes, Your Eminence, he is downstairs with the Inquisitor as we speak."

"Is there something else, my son? You seem troubled, you fought a major creature and managed to drive it back, a grand accomplishment considering the odds of such a survival. You should be beaming with pride and Rejoicing to God on this victory for you overpowered Satan and his creations."

"There is something else, Your Eminence.....but I hesitate to bring to your attention for it could be nothing...yet I feel compelled to."

The Bishop's feature's clouded, "go on........"

The monk hesitated only a moment more before recounting what they saw when they arrived at the sight of the monster.

The Bishop didn't say anything for a long time. "I see...." He mulled over this for a few minutes and when he finally spoke, "I should like to talk to these people, but tomorrow, after the Inquisitor has spoken his piece."

"Yes, Your Eminence, I shall see to it at the proper time."

"That is good my son, now see to the Inquisitor and make sure his stay is comfortable, we shall talk of the rest tomorrow, I must prepare of the Daily Mass, you may go."

"Yes, Your Eminence." He left without a work bowing once as he left.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2011, 14:25 
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There no manner of disguise or spell that could disguise Trasil's look of disgust when the Inquistior was mentioned. He did have tact to pull his cloak tightly over his face to cover it in the monk's presence. "Wonderful. Entire town is crawling with Vermin." He then feel into a rather uncharacteristic silence while they checked in and, took his things to his room, taking great pains to secure the room. The Enemy was at that gates. Most inquisitors HAD been to the Holy land. and if they had been to the Holy land, they most likely had passed through The Lands of The Dracgon. and Trasil's garrison had been particulary savage to any pilgrims travelling through. Which would make any Inquisitor especially hostile to any Carpathian, especially one marked with the brands, scars and tattoos of The DrachenNaught. Which would endanger everyone else associated with him. This sent his mood particularly dark, until he decided to speak with Axe later, in the evening, and in private.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2011, 17:43 
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Cateline, as per Axe's advice, was making a great show of leaning on her staff as she walked. She did genuinely use it as a walking stick on occasions, so it didn't require any acting skill. Nevertheless, she didn't share his confidence that they wouldn't arouse suspicion. They had already done so, or at least she had. She could tell the monk didn't believe her story that she was simply carrying a walking staff and, even if he didn't personally pass on the information to the inquisitor, he was bound to tell someone. She had heard tell that if any person suspected another of heresy, and kept that information from the inquisitor, they too would be at risk of arrest and punishment. She was fairly sure that sooner or later she would be summoned for interview. She just hoped it would be later rather than sooner. If no news reached the inquisitor before the meeting, they might stand a chance of sneaking away afterwards without being missed.

But first there were more practical issues to attend to. For a start she was still plastered from head to foot in wet mud, and her only change of clothes had been lost with her horse, so removing her current ones to wash them wasn't an option. (Interestingly, she noted, after the worm's departure, the rain that had created all that mud had eased off, and now it had diminished to little more than drizzle.) Axe had earlier mentioned procuring some new clothes for her, but no matter how adamant he was that she should ignore their difference in social status, she couldn't quite bring herself to come straight out and ask him for anything. Having lost her last few possessions, she was now utterly dependent on his generosity for even her most basic needs, but the initiative had to come from him. She knew she had no right to assume it. Nevertheless, she hoped he hadn't forgotten his earlier proposals.

The other matter that was still weighing on her mind was obtaining Holy. She would have loved to tail the monk and see where he returned to after completing this mission, but Axe was right: they should rest up and formulate a plan. It should be easy enough to find out where the monks were based, but after that someone would need to search that place, and one of the other members of the group might have more expertise than she with matters of stealth. So, without further words, she followed Axe into the inn, where he negotiated some rooms for the party.Trasil went off straight away to his, but Cateline hovered, rather awkwardly, just inside the inn's entrance. Personal cleanliness was never something that peasants like her paid too much heed to, but even Cateline felt that the landlord might not want his customers soaking his bedding with mud, and she had no belongings to deposit, so she just waited, hoping that everyone would go to their rooms briefly and then emerge again to meet up together.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 19:25 
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Nikolai had followed through with his original thought, and said nothing along the way. They arrived in Brunston after a relatively short time. He didn't really want to watch a false priest preach a bunch of nonsense, but in thin situation he really had no choice. Lately he just can't seem to not be lead around like a dog.

He meant to be rather depressed about this, but Cateline said something that piqued his interest. So she wanted to obtain some of the Church's Holy magic, huh? Informing his newfound comrades of his abilities might not have been the best decision in his part, but who would it hurt if some scrolls went missing?

He shook his head though. He hadn't done anything to make sure people hadn't noticed him, and when he left, at most that monk would be able to identify him as suspicious. It would be difficult to leave without suspicion now, so unless he had something exceptional to gain from it, he wouldn't do it.

It seemed he hadn't totally lost his touch however, since upon entering the Tavern, Cateline hovered around the entrance and didn't seem to notice him standing behind her. He didn't really appreciate being left outside in the rain (regardless of how much it had ebbed), so he reached forward and tapped on her shoulder.
"Excuse me..."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 18:23 
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Cateline was already fairly tense, and the sudden sensation of a hand on her shoulder made her start. She was whipping round in alarm even as Nikolai spoke. She recognised the tone and the accent straight away and relief flooded through her.

"Don't do that!" she admonished.

"But you'd better come in out of the rain. Where are you planning on staying for the night? It looks like we're all expected to attend that meeting tomorrow, so you'll have to stay somewhere..."

She hesitated. She hadn't thought about the cost of staying in an inn because Axe was footing the bill. In truth she had no idea of what they charged. For people of her status, whose income was barely enough for basic subsistence, paying to stay at an inn was completely out of her league, regardless of the price. Might that also be true of Nikolai? He seemed to be of higher status than she was, but he was foreign; maybe people's manner and clothes were different where he came from.

"Err... do you have money to pay for it? If not, I could try talking to Axe. I don't know if he'd be willing to help out, but you did help us earlier on.

"But sorry, what did you want to say to me?"



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 23:59 
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Axe came down just then. He had just gotten his stuff put away including his weapons, he didn't want the crowded city to become frightened of his weapon. He heard Cateline talking about the rooms and decided to head on over.

"Come one what are you two still doing in the rain, I paid for your rooms already and here are the keys." He handed them the keys to their rooms. "Now go on and gets some rest, if you think you need it. Cateline would you like to go clothes shopping with me, Nikolai, you too if you are up for it." He took a little of the Cateline's sleeve and pulled it back, letting it go gently, "you are in need of it I think, but that is up to you." He looked to Nikolai again. "Of course you don't have to, but the offer is open and if you prefer to go it alone, I'll give you enough money to cover any expenses you need for the bill.

He gently led them inside out of the rain, and took them to the tavern so that they could eat. He had to see what was up with the town, but first, these people needed his attention and he was glad to give it.



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