Hack & Slash Em IC
A light drizzle of rain sprinkles the dirt streets below as a gentle rumble of thunder rolls through the clouds above. Vallenwood has been seeing this weather more frequently as winter approaches. Those who are used to the constant sunshine find it difficult to adjust to these drastic changes. A town which was once happy and full of life is now bland and depressing.
Wrapped tightly beneath his green cloak, Cael Windstrong maneuvers his way through the dense crowds of the marketplace. His green eyes peer out from the shadowy depths of his hood as he examines the various stalls lining the street. Everything from simple clothes, shiny jewelry and small trinkets to food, books and knives can be found here. At one stall, a particularly large fellow, wearing an apron covered in grease and blood stains, bellows out as he advertises his selection of pork. Another stall, displaying perfume, belongs to a strange little woman with beady eyes that seem to penetrate the soul. Occasionally, a guard or two will stroll by.
Cael attempts to avoid them as he maneuvers like a snake through grass, stopping at a fruit stall and examining the produce. He picks up one specific apple to test the weight of it. A wrinkled old woman approaches from the back of the stall and waves a bony finger at him, "If you're gonna touch the apples, you better plan on buying them, young man! " Cael smiles, reaches into his pocket to retrieve a couple of coins and hands them to the old woman. She takes them as she grumbles under her breath and waddles back into the depths of the stall. Cael turns and blends back into the crowd.
Lyra Qin crouched in the shadow of the town hall, watching the bustling town square. Her blades were clipped in a cross fashion on her back, where a strap of metal ran down the length of her spine and ended in a thin strip of leather between the bare curves of that which she was only too proud to show off. Her short, cropped hair was plastered against her forehead, damp from the light rainfall. It did not bother Lyra at the least; she had spent days in the freezing temperatures of Northwall with nothing but her own skin, and the hazardous bursts of snowfall which appeared often, to keep her company. In the shadow of the town hall, she was completely unseen, invisible to any and all prying eyes, which was helped by the fact that the approaching winter brought shorter, darker days. Lyra liked the darkness. To her, it was a protective veil for her to take advantage of.
Lyra moved forward, making no more noise than a prowling cat, and slipped across the front of the building, next to the entrance where she had an unobstructed view of the town square. A pair of guards stood nearby, but they were utterly oblivious. She grinned as she watched a man wrapped in a green cloak get confronted by the old woman at the nearby fruit stall. In a blink or two of an eye, she had strode forward and swiped two apples from the stall with nary seconds to spare. The fruits were red and ripe. Lyra assumed a casual demeanour and strolled into the town square, tossing an apple up and catching it deftly. She had left 'her' pouches of coins in her living quarters to the west of town; they only served to produce an annoying clinking. She wouldn't have paid for her wares even if the cash was in her possession. A wolf whistle in her direction from a guard stationed behind her was ignored as she made her way to the book stall, taking large, gluttonous bites out of a juicy apple. It was a good day, despite what anyone else thought.
The metrical thumping sounds of large man-shaped monstrosity could be heard over the hustle-and-bustle of the little village, which is to say, somewhat loud. The creature attracted stares from onlookers, if only because of his appearance; this thing was clearly a monster, but it hasn't yet attacked. Perhaps it was friendly? Perhaps it was not. Attached to the creature was a hide-kilt, used to story three buttoned pouches containing deceptively small bags. These small bags were magical objects, known as bags fo Holding; despite their size, they could carry up to two hundred pounds worth of random objects, without weighting more then a few ounces and being no bigger then a coin purse. Another thing he had was a large metal crate, strapped to his back like some sort of slave's backpack. It was currently empty, but it's weight did not seem to bother the grey creature. Only it's large size made it difficult for it to maneuver through the crowd.
Another noticeable thing about the creature was the axe embedded in it's chest. The grey creature had just been attacked by bandits, though most escape when they noticed they were attacking a larger grey creature who was going to eat them. One of them threw his axe at the creature, which landed blade into his chest. The grey creature has yet to remove this object due to not knowing it was there, what with it being out of his line of sight. Soon the grey creature approached a fruit stall, with a humanoid in a green cloak and a little old woman. Social cues told him that he needed to give the proprietor of the stall multiple small metal objects based on the object he wished to take, and he required many of the red round edibles. The creature observed the man hand the woman of the stall various small round metal objects, which were familiar to him. He had picked some up along his travels, and hoped that he too had enough for what he wanted. The grey creature took out a small handful of coins and handed it to the woman, who looked at the grey creature quizzically. It did no good that he also had to squat in order to be within the shade of the stall. The little woman then handed the grey creature a bag with ten of the red spherical edible objects. With the edibles in a sack, the grey creature left the stall and continued to move through the crowd, eating the red and sometimes brown-spotted edible balls of tangy sweetness.
As he wondered through the town, the grey creature accidentally bumped into an armored person, who looked like many other people within the town. He must have been a guard. Unfortunate for the grey creature, the axe that was embedded into his chest fell and cut the guard, causing him to yelp in pain and back away from the grey creature. The guard cursed at the grey creature and drew a weapon, much to the grey creature's confusion. But as soon as he saw the blade, the grey creature knew that the guard intended to bring harm to him, or was at least preparing for it. Tossing the sack crimson food orbs into the metal create on his back, the creature crossed his arms, then shot them outwards, transforming them. The guard yelled for others, but the grey creature was not one for conversation. He took one step forward, and with a slash of his razor sharp bladed fingers, cut the guard's sword into pieces. The grey creature was aiming to slice the man apart, but he was smart to get far enough out of range to make sure that he didn't end up into four separate slices like his sword. The guard and nearly everyone around began to flee, calling about a monster attack. The grey creature looked around to search for the monster attacking, wondering why it was attacking now. If there was a monster attack, then he had more to worry about then a human with an aptitude issue. What the grey creature didn't realize was that the monster the towns people were referring to was himself.
The light clink of Cambria's armor sounded in the street as she walked next to a guard. She spoke in a soft husky tone and the man would laugh every so often. She stopped for a moment looking into a 'fortune tellers' shop tthough the front door. Finally she turned again and continued the walk. The guard was showing her to the town square to supposedly meet some others for some work that needed to be done, and city guards were friends to paladins and would help them out whenever they needed it. She placed one hand on her morningstar that hung from her belt and the other on her hip. Her tower shield was hung on her back as well was her crossbow.
Everything was going fine until screaming and shouts filled the air. Townspeople were running from the towns square screaming monsters, 'monsters attacked the guard's' Cambria was off in a rush unslinging her crossbow and cranking it open. She placed a broad barbed bolt into it the thing could punch through armor like paper so hopefully it was good for the hide of some beast. She came around the corner ten feet away from the creature and put crossbow to shoulder aiming at its broad chest, but she didn't fire not yet. There wasn't any blood on the ground only a axe and the broken blade of a sword. She decided to try and speak to it. "You there creature what is it you wish!? Peace? Or do you wish to hurt the people of this town? Cause if you do I will smite you into the wist you came from!" She didn't pull the trigger not yet she waited to hear what the creature said.
The grey creature turned to someone shouting at him. What he saw was an armored female humanoid aiming a ballistic weapon at him, but listened to her words. Or, well, translated them into a language he knew. He didn't know the common language, at least not enough to speak it himself. That was a technical flaw on his creator's part; she didn't want them to blab to her enemies about anything she does, so she made sure that none of her creations were able to speak. If she needed to know anything from any of them, she'd just take the information directly from their memories. Not to say that the grey creature was unable to communicate, he just didn't know how.
He looked around as the woman was followed by guards, each with their won weapon, from a sword to a bow or something else. The grey beast had to decide whether or not he was being attacked or perhaps if he did something wrong. However nothing the creature did in the short time he was here told him he did anything wrong. From what he translated from the woman's words, she asked him about his wish here, be it peace or to hurt people. He wasn't sure if he understood her line of questioning correctly, as he didn't really know that he had done to make her ask him these questions. His mind began to think about what he could have done to warrant this hostility. Then he thought about the ruby jewels of edible roundness, and thought that maybe there was something wrong with it. So he reached into the crate on his back and took out the sack containing the balls of blood-color spheres of tangy sweetness and tossed the bag to the woman with the ballistic weapon. To him, he thought that the guards and this woman were angry at him because of the blood-colored bevel food objects. It was the only logical conclusion; perhaps his money was no good and the woman at the stall wanted her things back, so she sent to guards to find the grey creature so that he would give the bulbous and consumable scarlet stuff back. Now that he has returned the things to the woman and her contingent of guards, he had hoped they would lower their weapons and leave him alone. Had they have been bandits, who he has come to think unable to negotiate with, he would have had to fight the woman and the others, but he had hoped that perhaps these guards were more accepting of his plea.
Cael slips through the bustling crowds of the marketplace like a snake through grass. His current destination is somewhere warm and dry, preferably the inn. There, he could review the information he has gathered while filling his stomach with some hot food. The elf moves quietly along the streets, traveling beneath the overhang of the buildings in an attempt to keep somewhat dry. He glances skyward as the clouds above rumble with thunder. A heavy storm is approaching. There would be a lot more of this rain to come throughout the night.
Cael would most definitely be stuck indoors for the remainder of the night and possibly the next day. However, it will give him time to prepare for his trek into the rugged mountains east of town.
As he darts across the town square, the welcoming sight of the inn looms over him. It is one of the largest buildings in Vallenwod, rising 3 stories above the ground and combined with a tavern and a good sized stable. Most of the townsfolk spend the majority of their time here on rainy days, drinking and laughing among themselves.
Cael approaches the doorway and quietly steps inside. He stops for a moment, taking in the wondrous smells wafting from the kitchen before making his way to an empty table in the middle of the room. A young barmaid with curly red hair approaches. "Just a pint of ale and some spiced potatoes," Cael says. The girl nods in compliance and heads back to the kitchen.
A heavy sigh escapes the elf's lips as he leans forward with his elbows on the wooden table. "What a day," he mumbles to himself with a yawn.
The sound of rain pitter-pattering against the glass panes of the establishment rang out against the backdrop of various voices murmuring quietly to one another about this or that. in each hand was a mug and on each face was a look of interest or concern or sadness. The halfling took all of this in with an expression of stoicism, balancing a toothpick between his fore-finger and thumb, picking silently at the wedges of his teeth. It'd been almost three days since his last meal; he'd ambushed a couple of bandits on the way into town, staying at the camp just long enough to over hear their talk of some shapeshifting monster before going in for the kill. It had been short work to be sure and the meat off their bones had been quite exciting to his palate.
With a grunt, Izaka flicked the now heavy used piece of wood across the room, discarding it without much care. Bandits were nice, but they were still only small fry, he'd come here in search of bigger fish. Rumors had it the town was plagued by a rather menacing pack of hob-goblins and, while their flesh was far less tasty than humans, the reward offered was large enough that he could overlook such a triviality. The problem was that he couldn't do the deed alone, he'd need a little help.
Lowering his feet from the edge of the table, the warrior took a moment to scan the tavern, searching for potential partners. Although the villagers were more than competent enough strength wise, he doubted they'd have enough practical battle experience to be of any use, therefore, his search pool was reduced dramatically to about three outsiders who happened to be in the pub. Two of these were merchants, useless for the endeavor he was currently planning; the third, however, showed a little promise.
Rising from his position at the table, Izaka made his way slowly over to the previous empty table that now seated a single figure (who looked to be of elvish origins, though he could not yet be sure). Taking the seat across from the individual, he was just in time to overhear his obviously rhetorical statement. Although the stranger had not likely anticipated a response, Izaka chose this moment to speak regardless. "Indeed, what with all the bandits and goblins running about. . ."
Commotion rose in the town square. From what Lyra could observe, a large, grey creature was terrorizing the square and it was sending the people into an uproar. She was indifferent to it all, as she tossed the two apple cores into a nearby gutter. The book she held in her hand, Cold Fate, she had haggled off the male book stall keeper with an ease she found quite amusing. Not a coin did she have to spend. Lyra had a certain, assertive charm to her that was more eloquent than it was feminine, a perfect match for her outlook. She stayed to the shadows as she made her way around the edge of the square, proceeding to weave her way in and out of a couple of patrolling, wide-eyed guards, and arrived at the tavern. The sound of boisterous chatter and laughter reached her immediately as she entered the large building.
Lyra casually walked by the many tables, both full and empty, noticing again the individual with a green cloak sat at one. From a second glance at his features, she could assume he was not human. Maybe an elf. She continued on her way to the staircase at the far end of the warm, loud, and homey room, and ascended, without first shrugging off a few shouts and whistles of admiration from behind her. It was to be expected, what with the modesty her attire did not provide. A bemused expression tugged at the corner of her mouth, and she arrived at her room, the first one on the left at the top of the stairs. She quickly entered, setting the book down in her pile of items-she-had-acquired-for-free as she so affectionately referred to as, and then pulled off her enchanted blades, slid them under her bed. She exited, keeping the two knives concealed in her metal leg braces as a precaution. Descending the staircase again, she took an empty table and sat down, feeling the slightly rough texture of the worn wooden seat on her bare behind, and tapped her fingernails on the tabletop. A barmaid with tousled blonde hair came over. "What can I get you, miss?" She was asked. Lyra bit her lower lip as she pondered, eyes wandering. "A glass of scotch whisky will do me." She finally replied. The barmaid nodded, her blonde hair bouncing, and left. Lyra examined the room. A man with a glistening beard and an ugly, mashed face sat at a table on the other side of two other full tables, where he was intently staring at somewhere below her. He was obviously zoned out with his sight fixed on her hips, thighs, or legs, she could not tell. Lyra sighed. 'Ugh, sometimes the attention is NOT welcome.' She thought to herself, and picked up the glass of dark liquid as it was set down by the barmaid, nodding in thanks.
Cael is unexpectedly jarred from his spaced-out thoughts as another patron takes a seat across from him and interjects. The elf quickly and inconspicuously pulls his hood slightly further over his head before nodding in acknowledgement, "Aye...goblins," he says absentmindedly while observing a very interesting-looking woman making her way through the room.
Suddenly, the sweet smell of spiced potatoes fills his nostrils as the red-haired barmaid approaches with Cael's food and drink. She sets down the metal plate and tankard with a courteous smile as the elf drops 2 gold pieces into the her apron pocket, "Thank you ma'am."
A blink came to Cambria's eyes as the apples were lowered to her. She took a step forward and pushed the apples towards the beast. "Yours." She leaned down and picked up the pieces of the broken sword holding them out towards the creature. "Bad." She said softly and then dropped the pieces on the ground. "Do it again and they." She waved her hand towards the guards. "Will kill you, understand?" She figured the beast would understand so she didn't wait for a answer and turned to the guards. "Go easy on him he is very slow, but if he gives you problems I suppose you should destroy him."
At that she would step away crossbow on her back once more and armored feet carrying to the tavern. With a single hand she pushed the door open and stepped inside. She waved her hand clearing the smoke from her face. The smell of tabac and alcohol filled her nostrils. Her feet brought her to a table with two interesting individuals. She stopped by the table and didn't sit down. She noticed Lyra as well, but didn't trust her the moment she laid eyes on her, she never trusted a woman who wore less than she did when she went to bed. She reached into a leather scroll holder and pulled out the rolled piece of parchment. She pulled it open and looked down at the two. "I was requested to meet some people here by the temple of Ilosh. Would you happen to ne those people?" She laid the parchment on the table two wax stamps at the bottom one the insignia of the high priest of Ilosh the other the leader of the town.