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 Campaign I: The Sea Rises

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PostSubject: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:42 am

Anyone can join in, and it is certainly encouraged! Connor and I started this roleplay a while ago and we hope to build our world around this starting campaign. Please read the following posts of what we have completed and wiggle your way into our scenario! Welcome to the first campaign in the World of Telania!




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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:43 am

The northern woods were quiet for this time of year. It was the spring, the winter’s snowy touch already having faded after just a few weeks of the warming light of the twins. Normally, the various woodland life would be going about their daily routines - eating, drinking, fighting, mating, all while their nocturnal brethren slept, and dreamed of moonlight.

But it was quiet, still in the midday haze, and the reason would be making itself evident…now.

Through the forests, they marched, a tight column of large, draconic bipeds. The Skas’kar. Their armor was dyed the light blue of their Ice God, and around their exposed, scaled hide, flickering, barely-there ghostfire danced, almost invisible as it warmed and sustained these cold-blooded reptiles from the far south. At their sides, thickly-robed fire-forgers - Flame-wielding Mages born with the touch of the twins, called Salamanders - murmured the incantations that kept the Ghostfire contained.

And at their head was clearly the leader of this expedition - marked as such by the heavily ornamented, but otherwise exposed wings that were furled tightly as his back, and the half-cape he wore over one arm (after all, a normal cloak wouldn’t work with wings, now would it?) that bore the insignia of the Skas’karian Matriarchy imposed over the Cult of Cold.

It was incredibly rare to see such a large number of Skas’kar this far north so early in the spring - so why were they here? Though they were armed and armored - and exclusively male, as was to be expected. They did not risk their precious females so far from the equatorial provinces - they did not appear to be on the warpath. There were far too few - only 50 in total, perhaps a bit more - without any of the War Priests that would normally be seen, and other than their leader, there were none of their Isskari - Dragon-touched - to be seen.

So…why were they here?

The trees and the leaves flickered with light and shadow alike — for the wildlife was certainly alive within the confines of the temperate forest. Melted snow still clung to some of the leaves like blankets of seasons past. They would drip now and then around the scaled creatures, but never actually touch the Skas’kar.

It was strange. Life was present but eerily quiet. The birds did not sing, the rabbits did not chirp, the mice did not scurry and the wolves… the wolves weren’t howling.

Suddenly, a flash of shadow from overhead. The reptilian creatures were on alert but not completely focused on the strange occurrence… they were on a strict path and were not to stray. Probably a large mammal in the trees escaping sight. A raccoon or possum perhaps.

Another shadow, and another. The sound of swift wind followed the shapes before they disappeared amidst the rest of the foliage. The snow-water began to spurt from the edges of their home-leaves like tiny fireworks, leaving mist in the air. It was getting heavy in fog and humidity.

Why were the Skas’kar here? It was beginning to be clear that they shouldn’t have ventured so far north. There was something angered by their presence in territory that was not theirs to walk.

Many of the Skas’kar rank-and-file looked this way and that, but theirs was a regimented, disciplined culture - few muttered to themselves, and those that did were quick to be reprimanded by their leader, who held up a hand to bring the column to a halt. He turned his large head, blinking his double-lidded eyes twice, then hissed a command to the Salamanders attached his command.

They hissed back in unison, their small, diminutive frills flicking a bit in submissive gestures of respect, and they set moved to the center of the formation of troops, who had formed several concentric circles at another hissed command by their leader.

As for this ‘leader’, he simply stood, head turning this way and that, his large, bracered arms crossed over his heavily armored chest…and waited.

The forest stood still for quite some time. Seconds seemed like hours. The birds, insects, even the gentle hum of decomposition on the forest floor halted all noise. There was just the circles of giant lizards and the glow of the ghostfire.

And then there were whispers of wind - quick and acute in the ears of the intruders of the forest. Bolts of redwood-make made quick work at the feet of the leader. They were mere inches away from his feet - a demonstration of knowledge of the forest and the hunt.

The startling assault to the earth may have unnerved the creatures - possibly making them want to attack the shadows behind the trees. But a figure became clear through the mists of the wood… clear, but only in the sense that a silhouette was present. It made growling noises towards the trees, head cocked back as if speaking to a large crowd, which likely was there. It yipped and barked and called, then was silent.

The shadows closed around the large group - completely surrounding them in a block of darkness that almost sealed out the seeping mists. The snow-water dripped down around them, keeping the area cool.

Then, suddenly, words:

“Why do you come? These are not your woods, this is not your home. You tread in dangerous lands, Skas’kar.”

The voice wasn’t threatening, but it was full of power and wisdom, as if it spoke for the wilderness around them. It stood arms spread by its side, palms towards the reptiles. A shape of a tail swished rhythmically behind it.

The Iskari took a single step forward - mindfully avoiding the bolts - and his heavy, armored tail curled down around one thick, reverse-jointed leg. The large frills on the sides and the top of his long head did not move, and he made no move towards the heavy sword at his hip.

“Children of the treesss, we do not come in…war. We bring…grave tidingsss from the Sssouth.” His voice was thick, hissing and spitting, and odd pauses gave his grammar a sense of odd punctuation. “My company is but one of ma….ny that passsss through thessse foresstsss on…thiss missssion.

“Our watch towersss to the sssouthern sssea have been silent thessse passt three ccyclesss. None…of our island possstss ressspond to callss, magical…or…otherwissse.

“The Dread comesss, warm-blood Our obligation continuesss. We presss on asss far north…asss we can. The Kingdom…of Kilmari musst be warned, assss musst the Tree-Keepersss of the Green Tree.”

A great silence pressed down on the wood, as the full gravity of the Iskari’s words sank in.

The Dread was an old terror, from far, far in the south - a blank-faced, hairless race possessed of neither eyes nor ears, they were amphibious, with slick, marble-white skin and a voracious appetite for territory, regardless of said territories denizens. The Skas’kar maintained a series of watch-posts along the southern coasts of the northern continent and the equatorial island-chains, to watch for just such a reemergence of The Dread, and other threats to the stability of the continent of Kavnos - they called it the Old Duty, and they had carried it out for millennia. They cared little for the petty wars in the north, and intervened rarely - either if the war threatened to ignite the whole of Kavnos, or if the sanctity of Skas was at risk. Otherwise, they were a rare sight outside of their merchants - for them to travel in such numbers, with multiple parties, suggested that they, at least, took this threat very seriously indeed.

“The Dread? We have heard these stories from your travelers.”

The creature possessed great use of the common tongue, which was strange for creatures that so in-tune with the wilderness and not the settlements beyond and inside of the forest.

“You are welcome to travel these lands, Skas’kar, but be wary for my people may become… trigger-happy at the sight of those who are not common to our lands.”

The creature finally emerged from the dying mists. It was obviously female, bare-chested and curved like one who had birthed many pups. Her tall, lithe body was covered in silken brown fur, free of mats but sprinkled with burrs and the odd leaf or grass blade. Her face was a long, wolven form with dark green eyes that seemed to echo the leaves of the woods. Trophies of bone and gold decorated her neck and ears, even incorporated in her russet braids.

“Do you require escort to the Kingdoms? We can take you as far as the forest edge if need be.”

The imposing male’s wings flitted a moment as he contemplated her offer of assistance, before he finally nodded once. “Your offer isss…appreciated, furred one. Twice already we have had to fight off…goblinsss. Pessky thingsss, with little meat. They…did not sssatisfy.” His vowels were breathy, as though to make up for the hissing of his softer consonants, and with a few spits and hisses in his own language, his company quickly falling into marching order.

He turned back, evidently pleased enough with the efficiency and discipline of his warriors and Salamanders, and he nodded after a moment.

“I will need…sssomething to call you, warm…blood. I am Xxithossss, Kruss’kar of the…Issskari. I am the Ssscalelord of Sssurkesssh, and brother…to the All-Mother.” He paused, then, after that revelation, partially to wait, and partially to gauge the wolfling’s reaction - all Scalelords were brothers of the All-mother, a part of the previous All-mother’s Blessed Clutch, but few were Iskari, and fewer still with Sons of Krus, the Ice Dragon.

Her eyes glinted with appreciation of the rank of the Iskar before her. She bowed softly, her head and shoulders tilting down but the rest of her standing strong. Her muscles rippled involuntarily, similar to a panther. The cloth hiding her loins flicked with a bit of wind and the gold trim on it glinted like sunlight.

“I am Fakera, Hunt-mother to Clan Grral. I am the leader of these ‘shadows’ and the breed-mate to the Great Karrg.”

The Karrg was considered a demi-god among the Wolflings. He was supposedly born out of a dire wolf and the God of the Wilds, and lead the Wolflings to become bipedal machines of assassination and druidic magic.

As a breed-mate, she was in charge of keeping the bloodlines strong in her Clan - but was in no way mated ceremonially with the demi-god himself. Most of the shadows now shifting into view were her children, and of course, they strive for perfection of their craft - especially in front of their mother.

“I have heard of you, of your kind. We rarely see you so far north, but with such a threat blooming south… we are glad you took up the cause to keep us and our Wild Brethren safe.”

She leaned down and took up her crossbow, cradling it lovingly in her arms as if it was a babe. She loaded a few redwood bolts into the ammo slot and coil. “But your navigation is incorrect, you are heading south-east from this position. The Green Tree folk are north-north-east from here.”

She sniffed the air thoughtfully, her ears perking at sudden sounds of insects now relaxing from the tension. “It will take a few days to reach them, IF we do not encounter some sort of interruption.”

At the mention of their course being incorrect, his large tail uncoiled itself and thumped the ground once. He hissed something in the direction of his company, and an apologetic series of clicks echoed back. Xxirthos was silent for a moment, then nodded, and reached up to remove his the dark black cold-steel helm - decorative and functional, it depicted a snarling dragon - to reveal his own sleek head, his scales white as snow and gleaming in the sunlight. His dark frills flitted this way and that, absorbing some of the sun’s rays, and his predator’s eyes - forward facing orbs dark, dark blue - blinked once.

The white marked him as a Krus’kar - a Child of Krus, the Ice Dragon, and All-Father of their Draconic Pantheon - and the condition of the scales was flawless, clearly well-cared for, and a large sapphire was artfully embedded in the hollow of his neck.

“That isss acceptable. Mosst for…tuitousss to meet you, then, asss we would have been losst for ssome time, I…imagine…had we not happened acrosss you.” Unmuffled by his helm, his voice was deep and rasping, an odd mix, and aside from his accent, he seemed to have a fair grasp of the common tongue.
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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:44 am

She nodded simply, and turned her head towards the Wolflings in the trees. She bent down and rose up in a long, loud howl that startled some of the resting birds. As the flapping of wings rose into the canopy, the hooves of the canine creatures stamped on the earth in muted tones. They were gone, now, rushing forward like a pack on the hunt, clearing the way ahead of the traveling party.

“We march, then, scaled-one.”

She turns towards the exit of the clearing, her hooves barely displacing the detritus on the floor. Her tail was sticking straight out behind her, ruffled and on alert. Her ears pinned back and her body angled towards the wind. And in an instant, she went from standing to sprint, rushing into the forest like the wind itself.

“Do try to keep up, Skas’kar!”

Keep up they did - though they were not as fast as the Wolflings, they were agile enough, even in armor, and their reverse, double-jointed legs allowed them lope easily enough on four legs as they moved on two. The advantage they did have, however, was their ability to contort. They were long and sinewy, and they moved like true-lizards in the brush, twisting around trees and beneath exposed roots.

Xxirthos, however, traveled in an altogether different manner. The Iskari unfurled his wings to their full span of nearly fifteen feet, flexing them as he did. Upon seeing that their condition was acceptable, he gave one flap, then another, and with the aid of an additional Levitation spell, was able to use them to guide his flight as he flitted through the trees like a dark, winged shadow from a child’s nightmare, and his eyes were wide with the simple joy of flight as he dodged tree after tree.

He flew to a few feet above the Wolfling and looked down at her after a few hours of travel, the sun beginning to set. “Night…drawsss clossse. My people have…the Ice-Blood, Wolfling. We mussst ressst. Consserve.”

The Wolfling stood straight and pulled her braids from her eyes. She let her fur fall loose against her flesh rather than on an electrical alert. She growled loudly into the trees, and the darkness around them came into view as a pack of canines. They were more clothed than she; wearing hides and leathers across their chests and legs, and thus, were showing a little more lethargy than the Hunt-mother.

“If you insist, but the woods aren’t known for their kindness to those who stay still during the night.” She smirked, and yipped back to two females behind her - handmaidens by the look of it, but still extremely stoic and muscled. They rushed to the feet of the Hunt-mother and began to unload tinder and rocks from their packs, using some of the dryer twigs to pile up a fire. With a scrape of their hoof to a flint-stone, the pyre was lit, and the orange glow of fire bathed those in the camp with warmth and security.

“We rest. Did your people pack provisions or shall we find a few elk for you?”

The Salamanders quickly filed into the camp, accompanied by the basic body of the Skas’kar soldiers, and set about weaving the Ghostfire into a cocoon of magic around each individual as they began to lay in ones and twos around the site, seemingly at random, but all under the strict, nonspeaking supervision of their Iskari commander. He had landed near the Hunt-mother, and once again his wings were furled tightly at his back, his tail coiled around one leg, his arms were crossed over his chest as he looked this way and that.

The soldiers quickly fell into a deep sleep, and the Salamanders did the same after shedding themselves of their robes and moving to curl tightly in the fire - as that was how they regenerated their powers over the flame during the night-cycle. After seeing that everything was satisfactory, Xxirthos turned to the Wolfling leader and shook his head once.

“We digessst thingsss…ssslower than warm-bloodsss. The Goblinsss we had eaten along…the way will keep usss for a few…daysss. I know that some Warmbloodsss have a…stig…ma? againssst the eating of other sssapientss, but we Ssskass’kar do not wassste meat.” He watched her for a moment, then shrugged. “Regardlessss, I do not yet need…to ssssleep. The Eye of Krusss hangsss heavy…in the…air thisss night. The…proprietiesss mussst be up…held.”

She nodded firmly and barked towards the small group of hunters gathered to the left of her, who were prepared to go on a mission for food. They nodded in unison and leapt up into the trees, taking roost on the higher branches. The others soon followed suit, but the Hunt-mother stayed her ground on the soil.

“Good to know they don’t need to eat constantly, I would fear they would eat my kind out of a home if they had a large appetite.” She gave the Iskar a smirk.

Fakera lowered herself to the ground, kneeling before the fire. Her ears twitched with the crackle of popping leaves and expanding wood. She let her hands move towards the fire, the shadows of her three-fingers splashing across her maw.

“It is a shame your kind cannot hold back the threat of which you speak, though. I would hate to leave the Wilds in order to protect the lands here.”

Xxirthos’s pale blue gaze reflected the light of the heavy moon, and they shone silver in the night as he looked skyward, wings seeming to twitch as though yearning to stretch and take him to the skies. If he felt any such desire, though, he did not feel it, and he replied after a moment in a quiet voice.

“It isss not jusst aid that we requesst, but to spread…warning. They will come…from more than jussst the Sssouth. We…have kept our ward. We mussst sssee if otherss have assss well.”

He turns his strong neck to look down to her, and his face was shrouded in darkness, so she could not make out his features. “Do you often…have contact with the Tree-Wardersss? Our merchantsss do not come thisss far north, and it iss rare that our diplomatsss do.”

She waved her hand dismissively, the gold bangles on her wrists clinking like how the stars shone through the wavering leaves. She sat back, her tail supporting her weight like a chair as she glanced up at the draconian being and the canopy above.

“We do not usually mingle with their folk but we are on agreeable terms. They stay from our territory and we stay from theirs… we haven’t had a violent outburst with them in quite some time.”

She nods slowly, pulling a piece of jerky from her hip-pouch. She chews on it thoughtfully, a deep murr coming from her chest as she enjoyed the meat.

“They usually stay to themselves - save hunting parties and merchants, those though are few and far between. But I’m sure they’d agree to help your cause if you threatened their Green Tree with enough peril.” She chuckled, tearing off another bite of meat and chomping down aggressively upon it.

“The Matriarch…felt much the sssame,” Xxirthos replied succinctly, and he returned his gaze to the heavens, his tail swaying gently back and forth as he went back to his thoughts. His unblinking gaze never wavered, and his arms remained crossed tightly over his thickly muscled, armored torso.

After remaining silent for several moments, he looked back down to the Wolfling, features once again hidden by the shadows. “It isss not often we meet a member…of your people who sspeaks the common ton…gue. How did you…come to ssspeak a language other than your…Wild Ssspeak?”

She chuckled, a throaty sort of sound that was almost a growl rather than a laugh. “I had to learn. I act as the diplomat of our people. If I did not learn from the human texts then we would die out like the rest of the primal races.”

She sighed, finishing off the jerky in one large chomp. Sprinkling rain began to hiss in the fire, but it was nothing more than a gentle mist with the tree cover above.

“The traveling Mages from the Kingdom taught me, as they did the other leaders of the Wilds… but I was only a pup, then. I doubt they would want to see me amidst their kind.” She grinned, flashing her slowly yellowing fangs. “And you - why do you speak this way? I was told the Skas’kar couldn’t speak.”

An odd, elongated, punctuated hiss was made in reply to her words. A laugh? “And who…told you that? One of your people? Or…one of thossse traveling magess? We Skas’kar are more…than capable of sspeaking. We have a…rich language, and many of uss learn other tonguesss in our long livesss. Likely whoever…told you ssuch a thing had never actually sseen one of…my people in perssson, which iss not uncommon. We…keep to ourselves.” The rain streamed down his smooth scales, and if he was perturbed, he did not show it - his command was even less affected than he, protected by the Ghostfire as they were, which boiled the water away to steam before it ever touched them.

“Regardlessss, I sspeak common…becausse I mussst. I am a Ssscalelord, a brother…to the Matriarch. I make appearancess…at Skas’kolm, when I am…presssent. I have sspoken with many racesss. I known…many tonguesss.”

She nods once, standing now on her hooves and wiping some of the detritus from her tail. “I have heard of Skas’kolm. It is supposed to be a beautiful city. I would visit one day if I could - but it is far too hot for my people.”

She gazed out over the group, watching their sleeping bodies intently. Her eyes would shift to the canopy, barely seeing her people at rest save for the now-and-then dangling tail.

“Iskar. Do you… hear something?”
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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:25 pm

"Shi--..."

Nearby, in the brush, lingered a curious figure who was neither Wolfling nor Skas'kar. Short and cloaked, the form had only shifted slightly and he was heard.

Or so he thought.

Two large, animal-like ears twitched before lifting and opening. "...That explains it." the figure thought to himself. With an unmuffled source of sound it was easy to assume that he did a little more than just 'shift'. He likely caused something to snap; what an amateur mistake!

Though, this was the least of his worries. Something just as stealthy creeped up from behind and nudged him repeatedly. Unnerved the figure looked over his shoulder; and was relieved to find out that, in reality, it was nothing more than a small fawn that lost its way.

He tried to push it gently and quietly away, but it refused his wishes and nudged further, nibbling on a finger and causing all the more ruckus.

Then, a definately angry sound interrupted the peaceful exchange as an enraged mother deer appeared and charged.

"Wh-- AHHH!"

The two deer galloped by- the mother having tackled him into the open and trampled him.

"Ugh..."

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:29 pm

The Wolflings were quickly at attention, crossbows at the ready and aiming at the small creature who now lay there, trodden on. Fakera quickly ran to the male on the ground, her hoof quickly slamming down near his ear.

"Who are you?" She growled, a bolt staring down at his forehead. "Why were you listening to us?"

Her ears were pinned back in a dominant fashion, her eyes narrowing, pupils tightening into pinpoint black spots against her iris.

"And HOW LONG have you been waiting here?! SPEAK."

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:42 pm

With another groan the elf squinted up at the Wolfling before looking around. The hood of his cloak fell from his face, thus revealing it as he replied. Now, this fellow had gone through a good deal of traveling, especially when he was young, resulting in an amusing accent that sounds both akin to a human's and an elf's.

"I'd, uh, very much appreciate it if the crossbows went away."

"--Oh, riiight. Questions. Where do I begin? -- I got it. So I was wandering these woods in search of this hunting party I was goin' along with, right? And they weren't too good with hunting in the first place. So I found them somewhere up north; all of 'em were dead.

Yes, truly heartbreaking.

So I come down here to listen to you because, uh... Well, nothing better to do! Though I should note I was around for that whole conversation and I appreciate the warnin' as well.

'Ts not like I got someone to report to."

His 'the's came out as 'de's and he seemed to have an issue distinguishing between the vowels a and u. His 't's were rather sharp as well.

"So, almighty fluffy goddess of the woods, mind letting me be?"

The strange elf-thing had no idea why, but his words did not betray his true feelings. He tried to keep cool and act like his comrades' deaths were unimportant; but in truth, they were very important. He was horrified, for he recognized their deaths were not wrought by some rabid animals. That, and he truly did like them. They were friends.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:22 pm

She continued to inspect the elf-thing, her nostrils flaring as she took in the scent of air around him. Her crossbow remained aimed and steady, but she waved away her furry companions to go back to their rest.

"You sound either entirely unsure of yourself, or you're lying. I do not like liars." She nudged him with her hoof and lifted her head sharply. "Get up, manthing."

She looked back at her Iskar companion, who was busy chuckling to himself. She shook her head and turned her attention back to the elf.

"What did I say! Get up, and move over to the fire so I can get a better look at you."

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:03 pm

"Wh-- Manthing?! I'm insulted, but very well, your highness."

Steadily he rose to his feet, his arms lifting to the sides to reveal empty hands. He had blades, obviously, but he chose not to use them; likely because he realized that before he could use them, he'd be a bloody stain on the floor.

With a sigh of relief that they didn't kill him on sight he obeys the Wolfling's command, shuffling over to the fire and removing the rest of his cloak, dropping it to the ground. He faced her, revealing his young- yet not immature- face. His skin had taken an almost tan hue and his eyes were an unusual, bleak yellow.

He had a black tattoo on his face that seemed more than just decoration; three symbols, laid out almost as though it was writing, crossed the bridge of his nose. It was like nothing anyone there had ever seen (unless, of course, they found ruins similar to the ones he found.)

"Do you like what you see?" he smiled uncertainly, trying to remain passive in these almost hostile surroundings.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:19 pm

Xxirthos watched the peculiar exchange with no small amount of amusement, though his dragonian features gave away little beneath the white light of the largest of Telania's seven moons.

"You sssmell like...an Elf. Yet you are like...no Tree-Keeper I...have ever seen. What do you think, Va...kera? A Half-Elf...perhapssss?" He took long, slow strides, armored claws scraping against the ground as he moved to stand beside the Wolfling with his massive arms crossed over his broad chest. A few of the other Skas'kar had woken from their slumber to view the exchange between the three with some interest, though severe looks from their Iskar commander quickly put a damper on their curiosity.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:35 pm

The huntmother shrugged her shoulders half-heartedly, her delicate fingers laying the crossbow at her hip. She knelt down by the fire near the man, her eyes constantly watching his as she rummaged in her satchel. She yanked out some dried meat rations and handed them to the stranger.

"Whatever he is, he doesn't belong here. This isn't your land, Elf, and unlike my companion and his people, you came without notice nor a proper hello. You came in like a spy or some other sort of miscreant."

She scowled, her tail swishing back and forth lazily against the detritus that lined the campgrounds. "What should we do with him?" She called back to the Iskar.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:50 pm

"If you have any other ideas as to how to walk into a camp filled with creatures I am not so familiar with, then by all means, let me know." With reluctance he took the meat, glancing in the direction of Xxirthos with a slight nod of acknowledgement.

"Wellllll, you could always eat me but from past experience with things that wanted to do so, I apparently do not taste good. And no, I am... full blood, sort of."

"But enough about me, you make your decision, I won't be going anywhere with whatever killed my buddies in the woods."

He sniffed the meat very slightly, pondering whether or not to eat it. Truth be told he was hungry, but he wasn't exactly surrounded by allies anymore. He lowered the meat somewhat and watched, outwardly remaining calm; if things go badly for him he has one trick up his sleeve to escape, though he'd still be lost.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:21 am

The bipedal lizard hissed a sharp laugh - inadvertently showing his long, jaggedly-sharp fangs - and shook his large head in amused disbelief.
"Eat...you, warmblood? No, you are...much too sssmall." Xxirthos's eyes glinted in the moonlight. "But there isss a more...important matter. Your comradesss...they were....murdered. Did you return to the....ssscene? How were they...killed?"

His voice had changed, and his eyes were narrowed to dangerous slits as he watched the Elf carefully, and there was a brief pause before he added, "Did it feel...cold? Were they...butchered, but not...eaten? Odd injuriessss.....bonessss broken but not...sskin? Thisss iss...important."

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:18 am

Fakera glanced to her compatriot and then down at the stranger by the fire. She stretched upwards to her full height and marched towards the edge of the campsite. Growls of acknowledgement met her ears from the canopy above. She nodded silently, as if speaking through the winds and the trees themselves.

The air was getting colder and more humid, as if a nightly rain was to hit them. This would hinder her reptilian allies but there was something more sinister in the air than colder blood.

"Quiet," she whispered harshly to the inquisition behind her. "Do you feel it?"

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:52 pm

The elf's eyes followed the Wolfling as she began to walk away, but quickly lifted to the fellow who was asking him questions. "... Exactly to your description, sir." With a little more ease the mercenary offered a bow. "I can even show you the bodies; they're not too far, though it is a bit late, isn't it?"

He straightened before picking up his cloak and pulling it around him. "You can call me Eruno. You have come to warn about this, yes? Did you also come to fight it? I see many Skas'kar here, though I'd prefer not simply to assume."

That was when Fakera hissed at them, and the elf was not hesitant to oblige, staring at her with more than a hint of curiosity. The night was changing. Perhaps he was followed? The elf didn't want to have to answer to his new... companions, after whatever this was showed itself.

He remained quiet and listened, his unusually large ears lifting and unfolding.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:50 pm

Xxirthos hissed and spat in his tongue at his sleeping soldiers, and they quickly stood, grabbing spears and shields. The Salamanders woke as well, quickly intensifying their spells of Ghostfire, Warmth, and Protection from Cold. The Iksar looked to his two 'companions' and, though it was always hard to tell with such draconic features, he appeared to be frowning.
"They come, warmbloodsss. They mussst have pusshed up from...the Bay of Wolvesss. Sssteel yoursselvess." He hissed more orders to his troops, and they quickly adopted low, crouching stances, their large tower shields going from ground to shoulder as their digitigrade legs allowed them to stand very low to the ground. Their had formed a small circle in the clearing, two ranks deep, with the Salamanders and the three companions standing at their center. They did this silently, the snarling visors of their helms down, and their quiet precision was eerie and calming in equal measure.
"Vakera, my Sssscalesss are more heavily....armored than your own company. Let them be engaged...firssst. The Dread are a fierssssome...foe. They come...like the tidesss."

After he was done speaking those words, he retrieved his heavily-ornamented helm, flexing and curling his wings, and he drew a heavy, glowing blue sword from his hip that looked almost as though it was made from a single sapphire. He turned his gaze to Eruno for a moment.
"Let usss hope you are a better fighter...than you are a sssneak, Elf."

At that, he turned, and went to stand by the Salamanders. As an Iskari, he would go where the fighting was thickest - to adopt a static position would risk deploying his strength in one place when it might be needed somewhere else in the line much, much more.

The rain intensified, and the forest around them grew heavy with potential danger. The air grew colder, even the Skas'kar's breaths misting in the air, and lightning stabbed the ground repeatedly like flashing, fluorescent blades. As the following rolls of thunder cleared, an odd noise began to carry on the wind, seemingly from every direction at once - odd-clicks and soft screeches, an altogether different noise that set Xxirthos's teeth on edge, and he gripped his sword with one hand, wreathing his other in blazing blue fire.

Lightning stabbed again, and hints of movement began to show in the foliage - dark black mail here. A hint of marble-white flesh there. They were still some sixt feet away from the ring of Skas'kar and the Wolflings waiting in the trees, but it would not be long now.
"If you have Godsss...entreat them for ssstrength now. You will need it."

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:57 pm

Fakera leaped into the trees. Rustling could be heard, like faint winds in the leaves, above the war-ready group. Growls, yips, barks and snarls came from almost every direction - along with clicking of readying bolts in their crossbows.

She then jumped back down by the fire, agitating some of the glowing embers as the warmth of the hearth grew to nothing but ash and smoke. She kicked out the rest of the flame with her hoof before yanking her daggers from her belt.

"No need to worry about my people, they will stay out of sight and out of reach. They know what to do - as long as you keep your soldiers at the throats of these creatures."

A roll of thunder echoed through the Wood.

And she howled.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:28 pm

Without a word the elf straightened, peering around at the figures before pulling his hood over his head. Though his ears were hidden they remained unfolded, ready to detect the first signs of battle. He offered a nod at the Iskari, though, and stepped into the ranks of the soldiers; before seemingly disappearing.

Paying little mind to the lightning, rain or thunder he positioned himself within a tree, much like some of the Wolflings did; with stealth much more impressive than before. He climbed until he rested on a branch below, but near, one of the wolf-people, and he waited.

As he noticed the figures in the woods he grew tense but remained as calm as he could, lifting a hand to his face and tracing the tattoos- or markings- on his face with accuracy while whispering something to himself. They flickered before dying out, and he continued his silent watch while drawing a small knife from a sheath.

He had every intention to throw it, and use it to pierce the skull of the first creature he saw.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:44 pm

Fifty feet.

Xxirthos looked from one direction to another and saw that they were, indeed, pressing in on all sides, moving with all the inexorability of the ocean. Their limbs were long for their frames, and they moved haltingly, as though slightly out of sync - sudden jerks or twitches, all accompanied by clicks and screeches.

Thump. Thump. Thump.
"Anaum kass'eth vesh!" Xxirthos hissed, his muscled tail hitting the ground again and again - and soon, the other Skas'kar joined him, repeating his cry again and again, hissing and spitting, banging their spears against their shields, stomping and thumping their tails against the wet ground. Their frills shook angrily.

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Thirty feet.
"ANAUM KASS'ETH VESH!" the Iskari roared, lifting his sword into the sky, tail hitting the ground faster now, and the Salamanders sent out bolts of fire to the tree-line twenty-feet from the ranks of Skas'kar in all directions - they hung there like lanterns, casting heavy golden light in the otherwise dark and shadowed night, throwing the approaching Dread into stark relief - they were running now, blackened armor and weapons clearly visible, wicked hooks and barbed spears and swords raised, and their clicks were rapid-fire and their screeches louder and louder.

THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP.

Ten feet.
"ANAUM KASS'ETH VESH!" The Skas'kar roared in their hissing tongue one final time, and the Dread were upon them, and Xxirthos immediately leapt into the fray, and then all was chaos. The Skas'kar held against the living tide of the Dread stabbing with spears and slamming with shields, biting and tripping. The Iskari swung his Coldfang Blade in mighty sweeps, the heavy plates of his armor making him like a living tank on the battlefield. His massive tail swung back and forth, but he was wary to get too caught up in the tide, and never broke ranks with his Scales.

Some Skas'kar began to fall - ferocious as they were, they were drastically out-numbered, and though they were skilled - the Elite Scaleguard of an Iskari Fanglord - they were not invincible, and each one that fell made the circle tighter and tighter. The Salamanders were not inactive either, sending bolts of fire and heat into the largest clumps of the Dread, but there were very few of them, and so many enemies.

Xxirthos's armor was breached in half a dozen places by now, and he was breathing heavily, but he never relented, and he spared the treeline a half-second's glance before returning his attention to the fighting. It was now or never.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:01 pm

Momentarily the elf found himself shaking; he had never seen such a foe before, and he was still in cover, perhaps he could escape. Then realization dawned upon him. If he ran he'd be caught sooner or later, and killed. Fighting was his best chance.

So he caught the glance of the Iskari and threw the throwing knife into the fray, watching as it dug into the armor of one of the Dread. He didn't remain in place, hopping to another branch as he tried to get a good view on where he could help most. As he saw some of the skas'kar die he positioned himself so that he might leap down to join their defense. First, though, he had a trick up his sleeve.

It was risky but potentially helpful.

Among the ranks of the Dread; particularly in an area where none of the elf's allies were near, a vial fell and broke on the ground. Though it was trampled it would still serve its purpose. A familiar smell filled the air.

And then another vial made into a molotov hit the ground nearby.

An eruption of raging flame scorched another batch of Dread while Eruno leaped down from his cover to join the ranks of the Skas'kar. He, too, was not immortal. In little time he was wounded himself, but with the determination and rage of a cornered animal he fought on, the markings on his face continuing to flicker with each death around him.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:02 pm

Fakera did her best at leaping over heads and jumping between trees; acting more like an acrobat than a warrior. Her daggers made quick slashes into waterlogged flesh, across throats and groin and stomach. She disemboweled a few of the Dread, yanking the organs out with her teeth.

Above, her comrades rained bolt after wooden bolt down upon their enemies. A few were yanked down into the heat of battle and quickly ripped apart as if they were dolls. Without proper armor, they were useless if they were being hit at. Those who survived the violence shot up higher into the branches - but this injured their aim considerably with more foliage to shoot through.

The Huntmother kicked and howled, using all of her limbs and her maw as a weapon. "COME AND BRING ME DOWN YOU WRETCHES!"

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:14 am

The battle was joined completely now, between two sides who neither gave quarter or asked for it in turn. The Skas'kar's circle of shields grew smaller and tighter with every one of their number brought low, and Xxirthos had an ugly wound in his side, the product of a wickedly barbed spear, though he still stood tall.

His arms burned with exertion as his enchanted blade rose and fell, curved and hacked, riposted and parried. He was a fierce swordsman, skilled, strong, and brutal, and his long arms gave his strikes a frightening reach. He moved with the ebb and flow of battle as the Dread came at them like tides, surging forward with vicious attacks before sucking back out into the treeline, then rushing back again in greater numbers.

The Elf's fiery concoction gave them pause, however, as did the sudden emergence of the Wofling's from the trees, and some of the large dread, in heavier armor, began to shoot vicious, screaming sonic blasts into the foliage above, splintering wood and felling any unfortunate Woflings in their path.

The Salamanders, upon seeing the flames of the Wood Elf's chemical cocktail, reacted as quick as flash-fire, chanting and weaving their clawed hands, and the ebbing flames turned into a roaring inferno, enhanced and amplified by their mastery of magic, and they drew on its heat and power as it swirled and roared into a blazing dragon of fire that ripped through the ranks of the Dread, hacking and burning in equal measure.

Xxirthos seized this opportunity as the Dread's oppressive aura of hopelessness lifted in the sight of the life-giving fire turned into the embodiment of Kresh, and he lifted his sword and let out a roar, the rest of the Skas'kar joining in - except for the Salamanders, who were still too intent on focusing their channeled spell into sustaining the fire-dragon.

The Iskar swiftly bent down to pick up the tower shield of a fallen Scale, the massive shield seeming smaller in comparison to him, and he let out a screeching hiss in the common tongue.
"Forward, children of...Kavnosssss! Throw them back...into the deep!" and with that, the Skas'kar put their shields up and slowly advanced forward, the circle growing - and giving room for the Wolflings to fill in the gaps, and their crossbows to fire safely from behind him.

The rain began to abate. They could win this.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:24 am

The elf grunted as the Skas'kar began to advance, panting and mumbling angrily. He regarded his blades before shutting his eyes, catching his breath while doing something nobody around him would notice.

Primarily because it was all in his head.

__________

Hey, Fluffy.

Your interesting nickname for me is amusing, mortal. You wish to call upon more of my strength?

Unfortunately, yes.

Bah! You're winning the battle. Remember that you will be safe so long as you are MY host. I need not spend more of my resources. Not yet. Patience, mortal.

__________

"...Damn." The elf returned to reality and shrugged his shoulders, moving finally to join the Skas'kar's march. Eruno did not march himself, however. He instead adopted a more unorthodox way of getting to the front lines. He poked one soldier and said, "Lean forward."

Though the Skas'kar didn't listen to the command- considering he wasn't the commander- the elf still hopped onto his back. Though the soldier hissed with displeasure, before he could do anything the elf was using his comrades as stepping stones, leaping from one shoulder to another, until he was at the front of the lines. Which, by the way, didn't take too long.

As two Skas'kar gave him skeptical looks he grinned and shrugged them off. "I am a good acrobat. Nobody died from a misplaced blade, no?"

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:24 pm

Fakera had half a mind to knock the elf out for being a neusance, but decided his antics were worth the extra pair of hands in the fray. The rain was soaking into her fur, making her uncomfortably cold, but her energy kept her warm enough to move between blade swipes and gnashing teeth.

She barked commands left and right, her daggers finding their way up through arteries and veins, tearing through pulsating muscle and sea-drenched skin. Her side of the circle was quickly becoming less and less in danger, and her comrades and herself made their way in a sweeping arc with the reptilian soldiers.

The Huntmother seemingly 'skipped' up the trunk of one tree before hopping down on the head of one of the more armored Dread. It cried out an ear-piercing sonic scream, fighting her back with no fear of death or injury. A dripping obsidian blade found its way to her gut, piercing through her fur and flesh.

"GYAH!" Her hand shoved into the maw of the creature, and her wrist-mounted crossbow fired three bolts straight through its skull. The creature collapsed below her, its weapon still embedded into her stomach. She grasped at the hilt and howled. Two female members of the pack appeared at her side from the treetops, leading her farther away from the winning battle to tend to her very grievous wound.

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:10 pm

Three Skas'kar covered Fakera's guardians rigorously as the Dread attempted to close in on the wounded Wolfling, their acute emotional senses honing in on her pain, but they crashed into the interlocking shields and wicked axes of the Scaleguard, their spears long since abandoned in the guts of the corpses of the Dread.

Xxirthos had led the counter-charge into the Dread along with the Elf, their thin line crashing into the roiling sea of Dread with the ferocity for which their cold-blooded race was renowned once riled, and the Salamanders continued to manipulate the fire, giving it shape and form as it scorched the Dread and sucked the moisture from their flesh.

"Do not abate! Throw them...back! BACK!" the Iskar roared. His sword lay on the ground some twenty feet from him, its strangely shaped blade stuck in the corpse of one of the larger Dread, so he lashed out with first and claw and magic, the blue flame wreathing both his plated fists, and his thick tail lashed back and forth, tripping legs and breaking necks.

But it was not enough for him. Soon, he found himself surrounded, the Dread attacking him with uncanny accuracy as they focused on his magical aura, and no matter how many he sent flying, more and more took their place.

A blade punched through his thigh, and he went down, though not before breathing out a massive breath of frost that froze a dozen of the Dread solid - but then another blade pierced his shoulder, and then he was down, pinned to the ground by the numberless tide of the Dread, and even his roars of rage and indignation could scarcely be heard.

The Skas'kar, upon seeing their Fanglord brought low, attacked with dogged determination, bordering on desperation.

Would they get there in time?

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PostSubject: Re: Campaign I: The Sea Rises   Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:41 am

Son of a- well Fluffy, looks like the leaders are gone. How about helping before the ranks and morale break, and the Dread kill everybody?

My, how eager you are, mortal. Patience. Aid your allies just as they would aid you.


__________

Eruno turned from his own handiwork- namely, stabbing yet another monstrosity in the chest- before dashing madly in Xxirthos' direction. With a battlecry that quite obviously stood out of those of his allies he used a soldier's back as yet another ladder. Whether it was Skas'kar, a fallen or tenacious Wolfling, or Dread he didn't know nor care.

With abandon he had plunged himself into the madness that took place around the Iskar, muttering in a language not even he understood. An instant later a pulse of energy unlike the others had seen before emitted from the elf, likely sending those swarming the Fanglord stumbling back. Eruno brandished his blades, feeding partially on... something else inside of him.

His tattoos now glowed dimly, but surely. Though he was wounded- much like most of the others- he seemed not to be quite as hindered by it. As the waves approached again he fought in a flurry he hadn't used before in the battle.

Still, he was mortal. The assault was hard for him to prevent, and some may have gotten past him if only for a few seconds. They may also hurt him further; shedding some of his blood onto the Skas'kar leader even as he tried to recover. If, of course, he was able to.

__________

Patience...

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