Still...


Inside and around Castle Gravesbane

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Post Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:22 pm

"Yes ma'am. Do you know where he is? I am not going to beat around the bush, I want to help him revive this group."
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Let me hear your battle cry!
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Post Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:31 pm

Tyr perks up at the thought of a remedy for the splitting pain in his head
"Those brews may just be the trick."
He shifts on his boots and takes another draw off of his pipe
"Please stop me if I am prying, but I have heard whispers about this 'Night of Burning Skulls' but am still very foggy on the details. What happened that night?"
Tyr's gaze turns somber as he awaits the response
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Post Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:45 pm

Tyr Murkel wrote: Tyr perks up at the thought of a remedy for the splitting pain in his head
"Those brews may just be the trick."
He shifts on his boots and takes another draw off of his pipe
"Please stop me if I am prying, but I have heard whispers about this 'Night of Burning Skulls' but am still very foggy on the details. What happened that night?"
Tyr's gaze turns somber as he awaits the response

"Yes... Altearez told me once, but that was long ago; I've forgotten. Heh... I'm not so good with history."
Paen takes a seat near Tyr and listens as well.
Everybody with your fists raised high,
Let me hear your battle cry!
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Post Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:09 pm

"Night of the Burning Skulls was the night Haven was betrayed and fell to the elven armies," Esmerelda answers softly. She digs in her backpack for a moment, then pulls out a well worn piece of parchment.

"I- I cannot do the tale justice on my own. It is too horrific to tell. But the Bard Wren of Caledonia composed a lay entitled 'Haven's Lament'. If you have a moment, it will relate the tale."

Softly she begins to read.

"The Hunter's moon was hungry in the tenth year of the new world
The forward troops of winter closing fast around the living land
And trailing them were soldiers, as the diplomats revealed their swords-
The Elves had come to conquer- Haven braced to make her stand

Haven stood together, though trust there had been hard won
Trust the only chance for all who called her home to remain free
But seeds of Haven's downfall had been planted by a favorite son
The night of burning skulls is an immortal treachery

The Elven army was a foe of legendary might and skill
But Haven had a way with legends, had a chance to hold her ground
Corbyn Gravesbane, Traitor, had other plans he would fulfill
The sun would rise on Haven's people dead, on Haven bound

Battle plans were forming in the clam before the storm
Ka, the Traitor's lapdog, sat with his friends and drew the lines
The strategy was perfect, the defenses balanced, all well-formed
Each defender in the courtyard found his place to fight or die

They'd poised the floods of stone to crush the army waiting at the gate
But with a deadly thud a focus fell inside the palisade
They thought the throw had missed or thought aught else; it was too late-
The traitor's loosed their magics and their brothers, sisters fell- betrayed

Then the gates were opened and the courtyard filled with dying
The lucky dead too quick to question Why, as Roland had to do,
Hesitant to strike his friend lest Ka was charmed, the truth denying-
There the piled bodies and the burning skulls alone were true

Two upon the killing field that night bore signs of Dragon touch
Corbyn, traitor, dark and strange- Delayne shone gifted, fire bright
She too had to choose, but guileless, she wished to vision others such
Too late she saw him clearly by the burning corpses' sickly light

Before the healers three great heros stood to face their certain fate
One tall and rimmed with virtue's light on flashing sword and burnished sheild
Another small in stature, but his courage and his heart were great
The third, Voralen, Phoenix, died upon his feet- he would not yield

A dark light flashed in Corbyn's eyes upon another Phoenix shield
Attacked thus by his old, dear friend his heart and body turned to stone-
Donovan, of Phoenix fire, frozen watched the bloody field
'Till stone was flesh, and Fellowship, the Traitor's blade, was driven home.

And still between the healers and their death one fighter standing fast
And raising high his Fellhammer with scream to fill the night
Durgan, though a Guthrie born, that night became a dwarf at last
Joyful in his Dwarven heart to meet his death within the fight

When Elven hands secured the keep they called the Traitor's faithful forward
Offering them honor, they commanded each to take a knee
The Unforgiven Four before them, Elven lords raised high their swords
With pain, at once they knew the truth- traitors fathom treachery

The pirate Kidwynn rose in rage, sword and shield thrown in the dust
Demanding that the killing blow come from only her captain's blade
The elves made room, the Traitor came, what had made a pirate trust?
With burning eyes she met him- then she's for the open sea, away

Maximus could not be held- he rushed the gate and won the chase
Through dark woods to the meeting point he ached to see his brothers well
Corbyn came, the General stepped forward, offered him embrace
The Traitor's blade went through his heart, whisp'ring his brother's cold farewell

Alone among those trapped within, two of Haven cleared the wall
The screams of those they'd left behind cutting like the blades they'd fled
Unwilling to survive alone, they turned, Atrum and Sethreal,
But found, ere reaching vengeful death, a reason to survive instead

For Esmerelda, warned to hide, revealed herself to her false friends
When cut and bleeding, nearly dead, there came the strange and fearsome child
The Slayer of the Beast, young Gol, was her balm and her defense
in eerie calm, with Gabrial, they left the keep, all threat beguiled.

In darkened woods these two groups met- the only joy that bloodstained eve
And Atrum, shocked that he could still feel, watched Esmerelda, half-dead weep
Amazed that ardour bloomed through death, he left his new found love to grieve
So many lost- Aeric, her twin, and his dear Vaun- within the keep.

Far from tortured Haven blazed another tragic battlefield
As torture-bidden villagers put their own refuge to the flame
Unarmed the women, children, faced their guards; they thought their men to shield
Many died, 'till through the smoke and screams the people's hero came

Robert's voice, though raw with grief, bid all there to come to peace
Guards and villagers, now free, at his voice laid down their arms
His mark blazed as the fires died, as he commanded strife to cease
Sparing lives caught in that trap, his people's lives, from harm

Corbyn Gravesbane pulled the threads, his net 'round Haven closing tight
He dropped his prize into his former people's mailed and waiting hands
But he would bow to no one's rule- he disappeared into the night
His lapdog at his heels, his name burnt black with Traitor's brand

Quen, the keeper of the fires, kept his lodge unto its end
Becoming stone, he saw rafters break, he watched the flames expand
Those who lived discovered him among the ash he used to tend
He took an ember from the hearth flame forward into a new land

The greenest Haven found and loved became a sactuary lost
The stars are turning slowly over Elve camp, o'er exiles' road
What would we do for home, for trust, such precious prizes, such great cost
The ghosts of Haven live again in heartache, memory, and an ode."

As she finishes speaking quietly, the speakers realize that for some time tears have been silently running down her face.
Lady Esmerelda Harrison,
Queen of the Kingdom of Haven

"What if in order to save everything you hold dear, you have to become everything you hate?"
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:17 am

The Painted One, who was never too far away from the Queen when he was actually seen in town, slows the sharpening of his blades so he can listen. It is a story he knows all too well, the likes of which he hopes will never have to be written again. When she has finished reciting, he slowly walks to her and hands her his handkerchief.

"Perhaps now you understand why trust is such a precious commodity" the Valkin'Vi states, "and why people here are measured more by their actions." He sheaths the sword he had been sharpening, and regards the newcomers with his black and white orbs. "My place here has been paid for in blood and honesty. I wonder how you will earn my trust" he muses.

Without a second glance, he turns his unblinking stare to Esmerelda. "Have you need of me, my queen? While others may sit and enjoy the peace that we fought so hard to attain, I fear it only makes me feel more useless. Unless, of course, you ordered me to enjoy myself" he says with a wry little grin. "Perhaps I could escort some more workers to Ms. Harris' farm plot in the Northeast? Though I fear I am not too handy with crops... Or perhaps I could continue my search for Her..."
~ Carpe Nocturn ~

Paer'An' Alla'Ana
Lightning Rider
Defender of the Flame
Honor Guard of the Last Grand Oracle
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:39 am

“My own Guild of Light executed the betrayal that night.” Dallid says from his seat. “A guild that took a terrible dark turn precisely one day following my death, when Corbyn chose to enslave the Dragon Corel rather than free her. Another grand betrayal that bid Phanterra to tremble at a time she should have rejoiced.”
Learn the past. Observe the present. Guide the future.
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:36 am

Paen nods solemnly, "I see. Well, I will earn that trust eventually. And that's a promise!" he says, rising from his chair, determination in his eyes. "Now, does anyone know where I can find this Gabrial?"
Everybody with your fists raised high,
Let me hear your battle cry!
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:36 pm

~: Silent as the grave he had not replied when Esmerelda had bid him welcome and asked for his cause of arrival. Better to listen to others now, as Paen spoke intermittently, as Tyr arrived to complain. And ever more so to the story he had heard before, trapped inside another at the time. Still he held onto its every word. Whatever cogs turned at its retelling were hidden behind those brutally different eyes and the obsidic visage he wore. He had no words to quell her tears, but it seemed another had that covered:~

~: Paer'An's arrival brought the most response from Legion since he had come to attention before the Queen. His irises locked on the black and white orbs of his fellow Valkyn'Vi and he managed a chuckle that bit through the teeth of his mask. Their similarities seemed to grow by the day, even as their differences set them miles apart. But Paer'An's words had Legion speak his own, and his gaze would return to Esmerelda so as to not disrespect her. :~

"My Queen, I am here to pledge myself and my talents to you in any way, shape or form you have need of them. Though I am proficient at many things my forte's are well known to you, and I am sure you can see use in them in one way or another. Regrettably I cannot declare my will to be a permanent resident at this time as I still have unfinished business...elsewhere..."

~: This confident full voice became the tone of a acrid burning acid at the word "elsewhere," Legion's thoughts on that place more than apparent in his desire not to be forced to return. His entire body seemed to bristle with something between annoyance and utter hatred for the very thought of his return journey, and it took several seconds for Legion to calm himself. Unlike the vast majority of his kin this one wasn't all steel and nerve. Instinct and emotion spilled from him like boiling water from cast iron. :~

"When I can devote myself fully...with your permission...I would like to become a permanent resident of Castle Gravesbane...and I would like to pledge myself a defender of yourself...if you would have me."
"Seek the truth. Behold the truth. Reveal the truth. That is the law and the whole of the law."
-Pious Flea, Legion/Dani
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:39 pm

Esmerelda takes the handkerchief from the warrior with a puzzled expression for a moment then realizes she's been crying. Wiping her face, she gives him a small smile at his words but it does not reach her eyes.

"Thank you. And I know that inaction does not sit well with you. It's that very trait which endears you to me. So no, I will not order you to stay and enjoy yourself. It might be wise to continue the search for Her. But if you have other things to look into regarding the other matter we discussed, feel free. I think both are worth pursuing."

As Legion makes his request, Emerelda watches him solemnly.

"I would be honored to have you as a guard. And you are most welcome to stay at the keep. As soon as your business is finished, and even before that, please consider yourself welcomed."
Lady Esmerelda Harrison,
Queen of the Kingdom of Haven

"What if in order to save everything you hold dear, you have to become everything you hate?"
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:24 pm

A loud thump is heard on the roof overhanging the porch. Keysol's head and fingertips appear on the rim and his hood fall behind it. Haphazardly, he looks at them all with peering curious eyes, hidden behind gleaming yellow-green goggles.

"'G'morn friends."

He proceeds to survey the group, yet even from his position on the roof the stench of fish and sea-weed is in the air. It must have been all those fish Raina had given him. It was clear that they were going bad, but that would by no means stop Keysol from eating them.
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Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:56 pm

Paen waves at Keysol. "Hey there."
Everybody with your fists raised high,
Let me hear your battle cry!
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Post Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:21 pm

Tyr turns to Esmerelda, noticing the tears

"I sincerely apologize for bringing up such a painful topic, but thank you for reciting the story for me. This town has been very welcoming and I had only wanted to learn more of its history."

"And Paer'An, as for the earning of your trust, no statement of intentions would do any good, even by your own statement. The question you ask is one that I cannot answer yet, I only hope that one day my actions will ring true."
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Post Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:13 am

*Val remains quiet, working on her puzzle, only pausing a few times during the reciting of Wren's lay. After Esmeralda's tears have been dried, Val turns to her and gives a slight bow.*

"If you'll pardon me, I have a few tasks in which I wish to complete before day's end."

*Val turns and walks towards the castle.*
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Post Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:13 am

"I also have other business to attend to. Well met everyone, I will be headed back to Avengard for a moon or so."
With that Tyr begins to make his way to the castle gate, as he walks he sings a soft tune that can only be faintly heard on the wind

"Off I go to avengard,
A city where they just may kill a bard,
If I'm not back by the next moon,
Send an adequately trained rescue party soon!"
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Post Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:05 pm

Paen, being the only person left besides Paer'An, leaves as well. "Thank you for the story and the information, lady Esmerelda. I'm off to find Gabrial now."
Everybody with your fists raised high,
Let me hear your battle cry!
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