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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-13, 21:56

"To the wounded, quickly!" Gwain shouts in exasperation. "None one's dying here if I have anything to say about it!"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-13, 22:01

Unfortunately, the two members of Gwains Guard who were poisoned have already succumbed to the effects. The other wounded are OK by relativity though Heaven will probably lose the eye. As Everyone addresses the wounded suddenly a man pops up at the cave entrance having slid down from above. He quickly moves into the cave without a word and soon Ohly plops down into the cave entrance and more begin to follow him in.

Ohly surveys the scene and says with a relieved sigh "By Themis' good grace you're all still alive. From the sound of things outside it sounded like everything had gone to hell in a hay basket in here."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-13, 22:05

Robillard stands with a sigh, distraught by the death of these two men. He may not have always agreed with Gwain's Guard, but they died honorably. He shakes his head and gestures to his throat, then the puncture wound in his armor, indicating that his throat has been paralyzed for the near future.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-13, 22:22

Gwain closes the eyelids of Greed and stands to face the mouth of the cave. "Ohly, you're alive? When I saw the bloodied manticore before your signal, I assumed the worst."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-13, 22:35

Ohly looks up from the carnage to address Gwain "We found tracks lower on the mountain and new it was close. A hasty ambush we set for the creature sent it running for the top of the mountain but cost us one of our men when it retaliated. We lost two others rushing up the mountain out of fear the beast would find you all and ambush you."

He looks at the second manticore and says "We never expected the second one. Explains why the beast was so bold in its hunting."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-13, 22:36

Now that there is a moment of calm, Robillard points back down the tunnel and looks at Gwain with a curious look on his face, as if asking what drew him down there beforehand.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-14, 00:56

"There's something you need to see Robillard. Ohly, you and the others guard the entrance in case any more trouble arrives. Treachery, Fraud, Gia, Sloth, with me. We spotted manticore pups deeper in the cave, keep your guard up in case they're aggressive." Gwain motions for Robillard to lead the way, then directs the party towards the door with the Griswald crest.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-14, 08:49

As soon as Robillard sees the door, he is transfixed. He moves slowly towards it, walking as if in a dream. Glancing back at Gwain, his eyes are full of questions his mouth cannot ask. What is this? How long has it been here? Could this be what the priests have been searching for? He runs his hands across the surface, then tries to open it.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-14, 13:58

Robillard admires the door and ignores the squealing sounds from the manticore pups in the distance. He goes to push on the door but it resists his strength. Not to be so easily deterred, Robillard puts all his strength into the door but still, it resists. Frustrated he backs off to examine it further.

In the bottom right is the Griswald symbol from before but four other symbols are etched into the stone edifice. In the top right is depicted a rearing horse. Top centre a crow. Top left an owl. Bottom left a hawk.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-14, 20:44

"What do you think it could be Robillard? Did you see any of these crests flying on your crusades?"

[6 on Heraldry]
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-14, 21:52

[You have no idea]
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-14, 22:02

His head clouded by poison, Robillard tries to remember any houses with these crests. [7 on heraldry.]

Assuming he does not remember, he shrugs and points at the manticore cubs. He then points down towards the bottom of the mountain.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-14, 22:58

Unfortunately, the heraldry that Robillard thinks on does not bring any to mind that uses a rearing horse as their image.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-17, 09:29

Gwain eye's the pups nervously. "If we don't do anything about them, they will grow strong just like their parents and terrorize us once again. You know war better than I Robillard, do you think they could be incorporated into our army if they could be tamed?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-17, 10:02

Robillard, his eyes starry with the possibility of riding a manticore into battle, nods vigorously.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-17, 10:06

"Perhaps we should ask Ohly if he brought a net, unless you can think of another way to brink them down the mountain."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-17, 19:33

Robillard approaches the cubs carefully, holding his shield in front of them. When he gets close enough, he throws them a bit of dried meat and makes soft shushing noises. [8 animal handling]
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-18, 21:19

Robillard and Gwain force the cubs very carefully into two sack. Robillard shoulders both bags and can feel the pressure against his armor as they try and fight their way out. As the two brothers make their way back to the cave entrance Ohly asks what's making the cat noise amd Gwain explains the circumstance.

Ohly simply says "Beasts should be put down, not kept as pets." He says nothing more on the subject and orders everyine out of the cave and back down. Just as the sun begins setting on the day Robillard and Gwain arrive back at the castle to find Leewan just finishing with his courtly duties
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-18, 21:47

Leewan spot a beastly head poking out from one of Robillard's packs and waits for an explanation.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-18, 23:28

Gwain gives Leewan a grave look. "It turns out the manticore we were hunting had a mate. We defeated both, but they took two of Gwain's Guard, and a fey of Ohly's men with them. What you're looking at now is one of their cubs. We brought them down from their home thinking they might be useful for extracting poison. When they grow older, they could be trained as war beasts for the army."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-19, 15:54

Robillard points at the manticores, then mimes a stinger strike (demonstrating the hole in his armor). He wraps his hands around his throats to show how he is now mute for the foreseeable future.

This initial mime completed, he then points to the cubs and pretends to eat, suggesting it may be important to feed them.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-19, 16:03

"In case Robillard's pantomiming isn't clear, the manticore poison has taken his voice. We should seek an apothecary to address this before we leave for war. In the mean time, the cubs should be looked after and cared for. Whoever we set to the task of training them should be someone we trust absolutely. Heretic's End might be strong, but I don't think it could stand against a manticore coup from inside it's walls."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-19, 18:02

Robillard then gestures towards the dead men, reminding everyone that a funeral is in order.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-19, 18:05

Gwain nods. "And of course we will need some time to bury the dead."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-19, 18:11

[the dead men were left outside not taken right into the throne room]
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-19, 18:13

Robillard's brief bout with the poison has also stimulated his miming skills. They have become freakishly impressive.

Then he actually takes a moment to think and wacks himself in the head. He mimes writing, asking for a wax tablet to make communication easier. [thank Themis I'm barely literate.]
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-19, 18:23

"There is one more thing, Lord Griswald. But I think it would be better discussed in private."

When the brothers have moved to a more secluded area of the castle, Gwain fills in Leewan on the strange door at the back of the manticore lair.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-19, 23:03

Leewan flicks his hand.

"Then all else are dismissed, and have our kennel master begin working closely with these cubs. Provide him adequate manpower and protective equipment as necessary to handle the monsters."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-19, 23:06

As everyone leaves Hoffner looks at Leewan with a worrisome look and says "Uh sir. I have no knowledge of how to train such beasts. Yet alone what to do about their poison. They're as liable to kill me as anyone else."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-19, 23:09

Poison? Ha! writes Robillard. I'll feed them for the first few days, at least until we leave for the war. Stay with me so they get accustomed to your presence, and all should be well.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-19, 23:10

Hoffner doesn't seem relieved by this notion
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-19, 23:14

Robillard gives him a hearty pat on the back and goes with him to the kennels. There he puts down the bags, allowing the cubs to crawl to freedom in cages. He orders the servants to bring raw meat, which he will use to hand feed them (still wearing armor, of course).
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-19, 23:17

"That is why you will have villagers working at your disposal. Equip them with shields and do your duties. Rejoice at the opportunity to take a first foray into beast taming in Acren. At the very least I expect them alive upon our return. Trained or not."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-20, 19:22

The room is emptied of all except for Leewan and Gwain as Robillard takes Hoffner to the kennels. On entrance the dogs inside immediately begin barking and banging against their cages viciously at the scent of the beasts in the packs and Hoffner stands a full ten feet back from Robillard as he lets the creatures out of the bag. This only serves to further agitate the dogs who all begin acting extremely hostile to the cubs who hiss and growl at the dogs around them.

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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-20, 20:58

"Hoffner, bring raw meat here, and curb your hounds. Bring a small animal as well if you can. A chicken would do nicely," Robillard writes.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-20, 21:42

Still in the vacant audience room, Leewan continues the discussion with Gwain.

"Summon your guard. Oaths of secrecy are in order."


Last edited by Darkgenesis on 2017-02-22, 15:01; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-21, 23:02

Raw meat is brought in and a tremendous amount of effort is put in to get the dogs to calm down. Some still growl aggressively at the cubs if they stray too close but for the most part Hoffner keeps them under control.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-21, 23:04

Still wearing his armor, Robillard crouches next to the cage with the manticores and drops a piece of meat about two feet in. [Guys, I am so ready to go to war. I'm just killing time while we wait to leave. Don't worry about skipping ahead if you're waiting for me.]
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-22, 17:59

A message is sent for the eight remaining members of Gwains Guard to be summoned to the court and after about fifteen minutes of undoubtedly awkward silence they come in with most still wearing the heavy winter gear they wore on the mountain.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-22, 20:09

"Gwain has detailed the events on the mountain. Each of you must swear an oath of secrecy. Furthermore, our house will engage in delicate matters in the future. There can be no hesitation of your commitment to the mission. Swear fealty to Gwain and the house of Griswald."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-22, 21:44

The men all look at each other and one who Gwain calls Lust says "I thought we already were?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-23, 00:20

"Swear your secrecy. We have war to attend."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-23, 00:38

All eight swear secrecy though they have no idea what could necessitate such a thing.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-23, 00:40

Leewan dismisses them.

[We need to make a last confirmation as a group on what we're spending or not spending on. Whether or not we are converting wealth into another resource.]
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-24, 23:33

[We're not going to spend it on anything. I'm just deciding. We're going to war.]
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-02-25, 10:38

[TO WAR]
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-02-28, 00:22

"TO WAR!" -final battle cry of the Age of Belief

The next few days pass as something of a blur; be it boredom, excitement, or depression depends on the person. A funeral is held for the dead who died on the hunt. Gwain can't help but feel an extreme sense of failure as he watches the bodies of the dead be burned to ash before his eyes and the wives and children left behind cry out at the world for why their beloved one died. Gwains depression from much of the recent events forces him into silence for the days before the war and can't even bring himself to more than a passing attempt at a memorial speech.

Robillard spends his days with eyes fixated on the manticore pups, wonder in his heart as he dreams of one day befriending such a beast. Not one to have his dreams crushed so easily, he does his best to ignore the obvious setbacks involved with the creatures of numerous "accidental" stings by the beasts resulting in many servants involved in their care becoming amputees. Robillard watches from a distance as Hoffner does everything within his power and expertise to make the creatures manageable but since their arrival at the castle they have only hissed aggressively at him and the hounds have been made more accustomed to their presence.

Leewans time is spent busy as usual with matters of court and such. The extreme boredom of the situation due to most complaints and requests beeing simply a variation of the question "How will the war affect me?" forces Leewan to delegate the matters of court to his council and it occurs to him that this could be the last time he sees his son. Leewan makes a point of spending some moniker of "quality time" with Edlass and ensuring he is becoming the man he should be to lead the house of Griswald. Leewan makes sure to get in his nightly time of glaring down at the little people down below every night and thinks long and hard on the matters of late.


Soon enough, AT LONG LAST, the day comes for the army to march. With the decision made for the Griswald forces to head into the Blasted Lands ahead of the main Acren forces Leewan, Robillard, and Gwain all awake on their last day of their short visit home. All the brothers eat their morning meal in relative silence to the days prior and as they finish Ohly comes walking in and tells Leewan the fighting men of the army are all accounted for and awaiting him outside the castle. The brothers all rise and
Erika gives Leewan perhaps an unwanted amount of affection giving him a kiss on the cheek goodbye. Edlass wishes his father the best of luck and asks him to bring him back a cool sword from a battle.

As the brothers leave the gates of their mighty castle all three look out upon the tide of glistening armour and weapons that have been organised into a fine pair of pair columns with room in between for officers and the brothers to walk. All the men come to attention once Leewan comes through with brothers in tow who pauses for a moment to take in the sight. Ohly guides Leewan and his brothers to their mounts (Guinivere is ready and saddled for Robillard) and the three ride between the pair of columns which collapse behind them in fine order and parade through the town. As the men make their way through the small town the bells from the church ring loudly and the small crowd of citizens and the soldiers wives and relatives through celebratory gifts and good luck to the men. Leewan keeps a stern face as he guides his horse along and Robillard can't help but feel a tinge of jealousy at the parade the soldiers get compared to when he left for the Blasted Lands long ago.

And so the march begins from the mountains of the Griswald holding. The men behind can be heard all along their lines singing marching songs and giving shouts of motivation about how many of the enemy will die by their blades and how much of their wealth they will take. The now eight members of Gwains Guard follow behind brothers from a short distance mostly because the personal house guard force anyone not of the Griswald blood to maintain at least a small distance. As the brothers march they can't help but feel as though the men they have brought may not be enough for what they are getting into.

After a half days travel the army arrives at one of the few large passes through the natural mountains that guard the borders of Acren. The mountains to both sides tower up and out of sight higher than the clouds themselves underlining the titanic nature of many of the battles that have occurred at this very spot before. For generations the Griswald family and others of Acren have defended this passage into Acren from the hordes from the Blasted Lands and among the crags of the rocks it is easy to find broken weapon pieces and even bones of the fallen. The brothers take a moment on reaching the entrance to the pass to stop at a small memorial to all those that have died here; a cluster of rocks built up into a small mound with dozens of rusted weapons buried into it act as a quick reminder of what this war is about.

As some time is spent waiting for lagging squads of men to catch up and the brothers take the chance to stretch their legs Gwain notices large storm clouds starting to move up towards the mountains from the Blasted Lands and realizes that moving through the mountain pass will get rather misserable as the mud begins to build up from the runoff. Sure enough, by the time all are accounted for in the army and moving through the pass gets under way a heavy downpour begins and after a couple minutes the mud in the ground becomes a foot deep and cloaks become drenched in water. Leewan encourages and forces his men onward from atop his stead and orders Gwains and his men to cout ahead to ensure there is a way through the pass. Sure enough the torrential downpour from the rain has caused some areas of the pass to become more difficult to traverse than others but Gwain and his men plot a path through the pass for the army to follow and as the rain begins to slow down the first sights of the Blasted Lands can be seen from atop a small hill in the pass allowing some dry space.

Off in the distance, the craggy and muddy lands of the Blasted Lands that exists just past the mountains can be seen. Small trees form tiny clusters within the muddy terrain that reach up as high as they can into the sky with spiralling and twisted trunks grasping out at whatever sunlight the near permanent overcast can allow through. Rivers of muddy water swirl and mix with each other to form a sort of marsh past the great mountain pass though the only grasses that grow here are reedy and flat due to the winds that often whip across the flat terrain.

As the army makes its final moves out of the pass a general halt is ordered to allow everyone to dry themselves out some once the rain stops and the brothers get their bearings within the vast and empty plain. Leewan remembers that according to their maps the destination of the main Acren army camp within the massive crater is towards the South East (more in-between East and South East) while the Lich armies are purportedly straight towards the North East (along with the castle where the Kings remains lie). No natives of the Blasted Lands are seen on the horizon though some small grazing animals (deer mostly) can be seen in the distance as all three brothers ring out the water from their clothes and many one of the guards makes an off-hand comment of that storm being more rain than he's seen all month in Acren.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-28, 13:43

While drying off with his brothers, Gwain breaks the silence of a long day's march with discussion of battle plans. "Now that we are nearing the rendezvous point, It's time we decide how we are going to retrieve the old king's crown."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-02-28, 16:31

"Did we not decide this earlier? You, me and the heretic will head for the castle with a party of guards, while Leewan leads the army to face the Lich lords in glorious battle."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-02-28, 16:51

"And what, we just knock on the front door and ask pretty please for the crown? We don't know what kind of enemy presence will be waiting for us there. The first thing we need to do is send a small scouting party to count numbers and look for potential entrances."
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