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Thread: Here ther be Dragons

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    Here there be Dragons

    Izakar started awake, wrestled from another nights sleep by the memories of that day. The screams and smell of burning flesh were still on the edge of his senses; the heavy thump of the wings on the air still echoed in his ears. His hands shook and his heart raced, both threatening to take away his will to live. His will for revenge. It was all he had now, but even it was nearly lost to his fear.


    It had been nine cycles of the moon, but his memory claimed it was only yesterday that his entire village had been torn to shreds by a dragon. Even the four months he spent in a church ďaid campĒ had not changed what he saw every night in his dreams. He finally gave them the right answers though, so they let him go free. It was the English, according to the church, that had razed his village. Their red banners burning the image of a red dragon into his ruined psyche. But he knew better. It was a dragon, and he would search for it, hunt it, kill it, if it was the last thing he did.


    He now found himself traveling along the coast. He had made it through France, across the Flemish countryside, and finally into Germany. Rumor had it that the dragons hid in the frozen north, in heavily guarded lairs. He was determined to find them, and had walked for several weeks to reach where he was now.

    Where he was now was in a forest, started awake from a late afternoon nap. He lived his live exhausted, unable to sleep for long with his haunting memories. So he set out onto the road again. His dark hair was covered in grime from the road, as was his face. His clothes and boots had flecks of mud still clinging to them, looking three shades lighter from the road dust. He hadnít bathed since he left the Churchís camp, and that was nearly a cycle earlier. He hadnít had time to stop. But he was running low on food, money, and direction. Perhaps the next village would have a way for him to find all three. His tailoring tools still were in his sack, offering a reprieve and a chance to live as he once did.
    Last edited by Rodgin Kemph; 09-20-2013 at 10:33 AM.

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    (NOTE: Freiburg wasn't found until 1120 somewhere, but I can't find a village close enough to the border of France that existed prior to that.)
    The village was small village known as Freiburg in Germany. The town was small and meant as a safe spot for traders and travelers, as it connected to most of the routes to the other cities and villages nearby. On the main road was a tavern of tan brigs with windows across the front and a large wooden door to welcome travelers. A sign hung saying simply "Tavern" if the smell of ale was not enough to trigger that knowledge. Once inside there were sturdy built tables spewed around the area, as well as a bar that kept Zella safe from most of the customers that got a little to drunk for anyone's comfort. Though her brother assisted with that as a helper in the bar, and made sure to keep anyone from touching his little sister if she called him to assist.

    Zella cleaned a few mugs as she waited for another customer to open the door. The tavern was slow this afternoon, most of the drunkards have already had their fill before being removed by the guards, and a few down on their luck sipped on beer until it was warm and flat. Her brother, Sven, sat by the door, his muscular build resting against the wall with his arms crossed. He was falling asleep, but even his presence made people behave. There were two men chatting in the corner, local farmers wanting a bit and a cool ale to lower their temperatures, another man sat on the corner as a young girl, with no real interest, flirting with him in attempts to make a living of her own. Zella had a tally on how many ales it took him to cave; it was on his third so far, still saying that it would be wrong.

    She brushed her blonde hair off her shoulder, exposing her shoulders and upper chest that was pushed up uncomfortable in the damn corset her mother gave her awhile back. The pain was worth the money though, as she felt she was no better than the hooker flirting with drunk men, as she poured their poison using her own assets to get more of their hard earned money, "I have to make a living some how." she assured herself.

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    Waking up with a splitting headache is always tough, but when you do it on the floor of a friefechter guild, its also humiliating. Leif had just finished a duel to first blood with the master, or rather just finished having his ass handed to him.

    "Ye gods man, i concede! Stop pummeling me already!" he said with a grimace as he took the master's Hand and rose. "A deal is a deal, first drinks are on me. Make haste, there's ale to be drank!"

    After stripping and letting the small (and icy cold) stream running through the complex take away the pain and sweat, Leif took in the greatness of the school once again. There were 4 halls for swordplay, divided by rank or weapon or however was needed for the day, a courtyard, and a large boarding house for the students. Sitting on the wall and vesting himself again with his favorite green tunic trimmed in black and dark brown pants, he looked at the men on the far wall and found they looked only as large as his thumb. He could probably hit them with Far Thrower, but it would be a tough shot.

    After fastening MapleThorn to his belt and meeting with his compatriots, Leif was on his way to the tavern.

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    Shia trudged through the snow, which was starting to melt and form sludge. She was busy setting up her traps so she could replenish her stock of meats. She also needed some pelts to start trading for more supplies. Ample supplies were essential for survival when living alone up in the mountains of Scotland. Shia had been on her own for almost 10 years now. Her father died when she was very young, so her mother was the one who showed Shia how to survive in the wilds of the Highlands. She also inherited the gift of being able to speak to animals. Sometimes this gift made it hard to hunt and trap them, but a girl had to do what she must to survive. Her mother often spoke of the village in which she grew up, Freiburg. Her mother use to tell her that they had planned on visiting one day, but then her father passed away. Her mother, more than ever, wanted to return to her old village and find if any family was still there. Then her mother fell ill and passed away. Shia remembered her mother telling her “It’s a lonely life Shia, being a woman up here in these mountains. You need to get out in the world and start meeting people, make friends with humans instead of animals”. Shia knew people from the lower villages, and would trade and often exchange pleasantries. There was no one she was really close to however; all she had was her wolf, Cavall. Shia had been saving what coin she made from selling her animal pelts in the hopes of traveling to her mother’s village. She hoped to find family and mostly she wanted to honor her mother’s final wish. She had already made plans for the following week to make the trek to the lower village and hoped to meet up with the sea merchant she would trade with from time to time. Her plan was to offer her coin and gain a spot on his ship and finally see the village her mother so fondly remembered, Freidburg.

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    Eoghan walked up on the branches of an enormous tree. "Fourth day of the... seventh month... eighth year" he said to himself. He always tried to keep track of time since he started traveling. "And I am... in Germany, yes, Germany, I arrived here one month and three weeks ago" he continued. He also tried to keep track of the places he visited. He checked his stuff: His bow, his two knives, his half full quiver, his rope, the few coins in his pouch and three dead rabbits. It was quite a problem to sleep with those without some animal trying to snatch them. He stretched, as sleeping with bracers, belt and boots was still not comfortable, though he was much more used to it now than when he started traveling. He had eaten last night, and he put the fire out before going to sleep, so everything was ready. He threw the rabbits over his shoulder and left the forest. Some hours later, he was at a village. After listening some nearby people talking, he knew it was Freiburg. "Well, the tavern seems the best place to go now" he though when he saw the "Tavern" sign over the large wooden door, right after smelling ale.

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    Izakar strode into town with bags under his eyes, a months worth of beard, and heavily repaired clothes. He looked like he had come from the forest, and many of the townsfolk shied away from him as he plodded along. He didn't know much German, and had to rely on pictures to guide him. The tavern was obvious enough though, and he shouldered his way in only an hour before sunset. It was early spring here, and the sun still set well before most people were ready to sleep.

    "I need a room, a drink, and a bath," he muttered to the bartender, shrugging his pack off onto the floor with an unceremonious "thunk". He hoped the bartender understood his heavily accented English, for it was all the better he could do. Or, with some luck, someone could translate for him.

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    Shia had been on the ship for nearly three weeks now. Cavall was growing restless, and at times had to protect Shia from unwelcome advances from the men on board. The captain however was a man of honor and for the most part came to her aide if needed. Shia helped whenever she could aboard the ship. She thought living in the highlands was hard; life at sea was much harder. There were storms to battle, navigating when there was no sun or stars, the constant rocking of the ship and no land in sight. Shia missed her mountains and wondered if she made the right decision. In the back of her mind however, she could hear her mother, “Shia, get out and see the world”.
    The captain said in another week they would be reaching the English Channel. Once they got to port Shia still had to travel the almost 400 miles to reach the small town of Freiburg. Shia was already weary from being on the ship and was not looking forward to the long trek to her mother’s home town. She truly hopes she finds a place to belong, because she does not want to make the long journey back home. She keeps hearing stories of creatures and monsters that had been driven out by the church. Her mother use to tell her tales of monsters and of the fae. She had never seen any of these creatures and wondered if they actually existed. She would sometimes hear the animals run in fear of something unknown and she would take the cue and hide herself. She really hoped the journey to Freidburg would be uneventful.

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    Leif and his company started into town, boisterous and excited for an afternoon of drunkenness and, more than likely, fighting. The guild master disapproved of the latter and constantly reminded his students that they trained in the sword to defend the townsfolk, not harass them. Luckily for Leif he wasn't a student.

    They entered the second city wall that held the residential and market areas and turned their attention to the main road. All kinds of shops and stalls and grocers were in sight. Furs, cloth, and leather goods were always predominant in these places, but Leif generally headed to the arms and armour area.

    There's a common misconception in folk who aren't battle-wise that one man will make a weapon from beginning to end, and in some rare cases a single shop can provide every part. But most men by weapons in parts. A blade from this shop, guard or pommel from that, most men can carve their own handles but a good scabbard is very difficult to do and must be commissioned, and each part of these is done by a different craftsman. That in itself makes even a basic weapon expensive, but to get something made just the way you want it costs more and more per part. Young men who were done with chores or their jobs would always be loitering outside the best shop in any town, and Leif made it a point to look at their wares to pick up what he could and take notes or draw sketches of an unusual part.

    There was a clamoring from inside the shop and the boys outside were cheering as a young man, no more than 15 came dashing out with the shop master on his heels. Plowing directly into Hans, the smallest of the troupe, the boy yelped like a kicked dog.

    " Thief! I swear ill have you hanged!" Yelled the owner as he picked up the young man by his hair.

    "Oath breaker! I met your price twice now and each time you raise it! This is mine by right and you know it!" He had bowl-cut brown hair and a frame that promises growth to come.

    The shopkeep, an aging man of nearly 50 with a bony frame and the smallest fringe of hair, had yet to let go and was staring with contempt at the boy. The other young ones were taunting him and calling him an oathbreaker, something no man should stand for, yet Leif noticed he made no effort to deny the claim.

    Seizing the man's hand, Hans forced him to release his grip and demanded to know if the boy's claim was true.

    "the price of steel is going up! Its not my fault the bought doesn't understand how this business works!" the shrewd-looking man stammered. There was a short discussion of prices and which part cost what and why, and the company concluded that the young man did indeed owe 5 silver's worth more. Leif agreed to pay the cost if the boy could best him or any of his group with the sword.

    "Y... You can't be serious! I've never trained with it! I have no chance of killing a man!" he contested, wide eyed and obviously terrified.

    "Not to worry! A duel like this is only to first blood,nobody wants to see you die today." Leif said with a smile. It looked more like a wolf bearing his teeth. After a discussion with his friends, Collin chose Hans as his opponent. he had to win. There was no other way.

    Square and determined, he charged Hans as soon as the signal was given, swinging the light and powerful blade like it was meant to be done, tip first and edge barely turned so as to protect it if the edge was blocked. Very well done, the company agreed, the boy had done his homework at the very least, but a senior fighter like his opponent easily intercepted and initiated the bind. It was the basics of all swordsmanship, keep your blade bound against your opponent's and wind against hIm. They went through a series of attack, counter, wind, push,attack again. Hans wazzup toying with the boy and it was obvious.

    Hard swing from above. Block, wind into a strike for the head on the boy. Blocked, skillfully but just barely. TCollins was losing ground and fast. Letting out a shout, he kicked at Hans' chest and connected. HHans lost his air in a sputtering cough, and nearly took off the boy's hand in reflex. The blade was turned just barely enough to cut the boy but not sever bone. Collins had lost.

    There was a cheer and a howl from Leifand his friends as they raised the bleeding young man and congratulated him on doing so well.

    "Boy, if this hadn't been to first blood, you would have been the victor. He would have your hand, but you would take his head! I will pay your debt and 4 more to you for your performance!"Said Leif and he did. Hans took the young man to the infermary and was heard offering the boy an apprenticeship at the guild, while the rest of the men wandered into the tavern.

    "Ale, wench! Lots of it!"

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    The door opened and Zella glanced over her shoulder to see who was coming in. While she had never seen them before she knew that they must be travelers. The slow day was nice for a little bit but hopefully these gentleman would bring in some atmosphere into the dead place temporarily at least. The money didn't hurt either.

    She smiled polity as she poured a few drinks and placed them on the table in front of them and told them the price as she waited, "Vat brinken you to Freiburg, business or pleasure?" she asked curiously.

    Her brother had woken up to the yelling man, his eyes glazed slightly in annoyance but he settled down once he realized that no one was in trouble. This caused a snicker from the men in the corner who looked up from what they were doing, but quickly went back to their own business.

    The man in the corner was officially lost to the new crowd and realized he should probably go once the light hit him from the door opening. He apologetically apologized to the whore who pouted as her prey left her alone at the bar. She went to go bother then men in the corner who already had a few drinks in them, even though they were both married men and wouldn't be here much longer.

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    Eoghan entered the tavern without making any noise. Seeing there was some activity inside, he decided to go to the first empty table he saw. Once seated, he started counting his money. "Not much" he thought, "hopefully it will be enough for two or three drinks... it has been almost four months since I had my last ale". He put the coins back in his pouch, removed the hood from his head and waited. The atmosphere of the tavern was quite a change from his time in the woods.

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